“Mary, you can’t do that in front of people you don’t know! Sigh.”
Tasha let out a sigh and grabbed Mary’s arm. She then carefully pulled the robe down in order to cover the black lines back up. At the same time, she continued to observe Cale and Choi Han’s expressions. Tasha was holding Mary’s hand tightly.
“This, you see…”
Tasha was unable to hide her anxiety. No, she had been in a state of shock since Raon appeared, but this was more despair than shock.
Cale looked right into Tasha’s eyes and calmed her down.
“I don’t plan to tell anybody so do not worry. We are already all in the same boat.”
Tasha closed her mouth that had been repeatedly opening and closing without making a noise. She remembered what Alberu had said about Cale.
‘Auntie, he may be rude, but he keeps his word. I can’t trust him, but I can at least rely on the bastard.’
In the end, it meant that Alberu trusted Cale, even if he would not directly say that. Tasha started to agree with Alberu the longer she interacted with Cale.
At that moment, Mary started to speak.
“I will also not speak about Dragon-nim. Since I cannot make a vow of Elementals, I will vow with my life instead.”
Cale had a small smile on his face that quickly disappeared. He should not have to worry about Raon’s secret because she put her life on the line.
Tasha then heard her grandfather starting to speak.
“Young master Cale, do you know about necromancers?”
“I know as much as any other person.”
Well, he knew more than the average person based on what he had read in the novel.
Necromancers referred to people who used dead mana to control dead creatures to fight. They also had scars on their bodies that were impossible to hide, even with magic.
Just like Mary’s arm they just saw, their entire body is covered with black veins that look like spider webs.
The black spiderweb human.
It was the side effect of using dead mana that living beings should not be able to use. That might have been another reason that the necromancers were hunted down, in addition to their use of corpses to fight.
‘They were deemed to be useless.’
But there were no useless occupations in the world.
Everything had a time and place that they would be useful.
“My name is Mary.”
Mary started to speak again.
“I am twenty-five this year.”
She introduced herself following Raon’s style. Cale quietly listened while Raon was looking at the black robe with curiosity.
“I have lived in this City of Life for the past 15 years. I remember running away into the desert with my family when I was 10 years old.”
The necromancer Mary was, as expected, one of the people who ran away from the village.
“That is the only thing I remember.”
Cale was not able to understand what she meant right away.
“We found Mary 15 years ago on the day the dead mana rose to the surface.”
Cale turned his head to see Shawn continuing to speak with a stiff expression.
“I was the one who found her.”
Shawn recalled what had happened 15 years ago.
“As we mentioned before, dead mana rises into the Land of Death twice a year. We go up to the surface every night when we know that the time is near in order to quickly bring down any humans who are running away into the desert. Since most of them are malnourished, even the slightest amount of dead mana can be critical.”
“But we cannot get everyone.”
Tasha started to frown as she added on. Tasha was there when Shawn found Mary.
“15 years ago was when the highest amount of dead mana came up to the Land of Death. It was the most we have ever seen in the past few hundred years, at about twenty times the norm.”
Cale could imagine what it was like, as well as how Mary had become a necromancer. He then started to speak.
“That must have been where you found Miss Mary.”
She was found in the Land of Death with twenty times the normal amount of dead mana, when even the smallest amount would be deadly for humans.
“Yes. She had absorbed a significant amount of dead mana by the time we found her.”
“But she managed to survive?”
Shawn tried to answer, but someone else answered first. It was Mary.
“Yes. I managed to survive, even though it was extremely painful.”
Cale could not sense any emotion in Mary even though she was saying it was painful.
“It felt like all of my veins were popping. In order to survive, I needed to learn to control the dead mana while dealing with the intense pain going through my body. When given with the options of being a Black Mage or a Necromancer, I chose to become a Necromancer.”
The 10-year-old Mary needed to become a necromancer in order to survive.
“That is why I am happy that I am in less pain.”
Tasha lowered her head like it was difficult to listen further.
In less pain. Mary phrased it like this because necromancers lived a life of pain for absorbing dead mana that god did not allow for humans.
“However, I have no memories of my life before that.”
Cale now understood what she meant when she said running away into the desert was all that she remembered.
“I was running across the desert. My family members started to fall one by one behind me, but I continued to run. That is the only thing I remember. I don’t remember where I used to live, nor even the faces of my family members.”
Mary remembered just one thing.
‘Mary, keep running! Don’t look back, just run!’
She only remembered her mom’s voice and the feeling of the sand underneath her feet as she continued to run. She was only able to remember her name thanks to her mother’s voice.
“I have been in pain, but I have been happy and very thankful.”
The emotionless voice continued to speak.
Mary was happy and thankful to be here in the City of Death, no, the City of Life. She was also thankful for Obante, who was trying to keep her in the city, as well as Shawn and Tasha, who had saved her and continued to look after her for the past 15 years.
However, she heard her mom’s voice every night.
“I know that humans do not like necromancers, but I am still curious about the human world.”
The majority of the people in the city called the human world hell.
They also said that humans despised necromancers. But she was still curious.
No, she felt empty inside.
“I don’t want to bring harm to anyone, so I will go alone.”
This forgotten first 10 years of her life continued to haunt her and cause her pain. That was why she wanted to figure out what happened during those first 10 years. She wanted to recover her memories, and something was telling her that she needed to go to the human world to do that.
She pulled up the sleeve on the arm that Tasha was not holding. The ugly scars appeared again.
“I heard that people find these scars to be disgusting. As such, I just have to make sure these scars aren’t revealed and that I avoid the temples. I have prepared a lot for this trip.”
Mary’s head, well, the hood of the black robe, was facing Cale and Raon, but she was talking to the three Dark Elves.
Tasha just stood there without being able to grab the other arm. She recalled the child who was having a hard time breathing in the black desert filled with dead mana.
‘I need to run, ugh, need to run!’
That was what the child was mumbling as black lines started to appear all over her body.
Tasha could see that the child’s parents were dying in the distance when she picked up the struggling girl from the sand. The child had run quite far.
She then won against the dead mana and survived.
“I am curious about the world.”
Obante could not say anything. It was because he knew that she was not actually curious about the world. He knew that she just wanted to find her forgotten memories that continued to haunt her every night.
At that moment, he could see something starting to move.
It was Raon.
Raon flew toward Mary and stopped in front of her. He quietly looked at the black robe for a while before starting to shout.
“You are amazing for managing to live! Of course, you are not great and mighty like me, but you are still amazing!”
Cale agreed with Raon. He started to speak in a calm tone that was very different than Raon’s excited shout.
“You are amazing. It is fine as long as you managed to live.”
“Right! I accept that you are a slightly amazing human!”
However, Raon had more to say.
“However, if this weak human somehow got as strong as my front paw and went off on a journey while saying he was not going to get hurt, yet came back hurt, I would destroy this world!”
‘…Isn’t that too much? Shouldn’t you heal me first?’
There were a lot of things Cale wanted to ask, but he was unable to say them out loud. It was because he agreed with Raon to a certain degree.
Mary also did not want the people around her to get hurt. That was why she understood Raon, as well as the Dark Elves, on why they did not want her to leave. That was why she had waited for five years after turning 20, but she was still curious about the world.
“That is why I will not go until I get permission. Once I do go, I will definitely come back within 1 year without getting caught by anyone.”
She sounded very serious as she said that. Obante wiped the sweat off of his palms as he weakly answered.
“Later, let’s talk about it later.”
She was the only necromancer in this city, no, the entire Western continent. Obante was the one who had opened that path for her. He could not bear to watch her die, so he took out one of the relics he had found in the past and gave it to her.
“Yes sir. I understand.”
Obante turned his gaze to Cale and Raon once Mary answered.
“I will let you know when the dead mana is gone. Please let us know if we can do anything to help make your stay during this time better.”
“Thank you very much, mayor-nim.”
Cale shook hands with Obante before getting up. Shawn and Mary got up as well. However, there was one person still sitting down.
Tasha got up in shock after hearing Obante call her name. She seemed to have a lot weighing on her mind. Cale ignored this and headed out of the mayor’s office. Raon returned to being invisible while the Dark Elves and Mary pretended not to know anything.
The mayor stayed in his office while Tasha and Shawn led the way for Cale’s group. Choi Han was naturally standing right behind Cale, while the necromancer Mary stood next to Choi Han, quietly walking with her robe dragging on the ground.
The hood of black robe raised when Mary turned her head and looked up at Cale. Cale asked as he continued to walk at a casual pace.
“Can you make me an arm?”
“Do you mean an arm for the human body?”
Cale gently answered her emotionless question.
“Yes. A left arm.”
“Do you need it for something?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I understand. I will make it for you.”
Cale looked toward Mary, who did not ask about compensation or a reward, and asked.
“What is it you want to see in the human world?”
Shawn and Tasha flinched at his question. Mary answered without any hesitation.
“I am not sure.”
Mary really did not know.
“I cannot imagine the human world since I have no memories of it and have only read about it in books. But I feel like there will be a lot of things I would want to see once I get there.”
“I guess that makes sense.”
Cale agreed with Mary’s logic. How could you want to see something specifically if you didn’t know what was there? Maybe she’ll know what she wants to see once she goes to the surface.
At that moment, Raon started to speak in Cale’s mind.
There was nothing Raon wanted to see while he was in that cave for 4 years. It was because he had not seen anything yet. He just wanted to be free. There was nothing else he was looking forward to.
Raon continued to praise the necromancer Mary since earlier.
It was Raon’s appeal to Cale that he wanted her to go with them. He wanted her to see the world.
Cale pretended not to hear Raon, as usual.
Two days later, Cale was laying down on a couch in the restaurant of the inn while staring up at the ceiling.
“This is no joke.”
A loud noise accompanied what felt like an earthquake. However, it was not too severe.
“Young master-nim, it looks like the dead mana is about to rise.”
“Seems that way.”
Cale took a sip of the lemonade Ron handed him. This underground city even had lemons. They had every kind of fruit down here.
Beacrox made some ice cream and put it on the table in front of Cale and the invisible Raon. The innkeeper was looking at Beacrox like he really wanted to hire Beacrox as the inn’s chef.
Cale ignored Raon and looked toward the inn door.
“Beacrox, go bring me another cup of lemonade.”
“Young master-nim, I will do it.”
Beacrox asked in confusion, while Ron stepped up to say that he would do it. They heard a small bell chiming as someone entered the inn.
“Ron, you sit down.”
It was a person completely covered in a black robe. Mary had entered the inn to visit Cale and walked over toward him without any hesitation.
“Beacrox, go bring a cup of lemonade for our guest.”
Beacrox looked toward the completely covered person with confusion. Cale continued to speak to help Beacrox understand.
“This is the person who will make your father a new arm.”
Beacrox stiffened up. Even Ron, who had his usual benign smile, couldn’t help but change expressions.
Cale looked toward the black robe in front of him and got right to the point.
Cale liked free things, money, and taking things from people, but he was not a full-on scam artist. He, as Kim Rok Soo, believed that he needed to appropriately reward people who did good things for him.
Cale planned to give such a reward to the person who would make a new arm for the dual dagger wielding assassin, Ron. She deserved a good reward for helping out one of his people.
“I will give you a place to stay for 6 months.”
Raon shouted in Cale’s mind.