Giving the four intruders a death stare, Lady Althea increased her control over her created zone. Using her mana, the Spirit Saint could easily displace and manipulate anything that came within one kilometre of her. At the distance that she and the Black Masks were at, the black-haired beauty could even tear their organs from their body by simply thinking about it.
“ARGHHHH!!!” Nevertheless, it did not stop the Black Masks from trying to escape the grasp of the holy woman. The Kshatriya’s blade glimmered in pure darkness as it vibrated violently, trying its best to break free of the restraint that the Spirit Saint had placed it into. Regrettably, no matter how hard he tried or how desperate his mana flow was, the Kshatriya simply had no way of breaking free from Lady Althea’s control.
“Resistance is futile, young man…” Raising up her creamy white hands, Lady Althea forcefully levitated the four Black Masks surrounding her up in the air like they were rag dolls that could be manhandled.
“Althea, leave some for me… I need them to explain why they destroyed my property, I mean tried to harm my precious disciple!!!” In a similar state of rage, Lady Seph left the mana barrier that she created and headed towards the nearest Black Mask.
Facing a Rank 79 Spirit Emperor and a Spirit Saint, who stood at the apex of the cultivation world, was suicidal, even for the strongest being in the Himmel Empire. Thus, making a tactical retreat was the only thing that mattered for the Black Masks. Unfortunately, Lady Althea’s locking of space was too powerful for them.
Feeling that all hope was lost, the Kshatriya landed his gaze on Shin, who was well-protected by a Tier 8 Spirit Beast and a Spirit Emperor. His beautiful azure eyes that resembled the pristine lakes of fantasy permeated through the Black Masks soul, giving him a sense of security, even during this time of peril that he was in. The luscious black hair that was untouched by even the slightest of impurities made the floating man recollect fond memories of his past. A valiant warrior with the same flowing black hair appeared vividly in his consciousness. Never wavering and never relenting, the suave man always stood at the forefront of every battle, protecting everyone he cared for in the process.
The more the Kshatriya looked at the androgynous features of Shin’s face, the more choked up he became. Glistening teardrops dripped out from the wire mesh of the masks that hid his face and trickled down to the floor full of debris.
‘This is the end for me… I’m sorry, my brother… I could not save your son…’ Releasing his grip on the obsidian sword in his hands, the Kshatriya gave up all hope of escaping.
“ALLFATHER!!! DO IT!!!” Bellowing out at the top of his lungs, the Kshatriya screamed at the sky, as if asking for the Gods of the old to smite him. Not only did he fail his mission, but he had allowed himself to get captured. There was no way that the leader of the Black Mask syndicate would simply let that pass.
“*BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!*.” The starry sky turned cloudy as deafening crackles of thunder reverberated through the empty streets of the Waypoint.
“What?!” A mysterious dark smoke seeped out from the four Black Masks bodies, stunning the Spirit Saint that was restraining them. Lady Althea’s locking of space was absolute. Unless her opponent had a cultivation level of a Rank 80 Spirit Venerate or higher, there was no way the person she bound using her mana would be able to move, let alone cast spiritual abilities.
Clenching her raised fists, Lady Althea tightened her control over the four Black Masks, hoping to prevent whatever ability that they were using. Unfortunately, it was all to no avail. Endless amounts of black smoke spewed out from the Black Masks as if they were an open faucet, forcing Shin to cover his mouth to prevent choking. However, oddly enough, the smoke bore no smell or any of the properties found in regular soot. Instead, it felt like a gentle mist that hydrated the skin and strengthens the body.
Falling into a stupor, Shin found himself in a similar state like the first time he met the Kshatriya three years ago. Overwhelmed by the endless dread and longing that consumed him, Shin felt like he had been transported into a foreign universe, where darkness prevailed all. There was no hate or pain in the different land. All the darkness brought was a solemn sorrow that desire, one of the likes that Shin had never experienced before.
Alone in a different world, Shin was utterly isolated. Peering to his sides, Bingbing, Lady Seph and even the entire Yakkyoku Clinic had seemed to have disappeared. Wandering around the darkened world, the young teen tried his best to figure out what had happened once he was exposed to the black smoke. However, no matter how hard he tried, the only thing that Shin could find was the endless gloom of obsidian.
“Damn it!!!” For the first time in a while, Lady Althea found herself not in control of the situation. Gathering more and more mana, the entire town trembled in fear as the Spirit Saint unleashed a fraction of her true power. The ground shook violently as if a devastating earthquake had been triggered, forcing the town residents to fall straight to the floor. Screams of terrified children filled the waypoint as pandemonium ensued.
“Shin! Shin! Wake up!” Seeing that her disciple had fallen asleep in these dire times, Lady Seph sent a wave of healing light to snap Shin out from his comatose state.
“Urgh… What happened…” Thankfully, Lady Seph didn’t have to wait long for a reaction from Shin. Drowsily opening up his heavy eyelids, the black-haired youth tried to regain control over his body.
“Shin! Are you alright?” Lady Seph concernedly yelled out.
In front of the two individuals lying on the floor, a wall of pure impassable ice that blocked out any of the mysterious smoke protected Lady Seph while she was healing Shin. Bingbing excitedly wagged her tail as she saw Shin slowly waking up. Evidently, she had been working overtime to protect the boy who fainted and was elated that her efforts had paid off.
“Yeah… I was sent to somewhere weird…”
“Don’t worry about it… You can explain to me later. For now, just rest. Your mind had taken substantial damage.” Gently stroking Shin’s neck, Lady Seph soothed her weary disciple.
When she first started treating the young teen, the seasoned healer got the shock of her life after monitoring his condition. Shin’s consciousness had been shattered, and his psyche was on the verge of collapse. For some reason, the smoke that was being emitted from the Black Masks bodies harmed him much more than it should have. Thankfully, Lady Seph discovered that fact early on and began treatment immediately. Otherwise, the reprecussions might have been way more severe.
“What’s going on?!” Lady Althea hollered out, drawing the attention of everyone in the room. Turning to view the four Black Masks that were levitating, Shin’s eyes widened in shock. The signature item that concealed the assailants’ faces started to form cracks and eventually, shattered into thousands of pieces.
The Kshatriya’s black obsidian sword had been lodged firmly into his heart, causing gallons of blood to flow out from his body. Now that his mask had been broken, Shin could finally get a clear view of the Kshatriya that had attacked him twice. With a middle-aged chiselled face, the viridian-haired man had his eyes firmly shut. Cleanly shaven and particularly handsome. That was Shin’s first impression of the man. Even though he wasn’t able to put up a fight against Lady Althea, just from the crisscrossing scars on his war-torn face, Shin could tell that the Kshatriya had seen his fair share of battles and was no average joe.
Likewise, the other three Black Masks that had their masks broken had their Spirits lodged directly through their chests as a never-ending river of blood spewed out from their bodies. Unlike the Kshatriya, they lacked any critical facial features that might stand out, but nonetheless, they were still high-level assassins that could take down entire government bodies. Yet, while they were suspended in the air by the power of foreign influence, the Black Masks seemed to be like the regular run-of-the-mill criminal that had been sentenced to die.
“Althea! Can’t you control them?!” Realising that something awry was going on, Lady Seph roared out at the black-haired beauty.
“No, they’re being controlled by something!!! God damn it! Whoever you are, show yourself! There’s no need to hide!” Thinking that the person controlling the four Black Masks were nearby, Lady Althea called out for him. However, all she received was just an empty silence.
Feeling that it was time for the Allfather to mete out his judgement, the Kshatriya pivoted his head so that he could view Shin for one last time, causing the two to lock eyes. At that moment, Shin felt a tingle run down his spine. Even though they were separated by an ice wall and a barrier of light, the Kshatriya could still view Shin clearly as if he was standing right next to him.
‘Ahhh… You really do resemble them…’ A single teardrop fell from the moist eyes of the fallen warrior. Feeling every single fibre of his being ceasing to exist, the Kshatriya could only weakly mouth out two very soft words:
Not knowing whether the apology was directed at himself or someone else, Shin blinked his eyes frantically while the four Black Masks exploded into a puff of black smoke. Nothing remained. Not one body part. Not one fabric of clothing. Not one drop of blood. Nothing. Other than the broken down clinic, there was no other evidence that an attack had occurred.
“Seraphim… Earlier on, when you claimed that the Allfather will be a threat, I’ll admit I was a little sceptical.” Profoundly exhaling, Lady Althea looked ahead while she talked to her long-time disciple.
“However… Now I’m entirely convinced… This… This is on another level.” In all her years in the Spirit Saint realm, never had she encountered such a bizarre situation. From a place that was unseen, the Allfather could directly kill his subordinates who were under the domain of Spirit Saint. Even the current number one cultivator living today was unable to do something this powerful, and the fact that there was someone out there that could, horrified Lady Althea to her very core.
“Not to worry, Seraphim. I know what I must do now… I’ll personally talk to the leaders of the three major powers.”