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The black figure froze as it released its grip on Bernadette's neck. It was as though it was staring at Queen Mystic with its non-existent eyes.

A dry, hoarse voice echoed in the concealed space:


This voice was filled with hesitation and confusion as though it was seeking confirmation. It was as if it had come from another world.

The corrosion that Bernadette encountered vanished. Her connection with the Sealed Artifact was instantly restored.

Pale Death once again ate at her vitality little by little. This helped her resist the chaos in her thoughts, maintaining her basic clarity and rationality.

Just as she was about to say something, the black figure suddenly stretched out its palm.

But this time, it didn't strangle Bernadette's neck, but instead, it pushed her hard.

Following this push was the collapse of the concealed space. It was a voice filled with pain as though it was resisting something.


As the voice echoed, the black figure vanished.

In an instant, it appeared on the huge, black, high-backed chair in the middle of the platform.

Two cracks appeared on its face, as though two asymmetrical eyes had grown out.

However, the "eyes" didn't have any pupils. It was blood-colored.

Right on the heels of that, another crack appeared beneath the two "eyes." They too were filled with a pure, blood-red light.

This allowed the black figure to finally open its mouth.

It faced Bernadette as obvious sounds of pain resounded around it as though it was resisting something.

"Leave this place!"

After being pushed out more than ten meters away, Bernadette easily found her footing. However, she didn't follow the voice's order by leaving the Black Emperor's mausoleum. She stood there, staring blankly at the central platform. As she looked at the black figure, her expression revealed an unspeakable sadness.

She could sense and now confirm that the black figure was her father, the man who called himself Caesar—Roselle Gustav.

In the next second, more cracks appeared on the black figure's body. They ruptured from top to bottom, blooming blood-red flowers in different parts of his body.

This made Roselle look like he was left with a shadow that wrapped around a blood-red object that emitted pure light.

When Klein saw this scene above the gray fog, he naturally thought of the crimson moon high in the sky.

At that moment, Roselle seemed to have transformed into a shadow. He wanted to block the crimson moon, but openings ruptured from his body, allowing more and more moonlight to shine into the real world.

When these openings were connected together, the black shadow would completely split apart and give birth to a brand new crimson moon.

When that happened, something extremely terrifying would definitely happen.

At that moment, Roselle's black figure turned much more illusory, as though it had become an illusion.

This made him look like he had been isolated in another world. There was an invisible barrier between him and the real world.

Then, Roselle raised his right arm with great difficulty and pinched his forehead.

The frequency at which blood-red cracks appeared on his body instantly decreased to a nadir. However, the "eyes" that had already appeared blinked repeatedly.

However, this didn't bring any negative effects on the surroundings. It was as though it was just a simple change of order. The new "growth" of blood-red cracks was constantly being distorted to its original state of only having gradual activity.

After completing this, Roselle raised his head and looked at Bernadette who was dozens of meters away. He said with a hoarse voice, "You really have become an important figure in the mysterious world. You managed to come here alone.

"Come over, let me see how my little princess has grown."

Bernadette's eyes reddened as she took a step forward.

Roselle laughed again.

"Back when I made sketchbooks, textbooks, and invented all kinds of small games for you, you were just a tiny midget. Now, you're able to save your poor old father.

"I remember that you liked the clothes I designed for you when you were young. Unfortunately, you can't wear layered dresses after you're an adult…"

The Emperor rambled on, as if he had arrived in his twilight years and was someone who enjoyed reminiscing about the beautiful past.

Bernadette walked faster and faster. Above the gray fog, Klein frowned indiscernibly.

Suddenly, Emperor Roselle lowered his head and said with great force, "Stop!"

His voice carried an indescribable pain.

Bernadette was stunned for a moment before she slowed down and stopped.

She looked at the dark figure and her eyes gradually revealed an indescribable sadness.

Roselle raised his head again and coughed lightly.

"Didn't you really want to ask why the Black Emperor's mausoleum has to be engraved with the order one implemented and the style that one ushered? In fact, this wasn't necessary. I just wanted to let anyone who sees it remember my greatness…"

Before he could finish his sentence, the Emperor gripped the armrest by his side tightly. He suppressed his voice and said in extreme pain, "Don't come near me!

"I've been corrupted…"

The sadness in Bernadette's eyes deepened.

Her guess had finally been confirmed.

At that moment, the red cracks on Roselle's face began to turn chaotic. They "closed" and "opened" randomly with no signs of having a unified will.

The Emperor took the opportunity and straightened his body. He looked at Bernadette and shouted with great difficulty, "Seal me!"

Seal… Queen Mystic Bernadette repeated the word silently. Her blue eyes quickly turned moist as a faint mist enveloped them.

Even though she had lived for many years and was no longer the little girl she had been in the past, she was still unable to contain her emotions.

However, she didn't ask for the reason, nor did she hesitate. With just a slight struggle, she firmly raised her right hand and pressed it on the pale-white metal mask.

She calmly made a decision, just like how she had faced all the major events that happened on the Element Dawn over the years.

On the surface of Pale Death, the metal instantly turned soft as it reformed into a new face with two black eyes.

In the deep-black parts of the eye, white lines appeared, forming an extremely complicated and mysterious three-dimensional symbol. It was like a long-feathered bird or a coiled feathered serpent.

The symbol absorbed the surrounding light and quickly turned corporeal. Then, it separated from Bernadette's eyes and extended its "body" before flying towards Roselle Gustav on the iron-black chair.

Along the way, the strange symbol caused the surroundings to become increasingly dim. The floor tiles and stone walls suffered another round of weathering as if the deity in charge of death had passed the final judgment.

The falling rubble and flying dust followed the corporeal symbol and came to Roselle's side. Then, they coiled around him, enveloping the illusory black figure that seemed to exist in another world.

During this process, Roselle failed to control himself several times. He attempted to leave the iron-black chair, but he ended sitting back down. He didn't resist the seal that Bernadette had exerted on him.

As the symbol fused with his figure, he immediately had a connection with Pale Death. He saw the illusory deity that lorded over the countless undead and the swollen body of a water ghosts loitering in a dark river.

Roselle's aura immediately vanished as the cracked red openings closed one after another.

What awaited the Emperor was a quiet and peaceful sleep.

As for the symbol, it was sealed within Roselle's body, constantly influencing him until Pale Death stopped responding.

In the blink of an eye, several blood-red cracks appeared on Roselle's body again. After his aura declined to a nadir, it gradually began to glow as he fought back against the corporeal symbol.

Klein, who was above the gray fog, sighed when he saw this. He clenched his fist and pressed it against his mouth.

The "curtain" he draped around himself suddenly rose up, and the entire Sefirah Castle "boiled over" in an obvious manner.

Silently, the aura of new life that Roselle had just obtained began to dissipate.

After vanishing to a certain point, it gained new life once again. Then, it was affected by the Pale Death and continued to fade away.

Using the power of the Attendant of Mysteries Beyonder characteristic and Sefirah Castle, Klein directly "Grafted" new life and death, and skipped the process in between.

The corruption that Roselle suffered was no longer able to recover to the extent needed to break through the pale seal.

Following that, Klein extended his right hand and used the power of Sefirah Castle to draw out the mysterious symbol behind The Fool's high-back chair—the mysterious symbol made up of the Pupil-less Eye and the Contorted Lines.

The symbol absorbed the aura of Sefirah Castle and quickly turned corporeal. With a wave of Klein's wrist, it entered the prayer light representing Bernadette and landed on Roselle's black figure, fusing into his body.

Every time the "Grafting" vanished, this symbol that was directly related to The Fool and Sefirah Castle would draw upon new powers and complete the "Grafting" process once more.

As he constantly passed away and gained new life, Roselle's face, which seemed to be a pure shadow, obtained facial features. Then, he looked to the top of the mausoleum, as though he was looking into an infinite height.

He then retracted his gaze and looked at Bernadette. He said with an abnormally weak voice, "This seal is good. I can sleep in peace…"

With that said, he frowned slightly as his tone changed:

"Who taught you how to dress like this?"

Bernadette felt a little lost as she listened. It was as if she had returned to her teenage years.

At that time, when she had dressed up to the nines for a ball held by other nobles. Roselle would use a similar expression and a similar tone to pepper her with a series of questions.

The mist in her eyes became obvious, and she could no longer control herself. She lowered her voice and shouted, "Daddy…"

Roselle's facial features immediately turned gentle before tensing up again. He sternly said, "Leave.

"And never return!"

Bernadette opened her mouth, wanting to say something, but her vision went black as though she could see the shadow of order.

In the next second, she found herself back at the edge of the primitive island.

Bernadette stared blankly at the mountain peak in the middle of the primitive island for a few seconds before slowly turning around and walking towards the sea.

This time, she didn't stubbornly insist on walking straight without looking back. Every few steps she took, she would stop and turn back to take a look.

Soon, she returned to the Dawn and entered the captain's cabin. She opened the room that was specially used to hold her collection.

At a glance, Bernadette saw books, stacks of textbooks, clothes, and skirts. She saw the chess game that few people in the world knew, and the neat pile of wooden block toys.

She leaned against the wooden door, slowly curled up, and sat on the floor.

She raised her head to look at the dark sky outside the captain's cabin and pinched her lips with her right thumb and index finger. She whistled a melodious tune—it was a gentle, sweet, and sad melody that could calm people down.

As the melody echoed, water beads fell from Bernadette's face and dripped onto the floor.

After an unknown period of time, the captain's cabin was filled with a suppressed whimper.


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