Virtues of the Chaosbringer Chapter 9: 8
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Vice looked down at Jack with a face filled with curiosity. "Do you have any names of the women affected?"
Jack shook the gold pouch against his ears, and then shrugged his shoulders whilst his brown eyes glinted mischievously. "I don't know, I can't really remember all of the little details you know. It's the old age, it has finally come for me," he said.
"Don't make me jump over the counter, Jack. I know you're not human but I will still…" Vice said with a menacing look as he let his mana run freely to his hands. The arcana in the surroundings surged toward Vice, and a thick, oppressive aura was released into the room.
"O-Okay don't make a mess in here, fine. I'll write down a list of the women and where they live. That damn temper of yours, why is it only aimed at me all the time?" Jack said.
"Because you do dumb shit like that," Vice said, his pitch-black seemingly piercing through Jack's soul.
"Here. Take it before I change my mind," Jack said, not looking at Vice as he handed over the piece of paper. Almost fifteen different names and locations were written on the piece of paper in a red ink.
"Thank you Jack, I'll see you soon," Vice said, and walked out of the building. A fresh breeze hit Vice in the face the moment he exited, but only seconds after the smell of sewage made him regret not enjoying that initial breeze enough.
'So where to now buddy?' Favian asked.
'We'll go check out what some of these women have to say. This is almost like a treasure hunt isn't it? Gotta get information from all these different sources before I can verify the location of the treasure,' Vice thought.
Vice strolled to the Gwabu area of the city. More traditional architecture littered this place, with expertly crafted wooden homes similar to the Oriental styled buildings back on Earth being the most common thing to see. The colors of the rainbow dotted across the landscape, with each house as colorful as the last, creating a unique atmosphere which couldn't be found anywhere else in Restok.
'Okay we're here, let's see… If we go to Madame Gazelle first, since she's the closest, then we should be able to talk to almost half of the widows today,' Vice thought. He walked up to a large building which beamed with a red and blue color, and used the door knocker.
"One moment, I'm coming," a loud female voice replied, which was followed by hurried footsteps. Only a short moment later did the door open up, revealing to Vice an aged woman with blond hair and green eyes.
"Hello, sorry for the wa-" the woman said. She looked at Vice's eyes and horns with a panicked expression, and immediately ran back into her home, shutting the door behind her.
Vice stared blankly at the door with his mouth wide open.
'HAHAHA, that's never happened before. Tell me why that hasn't happened more,' Favian said as he laughed uncontrollably.
Vice grabbed his head tightly trying to get the irritating squeal out of his mind. 'Stop laughing, this isn't even funny.' Vice gave out a long sigh, after which he stroke out the name Madame Gazelle from the list he had on the piece of paper. 'On to the next one then.'
'HAHAHA, ten of them. Ten of them all rejected you. Of course, your menacing looks don't help you here. We should have been doing this type of work from the beginning instead of letting you hunt treasures,' Favian said as he laughed madly.
The sun was by now drooping low in the sky, its light weakly touching the ground. Vice was barely illuminated by the rays as he was stood in front of the eleventh name on the list, the wind breezing through the space between his two horns. He looked at the door with hesitation, but nonetheless knocked onto it.
'Hmm seems there's nobody there,' Vice thought after he waited by the door for a minute without response. Instead of turning back, however, he knocked onto it once more, much louder than before.
"Yes I'll be down in just a sec," a female voice said. Only seconds later was the blue door swung open. "How can I help you?" the woman said. Her blue eyes stared back calmly at Vice, who was able to notice dark circle underneath them.
"Sorry to disturb you, are you Isabelle?" Vice asked.
"Yes, is there something wrong?" Isabelle furrowed her brows as she asked the question.
"I'm hoping that you could give me some information on the rumors of the widowmaker," Vice said quietly. The woman's expression froze upon hearing the last word. She stared at Vice with a blank expression, and tried to move her mouth unsuccessfully.
"I-I don't know what you're talking about. Have a nice day," she said before retreating back into her home.
'Hey do something! She's got the information we need, just get her to listen to you,' Favian said.
Vice quickly thrust his foot between the woman and the door, stopping her from closing it completely. She jumped back in fright at the menacing aura accidentally given off by Vice. "Oh sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I'm here to find and kill the widowmaker, so please help me," he begged. "If we don't do anything, more children and wives will be left defenseless here."
Isabelle stared blankly at the sky for almost twenty seconds, as if contemplating very deeply, until finally replying in hushed tones, "Okay, but you're going to have to be a lot quieter, we don't need everyone to know about this issue here."
Isabelle brought Vice into her home after motioning him in. A fruity fragrance of orange wafted through his nose the moment he entered, and the interior was only dimly lit by a few chandeliers on the ceiling. Colorful paintings were hung on the sides of the walls as Vice was brought through to the living room, where he promptly was asked to sit on.
"Would you like anything to drink? I brought you some tea if you wanted it," Isabelle said sweetly as she came in with two porcelain cups filled with steaming liquids.
"No thanks, I'm fine right now," Vice replied. "So what can you tell me about the widowmaker? What is it?"
After taking a sip of the hot liquid in her cup, she sat down on a couch across from Vice and crossed her leg on top of the other. "It all started a couple months ago. At the annual spring festival here in the Gwabu area we held the competition for the 'Best Wife Award'. I know, it sounds stupid and pointless, but ever since that day a husband is taken away from us once a week. Without end…" she said. Tears slowly filled the middle aged woman's eyes, which she quickly wiped away.
"What about kids? Do you know if any of the other women affected had any children?" Vice asked.
"No, none of us had any kids… Why do you ask?" Isabelle replied with a confused expression.
"No reason. Anyways thanks for your time, I'll try to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible," Vice said, after which he got up and left the room, committing the layout to memory.
'So it's been fifteen weeks since the first death. There hasn't been a death yet this week, which means the widowmaker will show up soon. The last few women were at least able to give me some more information,' Vice thought as he made his way to the last person he wanted to talk to. This woman wasn't part of the list, however, as the winner of the 'Best Wife Award' he simply needed to confirm some suspicions.
"It's already this dark, there's probably no point in continuing the search today," Vice said as he looked up at the dark sky. Out of the corner of his eye, as he strolled out of the Gwabu area, Vice saw a dark apparition.
"What was that?" he said as he rubbed his eyes. The image he'd just seen was gone from his vision, disappearing as if it never existed in the first place.
[DING! Quest objective has been spotted, the host is suggested to proceed with caution]
'Already? Well done young one, you've got your first battle on the horizon. As long as you just do what I've taught you then I'm confident you have a chance,' Favian said.
'Just a chance? That doesn't sound good at all. Shit I need to catch up to it, system where is it?' Vice thought as he hurriedly looked for the widowmaker.
[DING! Tracking has been initialized, live coordinates are being transferred into the host's mind]
"AHHH," Vice screamed as he frantically clutched at his head. His brain felt like it was melting under a blazing inferno.
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