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Chapter 50: Spirit Realm
My heart hammered within me. A slithering dither rushed from the bottom of my shaky feet to my arms, and before I even knew it, the hairs on the back of my head had already stood akin to a fierce army. My face turned ashen-white, paler than the ghost prancing above me.
‘The word horror is only for those who had stood with it. You’ll never understand what it truly meant until you stared at it to the face.’ I heard this adage from the monks, fake or not, during my travels throughout Southeast and East Asia.
Anyway, it indeed rang true.
My legs wavered, jiggling into a pudding. The strength of heart I accumulated faded as I stare at the first-ever patient that I had to treat. I paled. Tingling cold feet wormed, accosting my nerves. The terror had my feet fixed on the ground, unmoving, while my head drew nothing but blanks.
I gawked, shuddering at the evil thing before me.
The old catkin and the village head were dead wrong. They don’t need a spirit magus like me. They don’t need this aunt. Not like forever.
Exorcist. This damning case calls for an exorcist!
I licked my lips. Then she licked hers too. And damn it, she had one long tongue! She had set her eyes on me. Her smirk grew deeper after seeing that I was not running away. A glint of interest flashed in her cursed eyes. Could she view through the veil, chances of that happening were slim, but who cares anyway?
Coincidence or not. Her narrowed gaze hurled a mountain load of shivers onto my spine.
Then she finally did the unthinkable. Her head went 360 degrees, but not dead. Her gaze roaming around the room before setting again on me. My eyes turned into saucers. My expression twisted akin to Munch’s famous painting, ‘The Scream’.
Truthfully, I almost peed but held it in. Thankfully, I’m in a young 16 or 18 years old body capable of withstanding the pressure. If I was still on earth, I wouldn’t fare well when facing this terrifying event.
Time seemed to freeze.
I only regained my senses after I heard the tutting noise coming from the little blob. She was not worried at all.
“Eh, eh, see this Alistair. Told you that’s a bitch. My dad’s always right.” She said, bobbing as she tried to make a point.
“Yeah. Yeah.” Alistair grumbled, irritated, but nodded with the little blob’s assessment. “Still in the early stages of transformation. Just give your best shot and be done with it.”
"Take a step forward Victoria," said the little blob. She was, uh, dripping with excitement. Having the two blobs with me, battling each other banter against banter, did eased my troubled nerves.
“Why are you not running?” The cursed being on the ceiling tilted its head. Her eerie question resounded throughout the small room.
That’s a good question. Why am I not running? What the hell am I doing? And gosh, I feel like crying. No wonder those actors in horror films always either end up crying once they see such terrible things.
“Victoria?” Little Maggie whined, confused by the delays. “Are you still there? Let me. Come on. Let me try now.”
I gritted my teeth and thought of all the splendid memories to counter my panic. It didn’t work. But fine here goes nothing. I calmed the little blob, stopping her from flooding the spiritual voicemail with her enthusiasm.
“Alistair, can you tie that semi-witch up?”
Who said I can’t! The fist-sized blob trembled in fury.
No one said anything for Pete's sake! My eyebrows shot up as a not-so-loud outburst of blob rang inside my head. What the hell is this blob getting too emotional for? I’m just asking.
Alistair’s stare pierced through the cursed freak hanging in the ceiling. “This puny bitch dares to slight this tempest. Did she think I couldn’t!”
And how the hell did he reach that conclusion? I facepalmed. The looming headache made me wince. It was better when they could only send their emotions through the contract line. This blob meant war. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with his screws yet, but I'm dead sure he needed some fixing.
“Let me kill her,” the proud blob asked. My jaws almost fell at his incomprehensible and senseless declaration.
Come to think of it. He was the one who brought forth that crazy annihilation of the dead forest. The Black Prince’s crazy threat against me had triggered his fury. And now this. Hm. After this ordeal, I’ll educate this blob with a crash anger management course. He would need it for the future.
“Please don’t,” I added a minor threat that I’m breaking off his share of mana supply once I recover if he does so. I thought he would whine back, but he didn’t.
“Oh, okay.” The tempest wind spirit sulked, deflating. He didn’t enjoy getting cut off, it seemed. “I’ll spare her. I’ll tie her. So give me.”
Wait. Then why was he so tamed when dealing with Maggie and me? Is the mana supply so important? Is this blob thinking of juicing me again?
Before I could even ask, a fluttering wind screwed the room out of nowhere, pushing away the stale rotting air. This breeze had a fresh feeling.
A bunch of paper lying on the nearby wooden table flew free like kites. When it was about to land on the ground, another batch of zephyr waltzed, making it rise again in the air.
But this time, the wind skittered around me as if they’re greeting me with a long time, no see. They felt familiar. I sensed bubbling happiness coming out of it. Ah, could it be the other green blobs who accompanied me in that carriage? If Alistair and Maggie ended up with me, they probably also hitch-hiked in the teleportation spell. Wait, do spirits even need to hitchhike?
Suddenly, a gale-like gust blew, flipping the veil, allowing the monster to take a peek at my face. I immediately pulled it back, fearing that the veil might get destroyed. It was the second gift I ever had in this world. The first gift I received from the kittens. It had tons of sentimental value. The first was Saria’s glasses. Wait. Where are my glasses? I reached out towards my nose bridge and discovered that the castles-worth glasses were not there.
My eyes constricted. But why am I not transforming back?
[Ding. The system had integrated the unique alchemical product into the system. If you want it to show up, you’ll need a complete recovery first.]
After seeing a blue notification flashing, I sighed in relief. Lucky for me, it was… uh, integrated?
“Victoria!” I felt a light wind pushing me to the ground. What happened! I held my head, feeling confused. I turned. The walls behind me, scratched and tainted by a dark-hued claw mark, leaving a tear on that part of the wall.
“What the hell are you doing! What if you die! Are you treating this as a joke?” A booming roar blasted my brain cells. It was the Tempest. “Keep your eyes open. To the enemy. Don’t let your thoughts go wild, you airhead!”
“Me? An airhead?” I blanched. “Impossible.”
“Airhead!” The little blob harrumphed then giggling, clearly copying the tempest spirit so that he could join the discussion. “Uh, Alistair? What’s an airhead.”
“Y-You!” The fist-sized wind spirit was a stressed-out blob. Maybe I should give him a short course about happiness and inner peace atop of the stress management course.
The two blobs continued to whine. Little Maggie’s going against me now. Of course, I know my faults, so I said that I’ll give them some extra mana after I recover. Again, it silenced all their whinings. I’m getting better at handling them.
I shifted my gaze towards the village head’s wife. She stopped dangling in the ceiling anymore. There she was, creeping into the darkest of shadows, steering clear out of my sight.
Why is she running? I’m the one who’s supposed to run. Did Alistair or Maggie scare her so much?
“D-Don’t come near me, monster! So bright!” A gurgling shriek akin to a hundred different persons crying together came out of the hunted lady. It was the curses. She crawled through the wall, settling below the bed where my sight couldn’t reach her. “H-Hide! We hide!”
Though I don't know what she's trembling for, it gave me the bravery I need to begin the process of exorcism, I mean, healing.
“Alistair please tie her up now,” I said as gently as possible, “And Maggie please be ready.”
Hm. The intangible air constricted.
"Yeah!" A giggle echoed. She sounded so excited like it was her first time experiencing everything. Little Maggie was pretty young, after all. Her ways and innocence were of that of a little kid.
Soon, a whip-like gust twisted, snaked, rushing towards the cursed Hild. I don't know why she was so scared of the blobs, but I’ll take it that dark curses' nemesis were spirits. Maybe that’s the reason most spirit tamers could heal curses.
The snake-like breeze dragged the cursed lady out of the bed’s shadows.
“N-No! Please! Argh!” The curses screamed, flailing. “H-Hide me! Hide! S-Shadows! I need it.”
I felt pity, but only for a moment. And thank goodness, the pity was for me, not the curses. Did this thing scare me? Though her looks were terrifying, she didn't do too much scary things aside from the wall scratches, the 360 spin, and the crawling.
“Little Maggie, please do your thing,” I asked.
“Oh, oh, it’s my turn now!” The little lollipop said, dripping with glee. “I’ll make you see how powerful I am! Watch me. Watch me, Victoria!”
I’ll soon know what abilities the little blob had earned. I felt a wind whisper drifting towards the flailing, cursed lady.
“I’ll start now!” The little blob sent a message to the line.
I nodded in silence.
“Cheh.” The irritated tempest harrumphed, his temper flaring again. “Go on, make it fast.”
The tempest wind had also pushed the old catkin out of the house. She flailed but could not escape Alistair. The tempest blob claimed it was to protect her from any potential harm.
I stared, focusing all my attention. The tiny blob tapped the cursed being's forehead. The wind slowly circled, forming a wind barrier around me and Hild.
Then a blue notification flickered before my eyes.
[The Tumultuous Whispering Wind is tapping on your authority over souls? Accept? Reject?]
Wait. When did I ever have authority over souls?
[Accept or Reject.]
So Maggie still requires my approval? Is this the reason she needed our spiritual connection? Fine. I’ll question her later. “Accept!”
[Soul Wind Purification Rites activating through the [Tumultuous Whispering Wind]. Cracking through reality. Brace for impact. Void churning in 5,4,3,2,1…]
I immediately blanched after seeing the void churning part. I waited for the windblast or anything, but… Huh? Impact. Where’s the impact?
I glimpsed a stunned Emma. She eyed the house, her face blank, a wind barrier protecting her. Wait, is she also seeing what I’m seeing?
“No, the catkin does not.” The tempest blob said through the spiritual line. “You’re only seeing an apparition, we’re already not on the same plane.”
I understood nothing. The hell is he talking about?
Then I heard the tempest murmuring. It seemed like he was gazing at the semi-witch who was still tied in the air. It flailed but nothing came out of it. He sealed her lips, stopping it from shrieking.
The mercurial blob flopped on my shoulders, focusing his attention on Maggie. "She’ll drain everything she too. Tsk, too wasteful. Maybe I should teach the kid.”
Awakened from my stupor, I gaped. The village head’s house and the store were no more. The little blob ripped the village head’s entire home asunder, floating with us in the void-like place. Now, it’s my turn to feel dumbfounded.
What in the world happened?
Then, I also realized, though too late, that I was already floating in the air. I raised my head to the skies, then back to the parcel of wood below my feet. There were no grasslands anywhere. There were no sun, no clouds, but only a massive sea of stars. Wait, the sun is a star, right? But whatever.
A few comets sailed towards the wide-open universe. It was so gorgeous, leaving me tongue-tied.
[Ding! Welcome to the Spirit Realm, Lord Magus.]
“T-The fuck is this spirit realm?” I whispered as I engulfed myself in the sea of stars with my jaws wide open.