“Do you know where Renee is?” Jared asked.
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“She was captured and brought to Phantom Monastery. I’ll rescue her once I give Erasmus a proper burial!”
Leonidas slowly gathered Erasmus’ lifeless body in his arms and turned to bury the corpse in the backyard.
However, Jared reached out to stop him. “Abbot Leonidas, let the others take care of Abbot Erasmus’ funeral. Bring me to Phantom Monastery right now. Renee will be in grave danger if we take too long!”
Leonidas paused briefly before nodding. “All right, I’ll take you there immediately,” he agreed and carefully placed Erasmus’ body on the ground.
“Mr. Grange, Mr. Lowe, we’ll leave the rest to you guys!” Jared hollered at the men.
“Take care, Mr. Chance!” Walter replied.
Without further ado, Jared and Leonidas embarked on their quest to save Renee. The Phantom Monastery was located at the peak of a treacherous mountain, where the population was sparse. Hence, the monastery rarely had visitors and was a stark contrast to its famous counterpart—Lagrange Monastery.
With Leonidas leading the way, they reached the foot of the mountain at dawn.
Jared stared at the tall mountain and the dense forest that carpeted it, his eyes gleaming with murderous intent.
The mountaintop was enveloped in thick fog—a product of the heavy rain from the night before. However, it did not deter Jared and Leonidas as they strode straight ahead and disappeared into the white mist.
Meanwhile, in Phantom Monastery, several ferocious-looking monks were sluggishly cleaning up the monastery. Despite their deceiving attire, they were ruthless murderers who had fled to the mountains to evade the law. They made the Phantom Monastery their haven and lived under the guise of monks.
A man in robes stood in the main hall. He was none other than the current prior of Phantom Monastery and the traitor Leonidas had spoken of—Diomedes. Falcon was his disciple!
It was time for the morning sermon, but Diomedes’ mind was elsewhere as he crouched by the wall to eavesdrop on the situation behind the monastery.
In a secret room at the back of the monastery, Dorieus, who was obviously past his seventies, was leering at Renee.
Curled up in a fetal position on the bed, Renee tried to hide from the bearded man’s lecherous gaze. Her eyes were filled with dread as she stared at the madman before her.
Last night, Renee had gone back to her room after dinner. Just as she was about to retire for the night, she heard a commotion outside her room. It sounded like a scuffle. As her curiosity piqued, she opened the door to investigate, but she got knocked out cold immediately. When she finally came to, Renee found herself in a foreign room.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk… Your skin is as white as ivory. I can even see the delicate veins under it! How befitting of someone who has a frosty constituent! I may have lost the Starry Compass, but I’ve attained something even more precious. What a bargain!” Dorieus ogled at Renee, his weathered face beaming with glee and excitement.
“W-Who are you? Why did you kidnap me?” Renee asked. She tried to sound calm, but the quiver in her voice gave her away.
“Oh, my dear, you need not worry. I promise I won’t kill you. You just have to stay by my side forever! Thanks to your frosty constituent, I can live for a hundred more years if you and I merge into one!”
Dorieus’ tongue darted out to lick his chapped lips. The l**t in his eyes compelled Renee to scramble away from him.
“D-Don’t come near me, or my dad will never forgive you. He’ll kill you for sure!”
Renee was still unaware of Erasmus’ death.
“Your dad? Killing me? What a joke!” Dorieus burst into raucous laughter. “Your dad is just a corpse now. How is he going to kill me? With his spirit? Even if his ghost comes back to haunt me, I’ll vanquish him all the same!”
Renee was thunderstruck by this information. “You murdered my father?”
“Well, how do you think I got you here if I didn’t kill that old bag?” Dorieus sneered.
Overwhelmed by shock, Renee fell into a stupor for a fraction of a second. However, she quickly recovered and swore to take vengeance for her father. “I’ll kill you… I’ll kill you…” she vowed, her eyes burning with fury.