Chapter 388 - Holy Stone
Nie Yan felt his emotions stir. Even though he had experienced a myriad of things in his past life, it was impossible to remain indifferent in this moment. A sympathetic expression surfaced on his face as he continued to listen in silence.
“I left the castle to drown my remorse in drink. I wanted to say, ‘Ina, I was wrong… Please, forgive me. I’m willing to repent with this worthless life of mine!’ But by the time I came home, I saw her motionless body hanging under a beam, as though she were fast asleep. I vividly remember the look on her pale and lifeless face, the tear stains that had yet to dry... She took her own life as a way of silently denouncing me! Why? Ina! Why couldn’t you just wait for me to come back home! We still have Nia! We still have our family! But no matter how much I shouted, Ina didn’t wake up, carrying her grief along with her as she left this world. Oh, God! How do I redeem myself!? At that moment, I felt a gentle tug on my sleeve. It was Nia. She asked, ‘Daddy, is mommy asleep…?’” Earl Kelfield’s face was full of anguish as he broke down and sobbed with bitter tears.
Nie Yan’s heart ached as he stared at the Earl’s mournful and decepit figure. If he had known earlier, he wouldn’t have asked this old man to relive such painful memories.
“It wasn’t much later, days maybe, when Patience came to me with a blood-soaked dagger. That mad woman! What did she do? I rushed out of the room, and to my horror I found Nia lying on the floor, the life rapidly draining from her body. I felt a light touch on my shoulder as Patience whispered into my ear, ‘From now on, no one will get between us ever again! We can finally be together! You can bear my child, start a new family!’ That woman, she had already lost her mind. She had committed such a cruel and savage act! In my rage, I turned the dagger on her. That vile woman!” The Earl trembled in anger before weakly slumping back into his chair. “I did everything I could. But in the end, Nia left me as well. She was a pitiful and guiltless child! It was only many years later that I realized there was no righting any wrongs the moment I crossed that line. I destroyed everything I loved and cared for with my own hands. This is my sin to bear. Ever since then, I’ve been all alone in this world, destined to live on with this pain and guilt.”
Earl Kelfield’s words resonated deeply with Nie Yan. Every person had their own demons. You would stray further and further away once you crossed a certain line, making one mistake after another before ultimately living a life full of regret.
“Why didn’t you abandon the castle? Leave this place behind and start your life anew?” Nie Yan asked. He had just unearthed a clue.
“Both Ina and Nia are buried in the garden. I want to guard their graves,” Earl Kelfield replied. “Beyond that, a cloaked stranger visited my residence one night. I was handed an item, then told if I handed it over to a certain person, my sins would be forgiven and the curse placed on this castle would be lifted. I tried to ask who but received no reply. I’ve waited for over 30 years, though it’s felt more like a thousand, for this person to show up. Then, today you arrived.” The Earl fished around in his pocket with his wrinkled hand before taking out a curious-looking stone. It was pure white, shaped like a tooth, and roughly the size of a thumb. “This is the item I was entrusted with. Take it. I’m sure it will help you find what you’re looking for.”
Nie Yan reached out his hand and accepted the stone. It was translucent like jade and emitted a soft, gentle radiance that soothed the heart.
Nie Yan examined the stone.Holy Stone (Quest Item)
“Earl Kelfield, thank you for sharing your story with me,” Nie Yan said. It was time for him to move on with his quest.
The Glimpse of Darkness was a prerequisite for triggering this quest. The Holy Stone would lead him to more clues!
Earl Kelfield broke into a relieved smile. “With the item delivered, my mission is complete. I have no more attachments to this world. Adventurer, may you journey forth with courage and conviction.”
Nie Yan could feel Earl Kelfield’s life gradually leaving his body after he handed over the Holy Stone. His condition rapidly deteriorated.
Breckon and Bernard started shedding tears as grief filled their faces. They knew the Earl was not long for this world.
The light in the Earl’s eyes dimmed. “I can hear my family calling to me. Friends, do not grieve my passing for my sins are absolved. I can finally be at peace. I will exit like a gentle breeze. May the light shine upon the world, and you all live without regrets.”
Earl Kelfield’s body melted into motes of light as his spirit floated and flew out the window.
Following the disappearance of the Earl, all that remained in his chair was a dusty old book.
Nie Yan picked it up and flipped through the pages. It was a prayer book. Over the last several decades, Earl Kelfield had constantly recited the litanies inside to atone for his sins.
This book was written in the Ancient Common Language. Written on the cover in a large bold font was Holy Prayers.
It was just an ordinary book. Suddenly, a small necklace with a sapphire pendant fell out between the pages. It looked quite beautiful. Some words were engraved on the back of the pendant.
「 May the Repentant receive the salvation of the Light.
May everyone obtain happiness.」
Nie Yan examined the necklace.Necklace of Holy Radiance (Dark Gold)
Requirements: 30 Focus
Properties: Health +500, Holy Magic Skill Level +1
Restrictions: Holy Mage
Seeing the Holy Magic Skill Level +1, Nie Yan’s mind trembled. This Necklace of Holy Radiance was definitely more valuable than ordinary Sub Legendary-grade equipment. Many properties in equipment were randomized. The chance of the All Skill Level +1 property appearing was next to zero.
Since the necklace was a Holy Mage item, Nie Yan planned to give it to Xie Yao.
Xie Yao’s gear was practically unrivalled in Asskickers United. With unsurpassed strength and beauty, she became one of the goddesses in the guild. The most beautiful girls in the guild were Xie Yao, One Strike Vow, Painted Muslin, Moon Child, and Blue Feather. Each had their own merits, and it was hard to decide who took the crown.
Thinking about Xie Yao, Nie Yan felt his heart stir.
Nie Yan tossed the Necklace of Holy Radiance into his bag. It was about time for him to get going. He wondered where this quest would lead him next.
Suddenly, Nie Yan felt the Holy Stone in his bag vibrate. He quickly took it out and activated Search as a marker appeared in the middle of his map. A piece of the Tyrant Abak Set was nearby!
“Bernard, Breckon, can you show me around the castle?” Nie Yan asked. He wasn’t familiar with the layout, so having them lead him around would definitely save him a lot of work.
“It’d be our honour, Sir Devil Slayer.” Bernard replied. “Follow me.”
Breckon and Bernard started showing him around. Nie Yan could feel the reaction of the Holy Stone growing stronger the deeper they went inside the castle. When they arrived at an intersection, he looked down the hallway and saw a long corridor with many rooms on both sides. The walls and doors looked poorly maintained, and the floor was covered in a layer of dust. It was evident this place hadn’t been visited by people in a long time. Even stranger was the fact that the area was sealed off by a metal fence.
Just as Bernard was about to bring him elsewhere, Nie Yan stopped and asked, “Why can’t we go there?”
“It’s the cursed corridor. Two servants died horrible deaths there. That’s why the Earl sealed it off. No one has dared to enter that forbidden area since,” Bernard explained.
Nie Yan examined the fence. It was made out of ordinary metal, and without magic protection. He lightly struck it with Zennarde’s Sword. With a loud klang, the bars shattered and fell to the ground.
Breckon and Bernard were frightened by Nie Yan’s actions. This sword’s might was too fierce!
“Like this, we can go in.” Nie Yan sheathed Zennarde’s Sword and stepped into the corridor. But Breckon and Bernard didn’t follow. He turned to them and asked, “What’s wrong, guys? Come on!”
“Earl Kelfield forbade us from entering that area. Even now after he’s passed away, we still can’t go against his word,” Bernard replied in an awkward tone.
“I see, you guys stay here then,” Nie Yan said. He understood the quest wouldn’t allow Breckon and Bernard to guide him any further.
Nie Yan’s quest senses were extremely sharp. He could instantly determine the requirements and contents of a quest from an NPC’s words.
The floorboards groaned as Nie Yan stepped over them. The more he walked, the longer this corridor seemed, almost as though it had no end.
Nie Yan kicked up clouds of dust as he walked past, slowing down when he noticed bloodstains on the floor. They had already turned black. He didn’t know how many decades they had been there.
From these bloodstains, Nie Yan judged the victim had been ambushed from behind, bitten and dragged away.
A strong miasma lingered in the air. Nie Yan could determine there was most definitely a powerful monster lurking in the shadows.