Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
This fella was a ticking time bomb. If the Soul Ring exploded by any chance, not only would he end up with nothing, his own Soul Ring may be damaged too.
So Garen knew that he must play it cautious.
“There is another way, that is to engulf between the Soul Rings as a whole. This would be the fastest but also most dangerous method. The natural Soul Ring has no awareness control but my Soul Ring has awareness and could execute engulfment. It’s just like two troops of armies, one is a wandering ten thousand men without a leader while the other has only two thousand men but a strong leader. With the right strategy, it should be possible to engulf. There must not be any disruption in between otherwise the two Soul Rings will erupt together. My generations of effort would come to waste.”
Garen used the Energy Machine Imprint to roughly estimate the time needed. It would be around forty-five days.
“So to say, this is the risk that I have to take…”
Looking at Mind Reader before him, Garen’s eyes were decisive.
“If that’s the case, then I should nip all trouble in the bud and absorb the Soul Ring.”
The only thing that could threaten him in this world would be Slayer. As he wasn’t going to absorb the Soul Ring right away, Garen sat beside Mind Reader with his legs crossed, absorbing part of the Soul Power spread by him.
Even with such minimal absorption, Garen could sense his body strengthening obviously.
Boundless energy was surging and tiding in his body. Garen slowly closed his eyes to feel the comfortable sensation from the Soul Power surging into his body.
Even in an unconscious state, Mind Reader’s face became pale.
“Negotiate with Garen now and have him release Mind Reader. The Four Great Cornerstones are not for a country or a party to monopolize. He simply can’t! Nobody can!!”
Black Federation’s highest administrative office — Rock Colossus Building.
In the top levels of the black building sculptured as a giant, a few speakers were in a heated debate.
“Lord Military Flag is murdered and now we’re left with Battle Flag as our strongest. The Black Federation has lost a world-class general and cannot sustain a bigger loss! Otherwise, our national security will face a threat,” one of the speakers representing the north region solemnly spoke.
“But if we don’t avenge this, it’s a national humiliation!” Another coldly blurted.
“Out of all people, we would very much want Sword Master Garen to give him up but what do we have to pressure him to do so? This is the key.” Black Federation’s highest leader was a black man with tanned skin. He had his hands crossed behind his back and had shoulder-length black hair. His strong body physique gave a sense of tough and no-nonsense feeling.
“We can use the import policy to restrict Slann’s export, aiming their commerce.”
“We can deploy security forces in the region and establish a base to enforce military clamp down.”
“What do you think, Battle Flag?” The highest leader looked at Battle Flag who remained silent.
Battle Flag pondered for a while to tidy his train of thoughts before opening up.
“Slann isn’t monolithic. Capturing Mind Reader doesn’t bring them any actual benefits. I think issuing threats should be enough to force Garen to give him up.”
“Indeed. Vulture is only a subsidiary organization of Slann’s national security department. Compared to our special operations team, they don’t hold much say. This is possible to realize,” the highest leader nodded.
“Then who will be putting this plan into effect?”
“I will,” Battle Flag said with a low voice. “This matter began with our special operations team and should end with us.”
“Has the new Military Flag been elected?”
“Mm, King Thunderclap is in charge of Military Flag’s position,” Battle Flag answered.
“King Thunderclap…? Alright,” the highest leader and the other speakers fell silent at the mention of this name.
“What! Mind Reader’s been captured!? And it’s the doing of Minister Garen?!!” Yuria burst out.
Looking at the mysterious woman in front of him, he encountered her a few times so he knew that she has been on the move with Mind Reader but he didn’t think that this encounter meant major news.
He had met with Mind Reader earlier during the day and was now hearing this nightmare in the evening.
He traveled miles to Ocean Capital because he could not trace the whereabouts of his sister and mother and wanted to borrow Mind Reader’s abilities to seek them. Mind Reader agreed readily and though both parties were not in touch for long, he could feel his sincerity.
He could sense that brother Mind Reader was not a bad person. He was just an ordinary person whose fate disrupted his life.
“I’m here in hope that you could contact Sword Master. What is his aim? You were once his disciple and should be familiar with his character,” the woman solemnly responded.
“Minister…” Yuria couldn’t put his finger on Garen’s personality. Now that he remembered, he felt that he was always buried behind layers and layers of fog that could not be interpreted.
The first genius for over three thousand years? The strongest existence in sword mastery and martial arts? The first expert of Slann?
Names after names were coined on him and taking apart these appealing names and glorified battle achievements, he suddenly realized that he actually never knew who Garen was.
“He… is always calm as though nothing could bother him. There’s always a certainty to him when executing matters and would not resort to meaningless issues,” Yuria sensed the situation was getting out of hand. “Minister must have his reason for capturing Mind Reader. No one could ever change or stop whatever he’s doing.”
“Any chance on finding out Sword Master’s goal?” The woman was worried.
Yuria had come in contact with Mind Reader a few times and felt that he was a pitiful man tied down by fate. Both of them could be considered friends and now his friend was captured by his teacher. His emotion was running heavy.
“I’ll try but I can’t promise anything,” he thought about it before agreeing.
“Lord Slayer! Only you can settle this matter.”
In a submarine in the deep ocean.
A blurry portrait with sounds was reflected on a transparent glass screen.
There was only one person in the submarine. Slayer was sitting alone in front of the screen, holding a long black sickle. This was the latest weapon technology that he had gotten ahold of. It could wield his ability by eighty percent.
“The Sword Master is strong,” Slayer was unmoved. “The remuneration you’re offering is not enough.”
“I know it’s not enough,” the person on the screen replied in a soft voice. “But this is an order from Qin.”
“Qin?” Slayer’s face changed. His originally listless stature was replaced with erecting his body straight, “are you sure?”
“The written confirmation will soon reach you. Latest by tonight,” The portrait answered.
“When do I depart?” Slayer was clear-cut.
“One week later, Wednesday noon. You’ll need to disguise yourself to get close to Sword Master. Be careful, he’s always on high alert.”
“I know,” Slayer nodded.
“Compared to a year ago, Sword Master is stronger!”
Slayer was silent. His eyes were shut as he started to rest.
Five days later…
“What brings you back to see me?” Garen looked at Yuria gently, who was in front of him. “Any news on Xiaojie and Light Path yet?”
Both of them were sitting in a room by a coffee table. Someone served them tea.
Yuria had an awkward look on his face.
“No, not yet.
“I heard that you have captured Mind Reader, so I was…”
“Mind Reader is well,” Garen smiled. “He has good food and good drinks. Apart from going out, he has access to the whole base and everything provided to him. Why? You wish to borrow Mind Reader’s ability?”
Yuria couldn’t bring himself to say it out loud. He lowered his head and pretended to take a sip of tea. The borrow was an excuse. The real motive was to see if Mind Reader was okay. They were friends, after all.
“I suppose you could,” Garen did not reject. Now that Mind Reader was under house arrest, he himself was under a lot of pressure. At least he knew now why other countries, organizations, and forces would rather monitor than arrest.
“Mind Reader seemed to know a lot of inside stories. A lot of valuable information could be obtained from him. It’s just that…”
“Just that what?”
“It’s just that, your matter could be a little complicated,” Garen said, weighing his words slowly.
“Complicated?” Yuria became slightly emotional. He knew that Garen must have found some new leads which led him to say as such.
Garen indeed knew some new information, some intel which had him shocked as well. He looked at Yuria before him. He did not know where to begin.
“This information was what I obtained from Mind Reader. I didn’t think the truth would turn out so I hadn’t told you…”
“Lord, Nine-Tailed Fox and the rest have arrived,” Double-Tailed Scorpion’s voice was heard from Garen’s hidden earpiece.
Garen paused what he was about to say to Yuria, “hang on, your teacher Nine-Tailed has arrived.”
Yuria calmed himself down and nodded in comprehension. His Adam’s apple wavered as he suppressed his emotions and stood up.
“I’ll excuse myself.”
He knew why Nine-Tailed Fox was visiting him.
Mind Reader possessed the original Four Great Cornerstones’ Sacred Sigil and at the same time, it was one that was most wanted by many transmigrators, the ability to read minds. This included Kong Xinxue. So their purpose here must be to replicate Mind Reader’s Sacred Sigil.
“The replication of the Sacred Sigil should be a Sacred Sigil stripping technique. If I could master it, perhaps I could separate the natural Soul Ring and achieve complete absorption,” Garen guessed.
Recalling the few Soul Crystals he absorbed earlier, he indistinctly felt this guesswork may be correct.
Shortly, the waiter took away the tea and served coffee.
Nine-Tailed Fox, Kong Xinxue, Li Hua and another two transmigrators strode into the room. Each of them gave a complicated look at Garen.
Garen smiled as he got up.