Chapter 2- Mysteries & Histories

John slowly sits up, groaning in pain as he clutches his chest. He notices a bandage across his chest and looks around the unfamiliar room. Suddenly, Pete enters with a tray of medicine.

"How are you feeling, John?" Pete asks concern etched on his face.

John takes a deep breath and replies, "Like I've been hit in the chest with an axe." He pushes himself off the bed, wincing at the pain in his chest. "What happened?"

Pete looks solemn. "You ran into Hellspawn last night. I'm so sorry. I rushed over here to help you as soon as I could."

John shook his head in disbelief. "I don't understand, I couldn't get the complete information. I was only one step away after I took the book—”. John shakes his head in disbelief. "I don't understand.” Suddenly, his eyes widen as he remembers the book. He frantically searches for his body, but it is gone. "The book! They took the book from me!" he exclaims.

Pete nods grimly. "Yes, the Hellspawn took it. I'm sorry, John. It was forbidden knowledge and it shouldn't have been taken from you."

John shakes his head. "This wasn't the work of a demon. It was done by a human. I can feel it." He fixes Pete with a determined gaze. "You have to help me get the book back. Can you take me to the author?"

Pete bites his lip, looking uncomfortable. "The author is an old patient in an asylum. We'd have to break in to get him” he sighs. "I guess I could try to talk some sense into him and explain what happened, but there's no guarantee that it'll work." He gives John an amused smirk. "I'm sure the two of us can handle it, though. What do you say?"


John and Pete arrive at the asylum around 11:00 AM and entered the reception office. The air was thick with the smell of disinfectant, and the walls were painted a dreary shade of gray. Pete approaches the receptionist, while John hung back, looking around the room.

"How can I help you today?" The receptionist asks with a bored voice.

"We're here about one of your patients. An old man”


"I don't know," Pete admits. "But he may have been in here for a while."

The receptionist raises an eyebrow. "What makes you think that?"

"The author of Deal with the Devil…. as you know him”, is short and speaks Latin or some strange language"

The receptionist nods slowly. "Ah, yes. We have an elderly gentleman here who matches that description. His name is Thomas."

“Can we see him?"

The receptionist hesitates, then nodded. "Sure. Follow me."

The receptionist led them down a long hallway and into a small, cramped cell. Inside was an old man, scrawling symbols on the walls, seemingly oblivious to their presence. He had a wild look in his eyes, and his hair and beard were unkempt.

"Thomas?" He asked gently.

The old man didn't look up. He continued his work, muttering incoherently.

"Thomas, we need your help. We think you may have something we're looking for."

Thomas stopped writing and looked up. He stared at them for a moment, his expression unreadable. Then, he said, “I own you nothing”

John and Pete exchanged a nervous glance. They had anticipated that Thomas might be difficult to deal with, but they hadn't expected outright hostility.

"We understand that," Pete said, trying to keep his tone calm. "But we have reason to believe that you may know something that could help us. It's very important."

Thomas narrowed his eyes. "What do you want to know?"

"We need a copy of the Deal with the Devil manuscript," John said. "Do you have it?"

Thomas laughed darkly and looked away. "No," he said.

“I need your help in finding it, to show the world what Ravenwood passes through silently. I'm sure you don't want the town to keep suffering innocently” John pleaded, “Just give us where we can find the manuscript, please”

"But I know who does."

John and Pete exchanged another glance, and their hopes suddenly lifted.

"Who?" Pete asked, leaning forward.

Thomas fixed them with a steely gaze. "If you want the manuscript," he said slowly. "You must find the one who tricked me into signing it. He is the only one who can give it to you."

John and Pete were taken aback by Thomas' sudden change in behavior. He began to act erratically, twitching and muttering incoherently.

"You have to help me," he said, his voice rising in panic. "The Shadow Keepers are coming. If they find me here, they will kill me."

John and Pete exchanged a worried glance. It was clear that Thomas was in danger, but they had no way of knowing how much time he had left.

"We will do what we can," John said, trying to sound reassuring. "But first, tell us who has the manuscript."

Thomas shook his head. "No," he said. "It's too dangerous. I can't tell you. You must go to the one that tricked me into signing it. His name is Caliban. He lives in the Cemetery."

John's eyes widened. This was not what he had expected. He had assumed that the manuscript was held by some regular person, not a person living in a cemetery.

Before either of them could respond, the door burst open and a group of guards rushed in. They grabbed Thomas and dragged him away, despite his protests.

John and Pete watch helplessly as he was taken away. The last thing they heard was his screams echoing down the hallway.

John shakes his head slowly. "We have to find Caliban," he said. "I don't know how we're going to do it, but if he has the manuscript, then we have to get it back."

John and Pete stepped out of the asylum, reeling from their eerie confrontation with Thomas. They felt the pressing urgency of finding Caliban before it was too late. If the manuscript fell into the wrong hands, who knew what sort of havoc could be wreaked?

Their thoughts were interrupted by the sound of approaching footsteps. Glancing up, the two spies notice a figure in a sheriff's uniform walking towards them from the other side of the street. His face was stern, and the hard angles of his jawline gave the impression that he was not to be trifled with. He had a small tattoo on his wrist: an oak tree.

John and Pete exchanged anxious looks, as the sheriff came to a stop in front of them.

"What exactly are you two doing here?" He asks gruffly. "Don't you know this is no place for law-abiding citizens?"

John takes a deep breath before responding. "Yes, sir. We were just leaving."

The sheriff studies them for a moment longer before folding his arms and replying, "Good. Now, I got a call about a disturbance at the cemetery. I suggest you steer clear of there for now."

His words were like a warning bell in their ears, and as the sheriff drives away, John and Pete knew they had to uncover the mystery of the Deal with the Devil manuscript - whatever it took. Steeling their resolve, the two headed towards the graveyard, determined to unravel the secrets that lay ahead.


As they sat in the restaurant, John's mind was racing with thoughts of the manuscript and the danger that lay ahead. He knows that they were up against something powerful and dangerous, and they are going to need all the information they could get.

"What do you know about the origin of Ravenwood?" asks John, turning to Pete.

Pete shifts nervously in his seat. "Well," he began slowly. "There are stories about three men who founded Ravenwood many centuries ago. They made a deal with a powerful demon known as Hellspawn and then betrayed him. To save themselves, they used powerful magic to trap the demon and decided to become supernatural beings themselves. From then on, they formed a cult group that worshipped them, and their powers grew. For centuries the cult has been around, but no one knows who these men were or where they went."

John nods slowly, a sense of dread coming over him. He had a feeling that the mystery of the Deal with the Devil manuscript was somehow connected to the cult.

"We must find this Caliban," said John, standing up from the table. "He's the only one who can tell us what is going on. We have to discover the truth before it's too late."

As John and Pete walked towards the cemetery, they noticed that everything seemed to be eerily silent. The once lively cemetery was now void of any sound. The wind had died down, and the trees stood still, casting long shadows across the tombstones. Even the birds seemed to be in hiding as if they had been silenced by some unknown force.

John and Pete looked at each other apprehensively, before ducking behind a tall monument. They planned to remain hidden until the coast was clear.

Suddenly, a thick fog descended upon the cemetery. John and Pete could no longer see each other. Then, out of the mist, a figure began to materialize. Its form was dark and shrouded in shadows, its face hidden beneath a hood. It seemed to be beckoning John further into the cemetery.

John hesitated, but his curiosity got the better of him. The figure seemed to be leading him somewhere, so he took a few steps forward. Suddenly, a cold chill ran down his spine, and he realized he was ensnared in an illusion. Bright lights surrounded him as the figure cackled maniacally.

John blinked and found himself alone in a strange landscape. Everything was grey and muted, with no sign of life. Then he heard a familiar voice calling out his name.

"Snap out of it, John," it said. "We must find Caliban ."

Suddenly the whole mist vanishes bringing John back to his former position, with a minor headache, he looked around to see everything was normal. Pete places his hand on his shoulder, “What was that all about?” John asked

“It's part of the curse…we better look for Caliban before it's too late” late,” Pete says in a worried manner

Both men start to walk down the cemetery when they came across a tombstone, with ‘Caliban, 1934-2001’ written on it

"Caliban is dead," muttered John, peeking at the grave. "Why would he have the manuscript with him? This doesn't make sense."

Pete frowns. "Maybe it was buried with him for safekeeping. Whoever wanted it hidden knew that no one would be able to find it here."

John shakes his head. "But why? What was so important about this manuscript that someone would take such drastic measures? It's a mystery."

John and Pete looked at each other with uncertainty and dread. It was decided that they had to open the grave. They knew that this was the only way to find out what was written in the manuscript and why it was so important.

Armed with a crowbar and shovel, John and Pete relentlessly hacked away at the earth until they finally broke open the grave. The smell of decay assaulted their senses immediately, making their eyes water and their stomachs churn. Carefully, they peered inside and were shocked to find Caliban's body, decayed but with his hands still clenched together. With trembling fingers, John reached out for a scroll clutched in one of Caliban's hands. As he touched it, the parchment gave off an eerie chill that sent a chill down his spine.

Suddenly, Pete lunges forward, eyes wide and face contorted with rage. He had been taken over by some sort of dark force as if an unseen hand had taken control of his body. John was in shock and looked around desperately for a way out, but there was none. He scrambled backward as Pete advanced, hissing and snarling like an animal.

John scrambles backward, tripping on the broken tombstone and falling onto the wet grass. Pete moved closer, hissing and snarling. With nowhere to go, John had no choice but to fight back. He grabbed a nearby shovel and swung it at Pete, barely missing him.


Pete struggles to control the dark force within him as he tries to reason with John. "John, listen to me! This isn't real, it's just an illusion. You have to fight it!"

But John is lost in his thoughts, the shovel raised above his head and ready to come down on Pete.

"John!" Pete yells, desperation in his voice. "It's me, Pete. Please, don't do this."

The dark force within him is increasing, but he keeps fighting it, trying to stay in control of his own body.

John pauses, the shovel still hovering in the air. Pete can see the wheels turning in John's mind as if he's trying to figure something out.

Finally, John lowers the shovel and takes a shaky step back. "What...what happened?" he gasps, confused.

Relieved, Pete sighs. "We're being attacked by an illusion," he says. "It must have been created by the manuscript. We need to get it away from here before someone else is harmed by it."

John nods, holding the shovel tightly as he stares down at the grave. He had almost killed someone. He can't believe what he almost did. "Let's get out of here," he says softly.

John carefully wraps the manuscript with a cloth before placing it in his backpack. He looks over to Pete who is standing a few feet away, their eyes meeting.

"Are you sure you don't want to come with me?" John asks, hoping that Pete might reconsider.

Pete hesitates for a moment, then shakes his head sadly. "No, I can't. I have to stay here and make sure no one else ever falls for the illusion." He pauses, before continuing. "But you should get back to your hotel. You must be tired after this ordeal."

John nods, knowing that he is right. He takes one last look around the cemetery, taking in the smells of wet grass and the hint of death in the air. He gives Pete a sad smile, before turning away and making his way back to the hotel.

John arrives at the hotel and makes his way over to the front desk, where he is met with the sight of the creepy receptionist. She is so focused on using her knife to poke red meat repeatedly that she doesn't even acknowledge him at first. John tries to ignore her as he makes his way up the stairs, but he can't help but feel uneasy.

As he reaches his room, he notices that one of his neighbor's doors is open. Peeking inside, he sees a couple having sex on the bed, completely unaware of him standing in the doorway. He quickly looks away and continues down the hallway, feeling embarrassed and awkward.

John unlocks his door, relieved to finally reach his destination. The moment he steps inside, he is hit with the familiar scent of lavender from the oils he has placed around the room. Taking a deep breath, he begins to relax a bit more.

As he settles into his room, John's phone begins to ring. He groans inwardly, knowing it's his boss, but he answers anyway.


"John, it's me. Where are you with the manuscript?"

"I have it," John replies, trying to keep his annoyance at bay.

"Good. And what have you found out?"

"Well, I went to the asylum and talked to a patient who may have had information on it. He mentioned a man named Caliban, who was buried in Ravenwood Cemetery. We went there and found the manuscript buried with him."

There is a small pause on the other end of the line, and John can practically feel his boss' impatience.

"And what is the manuscript about? What did you discover?"

"I don't know yet. I haven't had a chance to read it. I just got back to my hotel."

"You only have three days left, John. We need the information ASAP. What are you waiting for? Get to work!"

The line goes dead, and John sighs heavily. He can feel the pressure mounting, and he knows he needs to read the manuscript as soon as possible.

He opens his backpack and takes out the cloth-wrapped manuscript, studying it closely. It's old and worn, with strange symbols etched into it, similar to what he had seen on the walls of the asylum cell. He can't help but feel a chill as he thinks about Thomas and how he had been driven to madness.

Slowly, he unwraps the manuscript, the light from the nearby lamp casting a shadow across his face. The pages are yellowed and fragile, and the writing is difficult to read, but he can make out some of the words.

As he reads, he feels a sense of dread settles in his stomach. The manuscript is a pact with the demon, Hellspawn. It promises power, wealth, and eternal life in exchange for the soul of the signer. John can hardly believe what he's reading. It's as if the manuscript itself is cursed, with an evil aura emanating from its very pages.

He takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself, but it's no use. He is terrified of what this means. Ravenwood was founded by demonic worshipers who wanted to become supernatural beings themselves. What kind of chaos could be unleashed if this manuscript were to fall into the wrong hands?

John can hear his boss' words echoing in his mind and knows he can't waste any more time. He must finish reading the manuscript and find a way to destroy it before it's too late.

John jumps at the sound of a loud bang on his hotel room door. He cautiously approaches the door, taking in the scene before him. His senses are on high alert, and the adrenaline is pumping through his veins.

As he opens the door, he sees an old man standing on the other side. He introduces himself as Pastor Jenkins, the local minister of Ravenwood. John scrutinizes the man, wondering what he wants.

"Can I help you?" John asks, folding his arms.

The old man clears his throat and begins to speak in a hushed tone. "I've been following your investigation on the Deal with the Devil manuscript," he says, glancing around nervously as if someone might be listening in. "And I believe I may have information that can help you."

John is taken aback by the old man's words. He didn't expect anyone to be following his investigation, let alone a pastor. Nevertheless, he allows the man inside, and they sit down to talk.

"What do you know?” John asked

Pastor Jenkins looked at John with a grave expression on his face. "What do I know?" he repeated, his voice low and measured. "You may not realize it, but you're playing with forces that you can't begin to comprehend. The manuscript you're after has a powerful curse upon it, and I fear that if you remain here, you may bring terrible misfortune upon yourself," he sighed.

John looked up at the Pastor, a mixture of fear and determination in his eyes. "I have to know what's in the manuscript, or else the mystery will never be solved. And I'm not leaving until I get what I'm here for”

“I admire your courage” Pastor Jenkins smiles while crossing his legs. “But do you know, Courage isn't always about standing firm and taking action, sometimes it takes even greater courage to step back and wait for the right moment. The ball is in your court, it is left to you to decide ”

John stands up from his seat and starts pacing around the room. He can't believe what he's hearing from Pastor Jenkins.

"I appreciate your concern, Pastor, but I can't just give up now. I've come too far to turn back," he says firmly, looking the man in the eye.

Pastor Jenkins looks back at John calmly. "I understand your determination, but don't forget that even the bravest knights know their limits," he says gently.

John takes a deep breath and collects his thoughts. Then he steadily meets the pastor's gaze. "I appreciate the warning, but I'm not going to step back now," he says resolutely. "I'm here for a reason, and I intend to see it through."

The pastor nods slowly. "Very well then," he says with a sigh. He stands up from the chair and moves towards the door. As he reaches for the handle, he turns back to John.

"Remember, courage doesn't mean recklessness. Be careful, John. You never know what you may find in the pursuit of your goal," he says before slipping out into the night.

John watches as the pastor disappears down the hallway. As Pastor Jenkins leaves, John's thoughts drift back to a painful memory. He remembers when his little daughter Olivia was on the sick bed after being diagnosed with a hole in her heart. The memory is so vivid that he can almost feel the weight of the oxygen mask on her tiny face, her big brown eyes full of worry and fear as he told her everything would be alright.

John looks around the room, the stark white walls, the smell of antiseptic and medicine, and a wave of emotions washes over him. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, focusing on the sound of Olivia's soft voice.

"Daddy, if I'm brave enough to go through it, will it make me really strong?"

John's heart aches at the memory. He opens his eyes and looks down at his hands, clenched into fists. He knows that staying here is a risk, but he also knows that he must stay if he wants to have any chance of solving the mystery before him. With determination and resolve, he stands up and says aloud:

"Yes, Livie, I'll stay here and solve this mystery. I'll be brave and strong - just like you."

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