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Chapter 499: A Traitor Among Us

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Witches are an offshoot occupation that have its roots amongst Demonesses. Some of their fortes include Alchemy, Curses and Parasitic Insects. Curses as an art is a rather special branch of magic. It contains a wide variety of spells that borrow from almost every branch of magic. While its most common variations have to do with Darkness and Psychic magicks, there are spells that come from the Fire, Water, Earth, Wind and even Light branches.

In recent times, Witches have gained independence as an occupation, no longer serving their Devil patrons or believing in them. Because of that, most Witches can no longer be considered Demonesses. While they might have lost the abilities granted by Devil worship, they have also gained an equal degree of freedom.

Strictly speaking, Witches that have broken free from their Devil patrons do not necessarily have to be a threat to humanity. A recently trending small-scale healing potion and mana recovery potions are both products of Witches.

—– The Modern Witch and Understanding Them

The situation was dire, but not in the way most would imagine. The opinions of the villagers weren’t even on my mind right now. Instead, what truly concerned me was how Nicole viewed this mess.

The moment Umbra uttered those fateful words, she immediately threw me a look. I couldn’t tell what she was thinking when she did that, but in order to avoid any misunderstandings, I started explaining myself to her with utmost trepidation. “Back then they were trying to rob me and also… Well, I won’t go into the details of what else they wanted… That’s why I killed them in a fit of anger. I’ll admit I did place parasitic spiders inside Leeder and those other bandits, but I’ve already removed them last night. In other words, they aren’t even under my control now…”

Hearing that, her expression softened a little. Her brows were still knitted together but she remained silent for the most part.

Does this mean she believes me then? Even with all those holes in my story?

“Ah…”

Just as I was mulling over how to regain Nicole’s trust, I heard several pained cries from the direction of the villagers. Those were soon followed by panicked screaming…

“Leeder… what’s going on with you all…”

“Arsen! Are you all right, Arsen…”

“Stop scaring me, Dolan!”

I hurriedly turned to look in their direction, only to witness a sight that drained the blood from my face.

I had clearly removed the spiders from their bodies, and any talk of spider eggs within them was all fake. Yet what was happening right now could be said to be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for the villagers.

As the screaming became more widespread, the remaining eight bandits were started to transform. Their bodies were being drained out at a visible pace as if something was sucking out all of their blood. What had to be the most headache-inducing part was that this transformation did not kill them right away. Instead, they were all crawling towards me with despair and disbelief in their eyes. The visceral look of anger and betrayal in their eyes was gut wrenching, to say the least.

With barely any life left in him, Leeder managed to get the closest to me, seeing as he was a Four-star unlike the rest. With his dying breath he tried to reach for me and said, “Sirs… why… we didn’t even…”

And just like that, he expanded the last bit of his life without ever expressing the regret and anger in himself. His eyes were wide open as they admonished me even in death, his body no longer able to enunciate the maelstrom of emotions they stored up at that single moment.

By now, not only Leeder had died, the remaining seven of them all died in a similar fashion to him -reduced to a dried up corpse.

Impossible… I know I removed the spiders from their bodies… and those spiders don’t kill their host by draining their blood…

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Not long after they died, countless finger-thick, blackish-red worms started crawling out of their orifices in a horrifically disgusting display.

“Master… those are Vampiric Leeches…” Jezsere was quick to say. While she might have been timid, she was still a well-read Mage. From the moment the first leech crawled out of Leeder’s body, she had already recognised it. “They are a common tactic amongst Witches… but they have a troublesome stipulation that their eggs have to be ingested orally…”

Orally? So they just ate something bad then?! And what’s a Witch? Crap, now’s not the time for explanations as well… those villagers are starting to act up…

“They are the ones… Murderers…”

“Devil… get out of our village!”

“Vengeance! Vengeance for our kin!”

“Chase them out of the village!”

Now that Leeder and the others were all leech bait. The situation with the villagers deteriorated rapidly. They first backed away from his body, and upon confirming that they themselves weren’t in danger, they somehow mustered the courage to try and condemn me.

Without a doubt, they all believed that Vampire’s words about me implanting creatures in Leeder’s body. While it was true that I did implant a parasite in each of them, that Vampire conveniently left out what it was that I implanted in them. That was why they ended up laying the blame on me…

In all honesty, this situation couldn’t be any worse. How was I to explain myself at this point? Telling them that I had already removed those spiders last night was basically an admission of guilt. Furthermore, if I could implant spiders in them, who was to say that I couldn’t implant leeches in them as well. Either way, whether it was the spiders or leeches, none of them mattered at this point. The death of those bandits outside of the village had caused their minds to be clouded by hate…

Curses. We’re practically dancing in the palm of his hands… did he already predict this when we first came into contact with Leeder? Last night, I even made sure there were no other parasites in Leeder’s body too. Those spiders will never allow another parasite to live in their host’s body to begin with… So the leeches were planted afterwards? But the Assassins were all on high alert last night so that Vampire couldn’t have snuck in and implanted those leeches. Furthermore, those leeches have to be ingested orally and Leeder himself didn’t seem to know of their existence… so there’s a traitor amongst us then… someone that is close to Leeder as well, otherwise Leeder would have never eaten their parasite-laced food.

The villagers could basically be split into two camps at this point. One that called for vengeance and another that called for me to get out. Either way, they were completely opposed to me.

From the sidelines, the Vampire watched the scene unfold with a barely disguised smirk on his face -how I wanted to punch him there and then. This whole charade, while not directed by him alone, surely had his involvement.

Regardless, those villagers were starting to get on my nerves at this point. Not to mention that special trait of Humans that was starting to reveal itself. When enough Humans gathered together, they often acted in ways they otherwise would not have..

Their yelling had only grown fiercer by the minute. Being timid as she was, Jezsere was already shivering in my arms from the fright. The outpouring of negative emotions was also starting to give me a headache.

If I wanted to find out who planted those leeches, all I really had to do was ask the Assassins who Leeder came into contact with last night. However, those Villagers would most likely doubt my words, assuming they even gave me a chance to explain myself at this point.

Perhaps it was because I hadn’t said a word so far, but a number of villagers were starting to get ahead of themselves…

It all started with a boy tossing a rock at me -something about how his mum was killed by that Vampire and how his dad was killed by me and how he was now an orphan…

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“Give me back my daddy!” He yelled as he threw the rock. Zurnalin immediately reacted by swatting down the offending object despite the fact it could have never harmed me to begin with. However, Zurnalin looked unusually angry right now. Not only Zurnalin, the rest of the Assassins were furious as well.

Zurnalin even tried to thrust her sword at the brat who threw the rock but was stopped by me.

“Zurnalin! Calm down.” I stepped in to stop her. He was just a child, at the end of the day. It was also a fact that I killed his father; it was only understandable that he would do that.

Even so… hatred truly was a terrifying thing…



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