"No rush, let’s take care of business first." Garen looked at Golden Loop Number Nine, and the latter instantly tensed up.
Golden Loop Number Eight sneered as he charged at Number Nine and poked out with his index finger.
Golden Loop Number Nine let out a deep "humph" as a bloody hole appeared in his chest.
His whole body instantly flew backward, went over the handrail, and fell down to the "black hole".
"Let’s go." Golden Loop Number Eight didn’t even bother looking down. He turned around and began walking up the stairs. "What the people on top want is here, so we won’t have any problems after I hand it in. Identification will be something for another day."
Garen looked down at where Golden Loop Number Nine had fallen in, but the place was pitch black and he couldn’t see a thing. He quickly followed Golden Loop Number Eight up the stairs.
"Oh wait, did you guys get any clues in terms of the fragrance of the Mindtwister Vine? Why didn’t I see that particular plant?" he asked as he recalled the strange things he saw at the Silversilk Castle.
"Mindtwister Vine? That thing is best for creating illusions and killing people. All of them were collected from our people, except for that crazy woman. She still kept some, but not that much," Golden Loop Number Eight said casually. "Okay, I will go up first and retreat with my people. You can come up later, so Dale Quicksilver won’t get suspicious. If you join us, the Golden Loop, then your identity could be a great cover."
"Ok." Garen nodded. He stood still and watched Golden Loop Number Eight sped up and quickly disappeared into the darkness.
He turned around and looked back at the darkness behind him. The stairs seemed to extend downward forever, as if they led to the endless abyss. The whole stairway was so quiet that it was frightening.
"Why did this Golden Loop Number Nine rush in and try to steal this item?"
Garen still had a question on his mind, but unfortunately, Number Nine was already dead. There was no way that he could still be alive after falling down from a place this high up while already being severely injured.
After shaking his head, Garen paced himself and ran up the stairs.
At the very bottom of the staircase, Golden Loop Number Nine laid facing up. Numerous metal spikes extended from the ground, piercing his body. His eyes were open wide, but there was no sign of life in them. His blood slowly soaked into the black soil and solidified.
The Silversilk Castle during the afternoon glowed a warm shade of red under the sunlight during sunset. In the courtyard in front of the castle, a few guards equipped with guns were checking their teammate’s corpses. Their faces were all pale. Some of them were swearing, while others were choking and whining.
Their captain had a bandage on his arm and stood beside Detective Dale with an ugly expression on his face. The White Eagle and Black Panther were also with them. Grace, in the meantime, stood beside Garen and Cynthia. The latter wasn’t that upset. Her people hadn’t suffered too many casualties. They were within an acceptable margin.
Garen stood by the side and saw a bunch of detectives making small talk, trying to decide on something. However, he was not interested and too lazy to listen to it. The biggest reward for him in this trip was that he had built a connection with the Golden Loop. If everything went smoothly, he would no longer have to worry about his family's safety anymore.
"Unfortunately, I wasn’t of much help this time." Garen murmured. "My original plan was only to follow the detectives and figure out the secret of the Silversilk Castle, though I also wanted to see if I’ll be able get some antiques. It looks like I thought too much."
"Next time if you want to run around, can you please let me know first?" Cynthia said helplessly. Both her face and body were dirty, but she didn’t have any wounds. It was like a miracle! She didn’t get injured during that intense shooting at all.
"Ok, I got it." Garen smiled and said, "We should go back This isn’t the time and place for us to stay."
He walked directly toward the bunch of people, including Detective Dale.
After some simple farewells, Garen led Grace, Cynthia and the other people who had came with him towards Canoe Town.
They returned to Canoe Town in the early evening, the sky had yet to turn dark. Garen jumped into Grace’s car and headed towards the city.
After getting back to the city, his life gradually returned to normal. Garen threw the situation with the Silversilk Castle to the back of his mind and no longer thought about it. Besides going to the library to read books, he would only go to the old man’s and learn about identification. Though at the same time, he was waiting for the boss of Manleyton Corporation to find time to see him.
After several weeks…
In a small room in the library, surrounded by bookshelves, Garen was seated down on a red sofa. He looked with concentration at the black hard cover book, which was about the size of a magazine, that he was flipping through.
There was a cup of coffee on the black table in front of him, but it had lost its heat already.
"Book of Silence?" a pretty blonde girl asked, leaning against an armrest as she sat on his right.
Her hair was bound with a black hairband, and she wore a tight, black silk shirt emphasizing her full chest and slender waist. There were many dark red flowers on the dress. The two colors, black and red, gave off an elegant and quiet feel. The skirt had a perfect length as its edge covered her knees.
"Why do you suddenly want to search for information on this book?"
This girl was Felicity. She had just gotten back from Manroland two days ago, and had contacted Garen, asking to meet up.
"I’ve heard this name before, and it sounds strange. I feel like this book is very mysterious." Garen shrugged his shoulder. There was no way that he would tell her the truth.
"You’re asking the right person for this kind of knowledge." The girl’s eyes opened wide. It was obvious that she was having a good time. "Book of Silence is an ancient book within which mysterious knowledge about the legends is recorded. The most mysterious and ruthless civilization, Ancient Endor, is the place from which the Book of Silence originates.
"Huh… There are a few mythology books that I want to read. I could take you to go though the books together, and we could see if we can find it." Felicity stood up, dusted her skirts, and said, "Follow me."
Garen quickly dropped the book in his hand and followed her out of the small room.
Felicity quietly said something to a maid at the door. The latter nodded and walked at the front, leading the way.
The three of them passed by a few connected study rooms, and then entered a small door on the left. There was a wooden staircase leading down to the basement behind the door. It was a bit dark. The floor was covered by thick black carpet that muffled all the noise made by their footsteps.
Garen followed Felicity and the maid. They walked down three floors of stairs, passed through a few gates, and opened a series of locks. After all that trouble, they finally arrived at a large, deserted underground library.
It was a rectangular hall that was dark and gloomy. There were a dozen so black wood bookshelves, but most of them were empty. There was no one in here, and it seemed very quiet.
Felicity waved, singalling the maid to leave. After that, she dragged Garen towards a bookshelf on the very right.
"The books here are centuries old. There are some on mythology, but you have to look for them."
Garen nodded as he sniffed the air. There was a vague musty smell.
They didn’t talk after that, each rolling up their sleeves and beginning their search for ancient books.
There weren’t a lot of them on the shelves, and the books that were there had a thick layer of dust on them. When they took them off of the shelves, they breathed in noses full of white dust and coughed violently. However, Felicity didn’t seem to care about that. Filled with excitement, she started to look for books on mythology along with Garen.
They started their search from the bookshelf on the very right to the bookshelf on the very left. They did find a few books on mythology, but they could tell that they were full of bullsh*t. The stories in them could only be considered tales for little kids.
"Most of the books here are left behind by one of my friend’s ancestors. He had taken the majority of the books out, but there were still some that he didn’t clean up. These were left here due to some family reasons, and now are forgotten and abandoned here. If you didn’t bring it up, I probably wouldn’t have even remembered this place," Felicity said in a quiet voice, coughing, as she took out a grey book and slapped the dust off of it. The dust immediately dispersed, prolonging the girl’s coughing fit.
"No rush, we have time, we can go slow." Garen laughed. He didn’t seem to be impatient at all.
Time ticked away, second by second, in this dark hall as the fire flickered in the torches on the wall.
After who knew how long, suddenly, a deep crackling noise sounded in the left corner of the hall.
A dense cloud of dust was blown into the air.
"Cough, cough… Cough! Cough! Cough!... Damn! Why did it fall down," Felicity complained as she walked away from the bookshelves. Her entire body was covered in dust. The black silk dress was no long pure black. There was a layer of white dust on the surface, and the girl looked miserable.
"Eh?" Garen was surprised. "There is a book there."
He was standing not too far away from the girl. After the bookshelf fell down, he suddenly saw a book fall down from the top shelf. Quickly, he walked up and picked it up.
After lightly dusting off the dust off of its cover, the book was unveiled. It was black, and its cover page had a set of golden necklaces. The author’s name was at the bottom: Philip Jeffries
Garen lightly opened the book. The pages were a light yellow color. He could tell that they used to be white, but due to the passage of time now had turned to yellow.
The first page only had one line on it: "Dedicated to scholars who are searching and studying mythology".
He turned the page, and there was a simple index on the second page consisting of three parts: Nightmare, The White Color, Ritual.
There were more detailed tags under each part, and the page numbers were after them.
"What is this?" Felicity got close to Garen and asked, "Golden necklace? Why doesn’t this book have a name?"
"No name?" Garen was surprsied. "Yeah, it really doesn’t have a name."
"There are only two possiblities. One is that this is a personal book. Books are regulated by the National Publications Bureau, and not putting a name is a way to avoid that. These kind of books are assumed to be notes or diaries." Felicity was very knowledgeable. She explained, "But the other one..." Her expression got serious.
"The other one would be the so-called banned books. They contain prohibited material. Not putting a name on it is also for the purpose of avoiding the National Publications Bureau. Because they’re all banned by National Publications Bureau, they only have the name of the author on it."
"Banned book?" Garen instantly got interested. He flipped through a few more pages and found that the whole book was filled with symbols and strange writings that he didn’t understand.
"Let’s go, let’s sit down over there and read it. This book must be a banned book! I’ve never seen a real banned book before."
Felicity got interested as well. Both of them came to a red wooden table, pulled out chairs, wiped them clean, and sat down. The light on the table was already lit up by the maid. Although it was a bit dim, it didn’t affect their reading.