Lord of Mysteries 2: Circle of Inevitability-Chapter 366 - Demoness Sect
366 Demoness Sect
Are all the dogs around the cloister so devout? He retracted his gaze while criticizing.
He quickly left the forest behind.
His primary concern was to chart a route from Red Swan Castle to the Sacred Heart Cloister, taking note of any advantageous terrain and hiding spots along the way. What the Sacred Heart Cloister actually looked like or if it held any special significance was of little concern to him.
By mid-afternoon, Lumian had thoroughly scouted the area surrounding Red Swan Castle. He discovered several potential escape routes, some following the main road, some along the freight railways, others winding through forests, past lakes, or over hills. Not only were they well-concealed, but they also featured natural traps.
Initially, Lumian had contemplated infiltrating Red Swan Castle in his canine form, but he soon realized that security was exceedingly tight. Stray dogs were not tolerated, and intruders faced certain death.
Unfortunately, the Animal Creation Spell only permits transformation into larger animals. The implicit requirement is that the hide must be able to envelop a curled-up human. Otherwise, I could transform into a rat. I don’t believe they could guard against that! He sighed and retreated to a nearby secluded spot.
With his spirituality, Lumian manipulated the air within the dog hide and murmured two words of Hermes.
Creating a sound in this manner was not challenging for Lumian. What proved difficult was that his spirituality was constrained by the Animal Creation Spell. It could not extend beyond his body or the dog hide, and it was in limited supply. Thus, any sound produced remained confined to the dog hide, hidden from others’ ears. Furthermore, he could dispel the incantation after uttering a few words.
In a swift, shadowy motion, the brownish-yellow dog skin split open, revealing Lumian’s human form.
He crawled out, carefully folded the hide, and cradled it against his chest.
Though it had lost its mystical properties, Lumian had no intention of discarding it. Finding such a complete and large dog hide was a rarity.
I only have one ritualistic dog hide left. I must conserve it. Lumian muttered these thoughts as he resumed his journey along the familiar road toward the nearest town.
In a bustling metropolis like Trier, ritualistic dog hides proved more practical than ritual sheepskin or cowhide. Donning the latter two and transforming into the corresponding animals would undoubtedly draw attention. After all, who wouldn’t be tempted to guide a lone sheep wandering the streets home to prepare it into various delicacies? Moreover, in Trier, there were those with perverted inclinations, ones who fancied sheep buttocks.
As Lumian returned to Apartment 601 at 3 Rue des Blouses Blanches, the night had already fallen, casting a dark veil over the city.
Franca swiftly changed back into her usual attire and settled into the recliner, her gaze fixed warily on the Lie necklace resting in a corner of the coffee table, as though it might spring to life and ensnare her at any moment.
“What’s wrong?” Lumian closed the ajar door behind him and casually stowed away the Lie necklace.
Franca’s expression shifted, and she sighed, confessing, “After I returned, I found myself with idle time, so I attempted to adjust my appearance, but…”
At this point, she let out another sigh, her emotions a mixture of fear and nostalgia.
“I became entranced by my own reflection in the mirror!
“I’ve never seen such a flawless woman. Just by gazing at her face, I could do so for an entire day—no, for eternity!”
Lumian contemplated her words for a moment before responding, “You can use Lie to deceive others, but never deceive yourself.”
“I understand, but the allure of the Demoness of Pleasure and the effects of Lie are genuinely potent,” Franca admitted earnestly. “It wasn’t easy for me to regain control. I forcibly removed the necklace and tossed it onto the coffee table. While my fixation may be partially due to its amplification properties, I can’t help but reminisce. I can’t help but yearn to give it a try. Heh heh, my mind has passed the test.”
With the Lie necklace out of her sight, Franca visibly relaxed. She chuckled and remarked, “Were you meme–uh, using your sister’s way of speaking to caution me?”
“Yes, in preparation for your upcoming gathering,” Lumian confirmed, making no effort to conceal the fact that he had been practicing Aurore’s manner of speech recently.
Franca nodded thoughtfully and commented, “It felt quite natural. If it remains at this level, deceiving them shouldn’t pose a problem.”
Without awaiting Lumian’s response, the Demoness of Pleasure playfully inquired, “So, how did the honey-roasted chicken wings taste?”
Lumian provided an objective assessment, “They were decent.”
Franca’s curiosity and teasing spirit persisted as she asked, “Could it be that your taste buds were improved due to your canine senses? Had your sense of smell become more acute?”
Lumian replied with an experimental tone, “It does have some influence on me, but I haven’t transformed entirely into a dog. I still retain a significant portion of my human senses.”
Franca continued, “And what about other aspects?”
After a moment of contemplation, Lumian explained, “Other aspects? It’s more like my soul is confined within a real dog’s body. Everything I do is restricted and influenced by my physical form, including…”
Seated on the divan, he raised his leg, mimicking the posture of a canine taking a leak.
Franca exclaimed, “You really don’t care about your image at all, do you? It doesn’t bother you?”
Lumian shrugged, responding, “What’s there to be concerned about?”
Franca thought for a moment before posing her final question, “One last thing, will you be affected by dog hormones and react strangely to other dogs?”
“The body is mine, and the dog is just a disguise. It’s merely an external constraint.” Lumian’s expression suggested he wasn’t a fool.
He then adopted a mimicry of Madam Magician and asked, “Are there any more questions?”
“I’m done.” Franca was satisfied.
“Then it’s my turn to ask. What are your thoughts on the ladies you observed today?”
Franca absently twirled a few flaxen-colored strands of hair that had come loose from her ponytail as she replied, “There are two potential suspects…”
She proceeded to recount her speculation and added, “That woman with the orange-red hair still gives me an odd sensation, as if she’s drawing me in.”
Lumian smiled approvingly. “You’re onto something. She’s at least a Demoness of Pleasure or a Beyonder with a corresponding mystical item.”
After identifying that the Beyonder belonged to the Demoness pathway, Lumian sensed a magnetic allure in every gesture she made, similar to Franca’s. It was a bit challenging for him, with most of his abilities sealed, to resist such temptation. Fortunately, Alms Monk’s endurance held firm.
“Demoness?” Franca pondered the possibility and mused to herself, “That makes sense. How could a gathering of females dedicated to pleasure not attract one or two Demonesses…”
Lumian had a moment of realization and posed a question, “Is it to bring pleasure to others and oneself?”
He sensed that this might be a fundamental requirement for their acting.
“That’s one aspect of it. Even if it weren’t for the potion, I’d still want to attend. However, I can control myself, but the same can’t be said for other Demonesses,” Franca said with disdain and a sigh.
Lumian, not fully grasping the implication behind her words, remarked, “She followed you but you managed to shake her off.”
“Ah…” Franca was momentarily surprised. “She should be from the Demoness family.”
“The Demoness family you mentioned?” Lumian had previously heard Franca briefly mention this secret organization.
He had always been curious about how Demonesses could form families.
Franca sighed and said, “Yes, it’s also known as the Demoness Sect. Its origins trace back to the descendants of the Primordial Demoness during the Fourth Epoch. The Primordial Demoness is a Sequence 0 of the Assassin pathway, essentially a true deity. She’s widely regarded as an evil god, also known as the Chaos Demoness.”
Primordial Demoness… Lumian committed the name to memory.
Franca continued, “The core of the Demoness family always includes a descendant of the Primordial Demoness, but they also recruit or cultivate Assassins with different surnames. It’s essentially a sect that controls all the potion formulas and most of the resources related to this pathway.
“Only a Demoness from the Demoness Sect would tail a wild Demoness upon their first encounter.”
“To retrieve the Beyonder characteristic?” Lumian inquired.
Be it recruitment or elimination, it was a way of reclaiming Beyonder characteristics.
Franca pursed her lips and responded, “Exactly. They don’t want the Beyonder characteristics of the Demoness pathway to be lost outside their sect. Moreover, they hold a deep disdain for female Assassins and eliminate any they come across.”
“Why?” Lumian couldn’t comprehend.
Franca shot him a resentful glance, as if blaming him for asking such a question.
She sighed and said, “It’s because the Primordial Demoness was originally male. During the process of attaining godhood through the Assassin pathway, She transformed entirely into a woman. This transformation left Her mind twisted and filled with agony. The Demoness Sect claims they want to emulate the Primordial’s experience.
“So, every Demoness in the sect was once male. After enduring immense pain and suffering, they became profoundly distorted. They yearn to see other men undergo similar ordeals. Perhaps you don’t know, but these Demonesses seek out men to father their children. Baby girls are sent away, while baby boys are kept behind to relive their mothers’ lives.”
As Cordu’s Prankster King, Lumian couldn’t help but shake his head in disbelief.
“Isn’t this incredibly twisted?”
“What’s even more twisted is that these children’s fathers eventually become Demonesses themselves.” Franca recounted the information she had obtained from Madam Judgment and exhaled in fear. “I’ve been avoiding them, not wanting them to discover me.”
“But you’re originally a man. Why should you be afraid?” Lumian asked, puzzled. “Are you worried that being around them might corrupt you and warp your senses after joining the Demoness Sect?”
Franca nodded solemnly.
Besides, I’m already a Minor Arcana card holder of the Tarot Club. How could I possibly join the Demoness Sect?”
Lumian fell silent for a few moments before speaking again.
“Didn’t you want to join the Iron and Blood Cross Order too?”
“That’s different. It’s a mission for the Tarot Club,” Franca defended reflexively.
Lumian didn’t press the issue and instead nodded thoughtfully.
“No wonder you mentioned that female orgies easily attract Demonesses.”
“It’s just that most Demonesses are members of the Demoness Sect and have connections either vertically or horizontally. Otherwise, half of the female orgies might consist of Demonesses.
“What’s even more extreme is that when you receive an invitation to a strip ball and attend with enthusiasm, it’s always packed with men.”
After muttering a few words, Franca looked at Lumian and asked awkwardly, “So, what should we do next?”