The Damned Demon

Chapter 569 The Guardian Council
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Chapter 569 The Guardian Council

Just as Derek stepped down from the podium, Rachel stepped in front of him with a hint of concern and confusion on her face, "Dad, what is all this? Did you even discuss this with the council?"

Derek gave a brief smile as he patted her shoulder and said, "I know all this might seem like a dramatic and exaggerated move, but it is not. Even if others think I have some ulterior motives, I know you will believe me when I say that this project is necessary for our survival in the future. Hellbringer only gave us a glimpse of how much more dangerous demons like him can be. What if they keep pulling more surprises on us? So it's on us to get ahead of them and secure our future."

Rachel felt conflicted since she could see in her dad's eye that he seemed to really believe in what he said. Was she overthinking or mistaken about everything?

"But the council-"

"I will convince them. Don't worry about it. I am sure they will understand why I want to do this. If you still feel unconvinced, bring Arthur along, and let's be in the Eye together. It will be good for them to see both of your faces and let you have an idea of my projects. I will see you there," Derek said with a reassuring smile before walking away while Rachel slowly turned around, feeling that everything her dad said made sense.

But what was this lingering uneasiness she was feeling?

In the vast mosaic of global defense, woven into the very fabric of human survival against the demons, stood the Guardian Council of the World Hunter Association.

To the public eye, they were both a mystery and a marvel—a beacon of steadfast protection and extraordinary resolve.

Positioned much like the legendary knights of ancient lore, they were perceived as modern-day custodians of Earth, guarding against demonic incursions that threaten the very essence of human existence.

The Guardian Council, often shrouded in strategic secrecy, functioned as the brain and nerve center of the WHA.

They operated from the shadows, their decisions rippling across the globe with the force of law and the whisper of myth.

To the world, these leaders were not merely administrators; they were the architects of safety and the silent heroes in the unending war against darkness.

Every rare mention of the Council in the media was tinged with reverence.

The news portrayed them with a gravity that befitted their monumental task, and when their actions were felt, it was in the unspoken relief of a threat averted, a disaster contained.

The public, largely unaware of the specifics of their operations, held a collective belief in the Council's omnipresence and omniscience. They were the unseen, all-knowing guardians whose strategies and policies kept the night at bay.

In coffee shops, living rooms, and classrooms, they were spoken of with a mixture of awe and gratitude.

Parents reassured their children with stories of the Guardian Council's vigilance, teachers educated students about the importance of the unseen protectors, and governments consulted their directives like oracles of security.

Thus, the Guardian Council occupied a revered space in the global psyche—a symbol of ultimate protection, wrapped in the cloak of mystery.

In a world teetering between the ordinary and the extraordinary, their perceived image was that of a steadfast shield, forever standing between humanity and the abyss.

However. within the hidden hierarchy of the Guardian Council, there existed a figure shrouded in deeper mystery than all others—the Oracle.

Revered as the guiding light of the council, the Oracle commanded a unique and awe-inspiring role.

Rumored to possess the extraordinary ability to see glimpses of the future, this mysterious and powerful individual provided crucial foresight that shaped the strategic decisions of the Council, arming them with the knowledge to preempt demonic incursions and supernatural threats.

The public's knowledge of the Oracle was sparse and laced with folklore.

Whispered in hushed tones, the Oracle was discussed only in the rarest of conversations, often bordering on myth rather than fact.

Media coverage never directly mentioned them, and their influence was felt but not seen, like the silent pull of the moon on the tides.

To the world, the Oracle was a phantom, existing in the liminal space between legend and reality.

This profound anonymity cloaked their identity in impenetrable secrecy.

To this day, no one outside the innermost circle of the WHA knew who the Oracle was, how old they might be, or to which lineage they belonged.

Such mysteries only enhance the reverence and solemnity with which the public regards them.

It was said that their guidance has diverted disasters and shaped the course of humanity's defense strategy without ever revealing a glimpse of their form.

Their reverence only grew tenfold as rumors were circulating that it was the Oracle who predicted that the Corrupted Prince would betray humanity.

Without their foresight, who knows…this world would have been lost to the demons forever.

As the morning sun cast its first golden rays over the sprawling complex of the World Hunter Association, Derek strode confidently through the main headquarters while the passerby Hunters saluted him with great respect.

Passing through layers of security, each checkpoint confirming his identity with a mix of mana-powered tech and the deference of the guards, Derek's eyes remained focused.

His approach was firm, his gaze fixed ahead as he approached the core of the WHA's strategic operations—the Eye.

The Eye was not just a meeting room; it was a fortress within a fortress, its doors crafted from reinforced alloys that whispered shut behind him with a near-silent hiss.

Inside, the circular room was architecturally designed to evoke both unity and surveillance, with a large, round table at the center surrounded by chairs that hosted the guardians of Earth.

There, the members of the Guardian Council awaited his arrival, each embodying a pillar of the defense against supernatural threats.

All 5 members were old but well renowned in their respective areas.

However, in a small corner, a slightly nervous young man and a young woman were seated away from the main area.

Arthur never expected he would be invited into the prestigious Eye and get to see the members of the Guardian Council personally.

None of them rarely ever make any public appearances, and god knows where they stay inside.

"Do you know all five of them? They seem a bit…serious," Arthur said in a low voice as he looked at the three old men and two old women seated around the large table.

He also felt a bit embarrassed for not recognizing them since he wasn't one to check the news or be up to date with general knowledge. All of his time went into training and quests.

"I thought you met them all through my dad already. But to bring you up to speed…" Rachel looked at a woman with tied-up silver hair and sharp green eyes, busy scanning the documents in front of her, mission nothing, her tailored suit impeccable and authoritative, "...That stern looking woman to the left is Evelyn St. Clair."

"Evelyn? I feel like I have heard that name somewhere…" Arthur mumbled as he looked at the woman, who appeared to be in her late seventies.

"Of course. She was once the Supreme Commander of the WHA during her younger days and went on to handle all sorts of diplomatic relations before she ended up in the council. She is frighteningly good at international relations and was the architect of various policies we see today," Rachel mentioned as Arthur nodded with a look of awe.

"What about that senior?" Arthur asked as he looked at an old man, looking around in his late sixties, who had a muscular build and military demeanor. His eyes were piercing blue, surveying the hall. He momentarily caught Arthur's gaze, making him unconsciously look away.

Rachel followed Arthur's gaze and saw an old man with dark, functional clothing and said, "That is Max Thorn. He is a no-

nonsense man and is highly renowned for coming up with terrifyingly good strategies against demonic threats. He once took down an entire demon army similar to his strength on his own by simply relying on the clever use of only two ordinary mana bombs."

"Only two? That's…insane," Arthur mumbled with widened eyes.

"But maybe not as instance as that woman next to him," Rachel mumbled as Arthur's gaze shifted towards a woman looking in her late fifties, adjusting her glasses, her eyes flicking between a digital tablet and the rest of the council.

Her black hair was pulled back neatly, emphasizing her thoughtful expression. He also noticed the gadgets adorning her attire were not just accessories but tools that seemed to belong in a lab.

"Is she a…"

Rachel nodded, "Yes. That is Dr. Lila Rajani. A well-renowned scientist and mana technology expert. She holds considerable sway over technological policies and implementation strategies."

"But why did you say she is insane too?"

"Because I have heard rumors that she has tried to experiment on demons and whatnot. It's quite controversial, and she has never confirmed anything. But who knows…she seems like a woman who will do anything in the name of research. It isn't for no reason that some also call her Doom Doctor," Rachel said with a brief frown while Arthur nodded with a serious look.

"What about that elegant looking senior?" Arthur asked as he looked at a stern looking old man looking in his early seventies, his dignified posture and finely made suit reflecting a rich heritage. His expression was inscrutable, and had a short white beard and was bald.

Rachel's expression briefly became heavy as she said, "That's a very powerful man…Albert Hart. He was the previous president of the WHA and the one who pulled the strings of his Hart Family. Nothing happens in that family without his knowledge or approval. It also wouldn't be wrong to say that he knows each and every thing that happens in the WHA."

"Oh…" Arthur nodded with his brows briefly raised and felt as if Rachel couldn't be more right just by glancing at him.

Arthur's gaze then shifted to the old man sitting in the center, on a chair that was distinct and bigger than the rest.

He looked like an ordinary old man in his nineties but commanded a quiet authority from his position.

His attire blended modern and traditional elements seamlessly, and his keen, dark eyes seemed to miss nothing.

"Who is that senior in the center?" Arthur asked with a narrowed gaze.

Rachel followed his gaze and said with a brief smile, "That is Hiroto Yamaguchi, also respectfully known as the 'Judge'."

"The Judge? You mean...the Judge? The one everyone seems to talk about here and there?" Arthur asked with widened eyes.

Rachel nodded as her eyes narrowed, "Yes…he was once the Master of the…Corrupted Prince."

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