Jones looked at the seriousness on Kairos’ face, and he backed away. There is an absolute trust in his friend’s advice, so he started observing the national treasure in front of him with greater intensity.
“What’s wrong?” he asked after a while with no results.
“I’m not sure, but it feels like there is a trap lying in wait for us. Father, can you take a look at this?”
“Don’t ask me, I’m a ranger, not a trapper” Vouno sighed. He had noticed a long time ago that their team is truly imbalanced. The usual adventurers’ group would have at least one person well-versed with traps. Unfortunately, Jim who is supposed to be the expert in this area is even worse than Vouno when it comes to such things.
It couldn’t be helped since in the 6 months that they trained in Saint Academy, they had been treated as talentless, futureless, students. There were little chance to truly learn their trade, and 6 months is in fact too short to turn into experts. Without a treasure-hunting talisman that could detect traps, and without an experienced hand, it’s hard to tell what dangers lies ahead.
In their caution, they took a while to observe the national treasure using their soul perception to detect the minor details on the object but other than the power it is emitting they couldn’t scan anything special.
Jones reach his hands out once again, this time slower than before to test if he would trigger something.
Then, Kairos quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him back, “Wait. Step back a little… Do you see some pattern on it?”
The guys all came to Kairos’ position, several steps away from the crystal horn, and observed.
“Move your head this way. Align the horn against the stand and the furniture around” He advised.
When they tried doing what he said, a pattern came into their sight. An ancient runic symbol, drawn by placing the items together in a perfect manner.
Jones instantly recognized the rune, it was something taught to him before, a word of power, and it reads: Concealment.
Understanding what the setup is made things easier for them and they assaulted the rune with their soul power, sending it through the edges of the symbol and destroying it quickly. Once the rune disappeared, other runes that were hidden beneath quickly appeared. The other turned their heads around and observed the other traps in the room, but Kairos continued to stare into the air in a trance.
“The entire stand is a teleportation rune!” Not noticing the strangeness on Kairos, Jones exclaimed. He recognised it from having used to have a teleportation talisman on his person, until his belongings had all been confiscated upon his capture. It is anyone’s guess where the rune would teleport them to if someone touched the horn, but certainly not a place they would want to go.
“The ground also has a rune of alarm, our position here is already exposed. They must be waiting for us to activate the traps here before they do anything. For all I know, we might be surrounded already. Also, look at the pedestals, they are rigged as well” Jones continue to explain the new symbols that appeared.
“It’s the Runes of weakening on the pedestals, we will be flopping like fish out of the river if we touch anything here, and all these runes in this place will drain the Ki of anyone that touches it to activate” Kairos suddenly answered their curiosity. His knowledge of the runes should be almost non-existent like his friends, except for those few that he gleamed from the stars.
However, when he turned about, everyone realised why he gained such cryptic knowledge once again, “Somehow, I can read the runes now”, he said.
“That’s ‘cus your damn eyes are golden again”
“Is it gold?” he asked in shock, and everyone went silent immediately.
“I..it is… You can hear us ask you that?”
“Yeah? Why not?”
“But just now… You..”
At this time, Aisa flew out of Kairos’ robes happily and sat on his shoulder. Her next words appeared in the minds of everyone in the room.
Kairos~ it’s the Divine Gorilla soul you ate! Its helping you reach the next awakening, and in time you can …
Their heart throbbed with excitement, thinking that Aisa will finally explain what is going on behind Kairos’ golden eyes.
…be strong like a gorilla!
But reality proved that their patience has not paid off, and the dragon once again gave a useless reply.
“S…strong… like a gorilla?” Jim burst out laughing uncontrollably, exacting a sigh from Kairos.
“Let’s defuse every trap here, I’ll tell you guys how” he said, rolling his eyes.
They quickly destabilised the runic traps in the room under his instructions, and collected all the time-space containers along with the national treasure.
Unbeknownst to them, there another trap extremely well hidden, that is meant to trigger if any of the runes are destroyed but it never had a chance to activate under the hands of Kairos.
As he defused one after another, he quickly learned of new effects that could happen when runic words are used in combination, but his knowledge are still no more than a beginner of the lowest level. Still, trying to figure out the runic language by himself is a difficult thing to do.
“We better run now, we had activated the alarm by entering here and waiting longer will only allow them to gather a greater force outside. If the Phrixuses realise that we did not get caught by the traps here they would soon charge in” Jones advised as he busied himself collecting the treasures.
It made perfect logical sense so without waiting longer, they rushed out of the room and just as expected, they found a group of guards already stood outside waiting for them. Before the guards stood a beautiful pair of young man and woman, looking to be around the boys’ age. Not only are they striking and gorgeous with their features that seemed chiselled from marble, each of them wore a raiment that identified them as royalty. The young lady with teal blue eyes and cherry red lips, walked forward to address them.
A beautiful voice like a harp sounded in their ears, but it could not conceal the bloodlust within, “Are you Kai…”
Before she could finish, Kairos who did not stop running, threw the frost cloud powder in her face and they immediately bolted. The powder immediately spread throughout the palace, quickly covering the entire place with a great darkness, and whenever the dust come across a torch it quickly lapped up the fires and bring the place into a complete darkness.
They ran through the maze-like building with the twin dragon’s help, quickly locating the exit without much difficulty. Their persuaders unable to keep up without sight.
With the dust covering the sight from almost everything in the building, the chaos has moved to the outside. The prisoners wreaking havoc in the place proved to be a force to be reckoned with, the majority of them having S rank cultivation or higher and they are slaying more and more soldiers as time passed. However, being outnumbered as they are, and stronger guards joining the fight, they are soon forced into a corner.
At this time, Kairos’ group appeared, and glancing at the situation on hand, they shouted, “Flee, Flee! Keep your lives and fight another day!”
With their advise, they quickly created an impact among the prisoners.
“Revenge is never too long to wait!!” Someone else shouted in agreement, and soon, like the tides receding, everyone started fleeing in all directions.
The guys reached for the palace walls, flipped over with a jump and ran back into Aurolia city. The walls itself served as nothing more than decoration against practitioners such as them, the sole usage is only the privacy they provide.
Right after their mission to extract Jones started, in another part of town, Silvers and Sasha started creating a huge commotion to cover their escape. Using the valuables entrusted to them, they successfully created a strife. The spark easily started a great fire of jealousy, and many of the free practitioners in the city started fighting with one another under the manipulation of the two. Very soon the city guards were pulled over, but instead of calming the crowd down, the guards also began greedily covetous towards the valuables that the two are using as bait.
None of them know, the artefact which Silvers had received from Fritzgen’s treasury is a powerful object that enhances negative emotions. Its potency alone was what made the owner of the biggest shop in the black market place it in his treasury in the past, as one of the top tier artefacts.
Anyone that felt even a tiny bit of interest in the valuables that Silvers and Sasha prepared will have that emotion blown up several thousand times, and immediately they drown in greed and jealousy, running the streets wild. Because of this, when Kairos’ team fled together with the other prisoners, there was a huge shortage of hands to stop them, and they quickly disappeared into the crowd.
Kairos’ group reached the place where the group first parted, and a small waving gesture from the darkness alerted them to step closer to the shadows of the gigantic city wall. This wall, unlike the palace’s walls, is thick and high enough to protect people from forcefully entering the city but if one knows the way to exit, they could still smuggle themselves out.
When they went closer to the darkness, a small path is revealed, and there waited John. They quickly followed him in silence until they reached a dead end. Then like magic, John continued walking, and he quickly disappeared from sight. The others followed behind them, realising this is an optical illusion, hiding a passage way. On the other side, they saw Long and the thieves already within.
“Ho Long!” They greeted him.
“Boss! You guys are alright! Jones, you’re okay!” He greeted them happily, then his face sunk once again, “I’m sorry everyone, the way out isn’t ready yet. We need to wait for the tides to recede before we can escape through the river path. If we head out right now, we will be too slow and too conspicuous”
“How long till the tide recedes?” they asked in a hurry, the faster they get out of the city, the safer it is.
“It’s still impossible for another 2 hours, if you go out now, we will be caught instantly”
With a heavy heart, they sat down recovering their energies. There is no longer any meaning to worrying, having their own fates thrown out of their hands.
At this moment, having nothing to do until the tides recede, Kairos began to sift through the space-time containers they took. He quickly found an unembellished sword that seemed to emit powerful aura of the immortal realm.
Without any runes on it, the weapon felt like something discarded from the immortal realms, but in his hands there is a new possibility. He set it down before himself, allowing it to hover slightly above ground, then he infused his soul force into it.
Knowing exactly what to do, and with his eyes still glowing golden, he added the heavenly fire and divine frost runes onto the once-plain sword. His soul force carved out the runic words of power: Heavenly Fire, and Divine Frost, perfectly. As long as Jones infuse a little Ki into the weapon, it will summon the elements by their true names.
Next, he summoned both the frost and fire dragon Ki from within himself into the weapon, and forcefully cut off their connection. He could feel his cultivation dropping about a week’s worth, but it was something he could spare. Unlike the weapons that are selling in his sword, he told the dragons to prioritise in making their new home, the immortal sword, stronger.
Then he gave this weapon to Jones who now lacked a weapon.
The boy took it and took a good look at it. The power it held threatened to rip this realm apart though the weapon is restraining itself.
Then he attempted to hand the weapon back to Kairos.