The captain's cabin.
On top of the study table, there was a map of the entire West Coast with exceptionally detailed labels.
It was not just a general map of the West Coast but it included the cities within the region, West Coast City, Bruns City, Ciaran City and a dozen more on it.
Kieran stood quietly beside the study table, watching Ohara label one city after another on the map.
The cities were labeled with three colors.
Red, the enemies.
Blue, our own side or allied forces.
White, the neutrals.
It took her almost three minutes to label all the cities on the map and when Ohara finished labeling the last piece of area on the map, Kieran suddenly realized the distribution of factions throughout the whole West Coast was much more complicated than he imagined.
Bruns City, Ciaran City included were all mixed with all three colors.
Every city had hostile forces, allied forces and neutral forces waging war against other.
There was only a single area that was left empty, West Coast City.
There wasn't any drawings or color on the entire area on the map.
Why was it left empty? The answer was self-explanatory.
The God of Earth Nikorei and her reputation spoke for itself, anyone who stepped into the city knew what to expect. Even more so when they were slaughtered by Kieran once back then.
It was natural that it was left blank. Kieran then turned his eyes away to the other cities.
"Where is our target?" Kieran asked.
"Ciaran City!" Ohara pointed at the point south-east of West Coast City.
"Simon and Maya were assaulting Barry's headquarters at this city but he was well-prepared! Since Barry came from the army itself, the Sanctuary side was placed at a disadvantageous position since they weren't familiar with their enemies. Even when Smulder joined the fight, the situation was only forced to a stalemate!"
Ohara described the situation and the things she knew calmly to Kieran, she wasn't biased towards any side because of her Sanctuary origins or her alliance with Barry.
"Barry?" Kieran muttered the name.
Kieran's impression of the general stopped at the fact where he possessed advance alchemy technologies to forge a composite gemstone [Eye of the Evil Waters], created powerful monsters specifically targeted towards the Sanctuary and of course his decisive attitude towards a difficult situation.
Kieran had heard more than once that General Barry abandoned his ship and escaped because of the ugly situation before him from Nicil.
Let alone the advance alchemy technology he possessed, the sole fact of his escape and use of the remaining time to prevent the other two Archdeacon's ambush proved that he was not some useless meatbag who was good for feasting and drinking only.
Even more so, when Smulder joined the battle, the situation on the battlefield was only forced to a draw.
Anyone who underestimated General Barry would be an unfortunate bastard and Kieran had no intentions of being one. He listened carefully what Ohara described of Barry.
"Barry came from a declining mystical family. He joined the army thirty years ago and spent all his life ascending up to the position of real authority within the West Coast Government. Because of his background, not only did he have the support of the military, many other houses looked up to him as their leader, even some of the mystical houses as well. The grudge and contempt towards Sanctuary was because he thinks the Sanctuary holds the secret to change the entire world!" Ohara said.
"The secret to change the world? What does that mean?" Kieran raised a brow and asked directly.
After experiencing it once, Kieran would not stay inconclusive anymore and wait for the answer. He was afraid that Ohara before him would give him another clenched fist to cheer him up, which would suffocate his brain in some ways.
Fortunately this time around, Ohara replied clearly when Kieran laid the question out.
"Um, the secret that can change the world! There is a rumour going around the mystical realm saying the Sanctuary has hidden the world's secret and anyone who finds it will change the world!"
Ohara nodded and said, then she looked at Kieran with a slightly dubious gaze.
No doubt she felt weird that Kieran as Nikorei's assistant hadn't heard the rumour before.
"Well I apologize for joining the mystical realm as a half-ass that I am!"
Kieran thought in his heart and pouted. Though soon enough, he saw Ohara's dubious gaze quickly turned into a caring one.
"Don't worry. We will figure out the after effects of reincarnation together! I will help you all the way!" Ohara said softly.
'Hey, what in the hell? Do you really need to do this? You filled the gap with your own answers without even getting my explanation? Have you lost your common sense and judgement after you believed that I am Hugh's reincarnation?'
Tons of odd questions popped up in Kieran's heart but none of it could escape his mouth.
He could already see the faint tender feelings of love beginning to fill her face.
In order prevent the situation progressing as he imagined, he continued quickly.
"So is there someone who spread the secret"
"The high tower! That white high tower!"
Kieran wanted to ask whether there was someone who deliberately spread false rumours but the moment the words escaped his mouth, he suddenly thought of the high tower that seemingly connected to the sky.
"Um! The secret is hidden there but only Phandle alone knows how to approach that secret!"
Ohara spilled the highest classified information within the Sanctuary directly.
"Phandle? Is he someone special?" Kieran frowned.
The hierarchy of Sanctuary was not that complicated, it was only divided into three categories.
The highest ranks were the Archdeacons and Holy Knights.
The middle ranks were the deacons and knights-in-reserve and the lowest were the common members.
Phandle was only a Sanctuary deacon, how could a mere deacon get a hold of such a secret?
"Phandle was only a deacon on the outside but all the Archdeacon including me and Smulder know he is actually the lineage master within the Sanctuary. He has the authority to rule of the Sanctuary during desperate times!"
While facing Kieran's question, Ohara spilled all the background details regarding the Sanctuary hierarchy and others without any hesitation. She even went as far as telling a great deal of stories only spoken among the higher ranks of the Sanctuary, revealing more hidden facts to Kieran over the following hours to help Kieran restore his Holy Knight memories.
The fact that Kieran might divulge the secret stories didn't even cross Ohara's mind because in her acknowledgement, Kieran was Hugh's reincarnation and Hugh was the original Holy Knight of the Sanctuary. He should know all of the secrets anyway, just that he had forgotten them because of the reincarnation.
Kieran was still curious over the secret stories at first, trying to digest all the secrets in one shot but as he went on listening, he felt something was not right.
How could Phandle make such a mistake?
Phandle should be aware that Ohara would be defenseless against Kieran if she knew he was the reincarnation of Hugh, yet Phandle still sent Ohara to accompany him and only her alone for the whole trip, not even the slightest precautions were prepared for accidents.
"Damn it! That old geezer wanted Ohara to tell me all these secrets so that after I knew all of it, it will be harder for me to shake off the markings of the Sanctuary!"
Kieran suddenly realized the intentions behind soon after.
"That shameless old bastard!" Kieran grunted softly.
Inside a certain room of the white high tower, Phandle sneezed all of a sudden in the midst of writing a letter.
"I suppose Hugh is thinking of me?"
He rubbed his nose. Phandle then inserted the written letter into a unique transmission spot within the high tower.
He said softly, "I'm sorry, Hugh Hope that when we meet again, you won't beat me up, after all"
His voice gotten dimmer and dimmer, eventually couldn't be heard anymore other than himself.
My fav part of this arc other than the bosses is the interaction between Ohara and big K.