Chapter 137 - The Goal is the Port (3)
Of course, the Doom Wight wasn't so common as to fall under the same standards as other evil spirits. It was an evil spirit made from thousands of souls and refined to be full of malice. Despite being a disposable summons, it was difficult to survive against the Doom Wight unless the other person was of the master level.
Unfortunately, the Doom Wight encountered the wrong person.
The tongue emerged from the hole in Theo's left hand with a creepy sound. The image of terror, Doom Wight, was astonished to see the greedy tongue. Beyond the greedy tongue was the abyss where Death's Worship, the grimoire which ate grimoires, was stored. Anything which fell into the category of magic was a gift for it to devour.
Forgotten emotions were revived in the evil spirit which had been born for the sole purpose of slaughter. It was the primal feeling which prey felt when they were about to be eaten. The evil spirit's instincts understood that it was facing a predator, a being on a higher tier of the food chain.
Kiaaaaaaaaa―! The shadow retreated. It continued retreating desperately, even refusing the warlock's command. However, a magical force was tying it up. If not, it would've escaped to the horizon at lightning speed. As a shadow without any impurities, it knew exactly the risk that it was facing.
Goblins and ogres...?
Orcs and dragons...?
Ants and elephant...?
There was no analogy which the despairing Doom Wight could use to express the difference. As Gluttony looked at the fearful Doom Wight, it praised the evil spirit's quick reaction.
-Hoh, you can grasp what is happening? You are better than a flea. However, that enlightenment can only make you unhappy.
A flea wouldn't understand what was going on, but the beast who grasped the hierarchy would be the one who felt fear. The Doom Wight was tied down by the warlock's orders and couldn't even run away.
Gluttony ridiculed the Doom Wight before stretching out its tongue.
The tongue captured the miserable Doom Wight.
[You have consumed the Doom Wight, a collection of grudges.]
[Your vessel has become slightly fuller.]
[Gluttony has removed the curse left in the Doom Wight.]
"...Hah." Theodore could only smile as he watched.
His senses had given off a wild alarm, indicating that it was dangerous with his current capabilities. Despite that, the Doom Wight had been taken care of in one bite, making Theo wonder about Gluttony's limits.
However, Theodore's surprise was nothing compared to that of the person who had summoned Doom Wight, the warlock.
"W-What? What happened to my Doom Wight?!" The warlock was panicked, as he had lost his treasure for nothing. He stared at Theodore, even forgetting to flee. However, the warlock didn't know what a big gap that meaningless action of his had caused.
Theodore gazed at the warlock with cold eyes and flicked two fingers.
There were two flashes of light, and the warlock's thighs were pierced.
A fool who didn't have much practical experience in the field wouldn't be able to endure this. The warlock lost the ability for both of his legs to function, causing him to fall to the ground. It was a bonus that his forehead was injured as he struck the hard ground.
The ghoul worm belatedly responded to its master's pain, but Theodore's casting was faster. He cast a large fire attack magic which could crush even large monsters.
Unlike ordinary magicians, he didn't need to chant, and the formula calculations ended 10 times faster due to Theo's intelligence. Theodore completed the 5th Circle magic in just a few seconds.
This was the masterpiece of his teacher, Vince Haidel. The fire pillar emerging from the ground turned a part of the ghoul worm's body and head into ashes.
It wasn't a damage which could be sustained by an undead, even a ghoul undead. Fire magic which completely killed biological tissue wasn't fatal to the undead, but Theodore's output was several times higher than normal.
Hence, the ghoul worm lost half of its body in an instant and collapsed.
The ground shook intensely, causing the warlock to regain consciousness. The warlock quickly tried to move his body, but,..
"Where are you going?" Randolph's double swords were placed at the warlock's neck. If the warlock tried to chant even one syllable, the swords would cut his carotid artery.
Theodore might've intended it, but Randolph had been caught off guard and his employer almost paid for it. So, Randolph was reflecting on his mistake, making his swords seem more eerie than usual.
Theodore checked the boundary and then approached.
"What the hell are you?" The warlock asked first. "I don't know what you did, but you annihilated a Doom Wight. You are also a 5th Circle magician at this age. A person like you can't live in obscurity!"
"...You seem to be misunderstanding something," Theodore replied coldly to the question and kicked the thighs of the warlock which had been hit by Magic Bullet. There was a loud sound and blood trickled down.
The warlock was struck with terrible pain! His face distorted at the damage dealt mercilessly to his wound.
However, Theodore didn't stop at just one kick.
The warlock moaned as the pain continued. It was to the extent that blood had flooded down his thigh and covered Theodore's shoe. Theo looked at his shoe before glancing at the warlock's distorted face.
"My role is the questioner, and your role is to answer. Do you understand?"
"...Don't make me laugh."
The warlock should've been in significant pain, but he just sneered as he alternated looking between Theo and Randolph.
"This body is a warlock who explores death and indulges in pain. Do you think I will open my mouth because of such flimsy torturing...? You might have skills in magic, but you are still a kid." The taunting words contained their own confidence.
Warlocks would suffer from severe torture when captured in order to find out the names of other members of their organization. Therefore, warlocks were methodically trained to handle torture, including a procedure which allowed the nervous system to tolerate magic attacks.
So, even a professional torturer couldn't open this warlock's mouth.
Theodore also knew this fact. Subjugating warlocks was one of the duties of a war mage. He knew that torture magic had been made useless by warlocks long ago. Warlocks had a technique which nullified torture by paralyzing their nervous system, and they could ignore pain below a certain level.
"Kuk." However, Theodore laughed at his confidence. "Hey."
Theo mourned the misfortune of the warlock he caught.
"Have you ever heard of Separating Muscles, Reforming Bones?"
* * *
According to Lee Yoonsung, who had been born in the East, this technique hadn't originally been used for torture.
Unlike in the continent where all sorts of recovery magic and potions were developed, there was no way for the east to heal wounds rapidly in the East, causing detailed research on the human body to be carried out. The research was on the bones, muscles, nerves, and how mana flowed through the blood.
Separating Muscles, Reforming Bones was a treatment based on that type of knowledge.
Separating Muscle meant literally separating the muscle fibres, while Reforming Bones meant mixing up the framework.
It was a technique which loosened the muscle fibers and restored broken bones to their original states. This technique was for treating the internal wounds which weren't seen on the surface, and it became a must for any healer in the East to learn.
'There was one drawback that couldn't be improved.'
The technique caused truly terrible pain. The pain which occurred when muscles and bones were affected wasn't at a level that anyone could endure. Therefore, when Separating Muscles, Reforming Bones was used, it was common to use an anesthetic medicine or to paralyze the spinal cord in order to make the patient unaware of the pain.
However, there were those who exploited the technique maliciously.
"―――――!" The warlock couldn't even scream. Whenever Theodore's fingers twisted the warlock's muscles, the warlock's body would spasm. Only a weak breathing flowed from the warlock's vocal cords to his mouth.
It was a 'humane' torture because it was treating the victim.
"Ah, I stabbed the wrong place."
Of course, fatal mistakes could happen in the process. Fortunately, the warlock's insides didn't break. The unfortunate warlock trembled with a tearful face and runny nose.
After just 30 minutes, the warlock gave up all resistance.
"Agent Isaac sent you?"
"...Yes, that's right."
"You are just the person sent in advance, and there is still a team to come?"
"What is the name of your organization?"
"...I... don't... know."
It didn't take long to finish the questioning. The warlock answered whatever Theo wanted to know after Separating Muscles, Reforming Bones was used. Whenever he hesitated, Theodore would raise a finger, and the warlock would reply in a flash.
Furthermore, the warlock, called Oldun, was of a low rank and didn't know much about the organization.
Theodore asked one final question, "The black magic you used last time, can you use it one more time?"
"...Doom... Wight... Is that correct?"
"Is it a spell that calls evil spirits?"
"Yes... but... it's disposable... magic..."
If so, he couldn't use it again. Theodore aimed his finger at the warlock without any hesitation.
There was no way for the tortured warlock to avoid it, causing his body to lie down neatly. Theodore didn't stop there as he burned the body with fire magic. A necromancer might be able to find out information from any body parts left behind.
Randolph clicked his tongue as he watched from the side. "Hah, I didn't know Young Master would use such a cruel method."
It was true. Torture gave mental pain to the person doing the torturing, as well as the one being tortured. Theodore wasn't born with that type of desire in him. Still, he hadn't hesitated to torture and kill the unknown person.
In this sense, he had grown. However, Randolph couldn't help feeling some regret as he remembered the past.
Theodore shook his head with a wry smile. "Randolph, do you know the 10 Commandments of the Red Tower?"
"What? Of course, I don't know."
"Then I will use this opportunity to tell you a little bit."
The 3rd commandment of the Red Tower was that trash could sometimes be recycled, but human trash was generally not recyclable.
The Red Tower's 8th commandment was that a good warlock was a dead warlock.
The Red Tower's 9th commandment was that the method of death didn't matter as they were still going to die.
Randolph shook his head with a stunned expression. The Red Tower was famous among the mercenaries, be it for good or bad reasons. However, he hadn't imagined such drastic guidelines. It was fairly crude, but it wasn't a bad creed for Theodore to follow.
The atmosphere was tense, so Theo changed the topic. "They still don't know my identity but sending out these troops... It seems like the Orcus Company is quite big in the organization."
"I think so as well. This warlock might've fallen easily, but they aren't simple opponents. We can't ignore it if these guys come on a daily basis."
"That's right. So, I was thinking..." As Randolph waited, Theodore pulled out a map. He unfolded it on a flat spot in the carriage and pointed as Randolph came to his side. "We need to change our destination."
Randolph looked at the point where Theo's finger had stopped at.
"Yes, it is one of the few port cities in Kargas."
"...Ah, I understand. Rather than sticking to land, we should take a ship?"
"Yes, that's correct."
Randolph grinned as he understood what he was seeing. Theodore almost smiled while rolling up the map.
The undead were vulnerable to sunlight as well as to the sea. Unlike under the ground where not many predators existed, there were all types of fish and marine life in the ocean. Additionally, the strong waves would apply pressure to the bodies of the undead.
By using the simple method of going by sea, Theo could tie up the hands and feet of those using methods of transport like the sand worms.
Randolph was convinced and climbed into the driver's seat instantly. "Then which direction is Ramos?"
Theodore gauged the distance before opening his mouth to say, "If we run all day and night... we will probably arrive in a day."
"Okay, a day is good." Randolph gathered the reins of the two horses and started the carriage with a look of excitement. The plains, which had been filled with the undead a while ago, now only showed faint traces of the zombie worms.
This time, the carriage moved forward without any interruptions. They headed toward the horizon where nothing was visible yet, as the rush for the pursuers to catch up soon began.