The image that appeared in the instructor’s eyes was fleeting and soon disappeared into the depths of his pupils.
The strange sneer on his face that had appeared on his face in that brief moment melted away like snow, turning into a somewhat vacant expression.
"Wh, what’s going on...? Why am I here? What was I doing here again?" muttered the instructor in confusion as he stared at his two hands.
The faint dizziness made him feel unsteady on his feet.
He shook his head to take a breather, stood still, and frowned at the empty confinement chamber in front of him.
Vague memories gradually emerged in his mind.
He had received an order from his superior to release Melissa from the confinement chamber... which he did.
Then, he was to inform Melissa to go through the paperwork of transferring her from the Combat Division to the Intelligence Division to be under her father, Joseph.
Although her entire team was out on a mission, this was a direct order of the highest priority from the Council of Elders which overrode all previous orders.
While this seemed like special treatment, everyone knew that Joseph was in high demand now, and the Council of Elders seemed to be determined to nurture Joseph to be the core of Secret Rite Tower.
Moreover, it wasn’t just as simple as just regaining the title of Chief Great Radiant Knight. Joseph had already attained this honor in the past, and to be given this title now… Perhaps the Council of Elders intended to make him the youngest ‘one of their own.’
When considering it this way, it seemed that no special treatment was too much for Melissa, Joseph's only daughter.
“So... Have I finished informing her?”
The instructor couldn’t not help wondering.
Currently, he had a vague recollection that he had indeed informed Melissa, had a few words with her, and the latter had also nodded in agreement.
However, for some reason, something felt off… yet he couldn't put his finger around what was wrong.
"Nevermind, since she’s already left, I should have completed the task. And there shouldn’t be any problem whatsoever.”
The instructor shook his head and gave a sheepish laugh. “How could anything go wrong?”
He checked the confinement chamber, then closed the door and turned to leave, muttering to himself, "I’m probably drained from undertaking too many missions these days… I’d better ask for leave and take a few days off to rest.”
As he got further and further away, the entrance of the confinement chamber returned to silence.
In a certain nameless void.
A hooded figure in a black, thick, and tattered robe let out a sneer.
The sneer was infectious. It was a mix of male, female, and child voices, soft yet chilling as it echoed throughout the void like a death toll.
Anyone hearing it would find their mind frazzled for a moment.
In the very center of his shadow, a long sword lit up in flames, then died out in an instant.
A squirming under the heavy, bulky robe followed after. Several slippery, disgusting tentacles, of a rust-like color stretched out, twististing together, and pulled a letter out of the void.
This letter had been delivered through a shadow spider not too long ago.
It was from ‘Broodmother’ Sandalphon, to ‘Void Intermediary’ Zaphkiel.
This was how the Path of the Flaming Sword transmitted information among the ten leaders.
Of course, most of the information that was transmitted to him was viewed as garbage and disposed of by Zaphkiel… He was an independent being who transformed himself into a void and forsaken the world.
He was extremely solitary and arrogant, only willing to forge his own path, and had no common language with any other transcendent beings.
He had always been disdainful of the Path of the Flaming Sword.
Naturally, he won’t even take a glance at the missions and intelligence that were sent to him, whether he ignored them or not depended on his mood.
Although he was also a Supreme-rank, Zaphkiel had a sense of superiority over others because of his existence.
He was the most ancient magician, the lord who took over the Void as his territory.
In this kingdom of only one, he enjoyed absolute freedom, and this was the perfect, complete realm that he sought.
As for the Path of the Flaming Sword, who cares?
But the covenant that Michael tricked him into making binded him, leaving him with no choice but to be responsible.
He could ignore most other matters, but it was Michael's request this time and he had to reply…
"Join forces? Heh..."
Zaphkiel scoffed as he perused the letter in his hand before crushing it into a ball with his tentacles. "Something that I haven’t been able to complete for so many years, and he wants to get it done just with a letter? How boring. Besides their strength, their brains are also empty and no different from stupid mortals.”
The letter was corroded and devoured by the void, completely disappearing.
But... It seemed kind of interesting this time around.
"A sudden appearance of a Supreme-rank that even the void didn’t notice. Looks like he’s really quite something.”
Zaphkiel took some interest in the bookstore’s owner described in the letter.
He hadn't cared about the world for many years, but the void would be able to sense the birth and departure of each Supreme-rank.
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He hadn’t been the least bit aware of the Supreme-rank described in the letter at all.
And he hadn’t even noticed Gabriel’s death.
It was as if the enemy did not exist in this space and time, and when Gabriel died, he was also dragged into that space and time that didn’t exist.
Zaphkiel did not believe in man but in the void.
For void never lies.
Therefore, he was rather intrigued by this Supreme-rank and had the rare desire of wanting to cross paths with him.
However, he wasn’t planning to act together with that bunch of empty-headed Supreme-ranks. Rather, he wanted to spend some time on his own to get a hold of the bookstore owner’s information.
Most of the information here was the bookstore owner’s hobby: acting as an ordinary bookstore owner, and selling books containing vast amounts of taboo knowledge to certain transcendent beings and taking the opportunity to nurture them.
There were several prominent figures, but clearly the most eye-catching ones were Wilde and Joseph.
These two seemed to be the two strongest chess pieces set up by the bookstore owner, the ones he had put a lot of thought and effort into… And these two had the most promise to advance into Supreme-rank.
Thus, Zaphkiel decided to start with these two pieces, to give the bookstore owner ‘a friendly greeting.’
Since you've put so much thought into it and obviously been trying to keep the conflict between them from erupting, I shall blow it up easily so that all your efforts will be wasted!
This would be a declaration of war but also a demonstration of strength.
Haha... It's really such a simple matter. As long as the girl shows up on the battlefield, conflict between the two will be irreconcilable. I guess I have to thank Raziel for providing this opportunity.
It’s about time to let Sandalphon know that what they fear isn’t actually much to worry about.
Having come to his decision, Zaphkiel decided to let his thoughts cross the void to contact the Broodmother to show off his accomplishments.
Huh? What's going on?
Zaphkiel suddenly froze.
Because upon extending the reaches of the void, Zaphkiel realized that there was nothing in Sandalphon’s nest nor were there any traces of her existence.
All that met him was silence. A chilling, dead silence.