"The Dark Star Society?"
Ferad quickly wrote down on the paper after he saw the invitation card.
The Dark Star Society? Kieran was not surprised by their sudden invitation. As a matter of fact, he had anticipated surprise visits from other special individuals or factions after reading the newspaper.
What surprised him was the timing.
The invitation card had been stuffed inside the newspaper the moment the newspaper had been sent out, and one of the chief editors of that newspaper was Nikorei.
Kieran realized how powerful the Dark Star Society was if they could pull something like this off.
He had already known that the Dark Star Society had quite the influence and power, considering that they had been able to station themselves at Alcatraz after the Gilfren Hatch incident and prevent any other factions from setting foot on the island. However, Kieran was in awe of the Dark Star Society after this latest trick.
Their influence reached as far as the newspaper Nikorei was a part of.
Out of vigilance, Kieran did not pick the invitation up right away. He turned his eyes to Ferad instead.
Although Nikorei had said that the Dark Star Society was a neutral force, they had to have their own rules and act according to those rules alone.
Kieran was not going to let his guard down, especially when he knew that the Dark Star Society had attainments in the mystical realm that he could not even get close to.
"Dont worry, the Dark Star Society is not like the Night Demon Society. They wouldnt do anything to the invitation card," Ferad wrote when he saw that Kieran was worried.
Even though the spirit butler had assured him, Kieran still checked the invitation thoroughly before he opened it.
We have prepared an afternoon lunch at the Celestial Garden. We hope that you can join us for a meal.
The Dark Star Society.
"At the Celestial Garden?" Kieran's heart skipped a beat.
He was quite confident about his memory, and he clearly remembered that during his phone call with Nikorei the previous night, she had asked him to go to that exact same place to find someone named Simones and retrieve a package for her.
Even the Sub Mission description had mentioned the Celestial Garden.
"Not only do they want to display their strength, but also show me that they're omniscient? Is it because of Alcatraz?" Kieran guessed.
He could not come up with any other reason why a powerful faction would pay extra attention to a nobody like him.
At the same time, it also proved that the Dark Star Society was keen on learning about what had happened on Alcatraz.
Especially about the bronze coffin. Kieran instinctively recalled the one thing in the cave that had made him get sucked away in the region of dreams. However, he had still been able to maintain his sanity.
He knew very well that with his current power level, he could not even set foot on Alcatraz.
Even Nikorei had had her hands tied after the Dark Star Society had stationed itself on the island.
Otherwise, she would not have been wasting her time asking Kieran about the incident on the island.
Kieran would rather die than give up without trying.
He clenched his fists even harder under his sleeves.
"No, I wont give up like this! There must be another way!" he told himself silently before he passed the invitation card to Ferad.
He wanted Nikorei to know that the Dark Star Society had a hand in the mission she had given him.
Why did he want to let her know? Because the crying baby always got the milk.
It was a principle Kieran had known ever since he was still in the orphanage.
"I think we should inform Nikorei," Ferad wrote.
Obviously, he also knew that Nikorei had tasked Kieran with another mission.
Kieran nodded. That had been his intention as well, so there was no reason for him to refuse.
Kieran frowned in the cab on his way to the Celestial Garden.
He was recalling the conversation he'd had with Nikorei. She had only told him what she knew and asked him to improvise when he got there before she'd hung up the phone.
There had been nothing strange about her tone. She had sounded calm throughout the whole phone call.
However, Kieran had noticed that Nikorei had been anxious about something, to the extent that her attention had been diverted from the package she cared about so much.
"I wonder what big case has made Nikorei so anxious?" Kieran thought.
With such limited information, he could not paint the whole picture. Eventually, he just shrugged and concentrated on the matter at hand.
Although Nikorei had said that he could improvise on the spot, for the sake of the Sub Mission, he had to bring back the package despite the odds.
The Dark Star Society might be the variable in this equation, but that still did not mean that Kieran had no chance of retrieving the package.
Considering the power and influence of the Dark Star Society, an invitation card was enough to show their strength.
If they were not completely hostile though, there was still a chance to pull it off.
Kieran took a long deep breath and closed his eyes. He needed to control his body in case anything happened at the Celestial Garden.
Nikorei hung up the phone and carried Tiki back into the small reception room.
There were two people inside waiting quietly for her.
"Lets continue," Nikorei said.
"That thing is coming, so we need to take advantage of this time to prepare. According to my calculations, we have hardly a 10% chance of winning!" a thin-faced man said.
He sounded calm, but there was a hint of irony to his words.
"We need to recruit more forces for our crusade! Dark Star, Night Demon, Unicorn, White Deer, Polaris, Sanctuary... Every single one of them is good to recruit! Only through a united front will we be able to win the battle against that thing!" a second white-bearded man said in a rich voice.
"Dark Star and Night Demon are almost at war because of Alcatraz, Unicorn and White Deer have always been arch nemeses, Polaris is a bunch of maniacs, and God knows where Sanctuary is hiding in the world! Its impossible!"
The thin-faced man shook his head, rejecting the old mans suggestion.
"Our effort will be the decisive factor!" The elderly man turned to Nikorei hoping to get some support.
"Its hard, but we have to do it. Our very existence is on the line here," Nikorei said slowly.
"Ill go make arrangements for my men!" the old man said.
"Hold on!" a low-pitched voice stopped the old man.
The three of them turned their attention to Tiki.
"I have a candidate who can find Sanctuary," a heavy voice coming from Tikis body said.
"2567?" Nikorei asked, quickly guessing the candidate Tiki was talking about.
"Yes. Sanctuary might be avoiding the real world, but if the last Holy Knight came back, they would surely send someone out," Tiki said with a nod.
"But we know 2567 is not the Holy Knight!" Nikorei frowned doubtfully.
"Then we will turn him into one!"
A cunning smile formed on Tikis face as it wagged its tail.