Gallup reluctantly consumed several mouthfuls from the bowl, his face contorted in grimaces. He shut his eyes in anguish, his entire body trembling as if grappling with intense pain.

“Don’t stop drinking it, Gallup! If a single drop gets wasted, your entire bloodline ends here!” Skyler commanded sternly.

Gallup managed a few more sips, and upon setting the bowl down, he stumbled forward, collapsing onto the stone platform. His eyes remained shut, and he breathed heavily, facial muscles twitching, as if caught in a dreadful nightmare.

“Don’t stop! Keep going!” Skyler commanded once again.

“I don’t want to… don’t force me…” Gallup gasped, his voice now almost unrecognizable, distorted by the effects of the liquid.

“Salff,” Skyler declared decisively, “fetch the bowl and pour the rest into his mouth!”

“Yes, master!” Salff obediently followed Skyler’s instructions without hesitation, promptly executing the task.

Salff compelled the bowl to Gallup’s lips with an icy countenance, forcefully prying his mouth open and pouring in the liquid.

Gallup groaned in agony as a substantial amount coursed down his throat. The poison persisted until he could endure no more, unleashing uncontrollable screams that reverberated through the crypt.

“No, no, no… I can’t… I can’t, don’t force me, I don’t want to…” Gallup pleaded, “Please make it stop. I know I did something wrong. Oh, please let it stop. I will never, never again…”

Salff turned her head slightly, casting a glance at Skyler. Observing his stoic expression, her cold demeanor remained unwavering as she faithfully carried out her task, pouring a significant quantity of poison into Gallup’s mouth.

This time, Gallup descended into madness. He collapsed to the ground, wailing loudly and pounding the floor with his fists. Through tears, he implored, “Please, please, please, don’t… don’t want that, don’t want that, let me do anything… really… anything will do…”

Even Salff’s face showed a hint of reluctance this time.

Skyler observed her expression with intrigue and spoke softly, “Did you know? This is the man who once schemed to attack me with several others at the bottom of the Black Lake. He aimed to turn me into their puppet, even resorting to murder to achieve this goal. They killed a friend of mine and numerous innocent mermaids…”

Upon hearing this revelation, the momentary look of reluctance on Salff’s face vanished instantly. She responded, and for her, anyone intending harm to her master and her beloved was unforgivable, warranting the most severe and perverse punishment.

Her countenance acquired an icy veneer, rendering her even more distant, yet from Skyler’s perspective, she became increasingly captivating. At this moment, she truly embodied the allure of a femme fatale. Skyler couldn’t deny that, among his various relationships, no one could evoke this particular feeling. These other girls lived in the sunlight, representing his kind and sunny side.

Only Salff could truly embody the concealed, darker side of Skyler—a facet he preferred to keep untouched.

Dumbledore’s proclamation that a great wizard possesses a dark side, but the true measure lies in confronting it, sounded splendid, yet he himself opted for escape.

If not for his fear of power and evasion of responsibility, why would the Ministry of Magic be so corrupt? Why would the Defense Against the Dark Arts class sacrifice numerous young and promising professors?

Skyler held a consistent disdain for Dumbledore’s hypocrisy. He believed that everyone harbored a dark side; the crux lay in how one channeled it and selected acceptable outlets for its expression.

Returning to Salff, she seized Gallup’s neck forcefully, pulling him backward to make his pallid face tilt upward. Then, she continued the relentless pouring of poison. Gallup consumed the liquid like a thirsty child, only to scream again once he finished, as if his internal organs were ablaze. Despite his agonized cries, Salff persisted in pouring the poison into his mouth.

As he reached the bottom of the bowl, Gallup suddenly screamed, his voice more agonized than ever: “I want to die! I want to die! Make it stop, make it stop, I want to die!”

The effects of the curse on Gallup began to manifest. Tufts of wolf hairs sprouted on his face, as well as on his arms, calves, and neck.

However, simultaneously, his mission was accomplished. The poison was consumed entirely, revealing a small scarlet bottle.

Salff raised her wand, gazing at Skyler, and asked, “Shall I end his suffering now by casting the Killing Curse?”

Skyler shook his head and replied, “No need. Judging by his appearance, it seems he lost control of his magical power suppression, and the curse has rebounded. He won’t survive for long. Let’s leave him be. He likely lacks the strength to lift a finger in his current condition.”

Skyler strode directly to the large bowl, removing the cap from the red bottle. As he opened it, a beautiful red glow emerged, resembling a crimson rainbow. A single drop of blood slowly ascended from the bottle’s mouth.

A smile played on Skyler’s lips as he anticipated the nature of this substance.

Given that Ravenclaw bequeathed the “Essence of Wisdom” and Hufflepuff left the “Source of Life,” both representing the pinnacle of magical powers, Slytherin, being distinct, wouldn’t settle for anything less.

This blood bead must be the coveted “pure blood.”

Extending his hand, Skyler beckoned to the blood bead, which obediently approached him with a hint of sentience. Skyler discerned its potent energy through his magic eyes, accompanied by extraordinary magical fluctuations.

Before Skyler could decipher how to utilize this pure blood, the blood bead suddenly emitted a red glow, transforming into a crimson light that shot into Skyler’s chest.

Upon obtaining the “Essence of Wisdom,” Skyler had experienced a surge in mental power. Acquiring the “Source of Life” had imparted a sensation of boundless vitality coursing through his body. Now, with the acquisition of the “Pure Blood”—

Skyler felt nothing.

His magical power showed no increase, mental power and soul strength remained unchanged, and even his body and appearance exhibited no discernible differences.

Closing his eyes, Skyler delved into his body using mental power to inspect organs and tissues. After meticulous scrutiny, he identified a red blood bead suspended a few centimeters above his heart.

With each heartbeat, the blood bead released minute amounts of red energy into the heart, seamlessly integrating that energy into his bloodstream. Due to its minuscule quantity, Skyler couldn’t discern the potential effects on his blood.

Although the creation obtained couldn’t be immediately utilized, Skyler displayed no signs of discouragement. After all, any alterations in the blood could hardly be viewed as negative, right?

At that moment, the stone platform emitted loud rumbling sounds and descended to the ground amidst powerful tremors.

Simultaneously, around Skyler, a similar rumbling echoed, and six massive obelisk-shaped stone tablets slowly ascended from the ground.

Each stone tablet was adorned with intricate serpentine characters inscribed in red blood. At the same time, both Skyler and Salff could comprehend the serpentine characters, the disparities in grammar and sentence structure between the Middle Ages and the present made deciphering the lengthy script laborious and time-consuming.

Half an hour elapsed, and Skyler massaged his temples.

“Salff,” Skyler called softly.

“Master, what’s the matter?” Salff responded respectfully.

“I’ve been absent from the public eye at Hogwarts for quite some time. Despite Daphne and Astoria helping me maintain a cover, I suspect there might be repercussions if I don’t reappear soon. I’m not keen on drawing the attention of the old man with the white beard too quickly,” Skyler mused, considering the time had elapsed.

From the setup in the Slytherin Chamber of Secrets in the early hours of the previous night to the wand-making ceremony and the journey to Ireland this morning, almost half a day had transpired since discovering the basin at the Hag’s Glen and subsequently arriving at this crypt.

Skyler paused, gathering his thoughts before continuing, “I’ve formed a general understanding of the six stone tablets. Each one corresponds to a form of Parsnip magic, specifically wielded by masters of the snake language. However, it’s not as straightforward as accurately pronouncing words and waving a wand. One must possess essential knowledge and a profound understanding of Parsnip magic to cast these spells. That’s why the stone tablets are adorned with such extensive and intricate theories.”

Salff gently furrowed her beautiful brow and inquired, “Is the essence of Parsnip magic distinct from other mainstream wizard magic?”

“Wizard magic theory has been essentially finalized since the Middle Ages,” explained Skyler. “A consensus among wizards worldwide asserts that magic involves harnessing the magical power within the body to affect reality. Given that magic is projected through the hands via mental control, wizards devised wands and spells to enhance the stability and precision of spellcasting.”

“You have already grasped some of this concept, Salff. It’s safe to say that any wizard who has completed their first year understands this common sense.

The notion of precise casting implies that no unexpected effects should occur when casting a particular spell. For instance, Miranda Goshawk’s “Standard Spells, Elementary” recounts the mishap of the wizard Baruffio, who, while not paying attention, mistakenly uttered ‘f’ instead of ‘s’ and found himself on the floor with a bison standing on his chest.

Professor Flitwick later used this incident as a cautionary example while teaching the Levitation Spell, creating a significant jest for Skyler in his previous life.

During his time reading fan fiction, Skyler encountered many fan authors who believed that incorrectly reciting the Levitation Spell would transform it into the ‘Bison Transformation Spell.’

Some well-known fans even utilized this idea to humorously transform a buffalo and prank Draco in a roundabout way. However, in reality, the complete incantation for the Levitation Spell doesn’t contain the letter’ f’.”

“Salff, if you carefully recall your experiences when you transformed into a snake, you’ll notice that the animal kingdom possesses its own form of language and communication. For instance, bees communicate through their flight patterns. Similarly, despite snakes’ sounds resembling hissing to human ears, each sound actually conveys a distinct thought and meaning…”

“This is a realm close to instinct,” Skyler interjected calmly. “So, even though you possess the ability to communicate with snakes, you may not realize that every utterance in snake language encapsulates these creatures’ perspectives on life, death, and the world. It can be viewed as the philosophical musings and worldview of snakes. Only by delving deep into the thought patterns of snakes can we unlock the full potential of snake language magic.”

“I believe it’s high time for us to depart and return. The stone tablets can be brought along and examined at our leisure.” Skyler retrieved his wand and suitcase. “During this period, you will reside in the suitcase space with these stone tablets, taking charge of deciphering and studying the magic inscribed on them. I’ve noticed that each stone tablet corresponds to a snake language magic. Would you be willing to stay until you’ve fully mastered all six magics?”

“Your wish is my command, master.” Salff slightly bowed and affirmed.


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Published On: April 22, 2024

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