Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 476: Tingling through the Temples

Chapter 475: Somewhere Else (13)

–Sigma–

„Are you sure those things will keep their word? Do you trust… them?” he asked his friend. They were sitting in a chaotic apartment, surrounded by grime and dirt. The whole building was abandoned after it was half destroyed by a portal instance.

„Of course not. There is no meaning in trust in the kind of world we live it. However, do we have a choice?”

„..True, but-“

„They should arrive soon, so shut up, unless you want to anger them.” his buddy cut him off.

Minutes of silence ensued until they were finally broken by a knock on the door.

A figure in a dark cloak entered once they opened the door.

„Is it done?” it asked in a rough voice.

„Y-Yes. We distributed them all across the city as you asked us.”his buddy groveled before the figure.

„Good, then you probably want your reward now?” it said mysteriously and the temperature in the room suddenly dropped. He could see his breath linger in the air and start to shiver.

He saw a pale shadow in the corner of his eyes, but when he looked it wasnt there.

„W-What is going on?” his buddy stuttered, shaking like an aspen leaf.

“Its your… reward,” it said with an audible smile and the pale shadow suddenly crept up on him and filled his vision like a fractal mess of fish bones.

The cold permeated his being and fear filled his mind as seductive darkness filled his blurry mind.

„My Lord, the dinner is ready.” the maid told Vlad who was working in his study.

„Thank you, Nadine. What about the children?”

„They are washed and waiting at the table.” she answered with a smile.

„Excellent.”

Vlad stood up from his desk and followed the maid to the dining room.

„Where is the Lady?” Vlad asked, seeing his wife missing at the table.

„She called earlier. The charity gala for the people with lower-level had taken a little longer, but she will join you soon.”

Vlad nodded. His wife was very active in the high society and liked to help the less blessed in these troubled times. When he thought about the possible future that the System God stopped, he had complicated emotions.

The fact that he was still here with his family meant that he had not managed to escape in time in the original timeline. Considering this, his heart filled with gratitude when he looked at his daughter and son fool around at the table as they waited for his wife.

It didnt take long until they heard the door open and his wife entered the dining room in a hurry while handing her shawl to the butler.

„Elisabeta, my love!” Vlad wanted to exclaim but his wife was quicker.

„Im terribly sorry, hubby. Lord Hemsworth just wouldnt stop talking!” she said jovially and gave him a deep kiss before he could even say anything. She had hurried so much that she still tasted of Champaign.

„Eww!” their young son exclaimed.

„Cant you show some decency!” his older sister scolded their parents.

The couple only chuckled at their indignation.

Together the family finally started their dinner, however, it would not go on for long. They were interrupted by a knock at the door. The maid Nadine opened it and informed the lord that a police officer was standing at the door. With a sigh, Vlad excused himself and stood up to go to the door.

At the door was no ordinary officer, but a detective. Though his mighty pornstache seemed strong enough, he additionally wore a long coat that protected him against the evening cold

“Good Evening, Mr. Pierce. Im Detective Hesing from the Department for Post-Apocalyptic Crimes. I hope I am not intruding, but do you have a minute? I would like to ask you some questions about your friend Anye Cest.” he introduced himself, showed his police badge, and stated his business in a concise manner.

Anye was a famous artist and an old friend of his wife. He lived just down the street. What could have happened for the police to ask about him?

“Did something happen to Anye?” Vlad asked worried, however, the detective shook is head.

“We have suspicions that he weaves powers similar to a curse into his music, which is why we are currently investigating him and his surroundings.

I cant give you any further details, but I approached you because you are known to have known him for a long time. Would you answer some of my questions?”

Anye using powers in his music? he was puzzled but nodded.

“O-Of course, please come inside. We can talk in my study.”

However, before Detective Hesing could come in, Vlads hair stood on end as he registered a wave of toenail raising terror flush along the street. The Detective also turned in the direction of the energy.

“Shit, thats coming from the direction of Anyes mansion! Detective, follow me!”

A small flame was flickering in the fireplace, but its light and warmth could not fill the vast empty hall. The little light was only reflected as specks of glimmer on the dark, polished floor, but did not illuminate anything but the man sitting in front of the fireplace.

“Anye, Anye, Anye… You knew there would come a price for your talent. You became complacent, but the time has come to pay.”

Sitting on the chair in this wide empty room was the distraught Anye Cest

The darkness behind him seen to stretch into eternity and it was filled with fractal patterns resembling the ribs of a snake or the bones of a fish. The cold was permeating his skin as his thoughts raced.

Sweat pearled down his face when the skeletal grimace of a terrifying deep-sea fish appeared beside his face. The artist felt the beat of his heart in his throat, but he was unable to open his mouth as if he was paralyzed.

This gift, this cursed gift that had slowly eaten away at him. Day by day he had fewer and fewer lucid moments to the point that the life he lived did not feel like his own.

The bony jaws opened and closed as an asynchronous voice could be heard.

“I can read your discontent. “Didnt I pay with my sanity for the blessing of yours?” But that was not the agreed-on price, was it? You are the one who overused our gift and slowly gave away your mind.”

Complacency was audible as it ridiculed him.

“Now your everything belongs to us.”

Vlad and the detective ran down the street. Icy waves of wind kept hitting them, slowing their progress. Ice started building up on the detectives coat and was only slowly melted by the items reddish aura.

Vlads head spun, filled with questions. How could it be? How were hey here? What did they have to do with Anye?

“How are you almost unfazed by this storm!?” Detective Hesing screamed against the billowing wind. While he was hit over and over by the strong blows, it seemed as if the disintegrated in front of the Lord.

“Im using its name to counteract the aura.” he blurted something Hesings couldnt understand and kept running. When they finally came to Cests mansion and stopped to open the gate, they heard a bloodcurdling scream all the way outside the gate to the driveway.

“Oh no, Anye!”

He wanted to jump across the gate and charge to the mansion, but a hand held him back. Detective Hesing had grippe his shirt at the back with an iron grip. Vlad turned around to look at the detective but found what the Detective was pointing at with his eyes ripped wide open.

In the darkness of the night, levitating over the wide street was a Horror. A sight he knew just too well. One from a past he thought forgotten.

“Dont exhaust yourself, Vlad. Your friend made a deal with us and he paid his due.”

“What do you mean? Why are you here?! You have no business in this world!” he screamed at it, resisting the pressure by utilizing the knowledge of their names.

Again, the jaw moved, not fitting the words it spoke.

“Kekeke, no business? Poor Vlad, so naive and clueless. Brace yourself, for we are coming.”

With that it slowly melded into the darkness and vanished, leaving the too man gasping for air, alone, in the middle of the street.

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