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A Witch. This country had always this strange belief that there's an evil witch, who is in fault of everything bad happening to the city. Hunger? It's the evil witch's fault. Monsters going wild? The evil witch's fault. Discrimination? Classism? Blame the witch for it.
It is a rather strange thing, this is an island after all, so I suppose it is easy for the government to manipulate its people when there's no other nations trying to intervene or show the inhabitants that there's more to life than blaming someone else for their misfortune or the injustices that are allowed in their society.
Then again, this kind of reminds me of Earth a tiny bit. Politicians really love blaming other people for their own mistakes, don't they? As long as they can keep people busy blaming and hating one another, they'll never turn their heads towards the actual root of their problems.
Nonetheless, as the day ended and we went back to our temporary home in the island's suburbs near the orphanage, I continued spying on the guards stations, hearing more info.
"The guys tat got cursed can't talk anymore, they seem to be slowly dying."
"Whatever curse they put over them, they're getting drained dry of everything…"
"Man, so the Witch's actually real?! We've got enough problems having to chase this stealthy guy that killed our Knight Commander…"
It seemed that this "Witch" cursed a group of guards that went to explore the Salty Swamps… I do wonder if that's really true or if something else was what affected them. Well, I've got these slimes for something.
I went to investigate the people using a tiny red slime, and quickly found them. They were all resting over beds inside a near empty room. There was nobody tending their injuries anymore, everyone gave up after the curse was never healed with their conventional magic.
"Witch… get away… from me!"
"No… no! Agh!"
They were all hallucinating too, strange. I quickly decided to take a look at one of them, utilizing my magic and the system to analyze them in more detail.
"System, can you analyze him in detail?"
[Several curses have been detected within the subject.]
[Curses Detected: [Curse of Life Drain] [Curse of Mana Drain] [Curse of Lifespan Drain] [Curse of Rotting] [Curse of Fatigue] [Curse of Muting] [Curse of Paralysis]…]
[It appears this curse is incredibly strong and seems to be an immense amalgamation of many lesser curses.]
[The one that conjured it must have really wanted them to have a slow and painful death.]
"Strange, but why would the Witch want to do this? Is she just stereotypically evil?"
[I suggest taking a peek at the guard's memories to see what truly happened. Your Dream Magic Spell [Memory Parasite] can easily glance at people's minds when they're incapacitated like this.]
"Good idea System, you're the best."
[I-I am merely suggesting something…]
"Alright then, let's do that. Magic Transfer: [Memory Parasite]!"I quickly utilized Magic Transfer into the tiny red slime inspecting the cursed man, as a small mass of purple and pink colored dream essence emerged out of a magic circle, resembling a tiny insect larvae, which slowly crawled inside the man's gills and into his brain.
In mere seconds, I was quickly shown what was within his most recent memories. I easily threw away the useless stuff I didn't cared for, and went straight towards what was more important.
In there, I saw them.
The group of six guards had gone into the Salty Swamps with the desire to gain merit.
It seems that rumors about my allies getting in there to investigate had already gone around the city, and they suspected they could be bandits or even my allies, so they went to take a look.
However, on their way across the swamps, they got lost and began wandering around. Sometimes, they had to run away from wild monsters showing up out of the swamps, which were swarming with critters.
Until they finally reached an area that seemed covered by mist, they wandered inside, looking around, until they finally saw the shadow of a woman.
"What do you want? Are you lost?"
Her voice seemed young and soothing, the mermen immediately glanced at her, incapable of discerning her true appearance, but her seductive voice and her shadowy figure showing a tall and beautiful figure attracted them to her…
"A woman?! Why's there a woman here?"
"Oi, bring us to your house! We need help, we're lost!"
"Hehehe, would you look at her, she seems like a beauty!"
As they slowly and creepily approached her, she scoffed at them.
"Such disgusting thoughts… Is this what that city's guards have become? A group of gross bandits? Go away, I am not a woman you can easily play around with. I won't help those with evil intentions."
The woman had some sort of mind reading power, she immediately read through their minds, seeing how they were planning to steal her stuff, eat her food, and rape her.
Seriously, these guys perhaps do deserve getting cursed to death…
"What are you talking about?!"
"Fucking bitch, we'll show you a good lesson!"
"Grab her! Make her tell us where her house is!"
The mermen rushed towards her, but in mere seconds, they suddenly lost the ability to walk properly, falling into the ground. Black flames emerged over their bodies, filling them to the brim with curses.
"I warned you… I won't let anybody trespass the Sacred Lands." She said, quickly walking away after leaving them half-dead. "Even less those with evil, dark hearts…"
And then, someone else found them and brought them back to the city… and here they are.
"Sacred Land? And she has the power to read minds and conjure really strong curses…" I sighed.
[She seems quite dangerous… I cannot analyze her because it is merely a memory, but I can tell she might be at least a Rank 7 Curse Caster, though with such a strong curse, Rank 8 doesn't seem so far-fetched.]
"We might have to eventually confront her if we want to get into the Ruin's depths…"
Just who is this mysterious woman?
And are the Swamps really Sacred Lands?
Things are becoming more complicated than I originally imagined them to be.
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