The group now consisting of Karen, Iris and Sakaki with Elizabeth tagging along made their way into he ballroom which is built like the library with the efficient ventilation system and gigantic open spaces. In those giant spaces, there are rows of tables lined with food from high grade beef to deserts such as the luxurious ice-cream, which is surrounded by blocks of ice which is expensive to transport, especially into a desert region.

Mingling around the tables are people. Specifically, they are Karma who are invited to be in attendance. Invited are the ones who held a title along with their apprentices numbering about a hundred total.

With Elizabeth rubbing on Iris’ hair ribbon like how one would do to bunny ears, Iris implored her to stop doing it, “big sis Eli, my hair is going to get messy!”

“But you’re so cuuute!” she replied with a heightened voice, “are you hungry? Let’s go see what they have!”

“Okay!”

“Be careful, sweetheart,” Karen jumped into the conversation, “Sakaki and I will be at the front near the stage area, looks like it will start soon.”

Hm, her words tipped Sakaki off as he hadn’t heard her sweet talk Iris before, guess they bonded even closer.

“… And from our investigation, the chimeras are indeed led by an individual. That individual, however, is not human.” One of the councilmen said on stage to everyone.

Voices of uncertainty could be heard amongst the gathered Karma.

“Not human?”

“That’s impossible!”

“Does this mean that a demon created a demon?”

All of it were valid questions and concerns. But none of it had an answer as the Karmic Harmony is now all-knowing. Even they have to make do with what they have.

“That’s obvious isn’t it? It not being human. After all, we saw it with our own eyes.” Sakaki said.

“Indeed, but we’ve only recently found that out. Previously, we just knew what chimeras appeared. We don’t even know where they will appear.” Replied Karen.

Wait, where they will appear… Where they will appear…

The words she said triggered a memory from the Gashadokuro encounter back in Temp Pines in the Southern Region. At the time, Sakaki was knocked away and she was confronting the demon along when it spoke. Though the demon itself didn’t speak as it had little to no intelligence as its basic instincts were to hunt down whoever started the famine and devour them. But it was indeed controlled by a third party for a brief moment with the help of a very high-level magic.

The unknown individual who controlled the demon briefly was the one who machinated the chimeras. It revealed that it had unleashed the chimera onto Karen’s village and burned it to the ground, killing everyone including her parents.

However, those were the less important details that she had recalled, the important one was the line that was said before her first dialogue with the demon ended.

“One final thing, Awaken when your other half is present, have you heard of this phrase?”

“No…”

“Pity. We shall meet again somewhere that is… Warmer”

Yes… Meet again that is somewhere warmer… Like this desert?

Though that sentence should already be deemed invalid as she had met the mysterious individual twice afterward, Karen had a sinking feeling that today is meant to be the day where the actual confrontation will happen.

And she is right.

A familiar voice echoed through the ballroom. A voice that she had heard many a time for the past month and it is probably being projected by same magic that Nadiah used back in Temp Pines for her speech to the corrupt aristocrats.

“I see everyone is gathered. Like fishes scampering for the bait. I’ll humor you today by telling you that I am here to fulfill my one final objective. But I do have to entertain my collection.”

The roof of the ballroom blew open like wind carrying away grains of sand. Along with the open sky, the removal of the roof reveals a floating, winged serpent-like creature above. Its body covered in scales and two wings flapping, allowing it to fly.

“I-i-i-i-it’s a dragon!” screamed one of the Karma.