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Chapter 6: Black Hand
Date Published: January 20th, 2015
Chapter 6: Black Hand
“Let’s hurry up! The church should be close now!”
Lucas and Freya ran on the open streets, not minding that they were wanted criminals and just ran straight towards the church.
“Yeah come on! Let’s catch ‘em!”
Every once in a while, players and city guards tried to stop them, only to be warded off by Lucas, Freya, or some other player they don’t know.
“Go! We’ll handle these guys!”
“Yeah! Leave them to us, White haired kid!”
Lucas has no idea why these guys are helping them. But he no longer cared since they were in a hurry.
Though actually he has an idea why, he refuses to believe it and just ignored it.
Anyway, Lucas wanted to get this done and over with. So he postponed understanding them and just ran with Freya.
“…Come to think of it…I didn’t even bind the trash king in chains or something…”
Feeling as if something might happen because of his carelessness, Lucas kept his guard all the time.
Then it happened.
Lucas and Freya tried to take a shortcut by going into the alleyways straight towards the church.
Because of this, there were no longer any bystanders and a certain person can finally use this chance.
At this type of developments, Lucas would somehow be able to detect the projectile and dodge it by a hair’s breath.
However, reality isn’t so nice.
Lucas has no ability that can detect a high speed moving projectile and thus, was unable to avoid it and died.
It was at this moment that Lucas’ luck showed itself.
Congratulations! [Enemy Appraisal] has reached Intermediate level!
You can now detect enemies within a 5 meter radius!
A few moments before the attack, Lucas sensed the presence of an enemy hidden in the shadows.
Since he has been using this skill from the enemies that keep appearing before them, it was able to reach Intermediate immediately. Though, for some reason, Lucas forgot to use this on Fawkes earlier.
In the first place, someone will only be labeled as an [Enemy] if Lucas judged them to be one. However, there are cases when the system automatically registers someone as an [Enemy] when they show killing intent towards Lucas.
Coupled with his intermediate [Metallurgy Appraisal], Lucas also detected a metal projectile moving in high speed towards him.
Lucas wasn’t able to avoid it completely but he managed to direct it away from his vital points.
“!? A-are you alright!?”
It was only at this time that Freya was also able to sense the enemy and hurriedly supported Lucas.
Lucas looked at the projectile, shaped like a needle about 5 inches long, which is now embedded on his chest.
A generally hard, strong, durable, malleable alloy of iron and carbon.
Steel Black Spike
A needle like weapon.
Since his [Metallurgy Appraisal] skill has also reached Intermediate, the information has also increased. Of course there are objects that have no additional information so it remained as is, but with this, it has matched the information given when double tapping the item.
Double tapping an item leads to the default number of information given, but is limited to objects that you have to touch. That’s where appraisal skills come in handy, with a limit of 5 meters, you can view their descriptions.
Though when in beginner, you can see less information, but you can at least view their information without touching it.
This is handy because there are item that triggers a trap when touched or taken.
Also, with Intermediate, red dots will appear to show their location.
With this, Lucas found the enemy easily and viewed his description.
A member of the [Black Hand] Assassins Guild. Also known as Silent Spike for his use of spikes laced with poison to cleanly and silently kills an opponent in a single strike.
Before reaching Intermediate, there were no Gender and Race. As for why the Level says [???], it’s possible that his level is too high for Lucas to view the exact level
“Black Hand…ugh, to think that trash would contact them at such a time…I should’ve really killed him that time…”
Lucas grimaced as he saw the description.
“Hm? Wait…did it say spikes laced with poison!!!???”
At reading this, Lucas finally felt a piercing pain within his body. As if something was chewing the inside of his body.
“…I’m surprised that you were able to detect me and avoid immediate death…”
Perhaps it was because he knows that his opponent no longer has the ability to fight back, but the assassin showed himself nonchalantly when Lucas was writhing in pain.
“…The spike is laced with a poison called [Severus Toxin], directly taken from the poison produced by the [Severus Snake]. A lethal poison that slowly corrodes the inside of your body until you die. I had given you a favor and kill you by piercing a vital point but…you choose pain instead.”
Freya, having heard the assassin, who for some reason suddenly explained, paled since she has no anti-poison spells.
She can only heal, but poison is different, she needs to have a detoxification spell which she has none.
“…Now then, it’s your turn to die.”
Freya was scared.
She was scared to experience the pain Lucas is feeling.
Though she has high magic power, she hasn’t been in many fights and fears dying greatly and thus, was unable to move.
Seeing the trembling Freya who can’t even move, the assassin merely flicked his hand to throw the spike.
At this, Freya inadvertently shut her eyes not wanting to see her own death.
But the pain didn’t come.
No matter how long she closed her eyes and waited, she still felt no pain.
Freya opened her eyes slowly in order to know what happened. That’s when she noticed Lucas was hugging her.
Just when Freya was about to push him away due to embarrassment, she suddenly noticed his back.
It was the reason why the pike didn’t pierce her, Lucas had received it instead.
Suppressing the pain that now doubled inside of him, Lucas gritted his teeth as hard as he could.
“…Ohh...to be able to still move while in pain…you continue to surprise me kid…”
+ + +
For Tibb, the assassin who keeps killing his enemy in a single strike, this was actually the first someone had avoided immediate death so he wanted to have a little more fun with it.
He even showed himself and explained, but still, the girl cannot move due to fear and the boy was writhing in pain. He got bored, so he wanted to deal with this immediately and leave.
But suddenly, the boy who was supposed to be unable to move due to pain, moved.
He now has two spikes with poison in his body, doubling the pain, but he still moved.
For the first time, he felt challenged, but also fear.
For a person to be able to resist that much poison and still live, of course he will fear it.
Then, the person spoke all while seeming to gather black mist.
“It hurts…it hurts…It hurts IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
A shockwave was released with the person as its center.
The assassin believed he has seen what a madman is when he saw the King from earlier, but now, he knew he was wrong.
In front of him was no longer the boy from earlier, but a madman that can be said a [Monster].
+ + +
It was dark.
Lucas felt his entire body being wrapped in darkness.
He cannot feel anything but the cold darkness.
Even the pain from the poison from before was gone.
It was just empty
Surprisingly, Lucas didn’t feel lonely.
He felt satisfied.
Though he feels right at home, he can’t help but be uneasy.
Like he’s forgetting something very important.
Very very important.
+ + +
There was no other way to describe it.
Right after Lucas was engulfed with thick black mists, he changed.
His attacks became wild.
As if he’s some sort of savage beast.
Sometimes, he would even roar like one.
Before Freya knew it, the assassin was already dead.
Reduced to a pile of meat from Lucas’ outrage.
Immediately afterwards, Lucas collapsed.
Even though Freya saw him like a monster.
Strangely enough, she didn’t feel any fear or disgust towards him.
Instead, she was worried. Worried about the burden and effects his body might have because of that outrage.
She can’t help but think that.
Since she cannot cure him, she can only ask for help.
Just as she thinks of that, voices could be heard on the both ends of the alleyway.
“W-what happened here?”
“W-woah…the buildings on the sides is destroyed!”
“He-hey! Isn’t that the White Haired kid and the slave!?”
On one side, sounds of excitement, admiration, and confusion can be heard.
Freya feared that they were the ones that wanted to capture them so she went turned to the other direction.
“What is this!?”
“We heard a monster’s roar coming from here, miss, did you see where it is?”
“Hm? Aren’t they criminals?”
Men clad in white wearing a cross necklace appeared.
Seeing that, Freya finally had hope.
After all, they are the priests that the two of them were supposed to show the contract.
“F-fathers! T-this! Please take a look at this!”
Freya immediately took out all the contracts and handed them over to the priests.
Even though they were cautious at first, they were still curious as to what she wanted to show so they took it.
At seeing this, all of them wore surprised expressions.
“*sniff* We…we snuck inside of the palace for this *sniff*…to show you what that King really is. *sniff*”
Freya was holding back her tears as she explained.
After all, they finally completed their goal, now, everything will be solved.
Her kind will also be saved.
And they might also be able to cure Lucas.
She can’t help but cry tears of joy.
But soon, her hope was crushed.
“B-blasphemy! To say that the King has sinned! Who would believe a criminal!?”
“Guards! Lock these criminals up!”
“W-wait! Wait please! Those contracts are real!!!”
Of course no one will believe them, they’re criminals.
Compared to the King, they will naturally believe the King and think that they somehow forged the contract.
Just when they were about to take the both away, a man suddenly came forward.
He too wore white robes like the others, but his was different.
He wore a somewhat grand tall hat, his white robe also decorated with golden linings and he held a cross staff that feels somewhat powerful.
“What is going on here?”
The Arch-bishop smiled.
Unlike the others Freya has seen, he didn’t seem to wear a mask and whole heartedly smiled.
“This criminal accuses of the King to have killed the Queen and the Prince!”
“N-no!!! Please listen to me! I only speak of the truth!”
Freya tries to justify herself only to be shut up by the guard holding her.
Meanwhile, the Arch-bishop calmly reads over the contracts and nodded.
The priest that tried to oppose immediately cut his own words when the Arch-bishop met his eyes and can only nod in silent.
But at the next actions of the Arch-bishop, not only the priests, but everyone present was shocked.
Even the players. Though they have no idea what was happening, they knew that the Arch-bishop position is quite high and cannot believe what they just saw.
That was because the Arch-bishop kneeled and bowed towards Freya.
Even Freya was confused as to why she was suddenly bowed at by him.
“I apologize for their actions towards you Princess. They are only mere humans that do not know of the truth and can only believe in their King at such times.”
“M-master Arch-bishop! You do not need to bow in front of a criminal!”
The priests and guards tried to raise him up but he was stubborn and remained unmoved.
“Also, on behalf of the Church, I apologize to all the misunderstanding that we have made for 100 000 years. I can only hope for your forgiveness.”
“A-ah, please do not worry about it. Thank you for understanding.”
Freya was surprised, after all, for him to know that she was the princess of the pure-blooded vampires just by reading the contract, it can be said that the Arch-bishop in front of her is a prodigy.
Though in reality, it shouldn’t be that hard.
After reading the contract 100 000 years ago, the Arch-bishop merely remembered the trait of the royal vampire bloodline which is silver hair and red eyes. With just that, he can guess that she came to this town to prove their innocence.
Afterwards, the Arch-bishop finally stood up and directed his gaze towards Lucas still lying on the ground.
“Ah that’s right! Please help him! He was injected with poison trying to protect me! Please…please save him!”
This time, it was Freya’s turn to bow.
Thanks to [Play Dead] he was still alive despite only having 1 HP now but he still needs proper healing.
After hearing him heal and cure Lucas, Freya’s body finally relaxed.
Seeing this, the Arch-bishop can’t help but smile wryly.
By the way, the two healing spells said is different as that one heals the wound and the other cures the illness.
“Now come, I would like to hear the whole story from you while you rest. You deserved it”
“T-thank you very much!”
“Please wait a second Master Arch-bishop! Please tell us exactly why we are sheltering these criminals in the church!?”
“Now now Father Igris, you can listen to their story later then decide if they’re criminals or not. For now, we are attracting audience here. Let us go inside. Also, please take the body with us.”
As the Arch-bishop said, be it players, NPCs, guards, or priests, the small alleyway is now filled with curious people.
“…I understand…if the Arch-bishop says so…”
Though unsatisfied, the priest realized he’ll only make things worse if they continue to attract unwanted audience so he can only listen.
When the priests and the two supposed criminals left, the crowd was still unsettled.
“…Was that some sort of intro for an event or something?”
“That guy was the one from the movie right?”
“Wait…so it really was a quest?”
“What? To be a criminal and somehow have the favor of the Arch-bishop?”
“Completing that is like walking in a fine thread…but…”
“But he completed it in the end huh?”
“…Tch! Now I feel like I did something wrong for trying to stop him…let’s get outta here!”
And such things were heard all around the place.
Normally, a player wouldn’t hinder another player’s quest since it is none of their business and even they wouldn’t want others hindering their own quests. Well, some though, really just want to annoy people or doesn’t want them to get ahead, but that doesn’t happen too much.
Though they were all too confused as to what happened, they also know that the answer should appear soon, like the Dragon Quest movie from before, they’re now all hoping for a continuation of that to explain this to them.
Eventually, they also left the place…well, most of them only moved towards the front of the church expecting to hear explanations first.
If this was going to be an event, they want to be a step ahead from the others is probably what most of them are thinking, some are most likely just bored.
+ + +
After finishing her story, the Arch-bishop nodded while in deep thought.
Though, it was only him that trusted her, the other priests still can’t help but be on guard as they cannot see any definite proof.
Noticing them, the Arch-bishop explained.
“The Black Hand contract is something that cannot be forged.”
As he said that, he held out the contract and showed it to the other priests.
“Did you see the seal mark ingrained on the black wax? That is the markings produced by one of the [13 Cursed Rings: The Errekart Ring of Contract]”
Sure enough, there is a mark on the upper middle of the contract, much like the seals you see in letters. On the black wax, is a mark that shows a quill and a skull as well as the number 4 in roman numerals which is [IV].
Just looking at it makes one feel uncomfortable.
“That item is something no man can ever hope to copy, even with superior carving skills, there is only one of this that exists in this whole world. And the only bearer it has is the generation of the Black Hand’s leaders.”
The effect of this is that everything written on the paper the mark is used, needs to be accomplished, if not, whoever the owner of the blood on the contract will be cursed for all eternity, if the person dies, the first born will become the owner, if there are no child then the contract losses it’s uses.
“The way the Black Hand works, the assassin drips his own blood on one copy and hands it over to the client and vice versa, this happens so that one side can tear the contract if he judges that the deed is not completed, likewise if the client does not pay.”
The Arch-bishop then walked towards the corpse of the assassin and searched his clothes.
“Yes, the contract with the King’s blood is still with him. You can also find a contract on the King later.”
With that, he showed the copy of the contract to kill Lucas and Freya with the King’s blood and signature.
With this, the others can no longer complain about the credibility of the contract.
After all, a ring from the [13 Cursed Rings] cannot be duplicated by any man.
“T-thank you, sir Arch-bishop…for believing in us…”
Freya bowed deeply to express her gratitude towards the Arch-bishop as tears dropped from her eyes.
“No need, I am merely doing my job as a messenger of God. In fact, I am terribly sorry for all the misunderstandings that we made Princess.”
“I-it’s fine. We were imprisoned immediately so we didn’t have a chance to explain so it’s only understandable.”
Seeing the Arch-bishop bow Freya frantically waved her hands implying she didn’t mind.
“S-sir…I’ve been wanting to ask but…why have you been calling her princess?”
One of the priests asked when the Arch-bishop called Freya a Princess.
“Hm? Ah, let me introduce you, this is a Princess of the pure-blood vampire clan.”
“Freya Lytton, pleased to make your acquaintance, fathers of the church.”
Freya tried her best to courtly bow despite knowing any proper manners.
Freya uttered a sound as she heard the other priests' response.
She had already forgotten it because of Lucas not minding it and the Arch-bishop who also doesn’t seem to mind, but the vampire race are naturally feared among the other races so it can’t be helped that the other priests showed faces of terror.
“Father Igris, that is rude to our guest, please keep in mind that I said pure-blooded just now. It has been passed on to me by my father, grandfather, great grandfather, and so on that the pure-blooded race were once kind and noble. However, the holy war 100 000 years ago was but our misunderstanding and treated the vampire race as a whole. The real enemy is the demi-vampires. They were the ones that terrorize the cities. As proof of that, the whole pure-blooded vampires are imprisoned in a single village inside a cave not far from here. Naturally I will personally go there myself to confirm it…Rather, were you guys not actually listening to her story a while ago?”
The other priests shrank as the Arch-bishop continued to lecture them.
The Arch- bishop can only sigh as he watched the other priests and Freya showed a wry smile.
“However, this is troubling.”
Freya tilted her head at the Arch-bishop’s remark.
She naturally thought it’s over and everyone can finally live happily ever after. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“It’s about the Royal blood.”
100 000 years ago, they all thought that the Royal family all died during the attack of the demi-vampires so a new kingdom was restarted by the one person that lead the knights to victory alongside the Church and was now call [Drachedge].
“Now, the Royal family is again, no more. I’m afraid if we don’t appoint a new King or Queen, a civil war between nobles may happen.”
“Ah, come to think of it, Lucas sent someone to look for the Prince. Thinking about it now…Lucas may have foreseen this and wanted to know whether the Prince is alive or not…”
Freya casually said what was on her mind when she recalled Lucas calling someone.
“Lucas? You mean this boy over here?”
“? Is something wrong?”
Freya asked when the Arch-bishop seemed deep in thought.
“No, it’s nothing. Come to think of it, the King did not order the knights to search for the body indeed…well, we can only pray that the Prince is still alive.”
“However, isn’t it fine if the church takes over?”
“No. I am afraid that the Church isn’t suited for royalty. While there are cities governed by the church, it’s fine to think of it as a city sized cathedral instead.”
The Arch-bishop explained to Freya as he walked back further inside the church.
“…Well, if it comes down to it…we can appoint the [Hero] as the new king.”
Freya can’t help but think that the Arch-bishop is hiding something from her but there is no need to cause any more friction between them. After all, she does not want for another Holy War to happen…not anymore.
“Lucas was it?...I wonder if you are the one from the prophesy?”
The Arch-bishop Agerad smiled.
He has been watching.
Ever since the two entered the alleyway towards the church.
He saw the battle.
How Lucas was engulfed in black mist and the horror that came afterwards.
“‘A hero clad in darkness bearing the name of light’ was it? I’m looking forward to it. Mr. Hero.”
So sorry for not posting last week -_- college classes finally started that week soo....also for some reason I had the urge to rewatch Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei sooooooo........yeah -_- sorry m(_ _)m
But! World Gate Online still remained on the top 10 Weekly Viewed Fanfics despite the no update so thank you for that :3
Anyway, this chapter was hard to write first because of the time gap in writing chap 5 to this and there are things I forgot -_-
Second because the Lucas meeting the Black Hand was not part of my original plan soooo.....yeah, fight scenes are haaaaarrrddd~ -_- and they're supposed to be first rate assassins so normal way of fighting is No Go. That's why I had to resort to Lucas' rage which was shown rather early in the story but what the hell.
Anyhow, you also got a glimpse of the [13 Cursed Rings] which will play a large role in the story in the future obviously. As for why 13...I'll be honest with you guys...that was made up on the spot when I wrote this -_- I have no idea what the rest of the 12 are but...heck, I'll figure something out along the way :p
At any rate...I don't think I can fit a Geeves-Rice chapter in this volume...well, if there is, it will probably be only for 1 chapter -_-
So! What will happen to the interview? What happens to the King? What does Lucas gain from all this? What of the Prince? How will the world react? And just what is the prophecy the Arch-bishop mentioned? (Actually...that was also on the spot...well, I'll figure something out :p haha)
Till the next chapter! :P
P.S.: If any of you want easy click and view of the chapters, use this link :3