67 Skyhaven City - Emperor Valinor (3)

The sound of fingers tapping on wood permeated the side chamber as a mid-40s man that clearly resembled Andrew pondered the information he'd just received. This meeting was too sudden to be formal, so it was held in a small tearoom meant for receptions and such. "So, you're telling me that, while you were midway through a journey to Savicche for the Hydra quest, thank you again for that, you went through the old Polypheme Sect territory and happened to discover a lead in a 300-year-old cold case? Not only that, but the evidence was conclusive enough for THE Juneau Clan to immediately gather an expedition force in response?" It's not that he, Emperor Valinor, didn't believe it. On the contrary, he fully believed it. What he had trouble believing was how it was done entirely by sheer coincidence.

Seran nodded sagely, as did Johann off to the side, who said, "It was conclusive enough for one of the clan elders to personally make the trip. I know that elder very well, he's one of the few in the world who are Sage-grade in more than one magic specialization, in Earth and Fire, and is one of the five strongest mages of the Juneau Clan. You might even know his title from his prime, the Volcanic Sage of Juneau."

"Even an old heroic figure like Aracar Juneau is responding to this, then it's clearly undeniable. Solving this ancient cold case would finally put to rest one of the biggest mysteries within more than a thousand years. Can I see the evidence you have at present? It'll be about a month before they arrive, so the sooner we can act the better." Valinor, to Luca's surprise earlier, was a rather easygoing and amiable man, yet his sense of duty constantly outshone his natural demeanour of casualness. "I understand the difficulties regarding this case already, so if I can see the proof in order to clearly convey the severity of the coming investigation, I can call upon all of the available S- and A-rank Adventurers, retired or no, to at the very least be aware of what is coming. I know of a few that would definitely want to be involved directly."

Johann politely added, "As the incumbent continental guildmaster for the Adventurers Guild, after getting Your Majesty's approval, and potentially His Imperial Majesty's as well, I fully intend to post an emergency quest to all guild branches on the Western Continent with a minimum requirement of A-rank to participate. Since the creation of this continent, such an event has never occurred, but this is far too important to pass up."

Emperor Valinor agreed quite quickly, "Thank you, Johann, that will make it much easier. You already have my approval, so you can add that to the list of the requestors for it. As for our Founding Emperor, I'm sure he will agree but I dare not declare my thoughts to be fact." He folded his hands under his chin, leaning upon them as his elbows rested on the table, "Tell me more about this... phenomenon that you witnessed."

Seran took out the three recording crystals and played them in order, one by one. He paused continuously throughout to explain various things, such as the strange physics behind the otherworldly spectres' abilities, "As you can see here, they possess the ability to remain completely undetectable and yet can sever a body in half with almost nonexistent resistance. However, their powers do not extend to inanimate objects, as proven by the arrows being incapable of penetrating the door that this lad used as a shield. It also happened only at night, as the second and third videos proved upon the use of my specialized ability. From this, we can conclude that, at nightfall, the spirits of the former denizens, who seem to be stuck in some temporal distortion or locked dimension, are twisted into what appear to be spectral demons and set to kill any living targets in the area of the town. Through my investigations, it seems they are in a plane between dimensions, providing them complete protection and the best abilities for an assassin in existence. An assassin with the ability to hide in the void and kill without detection is terrifying beyond belief."

Andrew felt the urge to speak at this point, "Thank the gods they can't leave the town..." Everyone silently agreed as the fallout from such beings would be catastrophic, potentially exceeding that of an Elder Lich, with the one Seran defeated being a unique exception due to its Devil King status.

"Currently, I am in the process of creating a second ability meant to counteract their special immunity based on another of the Three Imperial Regalia of Amaterasu, Kusanagi no Tsurugi. Hopefully, it will be an effective measure, as it is meant to be capable of damaging them and protecting against their inter-dimensional attacks. I have already mastered a branch ability of the spell I used to create these images, [Yata no Kagami: Enchantment], allowing me to bestow its unique sight upon others. Provided it works and the assistance we receive is more than sufficient, we can theoretically reclaim the missing third of the Western Continent's territory and solve the 300-year-old mystery."

The old prime minister made a sound akin to that of one thinking deeply on an issue before asking, "I am all for this mission, make no mistake of that. The topic I'd like to bring forth is quite simple: what does everyone thinks happened to the Polypheme Sect now that this information has come to light?"

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The first to speak was, surprisingly, Andrew, who had remained silent save for one sentence earlier, "I'd say that something, or someone, within the Polypheme Sect, was likely meddling with something they shouldn't have. There's no way this was natural, but it doesn't seem to conform to any known forms of magic, even those of the Devils based on the old records. It would be a completely unique type of magic unseen before, even by the gods. Either the Polypheme Sect was intending to create a new form of magic or they had something unusual that caused their unfortunate disaster."

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