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Vermillion - Chapter 11.2


Published at 5th of September 2016 07:55:55 PM
Chapter 11.2

CHAPTER 11-2



 

“U-a-aaaaahhaaahh!!” Morissette’s scream slid out as his face stiffened .

 

Shock . Hatred . Sorrow . What he felt was none of these, only pure terror .

 

—Not yet, not yet, I can still… such thoughts flashed through his mind .  I can do it, I can still do it .

 

So he thought since his opponent was essentially unarmed . On the other hand, even though Morissette’s group was wiped out, even though the situation wasn’t ideal, even though his ankle was wounded, even though his heart was broken, for what it was worth, he still had his longsword .

 

Kei turned his head and set his sights on Morissette .

 

“A-aa-aaaahh!!” screamed Morissette as he stirred himself to lift his sword and charge .

 

However, Kei moved to meet him without hesitation .  His movements flowing like water, Kei pulled an arrow from his quiver as he turned to face Morissette, and threw it .

 

The arrow moved slowly enough that Morissette was able to knock it to the ground with a swing of his longsword . However, Kei was already bent over picking up both of Rat’s shortswords .

 

He threw them one after the other . Once again, the attacks lacked any real force . Morissette turned to dodge one sword, and swatted down the other as he closed in, but when he saw the next thing Kei picked up, the blood drained from his face .

 

A bow .

 

A vermillion bow .

 

Even in the darkness of the nearly extinguished fire, the vermillion bow gleamed beautifully and glamorously .

 

An arrow was nocked .

 

The creaking of the bow being drawn all the way back sounded like the gates of hell themselves opening .

 

It was aimed directly at him .

 

It was decided .

 

Cold sweat dripped down Morissette’s face . So much bloodlust poured from Kei’s body that it felt like the air itself was ready to burst .

 

Anger . Resentment . Excitement . Ecstasy . Authority .

 

Kei felt none of these, yet his face unconsciously curled into something close to a smile .

 

The corners of his mouth were slanted upwards as he spoke, “—What do you say?[1]”

 

Faced with the question Morissette tried an obsequious smile, but failed . Even so, he said with his almost-smile, “I’m sorry . [1]”

 

Twang .

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At nearly the same time he heard the sound, the arrow shot through his right knee .

 

“—!” Morissette silently screamed . His kneecap and joints were destroyed and he lost the functionality of his right leg . His leg folded over the wrong way and he collapsed to the ground . “—ah! Oh—!!!” He screamed, his body trembling .   He might have writhed or squirmed, but the pain was so intense he couldn’t even do that .

 

Kei paid him no heed as he pulled the next arrow from his quiver and slowly nocked it .

 

He waited for a short time .

 

Morissette was gasping, unable to get enough air . Kei spoke to him once more . “I’ll give you one last chance . Answer my question . ”

 

At those words, Morissette raised his sweat covered face and stared at Kei while nodding over and over .

 

“It’s a simple question . Earlier, you said, ‘I have the antidote for the Enslavement Poison . ’ Is that true?”

 

“I-It’s tr-true!” Morissette stuttered as he forced his answer out .

 

“So then, the poison you used is indeed ‘Enslavement Poison’, right?”

 

“Y-yes…”

 

“Swear it . ”

 

Kei’s cold voice startled the trembling Morissette, who reached for the fallen longsword nearby, and grabbed the hilt . “I swear… It’s true…”

 

“Say that the poison is ‘Enslavement Poison’ . ”

 

“O-okay… The poison is without a doubt ‘Enslavement Poison’, I s-swear…” Morissette tightly grasped the hilt of his sword with both hands and spoke as if begging God for His mercy .

 

Kei was certain that he felt no bloodlust from the sword . In order to use Stealth he would need his mind to be calm, so Kei deemed it would be hard for Morissette to use it now .

 

With a weapon in hand, it would be extraordinarily hard to lie to Kei .

 

In 『Demondal』, lying was closely related to ‘bloodlust’ .

 

The bloodlust system was largely divided into two parameters . These weren’t visible numerically, but players still referred to them as parameters; ‘Threat Level’ and ‘Ill Intent’ .

 

Firstly, ‘Threat Level’ was an indication of the degree of danger an aggressor was .

 

At least in the game, all objects that had the possibility of interfering with a player had a predetermined ‘Threat Level’ .

 

In the case of a person, the value was at its lowest when they had no weapons .

 

However, if they were to hold a wooden club, a stone, or something of that sort, then the value would increase slightly . And if they held a knife, sword, or something else that was deemed ‘sufficient to kill’ then their ‘Threat Level’ would jump up .

 



This parameter had a common base for various mobs and NPCs, but it would change slightly for mobs of similar Race based on their physical statuses such as strength and weight, if they used a weapon or their claws and if they had tusks or fangs . Nonliving things, such as falling rocks, landslides, or other natural disasters also had a ‘Threat Level’ .

 

 

 

Next, ‘Ill Intent’ reflected how strong one’s bloodlust is . The purpose of this parameter was to largely increase or decrease the predetermined ‘Threat Level’ .

 

For example, if a creature with a low ‘Threat Level’ incorporated a strong bloodlust[2] into their attack, then their resulting ‘Threat Level’ would also greatly increase .

 

Alternatively, if one had a clear mind and was in a state of self-effacement when they struck with a sword, their ‘Threat Level’ would drop to nearly zero, resulting in them giving off an extremely weak bloodlust .

 

By the way, happenstance occurrences that don’t have a will or intent to explicitly cause harm, such as falling rocks or natural disasters, were given a flat value for their ‘Ill Intent’ to adjust their ‘Threat Level’ .

 

In addition, the ‘Ill Intent’ parameter was largely affected by the act of telling a lie .

 

‘Ill Intent’ is, in essence, bloodlust .

 

When someone tells a lie, their mentality becomes that of trying to deceive someone else, which was treated as malice or ill intent . Therefore, when lying while holding a weapon, the ill intent was made detectable after it was translated to bloodlust through the weapon .

 

In a case where someone lied while not holding a weapon their ‘Threat Level’ and ‘Ill Intent’ were both low, which resulted in a bloodlust so weak that even Kei couldn’t sense it with his Passive Sense .

 

There was a method called ‘Oath’ that used this system in the game .

 

Players would hold a sword or a spear and ‘Swear By The Oath’ when coming to an agreement, proving they were sincere, or possibly as proof that one did not lie .

 

People called Stealth masters, such as Kei or Andrei the Ninja, were able to swear by the oath while lying at negotiation tables easily, as long as they were mentally calm . However, among the general player-base, it was exceedingly rare that someone could completely erase their bloodlust through Stealth, so the method ‘Swear By The Oath’ became popular . It also gave a cool vibe when saying something like ‘I swear by my sword . ’

 

At any rate, it was valid in the game and was equally valid in this world due to the existence of bloodlust .

 

In Morissette’s case, he was able to utilize Stealth well enough that regular people couldn’t detect his bloodlust, but with his destroyed leg tormenting him, it would be difficult for him to calm his mind .

 

Since he had sworn by the oath, with both hands gripping his sword, ‘The poison is ‘Enslavement Poison’ . ’ it was highly likely that this information was accurate .

 

 

“I see, thank you . ” Kei nodded slightly, accepting Morissette’s oath .

 

“Th-then…”

 

Morissette had a tiny ray of hope .

 

However, Kei remained silent as he nocked another arrow and raised his bow . “I no longer have a use for you . ”
“Wha!?” Morissette’s eyes widened in surprise at Kei’s merciless words . “Y-you said you would spare me…”

 

“I never said I would ‘spare’ you . I only said ‘I will give you one last chance . ’” asserted Kei, his bow creaking as he drew it . “I gave you the chance to come clean, didn’t I?”

 



“You’re kidding…” Morissette looked into Kei’s eyes . His face paled and his lips quivered . He understood in an instant that there wasn’t any hope . “That’s… it’s wrong…” he muttered .

 

With a grim expression Kei spat out, “It’s your own fault for deceiving me . ”

 

Twang .

 

The last thing Morissette saw was a glint of silver rushing toward him .

 

And then the back of Kei with his bow ready .

 

Then the illusion of an innocent young girl clad in an angel’s raiment .

 

A terribly innocent young girl with a radiant smile .

 

Then he heard the sound of water as his vision was dyed red .

 

He lost consciousness .

 

 

 

 

Kei turned and hurried to Mikazuki’s side, leaving the fallen Morissette behind .

 

The dark brown bowser horse didn’t move in the slightest . Kei fell to his knees beside him, placed his hand on the horse’s neck, and called his name . For a short while he remained silent before cursing and biting his lower lip .

 

Mikazuki showed no signs of life .

 

Mikazuki had become an empty shell . He was dead; his eyes remained closed and a small amount of bloody foam leaked from his mouth . Kei’s first thought when he saw the arrow in Mikazuki’s side was that, even if the arrow hadn’t been poisoned it may have been too late .

 

The way his kidney and liver had been struck, it was almost like that was their target all along . Without several bottles of potions, it would have been impossible to keep him alive for medical treatment .

 

“…It hurt, didn’t it? I’m sorry,” said Kei as he stroked Mikazuki’s mane .

 

With the corpse in front of him, feelings of guilt finally began to ooze out, but he didn’t have the time to mourn over the death of his horse .

 

Kei stood up quickly and looked toward the woods . “…It’s a little far to run . ”

 

Kei furrowed his brow . In terms of stats, he was confident in his stamina, but he could only run so fast . Travelling at full speed from here to Tahfu on Mikazuki would take a little under ten minutes . Just how much time would it take to go by foot? Would Aileen be able to hold on?

 

He sighed and placed his right hand on the nape of his neck . He felt around his neck for a moment before grabbing a thin chain with his bracer and pulling it across his chest .

 

At the end of the silver chain was a pale-green, transparent emerald the size of one’s thumbnail .

 

This was a top quality item that would cost a fortune on its own . Kei let it hang from his right hand and stared at it before switching his gaze to Mikazuki’s corpse .

 

“…Mikazuki is here, so you should be too,” he said almost as a prayer .

 

『Mi dedicas al vi tiun katalizilo . 』

 

He whispered the chant as if reciting a script and then kissed the emerald .

 

Immediately afterwards—

 

Hehehehe .

 

He heard a small, muffled sounding laugh .

 

He couldn’t be sure of where it came from .

 

Hehehe . Hehehe .

 

The laugh mixed with the leaves rustling in the wind .

 

It seemed to be coming from every direction at once .

 

—Kei—

 

It was in his ear .

 

—Vi estas vere agrabla—

 

It was a sweet whisper that made his earlobe feel like it was melting .

 

Crack .  Countless cracks suddenly appeared in the hanging emerald .

 

The cracks quickly increased in number and the green emerald started turning white .

 

Before long, it shattered into particles finer than grains of sand and blew away in the wind, melting into the black night .

 

After seeing that, Kei faced the empty sky and called out .

 

『Maiden vento, Siv . 』

 

He took a deep breath .

 

『Vi aperos . 』(Manifest . )

 

At that moment, Kei felt like something very important was being taken from within his body .

 

†                 †                 †



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