Swoosh. Swoosh. Swoosh.

At this point, a second group of Sages sliced through the skies with the swiftness of the wind, arriving at the scene.

These newly arrived Sages approached the initial group and identified themselves as Sages from the kingdom of Layos.

They were reinforcements dispatched by Layos kingdom following the confirmation of the deaths of the previous Sages who had fallen to Eren's hands.

"Please, Sage Hansen, help us!"

A lady Master Ranker beseeched Hansen with a pleading gaze. She hailed from Edin, the capital of Edinburgh, and seemed to have personal connections with Hansen Lehan. She counted on these connections to persuade him to rescue her from the entrapment.

"Sage Hansen, we implore you. This traitor Grimdawn is messed up in his head. He's already taken the lives of the Sages. We don't want to be his next victims."

Another male Ranker joined in, surrounded by fellow male Rankers. All of them fixed their eyes on Hansen with pleading expressions, hoping he would show them compassion. However, it was evident from the longing look in Hansen's eyes that he was only interested in rescuing the female Ranker.

"Sage Miyen, help us. We are the loyal subjects of Layos. You can't leave us here. These Edinburgh Rankers are barbarians."

Rankers from Layos beseeched Sage Miyen for help, relying on the Sages dispatched by Layos kingdom. The pleas and cries swelled in volume as the trapped Rankers glimpsed hope in the form of the Sages standing outside the barrier.

"Grimdawn…. This despicable man! I could have understood if it was only the Rankers from Layos. But how could he conspire against his own countrymen? This… I can not tolerate it.

I don't know what the fuck is he planning to do. But it looks like I will have to eliminate him and put an end to this."

Sage Hansen declared, his suppressed anger evident as he stepped forward. From the corner of his eye, he kept an eye on the female Ranker who had sought his assistance. It was as if he was projecting a valiant image to impress her.

"Hansen! At least mind your age and keep it in your pants. This is not the time to fool around."

However, the leader Sage from the Anfang Alliance halted Hansen in his tracks. With a grave tone, he addressed the Birdcage barrier, instructing caution.

"This barrier will allow us to enter freely, but it won't let us leave. It functions using intent-based magic. So any regular means won't work on it. At least not the way we want them to," the leader Sage said while observing the Birdcage Barrier intently.

"What the f… Err… What are we supposed to do then?" asked Hansen while recalibrating his attitude. The leader Sage pondered a bit before answering.

"We… We must collaborate to dismantle the formation from the outside. Otherwise, we might end up trapped within it. This isn't a typical hostage situation; otherwise, we would have received a list of demands.

They have access to Sansara Sage's runes and yet aren't trying to escape. This implies they have a specific purpose here. Something that ties them here. So this is something else.

Based on my observations, I can only tell you what they are not planning, but I don't know their actual intentions. This poses a significant challenge for us.

In any case, getting trapped inside won't be advantageous. So, it's crucial to stay the fuck away from that barrier and avoid entering it at all costs. Do not let your personal emotions get in the way of what we are supposed to do here," he cautioned.

The leader Sage briefly looked at the beautiful female Master Ranker who had asked Hansen to save her before looking at Hansen himself. He subtly let Hansen know that he was aware the reason for the haste Hansen had shown earlier.

The leader Sage could tell that breaking the formation from inside was beyond their capabilities, but deciphering the array's functioning was something they could tackle.

While the fate of the trapped Rankers didn't concern him greatly, he was resolute in preventing Eliza's revival. Consequently, his goal was to find a way to dismantle the Birdcage Barrier from the outside. If the trapped Rankers perished in the process, so be it. Their safety was only a secondary option for all the Sages.


"Sage Eliza Samael, we… I know we have our differences. But this is not the old Anfang Alliance anymore. We want to cooperate and are ready to listen to any request you have. In return, we ask for your cooperation."

The leader Sage spoke in a solemn tone as he fixed his gaze on Eliza. He was testing the waters to see if engaging the Witch of the Enderflames might offer them an easier route to breaking the barrier.

Upon hearing the leader Sage's words, Eliza was on the verge of mocking him. However, Eren intervened.

"Ignore them. That's what they're aiming for. Never talk with the negotiators when they don't have anything to offer you that you actually want. It only wastes time.

Let's stay focused on the task at hand. Everything is set for the Lazarus Project. When would you like to start?" Eren inquired neutrally.

Eren could sense Eliza's eagerness to converse with the Sages outside the Birdcage Barrier. Having spent a considerable amount of time alone with only two young witches and hordes of undead wraiths as company, she yearned for normal interactions with other Rankers.

She had curses to give, injustice to speak about, and quite possibly a few verses to sing that she had written in her free time.

Even if they were her adversaries, the Witch of the Enderflames was prepared to verbally spar with them. However, Eren's words put an end to that spar before it even began.

"Tch! You're no fun, little kitten," Eliza grumbled, her discontent evident on her face. She then took a deep breath and assumed a serious tone.

"Alright, playtime's over. Let's begin," the Witch of the Enderflames declared, vanishing from her position.