As the carriage drove slowly along the road, Audrey's gaze subconsciously looked out the window.
Many passers-by stood by the roadside, staring at the horse that was pulling the carriage. Their eyes seemed to be emitting a greedy glint as they, the lucky ones, successfully collected their food. They ran through the streets surreptitiously and headed for home.
A team of policemen in black-and-white checkered uniforms were patrolling the streets. They had revolvers by their waists and batons in their hands—means to deter anyone from wanting to take risks.
"Recently, we don't even dare to go on the streets alone…" the personal maidservant, Annie, whispered to her.
Audrey nodded slightly but didn't respond.
After a while, the carriage arrived at Phelps Street and stopped at the square in front of Saint Samuel Cathedral.
The flock of pigeons that were usually here was nowhere to be seen.
The Loen Charity Bursary Foundation, as well as the subsequent establishment of the Loen Poverty Relief Foundation and the Loen Medical Charity Foundation, had all moved from 22 Phelps Street to a few small rooms in the cathedral. This was because the buildings that they were originally housed in had collapsed due to the previous airstrike.
To the staff of these three foundations, it was a harrowing memory. If they hadn't left 22 Phelps Street in advance due to different reasons, they would've long been killed.
After alighting from the carriage and walking through the main door, Audrey saw a black-haired, brown-eyed girl with a rather thin face approach.
Before the other party could speak, she said, "Melissa, is there any more food that can be distributed?"
Melissa shook her head solemnly.
"Even those injured soldiers who we provided relief for can't receive enough food…"
Audrey's green eyes dimmed. She didn't show her helplessness or weakness as she nodded slightly.
"I will think of a way."
"From the City of Silver…
"From a land beyond the cursed lands."
Gehrman Sparrow's words echoed in the ears of the Moon City hunting team members—A'dal, Xin, and Rus. It made them feel like they were in a dream, unable to regain their senses for a long time.
Just as A'dal gradually regained his senses and was thinking about what to say when Xin, who was born without a nose, inundated Klein with a series of questions.
"Where is the City of Silver? What does it look like? How far is it from here?
"How many normal people are there outside the cursed area?"
Klein glanced at her and replied in an emotionless voice, "The City of Silver is located on the other side of the cursed lands. They discovered a type of plant that can be eaten normally called 'Black-Faced Grass.' This has allowed them to maintain their kind's stability and effectively explore the depths of the darkness in a bid to find a way to leave.
"They recently found some mushrooms. These mushrooms can use monsters as nutrients, forming all kinds of fruits that do not contain toxins and madness.
"The City of Silver has gone one step further in escaping the madness. Once the newborns become adults, they wouldn't easily lose control even at old age…"
These words made A'dal, Xin and company feel lost, as though their own persistent efforts had no meaning.
The City of Silver described by Gehrman Sparrow was the most beautiful scene they could imagine; yet, it was something so easily possessed by others.
"…Are there any deformed newborns?" Xin asked in a dreamy tone.
Klein shook his head.
"Will their parents walk into the depths of the darkness by themselves when their physical condition deteriorates—no, when they become old?" A'dal subconsciously pressed.
Wearing a black trench coat, a top hat, and holding a lantern, Klein replied, "No.
"Because they are burdened with the curse of killing their own kin. If a life cannot be ended by the hands of a blood relative, they will turn into a terrifying evil spirit or monster."
The members of the hunting team in Moon City finally found a sense of reality. Their hearts felt like they were slowly rising in warm water as bubbles slowly emerged.
These bubbles were weak, empty, and easily pricked. There was nothing inside, but they shimmered with something called hope and light.
Rus, whose eyes were nearly squeezed together, couldn't help but repeat the question:
"How many normal people are there outside the cursed area?"
Klein looked at them with a complicated expression.
"They are basically normal. They do not need to be constantly worried about monsters attacking them. They don't have to be afraid of being in the darkness. They don't go crazy after growing old. They aren't burdened by all kinds of curses. They see sunlight every day when they wake up, with sufficiently normal food. Every night, the crimson moon rises…"
However, all of this is being destroyed now… Klein silently added in his heart.
This time, A'dal, Xin, and Rus were somewhat at a loss. This was because they found Gehrman Sparrow's description as something imaginable, but also seemingly unimaginable. It was just like when they were reading the few ancient books remaining. They could get the spirit of the matter but found it hard to truly understand certain contexts.
They had no idea what the sun and what the crimson moon were.
However, to have normal food every day without the burden of various curses, the worry of monster attacks or darkness, and the lack of going crazy in old age was a beautiful dream they yearned for day and night.
There's such a place in this world? Is this what Heaven, as recorded in the ancient books, is? Was this land really cursed? The members of the Moon City hunting team fell silent once again.
One of them opened their mouth but was at a loss as to what to ask. Someone wanted to bring Gehrman Sparrow back to Moon City and inform the High Priest of the news, wanting to inform everyone, but he was afraid of attracting danger.
During this process, they didn't let down their guard or vigilance.
Klein wasn't the least bit surprised with their attitude. Instead, he felt that this was the reaction a civilization that could last to this day in the Forsaken Land of the Gods ought to have.
With the lantern in hand, he took a step to the left, attempting to walk around the humans who were dressed in strange materials or animal skins, and he continued heading east.
Regardless of what story these people had, whether it was worth helping them in passing, he planned to wait until he began his investigations before listening and considering things. This was because his spiritual intuition told him that his destination wasn't far, and that the legendary West Continent was just two to three hours away on foot.
The moment he took a step forward, A'dal and company immediately bent their backs, bracing themselves to defend and attack. However, they didn't manage to see Gehrman Sparrow approach them. They watched as he walked more than ten meters to the left and continue heading forward.
Seeing this young man dressed in strange black clothes and a strange black hat, with a strange and transparent lantern gradually distancing himself from them, the dim yellow light grew weaker and weaker. A'dal's face which was covered in tumors changed. He shouted loudly, "Who exactly are you?"
Klein didn't turn around. Instead, he held the lantern that emitted a faint yellow light and walked deeper into the darkness. He said in a regular tone, "A missionary.
"A person to spread my Lord's brilliance."
A'dal, Xin, and company looked at each other, their expressions filled with confusion.
They hesitated for a long while, but when there was only a small trace of the dim yellow light left, they instinctively took a step forward and followed behind Klein.
They didn't dare to approach him, nor did they want to have him leave their sight. They carried the food they had procured, as though they were monitoring and chasing him in a defensive manner. As for Klein, he walked at an adequate speed—not waiting for them or attempting to shake them off.
Just like that, both sides walked in silence under the sparse lightning. At some point in time, Rus and another hunting team had left the main group. They held the animal hide lantern and the food they had obtained and turned around, silently disappearing into the endless darkness.
Seconds changed to minutes before Klein finally stopped.
Using the lightning that streaked across the sky, he saw a grayish-white fog a few hundred meters away.
The mist was connected to the land and extended all the way into the sky, as though it didn't have an apex.
At the same time, the fog extended to the two sides without any end.
Klein looked at it intently for a long time. Even though there were partitions of darkness, he slowly raised his head. After the second bolt of lightning calmed down, he looked away.
Behind the fog or inside it is the disappeared Western Continent? As he thought with a heavy heart, he couldn't help but slow down his breathing.
He carried the lantern and continued forward until the dim yellow light emitted a solidified mist.
There was no need for him to make any other attempts. From his intuition as a Seer, he could tell that the grayish-white fog was an invisible barrier that couldn't be passed through by conventional means.
He thought for a moment and stretched out his right hand to scratch at the darkness in front of him again and again.
After doing it four to five consecutive times, Klein pulled out a black cane with many gems embedded in it.
This was the Staff of the Stars, a terrifying Sealed Artifact known as 0-62 that had been swapped using the Box of the Great Old Ones!
Of course, all he did was summon the historical projection of the Staff of the Stars.
This way, even if there were unnecessary scenes that appeared in his mind, he could use the removal of the Historical Void projection to stop any corresponding dangers that appeared in a timely manner.
To a Scholar of Yore, this was the best way to regularly use a Grade 0 Sealed Artifact. However, this limited the effects and was something that couldn't exceed three minutes at the moment. Furthermore, there was a certain difference with the original version when it came to their effects. Using a marionette to hold the Staff of the Stars wasn't the best way to avoid any negative effects. This was because a marionette needed to be controlled, and any control had a high chance of transmitting scenes.
Of course, if he engaged in a battle he was prepared for, Klein wouldn't have done so. This was because it would occupy one of his three precious summoning spots. Furthermore, although the Staff of the Stars belonged to him, it was only in a state of forced ownership, and it remained in a sealed state. Furthermore, the Grade 0 Sealed Artifact had a rather high level. It was impossible for Klein to successfully summon it at once, so it usually took him three to six attempts. In a fierce battle, it would require plenty of chances—nothing simple.
And it was precisely because of this that when he was prepared to "perform," he would hypnotize himself in advance. By using the Staff of the Stars in a special state, he would preserve the ability to summon Historical Void images like Miss Messenger, Mr. Azik, Ma'am Arianna, Will Auceptin, and other familiar angels.
Holding the black staff that was embedded with various gems, a scene of the door slowly opening appeared in Klein's mind.
The gems on the staff flashed with a faint glow as the grayish-white fog quickly outlined a door that wasn't sufficiently real.
The door opened silently, and behind it was still a gray fog.
Door Opening doesn't work… Although he wasn't surprised by the outcome, he was still a little disappointed.
He thought for a moment and decided to switch tactics.
However, just as he was thinking about it, the Staff of the Stars automatically activated as the corresponding scene appeared.