It felt strange to be alone in this still and silent ocean after staying for days in Shima.
After Nel informed me about the meeting of the next-generation leaders, I tried contacting them again but that girl was probably driving and I knew Cliff and Jett wouldn't risk their lives to answer my call.
An hour later, I received a holographic call from Cliff. His face flickered in front of me, and even though the quality wasn't good, I could see the horror on his expression.
"Save us," he pleaded. "From Nel again?" He drew a shaky breath and I realized he was still gripping the seatbelt tightly. "We're going to die." "Oh, c'mon, you cowards!"
I heard Nel's voice and a second later, the view expanded and I could see the three of them: Cliff was on the passenger's seat, horrified as the car seemed to accelerate; Nel looked thrilled after days of being confined; and there at the back seat was Jett, whose face was already as white as chalk.
I heaved a sigh. "Nel, stop tormenting their poor souls." She chuckled. "Hey, I'm not!"
Several minutes later, she sent me the message of that Shinigami that we saw during the fight. I forgot his name.
Yllka Shrine, huh?
I searched the location from our servers and found out that the Yllka Shrine that was located in the Transylvanian Alps was the intersection point of all the main bases of the four tribes. I tried calculating the distance from here to Romania and the time it would take me to go there. That Nel . . . she was asking for the impossible.
It turned out I needed at least three days to go there so in the end, I couldn't participate. Well, she said they could only bring two companions so I guess she really didn't need me to be there.
"Alright, don't worry, I'll keep you three alive." "I think I'll die before we can reach Romania—"
Before I could see his expression, the line went off. I was alone again in this vast ocean.
"Yeah, I have booked your flights," I said while checking the details from my other device. "Be careful. There are Shinigami and Nox bases in Europe."
No agents were available to take them to Romania using private planes so I was left with no choice. They would go to Romania the humdrum's way.
"Alright," Nel said. "How about you?" "Going back to CIA, I guess."
I was still in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and it would take me a day to reach Japan. Fortunately, my devices were working well. I could track their location and keep enemies away from them, if there were any.
Commander Priam also messaged me, asking my whereabouts, so I told him my current coordinates. I remembered our last conversation and how he agreed to turn Midnight and Obsidian over the Jikko clan once they captured them. According to him, the three Executives—Von, Fenn and Yue—were already following their tracks after Kyo and Lionel gave the details they had gathered from torturing the apprehended zuersts and zweites.
It must be hard for them to face Dale once again as he was their colleague, their co-Executive, before he revealed himself as Midnight, the figurehead of Nox.
I waited until I could see the three boarding the plane. Nel was wearing eyeglasses so everything that I was seeing was from her point of view. Of course, they were also in disguise and wearing contact lenses to hide their red eyes.
"Look around," I ordered and from Nel's eyes, I scanned everyone from the plane.
Fortunately, everyone seemed to be humdrums.
"It's safe," I concluded.
Jett heaved a sigh of relief. I'm sure he and Cliff were still lightheaded after what Nel did. My lips curved up, remembering their terrified expression a few hours ago.
"Keep the line connected," I said. "I want to know everything." "Roger," Nel responded. "Keep us alive." "Of course."
After that, their plane finally departed.
Almost 15 hours later, they had landed on Bucharest, Romania. They had to hike the Transylvanian Alps, which would probably take about a day.
Nel started grumbling along the way. She didn't like hiking that much and I'm sure her injuries weren't completely healed yet so it would be physically taxing for her.
"Want me to carry you?" Cliff asked, chuckling. "Kiddi—!"
Before he could even tell he was just joking, Nel was already climbing on his back.
"Hey!" "What?" she asked, feigning innocence. "You offered." "I didn't mean it—" "Ah, I'm tired."
Jett started walking, maybe afraid that Nel might do that to him, too. Cliff couldn't complain anymore and just followed Jett while carrying Nel on his back.
I thought she had matured after what happened but I guess it wouldn't be easy, especially when she's with those two.
I had been keeping an eye on them, telling the right path they should follow and avoiding places where wild animals and poisonous plants were sighted. A few hours ago, they had to run after crossing paths with a brown bear because they didn't hear what I was saying.
"See that yellow tree over there?" I said, raising my voice. "Yeah," Jett answered. "Go to that direction." "Roger."
Cliff was still carrying Nel and it looked like he didn't mind it anymore. Well, I'm sure that would be for the best since the bear might outrun her if she wasn't carried by him.
Almost an hour later, they reached the tree I was talking about and a boulder came into their view.
"Something's written here," Jett remarked and I told Nel to look at the boulder.
"The Yllka Shrine," Nel noted. "It's near," Cliff added.
They followed the direction but they halted when the path ended with a cave.
"Should we enter this?" asked Cliff. "Yes," I said. "Look at the side of the cave. There's an Erityian inscription."
The three of them approached the cave and nodded when they saw the inscription I was talking about. They went inside and I couldn't see anything anymore.
"Hey, you guys still okay?" "Yeah," Jett responded.
It took them thirty minutes to finally find the exit, but before I could see it, the connection was cut. I couldn't hear nor see anything.
"Hello? Nel? Cliff? Jett?"
Nothing. I tried calling them again but to no avail. They weren't responding.
For a second, I was worried, thinking that they got buried before they could leave the cave. But then, I thought maybe, the shrine would cut off any interferences from the outside world. I hope that would be the case.
I threw my device on the raft and heaved a sigh. I wanted to know what was going on but there were no ways to contact them anymore.