Continued from Part 6.
“Indeed, I am Veronica…”
“So you know where the cloth is!”
“Let us continue the story… the Church got hold of my cloth around the eighth century. I wasn’t dead as people thought. I was merely in hiding. So I gave up the cloth, though they did not notice that its upper left corner was missing. That corner had blood from Christ’s forehead. And I kept it with me all along. It’s the reason I remained alive for such a long period of time.
“David, listen carefully. The reason Eric is searching for the orb has something to do with that piece of the cloth. I placed it in the orb and wrote the riddle, constructed the mechanism of the sequence and created this enchanted and protected place just to make sure the only person with the necklace you are wearing can actually get to it. You are the only one, besides me, who can see the pedestal, who can read the riddle and who can construct the sequence that makes the code. You see, David, they used you to crack my protections because they couldn’t.
“The necklace around your neck has a rather intriguing story itself… it is called the Scroll of Life. It‟s what will allow you to swim to the orb and get it”
“So that orb contains a cloth that‟s covered with Christ‟s blood?” he asked, just to be sure he was hearing correctly.
“And why do they want it? Why does – err – Eric need it?”
The woman smiled.
“Eric is not the head of the Dark Order… he is second. The man who is first died a few months ago”
“Oh, you mean Thomas Conundrum?”
“Thomas Conundrum was killed a few months ago, leaving his followers in a hectic pursuit of a way to bring him back. The only way they thought of was a rather bloody and murderous trail. I‟m sure you noticed how many people have been killed in the last few months in ways that were unexplainable…”
“Those fourteen people, to be exact, were killed by an artifact called the Scroll that was manufactured by an Alchemist whose name is Alessandro Del Ialuna. The Scroll kills people and traps their soul inside it. Seven souls are enough to bring someone back from the dead!”
“But they killed fourteen! Were they just having fun?” said David, outraged.
The woman shook her head.
“Think about it David, if two souls were centered in one body, what would that make of the person?”
“Immortal… the Dicruxol effect!” he breathed.
“Exactly, having two souls in one body produced immortality. And that‟s precisely what those followers were attempting…”
“And the Scroll, David, gave rise to your own necklace. Just as your necklace protects your life, its predecessor takes it away. Just as a tyrant is bound to face opposition right from the people he is oppressing, the Scroll gave rise to the Scroll of Life. Death gave rise to Life…”
“So why do they need the cloth?” he asked, not knowing how the cloth fit into all this.
“The cloth, David, and the blood have been made part of a bold experiment by the Alchemist of Esquiline to extract the Divine entities inside them. It‟s only enough to make one draught, and the drinker would become nearly a god… you see, immortality just didn’t cut it to them. They also wanted to give him powers beyond imagination. And it‟s up to you not to let them succeed in their quest!”
He closed his eyes for a second, only to open them and find himself alone, again.
He knelt besides Elodie‟s body and wept.
And then the water-level of the lake began to rise.
It slowly reached David and surprisingly, as he sat there, the water did not feel like water. It was far less dense, more transparent, far lighter.
Elodie‟s body shone with a bright yellow light…
David looked at her in amazement.
And then her body disappeared.
He looked ahead.
There was the orb in front of him, and even though the water was now well beyond his nose, he could still breathe easily.
He swam towards the red-glowing sphere. He got to it and touched it with the tips of his hand, and warmth spread all over him.
Then, from the orb, a bubble erupted, moving water away from itself and David.
He smiled, knowing what to do next.
He opened the sphere, took the cloth with his hands and placed it inside the Scroll of Life. Then, he took out his wand and cut a piece of his shirt. Then, he neared it to his face and let it get soaked with blood from his cut.
He placed it inside the sphere, closed it and went back to the shore.
The Scroll of Life shone intently…
A few seconds later, he was inside his house, sitting on his favorite couch, his face neat and woundless, his soul whole, divine.