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946 History Recorder

 Finding Alice was a simple yet difficult task for Rhode, one he had never succeeded in before.

It was simple because she could only be found in one place. The moment the tinder was lit and the land of Chaos was opened up, Alice was preserved in the old, run-down library that was located in the forest behind the Grandia palace. Although the library didn't prohibit anyone from entering, it was basically of no interest to anyone. Rhode suspected that it might be due to its creepy appearance or because the people were simply on a lower educational level. He also asked the three humanoids about the library and realized that natives of the Tinder Origin knew very little about it. Besides, no one was willing to enter the library and there was a simple reason for that. The library was rumored to be haunted for a long time...

And Rhode knew exactly who that rumored 'ghost' was.

As for the difficult part... There was only one reason. He simply couldn't find her anywhere.

Even though the library was huge, it didn't take him a lot of time to search the entire place carefully. The problem was that no matter how he searched, he just couldn't find her and this surprised him greatly. He didn't understand this young lady too well and the only time he interacted with her was when they met in the library before he went to awaken the tinder. Judging from that meeting, Alice seemed like any other ordinary young lady and didn't have an especially powerful aura around her. On the contrary, her pair of calm, dazzling eyes that had as though crossed a millennium left a deeper impression on him.

But it was a pity that he just couldn't find her despite several previous attempts. Even though the other Christie said that Alice would appear at the right time, he didn't know when exactly 'the right time' would come. As a result, he would take a stroll in the library whenever he was bored and flip through some books from the shelves despite them being mainly from ancient times with content that he couldn't understand. But there were some books that he found interesting. After all, apart from the books on magic and human history, there were also several biographies of famous historical figures. This instantly sparked an interest in him. Since he couldn't read the novels in this world, he might as well browse those books about legends and treat them as novels.

Rhode held a bag of desserts and pushed the library door open. This was just another routine visit for him. If he couldn't find Alice today, he would read some books to spend time and savor the desserts. But today, things turned out rather unexpectedly.

There were two cups of warm tea on the black table that should have been empty as per usual. On the other side of the table, a young lady clad in a plain black dress was sitting quietly and gazing at the door which he entered from. It seemed like she was ready to serve her guest.

"I didn't expect to see you today."

Rhode shrugged and went up to the table, sliding the bag of desserts across the table. Even though he had come to this world for quite awhile, he wasn't interested in its cumbersome etiquette. Logically speaking, he was the dragon soul heir and should be particular about formalities. But he didn't mind even if Alice continued to remain seated instead of standing or kneeling down to greet him. As expected though, Alice quietly stood up and accepted the plate of desserts humbly with both hands before sitting down again.

"I came here for..."

"I know why you're looking for me, Your Majesty. This is why I'm here."

"You're aware?"

Rhode widened his eyes slightly in surprise. Only two hours had passed since he met the two emissaries. As for Alice, even though Rhode often couldn't find her, he subconsciously believed that she was in the library the whole time. Besides, basically no one visited this place, so she shouldn't be able to receive any intelligence.

"Yes, Your Majesty, I'm aware."

Alice reached for a piece of cake in the bag and placed it on an empty plate before putting it in the middle of the table.

"The emissaries from the Country of Law invited you to the Sacred Palace to partake in the upcoming ceremony. The other four dragon soul heirs and their followers will also be there. In order to show them the powers of Void Territory, it goes without saying that we, as your direct subjects, should join you, isn't it?"

"You're exactly right. Don't tell me you have some mind-reading skills..."

Rhode nodded, gazing at the young lady curiously. He had always been curious about her. He had personally witnessed the other Christie's powers and even though he didn't see what kind of powers Marlene possessed after her awakening, he had read the details written on her card. As for Alice, he couldn't figure out what abilities she had. Based on his first impression on her, this young lady who always hid in the library seemed more suitable for the title of 'Wisdom Deity Warden' instead of Marlene. On the contrary, she was termed the 'History Deity Warden' and what made Rhode curious was the exact difference between history and wisdom.

"I'm the History Deity Warden, Your Majesty."

Despite reacting calmly to Rhode's joke, she was neither as expressionless as him nor as calm and steady as Marlene. Instead, she seemed to be incessantly going on a mental journey, submerging herself in books.

"I will subconsciously record anything as long as it happens. As soon as I see, touch, or understand it, everything in the past that I subconsciously recorded will be presented before my eyes..." Alice lifted a slice of cake with the fork. "Just like this slice of cake; I'm perfectly aware of its history. Your Majesty, you went to the dessert house and asked the shop owner for a tasty dessert. The shop owner was thrilled upon seeing your arrival. He gave you all the freshly-baked desserts and insisted on not accepting your payment. Later, you exited the dessert house and came to my library..."

"Totally right. I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be a Holmes if you became a detective."

Rhode couldn't help but clap his hands in amazement. Just as he had expected, Alice was also a talented Deity Warden, one who could understand someone's past as long as she saw them. Not only that, but she could also record all the history of this world. Judging from this point, her abilities were matchless. But even so...

"Are you able to see my past too?"

Rhode placed the cup of tea down and looked curiously at the young lady. The latter nodded slightly, her beautiful black eyes slowly moving as though she was reading a line of text.

"Yes, Your Majesty. I can see your past. It is very complicated and inconvenient to comment on, including your history in the other world... I have to admit that perhaps you truly have the right to become the heir of the Void Dragon. Of course, this is only my personal opinion."

"..."

Rhode narrowed his eyes but quickly returned to his usual self. Of course, he had never told anyone about the fact that he came from another world because he wouldn't know if they would accept this truth. How would Marlene and the others react if they knew that they were simply living in a game from another world? But now, he had no reason to hide this secret from Alice since she knew the truth.

"Alright. What views do you have on that world?"

"Nothing much, since it is just a game."

"Oh?"

Rhode gazed at her.

"Are you sure? Although that is indeed a game, aren't the history, characters, and storyline the same as this world? Don't you have any opinion about that?"

"Even though that is history, I can never be too sure. There is no such thing as a constant past and future. Your Majesty, there are no two identical leaves in this world and the same goes for history. No matter how similar they are, they ultimately are different. The place where we are and the history that we experienced are essentially different."

Alice put down the teacup while Rhode knitted his brows and carefully thought about the meaning behind her words. After a few moments, he nodded in agreement. Due to his existence in this world, the current 'storyline' of the Dragon Soul Continent was entirely different from the game's. Except for the usefulness of intelligence he received about game characters or organizations, he was totally clueless about which direction the continent was heading towards. He could only rely on the experiences in the game to support his thoughts and theories. He had to admit that this gave him tremendous pressure, especially in the second upcoming war against the Country of Darkness-all the famous battles in the past would never happen again. Even though this was the case, he wasn't willing to back down. After all, he became the top player of the game without prior knowledge of everything. However, it was still unsettling for him, knowing that the things he was familiar with were all changing.

But now, the unsettling feeling in him finally vanished after speaking to Alice.

"Thank you for your answer, Alice, I feel much more relaxed now."

"You're welcome. It's nothing much though, Your Majesty."

Alice lifted the teacup, swirled the tea, and looked at it as though she was 'reading' something. At this moment, Rhode recalled something.

"By the way, where have you been hiding all this time? Why can't I find you at all?"

"..."

Alice lifted her head and looked at him.

"I'm the History Deity Warden, Your Majesty."

"And?"

"Not only can I read histories, but I can also enter them. In other words, the past to you is in fact my present."

"..."

Rhode was speechless. He understood what she meant but this ability was too outrageous. Indeed, ordinary people could be in the present or predict the future but they were ultimately living in the 'present'. On the contrary, Alice could go beyond the limits and enter the 'past' which meant that it was impossible for Rhode to find her because he couldn't possibly see or reach the 'past'.

"If Christie, Marlene, and you unleash your full powers against the four legendary generals or the three Archangels, they shouldn't stand a chance against the three of you, right? I've always found it strange that the three of you are nearly invincible with your powers and yet you were all defeated by Chaos. This is totally unimaginable."

Rhode was right. It was just how he imagined.

Even though players often compared the three Archangels, four legendary generals, five elemental lords, and six Deity Wardens on equal terms, after he came to this world and personally experienced the true powers of the Deity Wardens, he discovered that Christie, Marlene, and Alice far exceeded the other formidable figures. With their powers, it wasn't impossible to instantly kill the other top-ranked figures. Take Alice, for instance. Her ability to 'hide in the past' would be devastating for players because how could they defeat her if they couldn't find her? The only possibility of winning her was to stop time and tear through the limits of past, present, and future. However, it was impossible for players to maintain a high-level skill like the time-stopping ability and continuously attack a BOSS of the Deity Warden caliber. He honestly believed that it would be a huge challenge even if he formed a party of elite players against the six Deity Wardens. Could it be that the reason why the six Deity Wardens didn't appear in the game was for the sake of game balance...?

"Chaos is Order's enemy. We're ultimately the people of Order."

Alice took a sip of the tea before standing on her feet.

"As your subject, I'm willing to join you at the ceremony. But before that, I have something that requires... your help, Your Majesty."

Alice paused.

"Please find my body."