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531 Depths of Death

Bathed in the yellowish glow of the kerosene lamp, Lumian perused Burman's notebook. The pages chronicled the erratic musings of a mind teetering on the edge of instability.

"Once life slips away, spirits journey to the spirit world, except in rare cases!

"If I can craft the right summoning chant, a Spirit Guide's power could pull Helen's spirit back to our reality.

"That's step one toward bringing her back."

Upon seeing this, Lumian indiscernibly shook his head.

If only resurrection were that simple…

He turned the page.

"New mystical knowledge gained:

"In ancient times, intelligent beings ventured into the Underworld after death. Those deeply devout or exceptionally impactful could ascend to the corresponding deity's Heaven. However, during the Fifth Epoch, a surplus of undead lingered beyond the Underworld.

"I'm uncertain if Helen's spirit has entered the Underworld or returned solely to the spirit realm. When summoning, I must address these separately; mixing them would guarantee failure.

"Despite the sea monsters' formidable might, they lack the power to confine a soul. No similar occurrences manifest in that sea region. For now, special circumstances needn't be considered. Additionally, Helen wasn't a fervent follower of the Eternal Blazing Sun."

...

"I encountered Helen again.

"But she's entirely lost the memory of me.

"Her form and essence are gradually fading away. In a few short years, she'll transform into just another undead.

"I have no more than five years.

"How can I reawaken her consciousness and recover her memories? Merely providing a vessel capable of housing a departed spirit doesn't seem sufficient."

...

"Don't forget the moonlit waves by the city's lighthouse. They bore witness to my proposal and Helen's acceptance."

...

"Don't forget Gasparo seafood rice; it's Helen's favorite. After every adventure, when we returned to Port Farim, she always suggested indulging in it."

...

"Don't forget the sunset at Andatna volcano. That's where we met and vowed to revisit often in the future. Even as we age, we can't let that romance fade away…"

...

"Don't forget… Don't forget… Don't forget…"

...

"My head hurts."

...

"I razed a town, leading to the deaths of two to three hundred people.

"The sight of those couples, parents, and children perishing didn't bring me joy.

"Instead, my heart plunged into darkness.

"I acknowledge this as my sin, an irreversible mistake. I'm aware that I'm no longer the Burman you once liked.

"Yet, I harbor no regrets."

...

"Swindlers, curse them!

"Ending these swindlers has rekindled a long-lost sense of satisfaction."

...

"Helen, if you were still alive, we might have had our own child, right?

"Why do those evil Warlocks always employ infants, children, and their remains as essential ingredients for the creation of their dark arts?

"I've become even more evil than them…"

...

"Helen, I've lost my way. All my endeavors have ended in failure."

...

"Helen, I aspire to acquire the Sequence 5 potion formula and ingredients for the Death pathway."

...

"Helen, Fidel intervened. He warned that it would turn me into a monster and erase my original memories.

"Helen, I refuse to forget you.

"Helen, please forgive my cowardice."

...

"Helen, I actually encountered that islander from Resurrection Island!

"It truly exists!

"Harrison defeated me, but he spared my life. He questioned why I had forcibly transitioned to the Death pathway.

"He revealed that my previous attempts were misguided. True resurrection isn't that straightforward.

"He explained that within the depths of death lies everyone's mark. Only by bringing forth the corresponding mark into reality and utilizing it as a foundation to reconstruct spirit and flesh can we achieve genuine resurrection, retaining our original knowledge and complete memories.

"Helen, I'm overjoyed. I glimpse hope in reviving you once more."

...

"Harrison imparted knowledge about the Death domain to me. It's through understanding this knowledge and reclaiming their mark that he and his kin can undergo repeated deaths and resurrections, escaping the clutches of mortality.

"While they seldom depart Resurrection Island, it's not an absolute. Travel-

loving islanders like Harrison have ventured to different lands, leaving the Resurrection Island legend imprinted in the memories of a select few humans. Those with sinister motives compiled this information into a sea map for Resurrection Island.

"The treasure map Mark sold us is counterfeit, but parts of it trace back to the genuine one. Harrison, in his quest, left Resurrection Island to eliminate the authentic map and eradicate all who know how to reach that sea and discover Resurrection Island.

"Helen, armed with Harrison's information, I attempted to summon a spirit from the depths of death. I succeeded, conjuring an evil spirit named Arden. As it was feeble, I easily vanquished it, collecting its blood for the ensuing ritual."

...

"Helen, forgive me. I couldn't rein in my emotions.

"Ever since encountering Harrison and gaining the knowledge to truly bring you back, impatience has seized me. I can't control my emotions.

"Those islanders are swindlers deserving of death. I ended the life of a swindler and numerous others. I refused to squander any more time, hastening the ritual.

"Helen, I'm sorry. I failed again. I wasn't adequately prepared."

...

"Helen, have I lost my sanity entirely? A mere retort from Fidel triggered a frenzy, leading me to slay everyone in the house.

"He must perish too, the one who dared to threaten me and Fidel!"

...

"Helen, I've failed. It's been a while since I sustained such severe injuries.

"My body is largely undead. These wounds aren't fatal, but I lack any allies.

"Damn it, damn it, damn it!"

...

"Helen, I've missed you once again."

Lumian reached the conclusion of the dark soft-covered notebook and fixated on the sentence for an extended moment.

It was as if he had transformed into a statue.

After a few minutes, Lumian couldn't resist raising his right hand to massage his temples.

The marks from the depths of death, Resurrection Island, and Harrison inundated his mind, prompting a sudden regret for not seeking Franca's assistance.

To ensure a clean demise for Burman, he never intended to channel the Demon Warlock's spirit from the outset. This meant he had no plans to return to Trier and bring Franca to his current location.

However, his instinct now urged him to delve further into the resurrection method outlined by Harrison. He desired an understanding of the island where inhabitants experienced repeated deaths and rebirths.

Phew… Lumian closed the notebook and exhaled, making an effort to recollect his knowledge of death-related mysticism.

He recalled hearing the words "death" and "mark" conjoined.

Madam Magician had mentioned the term "death mark" while answering a question about the Tudor figure at the Samaritan Women's Spring!

Is this a concept distinct from remnant spirits and imprints, directly linked to resurrection?

From the depths of death… What lurks within the depths of death…

What I now know that is explicitly tied to death—the Underworld, the Samaritan Women's Spring, the River Styx connecting two worlds…

What a pity. I wonder what Harrison from Resurrection Island looks like…

Burman's recorded knowledge is in disarray. It seemed he wrote whatever thoughts occurred to him. Without him, organizing a complete resurrection ritual and the corresponding principles proves exceedingly challenging…

No, not just challenging. Impossible. Burman only documented what he feared he might forget. The remaining knowledge is entirely absent… Lumian rubbed his temples once more and unfolded the counterfeit treasure map. After careful scrutiny, he couldn't discern which parts were authentic and which were spurious.

He intended to send the map to Franca and Jenna at dawn, employing them to employ mysticism to differentiate between the real and the fake.

The next morning, Lumian wiped his mouth with a napkin and observed Ludwig grappling with the breakfast dishes.

Knock, knock, knock. A gentle rap echoed on the door.

"Please come in." Lumian gestured for Lugano to open the door.

Do you really think I'm a servant? Alright, providing the money makes you the boss… Lugano criticized, leaving the dining table to open the door.

It was Philip outside.

Philip entered the room, smiling at Lumian.

"We'll set sail in two and a half hours. If you have any special items you want to buy, do it as soon as possible."

"I don't," Lumian replied with a smile as he stood up.

Philip glanced out the window and said, "By the way, you might not be aware, but the Demon Warlock has been apprehended."

"Is that so?" Lugano looked surprised.

Over the past few days, the most popular topic among the passengers on the ship was Demon Warlock Burman, who had caused them to stay in Port Farim.

Seeing Lumian raise his eyebrows in inquiry, Philip said with a relaxed expression,

"Not only was Burman apprehended, but he was also in the state of a corpse."

"Who's behind this?" Lumian asked, his curiosity piqued.

Philip shook his head.

"I don't have all the details yet. What I do know is that it's closely tied to The Fool's Church. The adventurer Gehrman Sparrow is said to be their messenger."

"Could it be that the adventurer took matters into his own hands?" Lugano asked eagerly.

At sea, he naturally heard about faith in The Fool and had no doubts about it

—sailors, passengers, and dock porters would tell him about it.

"Hard to say. But anyone capable of taking down a Demon Warlock has to be at least as formidable as a pirate admiral." Philip sighed deeply.

Suddenly, a commotion echoed from the gangway. Passengers destined to board at Port Farim were finally given the green light to board the Flying Bird.

Lumian approached the window and spotted a familiar face.

Batna Comté!

He and the adorable-looking female adventurer climbed aboard the deck together.

Lumian pushed open the window and called out, "Batna, are you guys headed to Port Santa as well?"

Batna looked up, surprised, his eyes fixed on the rooms on the top floor.

Spotting Louis Berry, he grinned and replied, "Absolutely. I'm off to witness Port Santa's sea prayer ritual!"