Mr. Big had described his place as a palace, and the term was very accurate.
In Kierans opinion, it might also have been a little humble of him. After all, even a real king could not have built a grand underground building as magnificent as this one.
Kieran walked out of the elevator and passed by a delicately carved fountain before going up a flight of pearl-white stairs. Four rows of marble pillars separated the grand hall from the corridor.
There was a scarlet red carpet on the floor of the main hall, spreading from the entrance to the deepest part of it. A soft, lukewarm light shone down from above like the evening sun, as if the whole premises were bathed in holy light.
A team of six young girls in bright chiffon dresses came out of a small door on the side of the corridor, each of them carrying a tray in her hands. On the trays were clean clothes, fresh water and glasses of wine, in that particular order.
Mr. Big started to change his clothes before Kieran, without any qualms about the two young maidens before him. Then he used the fresh water to wash his face and hands, and picked up a glass of wine from one of the trays.
As Mr. Big shook his glass, the amber-colored wine emitted a rich fragrance. It smelled like a mix of apples and cherries. Although Kieran did not like drinking, the smell of the wine alone was enough to make him feel like he was in a fruit garden ready for harvest.
"It must be worth a lot!" Kieran commented on the wine. This could be said about everything Kieran had seen after hed set foot on the premises.
The group of young maidens wearing chiffon dresses were particular eye-catching.
Their indifferent gazes and strong bodies gave Kieran an idea about what they were. They were the maidens and bodyguards of Mr. Big. If they were allowed to be in the palace, it meant that they were very loyal to their master.
What happened next proved Kieran right.
"You are my honored guest, so everything here is free for you to enjoy!" Mr. Big said with a smile.
The maidens quickly surrounded him, but Kieran took a quick step back.
"I dont like wine, and I prefer my own clothes, thank you!" Kieran rejected the offer with a smile of his own.
"You dont know how to enjoy life! You must be a friar! Or shall I call you a sorcerer?" Mr. Big asked in a guessing tone after some consideration.
"Maybe Im a sorcerer, maybe not. I just possess a little more power than the average man. Other than that, Im still a normal person," Kieran sounded humble, but his answer was ambiguous.
Before he had come up with his plan, he had decided how he would answer Mr. Bigs questions. He would pretend to be a sorcerer of sorts, not just to maintain his mysteriousness, but also to gain the vast knowledge that he needed.
Though the latter might be harder to pull off, the former was easy. All Kieran had to do was speak ambiguously. He just needed to use some professional jargon, knowledge, and his special skills to pull it off successfully.
The jargon and knowledge came of course from his [Mystical Knowledge] skill.
As for the special skills that could create magic or other similar techniques? Kieran had those in his arsenal as well. His current skill set and equipment were enough to deal with Mr. Bigs inquiries, no matter what he chose.
"A sorcerer who possesses more power than the average man? Can you even beat guns?" Mr. Big was mumbling to himself in a soft voice, but as soon as the maidens heard the words coming out of his mouth, they quickly moved in formation and pulled out small, delicate handguns.
Kieran looked at the guns pointed at him and turned his eyes to Mr. Big, who was busy tasting his wine. Kieran smiled uncontrollably. Everything was exactly as he had expected.
Considering Mr. Bigs intimidating personality, it would have been suspicious if hed agreed to collaborate with him after Kieran had displayed his extraordinary powers once.
Mr. Big might have witnessed something extraordinary, but his worldview would not crumble that easily. After all, he was someone who could decide the fate of other peoples lives with a mere word.
He was a high-ranking person in his own world, so if he were to discover that he was just a drop of water in a vast ocean, it would be hard for him to accept it. It would have been hard even for an ordinary man.
He would definitely use his own methods to verify the facts before him, including harsh and unusual means. However, no matter his final choice, it was Mr. Bigs ambition that made him a high-ranking person in his own world. With that in mind, a second test would be inevitable.
Through his continuous tests, Mr. Big could adjust his plans to the limits of the real world.
One of the most important tests was force itself, and Mr. Bigs biggest force was guns.
He was used to the power of his guns, and Kieran understood that nullifying that power would make Mr. Big understand the difference in strength between the two of them. With that difference in mind, Mr. Big would fully comply and be the collaborator that Kieran wanted.
In any other case, even if Mr. Big seemingly agreed to collaborate with him, he might have a hidden agenda. Kieran did not wish to collaborate with someone who could drag him down at a critical moment.
If the maidens had some kind of sniper guns, it might have been a little more difficult for Kieran, but the small handguns before him were nothing to worry about. He stood up generously, as his [Primus Arm] force field possessed a strong defensive power.
"Go on, fire at me!" he told the maidens.
The maidens replied by pulling the triggers right away.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Six shots were fired uniformly, aimed at Kierans head, throat, heart and other weak spots of his body. This showed that the maidens were well-trained in combat.
Still, the results left them stunned.
The six bullets theyd fired had stopped in mid-air within an inch of Kierans body. Although they were still spinning vigorously, they had stopped advancing, as if an invisible wall was blocking their path.
Within a second, the six bullets had frozen before Kieran.
Kieran raised his hand and plucked the bullets out as if he was plucking flowers from his own garden.
The wine glass in Mr. Bigs hand fell down. Even Mr. Big could not control his emotions when hed just watched his biggest force fail.
"Is this enough for you?" Kieran said while playing with the deformed bullets in his hands.
"Yes!" Mr. Big stared at the bullets in Kierans hands and nodded with a bitter expression.
He waved at the startled maidens to leave and led Kieran to a guest room near the main hall that resembled a study of sorts.
The two of them sat down at the table, Mr. Big showing a sense of respect throughout the whole process. After losing his biggest advantage, Mr. Big was clear about his position. Kieran was impressed by the mans ability to adapt to setbacks. If Kieran had been in his position, he would not have done the same.
"So thats why Mr. Big has so much power!" Kieran thought mockingly as he looked at the man.
Before Kieran could start asking questions though, Mr. Big started spilling everything voluntarily.
"My source told me that six months ago Sphendix had gotten some terminal illness and he only had three months left to live. Yet those three months have passed, and Sphendix is still alive and well. My source is really reliable and would never betray me. Sphendix Medical Group must have made some major breakthrough, and I am very interested in that. I asked my men to approach Leonard, who was a gambling addict. We wanted to get him over to our side and it was easy, but Leonard was too stupid. Before he could make himself useful and discover anything, he was fired. By the time that happened, I was too distracted by the beast attacks and did not notice what Leonard had discovered. By the time I noticed, it was already too late. Sphendix had sent out his cutthroat killer and gotten rid of Leonard. Id never expected to bump into you though!" Mr. Big laughed bitterly.
"So thats the whole story!" Kieran nodded in realization. Everything that had been troubling him had been cleared up by Mr. Bigs explanation.
However, there was still something troubling him about the Main Mission.
Kierans expression turned serious, and his tone became stern.
"Theres something I need your men to investigate!" he said.
"Please do tell!" Mr. Big replied in a similar manner.