“Note this down. 9 rat hearts dipped with daffodil pollen can be used to replace the required baby’s heart in the ritual.”
The “Father” taught slowly, “9 symbolizes the number of blood and desire. The daffodil pollen put on each rat heart shall not exceed ⅓ of the heart size. Otherwise, the Silent Lady will ‘reject’ the ritual.”
The five witnesses had their eyes wide open, watching the Father demonstrate the miracle.
As for the rest, they took the hearing inhibition reagent — inexpensive alteration products that would temporarily take away their hearing, and they would recover quickly after smelling poop.
Every time before the ritual, the “White Snake” executives who weren’t qualified to learn the ritual, but had the hope of becoming a core member, would ingest the reagent.
They also understood that doing so was to protect their life.
They have encountered many examples of tragic deaths due to ritual failures in the past few years.
Without an orthodox heritage, they would never easily use the ritual that they heard.
…But that being said, it was worth watching the process.
Those who could attend this meeting were higher-ups and even core members. For example, the tall and thin lurker, Bobby, was eligible to participate in this meeting.
Ordinary members had no idea who they were serving at all. On the other hand, the core members wouldn’t leak the “Father’s” secret who used the “Rotten Man Church” as a facade.
The reason was also simple.
They were all confident that they could become the “Father’s” apprentices.
Most of these core members weren’t Roseburg’s natives. Instead, they were all disciples who had followed the “Father” to several cities.
They came here because the Rotten Man Church offered them a great price. Also, Roseburg’s viscount had long known of their existence and let them grow further. This was also the fundamental reason why the “White Snake” could control the entire underground forces of Roseburg while being unnoticed.
The “White Snake” was just their lair.
After all, a lot of rare materials were required for the ritual. If they bought all the materials at the same time, the Silver Sire Church, which possessed Transcended knowledge, would sense something was wrong.
So they secretly assassinated the “White Snake’s” original leader and utilized the underground gang forces as a facade to secretly collect ritual material under the disguise of logistics.
The “Father” seemed to do all of this to make money and for treasures.
His followers were here for “learning” — learning the taboo knowledge.
“But in this ritual, we’re using rat’s heart instead of a baby’s heart. That’s because the rat’s heart and the cat’s heel make an easy combination, which substitutes the ‘hunter’s heel’ and ‘pieces of the prey caught by it’. Remember to cut it with a rusted ritual knife to reveal the element of the killing.”
The Father said slowly and cut the cat’s heel into three pieces, forming a triangle.
“This represents the ‘lurker’s stride’ and the ‘death of the hunted’. Then, we will have a resurrected frog’s heart. First, soak it in Elixir and let it resume beating after an electric shock. The moment the heart stops again is when the ritual starts. This represents the moment when life succumbs to death.”
The “Father” explained without any pause to his work.
His explanation was detailed, but the only thing he didn’t mention was the “portion and ratio”.
This was the experience every ritualist relied on for their livelihood.
It was also the means to control their apprentice so that the apprentices wouldn’t have any maligned thoughts to seek their life and knowledge.
This allowed the apprentices to work for him for many years as “assistants” as they grew up. Furthermore, once the apprentice learned enough rituals and accumulated enough experience, they would be driven away in time or even killed.
“Is that all you need, Father?” The brown-skinned tattooed woman asked with a smile, “Don’t hide your secrets.”
“Of course not, Greenscale.” The Father glanced at her and replied nonchalantly.
Like the alias “Father”, the brown-skinned woman had a pseudonym — “Greenscale”.
The reason for not using their real names was because they understood the danger of cursing someone via names. At the same time, they didn’t have the money or prestige to ask the idol wizard to create a stand-in for themselves in redirecting the curses that target them away. On the other hand, having an alias will safeguard their lives against their teacher, students, and colleagues.
The “Father” added casually with a hoarse voice, “What we will be summoning this time is the Skeleton Crow of the Funeral Deity Faceless Poet. It can detect and harm the dead. So when you are about to steal corpses, you can summon one of them to keep watch for you.
“This ritual is a simplified version. If you want to summon the Skeleton Crow, you have to use the ‘Remains of the Silent Funeral’ as a guide. Otherwise, you may attract the ‘Invisible Hunter’ or the ‘Mist Lady’. You may summon the two surprises successfully or fail because of insufficient power. The worst price can make your heart stop for 30 seconds if you fail.
“So, when you see a funeral with this atmosphere, you can go around and collect the influence. After all, the influence is easy to remove. Crying before the curse becomes active can purify the influence.”
Of course, the “Father” had hidden something from them.
After “Green Scale” pointed this out, he honestly and carefully explained the details to them.
As the frog’s heart stops beating, the “Father” put on a solemn expression while the rest became quiet in an instant.
He quickly lifted a human leg bone and placed it horizontally above the ritual area.
After that, a gray hue instantly plunged into his pupils.
After a short delay, the “Father” dripped with cold sweat on his forehead.
In front of everyone, the 9 hearts burned simultaneously, releasing dim gray flames. After they were all burnt out, the flames still didn’t disappear. Instead, three black flames clustered began to burn the cat’s heels slowly.
At this moment, the sound of clattering sounded.
It was like putting a lot of Lego building blocks in a bag and shaking it hard.
But the apprentices soon realized that it was the sound of bones crashing against each other.
In front of the “Father”, the broken bones of birds emerged from thin air. They collided to form a crow about half a meter high.
It had only bones all over its body and gray flames burning in its skull. However, it could still fly.
The Skeleton Crow flew for a circle in the air. When its eyes glanced over somewhere, it shrieked and flew over immediately.
—If Citalopram witnessed this scene, she would immediately realize that this was the position where she had been staying for the longest time!
Then, a bloodstain appeared under the Skeleton Crow.
It lurched on the ground, avoiding everyone, and stopped in front of the shelves.
That was the trajectory of Citalopram’s actions!
“Sure enough, a ghost visited us.”
The “Father” sneered and said in a hoarse voice, “It isn’t necessarily someone from the Crow’s Family. I suspect the Venerated Skeleton may be involved. Of course, there’s the chance of being a stray undead.
“We need to summon something more to make sure that we can protect ourselves.
“Take a good look. Then, you can make consecutive summons while you are in ‘fear’.
“I have taught you last time on the necessary elements to summon ‘Bane’. The conditions include any strong emotions of fear, sadness, pain, or regret from the summoner, a burned old photo album, a kidney of a desperate male sharpshooter, and unused poison over ten years old. We have all of them in stock… So go and get it.”
The “Father” commanded slowly.
His narrow eyes were full of fear, but this fear didn’t affect his words and thinking.
He learned the religions of many churches. Of course, he knew that it wasn’t the Venerated Skeleton’s doings.
This is the trace of a”Half-dead Enchantress”.
The only possibility is that Don Juan Geraint has discovered our existence, so he hired a Half-dead Enchantress to scout on us.
Luckily, my apprentices couldn’t decipher these traces.
On the one hand, the “Father” needed them to do the grunt work for him, getting all the items required for the ritual.
On the other hand…
“The Betrayed Apprentice” could also be used as the material of the Venerated Skeleton’s ritual… and become a powerful Skeleton Guardian.
Unfortunately, the Skeleton Guardian couldn’t do grunt work, and it would be the last time these apprentices would be helpful to him.
Credits to MindMatrix for editing this chapter and improving the readability.
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