Just like the other Path of the Flaming Sword founding members, Haniel wasn’t a real angel. This name was in all essence just a meaningless code name.
However, unlike the other members, Haniel did not have a real name. Therefore, when Michael suggested Haniel as her code name, she thought that it wasn’t bad and accepted it gladly and just simply used it as her name.
For most transcendent beings, a ‘real name’ possessed far more meaning, even possibly carving their destiny. Thus, most wouldn’t accept a word of unknown origins to be used as their name.
However, for Haniel, words expressed in the common language of the continent could not affect her at all, so it did not matter. After all, she belonged to a somewhat special race.
"From what I’m sensing, the faint last remnants of that aura is here…" Haniel floated in midair and tilted her head up slightly as her rust green eyes that seemed muddled with chaos stared blankly ahead.
She extended her only arm and closed her fist as if grabbing something. At this moment, the space around her compressed like paper being crumpled and formed a series of nodes filled with information.
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Rays of light shot out and met her glabella, displaying the image that matched the faint trace of that aura.
A young black-haired man stopped in his tracks, looking out of place amidst the crowd that was moving forward as he started to speak with a weak transcendent being that had the mark of the Path of the Flaming Sword. At some point, he opened a dream fissure and pulled out a book.
A faint cry for help from one of Haniel’s kind also seeped out from the dream realm at the same time, but it only lasted for an instant before it ceased as the fissure closed.
Haniel clenched her fist and crushed the first node from the past, frowning as she watched the spots of light disappear.
"A dream fissure… He actually opened it so easily? Also, his strength… It seems shrouded by some sort of fog making it impossible for me to sense. But this shouldn’t be a problem for me. I just have to go back in time…”
Haniel's eyes were half-closed. Illusory afterimages that her formed wings were like wriggling neon tubes, emitting occasional bursts of colorful light as if resonating with something.
"So that's how it is… A half-dragon body shaped by the Dragon Marrow Tree's fruit and the Petrified Dragon Heart, bestowed with the dream realm’s power by Silver and continual help from that mysterious existence of a mysterious existence, as well as those books of unknown origins. Interesting.
“Going from an ordinary person to Supreme-rank in half a year. A great undertaking indeed, it has to be said. But this is still far from being considered surpassing Supreme-rank. Moreover, this isn’t what he achieved on his own… What’s really worth paying attention to is that mysterious existence that hasn’t yet appeared and Silver… Hmm?
"Silver’s aura has weakened so much, as if she’s left. Hah, great. The difficulty is lowered.
"Speaking of which, isn't the goal of Michael and the others to open a way into dreams and obtain a path to ascension within the dream realm? In other words, this guy is already standing at the end point that they have spent thousands of years planning.
"No wonder they are gathering all the angels to work together this time. Indeed, an enemy of this level is deserving of being wary of.
“Heh, but these are just mere tricks to me.”
Haniel scoffed nonchalantly with a look of extreme arrogance and calmness as if she had everything under control.
No dimension can escape my perception and control. Even the dream realm is a place I can come and go as I please… Merely a place with nothing since a long time ago. There’s no ‘true god’ at all, just a nest of primitive creations born from primordial chaos. The fear that people have of it is just manifestations of their ignorance.
Although these primordial creations are indeed powerful when compared to those four witches… No, compared to Silver and Fraxinus, all of these are inferior. It's no wonder they could slumber peacefully in the dream realm for so many years.
Haniel followed the trail left by the node and floated forward with a look of mocking and disdain on her face. "How could I have joined this so-called 'Path of the Flaming Sword' if it hadn't been for me wanting to see the wonderful expression these guys make when they realize all their effort is meaningless after spending so much trying to reach a place that is just a 'trash heap.' "
Snowflakes fell all around and passed through her body without any obstruction, only creating subtle circular ripples, indicating that this body did not actually exist in this time and space but was only a sort of projection-like existence.
And her true form was, without doubt, a huge butterfly with its wings folded, connected with her half body on the continuous timeline, which was the unknown, shrouded by illusory threads.
That's right, Haniel's true form was the evolved form of the Clockwheel Worm. An evolved one from the countless worms wriggling in the timeline—Chronos Butterfly.
Her half-human body was materialized according to her notion of the aesthetics of human society she had perceived over the years and thus seemed chaotic in a sense.
…After all, a bug couldn't be expected to completely understand human aesthetics.
The purpose of Haniel's trip was precisely because she sensed the aura of someone that had helped her when she was but a Clockwheel Worm.
Countless years ago, a human family employed a special method to capture her and used her to manipulate her to a small extent. Eventually, she was even passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom.
Before Haniel had a name, such a triviality didn't interest her at all. After all, as a bug, eating and sleeping were the only two things they cared about and nothing else was worth being bothered by.
However, after observing human society for thousands of years, she gradually learned 'personal desires.'
It was only recently when awoken by Michael that she felt like she had broken out of her cocoon again. Looking back at all that had come to pass, it was like an entirely different experience.
Especially seeing that minute companion of hers being captured and hearing that faint wail that lasted for thousands of years made anger start to well up in her for the first time.
Unable to control herself, she didn’t head for the location that Michael had set. Instead, Haniel had come alone to seek out the person who now possessed the Clockwheel Worm Box.
And now, she was going to take back her companion.
The countless multicolored illusory treads that were Haniel’s ‘wings’ stretched out. Without anyone in the manor noticing, it gradually expanded and covered the sky.
Space and time around the manor distorted, causing cracks to appear as if unable to withstand this phenomenon.
As if an invisible cocoon had fallen into a net.
Haniel, who was floating towards the final node, information point, never once realized that… beneath what ought to be her mere illusory body… was a shadow following closely behind.