Johannes Palace - The King's Domain
#71
"H-Hey! Wait!" Meriya pouted before pointing at Faunix. "I waited a long time to see you again and as soon as I see you, you gotta disappear? No way! You're staying right here an--"

"Right! I'll tell you as soon as I can, Khalil! Please pardon us and we're sorry for the sudden leave!" Faunix stared at Black Shadow, still sweating about the situation. "We need to get back to the Sisterhood asap! ...But how?"
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#72
“Well, I was working on a teleportation skill, but I never had the time to put into use since I have been busy recently.” Black Shadow lifted her right arm; sparks of energy radiated from the palm of her hand. “Okay… just grabbed onto me and we can get out of here to at least, I hope, the Sisterhood.”
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#73
"R-Right... Please hurry!"

Faunix grabbed Black Shadow's arm, trying his best not to pay attention to Meriya and her tantrum.

"Hey! Don't leave me Faunix! You better stay here or else!!!" Meriya shouted. "I'm not done talking to you!"
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#74
"Let them be, Meriya. It seems that they have more pressing matters to attend to. Come back anytime, you hear?" Khalid said.

Black Shadow nodded and prepared for teleportation. Instantly, they disappeared from the castle, heading straight to the Sisterhood.
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#75
Olivia returns to the Palace thanks to the Pegasus who took her to and from Shina Ania.

"Now to go and tell the King what happened..." she told herself as she entered the Palace, looking around to see if Elewa was close by. "Hopefully the King hasn't already been dealing with bad news... but he needs to hear this." Nervously, Olivia rehearsed what she would say to Khalid as she made her way to the throne room.
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#76
"Oh?" Elewa spotted Olivia from down the hall. He was carrying a huge load of food, seemingly on his way to feed other horses on the field near the castle. "You're back?" He approached the young warrior. "No cuts or any significant damage on you. I can safety say you managed to figure out what was happening in the Forest of Memphis?"
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#77
Olivia nodded. "I did, thanks to the help of some Desolatians who were also there on a Guild job..." She rubbed her arm anxiously. "If it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't have made it back by myself. It's a lot to process, so we need to talk to the King about it directly. The short version is that I found out that the forest is being used as some kind of... ritual sacrifice ground." Olivia's voice began to shake as she resisted the urge to cry. "Cultists kidnapping women to try and revive someone they were worshiping. It was a horrific sight... we couldn't save them. Those poor women even begged us to..." she cut herself off in order to keep it together, rubbing furiously at her eyes. "There's far more to it than that, but the King has to hear all of it."
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#78
Elewa nodded and didn’t asked anything further. Whatever Olivia saw that needs to be taken directly to the King himself must be urgent. He narrowed his eyes upon seeing Olivia visibly troubled when talking about the captured women. “Come.” He led Olivia to the King Chambers, more specifically, in the bathing room.

Khalid was seconds of into the tub before Elewa came in. “Sire, I have urgent news. Olivia made it back, but judging from the tone of her voice, it isn’t good.” He was not fazed at the slightest upon seeing the king fully naked.

“Urgent news…” Khalid, likewise, was not fazed of Elewa and Olivia barging in. “Olivia, did you find out something about the Forest of Memphis?”
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#79
Olivia yelped in surprise and promptly covered her eyes with her hands; she was mortified about having walked in on the King during his bath time but she didn't expect him to be so nonchalant about it, especially considering how youthful he looked despite almost certainly being older than her. 

After turning around to face the door, she composed herself long enough to speak. "Y-yes, your Majesty... It's very alarming. There's some kind of cult group that have been traveling around the continent kidnapping women. Their most recent victim was the only one I could recover with the help of some Desolatian Guild members, and she happened to be a member of the Paradican Sisterhood of White Magic. Meaning, these cultists are traveling outside the country to search for more girls. We turned her over to them for the time being... From what we could gather, the cultists were using some kind of forbidden ceremony in a bid to resurrect someone they only referred to as The Queen.

"The women we came across were just... skin and bones. We thought they were already dead but... they were leftover failures to reach the goal of reviving this Queen of theirs. Unfortunately, I think the only girl we could save is what I can only call a vessel for the Queen to inhabit at any time. We never figured out how they managed to do this other than it most certainly is some kind of forbidden magic. No ordinary modern magic I know of is capable of binding a living soul to that of one who's long passed. The Queen was a... terrifying opponent; I think she even mentioned wanting to reclaim the throne from you. The amount of rage she had in her was palpable. We were able to knock her out, but it was almost impossible to leave the Forest Temple alive; the women were probably beyond our ability to help them since even they begged us to end them. But we hesitated for too long about what to do. The cult has them under their control like puppets... we managed to take down a few of them but it wasn't nearly enough.

"We were only able to leave because one of the Guild members was able to force their hand by threatening to harm the vessel. It was a foolhardy decision, but even if she was bluffing, they had taken her threat seriously enough to let us go. But the only one who the puppets answered to was a strange woman they called Lust. I'm afraid we won't be seeing the last of these cultists who called themselves Watchers. I'm very sorry that I failed to rescue any of the girls... I had to leave them behind."
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#80
Khalid and Elewa both stared at each other after hearing Olivia’s description of what transpired in her mission. “No, you have nothing to apologize for. You have done everything you can that I asked for. Things don’t always go exactly what you expect.” Khalid said.

“But the Queen… I can’t believe it.” Elewa started to sweat. “To use these women as batteries for their ancient magic. I have no words.”

“The Queen did have a large following after she passed. Her supporters were angry for what had happened to her—rightfully so.” Khalid continued on. “The Queen… never thought the Cult was able to pull off something like that… Ancient Magic is something you don’t mess with.”

“And the fact that the Cult of the Watchers don’t have a single leader, but a group that’s controlling them behind the scene. If they can pull this off, they can perform many other dangerous skills of magic. They must’ve picked this up if they’re traveling outside of Shina Ania.” Elewa addressed.

“Olivia,” Khalid put on his robe to cover his body. “You done a great service for finding out this information. What about the girl?”
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