Chapter 18:

Chapter 17 – Beginning our investigation

Reincarnated with an omniscient grimoire

Turns out sharing your bed with an incubus has its perks.Bookmark here

Although probably I would have said that about every other person that would have shared a bed with me.Bookmark here

Wow, I really was starved for affection.Bookmark here

Anyway, being spooned by Raven made sleeping on this old sturdy mattress ten times more bearable. I really don’t get how Raynard was able to just pass out on his bed like that, fully clothed on top of that. And even more so, how he could wake up as soon as the sun rose.Bookmark here

His bed creaked as he sat up and stretched himself with a big yawn. I pretended to be still asleep while enjoying being hugged by a muscular arm from behind. Just laying in bed after having woken up and enjoying the comfiness of not having to do anything: the best.Bookmark here

“Rise and shine! We need to get to work!” Raynard said enthusiastically. Only farm boys could be this excited about waking up early. Though waking up with the first beams of sunlight had something oddly comforting to it.Bookmark here

“I am awake. I just refuse to move.” I replied.Bookmark here

“Okay, so, either you wake up and you get a coffee, or I’ll bring you the coffee, and pour it over you. Which one would please you more?”Bookmark here

My eyes opened in shock.Bookmark here

“Raynard! I did not know you had a sadistic side!”Bookmark here

“My mom always used to say that on the rare occasion that I wasn’t willing to wake up. After a couple times she would actually deliver on that threat.” This statement was followed by a bitter laugh.Bookmark here

“Oh.”Bookmark here

I lifted Raven’s arm off of my chest and got dressed before waking him up.Bookmark here

“Morning master.” He said to which I ignored him.Bookmark here

I though about going to the girls’ room and maybe getting into some ecchi situation but I wasn’t in the mood for that. Instead the three of us went downstairs and got ourselves some breakfast. Shelly and Aurelia followed a bit later.Bookmark here

“There you are!” Shelly exclaimed when she spotted us at the same table we occupied the day before. “I thought you’d still be asleep, so I went to your room. Was really surprised to not find you in your beds.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I thought about going over as well, but figured you might not be in an approachable state.” I told them.Bookmark here

“Good thing you did that.” She mumbled in my direction. “Turns out the princess isn’t really there yet without her hot brown morning potion.”Bookmark here

I took a look at the princess who was already seated. My mom used to say cold coffee makes you prettier, but she seemed like a lost case.Bookmark here

We ate our breakfast and occasionally talked. It consisted of basic bread, butter and jam. I realized that food seemed to have a rich variety no matter where you go. Was magic making trade easier in this world? I mean, how would they get coffee here? We don’t really seem to be in a tropical region.Bookmark here

[Magic fertilizer makes it possible to grow any crop anywhere.]Bookmark here

Magic fertilizer? What, you mean like unicorn poop?Bookmark here

[Exactly.]Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

Maybe I should just throw this book into a ditch and never question anything ever again?Bookmark here

I noticed Raven just sat there and stared at me. At first I wasn’t sure, whether that was still the effect of the spell, until I again realized the disgusted stares some customers threw at his direction.Bookmark here

Now, if I was a nice person, I could stand up and call everyone out, but that wasn’t me. I always liked the fantasy of calling out someone’s negative behavior in front of everyone and getting lots of support and appreciation, but I also knew, that it would probably never happen that way.Bookmark here

At least here.Bookmark here

I’d probably draw lots of negative attention towards us.Bookmark here

I was curious if Raven actually wasn’t aware of how his surroundings perceived him, or if he just chose to not give a shit. But, considering it was a century old being I talked about I figured it would be the latter.Bookmark here

I instead decided to do some small talk with him, maybe that would at the very least help him.Bookmark here

“Aren’t you going to eat?” I decided to comment on how Raven never felt the need to eat or drink at all.Bookmark here

“Oh, I don’t need to,” he simply replied.Bookmark here

“What, because you feed on my soul?” I joked.Bookmark here

“That’s ... not how it works.”Bookmark here

“Succubi and Incubi mainly feed on man. Usually if an Incubus has a victim he can feast upon, he can last about a month without eating or drinking anything else.” Raynard again impressed with his overwhelming knowledge. “And even if he doesn’t have a human to suck out, he can usually last a week before getting hungry ... is that correct ...?” He asked Raven sheepishly.Bookmark here

“Couldn’t have explained that better, kid,” Raven confirmed with an acknowledging smile. “So yeah, there’s basically no need to worry.”Bookmark here

“Vampire’s are similar by the way.” Shelly explained. “They get most of their powers from blood, and can live on that alone for quite a while.”Bookmark here

“I don’t get it though. Not wanting to eat must be terrible.” Raynard said while chewing on his bread. His remark earned a chuckle from the princess.Bookmark here

“Oh, you’re awake now princess?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Yes, I drank my coffee, ate breakfast, I’d say it’s time for some training!”Bookmark here

“Training?”Bookmark here

“Yes! Those babies didn’t just appear out of thin air.” She said, to which she flexed her right biceps.Bookmark here

Crush me.Bookmark here

Me and Raynard looked at her thick arm in awe, Raven only commented it with a barely audible “Mine’s bigger.”Bookmark here

“Actually that sounds like an excellent idea,” Shelly exclaimed and made Aurelia seem more like a teacher’s pet now. “While we’re waiting for the pastor to show up and give us the result of his ‘digging’ we should do a bit of warm up. After all this is still a school event, which means learning comes first.”Bookmark here

I cringed at the really inappropriate pun she made, but convinced myself it was the thought of physical exercise that made me feel this way.Bookmark here

I’m only fourteen years old, but I can barely run a 100 meters without desperately gasping for air and I had mild scoliosis, so the mere act of standing upright was a literal pain in the ass. This wasn’t going to end well.Bookmark here

Thankfully standing up was barely necessary, as the pastor nearly flew through the inn’s entrance a moment later.Bookmark here

“Misha! Marie! Sasha’s grave has been dug up!”Bookmark here

Misha who was just cleaning up a table after a customer did not seem to register what the pastor just had said, until her movement abruptly halted.Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

She dropped and pushed past the pastor who was leaning against the door frame breathing heavily.Bookmark here

“Misha!” Her mother Marie exclaimed and pursued her daughter. The pastor moved outside the door to let the lady pass through.Bookmark here

I looked at the others, and they looked back at me, until Aurelia came up and said, “Let’s go!”Bookmark here

She jogged through the door and we followed her.Bookmark here

Soon the other people from the inn followed and gathered at the nearby graveyard. We watched scene from a little distance. Bookmark here

Misha stood atop a human-sized hole in the ground, staring down at an empty coffin. Next to the grave was a pile of dirt, that without a doubt was once inside that hole.Bookmark here

No-one said anything for a while until a faint “Oh no.” escaped Marie’s lips.Bookmark here

I could only see Misha’s expression from the side, but it was some mix of anger, confusion and frustration.Bookmark here

“What should we do?” I asked the others, because this peculiar situation started to get a bit overwhelming. I’ve lost people in the past, that was nothing new for me, but losing someone after thinking they were already gone took this to an entirely new level.Bookmark here

“Figuring out what’s going on,” Raynard said, his expression unusually grim for his usually cheerful attitude. He nodded towards the pastor, who was consoling Marie with a calming hand on her shoulder, and looked at the princess and me waiting for our approval.Bookmark here

We nodded back and accompanied Raynard to the older man.Bookmark here

“Pastor?” Raynard said, and waited for him to turn around. “I don’t want to rush you, but I think we should get started.”Bookmark here

“Of course.” The pastor turned back to Misha and her mother. “I am so sorry I let this happen again. You should go back to the inn for now, the Ataraxian magicians will handle this from here. If you need someone to talk to you should find me in my office as per usual.”Bookmark here

He made a quick bow and then scurried of towards the church.Bookmark here

“Okay everyone, it is best if you got home now!” Shelly tried breaking off the commotion. “We will handle the situation from here on! For the time being you should avoid the graveyard, it might be dangerous around here! We’ll make sure to clear this situation up as soon as possible.”Bookmark here

The crowd of people starting dissolving and I could hear different kinds of murmuring and chatter from different directions.Bookmark here

“Poor girl. Not only was her death a tragedy, now her family has even more reason to mourn.”Bookmark here

“Why can’t the pastor handle this himself? There’s a lot of talented magicians in our village apart from Misha.”Bookmark here

“Right? And to let this filthy incubus into our village ...”Bookmark here

I turned around to look for Raven, spotting him a distance away from the chattering people, and prompted him to come to me.Bookmark here

“Listen,” I already felt bad about what I was about to say, “I don’t mean to offend you, but I think it would be best if you stayed at our room.”Bookmark here

“Why? I don’t care what those people think about me. It’s always been this way.” He sounded bitter, even though he didn’t look like it.Bookmark here

“Yeah, but it kind of hurts seeing them trash talk you. And I wish I could help, but I think we’re the minority here.”Bookmark here

“I’m way stronger than them. I could kill them if I wanted to.”Bookmark here

“But I don’t want to! It would only prove their point.”Bookmark here

The sudden prospect of killing made me accidentally raise my voice. Why did that idea suddenly seem so foreign for me? He wanted to kill me like a week ago. And now that weird spell that hit him in the cave was messing with his mind. Maybe I should be thankful that this Deus ex Machina turned out to be in our favor, but ... this felt wrong.Bookmark here

“If that is the case then I don’t want to either,” he answered as I expected him to do.Bookmark here

“Also, I think Shelly would have a problem with you helping us with the mission. I really don’t want to be expelled from the academy before even being a proper student there.”Bookmark here

“Well then, since that is what you wish...” he said and turned in direction of the inn. “Don’t hesitate to call me in case you need something.”Bookmark here

“I will.” I watched him as he walked away before turning back to the main event.Bookmark here

Aurelia was apparently consoling Misha and her mother, while Shelly and Raynard talked to some townspeople who seemed really concerned about basically everything. The pastor called out to Raynard with a stack of papers in his hands.Bookmark here

Well, that was awkward.Bookmark here

[I am yet about to learn your definition of the human emotion you call “awkward” but I can confirm.]Bookmark here

Say, you wouldn’t know anything about the spell that hit Raven, would you?Bookmark here

My brain was flooded information in an instant.Bookmark here

[Name: >>Cupid’s arrow.<<]Bookmark here

[MP: >>777<<]Bookmark here

[>>A strong hypnotic spell, more commonly referred to as a spell of love that makes the enchanted submissive to the first person they see after the spell being cast.<<]Bookmark here

[>>It is strongest immediately after being chanted.<<]Bookmark here

[>>The duration of it’s effects vary depending on multiple factors such as how the enchanted perceived their object of desire before the spell took effect, as well as race.<<]Bookmark here

[>>Gender does not play a role.<<]Bookmark here

[>>Succubi and Incubi have shown to be affected by the spell for the longest time, ranging from weeks to months in certain instances.<<]Bookmark here

[I have filtered the information to what I perceived to be you biggest interest in regards to the effect.]Bookmark here

[Would you like to give me some feedback about my accuracy?]Bookmark here

P- Perfect! Actually, that’s pretty much everything I wanted to know ...Bookmark here

[That is good to hear.]Bookmark here

I wasn’t sure what to think about that. On one hand I didn’t like the idea of ... well, mind control, on the other hand, I could not predict, if he would become dangerous, after the spell wore of.Bookmark here

Wow, I’m in a weird predicament.Bookmark here

But at least I knew I still had a couple more weeks of time to figure out how to deal with him.Bookmark here

With procraaastinaaaation!Bookmark here

Yeah.Bookmark here

No wonder I still haven’t bothered to find a way home.Bookmark here

I approached Raynard and asked if he already found anything.Bookmark here

“Still digging through it,” he said, shuffling around the papers in his hand. “Everything seems pretty random, except that there might be a preference for younger people to be stolen. That was a weird sentence to say.”Bookmark here

“Yikes.”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, we will figure this out, I promise,” I heard the princess tell Misha. She took her mother by the shoulder and they got back to the inn.Bookmark here

“So, that was taken care of I guess.” Aurelia approached us while running her fingers through her hair. She appeared rather exhausted. Bookmark here

So much for morning workout.Bookmark here

Raynard repeated to her what he just told me.Bookmark here

“So, what’s next?” I asked, keeping my voice low.Bookmark here

“Why are you whispering?” Aurelia asked in return.Bookmark here

“Isn’t that what you do at a cemetery?”Bookmark here

“It’s not like they’ll wake up or anything.”Bookmark here

“Well ...”, Raynard exclaimed.Bookmark here

“Actually,” I had a weird thought, “could they wake up? I mean is that possible?”Bookmark here

“There are puppeteer spells if I recall correctly, but I have never heard of anyone actually using one on a human. That would be ... messed up and morally wrong on so many levels, I don’t want to talk about it. Though, to make sure we should check for a mana signature.”Bookmark here

“Mana signature?” I asked, to which Raynard and the grimoire gave me a nearly simultaneous response.Bookmark here

[When a spell is used it leaves traces of mana in the air, a unique signature of the caster, similar to a finger print.]Bookmark here

“That’s also why unauthorized casting can get you in jail very easily,” Raynard expanded upon the knowledge provided by the grimoire.Bookmark here

“There are a couple of spells that are able to make the signatures visible to the human eye,” Aurelia explained. “We haven’t learned them though, I think?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I think it’s on the curriculum for year 4 for some reason,” Raynard confirmed.Bookmark here

“In that case, good thing you have a police officer in your group,” Shelly directed the attention towards herself, and slowly walked up to the grave.Bookmark here

We followed her, while she murmured some words, I wasn’t able to pick up. After finishing her chant, she formed a circle with both her hands in front of her and blew through it, making her breath visible, as if we had temperatures below zero. The breath spread, and dissipated after a couple seconds without anything happening.Bookmark here

I glanced to the other two next to me, hoping for any reaction telling me what to make of this situation, until Shelly said: “Well, this grave seems to have been dug up without the help of magic. Someone surely knows their craft.”Bookmark here

“That’s stupid. If they would have used their magic, they could have just closed the hole again. No one would have noticed, and we wouldn’t be investigating in the first place,” Aurelia exclaimed.Bookmark here

“Maybe the culprit was just stupid?” I shrugged to emphasize my opinion. “I mean, I wouldn’t probably think that far, ahahah...”Bookmark here

“Anyway, I think we should first try to find out, where the corpses disappeared to, before making an assumption as to why and how,” Raynard stated. “The fact, that the grave has been dug up but not closed again must mean, that there is only one culprit behind all of this. They must have dug up the graves carried the corpse away but not have had enough time to close them properly again.”Bookmark here

“That’s also, what I thought,” Shelly confirmed.Bookmark here

“Isn’t it weird though, how really no-one saw or heard anything?”, I voiced my opinion. “I mean, obviously this happened at night, but still isn’t it weird how there isn’t any witnesses?”Bookmark here

“Well, that’s because of the monsters, isn’t it?” Aurelia replied.Bookmark here

I remembered the conversation we had with Misha and the pastor the evening before.Bookmark here

“Well, isn’t that awfully convenient?”Bookmark here

“Anyway, seeing how there wasn’t enough time to close the graves, this could either mean, that the corpses were taken somewhere far away from here, and there was no time, or opening the graves took a really long time, and the corpses were taken somewhere close,” Raynard completed his train of thought.Bookmark here

“Well, the closest buildings to the graveyard are the inn and the church,” Aurelia reckoned.Bookmark here

“Ugh, having Aster and his gaze would be incredibly helpful now,” I sighed.Bookmark here

“Sorry, he sadly doesn’t have a teaching license,” Shelly explained. “Also I’m pretty sure a lot of people are actually unaware of his existence ...”Bookmark here

Wow, being a good spy must be extremely lonely ...Bookmark here

“We can rule out the inn though, I think,” Shelly through in. “We probably would have heard – and smelled – anything unusual, I guess.”Bookmark here

“Corpses in the church also seem unlikely,” I said and took a look around the area in hopes to get some input.Bookmark here

The forest.Bookmark here

... That couldn’t be it, or could it?Bookmark here

“What about the forest?” I asked, because there wasn’t anything else, I could possibly do.Bookmark here

“Seems unlikely,” Raynard said.Bookmark here

“Exactly.”Bookmark here

“Aren’t there like monsters in there?” Aurelia asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah, but hear me out, no-one actually goes into the forest because of that, right?” I reasoned. “So it would be easy and not exactly dangerous to hide a body on the edge of the forest at night, and then come back during day time to hide it somewhere else, which ideally would be further into the forest.”Bookmark here

“Is there any place inside the forest, where you could ... do anything?”Bookmark here

“I could help you find out.” Misha suddenly approached us from behind.Bookmark here

“Misha,” Aurelia exclaimed. “Don’t you work at the inn or something?”Bookmark here

“Around this time we don’t have many customers, so I get a bit of free-time,” she exclaimed accompanied by a faint smile. “Also my mother told me she needed a bit of alone time ... anyway did I get that right, that you are planning on checking out the forest?”Bookmark here

“Well ...” Me and the princess replied in unison.Bookmark here

“I’d like to accompany you,” Misha offered. “I want to find to out what happened to my sister.”Bookmark here

“But isn’t it dangerous inside the forest?” Raynard voiced his concerns.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, most dangerous monsters are nocturnal, it should be way safer than during night-time. In fact, I am one of the few people tasked regularly to go to the forest to gather firewood. So I know my way around.” She again had this overly carefree smile that was kind of unfitting for the whole situation.Bookmark here

“Also there is actually one unusual location inside the forest, I can help you find.”Bookmark here

“What would that be?” Raynard inquired.Bookmark here

“... I’ll best explain when we’re there,” Misha replied after searching for words for a while.Bookmark here

Our group looked at Shelly for approval.Bookmark here

“Well, there’s no helping it, I guess.” She shrugged and left her relaxed pose, to turn to Misha directly. “Please lead us through the forest.”Bookmark here

“With pleasure,” Misha said again with that smile.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.