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Lord of Mysteries 2: Circle of Inevitability

Sequel to Lord of Mysteries

Cuttlefish That Loves Diving · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
889 Chs

Underground

Translator: CKtalon

They? Lumian couldn't hide his surprise at Reimund's response.

He had assumed that Reimund had drowned in the river of his 'own accord,' becoming a sacrifice to some unknown entity. But now, it seemed there were others involved. It wasn't just an unseen force that had pulled Reimund into the depths.

"Who are they?" Aurore demanded.

Reimund's face contorted with pain and fury. His eyes burned with hatred. He spat the words, "Pons Bénet, Pons Bénet and his men!

"They held me down in the water!"

After Ava and the others had left the riverbank, Pons Bénet and his thugs appeared where Reimund had washed ashore. They forced him back into the water, drowning him to turn him into a sacrifice? Lumian pieced together the scenario from Reimund's words.

The entire Lent celebration had been twisted into a dark, sacrificial ritual!

Aurore pressed for more information, but Reimund only repeated the same few phrases, as if they were all that remained of his memory.

Damn, we missed the best time for spirit channeling. All we have left is this lingering obsession… Aurore thought for a moment, formulating a question that Reimund might or might not recall.

"Did they sacrifice you to a specific being?

"What's so special about Him? Where is He?"

This time, Aurore was more cautious. She didn't ask for the full name, only seeking indirect information to aid her judgment.

She believed that if Reimund's spirit had sensed anything during the sacrifice, it would have left a strong impression. Otherwise, it wouldn't.

Reimund hesitated, tears welling up in his ghostly eyes, turning the corners red.

Lumian's expression darkened. Unconsciously, he began clenching his fists.

Suddenly, Reimund cried out, "Underground! Beneath the cathedral!"

What? Aurore could hardly believe her ears.

Based on her question, Reimund was implying that the secret entity he had been sacrificed to resided beneath the cathedral!

That's impossible. It's the Fifth Epoch. How can a god walk the land? Aurore composed herself, considering that Reimund's spirit retained only a fragment of his obsession and some spirituality. His answers were disjointed and fixated on certain points. In other words, his testimony might not actually confirm the being's location beneath the cathedral. It could simply be a reaction to her prompting.

But regardless of whether Reimund's answer was true or a reflection of his obsession, something was amiss beneath the cathedral. It held the key to the sacrificial ritual!

Aurore could only hope that the secrets hidden there wouldn't prove too horrifying or outlandish.

She tried asking about other matters, but Reimund's spirit could only repeat phrases like "they drowned me," "Pons Bénet," and "beneath the cathedral."

Seeing no further gains, Aurore ended the spirit channeling and watched as Reimund's form vanished above the candle flame. The blue hue that had stained the altar swiftly receded.

After dispelling the wall of spirituality, she noticed Lumian lost in thought, silent.

"Wh-what are you thinking about?" Aurore waved her hand in front of her brother's eyes.

The corners of Lumian's mouth curled up as he forced a smile.

"I regret not hitting Pons Bénet harder yesterday."

He had kneed Pons Bénet, causing him considerable pain, but he had held back, not wanting to escalate the conflict with the padre and his allies before the twelfth night. He had rationally restrained himself, not crippling Pons Bénet outright.

"There'll be a chance," Aurore reassured him.

Lumian nodded and chuckled.

"Actually, we've been overlooking something. Before Lent, we're not the only ones afraid of escalating the conflict. The padre and his goons are too. They're not ready, and they haven't started the ritual."

In other words, if Lumian had truly wanted Pons Bénet to suffer irreversible harm, the padre would likely only feign retribution and avoid any real action.

They would bide their time until Lent. Regardless of whether Lumian had offended them or not, once the Lent celebration "began," everyone in the village would be in their sights.

Aurore understood Lumian's point and nodded slightly.

"You can decide how to exact revenge on Pons Bénet.

"What we need to focus on now is how we can survive until the twelfth night after the padre and his cronies gain immense power during Lent."

Lumian immediately sank into deep contemplation.

Aurore shared her thoughts.

"We have two options. We either join forces with the three foreigners, or we find a way to strengthen ourselves."

She hesitated for a moment before continuing, "If we can confirm that Madame Pualis has no connection to the loop and is trapped here like us, we might even cooperate with her."

"Huh?" Lumian was taken aback.

Madame Pualis was a terrifying and malevolent Beyonder!

Aurore sighed and said, "A philosopher from my homeland once said that balance is needed between principal and secondary contradictions. We must unite all possible forces.

"Yes, there's definitely something off about the cathedral's underground. It might hold crucial clues. We have to investigate it before Lent, as we may not get another opportunity."

From Aurore's knowledge, most of the cathedrals in this world had underground chambers. Some stored Sealed Artifacts, while others served as burial sites for important figures. Although Cordu's cathedral didn't contain Sealed Artifacts or notable people to be buried, it still featured a large basement when constructed.

"Alright," Lumian agreed. "I'll talk to the three foreigners tomorrow."

He then brought up Reimund's condition.

"Why can he only say those few words? Was the spirit not summoned properly?"

Aurore sighed again.

"There's a critical period for mediumship. Within an hour of death.

"After an hour, the spirit of the deceased rapidly dissipates, losing their original memories. All that remains are some thoughts, emotions, and images they can't let go. In the technical terms of our homeland, it's called obsession."

Lumian nodded slightly.

"When the next cycle starts, we'll summon Reimund from the beginning. Does that count as an hour of death?

"But wait; why does Reimund remember the last, last cycle?"

Only then did he recognize the issue. After the cycle reset, shouldn't Reimund forget about drowning?

Aurore was stumped. Combining her thoughts from the ritual, she pondered and said, "I believe it counts. It's not Lent yet. According to the timeline, Reimund hasn't drowned, so he shouldn't know the murderer's identity. However, because he lost his body, he can only exist as a spirit. It's similar to death. There will be lingering obsessions. Thus, the person we summoned just now remembers certain events from the previous, previous cycle.

"In simpler terms, Reimund's state has become unique due to his body's loss. He retains a certain amount of memories when the cycle resets!

"Heh, it's like a glitch."

The loop created a tiny error because Reimund's body was sacrificed? Lumian roughly understood his sister's explanation.

Aurore chuckled and added, "It seems that the power allowing us to loop is very mechanical and rigid. It probably isn't under the original owner's control and operates autonomously. Otherwise, it could easily target Reimund's spirit."

At this point, she appeared to relax somewhat.

"Haha, in that case, we still have a chance to break the cycle."

Influenced by his sister's emotions, Lumian's somber mood lifted slightly.

After all their efforts, they finally saw a glimmer of hope.

The two of them cleaned up the altar and moved to the second-floor study. Aurore taught Lumian Hermes and ancient Hermes, word by word, based on the disordered and incorrect ritual he had written.

Lumian had already learned some words, so his progress was promising.

Under the bright electric lamp, Aurore explained the pronunciation and structure of the words to her brother. While he revised, she used musk, cloves, blood, and other materials to create candles.

As Lumian studied intently, he occasionally glanced at his sister working beside him, feeling as if he had returned to their warm life—free from loops or malevolent gods.

Outside the window, the night was tranquil.

...

Lumian woke up to find himself in his misty room.

As he got out of bed, he walked over to the table and grabbed a pen and paper. He then wrote down the ancient Hermes and Hermes words, but in the wrong order. He then corrected them by labeling each with a number.

After finishing, Lumian let out a sigh of relief and looked over to the table.

There were four items there, the two grayish-white musk candles made by Aurore (one with Lumian's blood, and the other without), the bottle of gray amber perfume, the metal bottle containing tulip powder, and the silver dagger provided by Aurore.

That lady really sent them in… Lumian's heart calmed down when he saw the items.

Lumian grabbed the items and looked for Aurore's homemade incense. When he found it, he went downstairs and placed everything on the dining table. Then, he went to the kitchen to grab a glass of water and a pile of coarse salt.

The materials for the ritual were now prepared.

Before falling asleep, Aurore was worried that Lumian didn't have the corresponding symbol to pray for the boon. This would prevent him from burning the items on the replica goatskin to inform the target deity of his desires. However, since the mysterious lady didn't mention it, there was probably no need for it. After all, it was essentially praying to the power in Lumian's body. It could 'hear' all the prayers without any additional 'paperwork.'

Lumian took a deep breath and slowly exhaled as he looked at the items on the dining table.

Without wasting a moment, Lumian placed one of the grayish-white musk candles, the one with his own blood, at the top of the altar, representing the deity. He placed the other candle in front of him.

Following the order of god before man, Lumian lit the candle by sparking his spirituality. He wasn't an expert at sanctifying the ritual's silver dagger or creating a wall of spirituality.

As Lumian's spirituality flowed out from the tip of the silver dagger and connected with the air around him, he felt a mystical sensation that he couldn't explain.

Soon, the wall of spirituality was complete, and Lumian's own spirituality was significantly depleted.

He cleared his mind using Aurore's homemade incense and Cogitation, allowing him to enter a state where he could perform the ritualistic magic.

With a sizzling sound, Lumian dripped the gray amber perfume and tulip powder onto the candle that represented the deity. A strange fragrance filled the air, and Lumian felt a magical energy pulsing around him.

Lumian took a step back, glancing at the small notebook beside the altar. He looked at the burning candle and shouted in ancient Hermes, "Power of Inevitability!"