A week passed after the battle in the 9th Floor of the Tower of Babylon.
The Old Patriarch had tasked his right-hand man to handle everything and ensure that Xavier's succession would be witnessed by all the high-ranking members of the Main and Branch Families.
This also included the vassals, and retainers that served under them. The 9th Floor was a very spacious domain. It was the size of the Hellan Kingdom, and the Anaesha Dynasty combined.
During his speech, Xavier had openly announced that the Slave Trade would be abolished from his territory. Anyone who would dare to break this law would suffer the wrath of the Floor's Guardian.
Right after this announcement was held, the slaves were immediately freed by their masters, in fear of being subjected to punishment by the Administrator of the Floor of Partings.
William and Chiffon watched this festivities until its end. However, when Xavier invited them to join the celebratory feast, the Half-Elf politely declined the offer.
"I'm sorry, we can't stay here longer," William said apologetically.
Xavier nodded his head in understanding. He felt regretful that the people that helped him acquire his position were now leaving, but after seeing the determination of William's gaze, the new patriarch of the Tristan Clan didn't insist on delaying him any further.
"I guess, Ms. Chiffon will be staying with us for the time being then," Xavier stated. "Do not worry, Sir William. I promise to look after her until you return to the Floor of Partings."
William smiled, but the hand holding Chiffon remained firm.
"We will be ascending to the next floor together," William declared.
"I see, you will ascend to the next floor toge-- what?" Xavier looked at William in a dumbfounded manner. "Sir William, this is the Floor of Partings. Even if you want to take her, the laws of this floor will prevent you from doing so."
William patted Xavier's shoulder, but didn't say anything else. He gave the dumbfounded patriarch a brief nod before heading towards the teleport gate that would allow them to proceed to the next floor.
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Xod and Yves looked at this scene with genuine interest. They had thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment that they had watched on the 9th Floor.
Now that William and Chiffon decided to leave, the two Guardians eyed each other with a smile.
"Remember, a month's salary." Xod grinned. "You too, Oogwei."
Oogwei nodded its head as it continued to eat the cucumbers in its bowl.
Yves, on the other hand, was unfazed as it flicked its tongue towards the green-skinned guardian, who had a smug expression on its face.
"You took the words right out of my mouth," Yves said. "Make sure to pay it to me in full."
The two Guardians chuckled, while the little turtle between them ate the bowl of cucumbers with gusto. Oogwei was chuckling internally because it knew William's character. The Half-Elf was the type of person that wouldn't leave those important to him behind.
He was just curious on how the latter would bypass the laws that Yves had placed inside its domain.
The floor of partings didn't have any kind of test. The moment the players arrived at this floor, they could proceed to the next right away. However, they would have to leave the people important to them behind.
This was the cruel condition that Yves had engraved upon the Floor of Partings, and no one had been able to break this law, since the time the Tower had arrived in the world of Hestia.
During the succession war, the teleport crystal had been disabled. Yves felt bored, so it forced those who wished to advance to the next floor, to pick one of the two brothers to support during the duration of their battle.
Now that the succession war was over, the portal was once again active.
William faced Chiffon and hugged her tight.
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"Are you ready, Chiffon?"
"Un! I'm ready, Big Brother."
William smiled and raised his hand to touch the crystal. However, before he touched it completely, he sent Chiffon inside his Thousand Beast Domain first.
After making sure that the pink-haired girl was inside the Thousand Beast Domain, William sent her to the Undying Lands.
He didn't know how strong Yves' Law was, so he decided not to take any chances. The Undying Lands had their own set of rules, making it impossible for the Laws of the world to affect it.
Of course, if this method didn't work, William would return to the 9th Floor and think of a way to smuggle Chiffon to the 10th Floor with him.
The moment William's hand touched the crystal, the world around him was bathed in light.
A few seconds later, he stood in front of what seemed to be a temple, located on top of the mountain.
Before William could even do anything, the System confirmed that he was already on the 10th Floor, and Chiffon was still in the Undying Lands.
The Half-Elf hurriedly summoned the pink-haired girl to his side, and Chiffon appeared right away.
Xod and Yves who were looking at the projection couldn't believe their eyes. There had been instances in the past where people had done the same thing that William did.
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Usually, powerful individuals were able to open their own domains where they could place living beings. Several individuals had thought that they could hoodwink the powers of the Tower and placed their comrades within their private domains.
However, it didn't take long for them to realize that this plan didn't work on the Tower of Babylon. This was why Xod and Yves were confident that William couldn't smuggle Chiffon even if he wanted to.
Oogwei who was watching this scene chuckled and raised its little head to look at his two friends.
"Remember, both of you will give me your monthly salaries at the end of this month," Oogwei said in a teasing manner. "We already made a contract, so the two of you can't make any excuses. Thank you for the gift!"
The little turtle chuckled before ordering a bowl of shredded carrots from the tower. He was very pleased with how the situation played out and cheered for William and Chiffon inside his heart.
Xod and Yves glanced at each other. Earlier, they thought that they were getting Oogwei's Monthly Salary for free. However, what they didn't know was that the little turtle had planned to get both of their salaries from the very start.
"W-We've been had." Xod stuttered. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this sudden turn of events.
Yves was feeling the same. It double checked the set of laws that it had applied on its domain, and a glance was enough to tell him that it wasn't tampered with. This proved that William had been able to bypass the rule of his floor in a "fair" manner, and was not subjected to any kind of punishment from the tower.
Xod and Yves left the little turtle alone as they hurriedly went to talk to their Guardian friends from the tower. Both of them felt bad about what William did, so they decided to get back at him by telling their friends to make things difficult for him.
Oogwei on the other hand just chuckled at the two's attempt to hinder a player who was climbing the tower.
'This must be Fate,' Oogwei thought. 'Perhaps, the stagnation that we have experienced for the past hundreds of years will soon be broken.'
Oogwei didn't have the power of clairvoyance. He didn't know how high William could climb the tower. However, he hoped beyond hope that William would be the one to usher a new Era.
Not only for the players climbing the Tower of Babylon, but for the sake of the Guardians, who had long forgotten their purpose for coming in this world, that was nearing its end.
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