Book 1, Chapter 37B

Blood and Purity

The tears continued to surge out uncontrollably, causing Richard’s vision to blur. In that moment, he felt like he saw that arrogant and despotic face of his father, with a pair of eyes so calm they could make one shiver.

Father… This word held no warmth or familiarity for Richard. It only aroused hatred, bringing forth a cold and stifling pressure. He had no idea of how much strength his father possessed, and every time he recalled the man he could only judge him to be enigmatic and unmeasurable. Were Gaton here, would he find this hard to stomach?

Richard thus strived to turn up whenever he won control of his body, keeping his eyes wide open to watch what Naya was doing. He wiped away the tears that blurred his sight, shook away the buzzing in his ears so he could hear Naya clearly. When his body was so fatigued he just wanted to fall to the ground, he took hold of the metal rings on the wall and used them alongside the wooden bucket to stay upright in the least.

Richard vaguely saw Naya chattering away like some old man, using his hands to search Blood Parrot’s body carefully without leaving out an inch. Every place his hands passed ended up with large splatters of blood, something Richard’s body wanted to avoid with all strength. The boy couldn’t understand well what Naya was doing on his own, but Precision and Wisdom showed him the cold truth.

There was a sharp pain coming from his abdomen that almost caused him to faint, to the point that he suspected his stomach wasn’t whole. All sorts of filth was splattered on his body, but he couldn’t feel that anymore. The kitchen was filled with the fresh smell of sweet blood, completely suppressing the years upon years of rot.

There were no extra sounds in this space. Blood Parrot hadn’t made a peep since that first scream, and the only sounds besides Richard’s occasional dry heave was the slight whoosh of Naya’s fingers as he worked, alongside a brush that seemed to be a highland peacock feather scribbling on parchment.

Naya quickened his motions and created hundreds of gestures in a moment with his two hands. However, each movement was extremely clear. A splendid blood rose bloomed into the sky, right in Richard’s view.

It truly was a rose. When it blossomed on Blood Parrot’s body, one could even see the young petals trembling! It took up all of Richard’s vision, and by the time it faded all he could see was Naya handing something thin over to him. Although he didn’t know what this was at the start, the full wooden bucket tipped over once he got a closer look, spilling filth all over him.

The magic patterns stained in blood were something familiar to him, patterns he could draw with his eyes closed: Buff rune, Elementary Agility.

……

Richard had no idea how he managed to clean his clothes of the filth, or leave Naya’s tavern. When his body finally calmed down the rune was left lingering in his vision, as well as all sorts of bizarre weapons. Blood Parrot’s body and looks had been disposed of from his memory, the only vestiges of her existence being her voice. Naya hadn’t been able to gather any information from Blood Parrot at all. Perhaps she’d persisted all the to the end, but perhaps Naya just hadn’t given her the chance to speak at all.

A long, dark alley stretched out in front of Richard, going into the depths of darkness with no seeming end. The few dim lamps couldn’t light the entire place, each one not nearly as bright as the ones in the main tower. Every time Richard walked from post to post his shadow would grow longer.

He felt extremely cold, fatigue and hunger assailing his senses even as his mouth and throat seemed to burn with fire. Richard had long since vomited everything that he could, and having use Eruption multiple times in a row his stamina was drained completely as well. Only now, when he was relaxing his tense nerves, did everything start to act up. He felt like he couldn’t take the smallest of steps forward, but by this time a familiar door had already appeared in front of him.

This was where Erin lived.

Richard had no idea why he had returned to this place. However, after seeing this door, all the events of the night linked together like lightning. He seemed to come out from under a rock, the truth of the matter spiralling in his mind. Perhaps this was just a guess, but Richard knew it was likely true. So many coincidences would not occur in the real world. Blood Parrot and those killers had been waiting for Richard in advance, and Erin had been the bait to lure him into the trap.

*Bang! Bang! Bang!* Richard knocked the door.

A window at the side suddenly opened, and a head full of fat peeked out. Without his eyes fully open, he looked extremely ferocious, and he kept mumbling things that could not be heard clearly. Evidently he was annoyed at being disturbed from his sleep, but seeing Richard’s attire the head went back in a hundred times as fast as it had come out. The window closed rapidly, without making too much noise. This technique was miraculous in its own way.

Without his outer robes on, the complex and extravagant patterns sewn all over Richard’s clothes had been on display. This was no decoration, instead a real magic formation that had protected him from the first assassin’s dagger earlier in the night. Only those of the Deepblue’s main tower with talent, bloodline, background, and hateful luck could wear such clothing.

*Bang!* Richard smashed on the door once more, this time much louder than before. However, nobody dared to open their windows again. A small fist-sized slot on the door that was meant for letters was opened up, revealing Erin’s guarded face. She made a sound of surprise at the very sight of Richard, pulling the door open.

After the door opened completely Richard saw Erin with a wand held tightly in her hand. The materials showed it was the most ordinary of wants, and the gems embedded within could store two grade 1 spells at most. Still, such devices could cast spells instantly, and the power of two grade 1 spells was not to be trifled with in the borders. While Erin herself was already a level 3 mage, it was still difficult to cast a grade 2 spell for her. It was also impossible for her to cast grade 1 spells instantly, and in a real battle the opponent would’ve come over and sent her to the ground with a few slaps before she could finish a chant.

Low level mages were useless in solo battles. Only with the help of wands, magic rings, or scrolls could they take such fights.

Seeing Erin holding that wand tightly, Richard felt something inside himself. He instantly got a better understanding of her usual living conditions: only in an environment where danger was everywhere would she have such an instinct for self-preservation. Even if this wand was weak, the worst of wands was still worth four or five hundred gold coins minimum. Although this was nothing in the Deepblue, for someone like Erin who had debts of 1600 coins she couldn’t pay this was a huge amount. That she would rather shoulder a debt for this wand meant that she would feel no sense of security without it.

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