Chapter 247: The Non-existent Bookstore

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Raziel stared intently at the bookstore in the mirror, making minute adjustments to the tiny knob on the spectacle frame with his fingers.


As opposed to earlier, his movements were much more cautious now.


The complexity of the intricate knob’s mechanism was far beyond what any ordinary person could comprehend. Once activated, the needle of the precision scale would begin rotating, and time in the wearer’s field of vision would start to flow and gradually rewind…


Settled dust dispersed as day, night, moon and sun, along with the various elements transitioned between the roof and the doorbell of the bookstore as time rewound slowly.


Raziel had chosen to rewind the image of the bookstore instead of the owner that had struck him with an utter sense of danger.


While he was very much interested in this mysterious figure that had strangely popped out as well as the fabled collection of books inside the bookstore, Raziel wasn’t going to carry out such a foolish act.


Conducting a direct probe on someone with any unknown degree of mysticism was perilous, and any slight distraction could lead to severe consequences.


Even though he was a Supreme-rank, Raziel was well aware that he had to keep his ego in check and not fall into a moment of folly.


The more one knew, the more one would understand his own insignificance.


Curiosity was a much-needed quality of a scholar, yet the same could be said about the ability to suppress one’s curiosity.


Raziel was able to use these spectacles named ‘Witnesser’ to rewind the history of a specified object or person, but he would never use it on someone of an equal rank.


Snooping on someone secretly, no matter the purpose, was an unforgivable act of great offense.

Once discovered, both parties would instantly become sworn enemies.

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Therefore, Raziel decided to do it through rewinding the building of the bookstore itself, using ‘Witnesser’ on the thing closest to the bookstore owner to have an alternate view while avoiding any direct contact.


Perhaps, he might be able to discover some clues…


With the mindset, Raziel stared at the image of the gradually changing bookstore.


The original form of “Witnesser” was from identification and forensic magic of the scholars. He then combined the various methods of these and consolidated them into the current device.


By reverting the state of an object from its current developmental track and constantly repeating the process, one would arrive at a “past” image.


Therefore, it was more than just the object itself tracing back in time but it also provided relevant information of its specific state at that point in time.


The scale moved slowly.


Time rewound. An hour, a day, a month…


At first, there wasn’t any distinct difference, just subtle ordinary changes to the bookstore from the light and shadows. Yet, it remained just like any other ordinary bookstore.


However, through the cracks of time, Raziel was still able to witness some of the past events.

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From the traces on the worn-out door of the bookstore, Raziel could observe a failed assassination, a splatter of a dark elf’s blood, and a one-sided slaughter.


“Gabriel’s aura… the false god from the Church of the Dome, how pathetic.”

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Naturally, Raziel knew about his comrade’s demise, but to his surprise, the god-slaying beast that Gabriel had ‘abducted’ before was now someone else’s pet.

He then noticed the constantly changing ornaments in the bookstore, the traces left behind by different patrons—people from different factions—one after another, as though the entire power of the transcendent community in Norzin revolved around the bookstore.


Raziel squinted.

In a time where the ancient fellows of the Path of the Flaming Sword were all operating covertly, the bookstore was like a dazzling sun, attracting the light of fireflies and uncaging their potential.


“This bookstore owner must be plotting something huge… Besides controlling and subverting the influential factions of Norzin, looks like he’s got his eyes on the remaining races as well.


“What exactly is his motive?


“Given all these various signs, it does seem as if there are vague hints that he is intentionally going against the Path of the Flaming Sword. Could he be trying to prevent us from exploring the depths of the dream realm?” Raziel muttered to himself.

All of a sudden, his eyes lit up. “Regardless of his intentions, there’s no way I’ll hand over my masterpiece to anyone. Such a flawless creation… I would be one step closer to my goal if I can get my hands on her.


“According to the book Michael found, God created Adam from the dust of the earth. I will imitate his creation of man to perform a miracle. In that case… I would be God!”


His gaze exuded a radiance of sheer determination. Yet in an instant, the confidence was replaced with an expression of fright and shock as his eyes widened in terror.


Through the golden-rimmed spectacles, the bookstore in his vision was now shrouded in a gloomy, night rain.


Howling wind and torrential rain vented their rage on everything within their reach. Yet, circles of ripples convene into droplets of water that flew upwards. In the bookstore, a dim light lit up the interior. Outside, the flooding gradually subsided.


A bolt of lightning flashed across the night sky, lighting up everything for a brief moment.


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The shadow of a fuzzy, human-shaped silhouette appeared on the window above the bookstore’s wooden door.


It looked just like the shadow of a person.


But there was no one outside the door… nor behind it.


At this moment, the bookstore was completely empty. There was nothing, no books on the bookshelves, no bookstore owner behind the book counter.


All that was present was that strange, dark silhouette.


Through the rain, a faint, indistinctive voice reached Raziel’s ear.


“Oh, it’s you, you’re here…”


Raziel stood up immediately with sheer strength that made the chair he was on disintegrate into dust.


His pupils contracted as a cold shiver started spreading from his back; it felt as though he was standing in the rain. The surrounding air was cold and moist while droplets pounded his face with rage.

Raziel’s breathing became rapid and heavy.


This voice… It’s the bookstore owner’s!


And that sentence, as though speaking with an acquaintance, was addressed to him.


“No! Impossible!”

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Raziel shook his head and backed away in fear. He was unable to conceal his fright no matter how hard he tried to put on a calm and collected front.


This was supposedly an illusion to backtrace history. How could, how could he be conversing with me?


But… where is the bookstore owner?


Why did he suddenly disappear…


Raziel’s face fell as if he lost control of his body while he continued to stare fixated at the silhouette on the window.


The bookstore owner’s voice continued, “Are… you… looking… for me? Where are you?”


He’s really speaking to me! Could he… be that silhouette?!


The horrifying truth took Raziel’s breath away as his heart contracted, causing his vision to turn blurry for a split second.


“Where… are you?”


It was as though the bookstore owner was just right beside him, whispering into his ears. The proximity was down right creepy, and Raziel thought he could even feel his breath.


Raziel froze as he stared at the sight before him, trembling uncontrollably.


The silhouette had started moving. It raised an arm, across the non-existent space, and pointed right at him.

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