Garen pulled out his hand from the wall.
"What are you trying to say?"
He couldn't make out the source of his energy as it seemed to appear out of thin air. This made him slightly wary as the ancestral energy seemed very mysterious. He was deliberating if he should have done his research thoroughly before fighting against them.
"Why don't we work together?" Suddenly, the old man said something which stunned Garen.
Suddenly a wound appeared on his pale, wrinkled right cheek and fresh black blood spewed out from it. It wasn't slow flowing but sprayed instead, as droplets splattered onto the floor.
Then, something strange happened. The blood on the ground moved about as if it was a living worm. It then formed a black line and swiftly climbed back up and into the old man's face through his leg as the wound recovered.
Although Garen wasn't injured and the energy spent using secret skills was negligible to him, this might be a good opportunity to understand the arts of the witch doctor, as the opponent's skills were completely foreign to him.
It wasn't like he'd dismissed approaching Raffaele to understand everything. It was just that Raffaele was too close to his family.
Surprisingly, this world had given him an opportunity to live a peaceful life, and he didn't want to disrupt it just yet. In addition to that, he hadn't been taking the arts of witchcraft seriously and he didn't think that it would be this effective. Hence, he decided to be more alert against it.
"Ally with you? Since we're teaming up, it means we will have a common enemy right?" Garen shrunk and returned to his original shape. His shirt, however, was messed up by this transformation and he now looked like a playboy out for a trip.
"The Blood Breed." The old man's eyes turned black. "Two hundred years ago, they surrounded me and killed me, and my grandchildren placed my torn corpse into a constructing tomb during my funeral. Consequently, I revived by absorbing the energy of the universe and I was awakened by an adventurer just a few decades ago."
"Revive…" Garen's eyes flashed. "Are you saying that you can revive? If so, what's the cost of reviving? I'm not really related to the Blood Breed, else I wouldn't have teamed up with you for such a small matter."
"Unfortunately, Resurrection can only be used by the powerful ones blessed by the ancestor. The path you walk is different from mine so you can't use it." The old man shook his head. "As for the Blood Breed, are you sure you're not related to them?" He suddenly smiled in mockery which made it strange in the tunnel.
"Why are you laughing?" Garen's face turned serious.
"Your body, it's being marked by the Blood Breed's Illusive Trace. Did you not know that?" the old man stopped laughing but he was still smiling.
"An Upper-level Blood Breed had marked you with Illusive Trace. Judging from its level, it's most likely Death Apostle level." The old man smiled. "Simply put, you should have been targeted by a very powerful Blood Breed. They are always out to hunt for the best blood vessel with the strongest physique and will. Unfortunately, you've been targeted by one of the Death Apostles."
Garen's face turned pale.
He recalled the strange dreams he had recently. They were dreams that he had never had before, where his strong will and soul were able to fully control the reaction of his body.
However, that dream was totally out of his imagination.
"They have taken you as the best blood source. The Blood Breeds are able to obtain mysterious power through ingesting blood and even we don't know how they obtain their strength. Every Upper-level Blood Breed and Death Apostle are mysterious and powerful." The old man explained in a simple manner. "However, I am different from other witches as I do know a few things about them. For example, they lure, scare and even control their prey through dreams…"
Garen's pupils shrunk.
"Dream…" He couldn't help himself as the sound of explosions started to reverberate from his muscles and joints as if they were grenades implanted in them. The horrifying explosions kept ringing in series.
"The current me is so weak that I haven't recovered half of my strength and it appears that you've hidden a huge amount of life force. That power seems to be evil in your hands and perhaps this is the reason why they have yet to make a move on you yet. Perhaps he's frightened of you too." The old man explained.
Garen closed his eyes and pondered for a while.
He then opened his eyes.
"Looks like I do have the need to understand the world of the Blood Breeds…"
The old man in front of him smiled with joy.
"You've made a wise decision."
Suddenly an explosion could be heard.
A shapeless void appeared behind them as if a whirlpool had occurred in mid-air and there were a few black dots floating inside it.
The black dots became larger and larger.
A black pile of items was pushed out from the whirlpool and landed on the floor.
This pile of black stuff was actually three people clinging to one another.
Dalier, Rose Dahm, and Cohen were hugging each other as their eyes were glazed and white fluids were dripping out from their mouths.
What's strange was that a faint black light was coming off from their bodies.
"Where's the book page?" The old man walked forward as he asked. "Tell me, where is the book page?"
Three of them looked dazed as if they didn't understand what he was trying to say. The black light coming off from their bodies were preventing the old man from approaching them closer.
Garen crossed his hand as he walked to the back to observe the situation.
Since he found out that he had been marked by the Blood Breeds, what was on his mind right now was to find a way to find out which Blood Breed had marked him instead of the Book Page.
The nature of this power was completely unknown to him. The main issue was that he didn't even know how the Blood Breed had marked him.
Suddenly an electrical buzzing sound could be heard.
The old man withdrew his right hand which was about two meters away from the bodies. A wisp of black smoke was curling from the tip of his bony finger.
"What's the current situation?" Garen frowned as he couldn't understand what he was trying to do.
"They have left." The old man frowned as well. "They made use of the nature of the power to leave this place."
Garen was confused as he looked at the trio who were hugging each other. "Aren't they still here?" He looked at the empty gaze in their eyes as he pondered. "Are you saying that their consciousnesses have left their bodies?"
"Precisely." The old man nodded. "They're relying on this method to escape from my search."
"What's the point? Their body is being held hostage by us and they have to return to their bodies sooner or later." Garen asked calmly.
"That's not the case." The old man shook his head. "They can instantly pull their bodies away from here from afar. Furthermore, if they wish, they are able to build a new body if they wish to do so."
"What's the rationale behind this?" Garen didn't understand the logic behind the witch doctor or witch's power at all.
The old man glanced at him. "On our path, you're not even considered as a disciple so it's understandable that you don't get it." He looked back and continued staring at the three bodies lying on the ground. "If you wish, I am willing to pass down some knowledge to you as a partner. Do you wish to know more?"
"You're willing to give me knowledge?" Garen thought that these kinds of mysterious and powerful information weren't simply passed around. It shouldn't be simply be revealed without any terrible ordeal. How could this guy simply pass down his knowledge?
"It's fine." The old man smiled. "We obtain this knowledge through dangerous means, which is searching endlessly in the universe. Even if one knows how to execute the procedure, one's body must be willing to cooperate and believe in it. Hence, it would be meaningless if one were to just know about it as the main foundation is to control your will."
"Your statement sounds very dubious to me," Garen whispered. "Fine. I hope to learn from you from now on. Perhaps this old knowledge would be useful to me."
The old man laughed at him. "My name is AG so you can call me that. We still have a lot of opportunities in the future so we should deal with these fellows who stole the book page."
Both of them stopped arguing after that. Garen took out his walkie-talkie and looked at the signal. He didn't care much about the old man's actions and started to contact his underlings.
"Angie, where's Baldy?"
"Boss is stuck in a deep drain nearby and is trying to pull the car out." A female voice came from the walkie-talkie.
"Are you with Cadytius?"
"Bring your men to my place. Be careful as the ground will collapse at any given moment. Remember to bring in the heavy artillery and surveillance system."
The walkie-talkie was then switched off. This woman, Angie, and Cadytius were the best among the Nighthawks. They were elites who had practiced the Shooting Shadow Secret Skill. With their strength and the surveillance system, they could surveil a circular area of up to a few kilometers in detail.
The mysterious old man AG walked towards the trio, sat on his knees and placed his crutch on his knees. He then placed his hands together and started to tremble as if he went crazy.
Garen didn't know what he was preparing to pull but he could feel an invisible force emitting out from his body as it gathered on the trio.
"I'm going to leave so that I can track them. I hope you can stay here and take care of my body." The old man AG turned around and told Garen.
"No problem." Garen nodded.
As Garen finished speaking, the old man's gaze lost its colors and immediately turned dim, just like a faded gemstone.
Garen frowned as he circled these four people. Nothing strange happened near them as everything became peaceful once more.
Every second passed quietly as Garen sat waiting. The immense aura given off from his body, even though it wasn't a real aura, was strong enough to ensure the worms in the old tree didn't get near to him.
After a while.
A sharp scream was heard.
Cohen and the other two jumped out quickly and the first thing crossed their mind was to run towards the stone wall.
Garen reacted and with a stomp at his feet.
Boom! He shot out and grabbed Dalier by his neck and pushed against the wall.
After a huge booming sound, Dalier vomited white fluid and fainted.
Rose Dahm and Cohen were scared as they shivered. They stood still as they stared at Garen and they didn't even dare to make any sudden movement.
Their faces were so pale that it seemed like they had no blood at all, as though they'd lived through their worst nightmares.
Then, the old man AG slowly woke up.
He took up his crutch, coughed loudly and stood up.
"Hand over the book page. That's mine!" He said calmly as he stared at the two with his black eyes.
Seeing Garen and the old man standing together without any intention of fighting, they were even more horrified.
"What do you want? The book page has been hidden by us at a place no one will ever find."
Rose Dahm shouted loudly.
"You people stole it away from my underground palace. Then you people claim that it is your item that you inherited from your ancestor! You people are mindless thieves!" AG said fiercely. "Fate has guided me to you. Hand it over to me and I'll consider letting you guys live."