Derrick's axe, wrapped in streaks of silver, struck the river in the mural, causing the wall to cave in and stone chips to fly everywhere.
With one strike, the river that had its source connected to its mouth completely disintegrated.
Just as he was looking forward to having the cycle broken, resulting in the members of the exploratory team escaping the temple, Demon Hunter Colin's figure phased away and appeared before him, his face grim.
"What were you doing?"
The tip of the demigod's sword was still pointed downwards, but the grip on his hilt was clearly tighter than before.
Thinking back to the collective wisdom of the Tarot Club members, Derrick said, half 'doubtfully' and half 'fearfully,' "Your Excellency, a black shadow flashed past here just now. It's true! It looked like the figure of a child!"
Without looking away, Colin Iliad asked another team member, "Haim, did you see it?"
The exploratory team member named Haim subconsciously moved closer to the Chief, firmly shook his head, and said, "No, I didn't see anything."
Colin's light blue eyes immediately glowed, revealing two complex dark green symbols.
He watched Derrick in this state for four to five seconds.
Finally, he withdrew his gaze and said in a normal tone, "This is your first exploration mission; hallucinations due to being nervous is normal.
"Subsequently, you are to stay by my side. I think you'll be calmer this way."
"Yes, Your Excellency," Derrick agreed without any hesitation.
Having just made an attempt, he confirmed that the mural wasn't critical.
The Rose Redemption that Mr. Fool suggested likely hides a deeper meaning; it's not that simple… Derrick walked silently beside Chief Colin with the Axe of Hurricane in hand.
What happened afterward wasn't much different from the explorations he remembered from his previous explorations. Everyone repeated the events in the past and arrived at the final hall with an altar for the sixth time. There, they found the yellow-haired boy, Jack, curled up in the shadows.
Upon hearing "save me… save me…" and seeing the silhouette of the child, Demon Hunter Colin nodded his head indiscernibly and retracted most of the attention he had placed on Derrick Berg.
Just as he was deliberating his words, Derrick suddenly asked, "How can we save you?"
Jack revealed an excited expression.
"Save me, save me, send me home! Send me home! "
"Where is your home?" Derrick asked, curious and frightened.
Seeing this, Colin shut his mouth and tightened his grip.
Jack raised his hand weakly and said, "My home, my home is at Enmat Harbor!"
Enmat Harbor… Although Mr. Hanged Man never mentioned it, from the word "harbor", Jack really doesn't belong to this place of ours. It's very likely that he comes from the outside world, from the Loen Kingdom where Miss Justice and the others are located! Derrick was overjoyed, unable to hide his excitement.
His reaction didn't arouse any suspicion from Demon Hunter Colin, because this powerful chief of the six-member council had also never seen the sea. He could only read from the preserved books that this body of water was many times larger than a lake, as well as the term "harbor."
The words that came out of the strange boy's mouth presented itself like a painting of a new world in front of Colin. This made him, who was desperately searching for the future of the City of Silver, forget about anything else as he blurted out, "How did you, or you and your companions, get here?"
Jack showed a reminiscing expression.
"My father and I first traveled by boat, then we met up with his companions and continued on the voyage. After a huge storm, the rest of us touched ground and followed the direction of the Lord's gaze and came all the way here."
"Followed the direction of the Lord's gaze?" Demon Hunter Colin and the others looked at the deity statue in unison, trying to determine where he was staring at.
Soon, Colin was able to determine some general information.
They had proceeded in the direction of where the statue was looking at. That is to say, as soon as we reverse the process, we can find the shore and the place where they landed… The opposite direction of his gaze is… The map around the City of Silver, which was gradually being perfected through continuous explorations, appeared in Colin's mind, allowing him to come up with a preliminary sketch of the route of the boy's "journey."
If there are no other temples in the middle and no corresponding statues, extrapolating it all the way would pass through the ruins of the Giant King's Court! Colin's pupils suddenly contracted.
That was the palace that once housed the ancient god, Giant King Aurmir. It wasn't too far away from the City of Silver!
The descendants of the Kingdom of Silver, who had been ruled by the giants for generations, knew exactly where the ruins were located, but they were still unable to complete their exploration of the area because it was extremely dangerous, even more dangerous than the pure darkness!
According to Colin's extrapolations, the unfamiliar boy and his party had passed through the ruins of the Giant King's Court before arriving here.
How did they do it? Perhaps they didn't take a completely direct path, and they circled around the Giant King's Court… Regardless, there's a path that leads to the sea behind the Giant King's Court. And on the other end of the sea might be a human kingdom… Is that the hope of the City of Silver? Colin couldn't help resisting the thought.
At this moment, Derrick acutely noticed that the clothes on the boy's chest and abdomen were dyed dark red, as though some kind of liquid was slowly seeping out.
"Are you hurt?" he cautiously asked.
Jack lowered his head and replied in an erratic tone, "Something ugly is growing there…"
As he spoke, he took off his clothes, revealing his bare chest.
It was inlaid with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth!
It wasn't painted nor was it made of gems. They were real eyes, a real nose, and a real mouth in the purest sense of the word. Furthermore, they didn't seem to belong to one particular face but that of three people.
All of a sudden, Derrick imagined a scene in which Jack had used the remnants of his companions after eating them—their eyes, nose, and mouth—to form a strange face on his chest.
The face was gentle and indifferent, giving Derrick an inexplicable feeling of familiarity.
It took only a second or two for Derrick to figure out the reason for the familiarity.
The face was very much like the angel in the mural above them—the silver-haired angel with his feet over the circular river!
Sure enough, the reason we keep repeating the exploration is because of 'Him!' A thought struck Derrick, and he blurted out a single word, as though he was going to blurt the incantation to extricate himself from the predicament.
"Rose Redemption!" he solemnly shouted.
Jack raised his head and stared at him, his mouth slowly grinning wide before reaching his ears.
"I'm so hungry…
… Derrick froze as he saw a fierce battle ensue.
When he regained consciousness, he found himself sitting by the bonfire in the campsite again.
Rose Redemption isn't the incantation… He began to reflect deeply.
The seventh exploration soon began. Derrick, who had made an attempt, no longer behaved strangely, but he proactively sought to investigate the Rose Redemption mural.
As usual, the exploratory team entered the underground hall with the altar and the deity statue. They found the obviously strange little boy, Jack.
After a similar conversation, Derrick once again saw the human face that had been pieced together with the facial features of other people.
Now experienced, he didn't take any actions which could agitate the boy. He lowered his voice and said to Demon Hunter Colin, "Your Excellency, the face on his chest is very similar to the angel in the mural above us. It's the angel with silver hair whose feet are above a river that is connected from mouth to source. Yes, the mural which is labeled 'Rose Redemption' at the corner."
Colin was taken aback at first before he frowned.
As he paid attention and consoled Jack, he sized up Derrick from the corner of his eye.
After a few seconds of silence, he said with a suppressed voice, "Due to you mentioning this matter, you made me think of certain things."
Without waiting for Derrick to ask, he continued, "We've been studying this mural for a very long period of time and only believe that it depicts an angel leading a group of ascetics on a pilgrimage. And perhaps this group's name is Rose Redemption.
"The river, that runs from source to mouth, represents a cycle, and our interpretation of it is that this pilgrimage takes place over and over again.
"And now it may be that it is used to identify the angel.
"That's the idea you gave me, as Amon used to hide in your body."
"Why?" Derrick was at a loss.
Demon Hunter Colin stared at Jack and said, "The worm left behind by Amon had the symbol of time, and a circular river is often related to fate. Putting the two together, it reminded me of a few books that mentioned something that I'm unsure of their credibility.
"When the Lord that created everything, the omnipotent and omniscient God, cast his attention on this world, 'He' had many angels around him. Among them were leaders of the angels, 'Kings of Angels' that were closest to being a god. There were a total of eight of them, and some of 'Their' names have already been lost to history. There are still records of others, perhaps simple or detailed.
"Legend has it that the sons of god were among these eight Kings of Angels.
"Among them, two Kings of Angels had the titles 'Angel of Time' and 'Angel of Fate.'"
Derrick was immediately enlightened as he asked for confirmation, "You believe that Amon is the Angel of Time and that the mural is depicting the Angel of Fate?"
"I can't be sure for now. Only the title Angel of Time has been passed down. As for the Angel of Fate, the records are relatively detailed…" Colin suddenly took a deep breath.
Immediately, he solemnly said, "Angel of Fate, Tail-devourer Ouroboros."
In the evening, within the Odora family's underground structure.
Emlyn White looked at the iron-black coffin and said to the ancient Sanguine inside, "Lord Nibbs, I accept the Ancestor's mission!"
Nibbs replied in his aged voice, "Very good.
"When do you want to begin? Do you have any wishes that remain unfulfilled?"
Upon hearing Lord Nibbs asking about his last wishes, Emlyn White's calves went limp, and he almost regretted it.
He stiffened his neck and said, "There's no need!
"We can begin now."