The Record of Unusual Creatures - novelonlinefree.info
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Due to not being able to grab a brick towards the end of her fight earlier, Lily was caught up in a battle trance. It drove her to tear into the stricken monster. Her powerful jaw ripped its flesh and bones as she dragged the monster from one end to another. It took Hao Ren some effort to pull the werehusky, who was deep in her battle trance away from the monster, and he almost took a bite for his troubles. The werehusky was not even that protective of her food on normal days. This was a whole new level.
"Can you stop biting people when you fight?" Hao Ren pinched Lily by her ears to get her to settle down. "And you almost bit me!"
The golden glow faded from Lily's eyes as she cooled down. "Oh... I couldn't control myself. Got too into it."
Vivian gave the blood stains by the edge of Lily's mouth a weird look. A mischevious smile appeared on her face and the latter was unnerved by it. "What are you staring at, Battie?!"
Vivian pointed at Lily's mouth. "Lick your mouth, take it in."
The werehusky then quickly ran to a corner to puke.
"I suppose this thing here won't be going anywhere?" Hao Ren carefully went up to the monster. The latter was beaten to a pulp, but it was still alive. Yet, because of its broken limbs and ma.s.sive loss of blood, it could no longer attack. All Hao Ren saw was a charred human ball attempting to stand up, like it did not feel any pain. The whole thing gave him gooseb.u.mps and a few of the Aerymian Elves started to whisper amongst themselves. "What is that?"
"Is it a local? Doesn't seem like it."
"Are there any signs of life..."
After confirming that the monster could no longer do any harm, the captain of the Royal Guard declared that the emergency was over. Nonetheless, the soldieres still held their weapons and formed a ring around the hall. At the same time, a cardinal yelled, "Quick, tend to His Holiness!"
The scroll brought by the monster masquerading as a ranked knight was clearly imbued with a curse or some foul magic. The pope was seemingly petrified the moment he read the scroll. It appeared as though his soul had been taken by the scroll. The proclaimation of the pope returning to the G.o.ddess caused even more unease. A few of the cardinals made their way to the pope once they broke out of their stupor, however no one dared to do anything rash. The pope was still reading the scroll. His facial expression was stiff, and veins started to pop on his skin. His eyes were lifeless, yet he was still breathing. No one knew what to do.
But as everyone was fretting about, the pope suddenly shuddered as the light returned to his eyes and the mark of death faded away. Breathing heavily, the old clergyman exhaled deeply.
A few cardinals quickly stepped forward. "Your Holiness..."
"That was vile magic. A evil G.o.d was trying to dominate my mind, but it underestimated the faith I have in the G.o.ddess." The pope waved his hand, signaling that he was fine. "The heretics think that everyone is as weak-willed as them. They actually thought of using this to test my faith... I am fine. I could still vaguely tell what was going on. What became of the heretic?"
The cardinals and knights escorted the pope to the monster. The latter was still struggling and the moment it noticed that the pope was unharmed, it let out a string of violent screams. That meant it was still capable of cognitive thoughts. The pope frowned as he looked at the monster, sympathy appearing in his eyes. "Poor thing. It was created by the heretics using foul magic... I can feel at least 10 other suffering souls within it. John is one of them."
Hao Ren asked some of the attendees around him and learned that John was the name of the knight, whom the monster had impersonated. It seemed like the heretics were able to corrupt a ranked Church Knight. Either by force or brainwas.h.i.+ng, they turned the pious warrior into a part of the monster.
King Mh.o.r.en ordered the great hall to be sealed off and most of the unrelated personnel were dismissed. The Aerymian Elves were also evacuated to other rest areas in the Royal Palace. The scene quickly calmed down, and aside from Hao Ren and his crew, only the king, the pope, Marshal Ophra, a few cardinals and princes as well as their guards remained.
"How did the heretics even get in here?" Becky, in view of her special status, was not evicted. With a panicked look on her face, she said, "This is the Royal City!"
"Perhaps they have been pushed to the brink," Marshal Ophra's voice was calm, and it helped ease the nerves of those present. "We have been targeting this Cult of Origination in our recent sweeps. They are a loose organization, and should have no more than a dozen at the core of their cult. However, they have about 10 other splinter cults of various names and sizes. These cults have already taken a heavy beating... Seems like they are now fighting like cornered beasts."
"It is a shame for the Hollettan royal house that our estemeed guests have been rudely shocked by this ruckus." Anger appeared across King Mh.o.r.en's face. The smiling king had his temper too. "For that, I am deeply sorry. You have witnessed a big disgrace."
Hao Ren waved the king off. "No worries about that. Anything can happen in the Macr... Ugh, I didn't mean that. I mean I've seen plenty, and I'm very used to such incidents. As for the heretics... what sort of information do you have? I will need them as well."
Hao Ren had made a request to Ophra before leaving previously. In order for him to search for clues regarding the G.o.ddess of creation, he needed to know what the gigantic floating brain was—the one summoned by the heretics. If it was possible, he would connect with the brain again to glean more information on the "Origin of Life". And in this trip to Holletta, learning more about the heretics was one of Hao Ren's agendas.
Marshal Ophra nodded. "We do have some progress on that, but... let's wait until the end of the banquet."
Hao Ren surveyed the area and agreed that the ruined hall was not the right place for that.
Lily had finished puking by then. A distraught look was on her face as she complained, "The blood's long expired... Can't it just let a werewolf fight normally?!"
Hao Ren glanced at the werehusky. "No one told you to bite it, right? Don't be such a dunce. You won't die from not biting it, right?"
"Fangs and claws are part of a werewolf's usual combat style." Vivian shrugged. "That's how a normal werewolf would fight. Doggie's brick and bladed claw attacks are what you would call heretical."
Lily's tail perked up. "That's right! Biting someone is in a werewolf's nature! Deal with it!"
Vivian smirked. "Then, lick your mouth again and recall the taste."
This time around, even Hao Ren could not stand it. "Vivian, didn't you taste it earlier too?"
While he waited for the two supernatural ladies to look for a place to puke, Hao Ren approached the pope. "Are you alright, old man? What's up with the scroll?"
The pope looked at Hao Ren, and seemed hesitant about allowing Hao Ren to view the dangerous scroll. He quickly realized that this group of outlanders had abilities beyond his understanding. Frowning for a bit, the pope eventually pa.s.sed the scroll to Hao Ren and cautioned, "Vile magic inhabits this scroll. Please, be careful. It will attack your soul when you read it."
Hao Ren took the scroll and found that it was similar to a normal piece of paper, albeit its material was rather suspect. It felt neither like paper or skin. Before opening the scroll, he telepathically asked the MDT, "Are there any spiritual barriers in my mind that can withstand this spiritual a.s.sault?"
"It's not a big deal. Your spiritual barrier is reinforced by the G.o.ddess herself. If that fails, I can help you cast a few more defensive spells." The MDT vibrated in Hao Ren's pocket, signaling its confidence. "If your spiritual parameters fall below a certain threshold, I'll knock you out at the first possible moment."
Hao Ren was speechless.
There was something wrong with the MDT's protection methods!
Regardless, Hao Ren felt that he needed to see what was inside the scroll. Not that he was seeking death, but he was curious about what the heretics had conjured up. In this world, there were huge gaps in their history, and their religious teachings were patchy at best. Even the Disciples of Glory had no understanding of the things that happened during ancient times. So, how did a cult made out of riff-raffs gather so much information about the G.o.ddess of creation? Even if their cult teachings were suspect, they could somehow summon something that was a.s.sociated with the G.o.ddess. Where did they gain such knowledge?
Perhaps, a clue or two lay within their spells.
Hao Ren allowed the MDT to scan the scroll for any rogue data transmissions before he opened the scroll cautiously.
It was blank.
Hao Ren had prepared himself for an attack, but realized that it was not forthcoming.
"There's nothing—" He turned the scroll about, but before he could finish, a strange screech came out of the scroll, and it disintegrated.