Everyone fell into silence.
They had listened to Gaspar, made a charge for Clearheart Sect and demanded the latter to hand Ethan over.
They had been such idiots. Gaspar had played them like puppets.
“Why would Gaspar do something like this?” asked Rodrick, the chief of the Thunder Step Sect. “He told us that he wanted to find a way out, that he only wanted the best for his disciples. Why would he…didn’t he say that the way out lies outside the mountain and that there are more resources to be found outside?”
Elder Percy smiled mirthlessly and shook his head. “We’ve all been duped. The world beyond the mountain isn’t a place for us. Have you ever thought about where all that gray matter came from? What’s their purpose?”
Everyone fell into silence once again.
A long moment passed before Jericho frowned. “Are you saying that someone created the gray matter intentionally so that we would be forced to leave the mountain?”
As soon as those words left his lips, revelation struck everyone like a flash of lightning.
Everything would make so much more sense if that were truly the case.
Who was the one who had created the gray matter though?
“Is it Mr Cedric?” Jericho looked at Elder Percy. “Is Mr Cedric the one who killed Master Kane?”
Elder Percy snorted and didn’t say a word. The rage on his face told everyone what they needed to know though.
No one had expected Mr Cedric to be the central figure and the cause of everything that had happened. Despite knowing that such a person did exist, no one could remember what he looked like at all.
Dread and horror filled them gradually as they tried desperately to recall his features. As their fear of Mr Cedric grew, their reason returned to them as well.
“Gaspar, that bastard! Does he know what he’s doing?”
“He probably doesn’t know that he’s being manipulated by someone,” sighed Raiden Powell. “I’ve felt something was amiss but I couldn’t pin down what was wrong. It seems like we’ve all fallen for Mr Cedric’s tricks. Even though we’ve been poisoned, our minds have regained some measure of clarity.”
“This is terrifying.” Rodrick shook his head. “Who exactly is this Mr Cedric?”
No one knew.
Mr Cedric was a complete mystery. He had an ability that allowed him to easily gain the trust of everyone around him. He was seen as an old and trusted friend by everyone. Everyone believed what he said.
But as soon as they turned away, they forgot that he had existed in the first place.
“Our priority now should be to find a way out of this place,” said Jericho. “We have to leave this place. We can’t let our sects surrender to Titan Sect and Gaspar’s rule. That will bring nothing but trouble.”
No one wanted their sects to become Gaspar’s puppets and become mere tools for his exploitation.
“But we’ve all been poisoned.” Elder Percy looked at everyone. “Do you know what poison it is and where the antidote is being kept?”
“It’s Tranquilizing Dust,” Raiden sighed with some guilt and frustration. “It used to be our sect’s secret concoction.”
“Do you have the antidote?” Elder Percy wasn’t interested in the poison’s history, only in knowing what it was.
“There’s no antidote,” Raiden said with a wry smile. “It can only be neutralized through activating your inner energy. Judging by the severity of our condition, it’ll take us at least five years to fully neutralize the poison.”
He knew that Gaspar wouldn’t go easy on them. He would continue to drug them every day so that they would never regain the power to fight back.
He would be able to gain complete and lasting control over the six sects then.
Alarm flashed across Elder Percy’s eyes when he heard Raiden’s words. “There’s no antidote?”
What was he going to do?
They could barely stand. How were they going to leave without an antidote?
Ethan wouldn’t be able to lead them out of this place even if he were to free them from their cells.
That explained Gaspar’s confidence. The poison had the terrifying ability to trap them here forever, eliminating all chances of their escape.