Chapter 143: Blood Drain Curse.
Abium followed after Hooper and soon stopped as he arrived at Red Meat Inn's doorstep. He then turned his head inside and looked at a guy who just walked in.
''Two rooms for five days.'' A cold voice came from that guy's mouth as he went near the reception desk. He had brown hair, tall stature, and looks around 40 years old. He covered his lower face with a red scarf and wore a black double-breasted suit. He also hung an emerald pendant around his neck, which gave Abium a sense of familiarity. Although Abium didn't saw his face still, he felt that guy's voice was so familiar. But soon, Abium retracted his gaze and followed after Hooper.
'Well, I will have to check who this guy is later.' Abium thought to himself. First, he had to confirm whether his friend Nicolaus, Umi, and Lady Fennelis were okay. After a few minutes, Abium went along with those four adventurers into an old single storied house at the end of Elm Street and soon frowned as he sniffed the air. In front of the house, 32B number was marked.
'Blood!' His sharp sense quickly detected the presence of blood in the air and got worried. Without any delay, he scanned the whole building and discovered what was happening inside.
He saw an entrance to some secret underground chamber on the other side of the building. But what stopped his footstep was that he saw two figures lying on beds in the underground chamber while the other three figures stood near them.
Quickly, Abium fastened his footsteps to the secret door and opened it hastily, surprising the adventurers. After that, he anxiously stepped down through a circular stone staircase and reached the gloomy dark underground secret chamber. Unlike a normal hall, only two magical lamps hung at the two ends, giving a dim light to that chamber.
After that, Abium turned his head towards the two beds and saw that two humans were laid on them. Both had pale faces as if the blood was completely drained from their bodies and appeared to be dying. Abium finally breathed out a sigh of relief as he confirmed Umi, Nicolaus and Fennelis were not among those bedridden humans. But soon, he furrowed his brows in confusion as he saw a familiar face among the two.
'Woman?' He narrowed his eyes.
That woman wore a grey shirt, pants and appeared to be in a coma state. She had pink-colored wavy hair, hooded amber eyes, a hawk nose, and an oblong face.
'Isn't she the royal knight captain, Lady Roysia? What happened to her?' Abium's face turned dead serious as he arrived next to her, startling others. Nicolaus, Umi, and Fennelis instantly noticed Abium's arrival and smiled subconsciously.
''What happened to Lady Roysia? Why is she here?'' Abium asked as he ordered Azolla to scan Roysia.
''We came together to this Keris kingdom under her sister's request. A month ago, she went to Taiga sloth woods to check for any clues about my husband along with three local adventurers. But they got ambushed by the Holy Knights while they on their way to return.'' Fennelis said with a frustrated expression on her face. She thought there wouldn't be any danger in that mission but didn't expect there would be Holy Knights roaming inside the forest. But what made her feel more frustrated was that she didn't even know why they attacked Roysia and the adventurers. As Fennelis was gritting in anger, Nicolaus started talking.
''They don't even know why there was a squad of Holy Knights roaming in those woods. Although four of them got ambushed, Lady Roysia and this adventurer successfully escaped. But after they returned to the city, we noticed both of them became sick all of a sudden and appeared to be slowly dying.''
Abium felt those Holy knights' actions were a little strange this time, and soon he heard a report from Azolla.
'Kid, someone cast 'Blood drain' spell on both of them. Only the Light priest has the ability to cure her, but I don't think any priest will be willing to help her. Well, once I heard that Light God Welo was once a Vampire and these Vampires still have a high position in Light Church.' Azolla's words caused Abium to frown.
'Do you mean the Light church's dominance over Easica continent was still there during the ancient times?' Abium asked with puzzlement. He thought there was no other church except Nature church during the ancient era, but it seems that was not the truth.
'Dominance? Welos is not a god of this plane, so only our Nature mother goddess dominates this plane. Although those fanatics seem to be spreading their faith all over the Easica plane now, his true body won't be able to enter our plane. If he dares to enter forcefully, then he will have to face the wrath of our World's Will. Kid, I will tell you a truth which must be kept secret from everyone. Three High-Gods rose from this plane. If a foreign God tries to invade our world, they will return to our world and stop him at all costs. As for how foreign gods' influence came to our world, it was all because of our Mother Nature Goddess. She was the one who asked their help to repel the invaders from the Abyss and Hell during the ancient war. After that war, those gods used that opportunity and started spreading their influence in this plane.'
'Who are the other two High-Gods?' Abium nodded and curiously asked.
'It's better for you not to learn anything about them, kid. If you learn more about them, they will also learn more about you. So, you must never try to find out any information about them.' Azolla instantly warned and soon changed the topic. 'First, just find a way to cure both of them.'
Abium face turned grim as he heard those words.
'Hmm, should I kidnap a priest and threaten him to cure her? Nah, those Light Priests won't yield to my threats. Moreover, that Bishop Piers is not a person I should casually offend. Although his strength is not as strong as mage Sean, he must be stronger than a normal second-tier mage.' Abium mumbled to himself and then fell into deep thoughts.
'Is there any potion formula that could nullify this Blood drain spell?' Abium started thinking quickly with a frown and soon nodded as he remembered a potion name.
'There is a potion called Red Lily potion which could cure most of the low-level Vampire spells. But I don't think I can get the main ingredients to make potions. Well, to concoct that potion, I need few drops of Baron Level Vampire's blood and a branch of ghost weeds.' Abium instantly dismissed that idea as he thought of those two main ingredients. Can he get a few drops of Noble Baron Vampire's blood? It would take a long time even to track those Vampires. Even if he had the potion ingredients, Abium knew these two wouldn't be able to hold on for a few more days and got worried.
'If that Bishop is not here, I would have easily able to bribe one priest to cure both of them. Well, that left with the last option. I have to seek help from Nature priest using money.' Abium thought to himself and soon froze as he suddenly remembered something.
'Wait a minute!... In the past, during the Silverland incident, I heard that necromancer somehow managed to kill him using a strange light spell inside the Taiga sloth woods, which caused a great commotion.' As Abium was thinking about that past incident, his eyes suddenly squinted.
'Using the same light spell to kill this Bishop?... Wait!... Why do I feel like I had seen that a necromancer used light spell before?' Abium's eyes instantly widened as he suddenly remembered those two Holy maiden zombies and became stunned.
'Heh, so that's the reason Necromancer Rilos got himself killed by an Archbishop Rafe before his first rebirth, huh.' Abium instantly linked those incidents and almost convinced that the mysterious necromancer must be that Undying Rilos.
'But where can I find him? Even if I find him, then what- Hmm?' Abium suddenly stopped thinking and quickly remembered that familiar face he saw when he came out from that Red meat Inn.
'Damn it!... I didn't expect to meet him so soon here in this city. Well, he hiding in that inn made my job easier. Hehe, let's see if he really has the strength to kill that Bishop Piers.' A bold scheme started to form in his head, and a cold smile appeared on his face. Quickly, Abium shifted his gaze towards Nicolaus and spoke while giving him a crystalline card.
''Nicolaus, I have a job for you. After dusk, take this money card and bring both of them to this city's Nature Temple. After that, donate this to Nature Temple and then ask Silverland City's Nature priest to cure both of them. Although those Nature followers are a little difficult to talk to, those guys will help. Also, bring these four guys along with you. I think your strength is more than enough to beat those Holy knights who are stealthily monitoring us.'' Abium said in an icy tone and quickly added while giving him a thumb-sized green crystal.
''Also, ask Nature priest to give us one Life Potion. As for the payment, give this to him.'' Meanwhile, Nicolaus stared at the crystal in puzzlement and quickly nodded. It was a nature elemental crystal that Abium got from the Fex dimension. He already gave one fire elemental crystal to Grold, and now he had only six fire elemental crystals. Although they were just the first tier elemental crystals, Abium knows how precious those crystals were. But he didn't have any other choice but to use those crystals. Casting those thoughts away, Abium turned his gaze towards Fennelis and asked.
''Lady Fennelis, can you tell me who gave you the information about your husband? How did they know that he would go to the Taiga Sloth Woods? The Taiga Sloth Woods is not a place where one could randomly walk in.''
''Well, I heard from a servant of Royal family that our Beast Emperor sent a squad of beast kins, including my husband, to take back something hidden in this woods.'' Fennelis paused for a second and continued, ''But later I found out that Beast Emperor just used an excuse to send everyone here. That's the reason we came here to warn them.''
Abium looked at her in surprise and asked with confusion.
''What can Beast Emperor achieve by sending your husband here?''
Fennelis's face turned sour as she shook her head with a bitter smile on her face and replied calmly.
''Emperor's target is not my husband but the leader of that squad of beast kins. Sending a group of beast kin to other kingdoms is like sending goats to a slaughterhouse. Emperor must have planned to kill everyone, including the Assassin leader Edith from the Assassin squad, using this expedition as an excuse. Moreover, Edith is our previous Beast Emperor's granddaughter. Although she is the current Beast Emperor's niece, he didn't want her to become the next legendary powerhouse. I even heard from a wolfkin chief that the current Beast Emperor has some hidden ties with the Light church.'' Her words left Abium fell into deep thoughts.
Meanwhile, Fennelis was already shocked when she found out that Piers was a Light Church Bishop and became more cautious of those Light church members.
'It seems corruption and schemes are rooted everywhere. Hmm, from Lady Fennelis's words, she must be already planned to join the expedition to the Taiga sloth woods. She must have known that the possibility of her husband still alive is almost none, but still, she didn't want to back down now.' Abium felt sad for her and quickly shifted his attention to Umi.
'Umi also already ranked up to the Royal Rank. If my guess is not wrong, she could be able to battle against normal third-tier mages if she had reached a peak in this rank.' Abium thought and soon frowned as he scanned her.
'Hmm? Something is blocking her from using her all bloodline spells? It was the same as those invisible shackles.' Abium furrowed his brows and then checked Fennelis.
'So, it seems like they will able to cast only two bloodline spells instead of six. Although their body got strengthened, their bloodline spells are shackled by something.' Abium analyzed both of them and got a headache.
'Also, because of Umi's age, I can tell she doesn't have enough spirit and mana to unleash even one third-tier spell. If my guess is right, she could only cast one or two second-tier bloodline spells. As for lady Fennelis, she could only be able to cast only one second-tier bloodline spell.' Abium nodded and quickly made up his decision as he started talking.
''Lady Fennelis, how about this? I will go and look for your husband in the Taiga sloth woods along with those expedition forces. If I found them, I will bring them back quickly.''
But Fennelis instantly shook her head and spoke firmly.
''No, kid. I also want to see what is hiding in that Taiga sloth woods.''
Abium's face turned grim, and he quickly nodded.
''Then we will join next week's expedition then,'' Abium said solemnly and thought that he had to make some preparation if he wants to join the expedition.
After that, he was about to go back to gather more information but stopped his track. He saw a strange scroll that laid on the corner of that chamber and became curious all of a sudden. Abium quickly went near it and picked it up in confusion. He felt that a trace of magic in it and became more curious.
''Whose scroll is this?'' Abium asked hurriedly.
''It's Lady Roysia's scroll. She gave that to me before she faints. I thought it must be something important to her, so I kept it safely here.'' Fennelis said with puzzlement on her face.
'Should I open it without her permission?' Abium pondered for a while and decided to open it.
Inside, he saw a scroll filled with runic letters, infused with some mana in it. But what made Abium felt helpless was that the scroll creator inscribed those letters randomly, and it had no meaning at all.
'Wait a minute!... What if someone sends some secret message through these random words?' Abium stopped for a second and began to remember something from his past life. When he was on an escorting mission for a scholar group, he learned a few tricks to decipher secret codes from a famous scholar. That guy had taught him many methods to decipher the secret messages using mathematics.
As he recalled those methods, Abium's lips began to curl upward, and soon he began to change the order of the rune characters. He didn't move an inch and stood there motionlessly while changing the characters' order to decipher those words at an unimaginable speed in his mind. He had learned ten methods from that scholar and used those to decipher many secret letters in the past. Abium tried a few methods and soon frowned as he still couldn't decipher the words.