A dormant snake wasnt necessarily not venomous. It might have kept its fangs hidden away, but once it opened its mouth wide, it would reveal its vicious nature.
Kieran became more vigilant under that watchful gaze.
He signalled at his group and kept keeping an eye out at their surroundings.
Everyone else also had their guard up. Nothing happened though.
As the group went through the forest and reached the famous lake of Forende Town, everything remained normal. Even the eyes that Kieran had felt before were gone now.
"Does this only happen in the primitive forest that replaced Forende Town?" Kieran guessed.
"We could set up camp here, get some rest and then continue searching the forest..." Charles suggested.
The group didnt object. When they had gone through the forest earlier, they had realized there had been a lot to investigate other than the path they had taken.
In fact, they had not even explored 1/10 of the forest.
Although Forende Town was not insanely huge, now that it had been turned into a primitive forest, the tall dense grass was preventing them from getting a clear view of the place. Even Kierans eyes could not pierce through the trees and grass. He had to go up close to explore the area.
Given the circumstances, an exploration would be time-consuming.
Fortunately, Kieran had plenty of time. The meeting with the Shepherds of Death was on the 1st of December. They still had 13 days left to go.
The trip back to the West Coast would take around 5 to 6 days, so Kieran had another week to investigate the forest and find out the truth.
He wouldnt be breaking his promise to the Shepherds. While the Sub Mission [Invitation from an Ancient Society] was still ongoing, Kieran would figure out a way to reach them instead of giving up prematurely.
Kieran and Schmidt had been tasked to drive the limo to the side of the lake, while Charles, Raul and Cidney were all standing watch.
The arrangement had been made according to their abilities to handle an emergency. Kierans abilities were clear for everyone to see. Although Charles reputation was well-known, it was better that the two of them lead the team.
In order to quickly reach the limo outside the primitive forest, Kieran and Schmidt didnt take the forest route. Instead, they took a detour around the forest that had replaced Forende Town and reached the area where the limo was parked.
While they were walking through the rural area outside the forest, the two of them looked around at the lively, fresh scenery.
"If it was not for the missing town, this place would have been a good tourist attraction!" Schmidt sighed helplessly.
"Trust me, even if people knew what had happened to Forende Town, they would come here out of curiosity despite the danger!" Kieran said, shaking his head.
"Curiosity killed the cat! Lets hope we can solve this mystery quickly, so no reckless people wander around with no regard for their safety!" Schmidt didnt object to what Kieran had said. He knew it was the truth.
Kieran picked up a sense of worry from Schmidts impatient words, but he ignored it.
The reason he had chosen to befriend a native like Schmidt was his sense of justice and his identity as a Chief Officer. At least he didnt have to worry about being stabbed in the back while Schmidt was around.
The two of them were talking while they made their way back to the limo. Soon, they reached the spot where they had parked. However, just as Schmidt started the car, a cloud of gray mist started to appear out of nowhere and surround the limo.
The thick gray mist instantly robbed them of their sight. Kieran and Schmidt could only see each other.
Their expression changed instantly. The mist before them had left a deep impression on their minds.
The Black Knights that had been pursuing them had vanished when the mist had appeared!
Now they were inside the mist themselves though. Before they could even react, they were enveloped by it completely.
Schmidt unconsciously stepped on the acceleration pedal, in hopes of dashing out of the cloud of mist. Judging by their location, they should have reached the road after 15 seconds, yet they were still trapped inside the mist.
"Get your weapon ready!" Kieran told Schmidt.
Kieran frowned as he inspected the rumbling, ghastly gray mist around them.
He did not know what was going on either, but he remembered that the gray mist had taken the Black Knights away.
In other words, the gray mist could very well transport Kieran and Schmidt to where the Black Knights were. Even if it didnt though, it might still transport them to a very dangerous place. Getting their weapons out was the best option they had right now.
Schmidt was stunned, but he immediately understood what Kieran meant. He quickly pulled the safety on his gun and placed two grenades into his shirt pocket.
The grenades that Schmidt had bought had been used, Those two were a gift from Kieran.
Schmidt would never ask how Kieran had gotten his hands on them. Mystic individuals possessed vast knowledge and extreme resourcefulness.
Schmidt had known this for a long time.
The gray mist was rumbling outside the car like a monster tumbling in waves and clouds.
Kieran was staring at the clock in the middle of the dashboard. It had been five minutes ever since they had been surrounded by the gray mist, yet the mist had neither dissipated nor gotten denser. It was as if it had just wanted to trap them inside it.
Kierans brow furrowed, this was not good.
The worst-case scenario would have been the mist transporting them to a different place and keeping them trapped inside it. This would only have made their escape more difficult.
Kieran waited patiently as the mist rumbled around them, hoping that he could detect some change in it.
Another 10 minutes passed, but everything remained the same. Nothing was happening. Even Schmidt could sense that something was wrong. He looked at Kieran, ready to open his lips.
"Ill go out and take a look. You be careful!"
Before Schmidt could utter a word, Kieran beat him to it and opened the door.
Since Kierans strength was far superior to Schmidts, he was more suitable to perform such an investigation.
The moment Kieran stepped out of the car, the rumbling mist threw itself at him violently, whistling like a powerful storm.
Kieran, who was already within the mist, didnt have anywhere to go to dodge it. He was shrouded by it completely.
The dense gray mist turned black before Kierans eyes, blocking his vision completely.
The last thing Kieran heard was Schmidts cry of shock. When he regained his sight though, what he saw was not the limo beside him or Schmidt.