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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 128

    While Kris was trapped in the nightmare within the Dream Gap, Len, sitting in the Investigative Bureau, suddenly snapped awake.

    He looked around. Judith had left to deal with the missing corpse, while Justice of Appearance, although still in the office, seemed unfocused, clearly secretly browsing forums. Len relaxed and pretended to be tired, leaning on the desk as he immersed his consciousness into the Dream Gap.

    His avatar's Dream Gap was connected to his main body. Upon entering, he noticed another light point, though this one appeared faint and tainted with a hint of gray, as if corrupted.

    "Kris…" Len muttered, his expression flickering with surprise and complexity as he recognized the light point's owner.

    But there was no time for further investigation. Sensing that Kris's soul light was about to extinguish, he immediately delved deeper into the light point.

    Kris felt a sharp pain in his arm as the plant that had been embedded in his flesh burst out. Its branches were supple and slimy, like tentacles, grappling with all the bizarre creatures attacking him. Then, they tightened, strangling them all.

    The strange creatures' bodies and blood stained the ground. As the branches absorbed the nutrients from the blood, they grew larger, entwining and revealing Len's figure.

    Len surveyed his surroundings before turning to look at Kris, who was lying on the floor, struggling to look at him.

    "…My Lord." Kris opened his mouth, initially intending to say "Mr. Len," but for some reason, upon meeting Len's gaze, the address changed involuntarily.

    Lane's feelings were also complicated. To be honest, he had previously viewed Kerry with some scrutiny and caution due to his intricate identity. Kerry was associated with the Prophet, had joined the Audit Bureau, and had been a teaching assistant at MIT. Despite his connections to these three organizations, he didn't seem loyal to any particular faction, like an indifferent wild cat that might stay for a moment but could also turn and leave at any time.

    That was why, when Lane heard 'Judas' from Destiny, he instinctively associated it with the concept of "traitor," and couldn't help being wary of the newly-joined Kerry.

    Of course, this previous guard had dissipated with the appearance of the light spots.

    Lane extended his hand to Kerry. "Get up."

    Kerry was momentarily taken aback before rising promptly and grasping Lane's palm. There were still faint traces of corruption on him, remnants of the injuries inflicted by those strange creatures earlier, which had caused feathers and scales to grow on his skin. However, under Lane's will, these abnormal signs gradually faded away.

    Fortunately, Kerry had summoned Lane instead of directly leaving the Gap of Dreams. Otherwise, if these corrupted traces had been carried into reality and solidified in his subconscious, Lane would have been powerless. But now, because Kerry had set aside all rationality and reservations, fully embracing his faith in Lane, Lane gained full control over Kerry's Gap of Dreams, just as he had done with Albert's dream.

    After cleansing Kerry of the corruption, Lane looked back up at the sky and sighed softly. "What a magnificent sight."

    "Master, this level of the Gap of Dreams isn't a test but more like an alarm ringing deep within our souls," Kerry explained quietly, describing what they had just witnessed. Perhaps everyone's subconscious had influenced their perceptions, but the general truth was that the Gap of Dreams, or their subconscious, was issuing a warning. The warning was that the world and humanity were on the brink of destruction, known as the "Day of the Return of the Stars."

    Lane gazed upward at the bizarre starry sky and the 'God' holding the divine throne beneath it, chuckling softly. "Indeed, quite a grand scheme."

    "Divinity" seemed to sense its prey being snatched away, and in wrath, pointed its scepter at Lane. The angels surrounding It instantly raised their weapons and charged at Lane.

    "Might have been interesting if you were the true essence, but you…" Lane lazily lifted his eyelids. "Are merely a fleeting hint, not even an echo."

    He blew a breath, extinguishing the incoming angels' lives as one would a candle flame. With a step, he shrank the distance, appearing right above "God's" head.

    "God's" form was indistinct, just as depicted in myths, concealed entirely by divine flames.

    Alas, within this dream realm that Lane now dominated, the difference between eradicating "God" and crushing an ant or a cockroach was negligible.

    As Lane's actions unfolded, "God's" figure gradually faded away.

    But in that instant, the vanishing "God" suddenly ceased its dissipation.

    It moved, its previously rigid motions now infused with a spark of life. Looking at "Lane," It asked with puzzlement,

    "Who are you?"

    Lane's pupils constricted, and without hesitation, he summoned all the dream realm's power to forcefully erase "God's" presence.

    In the meantime, he appeared beside Kerry, instantly pulling him out of the Dream Gap.

    Kerry's eyes snapped open in the real world.

    The Doctor stood before him, his eyes shimmering with anticipation.

    He had never failed with this tactic before. Anyone who had witnessed the apocalypse and the 'God' saving the world would become an devout follower.

    Sure enough, Kerry was no exception. After a brief moment of stunned silence, his eyes immediately lit up with the familiar fervor that the Doctor recognized.

    "That one, that very...!"

    "Relax, I know what you want to say," the Doctor patted Kerry's shoulder, pleased, now fully regarding him as an ally. "I'll tell you everything."

    ...

    "Sigh, still faith, huh?" In Lane's divine realm, the Prophet who taught Archie let out a long sigh.

    The Sphinx and Archie, still practicing the method he had taught to repel Truth Worms, turned to look at the Prophet upon hearing his words.

    The Prophet gazed at Sphinx and Arche, and couldn't help but sigh again. "Our lineage has been thoroughly caught in a net. With Carmen, two of the original Three Sages now serve under that name... Could this truly be destiny?"

    His last words were soft, but the keen-eared Sphinx still caught them. The intelligent creature immediately understood that the Prophet was talking about Lane and wagged its tail joyfully. "Of course, he's the master chosen by me, Sphinx. Right, Arche?"

    Arche glanced at Sphinx but didn't speak. Pleased with the dragon's indifference, the Prophet was surprised when Arche nodded slightly.

    "...Ah, that individual's method of gathering believers is truly remarkable," the Prophet sighed.

    But soon, Sphinx realized that the 'lineage' the Prophet mentioned included someone else besides himself and Arche.

    "You mean Kley Chapman?" Sphinx raised his brows in displeasure. "What did he do while I was away?!"

    Suppressing a chuckle, the Prophet replied, "He's likely become your 'colleague' formally. And Kley is probably assisting Lane's avatar in investigating the Audit Bureau right now."

    "What?!" Sphinx froze on the spot, unable to believe that he had been away for so long while that sneaky cat had taken advantage.

    Sphinx immediately turned to Arche, who seemed to know what he was going to say and coldly stated, "No, the cultivation isn't complete yet."

    "But don't you worry that Lord Lane might change his heart?" Sphinx argued loudly.

    Archie averted his gaze, merely frowning inwardly.

    The Sphinx prattled on beside him, detailing the consequences of losing one's position, but the Prophet merely watched with amused interest.

    Origin Powers and their hosts were like two sides of the same coin. Some said that an Origin Power was like an entirely uninhibited self or the missing piece in one's innate nature.

    Which category did Archie fall into?

    ...

    Perhaps due to his desire for Kerry's support, the Doctor readily shared his plan with Kerry.

    "Our Lord seeks something within the Audit Bureau. All our plans revolve around obtaining that item."

    Kerry asked, "What is it, exactly?"

    "Have you heard of the 'Ark of the Covenant'?"

    "The one from the Bible?"

    "It's slightly different, but the Ark of the Covenant can indeed be traced back to that artifact. It symbolizes the covenant between the divine and humanity," the Doctor said with a meaningful tone.

    "In any case, we must acquire this item – that's our mission. That's why I implemented the plan to replace humans with anomalies, to reinforce our team and search for the artifact within the Bureau."

    Cleary's eyes darkened in understanding. "Did you find it?"

    The Doctor grumbled, "If it were that easy, I wouldn't need you."

    Realizing that the Doctor was aware of the Omniscient Society, Cleary replied, "I'll try to gather information from within the Omniscient Society. The Prophet might know something."

    The Doctor's grim expression softened. "Hmph, that's more like it. As expected of someone I personally recruited."

    Cleary asked, "What about after that? Are you going to continue with your plan to replace humans with anomalies?"

    The Doctor said, "Of course. Based on the intelligence we've gathered so far, the Director's actions seem suspicious. Something might have happened to him, which means the Bureau is at its most vulnerable right now!"

    Pausing, he gave Cleary an odd look. "But after that, I'll take care of things. It won't concern you. Your job is to find another excuse to re-enter the Omniscient Society and gauge the Prophet's knowledge."

    "Are you afraid I'll steal your thunder?" Kerry's expression was peculiar.

    "Haha, you're still too inexperienced to snatch credit from me. I've been undercover in the bureau for over 40 years. When 'He' arrives, my efforts will be acknowledged."

    "Tell me then, since I'll be leaving soon." Kerry shrugged. "What are your plans? It'd help me prepare."

    The Doctor gazed at Kerry silently. Just as Kerry thought the Doctor had become wary, he let out a long sigh. "Never mind, there's no harm in telling you. Actually, it's quite simple. The tensions between the Secretary's office and the ordinary investigators have been simmering for a long time."

    "And all I need to do is ignite that powder keg."

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