Chapter 48:

Chapter 44: Unnatural Sorrow

The Immortal Witch's Death Wish

“I’m going to have you perform a bit more of your sensory work. I need to get a full scope of who is affected.”Bookmark here

“Okay…” As they proceeded through the village and made their route to the, Rinn focused on her mana. Controlling the flow she was to put out.- When suddenly, a huge surge of mana began to enter her body.Bookmark here

She lost concentration and shared a look of panic with Lusha, only to find a sly smile on her face. “Well, I’ll be supplying you with just a little bit more Mana. So make sure you go all out. To supply someone with Mana overwhelmingly less than yours is a dangerous game.”Bookmark here

Rinn recalled her explanation earlier regarding the mana capacity and over-consumption of mana without having the capacity. A sense of fear began to creep up her spine as the image of a distorted wraith-Rinn attacking the small village before her. She quickly stuffed the cursed thought away. Bookmark here

Just as the mana surged through her, she immediately expelled it out in a pulse. This push was tremendous. There was an intense feeling that would not leave her body. Every single cell in her body ached and hurt as the current escaped it’s foundations. She grimaced as the expulsion of mana left her body. - Yet, it still would not cease to hurt. Finally, she felt the energy being withdrawn from her body.Bookmark here

“Sorry, Rinn. It wouldn’t have hurt to mention that you’d exhaust your body if you strained to expel more mana than you were capable of holding all at once.”Bookmark here

There were many different fundamental aspects of mana. From both the sizing of mana, and the amount you can release at the same time, down to the amount of mana a technique consumes- all of these were factors considered in proficiency with practice. Bookmark here

The information relayed itself to Rinn upon spreading throughout the village. She slouched a little bit, catching her breath. Her attempts to straighten up were to no avail, every muscle in her body ached as if she had just done an intense workout. There was a feeling similar to the needle sensation one gets when your foot falls asleep. Except this time, it was all over her body. Bookmark here

“Lusha… there are still some people that are n-normal.” Bookmark here

“Heh. Of course there are. I suppose I can’t just turn this whole town upside down then.”Bookmark here

Lusha noticed Rinn’s fatigue and picked her up, placing her over her shoulders like she did at the previous festival. “Alright. Choose a route. I’d like to examine the first ‘real’ person.”Bookmark here

Rinn nodded “Mm.” and pointed straight ahead. “Alright! Let’s goo!” She sped along with Rinn. As they proceeded to their target, they couldn’t help but think they were forgetting something. The time now was getting close to noon.Bookmark here

The town was more or less, just as dead as before. Silence loomed over the village and very few people ever showed themselves. If they did, it was for a brief moment. Finally, they stopped at the door of a giant shack. A little bigger than the others. It smelled of meat. Some even rancid. The thatched straw walls could not hide the aroma too well. Bookmark here

Lusha knocked calmly. “Hello, is anyone home? I’d just like to talk.”Bookmark here

There was no response. This was despite the fact that they can sense the movements going on within the building. Rinn looked down at Lusha, confirming yet again, that the man within these walls was a real genuine human being. She had chosen this place because the man was still actively doing something inside. She couldn’t quite tell what it was, but the actions were like that of a man at a workshop.Bookmark here

“Oiii… don’t you know it's rude to ignore someone when they’re trying to talk with you?”Bookmark here

There was still silence. The man had completely stopped moving. He was trying to make himself as still as possible in hopes that Lusha would eventually leave. She knocked again. “Hey, don’t you know…-”Bookmark here

“I hate wasting my time. Please open the door. I can help you?”Bookmark here

There was still this uneasy silence. “Very well. If you won’t open up. I suppose I’ll just come in then. After-all, rudeness can only be met with rudeness.” Mana began to concentrate around her palm. She was going to burn the entire door down if she needed to.Bookmark here

“P-Please!! Just go away!!”Bookmark here

“Oh so you are in there after-all?”Bookmark here

“I’m begging you…. just - leave me alone…- no… if you’re smart. Leave this village.”Bookmark here

“Ah, so there is something going on here then? I’m an adventurer. I can help with all of this.”Bookmark here

You could hear the man’s stifled grunts and panic in his voice. He was struggling hard to hold back tears. “You have to leave this place… please… you don’t know what’s truly going on here.”Bookmark here

Lusha sighed. She pushed the door aggressively, slamming it open against the wall. The room inside was dark, and smelled putrid. Lusha’s eyes scanned the blood-painted walls and floors. Scores of blood covered the ceiling in spatters. Some soaked into the straw of the walls. It had long since dried out, At the far corner of the largely empty house was a man shivering with a knife in his hand. Bookmark here

His arms wavered, holding the sharp blade towards the two of them. “Why… why why?! Do you want to get me in trouble too?!”Bookmark here

Lusha and Rinn looked at the pathetic display of aggression. It was clear that he was of no threat to anyone. Lusha stepped foot into the room and observed the man up and down. “Do you really intend to use that?” Bookmark here

She could tell the man had already used it once before. Behind him on the table was two cadavres. A woman and a child. The man’s distraught, tearfilled eyes realized what she was staring at and dropped the knife, dropping to his knees. “I-....I didn’t” his voice was hushed. “I didn’t… do this…”Bookmark here

Lusha walked over to the man slowly. He didn’t want to cause him to panic. This was true grief and pain… beyond what anyone had ever seen or expected to see in their lifetimes. She had seen this state of mind many times before. Just like death, it always felt like something was stabbing at her heart.Bookmark here

She knelt beside him and placed a hand on the man’s shoulder.Bookmark here

“It’s okay… you didn’t do it… I know.”Bookmark here

Rinn was shocked to see what she was witnessing. Up until now, she had viewed the young witch as one incapable of showing compassion. Yet, at this exact moment, she was able to approach the situation in the right way.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry… we’re not here to hurt you any more than you already have been.”Bookmark here

“They...just….” he began full on crying. “I couldn’t do anything!! I couldn’t! I tried and tried and tried!! It’s not them! This- this- this necromancy!! He took my wife from me… my daughter.” His teeth gritted so hard you can hear the sounds from outside of the door.Bookmark here

“Shhhh…. It’s okay.” Bookmark here

“I can help you….. Just tell me… what happened?”Bookmark here

“They took them away from me. They did it! I should have stopped them!!!”Bookmark here

“I should have stopped them…” he continued.Bookmark here

It was no use, he was under too much grief to operate correctly. Lusha sighed. This was proving a lot harder than it should be. Rinn finally came in and walked over to the man who continued to sob uncontrollably. Bookmark here

“We may have to investigate in another way.” She could easily perform a memory scrying technique, but she had a pretty good hunch that with the man's mind in tatters like this, she would find nothing useful. “There should be a couple different people with their wits about them ri-”Bookmark here

Rinn walked up to the man and hugged him in a tight embrace. Like that, his entire grief, his sorrows and pain were absorbed. Rinn stepped away from the man and fell onto her side. “Heh..- I can help as well, Lusha.” Bookmark here

Then it hit her. A wave of emotions so dark and sorrowful, it felt like her heart was about to tear. She had felt these kinds of emotions before. No, this was nothing in comparison to the experiences she had felt before, nor the experience she had felt from the witch. Yet, this time things were different. She voluntarily chose to do this because she felt sorry for the man.Bookmark here

The emotion she was feeling now, was pure empathy. Though she could take away those experiences, she could not have imagined what it was like for the young man to deal with it for these past couple of months. Yes. Months.Bookmark here

Tears swelled onto her eyes.Bookmark here

“I’ll need you to refrain from doing anything that reckless again, Rinn.”Bookmark here

She assessed the man, who’s breathing had slowly regulated and sniffed, confused about why he felt better all of the sudden. The heavy weight within his heart had completely dissipated. “W-what did you guys do?” he placed a hand to his chest, wondering where the aggressive beating had disappeared to.Bookmark here

“You can thank Rinn over here.” Lusha patted her head. “Please get some rest. You’ve done enough today, Rinn.”Bookmark here

“I-is… she alright?”Bookmark here

Lusha nodded. “The technique she used is not exactly without its drawbacks… but no worries. She’s a strong girl.”Bookmark here

“Now… Can you tell me what happened here?”Bookmark here

Her eyes trailed off to the scenery behind him. There were two bodies, terribly mangled and severed into various different pieces. Legs, arms, two heads. Yet they kept moving. Rope tied each segment to the table, yet they continued moving twitching. It would appear the bodies were here for at least a month. Yet, they hadn’t stopped moving. This was… in all describable ways, unnatural.Bookmark here

It was reminiscent of necromancy, an art banned by all nations centuries upon centuries ago. Even the teachings of it were banned and destroyed. The horrid nature of parading dead bodies around after the souls had left, was universally distasteful. Bookmark here

Yet this was quite different. Nechromancy could not have allowed prolonged movement without a constant stream of energy. If someone were capable of committing mass nechromancy and sustaining individualistic traits within each of them over such long periods of time… no doubt they would be those who had energy comparable to Lusha and the other witches. Bookmark here

There was an uneasy feeling creeping up her spine. One she hadn’t felt in a long time.Bookmark here

The man’s dead eyes looked up to Lusha. He couldn’t maintain eye contact so he looked down. “You guys…. Are the 7th adventurers group to arrive here. This problem… it’s useless for me and everyone here. If there was any advice I can give, it would be to leave here. Never look back. Never think or even remember it.”Bookmark here

Lusha smiled. “Unfortunately, that’s not my style of doing things. So, tell me. What occurred here?”Bookmark here

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