The Great Swamp before Kieran was exactly as he remembered him, looking and sounding the same, and there were no differences in his mannerisms either, but Kieran instinctively felt that something was off.
Kieran quietly sensed his aura…
It was the same!
Exactly like how he remembered Great Swamp!
“Am I overthinking it?” Kieran asked himself quietly.
However, immediately after that, the news he got from Footer made Kieran squint his eyes.
“Something like this happened? What…”
“Weird! It’s too weird!”
Kieran looked at Great Swamp, who was acting leisurely.
If Kieran was suspicious before, after getting the news, his suspicions turned into speculations.
He trusted in Footer’s loyalty, thus he believed the validity of the news.
Based on the news he got, Great Swamp shouldn’t be this languid.
A certain doubt in his heart caused Kieran to reevaluate the Great Swamp before his eyes, but he couldn’t find any more peculiarities.
But of course, he had only met and interacted with Great Swamp a few times before this.
Despite having a close working relationship, neither of them ever had any further intimate contact.
Given the circumstances, Kieran decided to improvise as he went.
He maintained his usual manner for the meantime and after finishing the second and third serving of breakfast he asked, “When are we leaving?”
“Right away. Do you know the second reason why I chose this place? It’s very close to our destination.”
After finishing the last drop of milk in his cup, Great Swamp took out a piece of paper currency from his pocket and placed it under the cup. He then waved at the waiter cum cook that was further away before walking out the door.
Kieran stood up and followed close behind.
Just as Great Swamp said, the restaurant was very close to their destination. Both of them had been walking slowly as if they were strolling through the park, but it took them less than 10 minutes to reach their destination.
The journey started from the restaurant, with them strolling along the sidewalk of the main road before turning into an alleyway.
Kieran glanced at the alleyway before him, and very quickly, his attention was captured by the seemingly abandoned rusty little door ahead of him.
Although garbage cans were blocking the door, which looked like it had suffered through heavy rust, with his SSS+ Intuition, Kieran vividly felt the breathing behind the door.
It was soft, going on and off, and almost imperceptible to any common man.
Without seeing it with his own eyes, Kieran was able to paint a picture in his mind of a man inhaling and exhaling multiple times before repeating the steps.
The breathing technique wasn’t difficult. A lot of people who were good at undercover or concealment techniques knew it, but to be able to reach the same level of softness as that person behind the door?
Only a handful would be able to do it.
Judging from the level of skill, it should be at the Grand Master rank at the very least.
Kieran looked at Great Swamp.
The latter smiled before walking forward.
When they were a few meters away from the small door, it opened from the inside and a man whose hair was tied up in a bun walked out. The way the man dressed, wearing a robe with the lapel tucked from left to right, reminded Kieran of the person who guided him to Great Swamp for their first meeting.
The man greeted Great Swamp before bowing to Kieran.
The whole process was stiff and meticulous.
“The things that transpired before have made me come to realize how careless I was, so Yu is now in charge of this place. His earnestness and strength are enough to assure the safety of this place.”
Great Swamp praised his man before walking through the door.
Kieran was a step behind, as he took a glance at the expressionless Yu before walking inside—carefully and vigilantly.
The news that he just received allowed Kieran to understand that the entire matter had just taken an unexpectedly sharp turn.
If he didn’t want to lose his life, he would have to keep his eyes peeled at every moment from now on.
Kieran never underestimated any kind of danger, especially when there was an unknown enemy ahead of him.
Under Kieran’s heightened vigilance, the group moved through the narrow, long corridor and went down almost a thousand flight of stairs. When the group finally reached the end, a stone door carved with a sculpture of a dragon-snake-like creature appeared in Kieran’s sight.
With the light from the lamp, Kieran could see that the dragon-snake-like sculpture moving ceaselessly and roar like it was alive.
Following the sculpture’s roar, waves of aura that were connected to the earth gushed at Kieran like the rising tide, yet they didn’t truly harm him, only grazing his body.
However, the power contained in the aura was unparalleled and terrifying.
“This is the Earth Vein Node?”
Kieran had never seen one before, having only heard some description about it from Great Swamp previously, but it was still enough for him to come to such a deduction.
“Um. Our destination is inside,” Great Swamp nodded.
“Inside? It’s a structure with empty space?” Kieran was astonished.
The shock wasn’t an act, but rather his own genuine feeling.
To Kieran’s initial impression, the Earth Vein Node was more like a “point”, something similar to a real matter or an object, a crystal ball of sorts.
Great Swamp showed a mysterious smile before walking towards the stone door and a wave from his hand later, the door opened up.
There weren’t any special changes in the action, it was like Great Swamp was simply opening the door to his house, that dragon-snake-like sculpture continuing to move ceaselessly as though it weren’t affected by the motion.
“Illusions? No…not illusions. This power here is real!”
The moment this speculation formed, Kieran shook his head. Illusions that could fool his Intuition and Spirit indeed existed, but if it could really do this, all these arrangements were unnecessary to lure him into the plot, as casting the illusion on him directly would have halted his steps completely.
Were there any other goals or objectives?
Speculations kept flooding Kieran’s mind.
He then turned to Great Swamp.
“The reason why I can open these doors is due to my bloodline, as they recognize my lineage. After all, from a certain perspective, this place is considered the legacy that my father left for me. Now then… open your eyes wide, as we are about to witness a miracle.”
When he mentioned his father, Great Swamp’s words paused for a millisecond before diverting to another topic.
With the mention of these terms, Kieran stayed quiet and nodded, but he silently heightened his alertness to the peak.
He didn’t believe a word that came out of Great Swamp’s mouth, but following the scene that came right after, Kieran was still shaken despite his mental preparation.
A massive city!
After going through the door, Kieran was standing on top of a floating platform as he gazed down at the city beneath his feet.
Ancient looking houses were in tight rows, streets lined up among the buildings in an orderly fashion.
The most shocking point was the city’s scale. It could easily house 100,000 people!
Kieran could really imagine the lively voices and the prospering scenes back in the day.
“Surprised? I was too when I first saw this city. Although my father is a prick, his powers are unquestionable. Back in the years when fiends loomed, he managed to build a city like this.
“See that city wall there? Even with the current technology and manpower, it is still very difficult to build a wall of this height and width.” Great Swamp’s exclamation was echoing in his ears.
Although Great Swamp’s face held admiration, most of it showed a conflicted expression.
Kieran didn’t say anything, he remained quiet and listened.
“Our target is this city’s castellan mansion. There…”
Before he could finish, the seemingly steady platform beneath their feet shattered all of a sudden.
There were no signs of cracks or shakes; it shattered within an instant.
The two of them fell down to the ground like descending comets.