Chapter 512 Night King“s Rite, Overconfidence Is The Fastest Way To One“s Downfall!
"Venerable Earl." The Vretis Skounae said respectfully before sinking back into the earth and disappearing from view.
"This has grown rather vexatious." The last thing Salokin predicted was that two Earls would die on the battlefield. This changed everything.
"Essirie, take Norebua to the Haunting Grounds to recover. Once you finish, proceed to the Netherly Unlit Grotto. Since those two are dead, a Penumbra Inquisitor is already on their way to Vostracane. We will have to move ahead of schedule for the Night King's Rite; otherwise, nothing is left to be shown but our incompetence." Salokin stated.
Essirie looked as if she wanted to protest but maintained her silence. She nodded before leaving to carry out Salokin's orders.
"To have a Penumbra Inquisitor visit the region under your command—your luck is quite bad, Earl Salokin," Izroth commented with a carefree smile.
In the Malentansium kingdom, there were three branches of powers beneath the Night King. The Immortal Umbra Horde was one of these powers that acted as the main fighting force of Malentansium. Then, there was the group who oversaw the Immortal Umbra Horde, the Penumbra Circle.
There was not much information available about the Penumbra Circle in the details listed within the Event Interface. But, there was one absolute. Any member of Penumbra Circle was, at the very least, a Skounae Marquis—the equal of an Amaharpe General!
With a name like Penumbra Inquisitor, paired with the events that had occurred, Izroth understood that Salokin had dug himself into a hole. Once that Penumbra Inquisitor found out that two Earls had died and Salokin retreated without gaining anything in return, the consequences would be enormous!
'Their visit could not have been at a better time.'
Knowing that a Penumbra Inquisitor was on the way, Salokin needed something to show that he had not failed, and this something was the Night King's Rite.
"Your mouth only knows how to spew nonsense, human brat. But that's good. After all, you will need that energy when you face the Night King's Rite. We're moving! Do not fall behind!" Salokin said with a grin as he dashed forward.
Izroth followed after Salokin, who limited his speed to keep a close eye on him.
'Empyrean should have delivered the message by now. But, with the appearance of a Penumbra Inquisitor, I may have to modify my plans.'
At the moment, Izroth's communication system was grayed out, no doubt due to some security measurements Salokin set in place around them. However, since he was not out of range, Izroth contacted Empyrean via Mind Link.
Izroth used Mind Link to relay a group of new instructions to Empyrean.
'That should do it. Now, it's time I make some preparations on my end.'
Without drawing attention to himself, Izroth secretly opened his inventory.
'I will let you see it clearly, Earl Salokin. Overconfidence is the fastest to one's downfall.'
Around 10 minutes later...
Izroth reached the entrance to a cave. However, with a glance, one could tell that this cave was man-made as the way it formed was unnatural. The inside was dark and emitted an eerie aura, but there were several areas where the moonlight beamed down.
Growing near the moonlight were strange plants and dark ores—all of which appeared high in quality. At the very center of the cave was a pool filled with a glowing cyan-colored liquid that bubbled on the surface. That bubbling pool was showered entirely in moonlight at every corner and seemed to be siphoning its natural energies. This dark yet serene place was the Netherly Unlit Grotto of Vostracane.
"We will begin the Night King's Rite as soon as Earl Essirie arrives. In the meantime, enjoy your last moments as a human. Soon, you will have the honor of becoming a Skounae of noble blood." Salokin said to Izroth as he walked deeper into the Netherly Unlit Grotto.
Not too long after Izroth and Salokin entered, Essirie arrived. After dropping off Norebua to have his injuries tended to, she rushed over to the Netherly Unlit Grotto. Even though she was against it, Essirie was left with no choice but to participate. Whether she liked it or not, the Penumbra Inquisitor would hold her accountable for what happened at the Unsanctioned Zone, along with Earl Salokin. Therefore, the two of them were locked into this situation together.
"When I give the word, you will enter into the Lunar Pool. If you do not follow my exact instructions, hmph, don't think that I will let you off with a simple death." Salokin warned.
"Since I have decided to come to this place, I would be a fool not to walk away with any benefits. Rest assured, Earl Salokin. I will not let this opportunity fall to ruin." Izroth responded.
Once he ceased speaking, Salokin stepped forward and stopped right before the Lunar Pool. Then, in one swift motion, he used the sharp nails on his right hand to make a small cut on the tip of his left index finger. After doing so, a drop of his blood fell into the Lunar Pool as the bubbling surface turned calm.
But, not even a full breath of time passed before the bubbling returned, except this time, it was countless times more active!
Essirie followed Salokin's lead and copied his every action as she too gave a drop of her blood to the Lunar Pool.
The two Skounae Earls then chanted in an unknown language as a whirlpool developed in the middle of the Lunar Pool. A few seconds later, an object that resembled a full blood red moon emerged from the whirlpool. As soon as it appeared, Izroth activated his Energy Vision Sense.
'So this is the power source of the Night King's Rite. As expected, the amount of magic energy its emitting is off the scale.'
The blood moon was approximately three meters wide and high. As Salokin and Essirie chanted, line after line of magic inscriptions appeared on the blood moon. After nearly 25 minutes passed, the entire blood red had numerous red inscriptions covering its whole surface area.
The chanting came to an abrupt halt as the last few inscriptions settled in on the blood moon, and a mysterious sphere descended into the Lunar Pool.
Salokin then turned to Izroth and said, "Enter."
Without hesitation, Izroth walked into the Lunar Pool. It was shallow and no more than half a meter deep. He approached the blood moon and stood in front of it. Being so close to it, Izroth could physically feel the magical energy manifested around it.
At that moment, Izroth knew that if he wanted to take action—now was the time.
"O' he who rules over the endless night—we thank you as you have lent us your strength for this ancient rite! Invoke-"
All of a sudden, a bright light flashed that illuminated the Netherly Unlit Grotto. This light was harmless and did not cause any actual damage to anyone or its surroundings. At least, this was the case under normal circumstances.
"My eyes!" Essirie cried as she covered her eyes from the piercing brightness.
"You want to escape?! Don't even dream!" Salokin howled. He also had to stop the incantation midway to shield his eyes from the brilliant light.
The Skounae had no problem moving around in the day. But, just as human eyesight was accustomed to seeing in places of light, the Skounae's vision was adapted to dealing with the darkness.
Put simply, this light would not affect a normal human much, but for the Skounae, it was similar to a human suddenly being tossed into a world of darkness!
The light lasted for about two seconds before darkness returned to the Netherly Unlit Grotto.
"Accursed human brat! Wait and see how I-!" Skounae regained his vision; however, when he looked towards the Lunar Pool, his facial expression turned extremely ugly. Gone—the source of power for the Night King's Rite had vanished! That was not all, but that human had disappeared as well!
Essirie was horrified, "We have to catch him before the-"
Without waiting for Essirie to complete her sentence, Salokin had vanished. His burst of movement was so great that it caused a sonic boom!
Salokin was enraged! That human not only made a mockery of him but the sacred Night King's Rite as well. However, his worst crime was that he dared steal the Blood Moon!
"Lockdown the city! No one is allowed in or out! Activate the barrier! The one who delivers to me that human brat will personally be rewarded by this Earl!" Salokin announced via the city's communication channels.