The subject painted on the wall was none other than the prehistoric chosen one.
The man was depicted in the very same silver armour displayed in front of it. He held a silver longsword in one hand while the other arm was wrapped around a silver helmet. He looked like an ancient king or even a divine being!
Xia Lei immediately thought of what Angelo had muttered before his death. Oh chosen God, I shall sacrifice myself for you. Oh chosen God, guide me to heaven!
Chosen god? Wasn’t that just the prehistoric chosen one?
Now that helped place things into perspective. When the crusaders conquered the east, the red rider that passed through Jerusalem was no Horseman of the Apocalypse. It was the chosen one. The invisible person he was fighting against was possibly Zhu Xuanyue.
Xia Lei also thought of the contents that Leonardo Da Vinci wrote with transparent ink. “Am I the smartest person alive? No, if I was, I would’ve been able to solve the mysteries of God’s metal. In my opinion, its existence is as mystical as hers. They’re definitely otherworldly beings. When she appeared in front of me thirty years ago, she made me different from the rest. Thirty years later, my search was all for nought. I was growing old while she still looked as young as ever. I have a feeling that she was an angel and that the material was part of an angel’s sword. She was a depraved angel, forsaken to our mortal realm and her sword was destroyed in the process. She was searching for a god’s trail, fighting demons who hindered her. Her journey was destined to be one full of thorns…”
Xia Lei’s mind started to get bustling with activity.
The metal mentioned in the note was undoubtedly the silver metal in his possession. However, it seemed that Zhu Xuanyue hadn’t revealed the truth to Leonardo Da Vinci. The metal was part of the armour and this armour wasn’t Zhu Xuanyue’s but that of the prehistoric chosen one. The prehistoric chosen one had relied on his armour to fight against Zhu Xuanyue while the woman had urged Da Vinci to discover its flaw so as to defeat the chosen one.
“When she returned, she was always injured. Every arrival, she’d bring back some mineral powder and splash it across the canvas. I’ve asked her about it but never received a reply. I also tried to find out why she kept drawing such weird artwork. She said that if she were to die one day, someone would awaken her here. I couldn’t understand it, just like how I can’t understand anything about God's world.”
“She had never revealed what she was fighting for and she had never once told me who her enemy was. Every time she left the maze, she would return with wounds. She had never once given up but I could never lend her a hand. The last time she returned was on a night with no moon and stars. This time, she was gravely injured, losing her body in the process. I couldn’t comprehend how she was able to exist in such a state but Gods were beyond our comprehension. She told me that she was about to die and gave me instructions. After her departure, I sealed the maze and accomplished every single thing she had requested of me.”
Involuntarily, Xia Lei’s brain began to feed him images. The battle between Zhu Xuanyue and the prehistoric chosen one was fierce and violent. The prehistoric chosen one’s most trusty armour was severely damaged while Zhu Xuanyue had gotten herself gravely injured. There was no way to tell the true victor of the battle. Not only did the chosen one recognise his impending death, Zhu Xuanyue too had noticed that she was near death.
Pieces of histories along with endless guesses started to manifest in his mind. It tumbled and tangled with one another, leaving him no state of peace.
Though there wasn’t any direct evidence to confirm this, Xia Lei had his own deduction. Zhu Xuanyue’s enemy was the prehistoric chosen one and the aftermath of their battle had resulted in their deaths. The prehistoric chosen one had died while Zhu Xuanyue continued to exist in pure energy form. She had also done necessary preparations for her resurrection before her passing.
This begs the question. Had the chosen one prepared anything?
The query lingered in Xia Lei’s mind, bringing his thoughts to the AE capsules and ancient alloy shards along with the compass that was searching for the ancient alloy. Certainly, these things had plenty to do with the prehistoric chosen one. For that, no evidence was needed. The surge of mysterious energy living inside his body was proof.
“If the prehistoric chosen one had left the AE capsules behind before death, and it finally found its way into my possession to create the current me, could I be the next chosen one? The prehistoric chosen one had greeted me in the Metal Book and Bronze Book. Weirdly, Zhu Xuanyue had referred to me as such but she wasn’t complete back then. If I had inherited the powers of the chosen one, that would make me her arch-nemesis. Why didn’t she attack me but help me instead?” A hypothesis began to take form in his heart, accompanied by a question that he couldn’t understand.
Zhu Xuanyue had helped him during the operation in Japan. If it wasn’t for her, Xia Lei wouldn’t have escaped from the Japanese Maritime Self-defence armed forces. He and Long Bing would’ve been long dead in the waters. The second time she lent him a hand was during the West province Dawang snow mountain incident. Without her help, he and Tang Yuyan would’ve been dead among the snow bed.
If Xia Lei was destined to be her arch-nemesis, why would she help him?
Another new question found its way into his brain. “Was the prehistoric chosen one lying or was Zhu Xuanyue trying to deceive me? After all, the history that had been recorded might not be entirely accurate. Plus, who the hell was that black-robed man? Was he an unfriendly but similar existence akin to Zhu Xuanyue? Was he associated with the prehistoric chosen one instead? What role is he playing in this series of events?”
Abruptly, Xia Lei thought back to that particular night in Paris, during the banquet when he visited Hattori Mei’s residence. After he had managed to take control of the Hattori’s men, he received a strange phone call. He could remember vividly that a woman’s voice had urged him to escape. Following that was the first appearance of the black-robed man that greatly threatened his life.
Was the call from Zhu Xuanyue?
Xia Lei had suspected so for a long time, but there was never an answer from Zhu Xuanyue. After her awakening in India, her mental age was no older than ten years old. In the process of her resurrection, the black-robed man had obviously attacked her and caused a vehement explosion in the process. From that, it seemed as if Zhu Xuanyue and the black-robed man were oppositions.
The black-robed man, Zhu Xuanyue and the prehistoric chosen one.
These three characters kept appearing in his mind. They formed a triangle while Xia Lei was a poor prisoner stuck in its middle.
“Sigh, I guess I’d only be able to get further answers after locating Zhu Xuanyue. I wonder where she is now. Could she be in Langley? Or was she somewhere else?” Xia Lei couldn’t help but miss her a little. So much had happened between them.
Despite his slight longing for Zhu Xuanyue, he was not a tad bit worried about her safety. She might’ve had the mind of a ten-year-old but her abilities would allow her to tower over the most terrifying criminal in the world.
Xia Lei shook his head to chase away his brainstorm and queries. His trip to the Sacred Palace was rewarded handsomely. However, it did nothing to answer his ultimate mystery but Xia Lei wouldn’t ask for more. Now was the time for him to leave.
In a swift motion, he took off the black robes and spread it flat on the ground. Following that, he began to dismantle the armour from the wooden frame, securing its parts snugly inside the black robes. To no surprise, the entire armour didn’t even reach ten catties! Xia Lei wasn’t too shocked as he had learned the structure of this silver metal prior to this.
Making sure that the armour was packed neatly in the fabric, Xia Lei threw the bag over his shoulder and spared the oil painting one last look. He uttered, “Even if I had possibly gotten my powers from you, I would like to make one thing clear. You are you and I am me. I will not become someone else other than myself.”
Trapped inside the oil painting, the prehistoric chosen one seemed to be looking at Xia Lei weirdly.
Xia Lei turned around to leave.
Retracing his footsteps back to the port, he found no one in sight. It was only when he reached the port that he noticed elderlies, women and children gathered around there. They stood quietly at the dock, watching the boats get swallowed by flames. Some Holy Knight bodies floated about on the surface.
Xia Lei’s ingenious plan to distract a majority of the Knight Hospitaller elites away had rendered their search in the Mediterranean Hotel fruitless. When Angelo notified them that Xia Lei had found his way into the church, the elites had made an urgent retreat back to base. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to them, their boats were rigged with military-grade explosives.
Although Xia Lei himself wasn’t there when it happened, he could imagine Tsukino Kyoko pressing a button on the remote to trigger the engulfment of flames. In the face of strong opponents like the Knight Hospitaller, brains proved to be much more useful than brawns.
Xia Lei passed the crowd and came to the edge of the port. Then, he made a quick leap into the dark waters below.
In no time, a diving-suit clad female quickly swam towards him, bringing along his diving mask and oxygen tank to him.
Tsukino Kyoko’s body looked exquisitely seductive in that tight diving suit of hers. The attention was stolen particularly by her round behind, powerful yet alluring.
She was already in this get up when they came but Xia Lei had no mind to notice it. Now that he had successfully gotten his hands on the armour, his mind was eased off its tension. Thoughts freed, he allowed it to wander elsewhere.
Thankfully the waters were dark at this hour. Tsukino Kyoko hadn’t seemed to notice Xia Lei’s perverse stares on her assets. After helping him with his oxygen supply, she dived down to release the diving motor from the rocks. Letting it roar to life, she went ahead towards the exit.
Xia Lei followed suit. As the driving motor was ignited, he turned his head around to look at the port. From underwater, he could make out flames and blurry crowds. The man was aware that this wasn’t the downfall of the Knight Hospitaller. This was just a headquarters where some of its fanatic followers resided. No matter what happens in the future, Xia Lei was certain that he would never step foot into this place ever again.
“Now that I’ve run this place into ruins, perhaps Walton would be the person most thankful to me. He’s about to become the real leader of the Knight Hospitaller. I sincerely hope for his sake that he is smart enough to leave me alone.” Xia Lei prayed to himself.
The massive ocean seemed to stretch onwards forever, turbulent waves hitting one another on the surface.
In the dark silence, a quiet yacht floated about in the waters.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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