In a sense, Baptiste had died eight centuries ago. He died when he first transformed his life form. Now what everyone saw was just an alchemy-magic core covered in a skin made of ashes and stuffed with an obsession that he was unaware.
Baptiste was still cagey. He was not as naive and harmless as those who lost their memories. Before Baptiste ended up in this condition, he had foreseen he would be the public's number one enemy. Therefore, he planted a series of combat instinct and distrust of strangers in his magic core, so that in the event he lost his memory, he would not easily fall into enemy's hand, especially the demon hunters. However, the implanted features had its limitations; he still could not hide from the more observant eyes.
Turcan and Kassandra came up to Baptiste and asked him again about himself. Baptiste still replied albeit muddlingly. The loss of memory had taken a toll on his resistive instinct though he always resented Turcan and Kassandra instinctively.
"He thinks he is an apprentice wizard," Kassandra said, making sure Hessiana hear the word apprentice. " He had only sporadic memory of himself as a human and forgotten everything about his eight-hundred-year life after turning into this strange creature. He doesn't even remember where Domir is except that he learned magic from the witch and shared their experiences.
"Beatrice must be the witch," Hessiana said as she rubbed her forehead with her fingers instinctively. "Looks like when Beatrice fell into Inferno, Baptiste was just an apprentice. No wonder there is such a severe side effect to his modification. He must have gone off half-cocked. What else have you got?"
"Not much else. Baptiste doesn't seem to remember what he has done." Kassandra shook her head apologetically. "But he does know that what he did was not good. Probably it's the remnant of his memory."
Hao Ren bent down in front of Baptiste and stared into his eyes. "Do you know what the King of Blood summoning ritual is about?"
"The King of Blood?" Baptiste repeated the word. "What is that?" He seemed confused.
Hao Ren pursed his mouth in disappointment. When he was about to get to his feet, Baptiste reached out his finger and drew a magic circle on the ground and recited, "Two persons are required to perform the ritual, use a magic book, and place bat teeth in these corners and..."
Hao Ren was wide-eyed. "Didn't you say that you don't know?"
"I don't know what it is." Baptiste frowned. "But isn't this what you asked me about?"
Vivian patted on Hao Ren's shoulder. "He had engraved the wizardry knowledge in his body, so even if he has lost his memory, he could still find ways to open the gate to Inferno. However, I'm afraid that he wouldn't be able to tell you how he came out with the summoning ritual."
Hao Ren stared at Baptiste for a while, and then got back to his feet and exhaled. "Take him to Beatrice's tomb," he said.
Two tribal warriors escorted Baptiste to the temple inside the Pillar of Eternity. They stopped in front of the tomb of the saintesses. Hao Ren took Baptiste to the grave of Beatrice and pointed at the pile of stones. "She is one you are looking for."
Baptiste bent down slowly in front of the grave and reached out his hand to touch the strange text on the headstone, looking confused. He did not have a particular feeling toward the cemetery, because he could not remember she was the one whom he was searching. Slowly, an inexplicable sense of peace rising within him as if he had finished his mission. He let out a long sigh.
The confused, bizarre, mysterious, elusive wizard sat down in front of the grave as a black flame began to ignite and consume his body, but he seemed to be unaware. Very quickly, the black flame reduced him into a pile of ash while everyone watched. It was the last time they saw Baptiste, he never returned.
Suddenly, there was a thud. A solid, ugly obsidian object resembling a human heart engraved with runes and magic circles was rolling out of Baptiste's ash. This solid piece of obsidian was the heart of the wizard. The black flame that consumed Baptiste was heatless; so the obsidian heart was cold, just like the headstone of Beatrice.
Lily pulled Hao Ren by his sleeve and whispered, "Is he dead this time?"
"I guess so," Hao Ren said as he stepped forward to pick up the cold obsidian heart. He could not believe that Baptiste had been relying on the obsidian and surviving for eight centuries. He looked at Gezer and Bonia. "I know it sounds uncustomary, but could you please place this heart into Beatrice's grave?"
Vivian also said, "This is what I mean it to be."
Gezer immediately bowed at Vivian. "As your wish."
Bonia and several tribal warriors came up to open up Beatrice's tomb. She untied a small pouch from her waist, from which she took some strange green powder out and sprinkled it in the air before reciting a prayer of solace. The green powder glowed like fireflies and slowly gathered on the headstone until it thoroughly covered Beatrice's name. After Bonia completed the ritual, only the tribal warriors began to remove the massive stones that covered Beatrice tomb. It was the customary ritual people of this world performed before opening up the tomb of the dead.
The burial method in this world was straightforward. Whether it was a commoner, saintess, or elder, their tombs were always a pile of stones. Soon, the warriors had removed the rocks, revealing the dark grave below. After hundreds of years, the witch's body and her coffin had decomposed entirely, leaving only white bones and other remnants in the cemetery. The tribal warriors made a prayer of solace in a whisper. When they finished, Bonia tossed Baptiste's obsidian heart into the grave. Just when they were about to close the tomb, Vivian suddenly saw something in the grave in her peripheral vision.
"Wait a second! There seems to be something down there."
Vivian summoned a few tiny bats to remove the stones and white bones in the grave and came back out with a strange blood-red crystal.
Vivian took the crystal from the mouth of the bat and checked it carefully. It felt a little familiar. Nangong Wuyue, who was beside, asked curiously, "What is this?"
"Looks like a piece of jewelry that the witch wore," Bonia whispered. "I saw it in ancient books; the witch always wore a red-crystal pendant from which she obtained her magic power to heal the people. Unfortunately, she couldn't heal herself."
"Pendant? This crystal looks familiar..." Vivian's brow knit together as she rummaged through her memory trying to recall something. Suddenly, she felt a vitality that was about to dissipate from the crystal. Her eyes brightened up. "Ahh! Now I remembered it! The same thing was in the box that Pavel gave me!"
Pavel was one of Vivian's servants who kept the items, including diaries and a red, strange crystal that Vivian handed over to him before she hibernated a few hundred years ago.
No one knew what the crystal was at that time. Vivian who had been carrying the crystal with her for some time but found it was nothing special. So, she handed it to Hao Ren because she thought Hao Ren's dimensional pocket would be a better safety box.
Now, Hao Ren quickly took the crystal out from his dimensional pocket and compared it with the crystal taken out from Beatrice's grave. It turned out that both crystals were made of identical materials though they were different in shape and size,
"This crystal should be mine..." Vivian looked at the grave of Beatrice with surprise. "Do I know this witch named Beatrice?"