The Devil's Cage Chapter 74


Chapter 74: Malicious Intent

When Ralph handed Kieran the talisman, item notifications started popping up in his vision.

[Name: Knitted Tasliman]

[Type: Equipment]

[Rarity: Common]

[Attributes: When enemies in spirit form appear within a 5-meter radius, it will give you a warning.]

[Effects: None]

[Able to bring out of dungeon: Yes]

[Remarks: This talisman was knitted by the nimble hands of a pure soul. Knitted with Mist Snake Grass under the first light of dawn, it is able to detect paranormal activity near the wearer. Please remember that it will only give you a warning. It will not help you defend yourself.]

...

The scariest thing about ghosts was the fact that they were formless and undetectable with the naked eye. Had they been visible, given the fact that fire and electricity could destroy them, they would not have been considered scary at all.

Although the [Knitted Talisman] could not allow Kieran to do that, it could still give him a warning whenever a ghost was present. For Kieran, that would be more than enough.

After all, unlike the rest of his team, he had a Pro Level [Tracking] Skill under his belt.

"You can faintly sense special beings living among us!"

That description had shown up when Kieran had leveled [Tracking] up to Pro. But what did "special beings" mean exactly?

Before Kieran had entered this dungeon, he had not been able to tell, but now he understood the meaning perfectly well. The term included ghosts, spirits and spectres.

However, the description of the [Tracking] skill had included the word "faintly" to remind Kieran that the skill had its limitations as well. However, adding the [Knitted Talisman] to the mix would greatly reduce those limitations.

At the very least, its warning signal would increase Kierans chances of sensing formless beings. He had to get his hands on that talisman.

That was the thought that bloomed in Kieran's mind. After all, this was only a fourth dungeon and ghostly beings had already made an appearance, which meant that further down the road he might encounter even more of them. Although he might not be able to obtain some other equipment, the [Knitted Talisman] before him was something he had to have in his inventory.

"Would you sell this talisman to me? I can feel that it has the power to help me in my mission. I will offer you a good price for it," Kieran laid out his thoughts honestly as he looked at Captain Ralph.

He would not resort to any dirty methods to obtain the talisman. He might have been dishonest about his reasons for wanting it, but he still had some principles that he lived by, which was why he had suggested to buy it from the man.

"What?" Captain Ralph had been caught off guard. He had not expected Kieran to come up with such a proposition. Unconsciously, Captain Ralphs face filled with doubt.

Although he respected Kieran and his team, that still did not mean that he would simply sell his heirloom talisman to Kieran.

As the man hesitated, Kieran brought out a tiny, fingernail-sized ruby.

It was a only common jewel from the Church of Dawn treasure, not something that could be embedded.

His loot from the Church of Dawn treasure consisted mostly of non-embedding jewels like this one. Kieran had brought some of them into the dungeon for his immediate expenses.

After all, in the dungeon that he had just been through, even the most common jewel had been worth a lot of money, and no one could guarantee that he would not be in need of money in this dungeon. The current situation was proof enough of that.

Captain Ralph was lost in his own thoughts when he suddenly saw the ruby. Its clear, red sparkle immediately wiped the troubled expression off his face.

He hated to part with his heirloom because he was still afraid of the paranormal, but he was a businessman in nature. After all, he was the only person to bring food and medicine from the mainland to Alcatraz.

"It would be my pleasure to be of assistance to you!" Captain Ralph replied with a smile.

Kieran answered with a smile of his own and a fling of his finger. The ruby fell accurately into Captain Ralphs coat pocket. The captain, who had just been paid, smiled with an additional sense of reverence.

The conversation had brought the two of them only 40 to 50 centimeters apart, but all it had taken was a simple fling of Kierans finger for the ruby to land accurately. They hadnt even needed to touch each other. Captain Ralph had never witnessed anything like that before in his entire life, but he had heard some rumours. From time to time, the prison guards at Alcatraz would talk about someone there who was able to do something similar.

Before that person had been arrested and sent to Alcatraz, he had been an infamous thief. The reason such a petty criminal had been sent to Alcatraz was because he was too good at escaping from prison, and no other prison could hold him except Alcatraz.

At the thought that of one of the six passengers on his ferry had the skills of a master thief plus the skills to deal with the paranormal, Captain Ralphs heart fill with awe.

Kieran didnt know what Captain Ralph was thinking, but he was still in a good mood because he had been able to acquire such useful equipment at a fair price. It had all been worth it.

If he had sold the talisman to a player, it would easily have earned him 3,000 to 5,000 Points, maybe even a couple of Skill Points too.

Kieran quickly put on the [Knitted Talisman] around his neck. He had lots of questions about its sudden appearance. Had it been a coincidence? Or had someone predicted that he would need it?

Kieran had no idea, but that still did not stop him from continuing to talk to the captain.

As a native, Captain Ralph was very familiar with Alcatraz, and Kieran wanted to win the mans favour before the ferry reached the island dock. Kieran already knew a lot about Alcatraz and the stories about it.

Captain Ralph went back to the cockpit and took over cruising the ferry from the first mate. When the ferry reached the docks, Lawless, Zywane, Starbeck, and the two bodyguards came out of the cabin.

"You are indeed very lucky! Its just the beginning of the dungeon and you have already acquired a piece of equipment! Come on, shake my hand, pass me some of your good luck!"

Lawless extended his hand while he chewed on his cigar, but Kieran rolled his eyes and ignored him.

No one even asked what Kieran had acquired. It was one of the rules when it came to short-term teams.

"The situation on Alcatraz is quite clear now. It used to be a land of myths and legends, but because of the governments policies, it has now become a prison for notorious criminals. An island solely used for imprisonment Something is definitely fishy here! Especially that dead duke. Maybe thats the mystery that we need to solve, or something about that younger heir or that priest. They also sound suspicious!" Lawless concluded, as the team leader.

Although it was only Kieran who had spoken to the captain, he had purposely not lowered his voice during the conversation. Their discussion definitely could not have escaped the ears of his team members inside the cabin. They all had a pretty sensitive sense of hearing after all. Everyone inside the cabin had heard Captain Ralphs stories about the island.

"What should we do next?" Starbeck asked.

Kieran could see that his face had turned pale once again.

"Can he really be that much of a coward?" Kieran thought to himself.

"Well improvise, of course! We havent even met the person whos hired us to solve the mystery yet!" Lawless said with a laugh.

No one dared object to his proposition. He was making sense after all. Everyone just waited patiently.

"Gentlemen, we have reached the island!"

Following Captain Ralphs loud call, the ferry docked firmly at Alcatraz. After the group was off the ship, Captain Ralph signaled for his sailors to unload the cargo.

Kieran and co. met the person who had invited them. It looked like it would be a pretty cold reception, judging by the mans cold, pale expression. The man was almost the same age as Captain Ralph, but he was much more well-dressed. He was wearing a black suit and shiny leather shoes, and his brownish hair and beard were neatly combed. His gray, serious eyes made him look extremely strict and stiff.

When he opened his mouth, his strictness became even more obvious.

"Im the Deputy Warden of Alcatraz Prison, and my name is Swalker. I dont know how the prison management found you people, but I hope that you understand that this is not a place where you can do as you please. You better watch out and follow the rules!"

After a simple introduction and a stern warning, the Deputy Warden signaled at a prison guard that had been waiting off to the side.

"Ill leave them to you for the rest of the week."

Then the man turned around and left the dock.

"What an arrogant, pushy fellow!" Lawless said with a click of his tongue.

"Deputy Warden Swalker is like this because of those recent incidents. His anxiety has gotten the better of him. Hes quite a nice person, actually. Good day, everyone! Im one of the prison guards. My name is Jack Ben, but just Jack will do!"

The appointed prison guard had walked over and explained the situation with his superior. He was in his thirties, and had an ordinary face and quite a friendly demeanor.

Suddenly, he changed his tone of voice became stricter.

"For the next week, I'll do my best to assist you with the case. However, Alcatraz is a special establishment, and I hope one of you could inform me before you conduct your investigations so l can let Deputy Warden Swalker know. Its for everyones safety. Trust me, this is not a joke to be taken lightly. Please bear this in mind," Jack emphasized once again.

"Very well. We understand," Kieran answered with a smile.

Lawless and Zywane remained quiet. They allowed Kieran to handle the liaison for the mission while Starbeck and his two bodyguards acted as if they did not even exist. They let the mercenaries deal with everything.

Obviously, when Lawless had said that he was not good at talking and the natives would not understand a word he said, he had not been lying. Zywane, on the other had, was bitter about losing to Kieran in the competition and was allowing Kieran to do the talking for the time being.

"Please, everyone follow me!"

Kierans willingness to cooperate had earned him a smile from Jack, who immediately guided them out of the docks.

The distance from the docks to the prison was not too long. It was only about 300 meters.

The flat line of land provided the guards on the prison wall with a clear line of shooting, as well as a clear view of the inside of the prison.

Kieran and his team entered through the big prison gate. There was a wide field inside, and the prisons main building stood in the middle of that field. The area was surrounded by walls, looking like it was embracing the building.

Up on the walls, there were over twenty patrol guards holding real guns with real bullets.

Kieran could even see two light machine guns. Security was very tight, but then again, everyone would have thought so upon seeing the prison.

The main building was three stories high and occupied most of the compound. It did not have a front entrance. There were just two gates on the west and east side of the building.

The west side was tightly secured with guards holding guns, and the outside of the building did not have any windows. It was just a big wall of concrete.

The east side looked a lot nicer. It actually had windows, and a couple of them were even decorated with flower pots.

Jack led the group to the east side of the prison.

"This is the prison management control center, security monitor center, prison infirmary, storage area, and the sleeping quarters of the prison guards."

"This is where you will be staying for the next week. Its just beside the security monitor center."

"That is also the place where I will be most of the time. Just drop by and ask for me if you need anything. You can go to the prison guard cafeteria for your daily meals."

"Since today is the first day of your visit, the Warden has ordered the chef to prepare a feast to celebrate your arrival. Im lucky enough to enjoy that meal with everyone!"

Jack continued his introduction about the place as an anticipating smile formed on his young face.

The meal was what Jack had been looking forward to. After a while, Kieran and co. entered a room with a round table full of food.

Escargot, ox tail soup, grilled lamb leg, grilled fish... There was even a whole grilled chicken and a basket of bread accompanied by a bottle of red wine and other beverages.

"Welcome to Alcatraz! It might not be a very welcoming place, but it will have to do!"

Jack raised his wineglass, acting like he was the host and Kieran and his team were his honored guests.

Everyone else raised their glasses too. Kieran was having juice instead of wine, and so were Zywane, No.1 and No.2. Only Lawless and Starbeck were having wine with Jack.

As Kieran moved the glass closer to his mouth, the orange juice emitted a strange fragrance that made its sweetness smell a little different.

As Kieran smelled the fragrance, his mind flooded with knowledge from his [Medical and Medicinal Knowledge] skill. Specifically, the part about poison.

"Stop! Dont drink it! Its poisoned!" Kieran quickly shouted at his team members.