Chapter 164 Estate Investigation
“Kyrian will be right there, now go to fucking sleep or I’ll have to knock you unconscious.” Ilea said, pushing the worryingly weak man into a bed. One of the few that wasn’t soiled by blood.
He had burnt all the corpses, which left only the house itself as an reference for their investigation. “We’ll find them, trust me.” Ilea said, standing right over the man before she walked out of the room, closing the door behind her.
“You don’t have any investigation skills or anything right?” she asked Kyrian who shook his head.
“Well then I’ll have to be enough.” she said, smiling a little as she noticed Trian’s breathing steady in the room behind her. “Then stay inside, it’s possible that whoever is behind this wants him dead as well. It’d be easy for someone at our level to kill him while he’s like that.” she finished, looking at the hallway.
‘Now let’s see if my class can live up to its name…,’ she thought and looked through the room they had talked in, her Sphere, Hunter’s Sight and her enhanced senses working together to find anything that could lead to something.
She could tell that a battle between two or three warriors had happened in the room itself. There was blood on the carpet and some of the windows. Likely someone had worked in here and was surprised by the attackers, trying to fight back but losing in the end, seeing the amount of dried blood on the floor.
She wasn’t sure but the fight had probably happened more than two weeks ago. According to the small experience she had with rotting corpses and old blood. Trian had been too late and it didn’t seem the city guard or anybody else cared much. The house was empty after all.
Any trace of smells in the air were already gone or distorted and mixed too much for Ilea to make out something specific. The blood itself was overwhelming and overpowered anything else she could’ve found right after the attack had happened. This room wouldn’t give her any answers.
Moving on to the next one, she found just the same. Her skills let her see and recreate some of the things that had happened but it was simply useless. Whoever had done this was not an amateur, that was for sure. A team of specialized assassins perhaps or they simply had a cover up team that came in after them. Wiping out a noble family and not creating an uproar wasn’t something a random gang of thugs could do.
‘What the hell did they do to warrant such a massacre?’ she thought as she finished looking through the last room upstairs. Walking past Trian’s room, Kyrian was inside, metal whirling around him. The man was training in nearly every waking moment possible. Ilea was surprised she could even keep up with the guy.
The stairwell didn’t show anything special as well, neither did the rooms on the ground floor. Most of the fighting seemed to have happened upstairs, likely because the attack must’ve happened at night. It was a little creepy, walking around in the dark and quiet mansion. Ilea knew she could trust her skills and power but the eerie feeling wouldn’t simply leave. A noble house with its whole family murdered, corpses burnt leaving behind the husk of an estate, soon to either be bought or neglected.
The low walls around the estate were a testament to this family’s power, building near a forest likely filled with at least somewhat dangerous wildlife. Ilea made her way downstairs, opening the wooden door in the big kitchen that led to the cellar. She wasn’t sure if it was the only cellar yet but it was simply the first she had found though her sphere.
Ilea decided not to try and find anything to light up the place, instead trusting her Sphere and the minuscule light that allowed her enhanced sight to at least make out the shapes around her in the nearly completely dark room. There were many crates down here, housing different foods and other goods. Some of them were already rotting but she at least couldn’t make out any living creatures trying to get in. Runes or something else must still be keeping them away.
A weird feeling suddenly made Ilea focus on one of the walls in particular. Nothing suggested to her that it was special in any way, nor did her Sphere show anything suspicious behind it. Still she trusted her skills, specifically her Sphere that likely told her of either a trap or a hidden path ahead.
Blinking blindly into the wall, Ilea found herself not in the same cellar anymore. She hadn’t triggered any traps it seemed but couldn’t look back into the old cellar. A spell, rune or something else was keeping her perception inside the newfound territory. A new room, just as dark or even darker than the one from before. A door at the end of it and a stairwell leading downwards.
Ilea was starting to doubt that this would lead to anything, perhaps only uncovering a dark secret she really didn’t want to know about Trian’s family. The man was a vampyr after all and she had found him sucking out the life energy of what he told her to be employees. She trusted the man but that didn’t mean everyone in his family was as morally acceptable a person as he.
Her steps resounded through the silent tunnel, her metal boots taking one step after the other until finally she came out into a new room. A bigger room than any previous cellars. She couldn’t see the other side through her sphere so she simply continued forward.
Four steps later, Ilea noticed a very faint tapping sound. It was quick and it was closing in on her. Buffs activated to the max, Ilea saw a rather massive spider enter her Sphere’s perception. A spider, of course, with scythes for legs. Her surprise at the silent approach considering the metal was short lived, as the beast quickly found her and attacked.
Two blades flashed horizontally at Ilea who answered with a simply crouch, both weapons passing above her head. She answered with a fully powered punch to the spider’s now unprotected face. A crunch could both be heard and felt as the monster was thrown backwards several meters.
‘ding’ ‘You have been poisoned by Toothnick paralyzer, -10 Stamina per second for two minutes, movements are slowed by 10%.’
‘A Toothnick?’ Ilea thought, not remembering the name from any of her monster classes. The beast seemed a little disoriented by the punch but started to circle Ilea again, considerably more careful now.
[Toothnick Spider – lvl 153]
Looking down at her hand, Ilea found a tooth sticking shallowly in her finger. The reason for the poisoning for sure. She took it out and threw the tooth away, looking at the animal that approached her again, this time rearing up and using four blades to attack her. The only problem was that Ilea had fought Taleen machines with just as many weapons, both faster and with a higher level. ‘And there were dozens of them at the same time…,’ she thought and stared at the almost laughable try of the monster to injure its target.
Ilea simply blinked behind the spider and kicked its back. Again the spider skidded forward on the ground, turning around again, visibly slowed down and injured. Blood dripped down to the ground from its maw, identified by the smell. Ilea didn’t move immediately, thinking on what this animal down here might mean.
A possible answer presented itself to her when a sudden source of light entered the far end of the room. Two children, one holding up a torch and the other wielding a beautifully crafted curved sword. Ilea realized when the two came closer that the bigger one wasn’t a child at all, just a very small woman.
“Toothie back!” the older of the two yelled and Ilea watched in amazement as the spider quickly made its way back to the humans. She didn’t move to intercept the animal as there weren’t many options as to who those kids were.
“Who are you!?” the older of the two yelled again as Ilea walked a little closer. The girl held the blade with trained skill, Ilea could tell as much already, having faced more than a couple of sword users. She could feel the small boy gather mana in his hand as well as he stretched it towards Ilea.
She stopped around ten meters in front of them and asked back. “And who are you two?” she said, identifying them to be at level 131 and 42 respectively, both very impressive for their ages she assumed. Then again the nobles had more resources to train them early and with a certain amount of safety.
“I asked you first! You’re intruding on our cellar!” the girl said, apparently not noticing that the boy had created a spear of what looked like blood.
“Your cellar? So you’re part of the family this place belongs to?” Ilea asked and let the projectile that the boy probably lost control over pass harmlessly next to her, showing that his aim definitely needed some more work.
“Samuel what are…,” the girl said, looking nervously at the kid and then back to Ilea with fear in her eyes. She didn’t back down and her stance indicated that she prepared for a fight.
“I’m here with Trian if you know him, he is part of this family as well. If you tell me your names I’ll tell you mine, ok?” Ilea said and smiled behind her helmet.
“Trian? He’s here… then.” the girl said and took down her sword, lifting it up again a second later. “You’re lying.” she said, her eyes getting teary. “Everyone died, I don’t trust you.” she said but Ilea simply appeared right in front of her, grabbing the sword by the blade and ripping it out of the girl’s hands. She was strong but not nearly as much so as Ilea. The sudden move was too much of a surprise for the girl to react in any meaningful way.
Ilea blinked backwards again and looked at the sword. “Would I have let you live just now if I was lying?” she asked, throwing the sword upwards and catching it again. “Your pet is injured, I can heal it if you let me. How does that sound?” Ilea asked, throwing the blade again as she slowly walked closer, catching it at the blade. She stopped two meters in front of them and held out the blade handle first.
The girl defiantly looked into her eyes but then she nodded her head. “Ok.” she simply said and walked towards Ilea, grabbing the sword in an uncertain manner. “Toothie come.” the girl said and the spider approached. “Sit.” the spider crouched down immediately, its fifteen eyes focused on Ilea.
Holding out her hand, she took small steps towards the animal until she touched it. Other than a low hiss, there was no reaction. Right until she started healing. Ilea never wanted to hear a spider imitate a purr ever again. She shuddered as she finished treating the injuries she had caused and a couple smaller ones that weren’t on her.
“She’s fine again.” Ilea said and stepped back.
“Can you heal people too?” the small boy asked and Ilea nodded.
“I can, do you have someone injured?” she asked, looking between the boy and girl. She was at least sixteen, Ilea guessed, maybe even older.
“Is Trian alright? Where is he?” the girl asked.
“He is and he is upstairs but I don’t know how safe it is there for you. Your names.” Ilea stated and locked eyes with the girl again.
“I’m Aurelia Alymie and that is Samuel. We have someone injured but I don’t know if you can heal him.” Aurelia said and sheathed her sword.
“Ok, Trian is sleeping at the moment so I can come and see if I can help. I’m Ilea, a friend of his.” Ilea said and motioned for the kids to lead the way. Aurelia still didn’t seem completely sure but she did walk towards the other exit of the dark room, their torch still the only light.
“Did you hide down here during the attack?” Ilea asked a couple minutes of silence later. Without her Sphere she would’ve long lost her orientation in the complicated layout of the cellar. It was akin to a labyrinth but the kids navigated it with sure steps.
“We… we hid here often.” Aureila said but didn’t go into it further as they reached a worn down wooden door, behind it Ilea could see a bed with a man lying in it. The girl slowly opened the door and stepped inside.
“Orthan? Are you awake?” she asked and stepped closer to the bed, grabbing a towel from the small bucket on the ground. The water was dirty, even visible in the faint torch light. Samuel stayed near the door with the torch, likely to not irritate the man.
“Can I have a look?” Ilea asked, stepping a little closer to the bed. The smell of blood and sweat permeated the room, not the best sign for the man’s condition.
“He’s not awake…,” Aurelia said. Ilea stepped up and touched the man’s brow. A strong fever, that much she could’ve guessed back on Earth already. Activating her healing magic, she searched his body, finding a nasty cut near his stomach. Pus had formed on it but it looked like the girl had tried to clean it somewhat. It probably saved the man’s life.
There were other injuries and what looked like an infection or curse. Ilea mostly just pumped healing mana into herself or someone she treated but she remembered Dagon’s words. Perhaps she could learn something about her Azarinth skills as well, despite them being at the current maximum level. The infection looked dormant at least, burnt skin surrounded it.
She lifted the man’s shirt, making Aurelia look away for a second. The smell of the injury was bad but Ilea had seen much worse, on her own body none the less. Touching the injury directly, she started using her skill, grabbing the towel from the girl with her other hand. She cleaned and healed the wound slowly, focusing on getting it right. She hadn’t noticed any scars on her own body after healing but then again her Hunter Recovery seemed best suited for herself as well.
It didn’t take long and the man’s stomach looked good as new. Ilea felt like she did a good job but she wasn’t sure if simply pushing mana into him would’ve had the same result. Testing it out on any living creature seemed cruel to say the least. Perhaps on her own, should she train her Resistances again in the future.
The man stirred a little and Ilea started focusing on the infection. Opening up his worn shirt, she laid his shoulder bare and looked at it. His flesh was burnt in a circle and in the middle was something black. It moved slightly, and not in the same beat as his heart.
“Any idea what that is?” Ilea asked, pointing at the injury.
“Poison or a curse, cutting it out would be best but I wouldn’t be able to stop the bleeding afterwards.” Aurelia said.
“Are you sure?” Ilea asked, trying to affect the area with her healing magic but it didn’t seem to have an effect. It would be quite a problem should she herself get hit by something like that. Kyrian’s curse had a similar effect but not nearly as strong.
“I’m sure, I’ve seen something similar before.” the girl said and Ilea nodded. Ilea failed to wake the man, even with rather rough slapping.
“Well then let’s go. Do you want to wait outside? I don’t think this will be pleasant for him.” she asked but the girl didn’t respond.
‘Oh well, guess they’ve been through enough.’ she thought and unsheathed Aki. “Are you ok with that?” she asked the dagger, getting a confused look from Aurelia.
“I cut things, at least I can be somewhat useful for once.” the blade said, getting even bigger eyes from the girl.
“Alright.” Ilea said and carefully cut into the man’s flesh, holding his chest down with her other hand. She could see exactly how deep the curse was through her Healing spell but after a while he started thrashing. At least his legs did as Ilea easily pushed his chest down. “Hold his head.” she said to Aurelia who reacted two seconds later as Ilea continued to cut.
The man moaned in pain as she finally cut out the piece of infected flesh, putting Aki away and throwing the skin to the ground before she healed him. It was quite a rough operation, not something he likely would’ve survived without her being a healer. Still it was a success in her book as she brought the man to his maximum health again.
Nearly there, he suddenly gasped, pushing against Ilea’s hold as his eyes shot open. “Aaaah…,” he exclaimed, magic activating inside of him as his arm shot out towards Ilea, a bladed weapon of some sort at the end of it. She blinked backwards, seeing that Aurelia too stepped back.
“Orthan, Orthan! Stop it!” the girl yelled, the voice calming down the older man immediately. He looked around with a confused look, his hand shooting towards his previously cursed shoulder.
“How...h…,” he got out before a cough got to him.
“Someone came to help us…,” Aurelia said, walking up to him and grabbing the man in a hug. Ilea watched on as she started crying and Orthan calming down as he put his arms around her as well. The bladed weapon looked like bone and she watched on in fascination as it moved back into his arm. Quite gross but certainly effective storage.