A towering giant tree had fully transformed from the house at No. 44 Clear Water Street.
Under Benjamin’s alteration magic, the giant tree that morphed from the house became more and more realistic.
In the beginning, the bark was too clean, thus appearing unusual. Typically, a tree wouldn’t have smooth bark after reaching this size.
At this moment, the symmetrical giant tree gradually changed and leaned on one side. The bark became lumpy, showing progressive signs of natural weathering.
In the end, even sparse grass grew around the tree. There were traces of moss near the roots, and specks of dust surfaced on the leaves.
After sealing the ritual, Benjamin turned his head over and nodded to Annan, “Your Royal Highness Annan.
“I will leave the rest to you.” What he meant was to have Annan explain the “giant tree that appeared suddenly.”
Of course, this wouldn’t be a challenge for Annan.
There weren’t many residents at Clear Water Street. Additionally, it wasn’t an area dedicated to the wealthy but a temporary residence assigned to officials. Essentially, the Viscount Mansion was located at No. 11 Clear Water Street, while No. 1 to No. 10 were the centralized office area in Roseburg.
Just like Mr. Nottdamm would choose to buy a house elsewhere, other officials had similar preferences.
Otherwise, it would be too easy for Roseburg’s viscount to search their house for contraband. Also, it was a challenge to do many things under the viscount’s watch.
Since the viscount “had died by accident,” they were even more afraid to live near Clear Water Street for fear of being mistaken by others that they were involved in this matter or being chosen by Annan to be the martyr.
In general, there weren’t many families residing in this street. Annan could easily craft an excuse to brush off the matter when the neighbors came to this place.
“No problem, Master Benjamin.” Annan nodded politely.
The corners of his mouth raised slightly, revealing a gentle smile, “Or, should I call you, Pope Benjamin?”
“That will be fine, too.” Benjamin nodded.
As time passed, the transparent flame enveloping Benjamin gradually subsided. Although his presence was still dazzling and he would always stand out, the initially glorious aura as he walked out of the house gradually faded.
Annan thought of something.
Is this the feeling you get when the soul is ignited and the elements are perfected after attaining the Gold Rank soul?
Is this what it looks like when the soul burns?
“Then, I will leave first… Your Royal Highness Annan.” Benjamin didn’t look at the others but said respectfully to Annan, “If you have anything, please call out to the Man in the Mirror.
“If there is anything else that needs my help, He will contact me.”
“Wait a minute, Sir Benjamin. I have a question…” Annan grabbed Benjamin’s sleeve and asked in a low voice.
Benjamin interrupted Annan, “I know what you want to ask.”
“I did see you back then, but I did not know why you were there.” Benjamin’s vague reply confused the rest of Annan’s party.
However, Annan already understood what Benjamin wanted to express.
When Benjamin left the boat, He did see Annan who was unconscious by the sea, but Benjamin didn’t know where Annan came from.
Annan asked, “So, do you have any clues?”
“All I can confirm is…” Benjamin pondered for a while, then slowly said, “At that time, there is the ‘Leviathan’s air’ lingering around you.”
“…Leviathan?” Annan was startled.
A name that I haven’t heard of.
Is this some kind of “influence”?
Benjamin nodded and confirmed, “Yes, it is one of the three Supreme Monsters of the Mysterious Lady.
“Considering that you were not a Transcended at that time, I removed the remnants of this influence.”
—The Leviathan’s air.
Annan muttered, remembering the new name he learned.
I finally have some new clues…
The reason why I didn’t die after getting thrown into the sea could be because I have the Mysterious Lady, or at least the “Leviathan’s” protection. He carried me to the vicinity of the Freezing Water Port.
The “Reverse Inscription” on my soul should have been carved at that time.
Then, Annan asked again, “This will be my last question. Do you know about inscriptions?”
Upon hearing this, Benjamin paused slightly. Then, he nodded and shook his head again. “I can’t describe it as I “know about” them, and I can only say that I “heard about” them.”
Benjamin said slowly, “Inscriptions are an ancient knowledge lost in the Second Age. You can consider that a type of occult knowledge. More so, it is of the highest level.
[TN: Occult knowledge, in this context, usually refers to the use of deity names or lost languages to activate magic. Previously, I have translated them as mysterious knowledge but we will stick to occult knowledge from now on.]
“Only those ancient false deities or the twelve upright deities born before the end of the Second Age know how to use inscriptions.
“The curses in this world all emerge in the form of some ancient rune. As the highest level language, the Inscription’s effect will be taken priority first for any phrase. Hence, the Inscription is also the ‘power that alters the curse’. Those Transcended with lethal curses can only hope for an Inscription to prevent their demise.
“Its existence isn’t a secret. The cost of using this extraordinary feature isn’t too high. That’s the reason why many churches use the designated ‘inscriptions’ as one of the highest-level rewards. Also, it’s because only the pope or deities can engrave them.”
“Different deities have different inscription fragments. The only one who has mastered all inscriptions is the Mysterious Lady, who has the alias of ‘the Supreme Linguist’.”
Benjamin glanced at Annan and added, “If you have needs for inscriptions, you can entrust it to the Man in the Mirror. He can go and learn them from the Mysterious Lady.”
“I don’t have such a need for the time being…” Annan shook his head slowly and asked, “In other words, can every curse be engraved with an inscription?”
“Yes, but this does not mean that the curse will become stronger; it may become weaker. The power of inscription is reflected in the ‘knowledge of oneself’. Each curse can be engraved with one inscription at most. Once it is engraved, it can’t be modified. The choice of the inscription will directly change the curse they have established.”
Benjamin gave a slight pause. He probably already guessed why Annan asked this. So he immediately added, “All Transcended power in this world comes from curses. So those ‘innate special talents’ are a kind of curse.
“It’s just that these curse runes don’t float on the surface but are engraved in the soul. In other words, they are ‘born Transcended’. This is because when they are born, they have already received the first curse. The effect is like being afflicted with a curse ‘that will always be effective until death’.
“This curse won’t attract the curses deposited in the gray mists but will only accelerate their growth. Another advantage of it is that you can engrave an additional inscription.
“Not on the surface, but in the soul. Beware that this also brings risks while it’s a great opportunity. The inscription engraved in the soul will inevitably change the soul’s essence. This will directly change their talents.
“I’m afraid that only the Mysterious Lady can figure out the effect of the inscription and what role it will play in different curses.”
I see. Annan nodded.
He probably had an idea about how he obtained the Reverse Inscription now.
Considering the residual influence of the “Leviathan’s air”, this was probably the inscription that Mysterious Lady personally engraved for him.
In other words, from the time when “Annan Austere-Winter” was thrown into the sea to when Annan himself woke up from the seaside, something must have happened.
This incident saved Annan and granted him the Reverse Inscription which the Mysterious Lady engraved for him, transforming the original “Winter Heart” into a brand new bloodline ability that no one had ever possessed.
Ha, Benjamin was being so modest when he said that he didn’t know much, but he clearly knew a lot.
“Thank you very much. I have no other questions.” Annan recollected his thoughts and replied respectfully to Benjamin.
Benjamin added in a low voice, “I heard your conversation with the Silver Sire…
“If you want to go to the capital, remember to summon the Man in the Mirror first. I can temporarily change your appearance. Also, if the Fourth Prince wants to return to the capital…
“Remember to remind him that the Geraint family will only obey the king’s direct orders, no matter what.”
And it doesn’t matter who is sitting on the throne…
Annan understood the second half, which Benjamin didn’t speak out loud.
He nodded, “I understand.”
Credits to MindMatrix for editing this chapter and improving the readability.
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