Virtues of the Chaosbringer Chapter 7: 6
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"Sergeant! We've found something here," an officer shouted loudly so that he could be heard.
Vice rushed to where the voice was. The officer was stood in the ruins of the kitchen, with an almost completely burnt barrel being handled by him. As Vice went to examine the object, he noticed there was a small puddle of blackish liquid still sitting in it. He dipped his fingers into the remnants of the liquid, and brought it towards his nose.
'Oil? Isn't this some of the magically refined 'Black Water'?' he thought to himself. This liquid, 'Black Water' as the people of Restok called it, was highly combustible, but also highly expensive. Based on the size of the barrel, Vice judged that at least 10 gold worth of liquid was used here. The annual salary of a commoner was only about 5 gold, but due to living costs they took even less of that amount home.
'Somebody targeted my home. Who? And why' he thought as the rage started to seethe into his mind. He clenched his jaws tightly as he envisioned who this person was who wanted to kill his mother. 'They must have known I wasn't at home, or else they'd never have been able to pull this off. They wanted to kill my mother, but why?'
"What do we have here? Smells like Black Water…" Sergeant Paul said. He put the substance in his hands and inspected it. A surge of arcana focused around Sergeant Paul suddenly burst forth into existence, but disappeared almost immediately. "Hmm, there's not trace of arcana from the culprit at all. As you must know Vice only a cultivator can ignite Black Water, so this is rather strange. Can you think of any people who'd target you?"
Vice shrugged, he hadn't made any specific enemies in his lifetime. It was just the people in general that hated him, however, they wouldn't dare to strike out against him anymore due to his status as a cultivator.
"Well I'll log this in at the precinct, but I don't think we'll get far with our resources. I hate to say it, but you're on your own with this. Oh, and before I forget, Big Sis Anne said she wanted to see you. It's already been a couple of weeks and you've still ignored her…" Sergeant Paul said, grinning from ear to ear sheepishly. After spending another couple of minutes finishing the inspection, he left along with his team. They would resume their investigation in the morning.
'Haha that's so true. Why haven���t you talked to that Anne lady? Last I remember she's been so sweet and kind with you, and was very adamant to get some drinks with you. Who knows what could happen after you two love birds have had your fair share of alcohol?' Favian said in a teasing manner.
Vice ignored the voice in his mind, but was unable to get Paul's words out of his mind. 'I guess it's time to visit Anne. She'll be able to help me I think,' Vice thought to himself. He gave one last look at the remains of the once beautiful house he'd paid for and after taking the barrel filled with Black Water, walked away, weaving himself into the darkness that was the city of Restok.
It was currently just past midnight, and a full moon was in display above the few clouds in the sky. An orchard, filled with all types of fruit trees and various berries stood silent underneath the moonlight. The smell of sweet tea pervaded through the orchard as a girl sipped onto the drink. This woman was in her late teens, only 18 years old, but when it came to standards of beauty in the city of Restok, she was by far the most beautiful woman here. Her black hair fell all the way down to her hips majestically, and glistened with a mysterious aura.
The girl looked at her surroundings, noticing some sort of change, and then smiled widely. Her pearlescent teeth could be seen from far away in the dark as she gleefully stood up and ran to the boy that was approaching her, her large bosom bounced to the beat of her small but fast steps.
"Vice! You finally came, I've been trying to get a hold of you for two weeks already," she said in her smooth voice. She dramatically sulked, making sure that Vice could see her reaction as clear as day.
The boy looked into her yellow eyes as if captivated, but snapped out of that delirium quickly before replying, "I was busy treasure hunting." Vice's voice sounded neither soft nor harsh, it was rather monotone, as if devoid of emotion. However, Anne knew that this wasn't the case, and that the boy had actually warmed up to her somewhat.
"Aww that's always the case with you. Once you were able to leave the orphanage, you didn't even look back at your only two friends, even if you won't admit that we are friends," she said sadly.
Vice had lived in an orphanage with both her and Sergeant Paul for a while when his mother first became sick. She wasn't able to work and so she had to live with her sister, who wouldn't let Vice stay in her home. This all resulted in Vice being sent to an orphanage at only 10 years of age. It was only once he was finally able to start practicing magic with Favian at 12 years that he was soon able to leave that place. His time there was bad, however, his physical stature stopped others from bullying him, as they simply couldn't. He did meet Anne and Paul at the orphanage, and the three stuck together like glue, or at least Anne and Paul stuck to Vice like glue.
"I need to ask for a favor," Vice said as he looked at Anne seriously.
"Agreed. On one condition thought, promise that you'll get a drink with me later," she said in a seductive tone.
"Fine," Vice replied. "I need you to look into the arson of my house, it just happened a couple of hours ago, but there's not trace of the perpetrator."
"Shit! Are you okay? Is your mother fine?" Anne asked frantically. Her voice was filled with worry and she quickly touched Vice's face softly, searching for any injuries.
"She's fine. Now can you help me find whoever did this? I've got some things to discuss with them," Vice said.
"Okay give me a couple of days, I'll try my best to get some information. Have you got anything I can use to cast my tracking magic?" Anne asked.
Vice promptly handed her the barrel of Black Water. "Paul told me there's no remnants of arcana in it," he said.
The petite girl placed a hand on her chin before taking a look at the barrel. A thick aura was emitted from the girl as she inspected the barrel with her mana. Sweat dripped down her forehead and a strained expression was apparent on her face, which was turning her brown skin redder every second.
"PUUHH," she exclaimed and finally took a huge breath of air into her lungs. "I can sense something, but it's hidden really well in there. It'll take me at least a week to figure this out," she said and sighed out loud, yet her determination to help Vice was nonetheless still intact.
"We'll drink today then! I've got some rare alcohol that was imported from the Maloi Kingdom in the north. I bought it specifically so that we could drink it together," Anne said with a smile.
Anne walked back to her home with an enthusiastic sway in her hips. The orchard was basically her back garden, and she would take the fruits from it to eat as snacks throughout the day.
"Why were you up so late?" Vice asked as she poured him a drink.
The interior of her house was very relaxing, and the couch he was currently sat on was as smooth as a baby's butt. Vice took a swig of the blue liquid that was poured into his glass. The aroma of blueberries hit his nose before the liquid went down his throat smoothly, leaving behind a bitter-sweet aftertaste. His arcana core felt a lot warmer, and enjoyed the presence of the liquid.
"Have you noticed yet? This drink was made specifically for us cultivators, or else we couldn't get drunk even if we both had a hundred beers," Anne said softly. "And to answer your question, I just couldn't sleep."
Vice looked at the girl suspiciously but didn't bring up any more questions, instead he just sipped on his drink and let her talk her heart out to him. She'd always been like this with him and he knew it. She'd compensate for his lack of conversation by going the extra mile, just for his sake. The gesture lightened his heart and he smiled warmly at Anne, much to her surprise.
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