“AAAAAHH!” The woman let out an ear-piercing cry and her face morphed into something straight out of a horror story as Sonata stabbed her eye.
Her skin darkened and grew wrinkles while her teeth became razor-sharp fangs. But the oddest thing about her was the pair of dark purple bat wings she grew. She quickly jumped back, getting away from her attacker, and covered her eye with her hand.
Rakna coldly watched her as he appreciated one of the abilities that he hadn’t been able to truly experience to its fullest until now.
❮ ◈ ❯
You have hit an incorporeal being.
Soul Core has been triggered. You inflicted spiritual damage.
You have drained 4 MP from your target.
Soul Core has leveled up!
❮ ◈ ❯
He noted that, unlike when he took the stamina pill, the energy he had just drained seemed to be staying inside his body. He had now a 4 instead of a 0 next to his MP stat but it hadn’t restored his regeneration, much to his chagrin.
“Who are you?!” The banshee screamed as she still felt the pain in her eye.
He raised an eyebrow and scoffed, “A wandering detective.”
The ghost growled and dashed at him with a speed that he could not cope with in his current state but he still calmly stood unmoving even as she approached him. Her hand transformed into a blade as she swung her arm at him.
The only reaction he showed at that was his eyes moving. He was perfectly serene. After all, the only reason he had initiated the hostilities was because he unconsciously knew, something more than just a hunch, that he could beat her.
Right before the blade hit him, he leaned back as marginally as possible as the blade brushed past his neck. Then, within the blink of an eye, he recovered from his dodge and two flashes of azure-green light found their mark on the ghost’s head and heart. She cried in pain again and this time, Rakna could see some frost appear where he stabbed.
‘It seems my passive cold attack needs at least a bit of mana to work, even if it doesn’t concretely lower it,’ he thought and placed his fist in front of the banshee’s neck. In one swift motion, he dealt out a reproduction of the one-inch punch; skillfully so that it would even impress masters.
The woman seemed to choke for a second and Rakna, still with a slow and careful motion of his muscles, threw a kick that landed on her stomach. He made sure to add a great deal of soul power in his blow and she flew back for a few meters before landing on the ground. She gasped and grasped her throat with her elongated nails as if something was harming her from the inside.
Rakna winced as he lowered his leg back to the ground and almost tripped as he tried to take a step forward. While she was still squirming on the ground, he approached her and placed a foot over her stomach. The wounds he had inflicted on her with Sonata were already disappearing as if they were never there but it seemed that his Soul Core had been enough to paralyze her.
“Let’s get this over with. Are you the one responsible for the recent deaths?” He asked indifferently and she glared at him while grasping her neck.
“What… did you… do to… me…” She managed to croak out. She felt like something was burning inside her, bringing her more pain than she had ever felt.
Rakna squinted as his eyes let out a colorless hue. “Your body seems to be made of soul power in its entirety. Perhaps it’s being damaged by my own.”
She tried to reply but the pain caught up to her again and she let out a voiceless cry. “I’m… not… the one… who killed them… please…” Her tone became pleading and her appearance gradually turned human-like again. This time, she didn’t seem to be posing as someone else and used what appeared to be her real appearance.
She had curly dark green hair with a pair of eyes that matched. Her skin was ghastly and her body was modest but elegant. Rakna scowled at her as she was on the verge of crying. He couldn’t smell her emotions, probably because of the nature of her existence, but he could smell her aura.
After focusing a bit, he noticed that the foul odor he had perceived from the outside of this house didn’t seem to be coming from her. The color of her soul also seemed to be quite bright; it was as if it was trying to convince him that she was innocent. After a moment of thought, he gave her the benefit of the doubt and lifted his foot.
He crouched next to her and placed his hand above her heart. “[Soul Scourge,]” he muttered and reached for the soul power he had inadvertently injected inside of her earlier. At the same time, with this skill, he noticed that he could easily break her apart if he wanted to. But he decided to listen to his gut feeling once again and got rid of what she was suffering from.
After just a few seconds, she stopped clawing at her neck and she could finally breathe, something that made him wonder if even ghosts needed air to live. Or perhaps something different. Akin to an afterlife version of oxygen.
“Don’t waste my time. Tell me what you know,” Rakna uttered, not showing any ounce of guilt for having mishandled her while she was potentially blameless.
She nodded weakly and leaned against the wall for support as she stood up. She breathed in and exhaled before speaking up, “My name… is Evelyn Malcanthet… I’m a phantom bound to this place without a way to leave it. The dead you’re talking about were…” She hesitated as she reached this part.
“They were what?” He repeated with a frigid tone, releasing a bit of his Despair Aura at the same time. “If you don’t speak now, I will force your soul to do it for you. It’s in your interest that I don’t fall back on this since I still don’t know how to control it.”
The phantom flinched at the pressure invading the room. She couldn’t comprehend how she could be so easily intimidated by someone who seemed to barely be standing on his feet. She had seen how careful he was with his every step as if he was scared to hurt himself.
She bit her lip. ‘It didn’t stop him from demolishing me,’ she thought bitterly. “The culprit is…” She sighed. “My brother. He was the one who did it.”
Rakna furrowed his eyebrows as he whirled one of his daggers in thought. “Before I ask you who your brother is, specifically, I assume you’re saying that he, for some reason, randomly kills people that pass by this house and you… are probably the one who possesses them after their death to hide the truth. Am I right?”
Evelyn’s eyes widened in shock at how quickly and forthrightly he had reached this conclusion. He had also been horrifyingly accurate. “How…” She started but Rakna cut her off.
“For now, I will believe that you are not the one who killed them. That’s all you have to know,” he said and his eyes skimmed over a window that appeared in front of him after he willed it.
❮ ◈ ❯
Name: Evelyn J. Malcanthet
Age: 192 (18) | Level: 12
Race: Cambion Phantom | Path: Hell Priestess
Affiliation: Descendant of the Jill Family – First Plateau
Titles: Caring Sister – The Virgin Succubus
STR: 5 | END: 5
SPD: 7 | DEX: 9
INT: 21 | LCK: 3
DP: 118/131 | MP: 294/310
SWI: 56 | Agility: 25
SEN: 52 | ATC: 50
ATT: 38.5 | DEF: 20
MA: 63 | MR: 2.37/min
- Mana Sense (Lv. Max)
- Flight (Lv. Max)
- Mana Control (Lv.7)
- Soul Sense (Lv.5)
- Alchemy (Lv.6)
- Crafting (Lv.5)
- Magic Theory (Lv.3)
- Jill Martial Arts (Lv.3)
- Requires Reawakening.
Cognitive Skills (Passive):
- Negative Insight (Lv. Max)
- Magical Damage Resistance (Lv.9)
- Soul Aura (Lv.6)
Spontaneous Skills (Active):
- Spiritual Possession (Lv. Ex)
- Demonic Gradation (Lv. Max)
- Morph (Lv. Max)
- Scan (Lv. Max)
- Stealth (Lv.8)
- Elemental Reinforcement (Lv.3)
Unique or Racial Traits:
- Phantom Membrane: Phantoms are beings that live with their soul bare and are impervious to normal physical attacks. But unlike other spiritual beings, they can be touched and have a physical influence on the world. Their only weakness is that if they are not bound to someone or something, they are unable to sustain themselves and will cease to exist.
- Cambion: The mixed race of humans and demons. The holder of this trait possesses demonic energy instead of stamina and their mana holds the attribute of darkness. They can thus learn skills only available to the demon race.
- Half-Succubus: The holder of this trait has either an incubus or a succubus as a parent. As such, they are able to drain life essence from living beings to heal or strengthen themselves. As a Cambion, they do not have demon pheromones and don’t need to feed off mortal essence. They additionally possess a pair of sturdy bat wings giving them the ability to fly and a natural night vision.
Note: Evelyn Malcanthet is a Descendant belonging to the Jill Family. Her mother was a human Host and her father was an incubus demon. The union of the two gave birth to two children; Evelyn and Lyne. One day, the family of four was attacked by a group of demon hunters, hired by the Jill Family’s Main Branch, and were all killed.
Thanks to being Cambions and Descendants, the two children became phantoms and were bound to their house. The son quickly lost his mind in madness and fury and to stop him, her sister forced the two of them into a seal by sacrificing her magic.
❮ ◈ ❯
Rakna’s eyes slightly widened at her status. She was certainly one of the more unique people he had met until now. In fact, he would even put her above Verias’ weakened state, for both her racial traits and Nirvana Skill. Then, there was the note about her and her family.
This was the first time he had gotten one so long; possibly because there was simply more to tell for him to get the overall picture. Until now, Appraisal had always given him the minimum info to have a general understanding of the target’s history.
‘The fact about her brother seems to be the truth…’ He thought. “Where is your brother?”
Evelyn trembled and tamely lowered her head. “He is half-sealed as we speak. He is slowly waking up and the victims he’s killing are used by him to recover.”
“Why didn’t you stop him?”
“I… couldn’t,” she replied weakly. “When my brother started going mad after becoming a Phantom, to seal him, I had to forsake my elemental affinities and all the magic power I had. I’ve barely recovered the latter after 170 years in slumber, but I still need to reawaken my magic and I can’t do anything against him without it…”
Rakna snarled under his breath and she shivered unconsciously. “Why haven’t you tried to call for help? You probably woke up two weeks ago, didn’t you? The family that lived here is probably already dead, isn’t it?” Her silence and sunken expression were the only evidence he needed to confirm his suspicions.
“Perhaps you are bound to this place but you could have alerted someone, anyone. Are you really going to let your brother kill innocents like this? And don’t tell me you didn’t have an opportunity to seek help since you tried to chase me away barely minutes ago.”
Evelyn didn’t know what to say. Any moment now, she felt like she was going to start crying under the sharpness of his words. “I was… scared. I don’t want my brother to die. He’s the only one I have left. I know that there’s almost no chance for him to come back to reason. I tried! I tried everything to bring him back… I was just hoping… praying that maybe… he would…”
Rakna groaned as she choked on her own words. Never did he expect he would have to deal with a weepy succubus. “…I’ll ask you again, where is he?” He inquired with a hint of finality in his tone.
She gritted her teeth. She didn’t want to say it. It felt like she was selling out her own family. But she understood that it was for the best and it sickened her. “…he’s in the basement. It’s filled with wards to both restrain him and keep people out… are you going to kill him?”
“I’m going to do what I need to do,” he responded. “That’s all I’ll tell you.”
Evelyn stood silent for a moment before raising her head to look at him in the eyes. Her tears had finally started to fall but he didn’t seem to be affected in the slightest. “I will open the wards for you but can you promise me something?”
Rakna stilled for a second as he heard that word. “…that will depend on what it is.”
“When I release the wards of the basement, my brother will be free to move. All I want is that you wait before attacking him. I want to try and talk to him one last time. If it doesn’t work, I swear to help you finish… him… even at the cost of my own life.”
Rakna watched her determined expression and grunted. In fact, he could just leave that house right then and get help. His Quest didn’t necessarily include solving the problem. He was also in a vulnerable state, even if his combat experience and arrays of skills were enough to put him above most people.
However, who would listen to this girl? Very few people would be sympathetic to a girl who has let murders occur, much less her brother who has done the deeds. At best, they would execute the brother and cage the sister one way or another.
That’s why he couldn’t let it go. His uncle had always advised him that second chances, while not always deserved, are something that should be given equally to all. This situation… he believed that they deserved the chance and he was ready to offer it. He had been given one, after all.
“Lead the way,” he ultimately said. At the end of the day, he needed to see if he could deal with the problem or not. He had to take a look at that brother in question to decide if he could take him on or not.
“W-what about my request?” She asked nervously, taking a step forward.
“…I promise you.”
Those three words were spoken grimly but that had been enough to shake her entire being. She didn’t know why, but she knew that he was sincere. She allowed a small smile to appear on her face, “Thank you…”
“Keep your thanks for later,” he retorted blankly. “Promises are only worth something when they are followed through to the end.”
“Do you think so?” Evelyn said melancholically. “After our parents died and before he was blighted by his own demonic energy, I promised my brother that I would always be there for him, that I would always protect him no matter what,” she recounted and paused.
“I think he knew at the time that I most likely would not be able to do it but he still smiled at me and thanked me. I believe that making a promise… sometimes means more than the outcome,” she smiled faintly. “Don’t you think so?”
Rakna looked at her with his eyes wide open before he looked at his hands that were holding the azure daggers. He remembered the smile Vivi had flashed when he told her he would do what he could. Perhaps… “Just perhaps,” he voiced and gripped his daggers. “You might be right.”