After learning that Annan was safe and sound, Salvatore accompanied Annan for dinner before leaving.
On the other hand, Captain Alexander excused himself and left immediately after learning that Annan was fine.
Even if he was the bank’s chairman, it did not mean he could stay idle. However, he was in good health, and the travels did not take much of his energy.
Instead, Salvatore was exhausted from the emergency travels.
Salvatore had come to Annan previously to deliver the dream elixir. Having another bumpy ride for this emergency had exhausted all of his energy.
At the same time, he did not have the option to catch a sleep. The sky was getting dark. If he consumes a stimulant, he might not be able to fall asleep at the designated hours.
That would be even worse.
Salvatore could only go for a walk in the garden and then go home after the stroll.
He did not even dare to eat his fill tonight.
He was wary of the lethargy coming after a meal. He might accidentally take a nap after sitting down, which could release the shadow.
After returning, I still have to check and correct the assignments I arranged a few days ago for my apprentice. Luckily, Little Hohenheim has a relatively stable personality. He is enthusiastic in his study, making notes, and such. I don’t need to be worried too much.
Annan had met the child too.
He is indeed a good boy.
Salvatore was quite busy these days, so he could only arrange homework for his apprentice, hand over the teaching materials and his class notes, and let the child self-study first.
“Safe journey, senior.” Annan waved at him with a smile.
Salvatore waved his hand without looking back, “It’s not like I will get lost.”
But you’re a little wobbly.
Actually, I’m really worried.
But Annan thought about it carefully and did not seem worried anymore.
In a sense, “Vatore-senpai” was much superior to the senior. As long as the senior fell asleep, a vicious and decisive shadow would appear to take over the body. This was more reassuring than the senior, who was slow to respond and always had kindness toward people.
At this moment, crow’s chirpings came from behind Annan.
[You have acquired a new mark, “Advanced Influence: Caw of the Faceless Crow”.]
[If you don’t remove it in time, you will fall into a random nightmare with the keyword “record” after seven days (Difficulty: Distorted). ]
A familiar system prompt appeared in front of Annan’s eyes again.
This was the fourth time he had heard this voice in the past few days.
Knowing that Annan did not want to enter this nightmare for the time being, the Faceless Poet kindly had his vessel chirp twice to refresh the duration of Annan’s influence.
The duration of the influence could be refreshed as long as it was repeatedly obtained before it reverberated.
The Faceless Poet seemed to take in a liking toward Annan. Whenever the Paper Princess was not around, he would appear from nowhere and chat with Annan for a while.
Black mud flowed out from the bottom of Annan’s bed and skillfully gathered into that young human figure.
It was a young girl with a black crow mask, only about 145 centimeters tall, with long satin-like magical black hair wrapped around her body.
She made a high-pitched sound reminiscent of a chirp, “You’re amazing, Annan. I was wondering whether to rush in to save you, but I didn’t expect you to survive.”
“Can you see my dreams?” The Faceless Poet first reached out a finger, placing a finger in front of her lips and making a silent gesture.
Then, she said with a smile, “I am the Deity of Records and Secrecy — a smart crow who can see everything but remains silent forever.
“Of course, if it’s you, it’s not like I won’t spill anything.”
“Are you for real?” Annan asked rhetorically.
Hearing this, the Faceless Poet let out a burst of laughter, “What secret did you see, Annan? Let me guess… Denizoya’s matters?”
“Yes.” Annan nodded.
He asked, “What’s going on with Nicholas?
“Previously, the Paper Princess told me that Nicholas was an artificial man with all of Nicholas’ memory and knowledge and that Father Stone was watching over him. But, I later learned that there was a great possibility that the “Nicholas” was the resurrected Nicholas himself, but his memory was modified, forgetting that ‘he is himself’.
“Bernardino gave me a hint. ‘How many Nicholas are there?’ I still don’t have an answer to that.”
Hearing Annan’s doubts, the Faceless Poet just looked up and laughed.
Her laughter was hearty, but for some reason, it sounded like a hint of sarcasm.
“I’m not laughing at you, Annan.” She explained quickly, but the smile on her face couldn’t be hidden at all, “How do I put this? Ah, I can almost tell you now. After all, the plan has been completed, and you have also realized it. So I don’t think we can hide it anymore.”
“Now?” Annan keenly caught a keyword.
The Faceless Poet nodded.
“Yes, now,” she said with a chuckle, “in fact, this matter has something to do with you.”
“Yes. That’s because Nicholas is also a ‘mirror’.”
The Faceless Poet replied, “It’s your mirror.”
—[The deities are born from the Light Realm, and they know that the radiance is born in the mirror and falls into the void.] [The Rays of the Seven Luminary have never fallen into the mortal world], [The ‘mirror’ without equal weight becomes the hatching egg, and the true light will not descend from the Light Realm].
The three words Henry VIII said again appeared in Annan’s mind.
Henry VIII was a man who was “similar and opposite” to Annan.
He acted as a mirror for some rituals and was used to incubate Annan’s light.
In this way, only people who were “similar and opposite” to Annan were qualified to be mirrors.
In what way was Nicholas the opposite of me?
Is it because he lost his memory like me?
That’s not right.
Annan suddenly remembered.
Nicholas in the past was a person who was called “demon” by Kafni. He launched massacres at every place in the capital and had no psychological burden on doing evil deeds. He even raised many evil subordinates.
However, Nicholas was quite restrained in this state.
“Could it be…” Annan suddenly understood something. He asked slowly, “Has he lost his memory of doing evil?
“So he became a good man?”
It was just like Annan.
According to Annan’s speculation, the sacred bone did not acknowledge him in his first life. Thus the reversal of his Winter Heart had occurred. Then, he cleared his memory and embarked on his second life.
The reason why he cleared up his memory was to prevent his cold memory from contaminating his feelings.
If Nicholas’s experience of doing evil deeds was deleted, it could indeed restore him to “the state before evil”.
The Faceless Poet shook his head quietly, “It’s quite close to the truth, but you still haven’t figured out the most important part.”
“The most critical place?”
“Try to remember.” The black-haired young girl raised the corners of her mouth, “Do you still remember the nightmare you have just experienced?
“If the remnants of Danton’s will infect your mind, do you think you are still Danton or Annan?
“It’s the same. Do you think there will be no fragments of will left in the world after Nicholas’s death? He’s much stronger than Danton.”
Hearing this, Annan was stunned for a moment and his head buzzed.
Many scattered clues were connected in his mind.
From the very beginning, the Paper Princess did not lie or mislead the truth!
Nicholas was a person he created himself. Thus, the corpse was still in Nicholas’ grave!
The memories he had forgotten, and Father Stone who watched him but let him out. How many Nicholas exist in the capital at the same time?
At first, Annan thought it was one.
Later, Annan thought there were two of them. The good watcher and the evil Father of the Demons.
Afterward, Annan thought there was only one Nicholas. The former was just the latter’s memory being washed away.
However, it appeared that the answer was zero.
Not a single Nicholas.
All of them were fake.
“What’s the purpose of this? Wait, I get it.” Annan raised his head and said slowly, “Your purpose is to create a ‘harmless Nicholas’ from the start!
“So that’s why the deities let him act and why he finds his memories are deleted so easily. That’s because ‘finding yourself as the real Nicholas’ is what you’re here for!
“Using the imprint of Nicholas’ thinking, the body of the artificial human, the memory that has been modified and completed by himself without authorization, you got an artificial human who thinks he is Nicholas!”
Annan came into a moment of silence afterward.
He stared at the Faceless Poet and asked slowly, “So, why is he my mirror?”
In Annan’s vision, the Faceless Poet was not highlighted.
“Don’t panic, Annan.” The Faceless Poet smiled mysteriously, “Since I dare to tell you, it’s not what you think.
“All I can say is that the Silver Sire and the Elegant Elder have proposed the plan; you are who you are now because you have proposed this plan.
“The causal relationship is reversed. You got the inspiration and determination to throw away the memory because you saw the whole picture of the plan back then. What I said is true because this is my [Record].
“Since I have revealed so much, but you haven’t figured out what your plan was back then, that means it’s still not the time yet.
“It’s going to be just fine. I’ll watch over you, buddy!” After saying that, the Faceless Poet once again turned into black mud and dissipated.
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