Back in his room, Black Sethe never came out again.
Garen sat on his bed alone, looking over his Attribute pane. Without him realizing, his spirit, also known as Intelligence, had decreased once again from 2.4 to 2.2, by 0.2 points.
"No, the decrease should only be 0.1 isn't it?" Garen remembered the hint he had seen before.
Then, he noticed the change in the Nightmare Weakening icon.
'Nighmare Weakening 2: A superimposition in the Weakening. Permanent decrease by an average of 0.2 points every five days. Effects cannot be undone.'
He quickly stood up while switching on the light and walked to a full-length mirror.
"Trouble has come…" Garen's eyebrows were furrowed.
Previously he'd thought it was temporary but now it seemed to be permanent!
His attributes were accumulated little by little through training since he was small. Even 0.1 point needed one of his potential points. All of a sudden he lost two 0.1 points which were equivalent to two potential points!
"Is there a way to get rid of it? Black Sethe."
He muttered to the mirror using Ancient Ender language.
'Make the vow and I will tell you how to lift the curse' Black Sethe's handwriting appeared on his reflection's right shoulder.
'Let me remind you, once the third Nightmare Weakening superimposition arrives, your body will weaken once again, and more seriously. However, your vigilance is something worth commending. Only a little change and you realize it this soon. I expected that you would need two more days to notice it.'
'You need to be careful. This kind of change is irreversible. Once it's too late, even I cannot restore what you lost. That's why you must make your decision soon.'
"What kind of vow do you want me to make?" Garen asked.
'A very simple vow yet a very difficult one.' Black Sethe did not keep him in suspense. 'Pursue and kill Void Creatures until they are completely erased, no matter which world! Swear in the name of the Mother Stream!' His hatred for the Void Creatures could be felt in his handwriting.
"Is there a time limit?" Garen unexpectedly did not care about the content of this vow.
'Of course not. However, a vow in the name of Mother Stream requires you to complete it wholeheartedly. The hatred from the whole civilization will be passed on to you and you will inherit it involuntarily to kill and to pursue the existence of Void Creatures.' Black Sethe seemed quite candid about this. 'I don't want you to regret it.'
"Do I have a choice?" Garen asked.
Black Sethe was silent.
Void Creature had come for Garen and had taken a shot at him. Since this was the case, there was no need for Garen to hesitate.
"I promise you, in the name of Mother Stream, to kill Void Creatures for life until they are annihilated completely!"
Garen answered in a low voice.
'In the name of Ancient Ender. The soul of the warlocks will look out for you! They are supervisors yet also supporters. Their gazes are upon you and when it's necessary, you may summon their main body in the Mother Stream to help you in your fight.' Black Sethe replied.
"They are still alive?"
'No, those are just traces of their past imprinted in the records of the Mother Stream. However, their strong thoughts will allow them to respond to your summon. Countless heroes, former gods and us, the forty-two Demon Kings together with all those who swear to destroy the Void Creatures will respond to your summon.' Black Sethe answered solemnly. His voice was as though it gave off the feeling of a mission that spanned from the distant past.
Garen also felt an incomparably heavy pressure.
"How do I make this vow?" No matter what, he needed to solve this Nightmare Weakening curse.
'Swear with your Soul Seed. Let it vibrate.' Black Sethe's handwriting reappeared.
Garen went silent for a while.
Only then, his voice slowly sounded out.
"I swear with my Soul Seed…" Just as his voice came out, the Soul Seed in his mind vibrated, as though this sentence contained a particular meaning. Weirdly, when he said it in the language of Ancient Ender, his tone sounded as though he was singing a song.
'For eternity, pursue and kill Void Creatures, until they are exterminated.'
"For eternity, pursue and kill Void Creatures, until they are exterminated!" Garen said it out loud according to Black Sethe's handwriting.
At that instant, he could feel that something in between his eyebrows split and fly out into the air and disappeared. He did not know what that was but the sense of separation made him feel uncomfortable.
'That is True Soul.' A man's low voice sounded beside his ear.
Garen squinted his eyes, hesitation reflected on his face.
"Are you Black Sethe?" he whispered.
'Of course, you swore with your Soul Seed and in the name of Mother Stream. Ancient Ender language has the ability to resonate with the universe and is one of the most mysterious languages. So, your oath succeeded. A bit of your True Soul separated and returned to the Mother Stream. It became a trace that is imprinted in the Mother Stream.' Black Sethe said, 'This way, my imprint is able to communicate with your imprint directly through the Mother Stream, achieving a phenomenon as though I am talking to you directly.'
'This way, when you returned to the Mother River in the future, the future generation can also summon your main body through your imprint.'
"Will this affect me?" Garen frowned.
'Not much of an influence. This is only a sign that you are part of our inheritance. The Ancient Ender and the Ancient Warlocks are different. We believe in the Eternal Mother Stream, the mysterious and unchanging Underworld. Therefore, you are now a true successor.' Black Sethe's deep hoarse voice contained a certain charm.
"Is there any meaning to all this?" Garen was puzzled.
'Of course, there is a meaning.'
Black Sethe suddenly fell silent.
Suddenly, Garen found that all over his body, there were strands of black smoke gathering and condensing behind him.
Very quickly, the black smoke formed an obscure dark figure.
The figure was over two meters tall, taller than him, His body was made of smoke with only two red eyes in its head.
'In the name of Mother Stream, you are now granted a new destiny, Void Pursuer.'
Black Sethe used his alluring voice to say out this sentence.
In that instant, Garen felt that his body had become heavy. He felt as though he was wearing armor yet he could not felt anything at the same time.
He felt his skin burning, as though something with a rough surface was chafing his skin.
'Within five days, find and kill the Void Creature that cursed you and your weakening will be eliminated. This also serves as your trial.' Black Sethe said.
"What's the use? I mean this Void Pursuer identity." Garen moved his body, feeling no changes.
'Without this identity, you will not be able to get rid of your weakening even if you kill the Void Creature. This is a kind of soul illness, a soul disease.'
After Black Sethe finished talking, his body dissipated and turned into a clump of black gas floating in the air.
'You have awakened me and practiced my Secret Techniques. To a certain extent, you can summon my imprint in the Mother Stream easily. That is if you want to.
His voice was coming from the ball of black gas.
"We'll talk about it later." Garen did not give a direct response. "This means you will work with me in the future?"
'If you're willing.'
The ball of black gas condensed into a black ring. The surface was inlaid with two red lines made with red jewels.
The ring floated in front of Garen. He caught the ring and wore it on his left hand's middle finger.
'I can help you guard against the Void Creature's attacks to a certain extent and when you summon my imprint, the cost will be lower.'
"What is the cost of summoning?"
'It can be anything, Mother Stream is not picky as long as there is the energy of life. But you have to be careful not to overdo it because it may consume your lifespan, not the lifespan belonging to your flesh body but your soul's lifespan.' Black Sethe reminded him. 'After this, I will impart you the key to deal with Void Creatures. There is no need to hurry, the creature will come for you soon, I will help at that time…'
The voice faded away.
Garen stood in front of the full-length mirror while rubbing the black ring on his finger.
He suspected that Black Sethe was still concealing something. In the beginning, Black Sethe was planning to take over his body but was ultimately defeated. Now, he came out to help him on his own volition without seeking anything in return. This made him even more wary.
However, the attack of the Void Creatures was imminent and he had to resort to using his power.
"No hurry, I'll deal with it when it comes. Any attempt will reveal itself." Garen looked forward to even more Potential points. As long as there were sufficient Potential points, he would be able to get stronger and reached an extreme point where it might be possible to find the key to deal with Void Creatures.
He glanced at his Attribute Pane.
At the bottom, a new title called Void Pursuer was there.
'Void Pursuer: Successor of Ancient Ender, the mortal enemy of Void Creatures. Has the ability to heal and become stronger through plundering the core of Void Creatures. It is an ability granted by the mysterious Ancient Ender.'
"Arisa, please hand me my towel."
Isaros shouted from the bathroom.
"Alright." Arisa put down the fashion magazine in her hand, got up from her bed and ran over to the bathroom on the other end of the living room.
Grabbing her sister's white towel, she went exited the bathroom and instinctively glanced at the front door. There was a faint fishy odor.
"What's that smell?" She whispered. Slowing down her pace, she crept over to the front door.
Suddenly, she saw some sort of red liquid flowing in through the gap in the door.
"This is…" She squatted down to touch the liquid with her hand and sniffed.
"It's blood!" She exclaimed.