Since [Prison on the Island] and [The Shamans Partner] were set in the same universe, Kieran already knew his actions in the prison had caused a ripple throughout that world.
Hundreds of prisoners had died, and almost a hundred prison guards had been killed.
Even though the prisoners had gotten what theyd deserved, the huge number of prison guards who had died must have caught peoples attention.
However, Kieran had not found any articles regarding the incidents at Alcatraz Prison during his afternoon investigation.
Obviously, the news had been suppressed by someone and had not reached the public.
This was both good and bad news for Kieran.
The good news was that Kieran didnt need to worry about any more people getting sucked into that whirlpool of events.
The bad news was that he needed to compete with other experts that were already stationed at Alcatraz over inspecting the bronze coffin.
Kieran raised his head and looked at the old lady behind the desk.
"Its not what you think! The people who are stationed or going to Alcatraz have nothing to do with me! Im just asking out of curiosity!" Nikorei answered straightaway.
Maybe it was just her straightforward character, but Kieran still had his doubts about her.
He would not believe anything that came out of her mouth. There was too much mystery surrounding those events.
If Nikorei claimed that she was not related to the people at Alcatraz, then how did she know about the situation there, considering that everyone wanted to cover things up?
Those who were already stationed at Alcatraz and had discovered the bronze coffin would not have let any information leak so they could avoid more competition.
"You are a suspicious young man, aint ya? I am the most powerful shaman on the West Coast! If I want to know something, there are very few people who can prevent me from doing so! Of course, that does not include you or your missing colleagues! Your hiding skills are magnificent. If you had not coincidentally left a trace in the city library, Im afraid I would not have been able to find you either!" the old lady said in admiration of Kierans abilities.
Her gaze was full of curiosity.
Kieran remained silent after her statement, as he knew too little about the dungeon world around him.
Other than Alcatraz Prison, all he knew was some information about the city, which he had just gathered that afternoon.
As for her being the most powerful shaman on the West Coast? He had no idea if she actually was.
The phrase coincidentally left a trace in the city library was obviously a dungeon game setting.
"Fine, fine! You really are a suspicious, stubborn young man! It seems like its too hard for me to get information out of you. Since you have passed the test to be my assistant though, I will help protect you."
"If you leave here, this thing will save your life during a critical time. Catch!"
As soon as she finished her words, the old lady fling a round silver medal, barely five centimeters in diameter, to Kieran.
[Name: Mark of Nikorei]
[Able to bring out of the dungeon: No]
[Remarks: This medal represents the shaman herself in person. If you run into any trouble, it might be of use in some special way.
A system description popped up before Kieran.
Kieran touched the rune carved on the medal gently. The rune translated to "Nikorei", which was the shamans name.
As he held it in his hand, Kieran started to recall the events before meeting Nikorei and the test that had been set up for him.
It seemed like Nikorei had no ill intentions, but Kieran was not sure whether it was all a cover-up.
He didnt know if she was really curious or had some other ulterior motive in testing Kieran, but he would not leave unless he found out.
After giving the situation some thought, Kieran finally understood the main objective of the mission in that dungeon.
It was to get Nikoreis protection.
With her protection, Kieran could clear the dungeon without any trouble. Although that objective clashed with his goal of fully exploring the Sub Missions and Title Mission, it was in line with the Main Mission, which was to be her assistant for three months.
The situation before Kieran was clear. If he left the premises, he would fail the Main Mission.
Kieran collected his thoughts before he said, "I wont leave. Even with your mark on me, I will be much safer if I stay by your side. Since you offer me protection, I will tell you everything that happened in Alcatraz!"
Kieran stared at the old lady anxiously, waiting for an answer.
"Youre not just suspicious. Youre smart as well, aye?" the old lady replied with a smile.
Then she picked Tiki up and got in a more comfortable position, ready to listen to him.
"Everything started with Gilfren Hatch" Kieran started to tell his side of the story.
He tried his best to avoid being subjective about the incidents and narrate the story from a more objective point of view.
He told her everything, from the poisoning to Gilfren Hatchs half-dead body falling to the ground, turning into a black-red liquid and flying into the bronze coffin hanging in mid-air. Kieran even mentioned the black-red liquid getting absorbed by the coffin.
Of course, he had purposely skipped some crucial details, such as the gifts from his ancestors that Gilfren Hatch had mentioned.
"Reincarnation?" the old lady mumbled after Kieran had finished.
Kieran noticed that Nikoreis gentle, kind face had gotten serious when shed heard that word.
After ten long seconds, Nikorei let out a sigh.
"This is even more serious than what I had predicted. Thank you for telling me all this important information. This has by far exceeded satisfying my own curiosity. As a reward... Yes, a reward for becoming my assistant, I will try my best to teach you what I know about the mystical arts. You can go upstairs now and pick a room for yourself!"
Nikorei seemed unfamiliar with Kierans side of the story.
She had to try a few times before she could speak coherently.
As she spoke, the Main Mission tab in the system changed.
[Main Mission: Become the shamans assistant for three months. 0/90]
There was a duration slot now after the Main Mission description. After a quick glance at the change, Kieran still did not leave Nikoreis study as he had been told to.
He quickly followed up with the remaining questions troubling his mind.
"Who are the people stationed at Alcatraz or going there? Or should I say, who are the people or forces after me?" Kieran asked.
Although the incident surrounding the bronze coffin was more complicated than hed thought, he was not ready to give up yet. He needed to know more, and the old lady before him was the perfect person to get information from.
"Those who are already stationed at Alcatraz are known as the Dark Star Society. Its a quite neutral group with its own rules in conducting business. However, those who want to get to the island are different. Its the Night Demon Society, a ruthless group of fanatics that will use any means necessary to achieve their goals! As for who your main opponent is, although there are some other small fish in the area, your biggest enemy is still the Hatch Heresy!" the old lady answered.
"The Hatch Heresy? But I thought Gilfren Hatch was dead?" Kieran asked in shock.
"He is, but the heresy is still alive and kicking, and a new ambitious leader has emerged from that bunch of heretics. In the name of avenging their fallen leader, he has succeeded in uniting the heresy again. No doubt, you will be their next target!" the old lady said in an affirmative tone.
"And who might that new leader be?" Kieran asked as he raised an eyebrow.
The name that came out of the old ladys mouth shocked Kieran and made him ask again instinctively, "Fenkes? As in Dr. Fenkes? The doctor?"
"Yes, that Fenkes!"
Once again, the old lady gave an affirmative answer to his burning question.
Kieran frowned as he realized that his past ally had turned against him.