Amidst the violent hurricane, Viscount Stratford was like a helpless leaf that was pitifully thrown about as though he could be torn to pieces at any moment.
In this state, he couldn’t react at all, much less speak. All he could do was rely on a Disciplinary Paladin’s powerful body to barely hold on, hoping that he wouldn’t lose a limb or head inside this terrifying hurricane.
He originally believed that the hunt had succeeded and that Trissy’s capture was at hand. Furthermore, he was extremely certain that his target didn’t have helpers; hence, all his attention was focused on Shermane. To his surprise, he suddenly became the prey and fell into a trap without any prior warning.
Upon realizing that the hurricane was beginning to weaken and that he had only suffered some damage from the impact and didn’t receive any fatal wounds, Viscount Stratford hurriedly tried to regain control of his body in preparation for the upcoming battle.
At that moment, he felt a stabbing pain in his head which felt as though a sharp dagger had been impaled into it before being twisted a few times.
This feeling was something that Viscount Stratford felt was both familiar and unfamiliar. This was because, although he had never experienced it directly before, he had “attempted” it on several targets to observe their reactions.
This was one of the Beyonder powers he was most proficient with!
Upon being attacked, Viscount Stratford, who had failed to adjust his physical state, slammed into the ground hard as the bronze cross loudly fell several meters away.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Xio held Wintry Blade and took a huge stride, dashing straight for Viscount Stratford who was struggling to get up.
As for Fors, she had already flipped through Leymano’s Travels and flipped it open to a page that resembled a goatskin parchment.
As her fingers slid across the page, Viscount Stratford’s shadows, which had surfaced once again, came to life, condensing into black chains that wrapped around its target, binding him tightly.
Viscount Stratford, who had just managed to catch his breath and become alert, still hadn’t had the opportunity to choose the target for his “punishment” and apply certain restrictions when he once again lost his freedom. Even his mouth was bound by a shadow chain.
It was Abyss Chains from the Sanguine or Moon pathway’s Mid-Sequence Beyonders!
Fors had used it once and was rather fond of this Beyonder power. She found it very useful, so she had spent gold pounds to get Mr. Moon, who had become a Viscount, to record it.
At this moment, Viscount Stratford suddenly unleashed power that surpassed his previous strength, tearing the shadow chains apart.
He had chosen the “bindings” restricting him to be the target of punishment!
But at that moment, Xio had already rushed in front of him like a high-speed train, thrusting that transparent triangular blade.
Amidst a splotching sound, the Wintry Blade stabbed into the target’s abdomen.
Viscount Stratford’s body stiffened once again as his eyes glazed over as though he had turned into an ice sculpture.
Xio released her hand and allowed Wintry Blade to remain stabbed into the stomach of the captain of the royal guards, seemingly hoping that the wraith which might’ve existed on the weapon would continue “Possessing” her target and forcibly bring him under control.
Right on the heels of that, she swung her arm and slammed a punch right below Viscount Stratford’s ear.
After two heavy blows, Viscount Stratford fainted without even letting out a grunt. His stiff body collapsed once again.
After completing this strike, Xio left her back to Fors and immediately moved past the staggering Viscount Stratford, who had Wintry Blade in his stomach, and dashed to Sherman who remained sitting on a wooden crate.
Fors flipped through Leymano’s Travels once again, using other Beyonder powers to add another layer of restrictions onto Viscount Stratford’s body. Then, she walked out of the row of wooden crates she had been hiding behind and first approached that bronze ancient cross.
The scene she saw made her suspect that it was an item at the demigod level. In the parlance of official Beyonders, it was a Grade 1 Sealed Artifact.
And with Viscount Stratford carrying and using it, she believed that the negative effects of the cross weren’t that direct. She could attempt to pick it up.
Of course, as a former Astrologer, Fors took out the pure crystal ball as she walked, quickly doing a divination. “There are no problems…” Fors glanced at the outcome and quickened her pace.
At this moment, Xio had already rushed in front of Sherman. Looking at this friend who had turned rather beautiful, she was momentarily at a loss for words.
To her, Sherman’s condition was in a terrible state.
This Demoness’s hair was floating up with each strand turning thick as if they were tiny snakes.
On the ends of the “tiny snakes,” some had eyes or mouths. They appeared extremely bizarre and terrifying.
On Sherman’s face, a black paint-like mysterious pattern suffused out of her skin and was rapidly spreading across her body.
Her slightly vacant eyes quickly reflected Xio as she gradually recovered her spirit and, along with that, also came a little confusion and pain.
She opened her mouth and stuttered, “Xio… I’m in so much pain…”
Xio’s vision instantly blurred.
Although she was still lacking in many of the details regarding the mysterious world’s general knowledge—since the Tarot Club’s discussion was just way over her head, and the information she got from MI9 was mostly about secret organizations—she still knew quite a bit about losing control. Among unaffiliated Beyonders, it was something that couldn’t be avoided.
Therefore, Xio knew that Sherman was beginning to lose control. It was irreversible, and the situation would only worsen.
Sherman seemed to sense her state as she gasped for breath, revealing a weak smile. She said with difficulty, “Kill me… I’ve done… too many unspeakable sins… I’ve also obtained… what I’ve wanted…”
Xio’s tears dripped down. Without hesitation, she flipped her hand, drawing her backup weapon—an ordinary revolver. She then placed the revolver at Sherman’s forehead.
Sherman smiled as a mesmerizing charm appeared in her eyes once again.
“Call me… Call me Shermane…”
“Shermane.” Xio couldn’t help but frown as tears brimmed in her eyes.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
She repeatedly pulled the trigger and fired the bullets inside.
Fresh flowers bloomed at once, red and beautiful.
Fors pursed her lips unknowingly when she saw this.
After two seconds, she let out a long sigh. She bent down and reached out for the bronze cross.
Just as her fingers touched the item, it felt like she had touched fire. It was hot and scalding, hot enough to burn the soul.
Fors instinctively retracted her hand, feeling alarmed and puzzled.
She remembered that Viscount Stratford had never acted in such a manner before.
As her thoughts raced, Fors glanced at Viscount Stratford and kicked the bronze cross towards the nearby Xio.
“Give it a try.
“Also, we have to leave immediately. The commotion from earlier will definitely attract the official Beyonders! Also, who knows what the person who left the ‘message’ will do!”
Xio, with her reddened-eyes, didn’t say a word. She bent down and picked up the bronze cross. She didn’t feel any sense of discomfort the entire time.
Uh… Fors didn’t ask why as she walked to the stiff Viscount Stratford’s body and warily looked around.
After Xio put away the bronze cross, she picked up Shermane’s corpse and returned to Viscount Stratford’s side.
“That item is very precious. His status is also very important. We’ll definitely be the targets of the royal family’s pursuit efforts. We need to do some interference…” Fors looked down at Viscount Stratford as she muttered to herself in thought.
She quickly made a decision. She raised her hands, lowered her head, and began piously chanting Mr. Fool’s honorific name.
She didn’t believe that them giving up the bronze cross would stop the royal family from pursuing them due to being perceived to have lower priority. Therefore, without any hesitation, she prayed to Mr. Fool for help.
To her, sacrificing the item to Mr. Fool was better than staying there.
Almost at the same time, she saw a holy angel with twelve pairs of fiery wings.
A phantom projected out of the angel as it descended from the sky, wrapping her and Xio in layers of flaming wings.
Once this was over, Fors was just about to say something when she felt her body quiver. She felt a particular sense of horror and evil permeate from the void.
Her eyes focused as she didn’t hesitate to crouch down, reaching out her hands and grabbing Xio and Viscount Stratford’s calf.
At the same time, the final dark green stone with burn marks on her bracelet emitted a blue and illusory light.
In the blink of an eye, the bodies of Fors, Xio, Viscount Stratford, and Shermane turned transparent as they vanished from the spot.
In seconds, they left the docks area and appeared on the outskirts of St. George Borough.
During this process, Fors had even used her Beyonder power as a Scribe to “RecordM”Traveling.M
After observing her surroundings and confirming that there was no one around since they were in the forests, Fors released Xio and Viscount Stratford and straightened her body.
With the blessings of Mr. Fool’s angel, there shouldn’t be much danger. The person who “left the message” won’t be able to lock onto us. Fors heaved a sigh of relief before saying with a lingering sense of fear, “The person who descended upon us towards the end was definitely a saint. Thankfully, we quickly escaped…”
Xio gently lowered Shermane’s corpse and said in thought, “If the person who ‘left the message’ was monitoring Shermane, then she might’ve already found out where we live. We can’t return there.”
“Yes, we need to change our residence,” Fors said with great experience. Then, she cast her gaze at the unconscious Viscount Stratford. “You can interrogate him now. Make every second count.”
As she spoke, she handed Leymano’s Travels to Xio and exhorted, “There’s Telepathy on it and it’s used with candlelight. Also, start with the simple and unimportant questions to lower his resistance.”
Xio received the spellbook with a solemn expression. However, her wrist trembled, unable to hold Leymano’s Travels. Pa!
The bronze notebook dropped onto the ground as Xio said with a frown, “It’s like fire…”
Fors had the same experience earlier, so after some thought, she said, Throw that cross away and try again.”
Xio followed her suggestion and successfully picked up Leymano’s Travels.
“It cannot be held with other mystical items…” Fors said with a nod when she saw this.
Xio didn’t harp on this problem as she quickly prepared a lit candle.
Then, she drew Wintry Blade and relieved Viscount Stratford from his stiff and dazed state.
After the captain of the royal guards gradually awakened, she triggered the corresponding page in the notebook. Viscount Stratford instantly fell into confusion, and only the faint candlelight remained in his eyes.
“Why did Shermane try to approach you?” Xio asked the question she had just thought of.
Viscount Stratford replied blankly, “She was investigating who I’m loyal to.”
Xio was taken aback as she instinctively asked, “Who are you really loyal to?”
Viscount Stratford slowly said, “His Majesty, of course.’