Inside the wooden cottage of the overseer, Kieran saw Black Hound who was already there.
During the previous group up, with Orgeton and Fenix around, Black Hound was overshadowed and didn't stand out from the rest but when everyone else failed, Black Hound successfully acquired one of the three scrolls and emerged a victor.
It was only natural that Kieran had his attention on Black Hound.
Other than that, Kieran noticed something different about him as well. Black Hound's hiding technique was one-of-a-kind, it didn't become weaker even when the number of people around him has decreased. In fact, his hiding technique was much more effective when the people around him were fewer.
If it wasn't for Black Hound's light breathing, Kieran couldn't even locate him at the first moment.
However, Kieran frowned over the light breathing, Black Hound purposely revealed his breathing to Kieran by breathing heavier than usual.
It was almost certain of him but what was his purpose of revealing himself to Kieran?
"Wanted me to lower my guard?"
Kieran had no idea how Black Hound got the last scroll but he managed to stand out from the rest of the trial-goers under the influence of the island, obviously, it wasn't an easy feat.
On top of that, Black Hound was not affected by the island's influence either.
It was the most important aspect in the second trial. Kieran wasn't affected because of his powerful Spirit attribute and Schmidt because of his unyielding will. Regardless of which Black Hound was, he will be a worthy opponent in the coming trials.
Plus, the revelation of himself on purpose made Kieran heighten his vigilance against him.
Black Hound's danger level had surged from there onwards.
A beast with sharp fangs and long claws was scary but a venomous snake hiding in the woods was scarier.
Kieran kept quiet even though he noticed Black Hound, he remained as he was, keeping the situation as it was with Black Hound while waiting patiently for Nicil.
After a while, Schmidt finally noticed Black Hound's presence at the opposite part.
The chief officer frowned a little and subconsciously reached towards his gun.
No one liked a dangerous individual that could pop up anywhere anytime, not even Schmidt.
Schmidt opened his eyes wide, giving an intimidating stare at Black Hound and locked him down within his sight, preventing his escape.
While Schmidt's stare was showering all over him, Black Hound was not concerned at all and didn't even flinch. He was standing there with the same posture when Kieran and Schmidt walked in.
He didn't further conceal himself nor did he revealed himself in the open, even when Nicil had appeared.
"Congratulations everyone! You have passed the second trial!"
Nicil was wearing a fur coat with its collar flipped up. He walked out from another door with a smile. The smile added another layer of wrinkles on his well-aged face.
If it wasn't for his bright eyes, he would look like a dying old man.
Though at that moment, the elder seemed to be excited and happy.
"Well done!" Nicil praised Kieran and Kieran replied with a raise of a brow.
However, before Kieran could utter a word, Nicil continued on his own.
"Now you people will have to proceed to the next trial and also the most important one! Let's go shall we, I'll bring you all to the overseer of the last trial!"
While he was talking, Nicil took out a crystal prism from his pocket.
Before anyone could speak, the crystal prism in Nicil's hand shone brightly and dazzlingly.
The blinding light shone over every corner of the cottage.
Kieran then felt that his body has to lighten up, similar to the feeling when he entered the dungeon world. He subconsciously raised his hand and blocked it before his eyes since it was not the first time he experienced blinding light around him.
He tried to peek through the seams of his finger of the situation around him but under the blinding light, all he could see was some concentrated, layered runes around him.
Just when he wanted to read the runes, his eyes started to hurt.
Kieran was aware of that peeking through his finger seams did not weaken the light around him. His eyeballs were still exposed under the stinging light.
If Kieran cherished his eyes and didn't want to suffer some real damage, he had to close his eyes.
He was forced to choose between his eyes and reading some unknown runes scriptures, or in a more particular sense, he had to choose between his main mission and mystical knowledge.
The options made it clear for him, without any further hesitation, he closed his eyes.
After three to five seconds, Nicil's words could be heard at his ear.
"We're done here!"
Kieran opened his eyes and saw Schmidt who had bloodshot eyes beside him.
"Damn you! I thought I was going blind!" Schmidt kept rubbing his eyes to ease up the stinging sensation in his eyes.
No doubt, due to lack of experience, Schmidt suffered from the sudden blinding light.
Black Hound at his opposite though, even with a mask and hood to cover his face but Kieran picked up a faint smell of herbs from him.
"He was prepared? He must have known some insider information about the Sanctuary! Or is he affiliated with someone inside? Or did he get the information after tons of testing?"
Kieran glanced over Black Hound with a slight shock before he led his attentions elsewhere.
He started to size up the surroundings in detail.
Kieran was not at all interested in the fight between the Sanctuary and the one or factions behind the trial-goers, even though there might be a huge reward behind it.
Based on their performances, both sides seemed to be well-prepared and among those prepared plans, it should include Kieran's appearance.
What would happen to Kieran if he didn't know how to appreciate his current safety level?
Even though his strengths were enhanced from top to bottom, he wasn't that arrogant to think that he could take on the whole Sanctuary and the forces behind it.
Although the Sanctuary was quite mysterious, it was a cold hard fact that they shared the same ranks and reputation as Dark Star, Night Demon, Unicorn, White Deer and Polaris and might even be better than the other societies in certain aspects.
Aside from all of that, the leader of the Sanctuary alone was enough for Kieran to heighten his vigilance like never before.
After all, he did witness the strength of the Night Demon and Dark Star leaders.
Whether was it Morendurke or Serdenk, Kieran still had to question himself because even at his current power level, he felt he was still inferior against them by a lot, let alone the Sanctuary leader that was stronger than both of the mentioned leaders.
So, how could the one behind the trial-goers that were going after the whole of Sanctuary be weak by any means?
Of course, none of that matters right now. Giving up without trying was not Kieran's style.
The reason Kieran gave up before was directly related to Schmidt's sudden appearance in the trials.
Schmidt honestly said that he was invited by Boller and Kieran was suspicious over such a move by Boller.
In simple words, Kieran didn't believe Boller would make a move without any valid reasons, such as inviting Schmidt. The facts after also proved Kieran's guesses to be right.
Maybe before this, Kieran could still persuade himself with excuses like accidents but up until then, as he discovered some of the secrets with the trial-goers, he wouldn't believe the Sanctuary had no ulterior motives behind these trials.
It might be just a friendly reminder for him or maybe to purely restraint him.
Regardless of what the motives were, he knew clearly what he must do, at least when Schmidt was around, his actions were clear. Kieran decided to play along and be cooperative.
When he saw the stone-made decorations before him and the huge space that he was in, he knew they already left Final Island.
"Long-range teleportation device!?" Kieran didn't conceal his shock because it was the first time he encountered such a method of traveling in all the dungeon runs.
Schmidt was curious beyond logic, if it wasn't for Nicil's presence, the chief officer would definitely turn the place upside down to find out why he appeared in such a place.
Dak Dak Dak!
A heavy, vigorous steps caught Kieran and the other's attention.
A muscular figure came from afar, bringing the "light" with him.
Just as the light appeared and shone over them, Kieran suddenly gave out a heavy grunt of pain.
The Holy Knight has arrived