Volume 2 – Chapter 17: Millennium Contract
If it was possible, Qin Lun hoped that he could delay his response to Baron Albert for a couple of days in order to increase his credibility. But about half a month had already passed since he entered this world. Although he felt that he was getting closer to the core of the mission, there wasn’t much time left for him to waste.
As such, Qin Lun took the initiative to look for Baron Albert after dinner to let him know of his decision to join their exorcist group and that he would do his best to protect the Odia region.
Baron Albert was very happy, leading Qin Lun and Tony to the secondary fortress’ hall, located to the right of the main fortress.
The hall of the secondary fortress was actually a library. The entire place was covered with tall bookshelves, filled with rows of books so well-taken care of that one could even smell the faint scent of ink on the shelves. Above the bookshelves were many portraits.
There were both men and women depicted on the portraits. Based on their resemblance to Baron Albert, they were likely the previous generations of the Albert Family.
Qin Lun’s line of sight fell on a bookshelf in the back of the hall, where another portrait was hung. The size of the portrait was double the size of the others. A tall knight was depicted in the oil painting.
The knight’s left hand held his helmet, while his right held a large sword that he had stabbed into the ground, using it as a crutch. He was standing on the platform of Albert Castle’s roof. His eyes were bright and full of emotion as he stared at the Great Maize Forest ahead.
Small words were written below the painting.
“A millennium of duty, a millennium of guarding, a millennium of honor! We are the Alberts of Odia!”
A very familiar line of words! Qin Lun’s eyes flashed and he rubbed his temple.
In the middle of all the books was a small salon that had a large, round coffee table and some rattan chairs.
“Dr. Stein, I am very glad that you can join us! Please, take a seat!” Baron Albert pulled out a rattan chair and motioned for Qin Lun to sit.
“Sire Baron, is there some sort of ceremony one needs to pass in order to join the exorcists?” Qin Lun asked with a smile.
“Haha, there’s none.” Baron Albert laughed and waved his hand. “The exorcists aren’t some kind of religious organization. On the contrary, it’s more like a relaxed group that mutually helps each other. Anyone can become an exorcist with the recommendation of an older member. However, to become an exorcist, you must have the courage and will to confront evil.”
“To work for the exorcists is the Stein Family’s honor.” Qin Lun leaned forward a bit, “Please guide me well, Sire Baron.”
“It’s not really guidance, but since I recommended you to join the group, then I naturally need to tell you some of the actual history, as well as our objective as exorcists.” Baron Albert took the wine cup Tony handed him and gently swayed it in his hand. His gaze was slightly blurred as he went down memory lane.
Over three thousand years ago, before present time, the continent had flourishing human settlements throughout the land. As their productivity grew, it allowed the humans to develop social classes and kingdoms. The humans that were at the top of the pyramid started to enslave others.
Most of the wealth was condensed into the hands of a small number of people, and these people, after satisfying the most basic needs of survival, started to pursue the liberation of their spirit. A portion of them placed all their energy into promoting the welfare of humanity, a majestic cause. Another portion started to pursue even higher personal pleasures and attempted to extend their lifespans.
With the progress of time, the former type of people with noble characters, created a concept of faith and started to spread their gospel across the continent. They wished that all of humanity would be able to have a place they could put their hopes into and liberate their thoughts and souls. That, even under the vilest conditions, they would still be able to maintain an optimistic attitude.
Whereas, the latter type that pursued passions for their personal gain started to crazily accumulate wealth, persecute people, and plunder other countries for their land. Furthermore, they exploited their wealth and knowledge for the sake of doing research on immortality.
Different from the Earth Qin Lun came from, after the long span of time, these two groups found the secret to immortality, as well as other powerful forms of magic.
However, the types of immortality the two found were different. The former, through faith and firm will, obtained the secret to “long life.” But the latter obtained the true secret to “undying”.
The secret to “long life” needed a pure heart and a strong will. They called themselves “Believers of Faith.” The secret to “undying” was to rely on external forces. They named it “witchcraft.” In order to create evil magic organisms, they exploited “witchcraft” and called themselves “Magicians.”
The Believers and Magicians not only obtained power that was the complete opposite of one another, even their ideas were at opposite ends of the spectrum. They had quite a few conflicting views and could not get along with one other, so war happened.
At the beginning of the war, due to the requirement to become a Believer being too high, while becoming a Magician by relying on external power was easier, the Believers had to retreat in defeat time and again. However, right when things were starting to look bad, the ordinary people that had received long-term torment from the Magicians, started to join the Believer group.
These ordinary people did not have a long life, but they occupied 99.9% of the humanity. After uniting together, they practically devastated the Magician population. During the long war, some ordinary people also obtained considerably great fighting strength.
Under the advocation of the Believers, the ordinary people with great military strength united with the Believers and established the Exorcist Organization. The purpose of the Exorcist Organization was to drive out “Magicians” and their magic organisms in order to protect the human world.
During the last decisive battle, most of the male Magicians disappeared from the realm of the living, leaving only a small number of female Magicians that escaped toward the forests, deserts, mountains, marshes, etc. They survived in the worst desolated areas of the world.
The Believers were also greatly devastated. The surviving Believers felt that, no matter if it was the secret to long life or the secret to undying, both were too enticing for normal people.
Because of that, they used their lives to activate a powerful protection spell to forever seal away the secrets of the two magics. Besides the witches that had survived, as well as the limited drugs they had to create undead, this world could never have any new Believers or Magicians.
To protect this world, the Believers that had sacrificed their own lives stirred the hearts of all the exorcists. They vowed to protect the two secrets and never let it come to light. They were also willing to hunt and kill the witches that had returned to the human world, including the magic organisms they had created.
In the following era, the witches gathered their power and repeatedly attacked from all corners of the world. Although they were all defeated by the exorcist organization, they still caused disastrous casualties to the ordinary humans.
Under this premise, the exorcists and witches reached an agreement. The witches and their magic organisms would no longer appear before the ordinary people. The exorcists would also stop hunting and killing the witches that had settled down in desolate regions of the world.
The time limit of the agreement was a millennium. The exorcists believed that after a millennium, the humans would become even more powerful, causing the sparse number of witches to suffer. The witches believed that after a millennium, the exorcists would lose their faith and inheritance through succeeding generations, allowing the witches to once again, rule the world. They would exploit the world’s magic power and break the Believer’s protection spell, starting the great Magician Era.
“The agreement between the witches and exorcists is called the Millennium Contract. Only three hundred years have passed!” The old baron swirled the wine cup, then drank from it.
“There is a witch in Great Maize Forest, isn’t there?” Qin Lun’s eyes flickered as he calmly asked.
“There is not only one witch in Great Maize Forest. The forest is too big, there are over ten witches hiding within. Unless humans burn down the entire Great Maize Forest, anyone that goes in will die a certain death because of the forest’s cover.” Baron Albert bitterly smiled, “If it weren’t for that, those witches would have long been exterminated by the exorcist organization hundreds of years ago.”
“Dr. Stein, you don’t need to worry. In fact, there is only one witch near the border of Odia region. And the members of our Albert Family are not the only exorcists that are stationed around Great Maize Forest. The Maize Forest of Maize Dukedom has five exorcist families within its borders.” Tony added.
“Since there is the Millennium Contract, why would my attendant be attacked by the gargoyle near the castle?” Qin Lun suddenly asked with a frown.
The Baron and Tony glanced at each other. The former explained, “It is impossible for any agreement to be free of loopholes; the Millennium Contract is the same. At the time when the agreement was signed, the magic oath restricted the witches and magic organisms from attacking humans. But that does not include the magic organisms the witches made after the agreement.”
“Simply put, those crafty witches exploited that loophole and often send out newly made magic organisms to attack humans?” Qin Lun raised an eyebrow, “Is there any meaning behind that?”
“Yes, the resources they have are limited. The purpose of their actions is to pillage humans and make them their slaves. At the same time, they use these captives as experiments for all kinds of evil black magic.” Tony nodded, his tone dipped as he continued to speak, “However, we are the same. The exorcist families will often have a portion of their members avoid the oath and enter Great Maize Forest to investigate the witches’ activities.”
“If you put it that way, then those gargoyles on the castle bridge…” Qin Lun’s mind quickly spun and he softly asked.
“Only a couple are real; the rest are truly just stone statues.” Tony laughed.
“Dr. Stein, do you have any other questions?” Baron Albert stared attentively at Qin Lun, as he asked with a smile.
“Hm, I have one last question.” Qin Lun muttered to himself a bit before asking, “Is the plague this time the work of the witches?”
“We don’t know yet, but using the plague to greatly decrease the population of humans in the Odia region would be quite advantageous for them if they wanted to rush out of Great Maize Forest.” The light in the baron’s eyes flickered as he steadily replied. Tony had hesitated though, remaining silent.
The reactions of the two were clearly taken note of by Qin Lun, but he did not call them into question, merely nodding in response.
“Dr. Stein, in two days, we will organize an investigation team to enter Maize Forest. Would you be interested in entering with them as the team’s doctor?”” Baron Albert asked in a serious manner.
“Hehe, if this is the test the Exorcist Organization has made for newcomers, then I will be very willing to show everyone the Stein Family’s courage.” Qin Lun raised his wine cup and acknowledged the two Alberts across from him.