Kieran heard birds chirping and bugs buzzing around him.
The smell of dirt and plants filled his nose.
When the gray mist dissipated again, he was back in the primitive forest of Forende Town.
Even though he knew he should be celebrating, Kieran was confused about the way he had been transported back.
Before he could think about it though, he heard Schmidts cry of delight from afar.
Charles, Raul and Cidney were with him as well.
"We finally found you! When you got out of the car, the mist disappeared with you"
Kieran put up his hand, interrupting Schmidt as he asked again with a serious expression, "I disappeared the moment I got out of the car? What about you, Schmidt? Are you okay?"
"Yes, whats wrong?" Schmidt said with a nod. He had been about to crack a joke to ease the tension, but when he saw Kierans serious expression, he realized that something was wrong and swallowed back his lame joke.
Kieran turned to Charles without answering.
"Master, did you feel like you were being watched when you stepped into the primitive forest?" he asked.
"No, I didnt! I dont sense anything strange. Maybe this is because Im old and my senses are not as good anymore though!"
The alchemy masters words sounded mocking as usual.
After spending a week together, Kieran knew that Charles had sharp senses and quick reflexes. Although he might look like an old man, his body wasnt old by any means. He was almost on par with Kieran!
Kierans doubts were confirmed by Charles answer.
"I see" Kieran muttered, urging everyone to go back to the campsite.
They all trusted him, so they followed him back to the lakeside camp despite their confusion.
"Want anything to eat?" Schmidt pointed to the canned food and grilled fish by the campfire.
Kieran picked up a grilled fish and a tree branch.
"When this happened, Schmidt and I were outside Forende Town"
Kieran was recounting his own experience as he wrote on the ground quietly with the tree branch.
"The gray mist had a certain level of intellect."
"I hated the feeling of being spied on, but I couldn't see anyone behind me. I thought it was the trees that blocked my senses, but I was wrong. It was the mist."
"I never thought the mist would possess any life or intellect..."
"If it has intellect, then when Schmidt and I encountered the gray mist, I was the one taken because Schmidt couldnt open the gate! When I got interested in the gate and wanted to inspect it, I was transported back here because the mist wanted to protect its secret!"
"It chose the right target to complete the mission and made sure it wasnt interrupted Although I cant confirm whether it has the intellect of a human being, considering its moving patterns, it isnt relying solely on instinct! This means that we are facing a monster of some kind..."
Kieran wiped the words away before he continued to the next sentence.
This didnt stop the others from seeing what he had written.
Raul and Cidney exchanged a look as Charles smoked his pipe quietly.
Schmidt picked up another branch and wrote down a question.
"Why did it choose you?"
"Lineage! I have the special lineage that allowed me to open that gate!" Kieran wrote.
He had thought it was his strength at first, but when he thought of Charles and the devil statue, he corrected himself.
Charles had strength and abilities that were on par with his. If it had been about strength, Charles would have noticed the gaze as well. Plus, that statue back there
The answer was obvious.
"Do you remember the runes carved on the stone gate?" Charles asked all of a sudden.
"They were small, concentrated, and written in an overlapping manner, so it was too hard for me to make them out. I can only remember a few," Kieran said before he wrote down the runes he could remember. As Charles saw them, he remained silent. His silence attracted everyones attention.
After a few minutes, he wrote back.
"Its a Seal! What you saw was a Seal, and the thing behind it might be the devil!"
The word "devil" caused everyone to hold their breath.
The modern mystical realm knew how fearsome the devil was thanks to books passed down through generations, but when Kieran had transformed out of nowhere, everyone had realized what a legendary monster looked and felt like. Even though they had barely gotten a glimpse, it had been enough to let the East Coast mystics know they were facing a disastrous defeat.
Fortunately, the Bird of Death is not a hot-tempered man. Otherwise, I dont think anyone couldve held him down other than the God of Earth!
The Special Dailys article had been rooted in everyones heart. Compared to the real devil in the abyss though, Kierans abilities were inferior.
Kieran couldnt deny it. He knew that the blood of the devil was impure after all.
It was only because of [Fusion Heart] that he could transform into it.
Inside his heart was not just the devil, but also a human and the shards of the [Eye of the Chimeras].
Although the latter appeared in the form of the Creature of Desire, he had not forgotten what it had originally been.
"The real devil?" Kieran took a long breath.
He couldnt doubt the master alchemists judgment. He also believed that the devil might appear in this dungeon world himself.
After all, he had acquired his [Devil Heart] in the previous dungeon, which had shared the same universe as [The Shamans Partner I] and [Prison on the Island].
"There is a statue of the devil. Could the devil be trapped beneath it? Does this seem possible?" Kieran wrote down in confusion.
"The devil did not love peace or harmony. The war within the abyss was caused by those creatures trying to invade each others territory. It is possible that a devil-like being has been trapped inside that devilish temple! It could be a sacrifice to the devil or the lord they used to worship!"
Kieran informed Schmidt about the history of the abyss before he turned his eyes to Charles.
He wished that he could get some help from the veterans experience.
"We" Charles wrote. Before he could finish though, the grey mist started to rumble once more deep inside the primitive forest.
I'd like to dedicate this chapter to Falidus.
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