“I’m Ken Carter.” The old man’s voice was low and even trembling, “I’m a ritualist from the Natta County.”
Natta County… Annan frowned slightly.
He had indeed heard of this location, and it wasn’t a good place.
Natta County was at a viscount land close to the western border of the Noah Kingdom. The terrain itself was similar to Roseburg, but the difference was that it was barren further west.
Indeed, the westernmost side was the edge of the Noah Kingdom.
In the past few decades, the Natta County had its plains by the west of the city eroded by the Gray Mists, and a third of the urban area consumed in it. However, the erosion rate was halved after five years.
At this distance, the barrier couldn’t block off the penetration of the Gray Mists completely.
The curse was like dust, visible to the naked eye, tainting the air in the city. The entire town was painted grey during the day, and the sky turned blood red as night approached.
Ordinary people who lived in such places were prone to developing chronic diseases within a few years. After all, the water source was quite likely to be polluted by the curse. Long-term living, polluted air, and water sources would greatly weaken the regular civilians.
Those food exposed to the air would even grow mold within a couple of days. The rate of decay for fresh meat, vegetables, and fruits was tripled than that of the mainland. If one were to eat food contaminated by the curse, the victim would most possibly die in a short time due to an acute infection.
Natta County’s feudal lord had evacuated inland and abandoned the city because of the situation. The city guards and the polices quickly evacuated in the absence of wages. Without law and order, many vicious robberies and murders soon occurred. Consequently, many trading caravans no longer went to Natta County, and the Silver Sire Church had also evacuated because of that.
Soon, warning signs were installed, warning the passersby not to enter and persuading people in the city to leave as quickly as possible.
But obviously, the warning sign couldn’t stop those Transcended criminals who craved power, ordinary people who were in a fanatical pursuit to become Transcended, and wanted criminals who committed serious crimes. Even the sign itself was stolen in the first month after it was erected.
In the end, Natta County became lawless.
The indescribable monsters in the Gray Mists would even go directly into the city to hunt. Some Transcended who were eager for power would enter Natta County and live near the Gray Mists while staying inside the protective barrier. With that, their body would absorb the vicious curse in the Gray Mists. This would cause their erosion rate to rise sharply, and their temperament would gradually become violent and dark, but it would foster rapid growth in power, at least until the peak of Bronze Rank.
These illegal Transcendeds weren’t monitored, so they naturally wouldn’t obey the law and act high profile. As a result, fights happened intensely, leading to many nightmares.
With the uncontrollable mass of nightmares and the erosion of the Gray Mists, demons might be born at any time.
There were no “ordinary people” here at all.
Even those who gave up their social status and became refugees in an inland city had a far better life than living in Natta County.
In fact, in some cities within Noah’s inland, “Natta County people” were directly referred to as “refugees”.
This was a group of homeless people which the vast majority had a bad impression of them because they grew up in a vile environment. Many of them would become gang members such as thieves, scammers, human traffickers, etc. Those were their specialties.
But on the contrary, “Transcended” abilities, which were generally kept secret elsewhere, were nearly public in Natta County. They subconsciously absorbed many vicious curses, quickly turning them into a wild Transcended in a nightmare. However, Transcended born in this manner bore an erosion rate exceeding 50% at the start of their journey.
The taboo knowledge in becoming a ritualist would also be circulated in Natta County to fight against the Transcended.
The dangers of this technology wouldn’t deter the Natta County’s people.
Once you stay in a precarious city, the taboos and dangers of ritualist knowledge seem irrelevant. Similarly, creating explosions and utilizing poison was a norm due to the living condition.
Annan thought of this and asked, “Are you from Natta County?”
“Yes, I’ve been in Natta County for 40 years.”
“Then why did you leave the Natta County?”
“Naturally… to serve my master.”
The old man whispered, “I won’t say his name. He was the one who took my child and me away from Natta County and let my child go to school and have a normal job. I owe my life to him…”
So why are you still telling me this much?
The corner of Annan’s mouth rose slightly, but he didn’t say much.
Ken Carter should have realized it.
There were only two possibilities when Annan could use Silver Sire’s divine art.
Silver Sire had seen through Rotten Man’s scheme and intended to interfere;
Or, he was in the middle of someone’s nightmare, and the person in front of him was the Silver Sire Church’s Silver Hand.
There was no point in him hiding any information, whatever the possibility.
The Silver Sire’s priest would launch an investigation if they already had suspicion on it, and these secrets were impossible to hide from the church.
As long as Silver Sire checked the accounts Himself, any secrets would be unveiled.
Silver Sire could see all types of “transactions” in this world, trace back to the time of the transaction, the content of the transaction, and the object of the transaction.
That was explained why even though He had no authority over “truth” or “secret”, he couldn’t hide anything from Him.
“So, either way. Your attempt to hide it is meaningless.” Annan smiled and said calmly, “Tell me the truth. You don’t have to pretend to be loyal.”
Ken smiled bitterly. He sighed and said in a low voice, “Fine… I will tell you anything.
“They’re holding a ritual, and this ritual is called the ‘Feast of the Great Hunt’. It’s the field involving the ‘Tragedy Writer’, the deity of murder and conspiracy. In the ritual, there shall be six people carrying the Magnetic Stone each, forming a ‘stage’ in a banquet, and setting up a designated area in range. Those within the area are considered ‘actors’, fulfilling the condition of a ‘grand opening’. Sacrificing one person shall activate a large-scale chaos ritual, cursing the fate of every ‘actor’.
“The order of killing is completely random and hand-picked by the ‘Tragedy Writer’. Each chosen person, known as the ‘speaker’, can only temporarily save himself from bad luck by killing the other person and will pass ‘the speech line’ to the next person; or encounter a misfortune… The misfortune may be fatal.
“And every time one dies, the misfortune of the next person will be more terrible and even doubled. The cycle continues until the ‘curtain falls’ and the ‘Tragic Writer’ is sent away. If the ‘closing’ can’t be completed, the ritual is considered a failure. When the final actor dies, all the ‘curtain weavers’ die painfully.”
Ken pointed to himself with a wry smile, “Including everyone who participated in this plan…
“As for the price of the ritual and the reward after its completion, I don’t think you will care because the process of the ritual itself is their purpose. They want to start a great fire first and burn one person as the opening. Then, the ritual has fulfilled its purpose.”
“…them?” Annan keenly caught a keyword.
Ken nodded slowly and spoke in a complicated tone, “But please don’t ask. I can’t say or write his name. I don’t want to be part of this plan either, but I don’t have a choice. I don’t think he will organize us to start a second fire to ‘give a proper closure to it’. He may want all of us to die to keep this matter a secret.”
“He…” Annan murmured, “I know who it is.”
It’s highly likely that the Third Prince, Philip, is the culprit.
Besides him, who would put the Crow’s heir in a risky situation?
But, what about Ferdinand…?
Did he know that he was being put as a “possible victim”?
Annan finally understood how the heirs died one after another in a short period, but the murderer wasn’t discovered, and how did the murderer do it!
Their fate had been cursed a few years ago, but they were unaware of it!
Many people had died before the culprit had successfully cursed and killed the heirs.
Annan suddenly felt a chill in his heart.
In other words, it’s not just stopping the fire and explosions?
This was the first time Annan had come into contact with the power of “Fate”.
Of course, it wasn’t actually twisting the destiny.
Judging from this false deity’s or evil deity’s authority, He was unlike Lady Luck, who was involved in the law of “accident” and “luck”.
The deity of murder and conspiracy focused solely on “manually” creating misfortune.
“Tell me! How do I stop this ritual?” Annan spoke out after reorganizing his thoughts.
Would Annan stop the ritual? It’s still a nightmare of the past. Does it change anything in the future? If you wish to read ahead of the current publishing schedule, check out our Patreons along with the recently launched Tiers up to 25 chapters ahead.