Chapter 90: Murder.
Once Abium activated the silver ring, it began to emit a dim red light. A second later, a black smoke cloud came out of the silver ring and formed into a black blurry hooded figure. The figure stood at the center of the large round wooden table and looked around the surroundings.
'Darkness element?' Abium frowned and soon guessed this must be some sort of long-distance communication spell.
"Who are you?" Abium squinted his eyes sharper and then asked in a cold tone.
"I’m a Messenger." A short husky male voice came from the smoky hooded figure, which gave him creepy chills inside.
'Male? But why did he go on the round way to contact me? Why didn't he directly come to me and ask about his problem? Is he wary of me? No! That's not it. From Viper's tone, this guy seems to be a dangerous one. But I don’t understand why he is keeping his guard against me.' Abium narrowed his eyes and then looked deeply into the blackish hooded figure.
"So, what do you want from me?" Abium asked after a short delay.
"Before that, you should see this." That smoky figure said and chuckled. Then next instant, another cloud of smoke came out from the silver ring and formed into a circular screen. As Abium watched that screen, his expression froze. On that screen, a picture, No! A video appeared. The scene was where he, Lily, and Sarah were battled against the demonized Red python branch leader Iskax. Soon, the scene changed and was replaced with them working here in this town.
'How did he capture the video without alerting me? Azolla, do you have any idea?' Hiding his emotions, Abium asked in a nervous tone.
'No idea, kid. But he didn't come near to the range of the spiritual scan. Hmm, he seems to be a cautious guy.' Azolla said in a serious tone.
Calming his mind, Abium analyzed the hooded shadowy figure’s every movement and asked coldly.
"Shall I take this as a threat?"
'His goal is not money. If he sent this video to the Royal family, he would have already got more than 5000 white gold coins. Hmm, he appears to have some ulterior motive… He maybe needs my help, or he must be after something.’ Abium guessed instantly. At the same time, the black smoky hooded figure shook his head and started talking.
"As you have guessed, I need a strong person's help. I need a person who is not controlled by fate and could be capable of changing others' fate." His next words caused Abium and even Azolla to be startled deeply.
'Only persons who knew this were two goddesses and us, but how did he figure it out?... Damn it; I acted too carelessly. I must act more cautiously from now on.' He fell silent for a second after cursing inwardly.
"So, what do you want from me?" Abium snapped out of it after a second and asked while showing a little vigilant expression on his face. He wasn’t afraid of this mysterious guy. But if he didn’t show a little vigilance expression, the enemy might try other means to probe his original strength. While he was in deep thoughts, the hooded black figure started talking.
"I need your help. It will be beneficial for both of us. I want you to steal a unique artifact from a treasury. But it’s a little bit complicated. We will discuss it later once the last seal is broken." That black figure said with a creepy smile on his face.
Meanwhile, Abium became shocked inside and began to ponder deeply.
'Hmm, this guy seems to be already planned everything. He even knew about the seals and appeared to be plotting something big. I don't know where these seals are and only heard from the Prince in my past life. Damn it; it seems I caught the attention of some troublesome person.'
"What will I get in return?" Abium heaved a heavy sigh and asked while knitting his eyebrows.
"Of course, you will get more benefit than me. I will give you information about the Fire divinity." That shrouded figure said with a tempting tone, causing Abium to surprise inside.
'Fire Divinity?! Damn it; This guy is just like a devil! But did he really have information about the Fire divinity?' Abium was deeply affected by his words and started to think.
'Ha! Without risks, I won't get anything. Moreover, I have already offended the ‘Order of the Dead’ members. I need to strengthen myself sooner.'
'Azolla, what do you think about it? Is it worth taking risks?' He asked without hiding the excitement.
'We don't have many options. But you should raise your strength during the next two months. Then, find a way to stop them breaking those mysterious seals.' Azolla suggested.
'Okay. But I don't know where those seals are.' Abium replied anxiously.
'Don’t think much about it. Agree with his request. You have a lot of time to prepare, and he seems to know nothing about the sacrificial ritual you offered before. He must be thinking of using you. He shouldn't have known that you had already received a divine fragment from a goddess.' Azolla's words caused Abium to calm down. After pondering for a few seconds, he spoke while standing up from the wooden chair.
"I agree to your request. So, how should I contact you?"
"We will meet again after the upcoming Grand Nobles’ Gathering." That smoky figure said slyly.
"But isn't that function postponed to June?" Abium wore a startled expression and asked curiously.
"Don't worry; it will change. All the nobles will get this news soon." Once the shadowy figure finished his talking, the black smoke dispersed into thin air, leaving Abium alone in the hall. Without hesitation, Abium activated the 'Seer's intuition' spell while thinking about the Grand Nobles' Gathering's original date.
Soon his expression turned into shock as the feeling of ‘Right’ appeared inside his mind.
‘It means the Grand Nobles’ Gathering date will change once again!’
'He is not only strong but also capable of manipulating high-class nobles. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if he had some secret ties with the royal family… First, I should do the remaining works and return to the Royal capital while hiding my identity. I have to think of a different solution. I don't like to be played by others like a puppet.' He let out a cold smile while walking out of the reception hall and moved towards study.
On an unknown Island, Devil Sea.
A muscular figure sat on a meditative pose and slowly opened his hooded brown eyes. He looked at the singing waves and soon closed his eyes. Behind him were full of greenery. From time to time, he would frown and appeared to be concentrating on something serious. On his hand, he held a head-sized blue crystal and appeared to be engraving runic letters using spirit power. After a few minutes, the crystal trembled a little and then started emitting dim oceanic light.
"Girl, get ready. We are going to another island. She is coming." Suddenly, Ulzez opened his eyes and spoke while standing up.
"So soon? Didn’t we change the location yesterday? How come she could track us without any difficulty?" Aliza walked out of the tent that was built nearby and asked in annoyance.
"Syreni must be using my blood to track our location. She will not stop until she gets back what she wants." Ulzez said with a helpless sigh.
"What did she want? If we give back that thing to her, she will not chase us, right?" Aliza shifted her gaze towards the topless Ulzez and asked.
"I can't give it back. It is very precious to me." Instantly Ulzez said with a stubborn tone.
"What is that?" She asked curiously.
"My heart. That blood child needs to devour four Legendary-tier chaos being's hearts to complete an important ritual." His solemn words caused Aliza’s eyes to widen in shock.
"Okay. Hmm, why shouldn't we get back to the Mainland and directly lead her to the Light Church members?" She slowly calmed down and asked.
"That's what I'm also thinking. But we will do it two months later. I have a premonition if we go now, we will lose something precious. Maybe one of us will die." Ulzez said with a grim tone.
His words caused Aliza’s face to turn gloomy.
"Wait for a minute; I will go and get ready." Once she said those words, she quickly went back into the tent and stored her belongings in her spatial ring.
A minute later, she walked out of the tent and nodded at Ulzez. Then, Ulzez cast a supportive spell on both of them, and both started to float up in the air while a large Sanguis shark followed after them in the sea.
January 28th morning, 4 A.M. Roguedale Town.
Fennelis slept in her room while Umi placed her head on her mother's arm and started mumbling in her dream.
Suddenly, a scream came from the nearby room, causing both of them to wake up in alarm.
"W-What was that?" Fennelis suddenly sat up and muttered out loud in a startling tone. Meanwhile, Umi also woke up from her sleep and stared nervously at her mother.
"Don't worry, Umi. I will go and take a look." She kissed Umi’s forehead, and hurriedly walked out of her room. Meanwhile, Roysia also walked out of her room with a startling expression and breathed out a sigh of relief once she noticed Fennelis was okay.
"What happened?" Fennelis asked while furrowing her eyebrows.
"No idea. I think the sound came from this room." Roysia said with a sigh and soon arrived in front of the room on her right side. Meanwhile, Fennelis glanced at the corridor and noticed all of the remaining guests were walking out of their room with startling expressions on their faces.
"What happened?" A guy who almost reached two meters tall stepped forward and asked both of them. He had short wavy black hair, brown eyes, and wore a normal red nightgown.
"We also have no idea, adventurer," Fennelis said with a solemn tone while pointing her finger towards her nearby room.
"You are right, ma'am. Nadine, go inform the Inn receptionist about the situation and get the spare room key from her." That adventurer said while walking near to the suspected room. Meanwhile, two females in the crowd quickly ran towards the first floor, leaving six people in the corridor.
Fennelis and Roysia also moved carefully towards the room entrance and frowned. Both instantly sensed a blood scent from inside and covered their noses.
'Something is wrong!' Fennelis imbued ice elemental energy into her hand and was about to burst open the door, but an anxious shout from behind stopped her.
"W-What happened? Here is the key." A young receptionist girl with blonde hair ran towards their direction from the stairs and soon gave a bunch of keys to the two-meter tall adventurer.
With a nod, the tall adventurer picked up the right room key and opened the door with a click.
A second later, everyone shouted out loud in panic.
Inside the room, they saw a female's body laid motionlessly on the wooden floor. Her body was completely cleaved in half, and both of her eyes were pulled out. The enemy seemed to have already drawn some mysterious ritual circle on the floor and placed her cleaved body at the center.
"My holy lord of light!" "So cruel!"
All of them muttered in shock while the Inn receptionist girl had already fallen unconscious, leaving a thudding sound behind.
Meanwhile, Fennelis noticed the bed was completely painted in red and appeared creepier.
'A sacrificial ritual?' She furrowed her eyebrows and then turned her attention towards the deceased body.
Soon, her eyes widened as she noticed a few strange words were engraved on the corpse's forehead. The simple sight gave chills to her spine.
Before they could check more details, clattering sounds came from outside. A moment later, well-armored guards ran towards the Inn from the street and entered.
'Soon? Who informed them?' Fennelis was startled as she saw them through the window opening and waited for their arrival.
Within a few seconds, they arrived on the second floor and soon entered the suspect room.
"What happened?" Unlike the last time, a leather-armored guard with a shiny silver helmet on his head walked forward and asked loudly. A heartbeat later, he frowned as he sensed the blood scent from inside and gave a questionable gaze towards others. Before Fennelis could say anything, the tall, muscular adventurer took the initiative and said without showing any anxiety.
"We are also clueless about the situation, sir. We heard a scream a while ago, and we came here to check about the situation. But by the time we enter this room to check, the criminal was long gone."
"Hmm? Who are you? Do you have any identification?" That guard didn't seem to be believing his words and suspicious gaze.
"Here." That muscular adventurer took out his identification card from his spatial ring and presented it to him.
That leather-armored soldier took his identification card and gave it back to him after a simple glance. He didn't dare to act arrogantly in front of an adventurer and started checking others' identification cards. After that, he told others to return to their room and signaled his squad members to clean the room.
Fennelis, Roysia, and Umi moved to Roysia's room and fell into deep thoughts.
"Lady Roysia, what do you think about this case?" Fennelis asked while sitting on the smooth cotton bed.
"It almost looks like a cult organization's doing," Roysia said with a frown.
"Don't you notice something off about those soldiers? They came so quickly. It was like they planned this whole murder scene." Fennelis said with a worried tone.
"You are right! Due to the ruckus, I didn't notice that earlier. But the soldiers all were well uniformed and appeared more energetic. There was no fatigue on their faces." Roysia said while widening her eyes in realization.
"We should get out of this town as soon as possible," Fennelis said with a grim tone while Roysia started to nod her head in approval.
The next day morning, at 8 A.M.
After packing their belongings, the trio quickly walked out of their room and went to the ground floor through the spiral staircase.
"Are you planning to move to the next town?" Suddenly, they heard a male voice from the reception hall. Fennelis, Umi, and Roysia stopped their footsteps and noticed the tall adventurer from last night was sitting on the table.
"Yes, mister. Here it is not safer." Roysia replied with a nod.
"It seems you hadn't heard the news yet. City lord had already ordered the guards to shut down the gates, ma'am. Till next Sunday, no one is allowed to go in and out of this town." He said with a helpless smile. Hearing those words, Fennelis and Roysia became stunned.
"Why? I think their action is still too much for a single murder." Fennelis said while raising her eyebrows upward.
"16, Ma'am," That adventurer corrected with a solemn tone.
"What do you mean by 16?" Both got startled as Fennelis asked in surprise.
"Yesterday, there were a total of 16 murders happened at the same time, ma'am. They cut their bodies into half and robbed those persons' eyes and even wrote some unknown letters along with the ritual-like circle." The adventurer said.
Hearing his words, Fennelis and Roysia's expression turned ugly. Now they understood why the city lord ordered like that.
'Who are they after?' Fennelis frowned deeply.