Rakna uncovered the body in front of him and took a look at what was the dead body of a man in his early twenties. “This one was found less than ten hours ago. Same symptoms as the others,” Weil commented and he nodded.
The first thing he noticed was the smell. Ever since he became a werewolf, he could always pick up the individual scents of everyone he met. Even non-organic beings or objects, while not having any peculiar or outstanding odor, had one as well. That also applied to dead bodies.
It was as if their natural presence slowly disappeared after death but lingered on the corpse. He had confirmed this with the monsters he had killed previously and if he understood it correctly, what he smelled was akin to the Aura skill but in a more encompassing way. Even corpses had a presence to them, which is precisely what he couldn’t sense from the body in front of him.
It was like he was looking at a literal rock instead of a human body. He would even be ready to bet that his Nirvana Skill would have nothing to extract from its heart.
‘Is this something like Verias’ drain?’ Rakna scowled at the thought and cast Appraisal. There was no point in keeping guessing if he could get his answers with this.
❮ ◈ ❯
A soul-less and powerless corpse. Some would not even bother thinking of it as something else other than an object. It shows signs of possession, potentially related to the cause of death.
❮ ◈ ❯
‘I can’t say it’s really useful,’ he thought with a hand on his chin. He extended his hand toward the body under Weil’s curious gaze and put two fingers on the solar plexus before closing his eyes.
He passively sensed how cold the body was and sent his soul power inside of it. He tried to make an improvised analysis with his incomplete understanding of soul power and the only concrete result he got was just an increase in level for his Soul Sense.
‘Truly, there’s nothing in here. It feels like I’m trying to probe a statue,’ Rakna frowned and he made one theory. ‘Possession, huh? As in ghosts controlling a mortal’s body?’
[I would believe so. There aren’t many things that can be referred to as such. At the very least, it implies a spiritual entity entering a living being’s body. Whether that would lead to the victim’s death or not depends on the method used.]
‘Well, if anything, if it truly is something like a ghost, then the fact that it happens at night would check out,’ Rakna remarked then moved his arm. He placed his palm on the corpse’s forehead and breathed in before activating one of his newest skills.
‘This skill doesn’t have a cost. It shouldn’t have a recoil… hopefully,’ he thought and a sort of vision abruptly overtook his mind. He gasped and ended up in the perspective of someone else. He was walking in the streets during the night and when he passed by a certain house, he spotted a strange fleeting shadow. In the next second, he felt nauseous and his consciousness returned to the morgue.
❮◈❯ Dead Men Tell leveled up! ❮◈❯
Before he could sort out what he had just witnessed, his nose started bleeding and a splitting headache assailed him. Even as a costless skill, it seemed that there was both a physical and mental toll to it.
[Rakna, are you all right?] Alexa asked with a slightly louder voice. [Use a stamina pill. It will not give you back your internal force but it should lessen the impact on your psyche and body and prevent any long-lasting damage.]
He nodded faintly and consumed a green pill. He swallowed it and felt a rush of energy. It spread across his body and eased his condition briefly before simply disappearing. ‘I really can’t wait for this crippled state to end,’ he grumbled internally.
“Is something wrong?” The doctor next to him asked confusedly. “You suddenly started bleeding when you touched the body’s head...”
“I’m fine. I just used a skill that I haven’t mastered yet,” he told a good enough excuse and waved at the body to change the subject. “I have an idea on what happened to him.”
“Really?” Weil’s eyes widened in shock.
“Yes. Does an old-looking mansion with a front garden and an expensive-looking car parked in it ring any bells?” Rakna asked while trying to get a clear picture of what he saw in his vision.
“An old mansion and a luxurious car… perhaps are you referring to the house of the Jill family?”
“Who are they and when did they move in?”
Weil took a moment to think about it before answering. “Well, from what I know, they’re a well-off family that has a few businesses in Black Steel as well as quite a history; that house has been there for more than two hundred years. As for who currently lives in it, it’s Kair Jill, his wife Rena, and his two children, Kaira and Rei. They moved in about five months ago, I’d say.”
Rakna mused. With this, there was one question that may settle his suspicions, “When was the last time you saw any of those four coming out of their house?”
The doctor seemed to come to a realization. “I… haven’t seen them for two weeks now. There is also the fact that Kair comes to the hospital monthly for a regular checkup. The end of this month is close and he hasn’t visited us yet,” he said with a worried expression.
“But they do tend to leave for undetermined periods of time for their work so it never struck me as weird. Do you think… that they have something to do with this situation?”
“Not in an incriminating way,” Rakna retorted vaguely. “Tell me where that house is.”
As the words left Weil’s mouth, his map popped up to show a new objective. He grunted positively and started heading back to the exit. “I’ll go take a look. I’ll tell you later if I found anything,” he said and left the hospital with a swift pace.
He really was itching to just fly over to his destination but could only groan at the fact that he just couldn’t do it. He already regretted the mobility that he had been spoiled with.
After a few minutes, he ultimately reached the mansion and he could sense right away that there was something off about it. Not only his instincts, but the foul smell that reminded him of Verias in its nature was also quite repulsive.
He observed the property in front of him with a raised eyebrow. He hummed and activated one of his items’ abilities, which did not require mana. “[Scan Life,]” he intoned and the hidden necklace he was wearing emitted a pulse of energy that swept over his surroundings.
His accessory immediately gave him the feedback he wanted and he sighed when he saw that there was no reaction from the house whatsoever. He brought out his twin daggers from his storage since they were his lightest weapons.
However, he was reminded of something when he saw them glowing in his hands. He grabbed his scarf and wrapped it around the daggers. A prompt appeared and he unhesitatingly chose yes.
Sonata and Praying Vehemence shone and fused until all that was left in Rakna’s hand was a pair of curved azure daggers with green glittery edges.
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Designation: Blade/Twin Daggers
Name: Azure Sonata
Attack power: +100
- Intertwined Miniature Eion Systems: The weapon possesses memory of form and is able to switch from one form to another with an Eion energy influx as the trigger.
Currently available: Scarf, Guandao, Bow, Kusarigama, Twin Daggers.
- Oscillation Blade (Bladed form only): Through oscillation, the blade becomes ten times sharper and can generate heat.
- Gale Outbreak (Applied to all forms): A perk synthesized from absorbing Praying Vehemence’s parameters. When wielding Sonata, the user will have their agility and swiftness increase by 5% without cost or cooldown.
- Green Flurry: Use a constant stream of mana to elongate the weapon’s blade and boost the attack depending on the wielder’s magic attack.
❮ ◈ ❯
‘So, it did assimilate the perks to some extent. Gale Outbreak is new but if it applies to whenever I hold Sonata, it’s not a loss. As for Green Flurry, it seems I can only use it in this form. That’s a good thing to know about future evolutions. I’ll have to try and get even better weapons,’ he thought and quickly checked what he needed to evolve Sonata again; he had to be level 40 and use at least a weapon of blue rarity.
‘The attack value shot up as well,’ Rakna thought and whirled the daggers, satisfied with the small but noticeable change in his swiftness and agility. He looked at the entrance of the mansion again and tentatively pushed the gate who seemed to be a bit slack. It opened without resistance and he silently entered the property.
He approached the entrance without lowering his guard for even a second. He tried to look inside through the windows but the curtains were all closed, unfortunately. He walked to the front door and clicked his tongue at the fact that it was locked digitally.
He was about to force it open with his daggers when he got an idea. If he based his assumptions on the fact that the victims had all at some point walked past this house before their death, it would explain the complete randomness.
This also meant that whatever did it, whether it is a ghost or an unknown monster, had the basic intelligence to drop the bodies away from the house as to no raise suspicion. In other words, if it’s smart enough to shield itself from suspicions, it should also have the rational sense to try and not let its cover be blown.
While thinking that, Rakna hid his daggers under his jacket and pressed the button for the doorbell a few times before patiently waiting. After around ten seconds, his ears twitched as heard the lock being opened from the inside, and a beautiful woman greeted him.
“Can I do something for you, young man?” She inquired with a smile that could have fooled anyone with its sincerity.
“As a matter of fact, yes. I happen to be looking for the Jill family that lives here. Would you be so kind as to tell me where they are?”
The woman’s expression became perplexed. “I am right in front of you, am I not? You’re speaking to Rena Jill. If you’re looking for my husband, I’m afraid you’ll have to come back another day. He’s on a business trip at the moment.”
“So it seems,” Rakna uttered with a hint of mirth in his tone. “Are you sure though?”
This time, she let out some irritation appear. “Listen, young man, if you’re here to joke around, I’ll have to ask you to lea-”
“Last I heard,” he interrupted her dryly as his eyes glowed with a golden hue. “Normal people tend to have a heartbeat, a body temperature, and a physical body, don’t they?”
“You-!” Before the woman could say anything else, an azure dagger flashed and stabbed her right in the eye.
“Yes, I think so too.”