"That’s not necessary, we have enough hands this time. But Kelly, you really should stay away this time. The White Eagle and I will go with our friend. If something happens, we won’t be able to protect you," Dale Quicksilver told Garen.
"Don’t worry, I can protect myself. Don’t forget about when you gave me the black jade disk." Garen winked at Dale.
"I knew you wouldn’t give up so easily, up to you then. We are going to go down that hole and take a closer look. Oh right, take a look at this." Dale took out an old looking yellow paper from his pocket. Garen spread it out and revealed a colored oil painting.
A man was running forward on a vast grey plateau. The man was headless and facing the opposite direction. A flock of birds were flying out from his neck.
"There is more on the back," Dale Quicksilver reminded Garen.
Garen flipped the paper over, and there was another painting on the back.
A man’s rough and coarse hand reached out from underground. There was a bloody hole in the middle of this hand, and a man in a black robe stood inside this hole.
At the bottom of the painting was a line written in a language Garen did not understand.
"The line at the bottom is written in an ancient language, Archon. It means ‘To bestow goodness of heart upon mankind’." Dale’s face looked serious. "I did some research. You should prepare mentally for this."
Garen nodded mutely. He had a feeling that things at Silversilk castle could be on a whole different level of trouble.
Dale drank some coffee and continued, "We found this piece of paper under that hole yesterday. I left as soon as I found it because I immediately recognized the origin of this writing." He paused. "Archon is a language used by one of the most mysterious people in ancient times."
"Mysterious?" Garen squinted at him.
"They were always on the dark side of the world, and their powers were mysterious and enigmatic. In ancient legends, they were the symbol of the devil, blood and uncanniness, but no one had ever seen their true faces. They were called the Warlocks."
"Warlocks…" It was Garen’s first time hearing this word.
Grace mumbled in surprise.
"Those people in the myths and legends that learned how to use magic?"
Dale nodded. "Correct. It is said that Warlocks learned their magic from the devil and fear itself, that’s why it’s called magic. In the legends, they would mate with mythical creatures and give birth to offspring with powerful bloodlines. They had control of the demon arts. They blended in with common people, becoming nobles, businessmen, or even travelers. But of course, these were just myths," he concluded. "However, there are numerous people worshiping these Warlocks. It was especially common in ancient times, and I suspect that entrance was constructed by some of those people."
Garen was originally shocked by the story, but he calmed down after hearing they were merely myths and legends. He remembered the story of Warlocks from Garen’s memory. "I think I have heard of the Warlocks from stories and legends before, but aren’t those all made up? What could these worshippers possibly do?"
"Ceremonies, bloody sacrifices, making flutes of people’s femurs - these are all actions attributed to them. They’ve formed some kind of cult."
"If that’s the case, I would have even more reason to follow." Garen licked his lips. "After all, these Warlocks and their magic doesn’t really exist. The stuff down there would be nothing but men’s creation."
Dale Quicksilver nodded. "I’ve ran into cases like this before, involving ancient cults. And like you said, these things are all man made, not particularly mysterious. They are, however, gory and cruel. And since this time Golden Hoop has a part in it, the situation is more dangerous. These cults may have leftover tools from sacrificial ceremonies. They could be worth a lot of money as antiques."
are we taking action?"
"We are waiting for The White Eagle and his friend. We’ve asked for some reinforcements from the police as well, so we shouldn’t run into too much trouble." Dale Quicksilver looked at his watch. "It’s 6:40 right now, and they will be arriving before 10."
"Are we just going to wait around?" Garen asked.
"It’s nice to have some rest, don’t you think?" Dale Quicksilver laughed. "Don’t worry." He tapped Garen’s shoulder and said, "We have to wait until our expert on ancient traps arrives, or we cannot safely investigate that underground cave. Until then, you can have some free time with your pretty-faced secretary."
Garen chuckled reluctantly and watched Dale Quicksilver leave the restaurant. As he relaxed in the chair, he felt a sudden warmth and suppleness behind his neck.
Grace blushed behind Garen, but she did not dodge and let Garen’s head rest between her breasts.
"In my company’s eyes, I’m now your spokesperson, the key connection between you and the company. If you really want it, I won’t turn you down," she whispered.
"I don’t like to force it." Garen smiled and stood up. "We’ll be going to Silversilk castle in a bit. It’s very dangerous out there, so you have to take care of yourself. I cannot protect you."
"Don’t worry, I have made adequate preparations this time. The company has sent someone to protect us, so I’m getting some benefit by staying with you."
Grace smiled and clapped her hands. "Cynthia, what are you waiting for?"
From behind the bush outside the restaurant walked out a girl with strong and vigorous body. The girl had a girl-next-door look, wearing a low neck tight dress. This black as ink dress contrasted with her clear skin that looked like gelatin. Her lips were shining pink, and her curly brown hair trailed over her shoulders.
Garen was a little shocked by her beauty. "Cynthia, are you eighteen yet?" he asked in astonishment, concurrently glancing around the restaurant. Fortunately, there wasn’t anyone in this early. Besides his table, there was only the chubby owner, who was dozing off at the bar.
The girl’s long and slim legs were especially dazzling. She was wearing a pair of boots that almost covered her entire calves. "The company has sent me to protect you both, and there is another team of men responsible for guarding and security. Don’t you worry, Mr. Kelly, I’m already nineteen years old."
Her brown eyes were bent slightly, like those of a kitten, making it look like she was always smiling. Her ripe and round breasts along with long and firm legs made her look lively and energetic.
The girl came to stand next to Garen. "Mr. Kelly, I was sent to be your bodyguard. I will excel at any task given to me. What Grace can do, I can do better. What she can’t do… I am totally up for it as well…"
While she was finishing the sentence, she purposely straightened her back to show off her full breasts, and gave an aggressive look to Grace.
Grace’s face turned blue. She knew this was the company sending someone to replace her because she could not form a close relationship with Garen. Cynthia was a younger and prettier squad leader. She could fight better and her looks were superior to Grace’. Most importantly, she was trained as a tool to please people with authority.
"Do you think that there can only be one kind of a relationship between men and women?" Grace asked in a cold voice.
"Isn’t that kind of relationship the closest?" Cynthia replied, acting cute. She put her finger on her lips. "I can do anything for Mr. Kelly, or let him do whatever he wants to me…" She held the chair arm and slowly leaned toward Garen.
Garen stood up with a wry smile.
"All right, that’s enough. I appreciate Manleyton Corporation’s sincerity, but it really isn’t the best time. Cynthia right? How many men did you bring?"
As he started talking business, Cynthia’s smile wavered and disappeared. "The squad has seven members including myself, sir. They have spread out and started patrolling the area. You can put your trust in us, we are professionals trained by the Weisman Trident Corporation. Your safety is our top priority. Also, after this trip, Mr. Adrian would like to have a word with you."
"Adrian?" Garen remembered hearing that name from Grace.
Adrian was the man in control of Manleyton Corporation. The reason he sent Grace to work for Garen, and had Cynthia be his bodyguard, was to befriend the White Cloud Dojo. Most importantly, Manleyton Corporation had some conflicts with Garen’s third senior brother, Joshua’s family, who had control of another company in the antiques business. Manleyton Corporation had been in a disadvantage for a long time, so they might be thinking to ask Garen to ease up their relationships and escape the suppression.
"It’s about my third senior brother, right?" Garen didn’t know if Joshua would be nice enough to help. "Don’t have too many expectations, these kind of things aren’t decided by Joshua alone."
"That’s fair." Cynthia nodded, she had a trace of doubt in her eyes. Before meeting him, she thought Garen was just a sixteen-year-old high school kid, who only came to the corporation’s attention because of his martial arts talent. There was no way he could be tenacious enough to withstand her charm. As long as she finished the job and gave him a few winks in bed, everything could be dealt with easily.
But she didn’t expect Garen to have a completely different personality. His actions and his speech did not look like a high school kid’s, but resembled that of a thirty-year-old man’s. And he was completely oblivious to her seduction.
Garen nodded back to Cynthia. He knew that everything he had was based upon his identity as the disciple of White Cloud Gate. Be it Grace or Cynthia, they were only respecting him because of his position in the White Cloud Gate and not his actual strength. Although, he had never paid much attention to what others think, with his special abilities and talents, he was destined to get noticed.