The sealed off entrance was not only at Kieran's side, after inspection, the other two were sealed off completely as well.
Schmidt knocked on the stone wall, the heavy noise made him frown.
Based on his experience, he knew the thickness of the stone wall had exceed the limit that a common man could dig.
Schmidt unconsciously looked at Kieran. Sure it had exceed the common limit but beside him was a person that also exceeded the common limit.
Though, out of Schmidt's expectation, Kieran was frowning against the stone wall.
"Something wrong with the stone wall?" Schmidt reacted to Kieran's expression immediately.
"Since the stone wall has appeared, surely Smulder wants to prevent us from trying to get out. He should know better than anyone that I can easily break the stone wall, so"
Kieran said while he drew [Arrogant Word] from the box. He performed a forward lunge, trying to test the stone wall by striking it.
Even if it was just a test, the dark red greatsword still whipped up a heavy gust of wind.
Sparks were ignited and the sword tip was plunged into the stone wall, however a concentrated light of the Sanctuary Force gushed in from the seams.
The blinding, burning white light was like a flashbang exploding in front Kieran.
Even though he was prepared for it and retreated almost a dozen meters the moment the light blasted in, he still suffered from the burning sensation all over his body once again.
"Damn it! He is f*cking on to you! These lights are specifically targeting you! 2567, are you okay?" Schmidt retreated to Kieran's spot quickly while cursing.
"I'm fine but Smudler's jealousy and envy for Nikorei was much deeper than I thought!"
If it wasn't for his habitual vigilance and careful, that blast of light was enough to cause heavy damage to him. Even if he has healing potions and [Soul Devour II] to help him recover, if he wasn't killed off in one shot, he still had the confidence to escape a fatal hit. However, the scene before Kieran allowed him to know something.
Smulder must have perfected the place for his enemies to fall into his trap. Kieran wasn't left with any holes to squeeze through and it was not a good news to him, meaning that it will only increase the difficulty of escaping.
Why not wait for Smulder to return with his declaration of victory?
After knowing the details of what was going on, Kieran discarded such thoughts from his mind.
Although he didn't feel any danger from Smulder, the cold attitude from him proved that the rumours about him being jealous and envious of Nikorei was not some made up story. There should be some validity behind it and what followed will surely be some secrets.
While under such circumstances, Kieran would be an idiot if he remain inside the paths.
Smulder did went to extreme lengths to put his plans in to action.
How well would one expect Smulder to treat the assistant of his old rival that he was so jealous of yet helpless against?
The answer was self-explanatory.
Kieran knew it would be delusional to request Smulder send him off submissively.
It might go as far as trapping Kieran forever in this "prison" that Smulder put forth so much effort to build.
Kieran wouldn't even doubt Smulder if he already has some similar thoughts of imprisoning him when Smulder built the paths.
As for why?
Smulder wanted Nikorei to collect her assistant herself.
Think about it, a Sanctuary personnel able sweep away enemies both foreign and domestic while forcing the God of Earth into lowering her head down to him, what would it be like for Smulder?
"I'm afraid he would be delighted beyond words right?" Kieran muttered.
"What?" Schmidt didn't catch what Kieran said.
"Nothing!" It was better for Kieran to keep it to himself rather than revealing things that would only increase the burden of others.
Then, before Schmidt could press the question, Kieran gripped [Arrogant Word] and started to touch the walls around him with the blade's edge.
As expected, when [Arrogant Word] was pressed against and damaged the wall with Kieran's inhuman strength, the Sanctuary Force gushed through.
"So, Smulder wouldn't leave us with such an obvious flaw. Since the entrance and the walls were sealed of, all we have left is the path behind us."
Kieran pointed at his back.
"Smulder built all these to specifically target you, why would he install an exit?" Schmidt asked.
"Just because all these are specifically targeted at me, that is why he installed an exit. If he really wanted to imprison me, everything before us are enough! But what he wanted was to present himself as an envious bastard by torturing me, so he could further mislead those who fell into his trap to believe everything was real. He will surely install an exit, an exit that is visible but unreachable!"
"What is more torturing than a visible hope being turned into unreachable despair?"
Kieran looked at Schmidt with a smile.
"If this is really that kind of situation, I would never smile!"
The chief officer wouldn't even imagine what he would come under such pressure.
He might suffer a meltdown!
He was puzzled about how Kieran could utter those words with a smile.
"The more despairing the situation, the more we need to smile. Otherwise, all hope would be lost. Despair is scarier and more powerful than you think at some times but then becomes more pitiful and weak at others. As for which it is, it all depends on how you look at it."
Kieran then headed towards the other side of the path. Schmidt then followed closely and uttered at the same time, "Well, don't say it like you've experienced despair before. Is it appropriate to use pitiful and weak to describe despair?"
"I think it's quite fitting at times!"
"Well, not at all for me!"
Both their voices were getting far and eventually faded into darkness.
Back at the big hall that Kieran and Schmidt arrived in, a team of special forces troops started to gather around. There were almost a hundred of them.
The one who was leading the special forces was a bald elderly and his snow white beard was at his chest. He was the one being called useless trash by Smulder, Simon.
The elderly glanced over the trial paths that were sealed off. Then his eyes turned to Nicil who was dumbstruck by his appearance.
"I'm sorry Nicil. I didn't mean to deceive you!" Simon bowed with an apologetic manner but Nicil didn't react to it because he was shocked beyond words and logic.
The dispute between Smulder and Simon was well known throughout the Sanctuary but now, it was Simon leading the troops instead of Smulder!
Sea of thoughts entered in Nicil's mind all of a sudden.
"I was deceived by both you and Smulder!" Nicil said with a bitter smile while he looked at Simon.
Simon bowed again but he didn't have time to chit-chat anymore.
Sacred runes started to appear beneath Simon's feet one after another. The dim white light was turning denser by the second and eventually became a blinding light.
Nicil knew what the runes meant and he gave out a strict face.
He held his right hand with a clenched fist at his left chest, showing respect to Simon.
Nicil's greeting echoed continuously in the wide hall and eventually went out from the hall.
It was like the horns of war, trying to sound its signal towards the horizon, his words shared similar purpose as well.
One man's voice was weak but what about ten, a hundred, or even a thousand?
Besides, there were more than a thousand members in the Sanctuary!
Their voice and battle intentions fused together and pierced the clouds.
While at a farther place, a fleet of battleship were sailing towards its destination.
Iron cannons over the ships were striking chills into hearts under the white moonlight.
The ships are from Barry, the fastest man alive.