Claude was going through information reports pertaining to Blood Feast's activities. A mountain of paperwork had already piled up on his desk, sorted by priority and relevance.
Some of these had already been sorted and stamped for delivery to other departments and the elders, but there was still much more waiting to be dealt with.
Information on Blood Feast was of a high priority and that also meant that his work this afternoon had merely begun.
That very morning, he had just retired from the battlefield of that clean-up operation and rushed back to work.
This goes to show that life at Secret Rite Tower's Intelligence Branch was no easy job... In truth, Claude felt that he might go bald at a young age and was very worried about his hairline.
Claude's daily resentment reached its peak every day when he got up and observed his receding hairline.
"I sometimes really suspect that he accepted me as a disciple just so he could have free labor," Cluade muttered to himself and sighed, slamming a file into the done pile.
His communications device beeped at this moment.
Claude froze, then immediately took out his communications device. His face turned rigid when he saw the display screen.
Claude picked up the call and heard Lin Jie's opener. "Hello, police? There's going to be a problem with the Church of the Dome."
Claude was dumbfounded and the communications device nearly slipped out of his hands.
Church of the Dome?!
What's wrong with them? How have they offended him?
Wait a moment!
Is the bookstore owner behind the recent attack on the Church of the Dome as well as the destruction of the Seventh Parish Chapel?!
It all makes sense if that is so!
Come to think of it, only Boss Lin has this sort of power... Why did you all have to get involved with him for no reason?!
The Truth Union's incident had barely passed and Claude had even been called down to deal with the nephew of the Truth Union's chairman not too long ago — that bunch of 'Truth-seeker' rascals had visited the bookstore and became completely docile upon waking up and turning in to become the shopkeeper's henchmen.
Claude believed that this bunch had certainly been taught a severe lesson.
Boss Lin had Supreme-rank prowess in the form of deterrence on one hand, sweet, enticing words on the other, and an entire bookstore filled with boundless knowledge in between.
He had thoroughly subdued the Truth Union then.
The council of elders even speculated that the bookstore might be related to some sort of deity or god of knowledge, possibly with the goal of bringing all misguided members of the Truth Union onto the right path of faith.
Now, while the Truth Union's face was still smeared with the mud, why had the Church of the Dome gone and messed up...
"Boss Lin... Uhm, could you be more specific? What's the issue with the Church of the Dome?" asked Claude cautiously.
Lin Jie's voice sounded over the communications device, recounting the whole affair with Vincent. Of course, he didn't forget to emphasize the evils of the Church of the Dome and the current danger Vincent was in.
They were victims and naturally needed protection and saving.
"Holy Moon Essence..." Claude's face stiffened.
He didn't doubt the veracity of this information. A being of Boss Lin's caliber didn't have any need of lying to them.
Moreover... If Holly Moon Essence really showed side effects, then all it took was for Secret Rite Tower to make an investigation with their power.
Holy Moon Essence had only appeared relatively recent, and so did the activities of Blood Feast. This could become a big issue if there was any link between the two.
Thousands would be implicated if there really was a problem with the Church of the Dome.
This matter was too important for Claude to deal with on the spot. He needed to consult Joseph and inform the council of elders.
He stood up, put on his coat and said, "Please wait a bit, Boss Lin. If possible, I hope that you wouldn't cause too large a disturbance. I'm going to seek my superiors for instructions and be there soon.”
Lin Jie expressed his understanding, after all it was unwise to inadvertently alert the foe or act rashly.
He also added that theirs was a weak and powerless side and the situation was extremely dangerous. All he could do was hope that the police would be sent over his way as soon as possible.
Claude had an incredulous look on his face as his lips twitched while agreeing.
What else could he say? In such a situation, all he needed to do was smile and speak pleasantries.
Buck floated in the air a distance away from the bookstore. He had on a new black robe and was practically fully merged within the darkness. With no holes or patterns on his mask, he appeared especially frightening.
The scythe cut a sharp curve in midair, in the shape of a crescent.
Facing the direction of the bookstore, Buck could sense the activity within. Currently, three people seemed to be sleeping. Vincent was hiding within the bookstore and the other two were the bookstore owner and what appeared to be his newly hired assistant.
Based on the aether from them, each was more ordinary than the last.
The aetheric fluctuation of the bookstore owner's in particular was utterly bleak, just like any ordinary human being.
However, anyone would know that this was completely a disguise. An unadorned and totally fake disguise.
In contrast, there were many more powerful hints of aetheric fluctuations in the surroundings that were as glaring as light beacons in the night sky.
All of these were transcendent beings that had gathered because of the Church of the Dome's bounty, observing and perhaps waiting to make a move.
But of course, now that Buck had arrived, these originally restless aetheric fluctuations quickly piped down, awaiting the destined battle between the Waning Crescent Apostle and the fabled bookstore owner.
Everyone knew that 'Dead Kingdom' Buck had been killed in a head-to-head encounter with the apostate and was resurrected by the Saintess.
That was his most humiliating defeat ever...
This time, the powers bestowed by the Pope and Saintesses within him had been greatly strengthened. It was practically an overdraft that had forcefully propelled him to the levels of Supreme-rank.
His aetheric activity at the moment was like a massive deathly black blaze, consuming all aetheric energy within the surroundings.
He felt better than he had even been!
The power used by the apostate against the Moon's divine power was truly strange, but it consumed too much power and couldn't be used continuously.
Vincent in his current state was definitely too weak to strike again.
It was the bookstore owner that he was truly up against this time but Buck wasn't afraid, for he believed in the Pope's words.
Even if the foe was Supreme-rank, the Pope himself was Supreme-rank as well.
There was nothing for him to be afraid of, for true believers of the Moon never feared death!
He was one with the Moon!
Buck was silent for a moment, then moved forward. In the blink of an eye, he had reappeared in the street across the bookstore's entrance. He strolled forward, swung his sickle, and opened the door.
He burst inside the bookstore like a black sandstorm.
However, a sudden glaring white light appeared and took Buck by surprise. He couldn't help but stop and clasp his hands over his eyes.
"What is this?!" Fighting back the pain, Buck opened his eyes and tears ran down his cheeks.
No, wait. Tears?!
He was shocked. He had full control over every bodily activity ever since he became a Destructive-rank and had never shed tears like an ordinary human for a long time.
But as he looked at his own eyes, clothes, and shoes, Buck realized he had turned back to what he had been a very long time ago, when he was still an ordinary man.
He looked up once again to get a proper look of the bookstore.
However, this was no longer a bookstore but rather an old mansion. Looking further ahead, Buck saw faint gleams of golden which might have been sunlight passing through the cracks of sealed windows.
But it was clearly night at this time.
It was just like a dream...