Melissa was the daughter of the former Great Radiant Knight and current intelligence branch section chief, Joseph.
She had inherited her mother's curly red hair. When her lustrous sleek hair was let down, Melissa looked like a beautiful mermaid, yet when it was tied up, she could look like a valiant knight.
As she was at home, Melissa was dressed very casually in a white lace blouse, a high-waisted blue skirt, black tights, and beige slippers. She was the image of an independent and vibrant young girl.
Due to her mother's early passing, she had stayed together with her father in this house at the upper city district's 1st Avenue.
Looking at their ages, Joseph was actually old enough to be Melissa's grandfather. But, when it came to knights that drew power from the aether and made it their own, age wasn't a real measure of anything.
This 16-year-old girl was an Abnormal-rank knight and a combat branch squad leader of Secret Rite Tower.
"Strange... Why is he reading a book?" Melissa mumbled as she scrutinized the book suspiciously. "I've never seen him read any books, not even when he was still a Great Radiant Knight."
Melissa's brows furrowed as she racked her brains. Joseph was frequently away because of his duty and Melissa practically stayed alone in this house. The few times she remembered her father reading was only when he was forced to.
The recent labor law announcement was one such example. At that time, Joseph had spent a lot of time studying various regulations in order to find some way that benefited him the most. Beyond that, Joseph didn't even bother reading anything.
Filled with curiosity, Melissa glanced at the book in her hands titled Seed Of The Abyss and flipped it open.
Her finger skimming through the book gradually slowed and the look in her eyes changed as she got increasingly immersed within it.
"God damn it, stop disturbing me! I may be a cripple, but that bookstore owner didn't have a single bit of aetheric traces on him, yet he made me lose consciousness. Doesn't that tell you all the sort of power he possesses? All I can say is, just maintain a degree of respect and don't go courting disaster. In any case, I won't be the one going to save your sorry asses!"
Joseph's voice got closer and there was even the sound of a wall being kicked mixed in.
Melissa looked up suddenly, freeing herself from that ancient and enthralling world that had drawn her in. It felt as if her soul had been drawn out and returned back into her body.
Melissa shook her head vigorously and quickly put down the book. She then moved back to her original position from her memory before pretending like she was returning back to her bedroom.
Melissa nervously turned her head over.
"Remember to drink your milk," reminded Joseph.
Melissa put on a fake smile and nodded before returning to her room and shutting the door shut.
"Phew..." Melissa heaved a deep sigh as many questions popped up in her mind.
"Who wrote that book? Is the main character the elf prince, Candela, who later became the demon sword Candela? Why was it so exciting and realistic? Is it a biography or a novel?"
However, the most important point was that she hadn't finished reading it! Just a little more and she would have seen a very exciting point!
Melissa laid in bed feeling unsettled and kept mumbling to herself as she tossed and turned. "Never imagined an old fogey like dad would read this kind of book. Looks like my previous judgments of him were wrong."
But from the exchange Melissa overheard, this book seemed related to an extremely confidential place. One that most people would have no way of getting any information about.
Melissa laid in bed with her eyes shut. After a long time, she finally opened her eyes, and got up to turn on her personal computer. "What does it have to do with anything? It's merely a bookstore... at most, the owner is very powerful. If that's the case, I wouldn't go over and push my luck."
She extended her hand, gathering the aether to form a key. "Database key—access authority—S-rank."
Aether was the bridge between reality and illusion.
Melissa touched the key to the web page, and opened up in a brand new interface before her eyes was a huge database. "Thank you mother," said Melissa, putting her palms together.
She then started to skim through these files she had requested.
Before her death, Melissa's mother was a Great Radiant Knight and had access authorization to Secret Rite Tower's database.
Her account had been left to Melissa as her mother's expectations for her. This was public knowledge as well, just that Melissa had never used it before.
Of course, if she were to really do something and the archives in the database were changed, the female knight Melissa would be branded as a traitor.
"Ah! Found it! The bookstore!"
Melissa's eyes glowed like sparking crystals as she stared at the information on the screen.
Upon staring at it for a while, she muttered, "Friendly? If that's the case, I can go check it out..."
Melissa made her decision and shut off the computer before her sights fell onto the cup of milk on the table.
She picked up the cup and drained it in one gulp.
Under the dim lighting, Wilde was taking notes with his quill pen.
He removed half of his mask, revealing a sinister and completely disfigured face. The other half of his mask had already completely fused together with his flesh, becoming a part of his face.
While his appearance was terrifying, the way in which he studied earnestly slightly lessened the frightening atmosphere.
Placed in front of Wilde was Lin Jie's unpublished work. During this period of research, Wilde had already filled out three notebooks worth of notes!
"It really is an extensive depth of unfathomable knowledge! As expected of Mr Lin!" Wilde lamented as he put down the quill and picked up the notebook to go through his latest revision.
Through his study and research, he roughly understood the general idea of Corpse Devouring Sect, Rites and Ceremonies.
This book mainly recorded the faith known as the Corpse Devouring Sect as well as the important rites and rituals they performed. It also included information of the materials needed to process, mix, and finally turn them into offerings.
From Wilde's shallow summary, he could see that most of these materials were corpses and the methods of processing included draining the blood, mincing, flaying, burning, and even ingestion of viscera. All of these were exceptionally cruel and anyone reading it would tremble in fear.
Even a black magician like Wilde found it a little hard to bear.
But within this demented idea was a strangely compatible rationale. This book undoubtedly contained a tremendous sacrificial system.
Specific dates and time with stringent procedures, each sacrifice had its own significance and embodied a part of this culture.
"If Devil's Language was the tip of the iceberg, then Corpse Devouring Sect, Rites and Ceremonies lets me finally see a tiny facet of this frightening lost culture!"
Wilde put on his mask once more and muttered with fascination, "This is just too enthralling... I've to thank Mr Lin for everything. I've already prepared a gift that he will definitely like."