The two men were waiting for Nimir's answer, hoping that it will reveal the responsible for his and Lun's actions. But unfortunately what they obtained was highly disappointing.
"I do not know his real name."
The moment Heinz heard those words, rage started to grow in his heart, the cultivator could not accept that Nimir has been spying him under someone's command for decades and yet, he did not know his name.
It reached the point that he wanted to extract his soul, and forcefully search his memories, making him die under an agonizing pain.
But of course, this was just an impulse, and his will was too strong to let them truly affect him.
Zatiel, on the contrary, wasn't upset by the failure and after giving it some thought, he made another question.
"Describe with luxury of details the first contact that you had with that individual." After making the question, Zatiel proceeded to releases electric shocks on almost all the needles following certain patterns.
Arcs of lightning appeared over Nimir's brain as if a miniature storm was generated on his head. And before long he started to speak.
" It was when I reached the peak of Rank 1, due to an accident in one of my experiments, my consciousness was damaged, leaving me with horrible pain and destroying my path to Rank 2. I spent a long time trying to fix the damage but there was nothing I could do and when I was about to give up a man appeared. He was covered completely in a gray fog so I could not recognize him and told me that he was sent by the Sage."
As he hears Nimir's tale, a strange light appears on Zatiel eyes.
"He told me that if I accepted to be under the Sage command, they will send me on a journey where I will be able to change my fate. Although it sounded like a joke, the man in the fog was incredibly powerful and I doubted that someone like that would waste his time playing pranks, so I accepted."
Although Nimir was still unconscious, the respect and admiration that felt by that person he knows as the Sage was so deep, that it was reflected in his words.
" The journey was full of danger and the number of times I was close to death was uncountable, but by a reason I could not explain, I always end up fine and when I finish it, not only my consciousness was healed, but I also reached Rank 2. After that, I followed his instruction and started to serve under Heinz, collecting all the information I could about him."
After hearing about Nimir's epic journey and how he was able to overcome all sorts of dangers and finally rise out of a desperate situation with the help of this Sage, some memories appeared on Zatiel mind, and along with them a great coldness and killing intent.
"Did you ever had direct contact with this Sage or other people under his command beside the man in the fog?"
"Never, all my reports were sent by disposable communications crystals to a location I do not know. And in every physical interaction, the only individual present was the man in the fog, who never revealed his identity to me."
Even after following his orders for decades and spy the actions of a Rank 4 life form, Nimir was never trusted with any sort of useful information about this Sage, or any other people working under him.
This fact revealed to both Zatiel and Heinz, that the Sage was someone beyond careful and that he maintained a layer of secrecy over his identity even to those under his command.
But despite the apparent dead end, Zatiel knew that even if Nimir wasn't trusted with the identity of the Sage, that does mean that he did not find out by himself.
"Tell me, did you ever investigated the Sage?"
Working for decades under someone with such a mysterious identity could rise curiosity on anyone, and Nimir certainly was not an exception.
But strangely, there was some sort of resistance by Nimir part to access those memories, unfortunately for him, he was unconscious and the only thing that Zatiel needed to do was increase the potency of those electric shocks to make him talk and brake his defenses.
Due to the potency of the stimulus, a lot of blood vessels broke in Nimir's eyes, but this did not stop him from talking.
"Yes I did, but the shadow covering the Sage identity was impervious to any sort of investigation, and no matter how much I try, it was futile"
Both Heinz and Zatiel were disappointed when they hear this, luckily for them, Nimir hasn't finished talking yet.
"But during the decades of research I was able to obtain a lot of information about the man in the fog, and I am sure that his name is Frederick Teiner."
That name did not mean anything to Zatiel, but it was different with Heinz, as he frowned when he hears it.
"Brother, how sure are you that what he says is true."
Seeing Heinz's expression, Zatiel knew that the identity of the man named Frederick was not simple.
"Since it is something Nimir was able to deduce of decades of research, I can't say for sure that he did not make a mistake but what he just say to us now, is what he believes it is true. By your expression, I take it that you know him."
"Ahhh, yes I know him. Frederick Teiner is the number two man of Salazar Rasputin, a Prince of the Empire like me," Heinz could not help but sigh when he spoke those words.
His original plan was to find out the person behind Nimir, and then go and kill him. This was an extremely direct way of doing things but it is what the cultivator was going to do, even if that means fighting more than one Soul Forging existence at once.
Unforutunalldy, Salazar Rasputin wasn't someone that Heinz could just go and kill.
"Are you related to him?" Zatiel notices that troubled expression on Heinz face and knew that he will find extremely difficult to attack this person.
"No really, our royal lines are different."
Not because they shared the title of Prince of the Empire meant that Salazar and Heinz were related by blood.
The title of Prince was given to any person that has reached Rank 4 and whose direct family had generated a Being of Laws.
"Although we are both at Rank 4, I am sure I could kill him if I can fight against him without obstruction, and do not care for the damage done to my body. What makes it difficult to handle him, is his identity as an Origin Runemaster."
When Zatiel hear that, he understood that this situation was becoming more and more complicated.
An Origin Runemaster was someone that could inscribe Rank 4 runes, and although they were only one level above Rank 3 runes, the difference was immense and they are able to grant abilities that even Rank 5 and 6 life form could find useful.
The Aeternum Empire has hundreds of billions of people living in their domains, with a military force of several thousand Soul Forging existences, but the number of Origin Runemasters does not reach the three digits.
This was a perfect statement of how difficult becoming an Origin Runemaster was and the importance of Salazar to the empire and how deep his connections could be.
But Zatiel was sure that he was not the one giving Nimir his commands. The Sage was someone that lived in anonymity and whose abilities gives the illusion that he could see the future.
"Heinz, did Salazar was once only an insignificant person, and then one day started to obtain one lucky encounter after the another, and display amazing talent out of nowhere?"
When Heinz hear that, he was surprised and with an inquisitive expression he answered.
"There is indeed a rumor about it, that he was someone without any sort of talent during his youth. But that was hundreds of years in the past, how did you know?"
After hearing Heinz's statement, Zatiel becomes sure of what sort of enemy they were facing but it doesn't bring him any happiness and he could feel a headache approaching.
"Whether Salazar was involved in the plan for killing me, is something we do not know. Our true enemy is the individual known as the Sage, and if I am correct, he is the type of person that likes to hide in the darkness and pull the strings of their puppets to see them dance. He is someone that has mastered the art of divination, a user of the Law of Fate."
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