1013 Individual Growth
The 36 Zouteland Street of the past was just filled with a cement foundation, with each floor's two windows forming the shape of an arch with their covers being shut. It had the architectural traits of post-1300s of the Fifth Epoch, and the natural lighting wasn't very good.
After its reconstruction, the bottom floor had a small sheltered porch with two oriel windows that extended to the second floor. The thinner portion of the window frames had a wall and a decorative column that supported a thin stone beam. Above the oriel window was a parapet that connected straight to the third floor.
This was a three-story architectural style that had been made popular in recent years.
His thoughts seemingly going adrift, Leonard had a feeling that he had come to the wrong place.
After falling into a daze for about ten seconds, he stepped into 36 Zouteland Street with a silver inlaid cane. Following that, he walked up the stairs, turned around a bend, and saw the black door and vertical signboard:
"Blackthorn Security Company."
When he arrived, he seemed to gradually find a sense of familiarity. He sped up his pace and pushed open the ajar door.
A brown-haired girl who held the Tingen City Honest Paper up vertically on the desk moved the papers to the side when she heard the unconcealed footsteps, revealing a smooth forehead, light-brown eyes, and a pretty face.
"...Good afternoon, Rozanne," Leonard greeted somewhat hesitantly.
Rozanne first wore a look of surprise before her expression fell. She said in an abnormally cold tone, "Good afternoon. "Congratulations on avenging Captain and Klein."
Leonard widened his mouth, at a loss for a response. He didn't even press down on his top hat despite his dislike of wearing hats.
He forced a smile and nodded slightly. Then, he went forward in silence, passing Rozanne, planning to enter the door beyond the partition.
Just as he was about to enter the office, he suddenly heard Rozanne say rather softly behind him, "Live well..."
Leonard slowed down his pace slightly before nodding his head heavily.
When he entered the interior, he instantly saw Frye standing by the captain's office.
This Corpse Collector still had a paleness that resulted from not being under the sun for a long while. He had black hair This Corpse Collector still had a paleness that resulted from not being under the sun for a long while. He had black hair
Leonard solemnly looked at him for a few seconds before exhaling, trying hard to coolly smile.
"Long time no see."
"Good afternoon, long time no see." Frye pointed to the captain's office. "I've already received the telegram and know of your request. I'll get two team members to carry out the operation with you. Also, you need to fill in a Sealed Artifact request form."
Slightly surprised, Leonard said with a smile, "You're the captain now? You aren't as silent as before..."
Leonard had actually finished digesting his Soul Assurer potion and could advance to Sequence 5 Spirit Warlock, but to obtain the power of that drop of the Eternal Blazing Sun's blood, he deliberately kept it a secret. He continued placating the souls around Backlund and finally, through his hard work, found an opportunity to come to Tingen.
Yes," Frye said with a gentle nod. "Actually, I don't like to speak much, but I have to do so as the captain."
Leonard nodded slightly.
"When did you become a captain? Why haven't I heard of it..."
"Recently," Frye succinctly replied before giving an explanation. "Shortly after you left, I became a Sequence 8 Gravedigger. I finally advanced to Spirit Medium last month. And it just so happened that the previous captain was transferred away."
"That's fast..." Before Leonard could finish his sentence, he had punched himself in the head. "Look at my memory. I forgot that Klein had already shared some experiences with everyone."
He lowered his right hand and said to Frye with a smile, "In that case, you still have room and time to make further progress. Perhaps you might become a deacon."
Frye shot a look at him and retracted his gaze.
"I'll likely not choose to continue advancing."
"Why?" Leonard took a few steps out and came to Frye's side, asking in puzzlement.
Frye looked up at the ceiling and said in a calm and heavy voice, "I wish to stay here.
"Protecting this place, always."
Leonard fell silent and didn't give a response.
He observed his surroundings and felt that there were quite significant changes, but there were also many things that remained immutable.
Frye fell silent for a while before saying, "I'll dispatch two members to follow you."
As he spoke, he headed for the basement. Leonard then subconsciously followed by the side.
The office right at the bottom had its door open. A few Nighthawks were in there playing cards—Fighting Evil.
When they sensed their captain approaching, they hurriedly put down their poker cards and stood up.
Leonard swept his gaze across them and saw two familiar faces. They were Royale, with her smooth black hair, and the white-haired, black-eyed Seeka.
At the same time, he also saw a few unfamiliar faces. He saw the pence, soli, and poker cards on the table.
For a moment, he felt his mind adrift as his vision blurred up.
In the Rorsted Archipelago waters, in a small harbor neighboring a fishing village, at the bottom of the Future.
Frank Lee rolled up his sleeves and crossed his arms, seriously looking at the mushroom in front of him.
The mushroom, together with its cap, stood at a height of 1.8 meters tall. Its white surface had a few bright red spots that resembled eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
Apart from that, its stem had protruding spores. They had thick and strong-looking white hypha that resembled tentacles.
Frank sized up this gigantic mushroom and surveyed the area, looking at the wooden walls, floorboards, and the mushrooms of different shapes and sizes before saying to Artisan Cielf, "Not bad. This experiment has made progress again. This mushroom has a strong inclination to reproduce, and this will make it hungry, making it eager to replenish itself with monster flesh and blood.
"Be it roasting or boiling, these can cease its activity, making it not as dangerous.
"Hmm, how does it taste? Didn't you try it? The offspring that it produces have random flavors: beef, fish, and malt. Some are even filled with milk. One of them is enough to satisfy any requirements for breakfast. See, the crew no longer enjoy drinking anymore. There are mushrooms that can be plucked everywhere... I believe that when out in the wilderness, to fill one's stomach, one has to carry dry rations and hunt wild beasts. That's just too troublesome. If we can let our bodies grow mushrooms, wouldn't it save the hassle?"
Artisan Cielf was a lot thinner than back when he was in Bayam. His eye sockets were deep and his eyes vacant. They were lacking in life.
Upon hearing Frank's words, he seemed to recall something as his body trembled. He silently crouched down and opened his mouth, producing retching noises.
"Are you okay? I know it was tough on you. I'm really grateful for all you've done recently," Frank said sincerely to the Artisan. "If it wasn't for you, the mushrooms wouldn't have such a strong inclination towards reproduction. Also, they have obtained abnormally strong vitality under the moonlight, allowing themselves to purify themselves. This effectively eliminated the poison that accumulates from devouring monsters. The only problem is that there's no moonlight in pure darkness. This is the next problem that we need to resolve."
Cielf didn't say a word. After he finished vomiting, he immediately stood up and turned to rush outside. However, a thick and strong white hypha reached out and pulled him back.
"R-return my mystical items to me! I want to die with these mushrooms!" he yelled frantically, his voice softening as his mouth was covered.
At this moment, green vines rapidly retreated from a certain spot of the fishing village, as though it was growing in reverse.
Cattleya walked out of it, her eyes dark purple with some silver hints to them.
Her ears continued resounding with the illusory ravings of the Hidden Sage; however, she no longer found it terrifying. She didn't find it unacceptable like before. Wherever she looked, there were countless indescribable figures looking as if they were shadows stacked upon each other, like an invisible gaze that was cast over from an unknown location.
Compared to the past, she could already see the unknown existence hidden behind the curtains. She could see the moons high up in the sky that were of different colors. They were either blood-red, silver, dark brown, or ghostly-blue, resembling eyes that looked down upon the land.
Cattleya's mind hummed as she hurriedly retracted her gaze, afraid to look further.
She had already dissected the Snake of Fate's blood and completed the ritual. Through that, she had obtained godhood, becoming a Sequence 4 Mysticologist of the Mystery Pryer pathway!
However, she remembered the Queen's warning:
Among all the Sequence 4 Beyonders of the twenty-two pathways, Mysticologist was the "job" that encountered danger the easiest. It was because they often saw things that they shouldn't see, hear things they shouldn't hear, and be aware of secrets they shouldn't be aware of.
Therefore, a Mysticologist needed to know how to curb their curiosity and control their respective actions in order to live long.
Removing the heavy glasses she hung on her clothes, Cattleya wore it, but all the various things she saw in the real world didn't vanish.
She curled her lips in satisfaction in a self-deprecating manner. She knew that the item could no longer seal her ability of prying into secrets.
She closed her eyes before opening them. Her eyes had turned black, no longer having the mysterious dark purple and silver hues.
Phew... Cattleya heaved a sigh of relief and slowly walked to the Future as though she had simply gone out for a stroll.
She didn't wish to announce her becoming a demigod, and she had no intention of quickly becoming the fifth royal over the seas. To her, this was a trump card in this dangerous world, one that she had to keep close to her chest.
South of the Bridge, Rose Street.
The carriage that Emlyn was on drove down the street when he saw the blurry figure in a white shirt and black vest with slightly messy hair appear opposite him. It was that wraith-like young man.
"Long time no see, Mr. Marie," Emlyn said with an unsurprised smile.
Marie nodded slightly.
"I'm here to tell you that we've already made the preparations. We can discuss the actual operation."