Chapter 281: Conclusion (1)

Dark Elves are a subrace of the Nature Elves. They live underground and worship the Spider Queen, Lolthe. They are a bloodthirsty and chaotic race. Their society is matriarchal and has more females than males. While they might be known as Dark Elves, they still resemble their cousins, the Nature Elves, with their pointy ears, slender bodies and pale, to the extent of almost being translucent, skin. They have silvery hair and crimson red eyes that have evolved to see in the dark due to their long term habitation underground. Their skill in the assassination arts is unparalleled. Moreover, just like their name would suggest, they specialized in dark magicks. However, it had to be said that their talent in Undead magicks tended to be on the low side, most likely because of their origins as a Nature Elf. Their matriarchal society, bolstered in part by their slave system, managed to establish an impressive power base in their subterranean world. Their favourite pastime has to be killing and mating. As long as the urge called for it, the females of the Dark Elf race don’t mind mating with another race, whether human or even beast. On that point, the males differed slightly. They are at least more picky when it comes to their mates; they had to be humanoid at least.

 

—From <<The Common Enemies of Humanity –Creatures of Cruelty and Chaos>>

Roscar, who had been out searching with his self-established mercenary company, immediately rushed back from the outskirts of Tarnia upon receiving a letter from Zarah. He returned alone to Chaik village, leaving the daily runnings of the company to his second-in-command.

 

Zarah, Sares’s father and the one in charge of Chaik Village’s security, dragged the anxious man on the day of his return to his home for a drink. Throughout the drinking session however, Zarah’s brows were furrowed and his lips were sealed tight except when he needed to take a sip. Noticing the obvious heavy mood in the air, Roscar prepared himself for the worst.

 

“Old friend, how about you just speak your mind then. Your missive mentioned you had news of my son, if not for that, I would not have returned at all.” Having said that, Roscar reached for a mug of beer and emptied it in an instant as he eyed the silent Zarah, heart growing more anxious by the minute.

 

“Let me say this first…this piece of news might not be correct at all…I’m not sure how I should say this but…once you hear what I have to say, make sure not to act rashly…” Even though Zarah kept dilly dallying about, Roscar was no fool; he knew, based on Zarah’s expression alone, that this piece of news wasn’t going to be good.

 

Deep down, Roscar knew very well how bleak the situation was. Mo Ke had no Fighter’s Aura to speak of, neither did he know magic. On top of that, there had been no news from him since the day he left home. The last time he had even come into contact with something related to Mo Ke was on the day Mo Ke left home. Using his wealth of tracking knowledge, he retraced Mo Ke’s footsteps to the forest where Mo Ke disappeared from. There, he found Mo Ke’s engraved short sword and shield. Right beside them were piles of goblin corpses and lower level Devils.

 

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Based on the way the corpses were strewn about, it was clear that the Devils and goblins had fought for some reason or another. In that case, the fact the Mo Ke’s shield and sword were found there with the owner nowhere in sight…what did that mean exactly? Most likely, he had died on that day…

 

Since he knew that already, why did he still insist on searching for Mo Ke then? Because his daughter insisted on it, also, perhaps deep down he still held a sliver of hope that Mo Ke was alive somewhere. Ever since the day his old friend, Morran, and his wife died, he had always regretted his foolishness that day. From the moment he adopted Mo Ke as his own, he had treated him like his own son. With regards to Mo Ke’s thoughts, he understood them more than anyone else. Yet at the end of the day, he was an adult and as an adult, he couldn’t bring himself to believe in Mo Ke’s miracle-esque wish…

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Up till now, what had sustained and even comforted him was that they had never found Mo Ke’s body. As long as there was no body, there was no proof of his death. At the very most, they could only conclude that he had gone missing.

 

Holding this laughable and pitiable bit of faith in his heart, Roscar created a mercenary company. Every day, he would go out on missions while simultaneously keeping an eye out for Mo Ke. Even till now, he still believed that their best chance of locating him was to search the various slave markets of the world…in short, finding Mo Ke in a slave market was basically the best outcome he could hope for now.

 

Honestly, it wasn’t that he was pinning all his hopes on a long shot either. He had attempted to contact several Occultists and Demoness over these past few years despite the fact that he hated them. For his son, he was willing to swallow his hatred and yet things weren’t that simple either.

 

Originally, he thought that he finally had a winning plan but because of the widespread influence of the Demon Hunters, there was barely any room for such fiendish factions to grow at all. As such, those that he found were all low levelled and weren’t able to help him locate Mo Ke at all; they couldn’t even give him a definite answer. That was why, even up till now, he didn’t know that Mo Ke had been reincarnated into the Blood Sea.

 

“Just tell me what you’ve found so far.”

 

With no mood to beat around the bush, Roscar lowered his beer mug and stared his friend right in the eyes: “Even though I can basically guess what I need to know from your eyes already…I still need to hear you say it directly…”

 

“It’s like this…” Seeing his friend in a foul mood, Zarah decided to bite the bullet and tell him the bad news. “Some time ago, some strangers visited the village. As you know, this village of ours is rather off the beaten track so most travellers wouldn’t come here at all. The first stranger was an odd one, she seemed to be very familiar with our village. She even called out to me for no rhyme or reason at all. For some strange reason, her manner of greeting me felt rather familiar but I truly had no recollection of her at all…”

 

Zarah slowly recounted Mo Ke’s return to the village and then went on to talk about the Demon Hunters, making sure not to leave out any details at all. At the end, he added: “The Demon Hunters claimed that Little Ke’s soul was devoured by a Devil but because his soul was too strong, he ended up influencing the Devil’s memories instead…as a result…the Devil mistook himself for Little Ke…”

 

Having said that, Zarah gingerly sneaked a glance at Roscar and found his old friend sitting there stony faced with a mug of beer at his side. Like a statue, he merely sat there without moving a muscle.

 

“Old friend?”

 

By now, Zarah was starting to worry that Roscar might just decide to smash the table out of anger. However, after a minute or so had passed, Roscar still remained as still as before.

 

Yet just as he wondered if something had happened to his friend, Roscar gently lowered the beer mug in his hand and took a swig out of the keg itself.

 

Zarah knew why he did that; Roscar was trying to drown his frustrations with alcohol. In a sense, it was at least better than smashing things. Thus, Zarah decided not to stop him or even try to persuade him. Just like that, he quietly watched over Roscar while he drank. Swig after swig, his drinking continued until he finally downed his third keg of beer. At that point, the beer was on the verge of running out and upon seeing that his friend clearly wasn’t going to stop anytime soon, Zarah signalled to the guards standing at the door to fetch more from an inn.

 

“There’s no need for that…”Roscar slammed the keg down with a thump after which he waved to the guards, signalling for them to desist. With his left hand tightly gripping the table, he lowered his forehead into his only free hand and exhaled a breath of air saturated with all the alcohol he had just drank.

 

“Honestly, I already had some inkling that this would happen…there were some things I didn’t tell you before…on the day Little Ke went missing, I actually went out hunting for him…do you know what I saw that day…”

 

A shake of his head and nothing else, Zarah dared not over stimulate the inebriated Roscar, choosing instead to go along with his old friend.

 

Roscar mournfully sighed: “I found Little Ke’s short sword and shield but not Little Ke himself. Let alone Little Ke, I wasn’t even able to find a single trace of his body at all. Furthermore, the place where I found his gear was at a battlefield littered with goblins and Devils…”

 

“Devils!” Came Zarah’s shocked yell as his heart thumped furiously…so that was the truth…in other words, Mo Ke was really eaten up by a Devil then? Zarah thought to himself. Other than that, there was truly no other explanation that came to mind.

 

Seeing Roscar remain silent like that for so long, Zarah decided to switch the topic out of concern for his friend being overly aggrieved. “So what do you plan on doing from now on?”

 

“Plans…” Roscar blankly stared at the window, eyes filled with murderous intent. “Continue being a mercenary, continue killing Devils.”

 

“What about Nicole then?”

 

“Don’t tell her the truth…”

 

What they didn’t know was that Nicole had already guessed that Mo Ke’s disappearance had something to do with Devils…

 

At the same time that Mo Ke evolved into Four-stars and was given the identity of Purgatory Overlord, the distant Nicole received her first hunting mission as part of Azure City’s Demon Hunters’ Division.

 

Roughly half a year ago, Nicole completed her academy’s Freshman Martial Tournament. She then decided to return to Chaik Village to have a look. Originally, she was expecting to find some kind of clue about Mo Ke’s whereabouts there but instead she found a wrecked home. Her instincts immediately told her that a fight had occurred there.

 

Her first thought was to visit the sheriff, Uncle Zarah, in other words, Sares’s father. However, Zarah didn’t want to tell her the truth so he tried to dodge the question entirely. Finally, he realized that Nicole was dead set on finding out the truth so he merely remained silent at that point.

 

With no hope of getting an answer there, she had no choice but to ask the other villagers. However, the other villagers told her nothing as well, seemingly having been instructed not to speak as well. Finally, she managed to get the information she wanted after spending two silver coins to bribe a random bum on the streets. From there, she found out that Demon Hunters had entered her home and fought there.

 

Why would Demon Hunters even do that? That was a question she already knew the answer to. Back then, a guy called Gaywitz came looking for her, introducing himself as a Demon Hunter. Demon Hunters were only interested in matters related to Devils so in other words, the fight in her home had something to do with Devils. Looking at it from another way, how were Devils connected to her little brother?

 

Following this trail of breadcrumbs, she returned to Azure City and went straight to the Demon Hunters’ Division branch and contacted the branch leader there, also known as Clear Water Mirror.

 

Had she not been Thousand Snow Flower’s disciple, she would have definitely not been able to meet the branch leader, at least not without expending a lot more effort.

 

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