Joshua inspected the newly formed runes on his right hand. He had a feeling that he had seen these runes somewhere before in his life.
After going through his memories, he finally figured out what it was in no time.
"Fang..." murmured Joshua. Later on, he gazed towards the direction where he last met the old butler. There was once when he carefully examined the old hands of the butler. On the back of his hand existed a slightly different shaped rune but very similar in terms of style.
"At that time, I only noticed Fang aging. However, I never placed too much attention to the other parts of his body."
Although Joshua had identified the familiarity of the rune by linking it to his butler, this information did not really help him in terms of understanding the functionality of the rune. Joshua carefully touched the rune on the back of his hand. He had no idea why it suddenly emerged on his hand and what was the reason it appeared in the first place.
"Joshua? What happened to you?"
All the anomalies which happened previously occurred within seconds. Nolan and Chris could only see Joshua holding onto his wrist all of a sudden before whimpering. They didn't notice the magical energy fluctuation that occurred. Immediately, they went up to Joshua and asked, "Is that an injury from your previous battle?"
"No, it's not related to that," Joshua replied while shaking his head. Joshua then moved his wrist and noticed nothing peculiar. The previous sensation of a sudden spike in heat and chill did not exist… As though he was hallucinating. Other than having an extra tattoo-like pattern on the back of his hand, he didn't notice any damages or degradations in terms of battle prowess that was caused by the phenomena.
"If your condition isn't at its peak, do not overexert yourself. I have a safe house well hidden within the city. You could get some quality rest there."
Nolan was still worried about Joshua's current condition. As a Silver-tier stalker, her observation skills were way better than Chris the alchemist. She had noticed that the warrior in front of her was worrying about something. She was certain that the whimper he let out earlier was real. Thus, to show her sincerity towards Joshua, she said, "You just have to rest for a day. I could arrange for some of my henchmen to provide you with a full set of armor and a weapon. After that, it doesn't matter whether you sneak in and kill Danlya when my brother is not around or carry out other dangerous tasks, you would not be taking too much of a risk."
Joshua was surprised for a moment there.
Not because he was going to accept the suggestion. Although the suggestion given by the gray-haired girl was good and reasonable, he did not plan to do things in such a fashion. At this moment, another issue surfaced.
When Nolan mentioned the word 'weapon', the rune on Joshua's hand actually heated up for a moment. At that instant, he suddenly recalled a very important piece of information.
"Oh yeah! Not only was this rune present on the back of the butler's hand, even the family crest of Radcliffe had a similar rune!"
For things that are too common in life, we tend to overlook it most of the time. Joshua retrieved a pocket watch from his inline pocket. On top of the pocket watch, it displayed the time; half past six in the morning. The most crucial information was that on the back of the pocket watch, there was a very intricately engraved crest on it.
There was one hand holding onto a sword with a snake entwining both the hand and the sword together like a chain.
"It is a perfect match…" Joshua no longer had the urgency to go to the count's mansion. He furrowed his eyebrows while examining his own family crest. Joshua started to ponder about the recent weird occurrence. "Could it be that there's a hidden secret behind this? Oh, wait!"
Tying all the incidences together, Joshua finally caught a glimpse of the whole scenario that had befallen him.
"So that's what had happened.
"Fang had mentioned before that 'Qualification is not something as abstract as a title or status. It is a thing.' Although this rune is not an item itself, it is something that Fang had that I did not possess initially."
All the mysteries had finally been identified and resolved. Joshua didn't really care about the looks Nolan and Chris were exchanging and mumbled to himself.
"Fang does not know that his identity as a Divine Armament has already been known to me. Well, the information later on will be easy to deduce. The weapon shown on this rune represents the Divine Armament. As for the hand shown within the family crest, that represents each and every generation of the Radcliffe family's head of clan, who are also the wielders of Divine Armaments!"
"And that means that the 'qualification' itself is about coming into possession of a Divine Armament!"
The logic behind this was very simple and straightforward. As long as you have sufficient information in hand, you could easily deduce it even if you had the mentality of a child. However, Joshua was a person who had just traveled through dimensions, he could not recall all these details too clearly in a short time frame. Before Joshua had time to celebrate, he once again experienced a burning sensation.
This time, however, it did not inflict pain as its previous occurrence did. The sensation this time around was akin to soaking inside a bucket of warm water which gave off a very pleasant feeling. Other than this warm sensation, Joshua also felt that the rune was actually summoning him to a certain location.
It is not that I do not have any information about the location hidden by your father. Only, it is hidden in a place that you should also know of.
This phrase that was previously mentioned by the old butler suddenly popped up in Joshua's mind. Joshua agreed with that statement. "Of course, I should have known about this…"
After taking in a deep breath and subsequently exhaling, Joshua felt a lot more refreshed. The white fog which was brought forth by the warm air slowly dissipated within the alley. Now, Joshua's complexion went back to normal. He turned his head towards Chris and called out to him with a stern tone. "You! Follow Nolan to the safe house."
Next up, he instructed Nolan, "Lead him away from this area. One more thing, what's your elder brother's Gold-tier phase?"
Nolan was nervous by Joshua's sudden actions; she thought that this warrior would suddenly attack her. She never thought that he would only want her to escort a person to the safe house as well as ask her some questions. After sighing with relief, she answered, "No problem, I can bring him to the safe house. As for my elder brother's current status, he is still in the beginning phase of Gold-tier. He is only 29 years old and had just achieved a breakthrough. He could not possibly be an intermediate Gold-tier."
"Then it is not an issue after all," said Joshua while nodding his head. Without any hesitation, he left the small alley. "From now onwards, both of you only need to stay hidden. Tomorrow, you will hear the good news. Especially for you, Nolan. I'm actually pretty interested in the family faction you are a part of. Maybe we could discuss a collaboration in the near future."
Although Nolan felt that she should continue to advise Joshua, she did not dare to attempt with initiating another conversation with him. Additionally, Joshua's actions were too fast. Both of them could only respond to him in a brief manner before watching him vanish from the alley in the next second.
After exiting the small alley, Joshua didn't stop and continued on his journey. From the time he breached the main gate and met with Chris, the silencer, and Nolan, more than half of an hour had gone by. Based on his own experience, this amount of time was ample enough for the enemy to rally their forces. During this time around, the enemy was probably performing a search between the count's mansion and the main gate. A large-scale search would be unlikely to happen within this short time frame.
Considering that Joshua already lost his best timing for an ambush, he was biding his time to uncover the secrets behind the rune on the back of his hand. He wanted to explore anything related to this rune and observe the entire situation.
The city center of Moldavia was his birthplace. He grew up on this very same land. After living for more than ten years in this city, he was very familiar with the terrain here. He knew every nook and cranny of the city including the residential area, manufacturing area, business district, as well as the military barracks.
After avoiding a few areas with patrols, Joshua utilized all the alleys and shortcuts to arrive at the location where the rune led him to.
"I think I'm close to the destination now."
The burning sensation on his wrist was getting hotter and hotter. At that moment, Joshua had already reached the far end of the western city area with a church located at that place.
Behind the church, a large cemetery could be seen. It was sealed off with metal bars, preventing ordinary civilians from entering that area yet allowing them to see the tombstones erected within the cemetery.
This was a cemetery for warriors.
Not every person within the city had the privilege of having their bodies buried behind the church and receiving the people's blessings. Only those warriors who had sacrificed themselves protecting the city from the onslaught of monsters, beasts and the Dark Tide had the right to receive blessings from the civilians by being buried here. The reason metal bars were used instead of bricks was that it allowed the people here to read about the deeds of these perished warriors.
[Glory belongs to the warriors who fulfilled their deeds. This will be their resting place.]
A stone tablet was erected in front of the church entrance. The phrase stated above was printed onto the stone tablet with molten metal.
Joshua nodded his head in agreement towards the message shown. Later on, he entered the church.
This was a gothic church. On top of the church, there was an old bell tower. Despite having aged, the main door was still quite sturdy. Joshua wasn't able to discover any priests or nuns within the church. To be fair, this was quite logical because there was a larger church located in the city center. All the priests were stationed there. The few cemetery knights which were supposed to be stationed here had probably been relocated under the orders of Danlya.
For Danlya who was already lacking in human resources to even deploy a full-scale patrolling squad within the city could already be considered a wonder. How could he even spare the extra resources required in guarding a dilapidated church?
"The burning sensation is now gone. I guess I have finally arrived at my destination."