The Divine Hunter

Reaper Scans


Chapter 440: Stay


[TL: Asuka]

[PR: Ash]


The witchers made their way to the west of Beauclair, south of the palace. Into the Cavern of Trial beside the river they went, and through the misty ponds they swam. The path led them to a dimly-lit cavern surrounded by bizarre rock formations. Wilted tendrils of vines extended from the ceiling, swaying like the tentacles of a hidden monster.

They kept going ahead, and what stood before them was a spacious hall. The mist thickened, and the air was filled with a weird, dizzying scent. A few silhouettes swayed within the mist. Naked, voluptuous women were found sitting on the cold, moss-covered ground. Silvery laughter filled the air, and these women beckoned at the witchers.

Letho, Auckes, and Kiyan held their trembling pendants, tensing up. It was impossible for a deserted cavern like this to even have any inhabitants, much less gorgeous women.

"Looks like alps to me," Letho said. He quickly cast Quen and Heliotrop, covering himself in their protective light. And then he swung his sword around. "I can see why you two retreated last time."

Back when Roy was still in Vizima, Auckes and Serrit had trekked across Amell and came to Toussaint on a search for Manticore gear diagrams. It was there they ran into this cavern. Had they pushed themselves and tried to do battle with these alps, they might have died. Even with two more helpers, fighting these alps would prove to be dangerous.

"Should we fight?" Auckes gulped, and Kiyan looked wary.

Roy shook his head. There was magical energy whizzing around in the air, but he didn't see any information regarding these alps. Which means…

He whipped out a bottle of Golden Oriole and gulped it all down. Black veins crawled all over his face, and the ladies disappeared.

"What are you doing, kid?"

Much to everyone's surprise, Roy walked up to the edge of the mist and shot a blast of Furyfire at the ladies A pillar of crimson light roared up to the skies and ignited the hallucinogenic gas lingering in the cave. And the ladies were no more. The young witcher turned around and beckoned at his comrades.

"That was an illusion?" Auckes blushed in embarrassment. He couldn't believe he and Serrit fell for the tricks of a mere illusion. This is humiliating.

The witchers followed Roy through the dark, meandering cavern. They ascended a slope and came to another chamber. Just like the first chamber, this one was filled with hallucinogenic gas. Roy—who was immune to poison thanks to Golden Oriole—went in first. His companions stayed behind to observe. This time, the illusion showed beggars who were kneeling before them, begging for scraps.

Roy freed them of their misery with another blast of Igni. And then they saw kikimores attacking a group of humans, but Roy destroyed them with another fireball. Then a feast. Then crates of gold and jewelry. But Roy didn't even flinch as he destroyed all of them with his flames.

"This cave is something." Letho and his companions had a discussion. The illusions they saw were almost the same, and highly realistic too. "The alps is a trial of lust, the beggars is a trial of compassion, the kikimores are a trial of courage, and the feast and gold is a trial of avarice. If you lose yourself in any of them, you will never escape their grasp. The only way to reach the end is to keep moving forward."

Eventually, they arrived at the last chamber and saw the last illusion beside a stone dais. A sagely old man in a long robe was sitting cross-legged on the dais, deep in meditation.

"Oh gods. That looks like Lebioda himself! But he's been dead for centuries. This is impossible!" Auckes gasped.

Roy approached the old man, and he stood up. He was trying to talk to Roy, but no words came out. All he did was look at the young witcher. It was nothing but an illusion, but the old man seemed real. The look in his eyes was of encouragement and pride.

Any other man would have thought Lebioda was showing himself, and they'd gladly convert. But Roy ignored the illusion and picked up a bag at its feet. And he grinned. Success. Manticore silver sword diagram and Merten's notes.


17 Feainn 1203.

It is done. I have reached the Cave of Tribulations… Praise be to Lebioda…


The notes spoke of Merten's change. He passed a lot of trials in the cave, some of which included monsters like drowners, endregas, fire-breathing creatures, and humanoid creatures with the faces of beasts. Naturally, he ran into the trials the witchers met earlier as well.

With his blade and iron will, Merten passed the trials and met Lebioda the prophet. The prophet gave him a look of encouragement, and in his eyes, Merten saw the last station of his pilgrimage—the Lake of Cleansing. It was the place where he would be cleansed of his past and his agony. The place where his body and mind would be baptized. The place where he would truly become one of Lebioda's worshippers.

Merten was not related to Jerome at all. The only trait they shared was the fact their lives were changed in Toussaint.


The witchers had odd looks on their faces.

"Serrit and I were tricked because we didn't even fight." Auckes grinned. "But this guy didn't even hesitate? He never suspected foul play?"

"I see you haven't taken one thing into factor." Letho paused for a moment. "Haakland is a land abundant with herbs. Manticores are expert potionmakers, and they're expert alchemists. They're reliant on decoctions from battle to daily life. Overly reliant. Most of them are junkies. Merten is probably one of them. He sunk too deep into his own hallucinations, so he couldn't even realize what was true life and what was fantasy. It's why he converted."

"So technically, this is a scam Lebioda set up?" Auckes proposed.

"Watch it, mate. This isn't just an illusion." Kiyan shot Auckes a warning look. "You think a natural cave can create illusions of this level? There's even magic involved. We're no believers of any god, but it'd be best if we gave them a wide berth."

Auckes' nonchalance was replaced by solemnity, and he nodded.

The witchers left the cave in the direction they came in. Through the clues Merten left in his notes, they reached the Lake of Cleansing, which was just a regular, petite, and clear pond.

There was nothing much to say here. They found the diagram for the Manticore gloves in the depths of the pond. Adding that to the four diagrams Auckes and Serrit found, they now had a complete set of Manticore diagrams. On top of that, they also procured the upgraded Griffin gear diagram in Fort Ussar.


Their Toussaint trip was nearly done, and two days had passed. They returned to the bridge in Beauclair, but Coen was alone.

"Sorry, mates. I couldn't convince him. He refused to leave." Coen hung his head low, his eyes dim.

"I thought that might be the cae." Roy smiled. "The guy has been wandering from place to place for a hundred years. It won't be easy for him to change his mind. He can have all the time to consider our proposal, though. Now let's go home."

"I'd like to stay." Coen took a deep breath. There was determination in his eyes. "Tell Igsena I will come back in three months. At most."

The witchers were surprised. It wasn't every day they saw Coen so determined.

"I've made up my mind to wander along with Jerome. I'll try my best to convince him into coming to Novigrad. This is the fight of my school."

"Sure, you can try." Roy agreed to it. "Tell him we think we can find Erland. I have a clue or two to go on, but I'll need the Book of Shadows."



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