Disconnected – Chapter 15: Skeleton in the Cupboard (pt.5)

“The Great Sage’s place… we seem to have found it.”

Upon hearing that confirmation from the descendant of this sacred grave, Serein didn’t need to convince herself further that this place was indeed the one she had been seeking.

Memorizing the pictures that she’s seeing, Serein then quickly moved on as she beckoned to the pink-haired mage to look down the hallways.

“Well, our backdoor is locked shut, so either way, our only choice is to move forward. There might still be traps all around. So, do NOT touch anything and stay on the path until later if we were to see a split corridor, or perhaps something else entirely.”
Patting Pam’s little head as that warning was aimed more towards the hatchling, the green-eyed wyrm smiled sheepishly back at her as if he was caught red-handed for thinking that way.

“Okay, okay, little human, I won’t wander around and will stay here!”

“Hmm.”

Nodding in content, her eyes locked with Cherry’s, who nodded at her in agreement as well.

From this point on, her knowledge of this place was close to none, hence why Serein insisted to stick close to the heir of this magical chamber in case this place was designed to be safe around the true lineage of the Great Sage.

‘I guess I need to find a library or something?’

Walking onward was the only choice they could make to find the exit from this place, but while at it, Serein did not forget the reason why she had chosen this path despite the mortality rates for an outsider.

Putting aside Adelweirn Flower, which was no longer her main subject of this journey as Cherry had claimed ownership once they obtained it, Serein went through all of these obstacles to secure one of the three ancient books mixed among other kinds of items that are part of the infamous Archaic Relics.

Three books; each consisted of the secret of this universe. Arlia, the rightful owner of [the Guide of Good and Bad will had seen something about it that revealed an unpleasant future for himself. The reason why he ran away from his household in the first place was actually to change whatever was mentioned in that book.

To change his fate.

Meanwhile, [The Chronicle of Yore], which was guarded tightly by the Dragon Lord itself allegedly consisted of all the past events that had ever happened within this world or possibly even this whole universe.

A book revealing the future and another one that told the past.

With that pattern, supposedly, the book that she was looking for would somehow help her with her new ‘present’.

‘Well, it better be useful.’

She was about to sacrifice more just to earn the right of that relic, afterall. So, she would definitely make it her personal goal to destroy the artifact somehow if it was deemed as a complete waste of her time–

“Ooh! Another door!”

The light chirp of the young wyrm snapped Serein off her train of thoughts as they were presented with another gigantic door locked with rune magic. The only difference between this one and the previous doors was that this one was made of stone instead of wood.

“A floating brass scale.”

This time Serein paid extra attention and actually went to observe their surroundings while Cherry was inspecting the stone door as she was the only one capable of doing so.

“Another puzzle, pink human?”

Enquiring with much interest, Pam’s eyes sparkled once more upon realizing that the mage was currently inspecting another door with a strange feeling surrounding it.

“Seems like it, Pan-min.” Cherry affirmed with a hum as she opened her notebook once more, trying to decode the writings.

“Quench the thirst of the ossuary with the ichor of the worthy. Shall the chamber open to those under her majesty’s mercy.”

The riddles were easier to decode this time, but even so, the knitted brows on the mage’s forehead were not eased just yet. In a matter of fact, worry became apparent on her face as they both noticed the scale glowed for a bit before weights appeared on one of the balance plates.

Three weights with one of them being bigger than the other two.

Seeing this the three of them exchanged glances. After all, even without the riddles, it’s getting obvious what it was asking them to do. Yet still, that mage mumbled.

“It doesn’t mean what I think it is… right?”

Anxious due to the presentable clues, it was unfortunate that Serein could only deliver the truth by stating the obvious.

“It seems like it’s asking for a sacrifice of some sort.”

“A sacrifice!?”

Jumping in alarm, Pam looked rather pale before he began to freak out.

“I am not going to be sacrificed! I will bite you!”

With a menacing hiss, the young wyrm untangled himself from Serein’s arm and was about to slither away when the adventurer cut in.

“If there’s anyone to be sacrificed, it’s likely to be our royal princess over here, Pam-min. You can relax.”

And well, while the hatchling could, the pasty-faced mage turned very chalky as she heard the proclamation before then stuttering after thinking and tossing it over in her head.

“I… well… As long as I’m not dead I g-guess…?” she stuttered, gulping as her anxiety rose tenfold.

Well, if that was the only way they could get out of this place then, there was truly no other option for them to pick, was there?

Besides, she was already prepared to lose everything as she left the castle, including her own life. To which, since she’s already come this far–

‘Limbs can be replaced with prosthetics… so… it should be fine.’

–Or so she tried to convince herself despite how obviously petrified she was.

Serein felt bad for almost laughing at that actually. Especially after witnessing how skittish the mage became.

Granted, most people would be just as agitated when they realized that they have to bleed in exchange for everyone’s safety.

‘Honestly, this was such a horror film move.’

Sacrifices.

She’s quite familiar with that word since the early years of her life.

Though, at the same time, she was puzzled at human beings for being so selfless when others were so selfish to the point that they had no problems sacrificing their own kins in the name of science and future references–

Min Suhyun had seen all types of people and experienced all sorts of things in her long life of… twenty-ish years.

So, honestly, there’s not much that could shake her to the core anymore if there’s even any. Well, anyhow–

“If you cut the vein on your arm deep enough, we should be able to fill the basin to the brim in no time with blood right?”

At first, she was thinking of making a cut on the neck because as far as she knew, anywhere located on the neck and above bleeds more than other body parts.

“Don’t worry, you won’t die. That badass liquor you own should be able to save you afterward.”

Serein casually brought up her idea, not really paying attention to how gory it might have sounded since she’s more used to such street talk than being polite.

However, Cherry actually responded with a deadpan rather than simply blanching further at how laid-back her guide was.

“Serein-shi, I’ll be dead by then. Why don’t I just cut off my arm instead?”

“Oh? You’re willing?”

While Serein looked pleasantly surprised by the princess’s bravery, Cherry stared at her unimpressed, as she later sighed.

“Serein-shi.”

Once again she called with exasperation.

“Although it’s true that the elixir can do some miracles– It can’t refill the blood loss that much, let alone regrow a cut-off limb. The amount I brought along could not even keep up with that bizarre idea you mentioned.”

Cherry was willing to do so if it was indeed the only way. But really?

The weights on the left side of the scale looked like they would weigh at least two arms or a whole leg. Which, she’s reluctantly lost about if there’s another way.

However, instead of countering the mage’s statement like she had been thinking she would, Serein shrugged it off as she pulled out her dagger instead before slashing her left wrist without even flinching unlike the two spectators by her side.

“Serein-shi!!”

Startled by the action, Cherry exclaimed, whereas Serein simply turned her head as if hearing a mere morning call.

“I mean, it was never mentioned that it has to be you who does it, right? There are three weights over there. So supposedly anyone can do it or the three of us should do it.”

She simply did not wish to run out of time again like before.

After all, despite not seeing any sculptures around, in a world where powerful magic existed and might be able to even the impossible, one warning was enough.

“I don’t want to experience any more earthquakes. I’m dizzy enough.”

“And losing more blood seems to be a good idea to you?” she asked, her face aghast.

Cherry had been trying not to be this stupefied by telling herself that more bizarre things might have occurred by following this feral guide of hers. Alas, that lax adventurer seemed to know how to still push her buttons despite her efforts.

Meanwhile, with Serein? She simply shrugged at the question as if it didn’t matter a great deal if she bled to death there and then.

“For goodness sake.”

The exasperated mage let out a distressed sound as she then fished out the small container before passing it to Serein once more.

“Just have it all, Serein-shi. We cannot let you die here. We need you to get out of this place, you hear me?”

Huffing and puffing in agitation as she said so, however, Serein merely let out a lighthearted chuckle as she accepted the help offered.

“You know, princess? Though you’re trying so hard to look intimidating, the way you’re worried for me is quite adorable.”

Honestly, Serein is starting to feel bad for her because of this.

Knowing all of the hardships and betrayal that this young teen would experience in near future, she almost warned Cherry to not be this kind-hearted and accepting.

But, she couldn’t. That might change the plot of the story and make it drift further in an unexpected way, which was inconvenient for her who’s already trying to survive her fate of becoming a part of seafood–

‘Being this selfish should be alright, right?’

There are greedier humans out there– Actually, this world even has more races other than just monsters and humans in that regard.

‘Oh well.’

Dismissing these thoughts, she took a big gulp of the elixir after making some more cuts on her arms so the blood continued to flow from the gaping wounds.

In the end, however, she left a small portion of the elixir which might have consisted of only a few drops for emergency purposes.

She missed the sight of Cherry’s face turning red as the princess was too baffled to even answer what she had said.

“Little human, will you die? You are already smaller than Ceva-chi! Is it really okay to lose so much red liquid like this? You won’t die? It’s quite comfy here as you walk. You can’t die, okay?”

Pam inquired as he poked Serein’s face with his tail after climbing up at the top of her head and looking down at her.

Once again, Serein merely chuckled.

“It’s alright, Pam-min, I will carry you till we reunite with Cevahir-min,” she reassured him. “I will be just fine.”

Still disquieted and unsatisfied with that reply, Pam pouted at her. However, before he can say more things, the stone door soon began to slide open as the brass scale slowly moved with the added weight of all the blood that’s been spilled.

– grurururururuuru

“It works…”

Cherry, who had snapped her attention upon the source of sound and out of her flustered state, was now staring as she watched the door open wider, though only enough for one person to pass at a time.

“Uh, should you stop bleeding now?”

Pointing at the slowly closing wound which was still pouring blood onto the basin, Cherry looked rather concerned with how slow the wound was closing up until the moment when Serein sealed it by pouring one drop of the elixir into the deepest wound, healing it up faster.

“Drink this thing for optimal internal healing while pouring it to the injury if it was external. It’s not like healing potions that have separated usages. This elixir fixes better what’s in direct contact.”

She explained to the princess who seemed to be clueless on that matter even after witnessing her treating Cevahir yesterday.

Then again, her reaction was valid. After all, she only knows of the internal usage from her mother who was suffering from an illness rather than injuries.

Even as part of the Amaranth Kingdom’s Royal Family, Princess Cerise only ever heard of the rumors before her brother somehow managed to sneak this small bottle filled with the legendary elixir for her journey.

There’s only one other person aside from Queen Dowager herself who had the access to the elixir and only those two people were allowed to see the healing process in action.

Security was tight.

She had heard how her mother drank the potion to suppress her illness, therefore she had thought that this elixir was a drinkable type of healing potion. Which, once again made her wonder–

‘How did Serein-shi know about this?’

This time, however, Cherry decided not to ask as she did not wish to be exposed to random stories that might drag her to more unnecessary trouble than she already had.

She’d had enough of mind-shattering truths.

So instead, she merely obediently followed her guide who just finished wrapping her wrist with a ripped cloth before heading to the slightly opened door.

“Whoaaaa~!”

Soon enough, Pam’s awed voice could be heard as they entered a room filled with abundant riches and various items that were scattered all over.

“Sparkly!”

However, instead of paying attention to all the glimmering golden piles and jewelries strewn around, their eyes were locked upon something else.

“Is that… who I think it is…?”

Gulping lightly, Cherry trailed on her sentence as she let out a gasp of disbelief at what she was currently witnessing.

“Well, I mean, it can’t be anyone else, now can it?”

There, sitting imposingly on a magnificent throne, was a neatly magic-preserved skeleton, wearing a mage robe with staff on its hand and a crown sitting upon its head.

“It seems like we’re in the presence of your ancestor, Princess Cerise, The Great Sage herself…”

Author Note: Heyya folks! Anemic Bunnicula here~! Here goes another update for the week. Hope you all would enjoy it, and I’ll see you again in the next chapter, Chao~!

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