As soon as the three got inside the Portal, they all could not help but look at each other. And, as if they practiced it, they also looked at the Portal they just passed through all at the same time.
“…Weird,” Van could not help but utter as his eyes scanned the surroundings, “We’re inside the Portal now, right?”
The surrounding area was almost the exact same as the one outside, causing not only Van but all three of them to be confused if they actually passed through the Portal. If it wasn’t for the trucks and the perimeter that the Standby Unit set up, then they would have probably thought that they were still outside.
“What do you think, Angie?”
“Hm,” Angela quickly nodded, “Except for the trees that you plucked before we entered, it is as if we’re almost in the same place. Even the positions of the plants, the movement of the clouds, the temperature…
…everything is the same except the shadows.”
“…” Hearing Charlotte not even hesitating a single bit from Angela’s statement, Van could not help but be slightly taken aback, “You know every single detail of where we were earlier? Is that another Skill of yours, Ms. Angela?”
“What? No, of course not. Are you stupid?” Angela quickly answered back, “Why would I even copy a skill as useless as that?”
“…You memorized everything on your own? How?”
“We’re more than our Systems, Mr. Evans. Forget about what Hans said during the entrance ceremony that we are our Systems, he’s just a perverted bald imbecile.”
“…” More than our Systems? Van could not help but slightly look towards the ground of the thought. Without his System, he would surely still be in the Relic Graveyard… or dead– most probably the latter.
“Don’t sell yourself short, Mr. Evans. You survived the harshest environment in our country even with that feeble body of yours. If anything, with how things have been going on with your life right now, you’d probably be the leader of the Relic Graveyard in a few years. What a life we would have lived.”
“Don’t mind it too much,” Angela waved her hand as she started walking through the lush forest, “All you need to know is that you too are more than your System, Mr. Evans.”
“How I envy this teacher-student relationship,” Charlotte let out a long and deep breath as she followed closely behind Angela, “But with the way things are developing now, I am afraid my granddaughter has another rival in love inste–“
Before Angela could even finish her words, Angela rolled her fists and started punching him. The punches were enough to move Van’s hair and the leaves of the trees even from a distance, but Charlotte was just casually catching it with her palms. It took a few seconds for the two to calm down. But after that, their expressions turned serious.
“Stay close,” Charlotte muttered as she went to the front, “We don’t know what’s out there so I will take the lead.”
“Hm,” Angela quickly nodded as she walked beside Van just a few steps behind Charlotte. While walking, Angela continued to scan the surrounding area, and she could not help but squint her eyes because the area really was similar… no, the exact copy of their world outside. “It would seem we really are at our destination. Only a Celestial Portal would be as weird as this.”
“It’s a Portal that contains a god.”
“You… know of it, Miss Charlotte?”
Surprisingly, the one to answer Van wasn’t Angela, but Charlotte.
“Yes. Your bitch of a mother told me all about it.”
“I… see,” Van could only turn his head down as he continued to walk with the two. Everyone was saying that everything was for him and revolving around him, and yet it would seem that he was the only one being kept in the dark from what is truly happening. Even Charlotte, who seemed to have been a 3rd party until recently, knew more than him.
Why is Evangeline informing other people, but not him, her own biological son? Was what awaited him at the end of this… not favorable to him? Is that why no one is telling him anything? If so, shouldn’t he just run away right now?
‘It’s nothing like that, Evans.’
Angela’s voice suddenly intruded his mind as his thoughts were starting to become disarray, ‘Your fate involves all of us. There will come a time where you have to decide something very important for the rest of the world and I am afraid you’re not ready for that kind of responsibility yet. So let us old cronies carry this burden for you for now.’
‘Then shouldn’t you tell me now so I could be ready?’
‘Patience, Evans,’ Angela looked Evans straight in the eyes before gently placing her had palm on Van’s chest, ‘Let me carry this burden for you as your teacher, okay?’
“…” Although Van slightly flinched from feeling Angela’s hand on his chest, he nodded in the end.
“Wow. Way to make me feel like a third wheel, guys,” Charlotte let out a loud sigh as she noticed that Van and Angela stopped walking, “I was just kidding with what I said
earlier, you midget. Why are you making moves on a man 5 times younger than you?”
“What did you say!?”
Once again, Van could only let out a sigh as Charlotte and Angela started fighting. This pattern continued as they continued to walk deeper and deeper into the Portal. They were probably about a kilometer from the entrance, but there was not even a single sign of the member of the Standby unit that was supposed to scout the Portal for them.
Finally, they came to an area that had almost a dozen abandoned houses, probably where the residents of the Pit used to live before Africa abolished it all those years ago. Unlike the Pit in America, where only Latanya’s house was made of stone and marble; every house here was almost the same as the houses outside.
“Do you hear anything, Charlotte?”
“…Yes,” Charlotte said before every vein on her hand started to scream as she tightened her muscles, “Someone seems to be coming out of that house.”
Both Van and Angela looked at the house where Charlotte pointed to, only to see the door slowly opening. The two also readied themselves for whatever was coming out, but as soon as the individual stepped out, Charlotte could not help but slightly open her mouth.
Angela and Van initially thought that it might be the scout, but it became obvious that it wasn’t. The one that came out of the house was a man– An abnormally normal-looking man that seemed to be out of place from the rest of the Portal. His slightly dark brown hair was perfectly combed, wearing a green shirt printed with colorful flowers and shorts to match it. To top it all off, he was wearing sunglasses and flip-flops.
“Woah!” The man then slightly jumped back in fright as he noticed Charlotte and the others staring at him. But after a few seconds, he quickly took off his sunglasses and blinked his eyes a couple of times at Charlotte.
“Is that aunt Angela I see there as well? Are you guys here to visit me?”
“What do you mean did we come here to visit you!? Why the fuck are you here!?”
Charlotte stomped her foot on the ground, causing the surrounding trees to tremble. Hearing the anger in Charlotte’s voice, Charles only let out an awkward chuckle as he scratched his head.
“Y… you know me, I go wherever the road takes me.”
“Do you even know that your daughter was in danger!?” Charlotte approached Charles, threateningly.
“Oh, she’s okay now. I checked on her 2 days ago.”
“Did you even show yourself!?”
“Of course not,” Charles waved both his hands as he pursed his lips and let out a sigh, “A man is the most handsome when his family does not know that he supports them from the darkness of the shadows.”
“You want me to turn your vision dark?”
“…Eh,” Charles’s smile quickly faded as Charlotte started to crack her knuckles, “A… anyway, what are the two of you– Oh, hello there.”
Before Charles could finish his sentence, his eyes wandered towards Van. But after a few seconds, his eyes widened in shock.
“I know you!” He said as he pointed his finger at Van’s face.
“W… what?” Van slightly squinted his eyes, trying to search his mind if he has ever seen this man before. But no matter how much he searched it, the only thing that was popping out of his mind was Edward, as he and Charles looked somewhat similar.
“Oh, sorry,” Charles then let out an awkward chuckle as he dropped his hand, “I was wrong. I thought you were someone I knew.”
This man with a chaotic energy… is Edward and Victoria’s father? All of a sudden, Van started to feel sorry for Paris. But that wasn’t the time for that, most importantly…
“Why… are you here, Charlie?” Charlotte asked again.
“Oh, I actually just got here,” once again, Charles chuckled awkwardly, “I was in another Portal, but I detected something funny around here about a day ago so I decided to teleport here.”
“…Teleport?” Van could not help but let out a breath as he was curious about Charles’s powers.
“Oh, it’s my Skill. I guess you can say… I can go wherever– Wait, who are you?”
“Wait, don’t tell me!” Charles raised his hand to stop from Van talking before looking back and forth towards him and Angela. He then placed the tip of his fingers near both of their heads, as if comparing their height to one another, “Are you…
…Aunt Angela’s son?”
“It would seem your son is in need of another spanking, Charlotte.”
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