"Tiki!?" Kieran cried out in shock.
He started to size up the place around him.
Before him was a straight stone-made passageway and behind him was a stone gate.
Tiki was curling up right in front of him with all its paws hidden under its body, yawning ceaselessly.
Though, none of that was important.
The moment he appeared at the place, notifications started to spam his vision.
[Sub mission: Reinforcement (Complete)]
[Main Mission: Open the unknown stone gate (Complete)!]
[Player will leave the dungeon in 5 minutes]
[Please take whatever items you wish to keep with you.]
[Note: Any items that exceed the maximum weight will be discarded!]
After glancing over the series of notifications, if Kieran wasn't an idiot, he would know that the stone gate behind him was the one that he couldn't even peak at the last time.
Now? As the main mission required him to push open the gate but he didn't even do anything and he was already inside and he saw someone out of his expectation as well.
Kieran couldn't really describe Tiki as a cat, so all he could do was treat it as a human being.
"Yup, yup, it's me!"
Tiki nodded repeatedly, giving out a smile when it saw Kieran in shock.
The fat cat's smile was charmingly naive, though Kieran wasn't even concerned at how Tiki was behaving at the moment.
"So everything is nothing but Rei's arrangements?"
Following Tiki's appearance, the doubts lingering in Kieran's heart were almost solved in an instant.
From the prophecy that started it all, following the incident at Sunshine Marry and Mardos the Hell Fiend Spider, plus the Holy Knight trial and the appearance of the afterimages of the divine beings. Each of the incidents seemed like a standalone event but it intertwined and formed a series of clues.
As the God of Earth, why would Nikorei give out such a prophecy?
The prophecy seemed like a harmless prank but actually it was part of a bigger arrangement, even more so, such arrangements started when Kieran was accepted as Nikorei's assistant.
Why would Sunshine Marry, the mystical ferry that held auctions appear at the Golden Beach of West Coast in such a timely manner after disappearing for over a century?
Coincidentally, the ferry was harboring the Hell Fiend Spider, Mardos, and it started to attract the attention of the East Coast mystics.
Followed by some monsters and demons appearance, all sorts of mystical factions, societies including the Sanctuary as well. Even more coincidental was the astonishing appearance of the divine beings afterimages, which was naturally restrained by Mardos.
Kieran couldn't hold it back anymore and took a deep breath. He was suppressing his anger with the breath.
Anyone else would be infuriated after being deceived, controlled and played like a puppet by the puppeteer.
"Oh, you are angry now?" Tiki asked with a smiley face.
"You bet!" Kieran didn't even want to conceal his rage.
He used to conceal his emotions before strangers but would reveal his thoughts before those he could call familiar, especially when the reason for being angry was Tiki itself.
"What if I tell you everything is really as coincidental as you think?" Tiki asked.
"Do you think I'm stupid?" Kieran coldly grunted and quietly took a more cautious stance. He already had the worst case scenario playing in his head.
Fortunately, he could leave the current dungeon world with a little bit more time.
"Then do you think Rei is really omniscient? Able to foresee it all?"
Tiki seemed like didn't noticed Kieran's precautionary stance and yawned once more before asking another question.
Kieran frowned. He didn't really think Rei was omniscient, though many natives used such terms to describe divine beings but Kieran knew it was all bullsh*t, but it didn't mean Kieran would believe Rei didn't make any arrangements at all throughout his adventures.
"You being here and the invitations from before, don't tell me it is also a coincidence!" Kieran said.
"Me being here was definitely arranged because I am a fail-safe, the last fail-safe. As for the invitation?"
Tiki then sized up Kieran with a very unusual gaze.
Kieran could feel his back turned cold when Tiki looked at him, even [Fusion Heart] started to beat vigorously, the devil's power, Eye of Chimeras and the soul of the Holy Knight grew restless.
Just as Kieran thought Tiki was going to strike, the cat returned to its normal mode, kept looking at him with a lazy eyes.
"That is just how destiny works by nature. Rei did send out a lot of invitations and those who could really read it, willing to believe it and come to West Coast City were only a few of you. In fact, I never believed in destiny." Tiki said like it stating facts.
Right away as Tiki ended, the gaze that sent a chill down his back appeared again but it was just in a flash before it went away again.
"Until your arrival! A ton of absolutely coincidental events occurred around you and each time, you were able to turn the dangerous situation around and increase your strength by doing so. This is far beyond the range of being lucky. So I've asked Rei for this mission that allowed me to meet you and now from the looks of it, you did quite well." Tiki smiled again.
"Rei was not wrong and never was, but this time she made a mistake! Although it's nothing big, it will make her feel uneasy. It's been awhile since I've seen her act that way. The good old days"
Kieran raised a brow looking at Tiki being intoxicated with its self-satisfaction.
He really wasn't fond of looking at an intoxicated cat, especially when there were doubts lingering around.
"Why? Why did Rei do this? Did she really think I could complete everything as expected?"
Kieran interrupted Tiki straightaway.
To be honest, it was the real reason Kieran was angry.
Being played and teased by someone he thought cared about himself but in fact, he was treated as nothing more than wild grass. It was not really the best experience, to begin with, and even more so for Kieran since he was an orphan at birth.
His coldness and unparalleled sturdiness rejected most of the people in his life but beyond the coldness, his heart was warm and soft. Leaving the coldness behind, any accidental touch to the unguarded heart would hurt it, just that Kieran was too stubborn to admit it.
He stared at Tiki, waiting for an answer.
"Of course not! Rei did arrange a lot of backups, but other than Charles, none of them were used. Didn't you feel curious during the time you spent at West Coast, other than the Sanctuary, you never ran into the other societies, like Dark Star, Night Demon, Unicorn, White Deer and Polaris?"
"It's all Rei's handy work! Though she'd still underestimated you and that is also the minor mistake she made. But don't expect her to be honest with you, some things were beyond words long ago." Tiki shook its head.
The answer was not satisfactory to Kieran, causing him to furrow his brows again.
He couldn't tell whether was Tiki telling the truth. He needed more information to verify Tiki's words.
"What does Rei really want? What is that "thing" that she has to deal with?" Kieran asked.
"Though I really wanted to tell you but based on your current strength, you are still a tiny bit away, so" Tiki prolonged its tone, trying to tease Kieran.
"So you have nothing to tell me?" Kieran looked at Tiki in its eyes, giving out a mocking gaze from his eyes. He was too familiar with such a tactic as he thought it was Tiki's excuse.
"No, no! I was planning to make an exception and tell you but now you attitude pissed me off, so you have to find the answers yourself! Oh ya, one more thing before I forget, cats don't hold grudges because cats take revenge right away!"
After Tiki finished, it appeared in a flash before Kieran, raised its paw and tapped on Kieran's body but before its paw really touched Kieran's body, Kieran was sent flying at the direction where Tiki was like a flying meteor.
"Safe trip, kid!"
Tiki raised its paw, waving at Kieran as he quickly disappeared in its sight.
Then, Tiki turned around and looked at the direction where Kieran first arrived.
The formidable aura that hid in its small body erupted out, almost ten times more powerful than what Tiki had presented before.
"Still following his tail eh? Such a pesky bunch of vermins, still don't want to give up, meow? Well then you can all turn into ash then!"
Tiki raised its paw and slammed downwards.
The passageway before its eyes disappeared and all that was left was empty space.
A couple of dazzling bright figures were hiding in the empty space but following the paw slam, the whole space started to crumble like the sky falling and earth cracking.
The empty space disappeared and a couple of figures gave out a relentless cry of shock.
Yet everything they did was useless, the figures didn't even have a chance to resist such an apocalyptic level destructive force.
Everything was returned to nothing.