40 Sage

Lucien was taken by surprise as he soon returned to the HQ of the Numinous Episcopate with his sleeping father. Sia and Haiter were waiting for him in the main chambers; they reported what had happened to everyone in the Numinous Episcopate. It wasn't only them; his messenger, Merlin, quickly followed them up with reports from all around the world, which were coming through the information network of spirits that Merlin personally oversaw.

All in all, what happened was that every beyonder of the Pathways of the Eternal Darkness was affected when he brought the weight of his existence into reality.

Okay, maybe he overdid it.

Nonetheless, this incident didn't have any major repercussions, as his voice, which was broadcasted to everyone, was swiftly cut off.

He highly suspected this was the work of the Evernight Goddess. If "She" wasn't certain of his existence before, this would be more than enough to give him away.

Anyway, what happened had happened; there was no point in brooding on it gloomily; he just needed to be all the more cautious in the coming chaotic times.

Lucien informed his angels that the disturbance was caused by him retrieving the Death Uniqueness, which he was holding along with the legacy of the Ancient Goddess of Death. Then he gave them his father, who was floating alongside him still asleep; he asked them to take his father to his chamber, but he ordered Merlin to keep an eye on his father and notify him as soon as he awoke.

Sia and Haiter first congratulated him without any surprise, as if his attaining the Death Uniqueness was a given—well, it indeed was—then off they went along with Merlin, taking his father with him.

Haiter immediately returned as though he remembered something, which came in the form of a blood-red orb like a miniature crimson moon. This was one of the artefacts that were seized from the Rose School of Thought during the assault.

Oh, he knew about this cursed thing!

"Your inferences are correct, Haiter." Lucien held the miniature crimson moon, observing it keenly. "This is indeed linked to the Mother Goddess of Depravity. Within this, there is a drop of blood that "She" personally blessed."

Haiter became all the more grave in the face of revelation.

"Seal this among the Grade-0 artefacts." Lucien ordered, passing the miniature crimson moon back to Haiter. "In some way, this is even more dangerous than them. It may come in handy in the war."

"Yes, my lord." Haiter held the crimson orb ever so carefully, as though he were holding a nuclear bomb.

"By the way, have the last remnants of the Rose School of Thought been purged?" Lucien asked.

"Not yet." Haiter shook his head. "Reinette is still on it, but she promised she would be done by the new year."

"Reinette…" Lucien brooded, thinking about the loyalty of the Queen of Curses. "Tell her to come and meet me when she is free today."

"I will inform her, my lord." Haiter nodded.

"Come on then." Lucien said, striding towards the door of the main chambers. "Brief on the reception for the council till I reach my room."

Haiter obliged, walking out of the main chambers with his lord as he told him about the reactions and responses of everyone to the council, their pacing figures illuminated by the afternoon light of the sun.


After a brief respite with coffee and a newspaper, Lucien made his way towards Bernadette Gustav's room, knocking on her door. It opened immediately, revealing Queen Mystic, primed and prepared. He highly suspected she had been waiting all day for this moment.

"Let's go." Bernadette said so as soon as their eyes met.

And so, without wasting time, Lucien grabbed her hand and teleported them to uninhabited island on the edge of the Sonia Sea near the Southern Continent.

Bernadette stood on the white beach, looking ahead at the expanse of ocean in silence.

Lucien summoned a dark-black scythe into his bronze hands.

Bernadette focused on the scythe, though her mythic eyes remained dim, attributing to her cautiousness. Nevertheless, her clairvoyant senses were more than enough to give her clues about the scythe. "Is that…?" she trailed off, her unspoken guess carried in the air.

"Yes." Lucien confirmed her guess. "The Uniqueness of the Death Pathway."

Bernadette sucked in a breath, her eyes slightly widening at the scythe. Maybe this was her first time actually seeing a Uniqueness in form.

"Begin." Lucien ordered with finality, "I will protect you."

Bernadette got a hold of herself and nodded in resolution. Then she reached out her right hand and quickly drew out words filled with stellar radiance in the air.

These words, which were similar to the words on the Blasphemy Slate, quickly interweaved into a strange symbol and opened a secret door that seemed to lead deep into the spirit world—a separate dimensional space holding a lot of powerful things was behind it; it was a literal treasure trove.

Following that, the secret door opened, and a strong gust of wind blew out, transforming into an entity that was half-man, half-air. His upper body was wrapped in white cloth.

"Sage Frontlet," Bernadette ordered in a calm yet dignified voice.

The man responded respectfully and removed an accessory from the white cloth wrapped around his body.

The core of this accessory was a vertical eye embedded with "diamonds." It shimmered with pure light, exuding an abnormal holiness. It was filled with intelligence, but it also appeared cold without any warmth.

Sage Frontlet, a Grade 0 Sealed Artefact. It was crafted by Roselle Gustav using the Sequence 2 characteristic of the Hermit Pathway. However, its negative effects were so severe that Bernadette usually avoided carrying it with her.

"I need your help—" Bernadette began, pointing the Sage Frontlet at Lucien.

The Silent One merely flicked his index finger, causing the diamond accessory to lose its lustre and wither into dust, leaving behind the sequence-2 characteristic of the Hermit Pathway.

Bernadette took the characteristic and concocted it into a potion that would allow her to advance into Angel. After finishing it, she instinctively looked up at Lucien, who nodded lightly in reassurance.

Then the Queen Mystic looked down at the bubbling potion, each bubble containing a transparent eye. 'Father, I am one step closer to you…' she thought, drinking the potion with resoluteness.

Immediately, her body turned ethereal at a discerning pace. She began to break down into thick and complicated knowledge, changing into an existence that was a flux of information.

The entire uninhabited island, as well as the surrounding winds, clouds, seawater, and waves, all lost their sense of reality. It was as though they had been restored to the most fundamental blocks of information.

This was an extremely dangerous state. If one's willpower wasn't strong enough, their luck wasn't good enough, and they weren't prepared enough, the knowledge that they had transformed into would be infiltrated by all kinds of information from around the world within seconds. They would be washed away, assimilated, and thus quickly lose consciousness. They wouldn't be able to reassemble their bodies, turning into a very strange and difficult monster to deal with in mysticism—the Knowledge Demon!

But Bernadette had relied on the Sage Frontlet and had previously transformed into a flux of information on several occasions. Although it was limited to two to three seconds and didn't last too long, it was still considered experience. At that moment, she tried her best to maintain her consciousness and establish a connection with information produced in the spirit world that was created as a result of her preventing the descent of the True Creator, which was as high-level as a disaster could get in the world.

That information had a clear imprint belonging to her, and it involved a very high level of power. It was exceptionally "solid" and couldn't be dispersed by other information for short periods of time. It helped her stabilise her consciousness and slowly gather the dissipating flux of information around her body.

At this moment, Lucien floated in the sky outside the region that Bernadette was promoting, holding his scythe.

Everything in that location had vanished, having been reduced to formless and colourless information. Even the spirit world was not immune, mingling with everything to generate a cyclone of information, and in the centre of it all was a building and struggling silhouette that belonged to Bernadette Gustav.

To be honest, the situation was bizarre, and that made it all the more—

"Fascinating." Lucien mumbled under his breath, but suddenly his silver eyes narrowed as he gripped the handle of his scythe tighter and tighter in preparation.

The gazes of Gods were directed here for a moment, flickering past them, though one remained longer, focusing solely on the swirl of information before following the example of others.

But it was enough for him to grasp the identity of the God behind the gaze. He sensed a divine aura that invoked all of his scientific and fundamental knowledge, grounding him in the essence of the world.

It was the God of Steam and Machinery!

Normally, Lucien wouldn't have been able to sense the gazes of Gods, but with the Death Uniqueness, his senses have been conceptually enhanced, enabling him to perceive even the slightest traces of divinity and authority.

His senses were sharp and clear more than ever, and he was still not letting down his guard. Even though the God of Steam and Machinery didn't choose to intervene with the ascension of Bernadette, the same couldn't be said for someone else.

Time ticked by. There were several times when Bernadette wavered on the border of losing consciousness, but in the end, she managed to tide through it. She gathered all the information that belonged to her and began to reconstruct her body.

At that moment, she gradually felt the concern Admiral of Stars Cattleya had for her. She felt the members of the Element Dawn and her crew making their daily prayers.

This stabilised her condition better, allowing her to resist the ancient will that was slowly developing in her body.

Suddenly, a series of secret information came from nowhere. Taking the opportunity while Bernadette was reforming her body, it attempted to fuse with her in a bid to corrupt her.

This was interference from the Hidden Sage!

However, Lucien emerged in its path, firmly holding the scythe in his hands. By exerting primary control over it, he invoked its authority over the surroundings.

Immediately, a dreadful curtain of death enveloped Bernadette, effectively blocking the hidden information. As they made contact with the curtain, they withered away.

Firmly grabbing this sudden moment of peace, Bernadette completely reassembled her body and used her own anchors to balance out the terrifying will that was surfacing in her body.

At that moment, she had truly become a "She," a Sequence 2 angel of the Mystery Pryer pathway—an important figure in the mysterious world that could be addressed as a secret existence.

"Congratulations." Lucien appeared in front of her.

"Thank you." Bernadette bowed her head gratefully.

Lucien hummed. "Come on." He said, extending his hand towards her. "It's best if we leave. I can feel Hidden Sage's million eyes on our back."

Bernadette blinked, but there was no hesitation in her actions as she took his hand. They teleported back to the HQ of the Numinous Episcopate, landing on the balcony of her room.

Right on the heels of that, the Queen Mystic confronted the Reaper. "So can you tell the truth now…?" She gulped in a mixture of anticipation and fear. "About my father."


A/N: I am taking a break till June. My semester exams are catching up. I need to focus on them.