Chapter 10: Raven Blood
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Carringer came to the mountainside and sat on the stone mound with the warning message, he laid his machete and hand axe flat in front of him. He opened the cloth bag containing the medicine grain and the flat glass bottle containing the blood, and sniffed it.
“Oh, raven blood,” he said, wrinkling his nose. “This is really exciting. It’s necromancy and heresy.”
Necromancers often use blood as a casting catalyst. The outside world thinks that they draw human blood, but this is not the case at all. Human blood has limited effects, and the most efficient casting catalyst is the blood of a raven or owl.
“It’s a good thing that you’ve prepared the blood very thoughtfully, or I’ll have to catch the small animals first.” Carringer thought as he divided the pills into several parts, some on the blade of the weapon, some in the palm of his left hand.
He wouldn’t cut himself to use his own blood. Definitely not.
The medicine grain meets the raven blood and melts slowly on the weapon. After the machete is dyed red, Carringer smells something wrong. The taste is not common, but it evokes something that Carringer has long forgotten. He was a little confused for a moment, before continuing to pour the blood on the medicine granules in the palm of his left hand and observed.
The drug particles are first decomposed into powder, and then completely integrated with the blood. The black and red blood color becomes lighter, the gray and white powder turns dark, and finally merges into an amber translucent liquid. From a properties’ aspect, it looks like the oil used for maintaining weapons.
Agents that come into contact with the skin emit a stronger odor. At the same time, the potions on the weapon are converted.
Carringer stood up. He looked at the solution on his palm, then shook his head to and fro and sniffed around. He remembered and recognized what the ingredients were and couldn’t help but take a deep breath. He breathed as shallow as he could, and finally took another deeper breath. Finally, he rubbed his hands together, smearing the remaining solution on his clothes.
In fact, when the neck and face are exposed, they should also be painted a little, but he decided not to. If they were applied to the head and face, he was afraid that he would be distracted by the impacts during the fight.
The smell was so strong that it took up a lot of space around him, giving him the illusion that he was wrapped in something disorientating If he had known in advance the composition of the crow’s blood and medicine granules, he might not have agreed to the plan. But it’s too late now, and it really is effective. It’s sure to attract a large number of infected creatures.
Thinking about the possible ingredients of the pill, Carringer couldn’t help swearing. He has a small reputation in the bounty hunter business; which is that he seldom used foul language. These days, vulgar mercenaries are annoying, If hunters are polite like knights, they can get more trust.
But today he couldn’t help but let out his feelings.
After that, he heard a rustle coming from the depths of the forest, the latent infectors had already smelled it.
“Rime, Rime,” Carringer said to himself, pinning the ax behind his waist, picking up the machete and dropping the scabbard, “Ai, I can’t blame you for the damn smell. If you give the medicine to the people in Black Tree Village, or to other hunters, they may not hear anything…”
After a few seconds, there was a low, dull and thunder like voice coming from all directions, and in the distance, there was a sharp and crazy scream.
“Thanks to the smell. You don’t have to confess it yourself, Rime. I already know what you are.”
As Carringer talked to himself, blood red eyes lit up in the dark trees.
Carringer made a long silver arc with a powerful wave of his machete, while dozens of monsters of different sizes jumped out of the trees and roared at him.
The sound startles the birds, causing the trees to move without wind, and the sounds of wild animals or monsters are both near and far away. People in Black Tree Village stand on the ridge of the fields and look at the forest in the distance, and could feel that something big is happening on the mountain.
In the village, more than a dozen people were sitting on the first floor of the ‘Pleasing Song Cottage’. More people gathered outside, some chatting in twos and threes, some frowning and pacing back and forth.
All the people sitting in the house were well-known in the village, such as the senior village head, Madame Marlowe, the widow of the sheriff, the resident bard, the female shopkeeper, several middle-aged people and the elders who are the same age as the village head.
A dark, fat woman said, “The elf has protected us for so many years, and now he’s dead for no reason. What’s going on in the mountains and what does that demon want to do? Shall we do nothing and wait?”
The old man in the wheelchair said, “Things are wrong. You can’t act rashly. For example, the elf used to be good, but how did he suddenly become irritable?”
The bald, middle-aged man said, “When you are older, your character will change. My mother was good when she was young, she didn’t beat or scold me. But when she was old, she quarreled with me every day.”
“That’s an elf, not your mother! In my opinion, the elf’s temper hasn’t changed. He’s better for us. You’ve all read his letters. Why is he so irascible? Isn’t it just because he’s afraid we’ll have an accident? He didn’t want us to go up the mountain for fear that a demon would kill us. If we go up the mountain without paying attention to it, will we not let him down?”
The resident poet picked up the lute and fiddled with it, “My mother is right, but I have to add something else.”
“Talk probably and don’t play the lute.”
“Well,” the poet put down his lute again. “The elf’s temper has not changed. He’s always been good to us, which is obvious. But the problem is, the elf that died was obviously not the same elf that was on the mountain hundreds of years ago.”
They whispered for a while, then looked at him. Obviously, others have also been speculating.
The poet continued, “We have all read the letter. The tone of the letter is different, even the font has changed. Some of you say that the elf has been eroded by the demon, and some say that the elf is getting older. In fact, why is it so complicated? Isn’t it very simple? Obviously there are more than one elf in the mountain. Our village has always regarded the elf as a god of nature. In fact, most elf people live in the southwest forest and Yoel Island, and few of them ever wander outside. They eat and sleep every day just like us. Elves die, too. Did you see his hand when Carringer took him out? I did. His hands are not different from ours except that they are more beautiful. There is a bump on the side of his middle finger.”
The woman shopkeeper stroked her son’s knee, a little confused, “What do you want to say?”
The poet said, “I want to say that this is not ‘the elf is dead,’ but ‘another elf is dead!’ Two elves are dead in the mountain! The last elf, who was alive a long time ago, why did we stop hearing from him all of a sudden? What do you think is the reason? Obviously because he died. After his death, the demon began to move. At this time, the elf, who loves swearing, began to contact us. Although this elf was good to us, he was always very angry and irritable. Why? Obviously because his elder or friend died and he was exhausted dealing with the demon. How could he be polite to us?”
“That makes sense…” The old man in the wheelchair stroked his beard and said, “In order to deal with the demon in the mountain, the two elves have died. Not only them, but also some people in our village have died.”
Hearing this, the woman wiped her tears and raised her head, “My husband told us when he was seriously ill that the elf’s face was very bad when he saw it. But he was still very grateful to the elf. The elf helped him with magic, otherwise he would’ve died straight away.”
The resident poet said, “Now, that elf is dead, and the bounty hunter from outside is up the mountain again. So what do we do? We’ll wait, wait for the hunter to die, and then we’ll find another hunter? “
Someone in the crowd whispered, ” The Lord will find a way…”
“If the demon keeps killing people, the Lord will have to do something about it. That’s for certain. The question is, what do we do now? Take a look at this shop. What was it like at first and what is it like now? And you -” The poet looked at the balding middle-aged man, “your daughter is a pharmacist, and your son was directly invited to the school outside to become an apprentice of a magic researcher. They both loved to read all kinds of pharmaceutical and biological illustrations from a young age. Many of them were ancient books from nearly 100 years ago, which were sent by the elf from the mountain. In a few years, if your son becomes a big mage, will you call him back to Black Tree Village? When he comes back, let him go to the mountains and protect us like the elf mage?”
There was some silence, some slowly shaking their heads and sighing, and a few whispers.
Just now the black woman said, “I don’t think it’s okay to sit there, but it’s not good to go up the mountain either. That elf is right. After all, we are not professionals. It’s meaningless to die in vain.”
“I agree,” said the poet, standing up. “Our village guards and young men should go halfway up the mountain without crossing the guard line. If you encounter monsters who want to go down the mountain, stop them.If the mountain hunter asks for help, he won’t have to run back to the village, we can go directly to help him.”
The people discussed and thought it was feasible. The old village head looked at the poet and made a gesture of ‘come here’. The poet squatted in front of him and got patted on the shoulder. The old man’s gestures are a bit awkward, but the villagers understood what he wanted to say.
So, a dozen people went out of Pleasing Song Cottage, gathered the village guards and the young people who volunteered to go up the mountain. One of the villagers who was not good at fighting also came out. It was the girl who had fainted in the mountain during her elopement. She got on the horse and set off to the city guard to meet her brother and find some more people to help.
The resident bard also joined the group. This time he brought a defensive dagger, not a lute. But when he didn’t have an instrument, he felt uncomfortable all over, so he put on a mouthpiece flute.
After the group set off, the poet thought silently as he walked: the shadow of darkness is gradually spreading, the hundred years of peace is in danger, and the sheltered people are determined not to…
He is probably trying to express ‘no more fear, but also paid attention not to add more chaos among the people.’ It’s hard to write rhetorically, and about the self-sacrificing elf and the handsome bounty hunter.
Thinking of these, the poet’s mood became more and more intense. His chest is full of something, he didn’t know whether it was the passion of creation or the courage to fight.
Although Rime had left the tower door open, Carringer did not return to rest.
Resting is a waste of time, he doesn’t need it at all.
Originally, there were many quadruped demons in the mountain forest. They were responsible for daily inspection and distribution of pacifiers. Infected bodies in the mountains will regularly take the medicine made by Rime. After eating, they will feel full and honest for a while.
Now all the idols are gone. Rime said that he would cut off the magic connection of the statues and save his energy to cast other spells. It’s probably time for the infected people to have a meal. They smelled a new delicacy, and this time the food is contaminated with raven blood,They’re almost crazy for it, and all came out.
All of Carringer’s body was covered in the potion, making him appear like a delicacy to the infected. One after another, Carringer paid special attention to their appearance. Some creatures are still in the process of transformation, whilst others have fully transformed into abyssal creatures.
The half-infected creatures were easy to handle; they are completely crazy,only knowing to bite hard and not even how to run after being cut.
When Carringer’s machete pierced the throat of a large infected body, it was still struggling along the blade, and wanted to stretch out its head and bite. Carringer had to twist the blade and swing his arm. The monster’s head flew into the trees and fell asleep.
For Carringer, the more difficult things are those that are completely infected. They’re not crazy. They know fear. They know how to run.
At first they were attracted by the smell, but when they got close to Carringer, they stopped attacking and ran away.
Because the completely infected are already abyssal creatures, or in the word that humans like; it is a lower demon. They have a new consciousness, a new mode of behavior, and when they find that the threat of the enemy is too terrible, the temptation of ‘delicious food’ is nothing.
It’s more difficult to run away than to run towards. Carringer deals with the irrational monsters behind him while chasing the fleeing lower demons into the woods. After such a long journey, the woods became quieter and fewer monsters appeared.
Carringer continued to patrol, and deliberately made noise. Wherever he walked, there was blood left by the monster. He looked up. The trees were so thick that he could not see the distant sky obscured by the forest.
Rime said that the tower door will be closed at sunset. Carringer couldn’t see the sky so he didn’t know how much time was left before sunset.
Carringer thought, just go back… Now what remains outside is not so bad,just some low-level demons who are timid, small and good at hiding. In terms of risks, they are not even as dangerous as the large, moderately infected individuals.
Even if these little things run down the mountain, trained soldiers can deal with them. As long as there are enough soldiers, there’s no need to be afraid. Be serious. There should be no problem for one person to deal with one.
But Carringer decided he couldn’t go back. He had to clean up all of them.
Carringer didn’t worry much about the Black Tree Villagers. Of course, he wanted to protect them as much as possible, but that was out of a sense of responsibility as the bounty hunter, not out of kindness. If there are a lot of deaths and injuries in Black Tree Village, it will certainly damage his professional reputation.
It was because of Rime; If he can’t kill all the infected bodies in the mountain, he’s afraid he won’t have a chance to see Rime again.
Carringer’s body was covered with black blood. He was dressed in black, but his cloak was obviously getting heavier and heavier. As soon as he pulled off his cloak and threw it away, some distant little monsters ran after it. After all, his cloak was also tainted with the smell of the potion, and far away from him, the little monsters who wanted to escape could not help but be tempted.
The cloak fell into the distant bush, causing a scream. Carringer heard it clearly; it was a human voice.
So he pushed aside the branches and leaves, jumped over the bush, and rushed over quickly. The cape fell between a stone and a warning sign formed by trees. A group of small multi legged creatures of different sizes were crawling around, and some young people dressed as militiamen were poking with them swords and spears. Some others were clinging on thick branches above and throwing stones at the monsters.
Carringer jumps over in two steps and kills the rest of the monster in a few moves. The young villagers looked at him in surprise, and he stared back at the villagers, equally surprised.He didn’t expect that these people would come up the mountain and kill some infected bodies.
Before one of the young people wanted to applaud, Carringer stopped him in time, “I don’t have time to talk to you. Now that you’re here, do me a favor.”
The young people were very excited to hear him say that, coupled with his sense of achievement in killing the monster.
Carringer picked up the cloak and cut it into small pieces with a dagger. Next, he found several fast footed militiamen and scattered pieces of the cloak to lure the enemy in several places on the cordon. The young militiamen ran to spread the news to all the troops going up the mountain.
According to Carringer’s arrangement, the monsters were ambushed near the pieces of clothes. The remaining monsters, blinded by the potion, gave priority to the clothes rather than real people. Once a monster is seen gathering, the militia would siege and kill it.
Carringer instructs them to get rid of the target and move away immediately until the next target appears. They can only act outside the warning zone or within the cordon zone, and never go into the deep mountain forest.
In this way, villagers can help him get rid of the rest of the monsters, but will not be infected by being close to the moon tower.
Carringer specially stressed that these are the elf’s last words, and they must abide by it. He is going to carry out the elf’s will and wipe out the demon.
The villagers looked solemn and vowed to honor their ancestors by following the elf’s advice.
This plan took a lot of time to set up.Carringer looked up into the sky through a crack in the tree, the original blue color had become dark. It was estimated that the golden red had climbed down the western sky.
The gate of the moon tower will be closed. He has to get back before that.
Rime asked him to leave. He agreed. But after recognizing the smell of the medicine, Carringer knew for sure that if he didn’t go back, Rime would never walk out of the Moon Tower.