Chapter 92: The Unwatched Pot

Morning has arrived and the rain is still pouring outside. It began as a light drizzle but has only gained in strength since. To my annoyance, there is a leak somewhere in this house, and I’ve been listening to it for the entirety of my time sitting here. That’s right, we still haven’t received a response, and I’m growing more anxious by the hour. I can sense the closest mana stream shifting further away. If the signal isn’t received soon, we’ll have to venture into the hills to find another line.

Hm? It seems Lili is stirring from her slumber. It seems the rain didn’t bother her at all.

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Chapter 90: The Blackened Pot

Anxious to return to the party, I rush to the Whistling Willow with Lili in tow. Unease brews in my core, and upon passing the inn doors, they become fully realised. Before me a dozen adventurers are discussing some plan with Sen at its helm. They immediately notice my presence and make room in their circle. Looking at the table in the centre, I make a painful mental groan: they’ve already recovered the maps and schedule from the innkeeper’s home.

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Side Story: Hierarch

By the light of a dwindling candle, an aged man is busy writing on an oaken desk. There are no windows or alternate sources of light, and yet he is working as if he were outside in the day. Although the lighting is poor, it cannot hide the lustre of his golden hair lined with silver, or the cool of his grey eyes. His black robes are embroidered with golden thread, creating runes that seemingly glow on his shadow-cast figure. While extravagant, it is in no way an exaggeration of his authority or his might. Even insects and small critters dare not approach his imposing form. A silver quill is in his muscular hand, and although a single error would spoil his work, he is writing with such fluidity and pose that even the most experienced scholars would be in awe. Incredibly, he is only half aware of his actions as the lines are already formed in his heart. The rest of his attention is being spent on future plans, all for the sake of his beloved god. Continue reading

Chapter 88: Hypocrisy

It’s halfway into the night and the liberation of Kasseus village is finally complete. After Enbos singlehandedly decimated most of the enemies’ number, all that was left were a dozen or so cultists scattered throughout the village. The cultists soon surrendered, although they were almost killed out of vengeance by their former captives. With great difficulty, I managed to persuade the villagers to entrust their fates to the Order of Holy Knights. It is not their right to punish captured heretics, and as uneasy it is to admit, this situation calls for the Order’s expertise. But until I can contact the Church of Eden, all I can do is tend to the wellbeing of everybody here.

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Chapter 87: Dance of Death

… What happened? How did things turn out like this?

After celebrating the end of the cursed quest and enjoying a few drinks, Norf and I returned to our rooms to settle our heads. I don’t remember much after that, but next thing I knew, I was being carried by several people out of a cell(?). My thoughts were still in disarray and my eyes were heavy, so everything had a dream-like quality. However, it wasn’t long before a surge of excruciating pain ran up my arm, forcing me to wake from the dream and into the nightmare.

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