Chapter 981 Hazel’s Decision
After hearing Macht’s reply, and combining what he knew, Klein guessed that the rat in the manor was likely the Marauder demigod which had been by Hazel’s side. As for why it went rabid and bit Hazel, he was unsure.
He nodded slightly and tapped his chest four times in a clockwise fashion.
“May the Goddess bless her.”
After saying that, he walked past the host, entered the hall, and waited for the ball tonight to begin.
In a particular bedroom on the third story, Hazel was sitting on a reclining chair feeling dispirited, her feet curled up.
Her left hand was wrapped in thick bandages, but there weren’t any more signs of blood. Her expression was heavy, nothing like her usual arrogance.
In the manor, her teacher, that was in the form of a rat, had suddenly bitten her. This resulted in her being stuck in a similar state, her entire being turbid and muddled. It was as though it wasn’t her hand that was bitten but her heart.
To Hazel, although her arrogance stemmed from her upbringing, with her ability to absorb new information exceeding that of the average person’s, her outstanding looks, her family’s standing in high society, and her maturity compared to her peers, those feelings were still within normal boundaries before she gained extraordinary powers. None of the aforementioned traits made her feel that she was different from others or that she was fundamentally superior to ordinary people.
Therefore, with her teacher, who maintained her sense of arrogance while being a representation of her fortuitous encounter and the source of her strength, suddenly becoming a real rat—to the point of not being able to speak clearly and even bite her without any reason-it left a deep impact on her. She began to question if supernatural powers represented being extraordinary or a monster.
Amidst her thoughts, Hazel subconsciously pulled her black-green hair to the back of her ear and felt frustrated with the melody that came from downstairs.
At this moment, she heard the creaking sound of the door as she turned her head in hesitation.
Walking in was a gray rat with slick fur. Its eyes were deeper than its kind, closer to dark red.
“Hazel,” the rat said in a deep voice.
Hazel was first taken aback before she reeled in delight. She hurriedly stood up and blurted, “Teacher, y-you’ve recovered?”
Just as she said that, she saw gray rats crawling out from the corner of her bedroom, balcony, and bed. All of them had dark red eyes but could only produce squeaking sounds.
Hazel took a step back in shock, overturning the reclining chair. Her body staggered, almost to the point of collapsing. It took her a great deal of effort to recover her balance.
At this moment, she discovered that the red-eyed rats had vanished. The door had been shut tightly, having never opened.
Everything that had happened was a hallucination or a nightmare that stemmed from the worries inside her!
After a moment of silence, Hazel pursed her lips and sighed.
She sat back down, raising her hand to her temples.
As she massaged her temples, she frowned slightly. She had a nagging feeling that what had happened was too surreal.
Her dark brown eyes darted about slightly as Hazel removed the necklace she wore around her neck, clenching it in her palm.
The necklace’s seven green gems were equidistant from each other. Embedded around them were tiny diamonds.
At this moment, one of the gems lit up slowly, emitting a green glow, giving her face a sheen and filling her eyes with mysterious symbols.
The scenes from before surfaces in the girl’s mind as her blurry dream-like state gradually turned clear.
While observing the scenes, Hazel sensed something amiss. She confirmed that she hadn’t been dreaming, nor was it a short hallucination from having her mind go adrift. Instead, she had been thrown into an illusion for nearly ten seconds.
This… Hazel’s dark brown eyes widened as she muttered a word filled with horror.
She jumped to her feet and looked around anxiously but failed to discover anything.
But the more she looked, the more terrified she became. She had no idea what she would encounter next, nor did she understand what the person who created the dream was up to!
The only thing she was certain of was that the other party’s level and strength in the supernatural domain far exceeded hers!
This shattered what little pride she had left.
After a few minutes, the entire bedroom remained silent. The brisk melody from downstairs instantly connected oneself to the current dance steps.
Hazel finally composed herself, believing that nothing would happen next.
Only then did she have the mood or energy to consider the motives of the person who secretly cast the illusion.
As various thoughts surfaced in her mind, Hazel suddenly came up with a theory:
The person from before was here for her teacher!
Through the illusion, the person had confirmed her teacher’s current situation!
Is it Teacher’s friend, or an enemy? He’s definitely headed off to look for Teacher. What do I do? He likely doesn’t know where Teacher is hiding… No, all my neighbors know that I was bitten by a rabid rat… Hazel was thrown into panic as she clenched her necklace with increasing strength.
She couldn’t be sure of the motives of the other party, nor did she know what she could do.
She wished to head to the manor and inform her teacher, but she was afraid of encountering danger and end up being sacrificed.
Furthermore, her teacher had seemingly lost the ability to communicate. Her warnings might not necessarily be conveyed.
Without realizing it, Hazel stood up and paced about in her bedroom. Finally, she made up her mind. Pursing her lips tightly, she walked to the door and said to her lady’s maid outside, “I’m a little tired. I plan on sleeping now. Don’t let anyone disturb me.”
“Yes, my lady,” the maid immediately replied.
After closing the door, Hazel began changing into clothes that allowed for greater movement. Her expression was extremely heavy as her teeth bit down on her lip.
She had finally decided to warn her teacher at the manor.
She didn’t wish to become a seemingly arrogant person but, in actuality, was a coward, one who would abandon all principles upon encountering danger!
She found it despicable of herself!
While the bodyguards were focusing their attention on the ball’s attendees, Hazel took the opportunity to enter the garden using a water pipe from the balcony. When leaving 39 Böklund Street, Klein was holding onto a cup of sweet and iced fizzy wine, discussing business in the Southern Continent with a few gentlemen.
He turned his head slightly, glancing at the garden. He had already noticed Hazel’s actions thanks to his intuition.
…Although she’s not a likable girl, she has quite a kind heart… Klein nodded indiscernibly and praised her inwardly.
He wasn’t worried about Hazel’s actions, because to go from North Borough’s Böklund Street to Macht’s manor in Backlund’s northwestern suburbs would take three to five hours on carriage. And before she arrived, he would’ve already used an excuse to leave the ball, teleporting over directly to confirm the situation.
Although Macht’s manor was in the northwestern suburbs, it was on the other side of the Tussock River. Hence, to head there, one needed to take a detour to an area with a bridge. It was fine in the day, as one could use the steam metro to head to the south side of the Bridge beneath the river. At night, there were only three bridges to consider. It was inevitable to spend five hours traveling.
Of course, as Klein had used Tinder before and had read 2-105 Blood Vessel Thief’s information, he had some idea about the powers of the Marauder pathway. Therefore, he suspected that Hazel, who had an item of a higher level, could “steal” the flight abilities of birds and use that short period of time to cross the river. This way, she might arrive within three hours.
Regardless, I’ll be faster than her… Klein retracted his gaze and began considering who his next dance partner should be.
Ten in the evening, Moose Manor in the northwestern suburbs of Backlund.
This place originally belonged to a viscount, and it had more than a hundred years of history. Macht had bought it after his marriage, spending tons of money to maintain it every year so as to invite friends over during winter weekends for a vacation.
At this moment, the land steward was arranging for the servants to check every corner and to lock all the windows and doors. This was a necessary procedure before they slept every night.
A few maids walked out of the wine cellar in a group, heading straight for the kitchen to ensure that all flames had been extinguished.
The moment they arrived, they heard squeaking sounds as they looked over, only to discover a grayish-white rat gnawing on a table leg.
This rat seemed to sense their gaze, but it didn’t run. Instead, it turned its head and glared at them with its slightly red eyes.
Meanwhile, there were more squeaking sounds as red-eyed rats ran out from the roof beams, storage cabinets, and all kinds of miscellaneous, even appearing beside the furnace which had some water boiling over it.
The maids nearly screamed in fear.
As members of the lowest classes of society, they were no strangers to rats. They had even killed quite a number. However, it was their first time to encounter so many at once. They couldn’t help but feel a heavy blow to their senses.
“We need to get Guede and the others to deal with this,” a maid left the kitchen and suggested in fear.
Another maid nodded immediately.
“Miss Hazel was bitten by a rabid rat… These don’t look normal in any way!”
As they spoke, they retreated a great distance back, distancing themselves from the kitchen.
At this moment, a figure quickly appeared on the table. He wore a white shirt and black vest under a dark-colored formal suit. On his head was a half top hat, and he had a pair of bright leather boots.
This figure slowly lifted his head while holding down his hat. He surveyed the surroundings, revealing his black hair and brown eyes. He had a thin face and cut features. He was none other than Gehrman Sparrow.
Having left the ball ahead of time, Klein returned to Dwayne Dantès’s residence and entered his bedroom. Then, he teleported over with Winner Enuni.
Of course, the latter had been left outside the manor to allow for any instantaneous switches in positions.
The rats reflected into his eyes as Klein pulled the human-skinned glove on his left hand, casting his gaze towards the flowerbed in the manor.
Almost at the same time, the rats in the kitchen stirred as their movements turned sluggish. However, they quickly returned to normal.
They had become a Bizarro Sorcerer’s marionettes.
And Klein could control as many as 50 marionettes, a number that would rise once he finished digesting the potion!