Takuma exited the general shop and in the process made a vow to return later in the day. He wanted to do a few tests before committing to helping Dot with her curse problem. He decided to first visit the Tavern. Though he hadn’t actually felt the need to eat or drink, he decided it best to get some food -- just in case.
It took him roughly five minute’s walk from Dot’s General Shop to the city tavern, Wyvern’s. Wyvern’s resembled any other old pub on the outside, but the inside was a bit different. The instant Takuma entered he noticed several tables filled with groups of adventurers. Rather than drinking and making merry, most seemed embroiled in their own affairs.
Busy holding strategy meetings, if Takuma had to guess. Early in the morning it was the best time to decide the day’s schedule. This was something Takuma had done hundreds of times himself throughout his previous reincarnations.
There was often a great deal more to adventuring than traipsing into unknown zones. After all, lack of knowledge was a surefire way to die quickly. Wise party leaders would discuss the area, potential pitfalls, enemies and even escape plans, the fools would simply die. Takuma had to admit, this sight pleased him.
He’d visited far too many worlds where people didn’t take things seriously, it was nice to see some responsible partnership for a change.
“Excuse me.” A masculine, older voice said.
Takuma walked towards the counter near the center of the establishment.
“Excuse me, lad. You’re a healer? Right?” The same voice said once more. Takuma finally realized someone was speaking to him.
“Me? Oh, no--sorry. I’m not a healer.” He said as he turned to face a group of adventurers at a nearby table. The man speaking was in his mid thirties, dark brown hair, tanned skin and a long scar along his cheek. His chiseled facial features were accentuated by a thick beard along his rugged jawline.
“Oh? Really? You’re dressed like one. My apologies mate. What’s your class? We’re looking for a sixth and we might be able to use you.” The man speaking seemed like a typical melee fighter. He had a rather large broadsword leaning against the table , nearly as long as Takuma’s body in fact. With the right technique and force Takuma imagined it would be easy for him to cleave a person in two, if he so desired. He was adorned in heavy iron armor and this further suggested that he was a front line battler.
“I’m a Relic Meister.” Takuma replied.
“A Relic Meister? I’ve.. never heard of that class before. What’s your skill set -- if you don’t mind me asking.” The man said as he continued his line of questioning.
“I’m somewhat of a specialist class. Curse removal is my ability and all my skills are related to handling curses.” Takuma replied. He preferred to keep it short and to the point, after all he didn’t plan on partying up, there was no practical use for it at the moment -- and therefore no need to waste time.
“Hmm. Actually,” The man continued as he placed his hand into his waist pouch and placed a dagger on the table. Takuma’s eyes immediately widened as he saw the blade.
Bloodletter (Quality : 101) [Cursed Rank 5] [Armament] - A blade created to promote the loss of blood in your adversary. Bless Chance : 45%
Curse Effect: Consumption - Sacrifice health periodically to sharpen the blade and raise it’s attack capability.
Curse Duration: Periodic (Every 30 seconds)
Mana Rewarded: 1,200
Experience Rewarded: 250
Secondary Effect : Absorb Iron - Absorb the iron in blood to repair and sharpen the blade.
“Where did you get this?” Takuma asked as he stepped closer to the weapon. He could see small particles of red miasma emanating from the weapon.
“I got it off a traveller. They claimed it was cursed and happy to be rid of it.” The dark haired man said. His companions had now stopped chatting amongst themselves and turned their attention towards the conversation.
“This weapon is extremely dangerous.” Takuma replied as he examined the blade. It wasn’t just the miasma that was red in color, the blade itself had a crimson colored tint.
“I wouldn’t use this weapon if you value your life.” Takuma added as he then turned to continue towards the counter.
“Is it possible that you can get rid of the curse? It’s a fine blade, beautiful. I’ll pay you. Two golds.” The man asked, prompting Takuma to turn around.
“The amount of mana required to purify the weapon is around 1,200. I easily have that much.” Takuma thought to himself. He would recover the mana he spent so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem--in theory. He glanced around at the party of five. By the looks of things two front line fighters, an archer and perhaps a support type magician. All of them were wearing gear which seemed to be in great condition.
“This dagger could damage me in the process, perhaps even claim my life. If you want it purified, make it four gold.” Takuma replied.
The man smiled, then reached into his coin purse and pulled out four gold coins.
“I’m Griff. Your name, Relic Meister?” He asked with a hearty smile. It seemed Griff respected a bit of bargaining.
“Takuma.” He replied as he glanced down at the dagger. He wasn’t entirely sure how much four gold coins would buy, but it was common sense to haggle over price when he was assuming all of the risk, right?
Takuma took a deep breath and tried to relax, after all he’d taken on a rank four curse with the Goddess Amulet, he wondered just how severe a curse that is just one level higher would be. He had a great deal of questions as he gazed at the dagger, mostly about the nature of curses.
The amount of experience to be rewarded was significantly less although the curse level was higher. Did it mean this curse would be easier to deal with? By contrast, the amount of mana was comparable -- but still lower than the Goddess Amulet. Takuma wondered if this had anything to do with the curse itself rather than the object. If that was the case there was less cause for concern but…
“You all may want to stay on your guard-- just in case. And, if you see red mist fill the air don’t breathe it in-- it’s poisonous.” Takuma added as he rolled up his right sleeve and grabbed the dagger from the table.
Somehow the hustle and bustle of the tavern had died down and Takuma could feel tons of eyes on him but that didn’t change what needed to be done. “No risk, no reward.” He thought to himself.
“Do you wish to equip the Bloodletter[Cursed] ? Y/N”
Takuma chose yes and watched as the weapon’s aura flared, an ominous red energy consuming it in the process. Even Griff, who half expected Takuma to be full of it, was surprised. This suggested that even if he couldn’t see the aura he definitely sensed it. The same familiar oppressive feeling settled over Takuma, this time it felt more potent -- heavier. It was almost as if the cursed weapon had begun to steal ambient light from the room.
Unlike before the physical sensation that filled Takuma was like fire. He couldn’t loosen his grip, even if he tried, and the heat flowed through his fingers and up his forearm until it was all he could do to keep from screaming. He gritted his teeth and clenched the dagger tightly as he began to activate his purification skill.
“Partial Purification! Partial Purification! Partial Purification, Partial Purification!” Takuma shouted in repeated succession. The white energy flared up and began to do battle with that of the red aura as the spells cast in repeated succession. He’d learned from his experience with the Goddess Amulet and if possible he wanted to get rid of the curse before it’s effects could take hold. Unfortunately this was impossible, for as the final spell took hold Takuma felt a piercing pain shoot through his fist. Long, talon-like spikes pierced his gripped hand from all directions as the curse’s final surprise came into effect.
The nearby adventurers grimaced at the spurt of sudden blood, confusion filling their faces for a moment and finally their expression changed to awe. Everyone in the tavern watched as a thick red aura of energy enveloped the Bloodletter and seeped upwards into the air. Griff was the only one near who reacted by covering his mouth -- the others nearby began to cough as the plumes of miasma filled their nostrils and throat.
“Dammit!” Takuma grunted as the pain seared through his clenched hand. Due to the way the spikes pierced him he could no longer release his grip and even if he wanted to a cursed relic couldn’t be unequipped until purification was complete.
He gritted his teeth and took several deep breaths, all in all the attack had only taken fifteen vitality points, but that was still over an eighth of his health! If the weapon inflicted that kind of damage regularly he’d die in just minutes -- completely dwarfing his regenerative capabilities.
This confirmed it for Takuma, the higher a relic’s curse rank the more deadly it was. In just a few short seconds the purification energy consumed all the miasma and Takuma felt the teeth of the blade retract and disappear. The entire ordeal only lasted about fifteen seconds but for the one pierced it felt much longer. He dropped the weapon on the ground, nursing his hand as the final essence of red energy completely disappeared from the blade. Several of the blade’s talons managed to skewer Takuma completely and though the wounds were already beginning to heal, it was a struggle to focus on anything but pain at this point.
“Holy shit!” Griff bellowed as he waved his free hand around, attempting to push away any lingering miasma.
“It was really cursed! I thought… I thought…” Griff said, suddenly growing quiet.
“It seems we owe the lass an apology.” He finally replied as he gazed around the table at the rest of his allies. Half of them were still trying to cough up the miasma they’d inhaled while the rest looked as if they’d just seen a ghost.
“Here. I’m sorry about your hand mate. This is so you can go get it looked at.” Griff said as he placed an additional two gold coins on the table. Takuma reached down and picked up the blade, examining it briefly.
Bloodletter (Quality : 101) [Blessed Rank 2] [Armament] - A blade created to promote the loss of blood in your adversary.
Blessing Effect: Blood Reach - When soaked in blood, the blade will extend 6 centimeters for a short period of time.
Secondary Effect : Absorb Iron - Absorb the iron in blood to repair and sharpen the blade.
“It’s good to go now. You shouldn’t have any problems. Also..this item is now blessed. It could be very rare. Do you want me to tell you about it’s abilities?” Takuma asked as he wiped his blood from the hilt of the blade then held the dagger out to Griff.
“Please. Please do.” Griff seemed genuinely sincere, almost apologetic as he accepted the weapon back. Takuma was sure Griff had done this as a sort of test, but he also sensed that Griff never expected things to spiral out of control like this. Takuma could relate to that feeling as he thought back to a certain lightning strike.
“No way.” Griff said as he glanced down at the red bladed dagger.
“You’re telling me the length of the blade will increase when it’s exposed to blood? That’s...insane.” Griff’s mind seemed blown and simultaneously he seemed anxious to try the weapon out. For a moment it seemed as if Griff thought of asking for a few drops of blood but as his eyes met with Takuma’s Griff reconsidered such a foolish idea.
“Yes.” Takuma said as he held his hand above his head so that it wouldn’t bleed unnecessarily. (And also in case Griff got any strange ideas. ) He’d managed to stop the bleeding by wrapping his cloth belt around his hand, but that didn’t make the throbbing holes in his hand less painful.
It would be a few minutes more before Takuma and the group of adventurers, led by Griff, parted ways. Finally he made his way over to the bar and asked if there was a restroom. The words left his mouth before he could think twice and predictably the bartender gave him a confused look.
“Ah.. damn I forgot.” Takuma whispered to himself.
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- Fantasy Writer
I've been on the fence for a while about creating a profile here. With that said, I obviously gave it a try! My genre of preference is fantasy. Within that genre I like to explore 'Isekai','System', 'LitRPG' , 'Horror', 'Magic' and 'High Fantasy' sub genres usually -- preferably a mix of one or more sub genres at any given time.
My focus is story telling as a priority and I like focusing on unique ideas or original spins on popular concepts.