A book with a black front cover and a spine made of white bones laid in the wooden box. Its chilly aura gave off a sensation that could leave one shuddering and Rhode felt as though his hands were holding onto a block of ice. The book had a coldness which could almost freeze his blood. Without a doubt, Rhode knew that it wasn't his body that was frozen. It was actually his soul instead.
This is the-Bone List?
Rhode sucked in a deep, cold breath because he never expected to see this item. As a matter of fact, Rhode's heart pounded violently the instant he set his sights on it.
The Bone List wasn't any ordinary item. From a certain perspective, this item could be considered a trump card for the Country of Darkness. However, this trump card was disgraceful.
On this huge continent with so many countries, it was nothing new for them to undermine each other. In every area, there would be one betraying his own country for various reasons to furnish the enemy country with intelligence. However, it had become a huge problem for intelligence organizations when it came to ensuring the loyalty of these spies, preventing the spies from double-crossing them and perhaps becoming a two-faced spy. After all, the human mind was unpredictable and no one could guarantee one's loyalty or swear that others wouldn't betray or backstab.
However, the emergence of this Bone List was the most effective way of curbing the development of this situation. It was a magical prop created by the Lichs from the Country of Darkness a long time ago. As long as one had experienced the unique contract ceremony, one left their name on this Bone List. If they forsake their promises, they would be obliterated instantly. Furthermore, this Bone List could subtly transform their consciousness, as though via hypnosis, to gradually turn these people into a loyal holder of the Bone List and the most loyal confidant.
If they were able to keep their promises, they would receive a generous reward-eternal life.
Of course, this eternity wasn't exactly true eternity. There wasn't anything in this world that was truly eternal. In the face of time, even the Five Creator Dragons had to turn themselves into dragon souls to preserve their existences. The same goes for the Lich and Vampires, and moreover, this type of eternity was nothing more than a way of selling their soul.
However, people were still eager for it even though it wasn't true. After all, false eternity was at least eternity to them, and they didn't expect to live for thousands of years. But who wouldn't want to live for a few centuries? If there really was a way to receive a chance at longevity without betraying one's soul, wouldn't anyone want to be followers too?
Due to this feature of the Bone List, it had become a trump card for the Country of Darkness. This magical prop was originally created in the ancient times by the great Lichs and was coalesced with their essences. It was used to control their own subordinates and its production process was complicated and mysterious. There were even rumors that the Bone List was not created with the usages of curse-like spells, but from a more in-depth exposure to the nature of the world's origin. And due to this, one who signed a contract with the Bone List wouldn't show any signs of differences on his appearance. Holy spells were useless in detecting the presence of the spell and even the naked eyes couldn't see any abnormalities. Unlike the evil cults, these people wouldn't need to occasionally and secretively organize meetings or murder the innocent to maintain their existences. These people just needed to be themselves every day and continue leading their lives and jobs. After a long time, they would probably detect some problems, but by then, their mission perhaps had already been completed.
If this Bone List could be mass created, the Country of Darkness would have conquered the entire continent a long time ago. However, it was a pity that it only appeared during ancient battles. In the next 2000 years, the Lichs were beaten down completely by the Five Creator Dragons because the biggest problem of this Bone List was that it could only work in the hands of Liches or Necromancers. However, none of the Five Creator Dragons, including the Dark Dragon, was a Necromancers. Even though this item was extremely rare, if any of the five dragons' subordinates became a puppet of the Lichs, then they could give up on their position of the ruling class.
The Five Creator Dragons weren't dumb. After they formed an alliance to eliminate all the Lichs who first created the Bone List, most of the Bone Lists were destroyed. After an endless millennium, the number of Bone Lists that remained in the Country of Darkness were next to nothing. Although the Necromancers and Lichs tried to repeat the glory of their predecessors, they weren't successful because it had become much more challenging to use this powerful magical item. In the past, those powerful Necromancers and Lichs only needed to sign a contract through a simple ceremony. However, right now, in addition to complicated rituals, they would need to determine the specific time of the day that had the darkest of all energy in order to proceed with the signing of the contract. This led to a decline in the use of the Bone List. But these were still incredible for the players. Rhode recalled that there was a top class Necromancer player who obtained a Bone List unintentionally and he signed numerous contracts with the NPCs. In the end, he caused an uproar in the Country of Darkness and some players from the country thought that this Necromancer was someone who could go against Rhode. After all, Rhode's Starlight was so extraordinarily powerful that they had forced the Country of Darkness to retreat in defeat. From their perspective, they found an ally that was as powerful as Rhode, so these players had high expectations. Fortunately for them, the Necromancer player lived up to their expectations and climbed up the player ranks with the intention of challenging Rhode.
However, this guy's luck wasn't all that good. Perhaps due to the swell in his powers and authority, for whatever reason, this player actually turned his attention to the sister of the Dark Dragon-and the consequences were easily guessable. His plans failed and the Dark Dragon who was aware of his intentions dueled with him and destroyed his Bone List. Although players could revive, it was a pity that this rare item was gone forever. Ever since then, that player was stricken into silence and had become the laughing stock of many others. In the end, the player deleted his in-game character and left the game after he couldn't stand the ridicule of others.
Although players of other classes received the Bone List, they weren't able to use it. However, they could exchange it for a powerful weapon, equipment, or even their very own title from the NPCs. Due to this, the Bone List was the most wonderful existence for a players' promotion and gaining of wealth. This was why Rhode's heart pounded so hard the instant he recognized the Bone List. He knew just how massive the rewards could be if he handed this over to the Munn Kingdom.
It made sense for Vulture to lead his men to reclaim the Bone List as it was a very precious item. Rhode had no doubts that this Bone List on his hand could possibly have recorded all the undiscovered traitors of the entire Munn Kingdom. However, there would be another problem if that was the case. How did Natasha get her hands on such a precious item? She was just a rich young daughter who didn't possess a little bit of combat power. Also, only powerful beings like the Lichs would be holding onto a Bone List, so how did Natasha snatch it? Could it be that this young lady had some secrets and hidden identity which Rhode had overlook?
With this doubt, Rhode questioned Natasha and the answer he received caught him between laughter and tears.
It was just a pure coincidence for Natasha to obtain this Bone List. On that day when everyone including her came forth for an inspection of the area, she accidentally witnessed the contractual ceremony while resting for the night. According to logic, it wasn't an opportune time to hold a contractual ceremony. However, the timing requirements which the Bone List needed were too demanding and if the Necromancer was to miss this chance, he would need to wait for half a year. Therefore, the Necromancer risked engaging in the contractual ceremony with his contractual target being the Army General of the inspection area.
Natasha happened to witness the ceremony and, as to be expected, she was caught by the Necromancer. The envoys who accompanied Natasha were killed and the remaining including Natasha were locked up. At that point in time, there wouldn't be any problem if the Necromancer were to kill off Natasha cleanly.
However, once the Necromancer knew that Natasha was the daughter of the Eagle City's owner, he decided to turn her into his spy because he would definitely gain much insiders' information with Natasha's identity .
However, this was where the problem occurred: the Bone List could only sign a contract with one person at once. In other words, the Necromancer could only choose either the Army General or Natasha. In the end, the Necromancer chose Natasha because she could provide deeper insights, as the daughter of the city owner, than the Army General could. If he could sign her into the contract of the Bone List and erase her memories of this happening, he could rely on her as his best spy with the influence of the Bone List!
The Necromancer had long given up on his emotions and due to the strained timing for the ceremony, he casually released the Army General! This left the Army General deeply dissatisfied.
Didn't I struggle so hard just to serve all of you? Didn't you promise me an eternal life? Why would I risk myself to provide you the insiders' information here? Don't you know how harsh the punishment Royal Highness Lydia gives to traitors is?
The Army General was furious as these thoughts flooded his mind. In the end, he brought his trusted aide to beg for the Necromancer to fulfill his promise. The negotiations fell out and both parties ended in a brawl. Within this chaos, Natasha sneaked out and escaped. Then, she grabbed the Bone List and fled with Grendy towards the direction of the Eagle City.
It wasn't because Natasha knew what the Bone List was when she snatched it. It was because, before the start of her contractual ceremony, the Necromancer had threatened her with it: she would turn into his possession through this book and this left the young lady breaking out in cold sweat. Furthermore, she didn't know if the odd-looking Mage would turn her into something weird even after she escaped, which was why she might as well grab the book along...
Should I say that the Necromancer had bad luck? Or was Natasha's luck too good?
Although Natasha wasn't too sure what this book did, she knew that she would at least have it as evidence to prove her words once she returned to the Eagle City. However, they didn't expect that the Army General and the Necromancer would reach a consensus and work together. If it weren't for this piece of land in the Munn Kingdom and the protection of the Light Dragon soul, perhaps these two fellows wouldn't have met Rhode and would've been captured by the Necromancer.
After listening to Natasha's explanations, Rhode's mood turned for the worse. And the reason was the Necromancer.
Previously, the Necromancer sent Vulture and his men to capture Natasha because he didn't wish to cause an uproar. However, now that Vulture and his men were dead due to his commands, what other actions would this Necromancer take? Will he take matters into his own hands? Or would he choose to give up?
Rhode didn't think that the Necromancer would give up so easily. If this Bone List was indeed filled with all the names of the traitors of the Munn Kingdom, this Necromancer would do all it took to snatch this powerful book back. Although Natasha was a rich young daughter without any combat abilities and she couldn't explain just how powerful the Necromancer was, her tone of voice explained that Vulture seemed to be respectful towards the Necromancer. In this world where strength represented everything, this cleared plenty of doubts.
Rhode's head began to hurt. He didn't wish to be chased down by a Necromancer who was at least at the Master Stage or possibly even stronger. It wasn't that Rhode didn't have any trump cards to face the Necromancer. As a matter of fact, one of Rhode's trump cards, Gillian, was standing just beside him. But the level of this young lady was hooked onto his. Right now, Rhode was only level 28 and the EXP which he gained from defeating Vulture might have added one or two levels. However, even so, Gillian would still struggle when she faced a Necromancer of at least level 40, and it would be impossible to kill him! Of course, that was only if Rhode didn't unlock the seal to return Gillian to her original state. But the seal on Gillian could only be unlocked once and if Rhode unlocked it to deal with the Necromancer, how would he deal with the Castel Plateau Ruins?
"We need to move on immediately."
Rhode closed the lid of the wooden box with an oddly strict expression before scanning the surroundings. It was early in the morning and under the illumination of the Light Dragon soul, the Necromancer wouldn't have the guts to find trouble. However, it would be another situation if it were at night. Undead creatures always had an extraordinary response system with others of their kind and Rhode believed that the Necromancer must be aware that Vulture was defeated by him. This made it very possible for the Necromancer to take matters into his own hands.
Right now, Rhode planned to arrive at Eagle City at the fastest speed. Then, he wouldn't need to fight this battle alone. In the Munn Kingdom, it wouldn't be a difficult task to defeat a Necromancer.
Rhode made the decision to burn the chariot, along with the baggage filled with clothes. Also, he gave the poor senior chariot driver a proper burial. Then, Rhode handed the wooden box over to Gillian. Although this Fire Elemental Lord didn't have sufficient power, her accessibility to her element was enough to disrupt and cut off the signal or connections the Necromancer had with the Bone List. Without a doubt, Rhode knew that this was only a stop-gap measure.
Natasha and Grendy were kept in the dark about the truth. Rhode briefly mentioned that this item that Natasha had stolen was an important magical equipment for the Necromancer and he would definitely come searching for it. Just this explanation alone was enough to spread a ghastly whiteness over the young lady's face.
After a short rest, everyone began their journey to their next destination.