Oliver and Tomas were extremely xenophobic individuals. Their belief that anyone that was not a member of the Heavenly race was equal to a beast was engraved in their souls.
Their power and knowledge allowed them to understand the forces that make the universe work. Their grasp of fate was high enough to know how it can impact the actions of weak life forms.
They understood that as Soul Forging existences they had great resistance to its influence.
Due to all these factors, despite the Sage's power and mysterious nature, which could draw the attention of many, they did not feel close to him. The disgusts they felt when he spoke to them with such intimacy was immense.
The truth was that if their minds were not so closed and their wills were not filled with loath to everything foreign, the words of the Sage would have affected their attitudes.
Just like he was able to calm the elements with a movement of his hand, his voice could enter people's hearts and change them.
The Sage noticed this but he remained silent and heard the words the two dukes shared in what they thought was a secret channel.
"Oliver, we have to be careful with the things we tell this person. If my hypothesis is right, he is a master of the Law of Fate, and it seems his skills have reached the point where he can scry the fate of Rank 4 life forms." Tomas' expression had not changed but he understood very well the danger in which they were. The Angelic Paragon was ready to fuse with his Law Avatar and run away at the first sign of trouble.
"I understand but The Volcano Eruptions are too important. If we can mass-produce those that work for Rank 4 life forms, we have a chance to turn the tables and defeat the Magi." Oliver was not naive and recognized the threat they faced, however, this was the only way he saw to change his destiny.
"Let's finish this deal and then we will cease any contact with this person. He is too dangerous. I am afraid we will be using a deadly virus to fight flesh-eating bacteria if we keep working with him." Tomas knew the importance of this deal, but his instincts told him how dangerous the Sage was, so he chose to sever their relationship with him after this.
Once the two dukes reached a consensus, they spoke to the Sage. They were Rank 4 life forms and their speed of thought was so immense, that their entire conversation lasted less than a second so they were sure the person in front of them noticed nothing.
"We appreciate your kind words. I have everything you asked for with me and if the information you provide is as good as you say it is, we can continue working together in the future." Oliver spoke with a voice full of sincerity. If any outsider saw him, he would think the duke spoke to an old friend.
Oliver made a spatial ring approach the grey humanoid, so he could inspect it.
The Sage did not send his consciousness into the ring and just focused on the two Angelic Paragons.
The two dukes started to get worried as they saw the faceless humanoid not moving. It was only after ten seconds that the Sage acted.
"My friends, I am afraid my good nature doesn't allow me to continue with this deal. I have seen the future and only the knowledge about Volcano Eruption will not stop your home from becoming hell on earth. It would be enough to keep the killing sword and the blue star at bay, but the golden sun would still ravage the entire world." The Sage's voice was still robotic but those who heard it could feel his sadness.
Oliver and Tomas felt the fear in their hearts grow. Although those words would not make sense to others, it was different for them. The prophecy came to their mind. The duo had already associated Zatiel with the golden sun and if everything goes as it predicted, he would fight with the Archangel.
Of course, prophecies were not entirely reliable, especially one done by a Rank 3 life form who died as he performed it.
The duo did not trust the Sage but they could not just ignore his words.
"What do you propose then?" Tomas' voice was somber. They were stronger than the Magi and yet they always failed
"It is simple, I can help you get rid of the disease instead of just treating the symptoms. But that will force me to pay a very high price so in exchange I will need you to hand me over the Codex of Fate and a Soul Apple. If you accept, I can assure you all your problems will disappear."
The eyes of the Angelic Paragons widened when they heard that. The things the Sage wanted were not just extremely valuable but also a secret of the Heavenly race and the only reason the duo knew about them was due to their status as dukes.
There is a special library that was left by the Being of Laws that terraformed this world and every Rank 4 Angelic Paragon had access to it. It had books with all types of high-grade Path Techniques.
But there is a special section that only dukes have access to and it holds the most precious books, the ones that have the title 'Codex'.
When you train the Path Technique inside a 'Codex' to the absolute limit, you could push one aspect of yourself to the boundary of Rank 7.
Eternal Vengeful Body and Blood Demodand Technique are examples of such Path Techniques. The first grants amazing survival skills and eternal life once it is mastered while the other could allow your body to resist the barrage of a Being of Laws.
To Zatiel such Path Techniques were not that important, but the truth is that there are Soul Law Domain existences that do not have one. The reason for their rarity is simple, to create one, you must at least have a law comprehension at the 'Grand Completion' level over a very powerful law.
As for the Soul Apple. It is a holy panacea that grows only in the Garden of Creation. It usually takes dozens of thousands of years for one to mature, and almost all of them are saved for the Archangel.
Every one hundred thousand years The Seven would give one to the dukes. The apple had an amazing invigorating effect on the soul.
However, it's healing properties were even more impressive. It could restore the true Soul of a Rank 4 life form to its peak condition, regardless of the damage that it had endured.
What shocked the duo when they heard the Sage ask for one, was that they obtained a Soul Apple less than two months ago.
If he knew they have one, then that meant his power was even greater than they thought.
This time the power in the voice of the Sage was more potent. Enough to even affect the mind of a Rank 4 Magus, a race known for their powerful spirits
However, the xenophobia in the dukes ran so deep that it reached their souls.
"Hmph, your greed is truly great. Those items are things only members of our glorious race can use. There is no way we will exchange them with you. Now we either go back to the original deal or we leave." Tomas was displeased and he did not bother to hide the anger in his face.
Oliver's attitude was no different. A 'Codex' and an Apple of Soul, are things special for the Heavenly race since one was left by a Being of Laws and the other was born in the Garden of Creation. There is no way they would give them to a mere animal.
The response of the Sage to the duo's insult shocked them.
"Hahahahaha." He started to laugh out loud and his robotic voice was replaced by an ancient and archaic one.
"What are you laughing at!" Oliver's face was filled with disgust and the voice of the Sage made him feel very uncomfortable.
"It is not obvious, I am laughing at two filthy pigeons who don't know their place." The moment his voice stopped, the Sage moved.
Tomas and Oliver were prepared or at least they thought they were. The grey humanoid moved with such speed that before the duo could do something, he had already grabbed their heads.
Their bodies, souls, and energies froze and there was nothing they could do to free themselves.
With terror, they saw how a tear was formed on the faceless head. It resembled a monstrous mouth from where boiling asphalt drooled.
"Now my dear friends, let's continue speaking."
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