“Clay Idol S-277?”
Raziel muttered the serial number as his gaze remained fixated on the young lady in the book cafe. Her eyes shone like an emerald, radiating a strange glow through the glass.
Based on her appearance, the young lady had the quality of a daffodil, silent yet exquisite. When transcendent beings looked at her, she was like the giant moon hanging in the sky, commanding the attention of everyone despite not making a sound.
But in the eyes of Raziel, it was all different.
He pinched the edge of his spectacles and gently twirled the knob of a tiny button, and some densely packed golden patterns appeared on the surface of the lenses momentarily before disappearing.
His field of vision refreshed, and the young lady he was seeing now appeared as she had been a few months prior.
Her customized service uniform transformed into a simple shirt. Her hair was wet and her entire body was wrapped in bandages with an obviously blood-soaked portion at her nape.
Once again, Raziel made adjustments to the button on his spectacle frame and the scene before him continued to rewind.
The bandages around the young lady’s neck gradually loosened and the blood slowly cleared. Her flesh gradually restructured, her skin regenerated, and the serial code S-277 resurfaced on her smooth, fair nape.
Raziel beckoned with a hand as he wrote down the serial code on a piece of paper.
“Scan this serial and retrieve all relevant information regarding project ‘Clay Idol,’ ” instructed Raziel as he handed the slip to Jerome.
“Yes, Lord Raziel!”
Jerome took the paper and got to work immediately, grabbing the scanner at once and starting the scanning as they were located within a well-equipped laboratory.
The computer linked to the scanner began flashing experimental data and security camera footage.
The experimental data of the ‘Clay Idol’ project was basically classified. But with Jerome as the mole, he had facilitated the destruction of a few factories and stolen the two most complete artificial specimens. On top of that, he had even managed to port the entire database over.
“Filter for footage of S-277. Also, consolidate her experimental data on a graph, you know what to do,” Raziel gave out more instructions.
Naturally, Jerome knew what to do.
Though he neither specialized in mechanics nor alchemy and he hardly understood the data, Jerome would undergo repeated testing and record the data whenever he experimented with new arcanum medicine.
This was something fundamental for any legitimate scholar.
However, under ordinary circumstances, these were usually errands done by an assistant or an apprentice…
Jerome didn’t say anything and continued to carry out his task silently.
In front of Raziel, he was akin to an errand boy or perhaps even more inferior, probably possessing just slightly more intelligence than a cleaning robot.
After all, Raziel was the lifelong idol of all scholars, the founder of all knowledge they studied.
Introductory textbooks, regardless of discipline, had his renowned quote on the first page together with an abstract, distorted illustration of him staring right into the reader’s soul.
That deathly stare became the stuff of nightmares for many young scholars when they woke up in the middle of the night.
The fundamental theories in most disciplines nowadays had all been proposed by Raziel. He had seemingly managed to advance the status of scholars among transcendent beings single-handedly.
If all these seemed too exaggerated for one to grasp the status and prowess of the man.
Then, there was one bit of trivia that had to be mentioned—
The steel structures housing the enormous city of Norzin were designed and constructed by none other than Raziel himself.
Find the original at Hosted Novel.
In other words…
“Ethereal Wisdom,” “Leader of Scholars,” “Iron Mentor” Grantham Ymir.
Jerome operated the computer, slowly organizing the data as he heaved a silent sigh of relief.
He had rushed here filled with apprehension to report the situation to Raziel after instructing Andrew to buy some time for him. There was no way to cover up his mistake this time. The best he could do now was to make amends while preparing himself to face punishment.
Yet, at this moment, Lord Raziel appeared to be captivated by the bookstore assistant.
“But truth be told, this bookstore assistant turning out to be the missing S-277 is unexpected…” muttered the slightly taken-aback Jerome.
Jerome was a little shocked.
Just a few months back, Jerome seized the opportunity during the chaos caused by the Magic Ovum Mirror and used ‘Spiritual Touch’ to influence a factory worker to detonate a full batch of unstable philosopher’s stone.
He had then aided members of the Path of the Flaming Sword to steal two of the most complete specimens from the facility. Yet, after tabulation, another one of the homunculi was found to be missing.
Initially, the assumption was that another party was involved or the homunculus had been too close to the detonation zone and was destroyed in the blast.
Yet, no one had imagined it becoming the mysterious bookstore owner’s assistant.
From the looks of it, S-277 could very well be the perfect specimen. She had deliberately hidden herself from the beginning, leading to a discrepancy of the experiment’s results.
Jerome sneaked a cautious peek at Raziel's back and the image on the mirror, thinking to himself, Lord Raziel isn’t pleased with those two specimens. He would want to recover S-277 at all costs now that he has discovered her.
I was unable to stop Prima from seeking refuge at the bookstore, resulting in unnecessary problems since the bookstore was bound to be against us. But with the discovery of S-277, I’ve atoned for my mistakes…
“Since Lord Raziel is interested, you’ll be dead meat once he makes his move, regardless of the bookstore!” Jerome chuckled with secret delight.
He couldn’t help daydreaming. If things went smoothly, he would have rendered a meritorious service. He could very well fulfill his long-held ambition and take charge of the entire Truth Union…
Jerome wasn’t being delusional. The Truth Union had already been infiltrated with Lord Raziel’s underlings long before him, manipulating its every move for years. Otherwise, how could they have completed the homunculus project in such a short period of time just based on the abilities of the scholars alone?
Lord Raziel was merely using the Truth Union’s resources to realize his own plans.
These homunculi were, in fact, the fruits of Lord Raziel’s research.
And perhaps this generation would be Jerome's time to reign?
Meanwhile, Raziel’s attention had returned to the bookstore. He had intended to use the mirror to peer into the bookstore’s interior.
But at that moment, a sudden ominous sense of danger stopped him, and he froze in his tracks.
Raziel’s eyes narrowed as he leaned back slightly.
It had been years… since he had experienced this acute sense of danger. It was as though just this one glance had plunged him into an abyss.
His curiosity was piqued all of a sudden.
What exactly was this bookstore hiding?
Raziel overcame his brief hesitation and raised his hand to his spectacle frame and began turning the knob slowly.