Seeing the struggle over executing the code to hack the Galactic Communicator, Zax had an idea of why he was summoned. Nevertheless, being harangued before having the chance to speak or fully understand why he was needed, despite foreshadowing, ticked him off.
Remembering Xiao Kirin’s words, Zax swallowed his anger and approached the eight.
“You arrived…” Straightening his back, Gid Chu paid attention to the three after skimming a new code typed on the huge screen. Whether he was too absorbed in the code to hear Yurnal or not was hard to tell by the complex frown on his face, which could be for any of the two reasons or both. “Tell me how you disconnected the Galactic Communicator, Zax”.
“I had not time to do it with accordance to the material you gave me to study. I had to disconnect it manually”. Zax answered straightforwardly without batting an eyelash.
“I know it”. Said the bald elder, sitting in front the control panel. “We won’t be able to jam the frequency between the five powers and the Immortal powerhouses behind them”.
Yurnal stomped, though controlled his strength to not damage the room or anything in it. “This was a once in a life time opportunity and your pick for the person to perform the task ruined it for all of us”. He pressed his voice down his throat with effort as he put the blame on Gid Chu.
Severely looking back at Yurnal, Gid Chu said in a low tone. “After telling you of his abilities did you have someone better for the job?” He did not prolong the argument and turned to the bald elder. “Michael, is the Galactic Communicator still operational?”
“Mm”. Nodded the bald elder, Michael, after reexamining the Galactic Communicator. “Yes. Its list of frequencies is still intact, but of all its functions only the sending and receiving are available”.
Pondering for a second, a resolute expression covered Gid Chu’s face. “Good, then I have a plan”.
Staring at Gid Chu with a piercing gaze, as if to penetrate into his mind, a sudden brilliant change manifested on Yurnal’s countenance. “You intend to…”
Forcing a smile, Gid Chu answered. “It’s a long shot, but we don’t have other options”.
The five members working the control panel and Michael connecting to the Galactic Communicator wanted to know what solution to their problematic situation the two leaders had.
“Senior Gid, can you really make use of the Galactic Communicator?” Zax asked. Beyond getting paid, it was also far more important for him to limit the threat of the Immortal powerhouses in command of the five powers.
“You stay out of it. You’ve done enough!” Yurnal pointed at Zax. “Gadgel, Xiao Kirin, go and take him with you”.
“Yes, Second Leader”.
“Yes, Second Master”.
The pair replied respectfully. Xiao Kirin is one of Yurnal’s apprentices, which is why she refers to him as “Master”. The reason for adding “Second” was Yurnal order, so it would be less confusing when instructing apprentices both under him and Gid Chu.
“Brother Zax, let’s go. Since everything is going well here, why won’t you come to our place so we could introduce our family to you?” Gadgel suggested with warm hospitality as an excuse for Zax to respond to the order.
“Senior Gid?” Zax insisted without moving a centimeter, acting as if Yurnal and his actions were nothing but air… expendable that he could do without.
“Yes, Zax, the Galactic Communicator is working, which makes it indispensable. You did well. Now go with Gadgel and Xiao Kirin. Unessential personal is only a distraction. When we’ll be done, I’ll talk to you again”. In truth, he was fine with Zax staying, but because of Yurnal and his concern for the former’s wellbeing should the two exchange blows, he picked the latter’s side in a more mild wording.
“Fine”. Zax resigned to Gid Chu’s persuasion.
“You’ll stand in my way for only so long, Gid Chu”. Exiting the vault, Zax heard Yurnal say.
The side doors were a fraction of a second from shutting.
“No, Yurnal, I won’t. For our kin and Earth, there is no point. This… both of you should do your best to remember”.
The doors closed and Zax could not tell the meaning in Gid Chu’s response. Did he expect for them to make peace? For Yurnal to give his Black Core and let the matter end, or for Zax to turn over his?
Gadgel’s and Xiao Kirin’s home was a villa containing all the members of their small family.
While the couple outwardly seemed to be at their late thirties, early forties, their son and daughter and their spouses appeared quite older, due to not being cultivators, and even their grandchildren were not looking that much younger.
Being the only base of the chain equipped with all needed utilities and proper residences, the small family lived permanently in the undersea cave.
It is an understatement to say that the decision to confine their children, their spouses and grandchildren to the undersea cave was made with heavy heart, however Gadgel’s and Xiao Kirin’s identities as Sinister Chain’s member was known to the five powers, so the outside world was no longer safe for their family.
As they all came together in the back garden of the villa for a familial lunch and introduction of Zax, the new promising member of the chain, elsewhere, not far in the Eastern Continent and just an hour earlier, another group of people gathered around a round table with the intention of dealing with more than the afternoon’s meal.
The location was a in the open, a green meadow.
A collection of six figures, two women and four men sat in pairs around a table of unknown substance with a circumference of eighteen meters. The table was arranged with all kinds of fruits and beverages that were barely touched.
Surrounding them was a dome shaped array with layers upon layers of formations.
At the presence of each other, each of the six exuded an aura of unrivaled supremacy.
Sitting together to the north were General Beking and Admiral Hamumni. Side By side toward the east were Archbishop Silternjan and Cardinal Northstar. With their backs to the west sat Horn Kikon and General Logan.
“Well, Silternjan, Northstar, you fed us and quenched our thirst. Move now to the topic for which you called us to meet in person”. Horn Kikon’s voice rumbled like the sound of rolling stones. He sat in a human form, a three meters tall golden man with four arms, silver eyes and draping silver hair, covered by a red fur cloak and nothing more.
“Tell us how things concluded with the Galactic Communicator”. Admiral Hamumni knocked the bottom of her wine cup on the table. She, too, was in human form, but differs from Horn Kikon her appearance retained fewer of her bestial features.
“We lost the Galactic Communicator”. Archbishop Silternjan spoke in a husky tone. “It was stolen and probably reached the hands of Sinister Chain”.
Dealing with matters of the church in Ercas Mir was his duty, which is why Cardinal Northstar had not even glanced at the Horn and Admiral. In fact, if he did not need to borrow the usage of one of their Galactic Communicators to return to the Holy Palace, he would not even been here.
“You did what?!” Admiral Hamumni shouted. “And instead of letting us know right when it happened, you dragged us for lunch?!”
“Aren’t you something, Silternjan? You are aware that we all suspected that by ‘lost’ you meant having your Galactic Communicator out of commission”. General Logan reproached. “But stolen and in Sinister Chain’s possession…? Forget the ridiculousness of how it sounds, why do you think they were willing to go through all the risk of trouble to get it?” He kept on talking and answering himself. “We all use the same frequency…”
“Enough beating around the bush”. Crossed arms, General Beking demanded. “Silternjan, Northstar, at the moment the fault is on your heads. Are you prolonging the issue for it to aggravate further and let us four share the brunt when confronting with our Immortals command?” When counting Cardinal Northstar, in terms of strength, she had to share the second place behind Horn Kikon, but as far as wits and equanimity go, she was number one.
“Cunning zealots”, Horn Kikon slammed a golden palm on the table. His sharp nails scratching the surface of the table, causing blue sparks to ensue. “This shameful incompetence is yours to bear. What? Do you want I, Kikon, to suffer, too? If that is the case, be certain that the cost of my scales and fur will be your little lives!” His human’s face twisted, revealing more of his animalistic form.
Two white auras flared around the Archbishop and Cardinal.
“Kikon, the grace of The Almighty shine on us”. Cardinal Northstar said. “What you have… Fiend Immortal?”
“General of the Armies, Violet Star Commander!” General Logan corrected with a menacing trace of killing intent in his voice.
“Settle down. Am I to remind you that your pride will be the fall of this joint operation?” General Beking gestured with her arm and all the food and drink on the table vanished, replaced with a digital map of the planet. “This is our responsibility, and if there is even a hint of it being jeopardized, although each of us should know his fault, it’s all of our duty to deal with it!”
“You are right, Beking”. Archbishop Silternjan was the first to withdraw his aura. “Failing to catch the culprit is my error“. Attempting to split the blame was a stake he would have continued to gamble only if their true obligation was kept aside. He could care less of angering the other four powers, but disregarding the task he assumed from His Holiness was a heinous crime, no amount of prayers to The Almighty would suffice to pardon.
After Archbishop Silternjan, the rest also took a step back.
“I see no other way, but flipping this planet upside down, if need be trimming it, to once and for all find and exterminate every base and associate of the chain”. Horn Kikon said definitively.
“How long that would take us?” Admiral Hamumni disagreed. “And do you think those Overlords would let us? What if Sinister Chain keeps its base in their territories or even the Down Ocean?”
“Kikon, your plan is only viable if Immortal will take the helm”. Beside the golden man, General Logan noted in a soothing tone.
“Would you hear the approach to the matter I thought of?” Archbishop Silternjan asked.
“Speak, Silternjan”. General Beking said.
Nodding in gratefulness of giving him continuous support, Archbishop Silternjan opened. “First of all, with regard to the frequency, you all don’t need to worry of it sabotaging our communication with our lords. The Galactic Communicator was removed manually. According to the report printed on the computer it was connected to, when the communication to my Luminous Church was severed, the Galactic Communicator erased the administration permissions on the frequency”.
Shading light on their critical situation with this imperative information, the grim ambiance alleviated a bit.
“Second, quite helpful… my Luminous Church had a short investigation into the identity of the culprit and we think we know who he is and his origin”.