Cold sweat running down his neck to his scorched back, Zax racked his brain in an attempt to make up what happened, who was helping him in the shadows?
‘Hurry, Zax, accept this map and follow its directions!’ An unfamiliar sounded through the communicator he received from Gid Chu.
‘Someone from the chain?’ Zax thought, not asked. The answer was obvious but still unexpected. ‘What the heck did he use to create these extravagant explosions?!’ Glancing sideways, the three moons, which from afar were now the size of marbles, remained prominent and without a hint of dissipation.
Opening the file, it was actually an encrypted formation Zax had to assemble in his Inner Panorama to reveal the map.
‘That’s too far!’ Zax exclaimed. The converging location, whether it was a base of the chain or a temporary meeting place, was at an undersea cave in the Seer Don Ocean, basically the other side of the continent. ‘Hey, did you even consider who pursuing me?’ He sent to member of the chain who contacted him.
‘Yes, don’t worry. I can’t help you get there faster so I rather not expose myself, but those explosions were generated from detonating three Pure Cores of three scales Deformed Beings, comparable to fourth level Martial Mortal. Elder Master guaranteed that with your speed you’ll manage to escape. I, however, not as fast, so yeah… Just follow the directions and don’t simply head straight to the cave. Though Elder Master did not have more of those Pure Cores, he did had countermeasures for Sublime Soul Sense that other members of the chai-‘
‘Enough talking!’ A new, feminine and impatient voice interrupted. ‘Follow the map, Zax. I’m Lusiana, my companion is Eviatar. We are leaving. Good luck!’
‘Lusiana? Eviatar?’ Zax called via his communicator but the two no longer responded. ‘Perhaps the fluctuations from the blast zone influencing the long range communication’. He assessed, disgruntled. Memorizing the road on the map, he erased it from his Inner Panorama. ‘If Senior Gid had Pure Cores of such caliber, why did he not give me one for emergency?!’
“Cardinal, save me!”
The bloodcurdling screams were suppressed by the still resonating roar of the three explosions. These were the voices of seventeen third level Martial Mortals of the original thirty eight who accompanied Cardinal Northstar and the four Bishops.
The seventeen, among them three were envoys of the other four powers, were caught by the nearest explosion’s radius and were set ablaze by the pure energy, which demonstrated fiery characteristic. Besides them, not one of the leftover, Martial Mortals came out scratch free. While the lightest of injuries were superficial burns, the most severe were limbs and internal that burnt to crisp.
“Tend to them! Tend to them!” Archbishop Silternja shouted furiously at his four Bishops and sought after Cardinal Northstar, who with great difficulty, due to caution, tried to bypass the three moons.
“Northstar!” Finding the Cardinal still in the radius of the first moon, Archbishop Silternja called his name in incensed confusion. “Why haven’t you gone after him, yet?! If we’ll lose the Galactic Communicator, we won’t be able to communicate with His Holiness and you won’t be able to return to the Holy Palace!”
“Don’t lecture me, Silternja!” Cardinal Northstar snapped. In a form quite similar to the Archbishop’s Angelic Emissary and hands stretched forward he was resisting the closest explosion while going across it. “Not only these detonations were of three scales Deformed Beings’ Pure Cores, they were condensed to maximize their intensity and spare the planet”.
Transforming to his Angelic Emissary, Archbishop Silternja rocketed as he circled the three moons via a wider circumference in hope of being faster than the Cardinal and to not lose sight of Zax.
Eventually, the two reached past the third moon simultaneously, but by then there was no more trace of Zax that they could follow with their eyes. With no target they could only float aimlessly while contemplating what to do. Some time passed before the four Bishops rejoined them.
“Silternja”, Cardinal Northstar opened dejectedly. Upon hearing him, a shiver ran from the top to the bottom of the Archbishop’s spine, as if he could tell the consequence of the forthcoming words. “The chase has failed”.
“Cardinal”, one of the Bishops, a golden eyes woman whose only her white face shown, restlessly. “Without the Galactic Communicator how are we suppose-”
“Return to the Grand Abode”. Archbishop Silternja cut her mid speech. Signs of lassitude were prominent on his face and the manner he carried himself once he returned to his old man form. He turned to the direction of Onzengvas city and when his eyes concentrated on the horizon, the expression in them emitted menacing intent, a reflection of the devil behind the saint.
Warm sun light cause the splashing waves to sparkle as if their foam was a cluster of shining pearls.
In contrast to the Down Ocean, the still fairly dangerous Seer Don Ocean was a sight for sore eyes to those who had visited the former. Heck, just by putting his feet in the cold seawater revitalized Zax’s spirit, washing away the strenuous vigilance he maintained until arriving to the western coastline of the Eastern Continent.
Although he took the long and safer route the map presented him, ultimately he was not chased and so had not got the chance to discover what countermeasures Gid Chu prepared for him, apart from learning of two or three places where Sublime Soul Sense cannot work in due to natural disturbances in the worldly attributes of those area, which he could not explain.
‘Don’t dilly dally, Zax, we are waiting for you in the undersea cave’. Gid Chu sent through the communicator.
‘Right, I’ll be there in couple of seconds’. Zax affirmed and proceeded to tell to himself. ‘Right, it’s about time for me to get paid, and then…’ His heart was filled with excitement.
Traversing fifteen kilometers from shore and submerging into the depths of the cold Seer Don Ocean, Zax found the undersea cave in an unassuming flat area in the bottom of the ocean, concealed from unwanted attention by a myriad of unfathomable formations.
The entrance to the cave was through a formation induced quagmire. It felt uncomfortable sinking into it, the doing of formations meant to deter unwelcomed guests before they even get to be suspicious.
Coming out on the other side, for an instant Zax suspected that he returned to New Earth.
The cave was as big as his home in Kingdom Earth, cave twenty five. Its ceiling even had Sun Stones, which Zax could tell that were manually implanted. There was a small colony of humans and beasts, surrounded by a vista of a diversified plant life.
‘Earth’s Core Holders, some not even that. The beasts are mostly Shenghuo type and only a small percentage in human form’. It was fair to say that Zax was startled by the small mix community which had a total population of a bit over five hundred souls. Who would have expected to find such place when actually looking for the base of Ercas Mir’s most notorious criminal organization?
“Zax!” A figure in some sort of military trousers and coat flew from the top of a squared building at the center of the colony.
Gid Chu, accompanied by a group of fifty one men and women, humans and beasts, greeted Zax with an exultant smile. At the forefront, next to Gid Chu, was a blue eyes brown haired, hazel skinned middle aged man with less than happy face. He exuded an air of dominance and a solid front. When his and Zax’s line of sight intersected, the latter could instantly tell the identity of the man.
‘Second Leader of the chain, Yurnal’. Zax exchanged a short clash of stares with Yurnal before nonchalantly averting his gaze. It was not submission, but understanding of why the ugly look and acknowledgment that in the Second Leader’s shoes, he will probably express the same cordiality.
“Hahahaha!” Gid Chu descended, laughing. “Exceptional performance, Zax, hahahaha! Not only did you get the Galactic Communicator but also stole the Diluted Element and the Solar Basil Leaf!”
“You know?” Zax reacted with minimized surprised, guessing that even though it is considerably hard for the chain to gather internal information of the Grand Abode, ructions like the one he is responsible for, which occurred no less during the event of the century, are impossible for even the five powers to contain.
“Neither you nor the church were subtle, any worth mentioning force in the continent know what transpired, tomorrow every force around the globe”. Gid Chu elaborated and moved aside for Yurnal and the rest to approach. “Everyone, this is Zax Zel, the seventy fifth member of our Sinister Chain”. He introduced.
The great number of faces, from young to old, whether fury, scaly, feathery or smooth skin, glanced at back with an array of convivial expressions.
Zax proved his strength on several occasions they heard about, if from Rockwell and Riv, Zechariah and Linor or their Elder Master\ Leader. Furthermore, by succeeding in his task, he now improved his reputation several fold over, on a level few members of the chain ever accomplished.
‘Well done, Zax!’
‘Excellent work, young man!’
‘Brother Zax, you sure are impressive’.
‘Dear friend Zax, are you married? Regardless, you’ll definitely like my daughter, or son, if you swing that way’.
The members of the chain sent via the communicator, presenting themselves with short words of praise or bluntly trying to attract him, in the process giving names to all the faces.
‘Incredible!’ Zax said to himself while listening to everyone. ‘Aside from senior Gid and Yurnal, forty four of the fifty are Martial Mortals and among them are seven Chaoyue type beasts!’
It was important to note, that since he ventured to Ercas Mir, Zax had barely met Chaoyue type beasts. The fact that his Martial family had so many of them, relative to the number of members, was not to be taken for granted.
Although the seven were Martial Mortals and so could transform to a perfect human form, in the cave they stayed in animalistic forms, perhaps for feeling comfortable in their haven where humans and beasts lived mutually. As a result, even if he only heard about them, Zax could tell each of their species.
“Silence, everyone”. A stern voice caused all the transmissions Zax received to withdraw. The speaker was the blue eyes, hazel skinned Yurnal. “Gid Chu”, he turned to his equal on the leader’s seats, ignoring Zax. “The powers are not permitted to have the time to come up with a solution to sabotage the plan. Get the Galactic Communicator and quickly disrupt their joint frequency”.
“Brother Yurnal, you are right. Zax, please give me the Galactic Communicator”. Gid Chu, basically everyone, could figure Yurnal’s temper, but he kindly cooperated with him for the sake of pacifying him and since indeed delaying the plan was worse than labeling it “negligence”.
Not paying attention to Yurnal, Zax nodded and retrieved the rectangle suitcase looking device.
Seeing it in person, not even Yurnal could restrain his delight from showing up in the glint of his eyes.
“That’s it”. Gid Chu received the Galactic Communicator and verified. The shape of the device was easy to replicate, but the formation engraved on it were so obscure that, in his opinion, only Immortals can reproduce.
“There were factors in the plan that you were wrong about. I had to commence it earlier than planned and realized how to do it without much of the guidance you provided me”. Due to his losses in cultivation, despite the Diluted Element more than compensated on them, Zax insisted on citing his experience for later getting additional compensation.
“Boy, that is a given”. For the first time Yurnal directly spoke to him with a deep glare, but in his tone it sounded as if he was preaching rather than agreeing. “We all face tasks, missions that require improvisation and sacrifice. Since it’s for the betterment of our New Earth’s kin, refrain from mentioning the subject again!”