Royal Arcanum (Book 1 of Royal Arcanum Series)

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Chapter 9. The Blacksmith

Josh shook her shoulder deliberately. “Cathy, we’ve arrived, wake up you cow girl!”

She opened her eyes slowly to stare at the night view behind the bus window. She was confused whether this was a dream or not, but it was too real as she touched her wet clothes. “So, it’s not a dream?”

“No,” Elle shouted as she rose from her seat. “We’ll go home first because you need to change clothes, so you won’t get sick in our journey.”

They returned to the Charlotte’s house. Josh followed them quickly, and when they stopped at the terrace, he asked, “What journey?”

“Just let see. If you can catch up, you’ll find out,” Elle said before she closed the door.

Cathy ran upstairs to lock herself in the bathroom. She sat against the door and started crying alone, hovering into her own miserable thought about the incident.

She knew, crying was a waste of time, so she hurriedly had a warm bath, and soon in her bedroom, she changed her clothes with a thicker coat, and she packed all of her belongings into her satchel bag before she went downstairs.

In the kitchen, Elle had waited while making a cup of hot tea for her. They sat oppositely at the dining table, gazing at the same view of the starry night sky behind the window above the sink.

“What happened out there, everything I saw, was it real?” Cathy asked.

“You’ve seen, means you can,” Elle explained. “Have you heard anything about sixth sense or paranormal activity?”

“I don’t have sixth sense,” she denied as her eyes flinched.

“You’re in the realm of this universe as a human being,” Elle continued to make her understand. “There’s another dimension besides your world, if only human eyes could see what’s hidden.”

Her resentment was covered by her deep curiosity. “Why can’t everyone see it? Why should be hidden?”

“Do you really think if all humans could see it, they could endure the burden?” Elle returned her question so painfully. “That world is different, powerful, magnificent, but on the other side, it’s empty, there’s no real material form.”

Cathy didn’t say a word, and kept staring intensely at her.

The conversation continued as Elle explained further. “Some of them want to be human. You must have heard about a demonic possession. It’s because they want to dominate your world,” and she smirked for a while “—human have done many of exorcism. Some works, some don’t. It’s only challenge them even more.”

She paused, leaning her chest closer to the table. “What you saw earlier, it was kind of different, because those two cops were ordered by their master. They used to be humans, but earlier they were being possessed. The demons would grant their wish for having a power like entities in the hidden world, if they could success the mission.” Elle smiled and said, “In this case, they’re haunting your mom and her family… humans are pathetic.”

“Not every human, just some of them, maybe,” Cathy shouted. “So, what do you call that hidden realm?”

Caecus,” she smiled. “Well, only the djinns call it that way. It derived from Latin language means blind, invisible, unseen.”

“What’s the angel’s version?” Cathy was curious.

“It’s not necessary for you to know,” she smiled. “Just acknowledge it generally—the unseen realm, or the hidden world.”

“I want to know about Caecus,” Cathy flinched to mention it. “Is it literally existed? Have you been there before?”

“Long ago, before you even born, I was there” she answered firmly.

For a second, Cathy blinked confusedly as her consciousness had fully recovered from her hangover mind. “What are we talking about? Why are you telling me this?”

Cathy felt the headache got worse since this conversation had started. “How can you prove anything? Are you even really an angel?”

While the air felt quiet, Elle stared observantly at her sleepy brown eyes. “This should be the right time for you to know about everything, especially about your family,” she said, while sitting frozenly like a statue. ”Therefore, I exist to help you getting into the right path.”

“Excuse me… is this your real form as an angel?” She bewildered.

“It’s certainly not.”

“What about your name, Sylvia Elle?”

“It’s a nickname given by your mother.”

“We’re absolutely not a relative, aren’t we?” She grimaced. “I knew it.”

“It’s decoded, isn’t it?” Elle sounded relieved.

“Why I have a conversation with an angel? How am I supposed to perceive everything?” Cathy felt stressed out.

In the contrary, Elle shook her head, chuckling in disbelief. “This is why some humans are given blindside in their eyes. If they didn’t, they would go crazy, literally.”

“Alright, tell me if I have blindside?” Cathy demanded.

Elle sighed, and her eyes stared down at the empty table for a moment.

“Actually, your mom made that blindside itself for you, to bury your childhood memories. It has the effect to make your ability to be blinded periodically,” Elle explained, finally.

“Is it to protect me from the one who have been chasing us—demons?” Cathy started to understand what kind of circumstance that occurred around her. “That’s must be the reason why my mom never wanted me to attach with any of supernatural topic, because it’s always depressed her,” she sighed and muttered “—but I thought my mom and I have nothing to do with them. Why are the demons chasing us?”

Elle stared back at her, and said, “They want to abduct the Puissant, which is your mom and you. The demons are obliged for the mission under the witch’s demand, I mean Devil by that.”

Cathy shook her head bafflingly. “The abduction for what?”

“The witch is planning to make a new experiment with the royal blood, in order to open the gate to Caecus,” Elle said, while observing her speechless expression. “You’re next… if your mom can’t make it. There isn’t many Puissant that left.”

“I don’t understand. What is Puissant? Who is this witch?” Cathy felt the familiar sensation, as if she had heard all of this somewhere before. “And the gate… do you mean like a portal?”

“Our conversation won’t end just in a night. We have more time in Austria to continue that topic,” Elle said rashly. “I assume we should get hurry to visit the blacksmith. A few demons could almost sense your trace when we got home.”

Before Elle left the dining room, Cathy shouted, “Why it has to be me?”

Elle stared for a second, as if she was looking for something in Cathy’s eyes, and so she told her with faith, “You wouldn’t be given this life, if you were not strong enough to live in.”

She gawked to hear the answer, trying to hold her tears from falling, and then she yelled out, “I’m nothing… I don’t have anything to fight those demons!”

“Don’t say you’re nothing, you just don’t know it yet!” Elle was infuriated with her pessimistic thought. “Your mom wants you to meet someone in Austria, and that will answer your questions clearly.”

Cathy just locked the entrance door when Josh ran to them. He seemed to know the right time to go. “What are you guys going to do at eight p.m. when it’s so dark?”

“Who told you to come here?” Cathy protested.

“Martha… and your relative!” He beckoned his eyes at Elle.

“Martha knew about this too?” She squinted bafflingly at them.

“Yeah, Elle just told my grandmother by phone,” he said breathlessly. “She said you’ll probably need more company to go to Sierra Vista under the night clouds.”

She annoyed that things turned complicated. “Just go to sleep, Josh.”

“Do you think you know where Sierra Vista is?” He chuckled “—ghost town for real.”

“That joke doesn’t work on me,” she pushed his shoulder away.

When she opened the fence, Josh shouted again, “What’s so important in there?”

“Weapons,” she answered him straightaway, honesty was easier to say at this time.

“Are you going to hunting a bear or something, seriously?” He was panicked to impede her from walking away.

“Because of demons,” she sighed, and stared back peevishly at him. “Please, don’t make this harder than it already is.”

“I know you’re a superstition fanatic, but both of you are girls heading out-of-town, and you might return home midnight, how creepy that is,” he stressed out with them. “Does your dad know you will go out, and how about your damaged car?”

“Enthusiasm, that’s a good friend you’ve got there,” Elle snapped. “We’ll return home at midnight. So, just come along if you want to.”

They headed to the bust stop again. As they stood side by side, Cathy looked at him, feeling bad that she couldn’t tell him the whole thing yet, as it was too complicated.

“Sorry, I don’t intent to bother you for coming.”

“No,” he shook his head as if nothing was matter.

She shifted her eyes to observe what he wore. “That’s a nice black suit.”

He giggled. “It’s navy blue, actually.”

But then, Elle shouted alertly, “I think someone’s coming.”

They stared to the left side of the pavement road to see a boy headed forward from ten meters away. Thereafter, Cathy recognized that it was the silhouette of Scott Herron. He wore a brown leather jacket that similar like the one Elle wore.

Once he met them face to face, he asked wonderingly, “Where are you guys heading out at this hour?”

“What about you?” Cathy snapped back at his question.

“I just returned from the restaurant in town. Did you guys hear about the grocery store’s incident?”

The three of them didn’t speak out, as no one wanted to brag the topic again. Scott felt uncomfortable with their silent reaction, but he also wondered. “What’s wrong?”

“Anyway, we’re going out-of-town,” Cathy said, finally.

He smiled. “Mind if I come along?”

She glanced at the others, doubting if that would be a good idea. “I’m sorry Scott, we’re in a hurry, there’s no time for playing.”

“Come on, this will be fun.”

Josh already felt infuriated with his presence, and now Scott’s persistency made him nauseated, especially when the words King of Bully still likely attached to him.

“Don’t you hear what she said?” Josh approached him with anger, pushing his chest away, “Back off.”

“What are you going to do then?” Scott walked forward to him, bulging out in a sudden adrenaline of rage. “Punch me?”

“Hey guys, a moment please,” Cathy tried to separate them. “You can join us if you stay still and won’t make anything harder, got it?”

Josh bulged out at what she said. He hurriedly dragged her closer to whisper, “I don’t trust him, and I don’t like him either.”

On the other side, Scott noticed the presence of another girl that had not met before. It was Sylvia Elle. She walked passed him, glaring keenly to make him felt unease. Thus, he wanted to approach her, demanding what her problem was.

“Why it seems you hate me so much?” He asked suddenly. “I don’t think we’ve met before.”

Cathy and Josh surprised to see him making a conversation with her.

“I don’t hate you, never I am,” Elle answered, firmly.

The air felt suffocated, and the agitation filled the atmosphere. It was the reason behind Elle’s complicated act that she knew the principle of energy, which bounded to the boy. She could tell immediately that he descended and bounded to some kind of dark vibe. The genetic never lied. She felt it since he arrived. Although she didn’t hate Scott, but someone other than him.

Soon, a blue bus stopped by. They rode with the bus hurriedly. The bus took the next route from downtown to the path of hills. Cathy sat, leaning to the bus window, while Scott sat next to her, followed by Josh and Elle who sat behind them.

“It’s rare to meet you outside the school,” She murmured to Scott in a low tone, preventing Josh from worried over this small talk.

“I often hangout around downtown in weekend,” he said and smiled. “I got hungry earlier, so I went to seek the nearest restaurant around my house.”

She smiled back at him, and her eyes stared away at the road view.

“Did your mom’s black hair is natural?” Cathy wondered suddenly.

“Yes,” he chuckled. “It’s weird that I don’t get the similarity with her.”

She didn’t know whether to feel guilty or not after asking him about that. He didn’t seem sad like the first time they had this sort of conversation. Meanwhile, Josh was anxious that he couldn’t peep on their small talk since they sounded vague.

“Where are you guys going from this route?” Scott asked, raising his voice aloud now. “I mean, this bus will take us to the border city.”

“Exactly,” Cathy shouted.

He baffled. “You want to go picnic around the hills at night?”

“No, we want to visit a blacksmith,” she corrected him, awkwardly.

He squinted at her, baffling with her statement. “If you could find a blacksmith in downtown, why should go so far away?”

“He’s my mom’s best friend… something just came up,” Cathy looked a little frustrated to tell him.

“Was it bad?” He worried, and then he recalled the incident that just happened earlier. “Oh, you know the incident that got on the television news, the grocery store in downtown, someone broke their glass window. I watched it while I was in the restaurant.”

Cathy had her hands trembled above her thighs. She remembered in that precise moment of how painful everything was. She was aware that Elle could sense her feeling.

“That’s very awful. Police uniforms were found without the bodies,” he added.

“I was really busied that I hadn’t watched television all day long, Scott,” she said wearily. “I mean, I have to do a lot of preparation these days.”

“Do you mind to tell me, for what?” He asked politely.

“I’ll be going to Austria with my mom and my relative soon,” she said, beckoning at Elle, and he followed where her eyes moving.

He was breathless, “Alright.”

The bus passed to the San Jose Lodge. A few passengers that dressed like tourists got out from bus to visit that desolate place. The next stop was the city that known as Sierra Vista. It took thirty minutes from Bisbee by bus. The view was a bit greener than in Bisbee. Some said that the city had good food.

They stopped in there and go out from bus. Cathy didn’t know where the blacksmith’s address was, but luckily, Elle seemed to know very well of which road to take. Whenever Elle walked on the pavement, they looked like a group of dazing kids who followed her around.

“Is this really one of the ghost towns?” Josh stared carefully against this desolate environment. Everything seemed so dead here. The city lamps appeared dimly.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Cathy shouted in annoyance at him.

“It’s about eleven kilometers from here, and you’ll find it,” Elle snapped, making him more terrified.

“Is it Fort Huachuca?” Scott shouted for assurance, and Elle nodded.

“This is a mystery and bullshit,” Josh muttered.

“Your mouth should be careful in some kind of place like this,” Elle admonished him.

“Yeah, or else, we might encounter a bad night,” Cathy alluded.

Until then, they found a small space of neighborhood behind the broken wire fence. Most of the houses had plastic roofs that made this area looked creepy, and every house separated by a few lanes from each other.

One of the houses looked older than the rest. It had green roof. A gray Chevrolet Colorado car parked in front of that house. The entrance door displayed with wooden board to inform the visitor: The Blacksmith. The Best Favor We Build.

They walked closer to the terrace, checking out the service hours on another board: Open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

“I guess it’s closed now,” Scott muttered.

“Just go for it,” Josh knocked abruptly at the door.

The three muscular men were seen giggling from inside the house. As they walked out, Cathy asked them if they were here to buy something, and it turned out that they were here as neighbors. She acted awkwardly after the men were gone, but Elle calm her, hugging her shoulders as they went inside the house.

The lamps in the house mixed with the color of brown and red lights. The room had a high humid level that made them felt unease to breathe the air. There were random materials of metal, iron, and many more, everything located neatly in the shelves.

Josh coughed from breathing the heavy dusts in the air, and he muttered, “Oh, this place is worse.”

In the center of the room, they saw a tall and muscular white man. He was hammering the iron at the black table, looking patiently as he worked hard.

Cathy approached him slowly. He didn’t seem to be bothered by the arrival of new visitors. She cleared her throat on purpose, he finally stared back at them, and then he squinted at her directly, giving her a baffling look.

“We’re closed,” he said with a familiar hoarse voice that Cathy had heard before.

“Hey, are you Max?” She asked. “I’m Haile’s daughter… Cathy Charlotte.”

He kept staring intensely at her before he got surprised.

“My friends are here too; Josh, Scott, and Elle,” she introduced them, beckoning one by one.

“Max?” Josh giggled, making everyone baffled. “Sounds like my neighborhood’s dog.”

The embarrassment engraved on his face immediately once Cathy glared madly at him.

“Don’t mind him. He always says what he likes,” Cathy said, before she glared again at him for his stupid joke. Josh just realized that it was childish to say that. Scott giggled at the view.

Subsequently, she returned for the serious topic. “I heard about you from my mom, and actually, this place is not that far from downtown.”

Max stopped hammering after she mentioned it. He turned to observe their faces one by one, and when he stopped at Josh, he looked offended then. “Kid just a kid, huh?”

The silent filled the air afterward, but Cathy tried to get his attention. “Max, can you help us?”

“How much are you willing to pay?” He confronted.

Cathy bewildered, since she thought that there wasn’t anything special to offer him. As the awkward moment began again, Max suddenly giggled, staring pathetically at her.

Josh and Scott stared bewilderingly at his odd behavior.

He walked to the wall to switch on the lamps into a bright fluorescent. Everyone could see a clear image of his figure now. He could be one of the hottest blacksmith in town. He was truly muscular, he had a thin gray beard, he dressed in a blue shirt, and he was as tall as Josh, although Scott was still the tallest in the room.

“Your mom was my good friend,” he continued.

“Wait, you just said was—” Cathy flinched. “Are you not being friends with my mom anymore?

He nodded and smiled.

As he recalled some of his childhood memories, he knew that he couldn’t forget his very first love with Haile. For all of the happiness and sadness they had embraced together, especially when she left him without saying anything to move to Bisbee, and with a new family that she had found. Not everything had ever forgotten from his mind.

“Well done, we’re here for the weapons,” Elle came to cut off their small talk, fiercely.

He glanced bafflingly at the white hair girl, a ton of wondering questions came on his mind, and he just realized the familiar sense of this encounter. “So, you’re the messenger, who will finish the last step of my artwork, aren’t you?”

Elle looked calm, but she spoke rashly. “Just bring the weapons here.”

So on, he told everyone to wait here, while he would be taking the items from his cabin that located behind this small house.

Cathy baffled with their previous talk. She assumed that Max and Elle had met for the first time, but since it was hard to think about, so she dismissed it, instead she asked another thing, “What does he mean that you will finish his artwork?”

“You’ll see,” as usual, Elle stayed mysterious.

Five minutes less, he returned to his workplace, bringing two broken-white rectangular bags that seemed heavy. He put down the bags on the black table and opened them quickly. The bags contained with several sharp swords and black guns.

When everyone got surprised and fascinated at the view, Elle was the only one who looked stayed still. Josh and Scott gawked while scanning those weapons with their fingers.

“Seriously, what these swords and guns have anything to do with all of you?” Scott baffled.

Cathy felt the same too. “Did my mom really ask for this stuff?”

“Well, yeah,” Max nodded, and sighed for a second.

“What… are we going back to a historical wartime?” Josh blurted out his stupidity again.

“Enough for the show time,” Elle blocked their way to gaze out at the weapons.

She beckoned a certain gesture at Max, who understood her immediately, and then he led the others to walk upstairs. Cathy and Josh nodded, following him, while Scott preferred to seek for fresh air outside.

On the second floor, the room had an impression like a private office. It would be better if cobwebs and dusts were not everywhere. It seemed that he had no time to clean up the house.

A few photos hung on the wall, of his family and his wife. Cathy observed the photos for a little while. “Do you have a kid?”

“No, we’ve been married for over 21 years without a baby,” he answered while looking up for random files inside the drawer of his desk.

Cathy regretted to ask that, she apologized quickly.

“There’s no need,” he said, while still searching for something in the drawer, and then he took out a wide paper that looked like a huge map. “I want to show you this map.”

She approached him, and asked perplexingly, “For what?”

His finger pointed at some names of certain boroughs. “This is the path to the hidden treasure.”

She wasn’t assured. “Did my mom want me to know about this?”

“I don’t think so,” he chuckled. “I just couldn’t imagine how stressful she was to hide it from you—the stone.”

“What stone?” She narrowed her eyebrows. “Is this related with the weapons?”

“You can’t get the stone without using the weapons… or armor,” he smiled, mischievously.

She was tremendously curious. “I wish to understand what’s happening.”

“Don’t get too stressful—the retribution would come better in time, at least.”

“The retribution—” She repeated as remembering that familiar word. “Did you call our house this morning?”

He shuddered. “Yes, it was you, right?”

“Why did you hang up?”

“Your mom didn’t answer her phone, so I called the house,” he flinched. “Presumably, I couldn’t talk to you about it.”

Her instinct told her something, and she shouted it out, “Wait, you love my mom.”

Max stared speechlessly before he opened his mouth, and said, “It was a long time ago. Everything’s over now,” his voice trembled.

He seemed to think hardly about something, “Last year, I sent your mom a pendant necklace for her forty-year-old birthday gift. The necklace could be used to blur out the energy around, so the demons won’t be able to track down her presence for the time being. It just didn’t work properly these days—”

“Are you saying that you’ve just made a huge mistake?” She was infuriated. “So, the pendant was a gift from you and—”

He shouted quickly, “What I meant, she have mixed the energy around her with the pendant. The analogy is like you’re wearing someone else’s clothes.”

“Whose clothes those beasts smelled then?” She said and tapped the desk roughly, making him astonished. “They want you instead of my mom!”

He baffled at her conclusion, but then he understood the circumstance. “They have already found her, then. They will find you next time.”

She wanted to think clearly, but she shook her head as feeling nauseated to talk with him. “The demons want to kill me?”

“Please understand that the pendant is a friendship gift. I didn’t know they would decode it easily. I supposed your mom knew that they want to catch you too, and that was the reason she made a distraction by using the pendant.”

“What?” She gawked in disbelief.

“Your mom is trying to protect you. Haile told me herself, you’ll be the next victim if they can’t get her,” he said worriedly.

“I don’t want to hear it,” she covered her ears tightly with her white hands.

“I know the principle of energy, how it works, and Haile had been doing this for a distraction.”

She was tired with this conversation. “I just don’t get it, everything.”

“Cathy, I treat you like my own daughter, I don’t want you to get hurt,” he said assuredly. “Haile loves you so much.”

“Why does my mom do this to me?” Cathy said, while enduring her tears from falling. “She pretends like everything normal while it’s not.”

She bit her lips discomposedly while he was silent.

“My mom said she never believes in superstition. She’s even telling me, if I feel certain about supernatural thing, then I’m crazy, and it’s necessary to be checked in a mental hospital,” she wanted to smack the trees outside the house, but she kept talking pathetically “—but she could see the beasts earlier, was she lying or holding back?”

“Used to, she hated lying,” he said as he sat on the wooden chair at his desk. “There was something that has changed her.”

For a moment, a flash of memory reminded her of what Martha had told her before.

“Something had happened in New Rochelle,” Max said, sounded depressed. “She was chased by someone, and they want your blood now.”

“Who are they?” She asked, terrified.

“Beyond our world, behind human faces, I think you understand,” he said, and he was bewildered against her innocent face at this point. “Didn’t she tell you, even a little bit about the stories of fairy tale, folklore, or any similarity to that?”

“I told you, my mom is skeptical.”

“What are you believe in your childhood time?” He wondered.

“I spent my days in the library, reading many fiction stories. When I grew up, I started to look up other stories on the internet. That’s it.”

“Does your mom know that you have been reading those stories?”

She narrowed her eyes, recalling the gap in the past. “Yes, she’s never prohibited me, how odd.”

“Don’t you feel strange that she’s never prohibited you?” He puckered his eyes. “In other words, Haile wanted you to find it by yourself rather than hearing it directly from her. That’s the point.”

Cathy astonished as she tried to understand everything, although Max had enlightened her obscure mind. She felt depressed because of her mom, thinking as if logical thinking mattered over the metaphysical.

But then she realized why it had happened that way. “Who have been chasing my mom, exactly?”

Max was unsure about this; whether this was the right time to tell, or whether he was the right person to give out the information.

The witch,” the firm voice answered her. It was Elle, standing at the edge of staircase. “She wants you and the stone. The beasts you saw… were under her evil command.”

They were listening quietly, but Cathy was getting more curious, and she won’t satisfy until she could understand the circumstance. “What’s stone that she wants? Is it related with me, anyway?

“Like a gemstone, only it’s sacred,” Elle said, approaching her.

“Why does she want it?”

“Good question,” Max shouted as he pointed his forefinger at the map, showing her the sign.

“That’s why we need to go to Austria,” Elle added.

“Here, check this out,” he showed them the location where he found it. He pointed his finger at the very small letters that they could barely read it. They came closer to see that huge map. “You can find the answer from this place.”

“My mom said, I need to see my distant relative—an uncle,” Cathy murmured.

“He lives in the state of Lower Austria, near to Danube River, which is the place between the Vienna Woods,” he explained, tapping his fingers at the location’s name, “The Wachau Valley.”

Cathy bewildered in disbelief. “Does it mean he lives near the forest?”

“He doesn’t like the crowd. He upholds the tranquility, listening to the rustling leaves within the winds,” Elle said, emphatically.

Josh had been listening to their conversation while he stayed at the small library that adjacent near the bathroom. He came out from behind the wall, and asked, “Do you know where to go in Austria?”

He hid his sadness behind that handsome smile. He knew he would soon separate from her. He didn’t know the certain way to help her, but Cathy was well aware of his feeling as she felt the same way.

“No need to worry, just follow me,” Elle demanded.

They went downstairs again to his workplace, and Scott had just returned too.

There were two medium-sized of transparent jerry cans that full of water, already placed on the black table. They waited for Elle to announce the news.

“You see this jerry can,” she picked up one of the jerry cans, and then she glanced at Max as if they did telepathy. He pretended coughing, and moved to stand beside her.

“This is holy water,” Elle informed as she opened the jerry can lid, pouring the water into a bag full of swords.

They bewildered with what she did.

“If you’re familiar with the term exorcism, you probably see a priest or monk has holy water,” Max said.

“A priest only use holy water for exorcism ritual among those who are possessed,” Scott shouted.

“By the Devil?” Cathy asked. “Do we use that sword to fight a demon?”

“You don’t know with whom you will face out there,” Elle answered her while sprinkling the water into the bags.

“How are you sure if that’s really holy water?” Josh asked.

Elle stopped from what she was doing, and glanced at him in disbelief.

Max breathed deeply, he smiled with sympathy to explain it, “It has been blessed by someone who has authority and power. You don’t need to worry.”

“Is he the priest from the church near this district?” Scott tried to guess it.

Cathy was just clicked with this one as she knew who gave the blessing for the water. She glanced at Elle, and suddenly, the atmosphere turned frightening. The eerie feeling touched her skin. At that time, Elle smiled prettily at her.

“You know, demons cannot be killed easily like a bleeding human,” Elle explained. “When someone does the exorcism, are you sure if the demon is gone? They will fly in the air, not dead.”

“Are they just gone for a while?” Josh wondered.

“That’s why some of them who got possessed on another day, would easily get possessed again,” Scott said as soon as he understood.

“A weak human who once get possessed, there will be a million chances for it to happen again,” Elle explained further “—when one layer of their aura is seen like an open wound, it will invite any demon to be the host inside the body. If nobody heals it, soon, the demon will be the parasite that becomes dominant, eating the main host, until they will lose their consciousness and die.”

“Do you mean they will never be the same person again?” Cathy asked. “How do you seal someone else’s aura?”

“There are two possibilities: first, it may seem like a stroke disease physically, or second, they may inherit a wicked personality that’s influenced by the parasite,” Elle explained and started crossing her arms. “Someone’s aura could only be sealed by those who could do it. Sometimes, people have the ability to open the aura, but doesn’t have the ability to seal it back. That’s perilous.”

“I don’t understand about the part of stroke disease?” Josh demanded her explanation.

“A stroke may result in their brain nerve for the one who has a weak physical body. A few symptoms are like eating food in a very absurd portion as if they never have enough, and still won’t make them fat, and they usually don’t socialize much, or vice versa, become a social manic with bad personality,” Max helped explaining.

“The most important sign to notice… is in their eyes,” Elle said. “You can tell the different from normal human.”

This conversation reminded Scott about his biological mother. He always knew that there was something in the way of her mother’s eyes would look, but he couldn’t tell if it was caused by a demon.

“I wonder, if you’re a blacksmith and not a priest or monk, how could you into all this superstition?” Josh doubted him somehow.

“Good question,” Max praised his suspicion. “Before I was a blacksmith, I’ve always interested in this field, especially into spiritualism. Haile had taught me a lot about it.”

He glanced at Cathy as he felt sorry to mention her mom. She didn’t mind it though.

Subsequently, Elle opened the last jerry can to pour the water into the bag full of guns. They watched her carefully, as if this night was marked as doomsday.

“What will happen if these swords and guns are being used to fight a demon?” Cathy asked.

Elle smirked at her question while she threw away the jerry cans on the floor. “They will be vanished into ashes forever, and will be sent straight to hell.”

Everyone in the room felt shudder concurrently.

Josh pretended coughing, as he kept his stupid joke from coming out of his mouth. He just remembered that Cathy would kick him first, before he could even say anything.

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.