Release that Witch Chapter 1052
"Ha, interesting..." Rother said under her breath.
"What?" Sean looked at her. "What do you mean?"
"I'll let you know, common people." Rother grinned. "The ruins of the underground civilization can be seen in many places of the mainland, and Taquila certainly spent a lot of time studying them," she said, walking up to the mottled column, and then swept the dust off it. "These symbols are not their characters and they have nothing to do with the magic characters the Union once made, either. Keeping in mind the history of the four kingdoms, isn't that interesting?"
Azima was still confused. Although she understood every word Rother had said, she could not comprehend what the words exactly meant when she put them together. However, she felt relieved as she saw the same confusion on both Marl's and Knaff's faces.
Sean revealed a thoughtful look.
"His Majesty once said that in the past, the four kingdoms were only a collection of scattered villages and small towns, located in a small corner of the mainland, and had no real history. If this ruin wasn't left by the civilizations during the Battle of Divine Will, then it means..."
Sean paused suddenly.
"There were people who used to live here and were unknown to us?"
"We're not sure about that," Rother said with great spirit. "No one knows whether the underground civilization could breed any new tribes and create new tongues. We have to enter the ruin to find more information."
"Lord Sean, there seems to be a stone tablet here," the soldier, who was examining the stone gate, suddenly shouted. "The words on it are written in our characters."
Everyone immediately approached the tablet.
A block of granite rested in the weeds. The moss had grown all over it and only one side of the tablet had been sanded by men so that it was easy to be ignored. It took the soldiers a long time to clear it up before the engraved words could be easily made out.
"This is a place cursed by Gods. You'll die if you enter."
Knaff gasped as he saw the warning on the tablet.
"Is this the rumored... Temple of the Cursed?" He stepped back and stammered.
Sean and the God's Punishment Witch glanced at each other. "You know what it is?"
"I just heard it from other people. It happened more than a century ago..." Knaff stared at the black hole and swallowed. "The lord of this area had ordered his men to set up a lot of traps in the Cage Mountain to prevent the Wolfheart people from crossing the mountain. It was said that a team led by a knight came across a heavy rain when they were performing a mission. The rain in the mountain was variable and transient. The knight commanded his men to find shelters and they discovered a strange temple by accident."
"Oh?" Rother said, raising her eyebrow. "Did they find any treatures in the temple? And the greedy people who stole the treasures were cursed by deities and died a terrible death in the end."
"You've heard that too?" Knaff was surprised.
Rother laughed out. "The nature of common people seems to have stagnated. They've played this kind of trick centuries ago and it still worked. I bet it was the lord who started the rumor. He must have wanted the treasures for himself. The poor villagers were just used to prove the existence of the curse and were slaughtered secretly."
"But... they didn't die right away."
"What...?" Rother frowned.
The guide cringed and said warily, "They died one by one ten years after the incident, even the knight. It was said they all died painfully. The skin on their faces was peeled off, leaving the rotten flesh exposed. They looked hideous and horrifying. That's what the curse stems from. The lord had to forbid everyone to enter that place to stop the spread of misfortune in his land, so no one knows its actual location."
"Are you sure?" Rother walked over to Knaff and put her arm on the guide's shoulder.
Knaff paled as he looked at the arm that was thicker than his thigh. "I heard all of them in the tavern. I swear I tell no lies. My lord, you can ask someone else if you don't believe me. If there's anything wrong, then the rumors must be wrong."
In Azima's opinion, if the people died so long after the incident, it was unlikely they were killed by the lord. Moreover, it would make sense if the knight and the lord plotted together to murder the villagers, but it was unreasonable to see the knight killed as well. The nobles could not be executed without trial, no matter how insignificant their families were.
Could it really be... the deities' curse?
"Ugh, why don't we... return to the town first and then decide what we're going to do after we collect more information?" the liaison Marl Tokat suggested.
"Decide what we're going to do next?" Knaff looked at Sean in disbelief. "Was the Temple of the Cursed your aim from the very beginning?"
"No, they happen to overlap." Rother let go of Knaff. "What about you? Since you're King Roland's trusted guard, I believe you won't chicken out, will you?"
"Of course not," Sean replied calmly. "Our priority is to finish the task given by His Majesty. Now the target is just before us. Certainly, we won't retreat."
"Good. Let's enter and meet the so-called 'deities'," Rother said with a hideous smile.
"But we can't enter with no precaution." Sean shook his head. "In fact, His Majesty warned us to be careful of the danger we would possibly encounter in the source."
"Did he... even foresee this?"
"Yes." Sean looked over his shoulder at Azima and said, "That night, after you left, His Majesty told me something in private. He said there might be two possibilities we would run into. One is that the source is exposed on the surface, and in that case, we don't have to do anything but seal the place and return to Neverwinter where we can directly report it to him. The other is that the source is located in an underground cave. The deeper the cave is, the more dangerous it will be. So we need to take protective measures beforehand. It may be inappropriate to call this place a cave, but the temple is in line with all its characteristics."
With that said, he snapped his fingers at the soldier. "Bring up the thing."
Two soldiers unloaded their packages and pulled out five white coats.
Rother squatted down and spread the clothes out curiously. "These're just plain leather coats."
"They won't be if used with the masks." Sean picked up one and slipped himself into it. Azima could only use the word "slip" to describe Sean's movement, for the coat was one-piece designed without even a button and was more like a sack that was cut in human shape than a garment. Now Sean only had his face exposed and all of his limbs were hidden in the coat, which made him look very weird.
Subsequently, he put on a transparent mask to protect his face. A fist-sized can was fixed on the mask, shaped like a pig's nose.
"Five in and the rest stays," Sean said through the mask. "In addition to Miss Azima and Lady Rother, who else wants to come?"