Chapter 3- Sacrificial Deal with the Devil

As John stands there, lost in thought, he doesn't notice the figure lurking behind him. Suddenly, the figure raises a knife, intending to stab John in the back. But at the last moment, John seems to sense the danger and moves to the side, narrowly avoiding the knife as it pierces through his shoulder instead.

John shouts in pain and fear as he whips around to confront the figure. He can make out a hooded figure in front of him, but before he can move to defend himself, the figure throws a handful of powder at John's face. Instinctively, he closes his eyes and starts coughing, feeling the grit of the powder against his skin.

The hooded figure takes advantage of this momentary distraction and moves closer to John. He tries to raise the knife again, but John is ready and grabs hold of the assailant's wrist, stopping the blade just inches away from his face. The two of them struggle for control of the weapon, pushing and pulling until finally, John manages to wrestle the knife away.

As John steps back to catch his breath, he notices the figure has something in their hand. He weaves his way through the broken furniture and debris, cautiously approaching the figure. As he gets closer, he can see that it is the manuscript he kept on the table minutes ago.

The figure lunges forward and tries to grab the manuscript from John, but he is too quick and manages to move out of the way. With one final thrust, John grabs the manuscript and dives towards the door. He makes it outside and gasps for air, seeing no presence and clutching the precious manuscript tightly in his hands.

John looks around, his heart still racing. He doesn't know how long it will take before the figure finds him again but he knows that he must keep moving if he wants any chance of staying alive.

As John runs through the pouring rain, he feels a sharp pain spread across his shoulders. His adrenaline is fading, and he knows every step is a struggle. But he can't stop, not when danger is still following him.

Suddenly, he hears a faint noise behind him—a car engine. Before he can react, the vehicle slams into him, sending him flying onto the wet pavement. He lies there, motionless, as the car drives away in the night.

John slowly opens his eyes, his head throbbing with pain. As he tries to sit up, he realizes he's in an unfamiliar room, the walls made of cold stone and a candle flickering before a statue of the Holy Mary on a small wooden table. He hears the sound of a loud bell ringing continuously in the distance, echoing off the walls.

He looks around and notices a nun standing nearby, her face hidden in the shadows of her hooded cloak. She speaks softly in a language John does not understand. He notices a man standing next to her, and he realized it was pastor Jenkins.

“Do not stress the shoulder, it just going to cause you more pain” he says as John felt a mighty shock wave across his shoulder he assesses stabbed. “Whatever was used to stab you were poisoned ”

John feels a little paralyzed by the hand he got stabbed, as though the poison is slowly taking over his body. He winces in pain as he tries to move his arm. "What happened? How did I get here?" he asks, struggling to keep his voice from trembling.

Pastor Jenkins' face is full of concern and sadness as he answers, "I found you lying on the road, unconscious. It's a miracle I even saw you in the pouring rain. I brought you here to the chapel, where my associate and I thought it best for you to rest."

John looks around, taking in the stone walls and the flickering candlelight. He notices an old wooden door, closed tightly with a worn brass handle. It's a strange place to be in the middle of the night.

The nun steps out of the shadows, her face hidden behind her hood. She speaks softly, her words gentle but firm. "You must remain still and be patient, John. The poison will work its way through your body and may take some time to heal," she says.

John nods, understanding their words but unable to focus on them fully due to the throbbing pain in his shoulder. He takes a deep breath and allows himself to drift away, letting the warmth of the chapel sanctuary wash over him.

“I warned you about messing with the manuscript, you almost lost your life,” Pastor Jenkins says

John slowly stands to his feet, listening to Pastor Jenkins as he warns him about the dangers of meddling with the manuscript. The pain in his shoulder still lingers, but he is determined to leave.

"I appreciate your concern, Pastor, but I must go," John insists, taking a stumbling step forward. The nun steps in, her voice gentle but firm.

"You must rest first," she says. "It will take time for the poison to leave your body."

John looks around, unable to deny the truth of her words. He takes a deep breath and finally nods, reluctantly agreeing to remain in the chapel until he is better.

Just then, John's eyes land on an old oak tree by the side of the church. Its gnarled branches loom over him and he feels a chill pass over him. He remembers the same tree from his dream a few days ago, and the tattoo he saw on the sheriff's wrist, and he's sure this is the same one.

It's an eerie reminder of mysteries to be revealed.

John limps back to the hotel, his shoulder throbbing with every step he takes. He's relieved to finally see his hotel, but as he approaches, he notices the sound of fire trucks in the distance. Panic sets in as he quickens his pace, rushing to get to his room.

When he finally arrives, the Fireteam is just departing, and there is a haze of smoke in the air. John rushes to his door and finds it charred and blackened from the fire. He hesitates for a moment before pushing open the door, dreading what he might find. As he steps inside, he sees that all of his belongings have been destroyed, including all of the evidence he had gathered for his investigation.

John feels a chill go through him as he realizes how close he was to losing his life. He takes a deep breath and looks up, his gaze landing on the window just in time to see a police car pulling up outside. Two officers step out and begin making their way up the stairs, and John knows they are coming for him.

He stands motionless, his mind racing. He remembers today is his last day to finish his investigation and he doesn't have any proof to show for it. Suddenly, he notices a tattoo on the wrist of one of the officers, an oak tree intertwined with a serpent. John recognizes it immediately as the same tattoo from his dream, and he knows he's in trouble.

The officers enter his room and apprehend him without hesitation, John is pushed roughly into the back of the police car, and the door slams shut, sealing him in. He tries to speak, to explain himself, but the officers are uninterested. "You're going down for this," one of them snarls as they drive away.

John can feel his heart pounding in his chest as the car makes its way eastward. He looks out the window, trying to make sense of what is happening, but each passing blur of color and light only serves to further confuse him.

The police car slows to a stop and the officer next to John opens the door. "Get out," he commands. John steps outside and finds himself before the police station.

John stands frozen in front of the police station, his heart pounding out of his chest. He watches as the two officers step out of the car and approach him. He can feel their eyes on him, assessing him, and he knows he's in trouble. The officer on his right speaks, his voice gritty and cold.

"John Smith, you're under arrest for tampering with a dead body without approval, breaking into the town library stealing a book, and endangering the lives of innocent people. You have the right to remain silent..."

John stands there in stunned silence, unable to comprehend what's happening. He was just trying to find out the truth, and now here he is, facing possible jail time. He takes a few deep breaths and slowly follows the officers into the station.

Once inside, John is led to a tiny, windowless room. He takes a seat at the small metal desk, feeling as though he's been transported to another world. Everything is grey and monochromatic, and the only sound is the hum of the fluorescent lights overhead.

The officer on his left speaks up, his voice tense with anger. "We know what you were up to. Care to explain?”

John looks up, his eyes meeting the officers. He takes a deep breath before finally speaking. "as I will always say I'm here for business," he explains. "Nothing much, I'm here to bring the truth to the world ."

The officer's face betrays a hint of surprise, but he quickly regains his composure. He leans in close, his dark eyes boring into John's. "You should know by now that the truth can be dangerous. And often deadly."

John looks away, the weight of the officer's words heavy on his shoulders. Fear grips him, like an icy hand around his throat. He knows he's in over his head and he silently prays he manages to make it out alive.

As John sits in the grey, windowless interrogation room, he hears the sound of the door opening behind him. He turns to see the sheriff walking in, flanked by two other officers. They nod toward each other as the two officers exit, leaving just the two of them in the room.

"John Smith," the sheriff begins, speaking slowly and deliberately. He pulls out a chair and takes a seat across from him. "I'm aware of all the trouble you've been in recently."

John stares at the sheriff in shock. He hadn't expected anyone to believe his story, let alone offer him a deal. "What do you mean?"

The sheriff looks at him intently, his face betraying no emotion. "We know more than you think, John," he says. "You see, the night after I used my car to hit you, I thought that would be the end, but to my surprise, you didn't die. ”

“What? ” John's mind reels as he tries to process the sheriff's words. how does the sheriff know about the accident that night?

The sheriff answers his unspoken question, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the Manuscript. John was taken aback for a while as he looked at the sheriff who returned the look with a smirk. “Let's just say we've been keeping an eye on you for a long time, we got eyes everywhere. We own the town and everyone in it so it was easy knowing your every movement.”

John sits in stunned silence, reeling from the sheriff's words. The manuscript he had risked so much for was now in the hands of the very town he had been investigating, and they had been watching his every move. He looks up at the sheriff, his face pale and voice shaking. "What do you want from me?"

The sheriff looks at him with a sly grin, leaning forward in his chair. "Let's just say that we can provide you with some benefits, shall we? Riches, power, anything you desire. All you have to do is join our cult."

John stares back at the sheriff in disbelief. He had come here to investigate the mysterious cult, but he never expected it to come with an offer on his doorstep. He takes a deep breath before speaking. "And if I refuse?"

The sheriff's face turns cold as he leans closer, his eyes narrowing. "If you refuse, then you will suffer greatly," he says. "You will lose everything you ever loved. Piece by piece, until you accept our offer."

John can feel the fear rising within him. He had no desire to join the cult, but he knew the penalty for refusal would be great. He swallows hard, feeling a lump in his throat. He looks around the room, desperately looking for a way out. But there is none. His fate is sealed.

“So what do you say?” The sheriff gives John a wicked smile.

John weighs his options. He could join the cult and potentially gain power and wealth, but at what cost? He could lose his own identity and become a pawn in their sinister game. On the other hand, if he refuses, he risks losing everything.

But he remembers why he became a Journalist in the first place. He remembers why he took the oath to protect the innocent and reveal the truth. He stands up tall and looks the sheriff directly in the eyes. "I refuse," he says firmly.

The sheriff's smile fades and his face contorts with fury. "Well then, you leave me no choice," he snarls. "Take him away!"

Two burly men step forward and grab John by the arms, pulling him roughly to his feet. As they lead him out of the room, he feels a pang of regret. He had hoped to solve the mystery of the cult and bring them to justice, but now he was their prisoner.

But John knew that he couldn't give up. He would bide his time, wait for his moment, and escape. He would not let them win.

As he was led down the dark and eerie hallway, John knew that he had just entered a new kind of hell. But he was not afraid. He had faced evil before, and he would do it again.

As he was being pulled white dust was blown across his face, John chokes and gasps for breath as the substance enters his lungs. His vision blurs and he starts to slip out of consciousness. John groggily awakens to a sharp pain pulsing through his head. As he tries to sit up, he realizes that he's strapped down to a cold, stone table in the middle of a dark, musty room. The air is thick with the smell of incense and candle wax.

and ominous, sending shivers down his spine. John can hear faint whispers from the dark corners of the room, but he cannot make out what they are saying.

As he looks around, he sees strange symbols etched into the walls and floor. He realizes that he is in the middle of a ritual, and they plan to sacrifice him. John knows that he must act fast if he is to escape this nightmare.

Just as John is trying to figure out how to break free from his restraints, the door to the room creaks open. In walks the leader of the cult, a tall and thin man dressed in dark robes adorned with golden symbols. He slams the door shut and casts a stern glare at the gathered members of the cult.

"What is going on here?" he bellows in an intimidating voice. "You were instructed to perform the ritual at the full moon, not before!"

The cult members look around nervously, unsure of what to say. The leader then looks directly at John and strides towards him. He inspects John closely, staring deep into his eyes.

"I see fear in your eyes. You know why you are here. But you will never be sacrificed; I have other plans for you." He then claps his hands loudly, startling the cult members and breaking the uneasy silence.

"This ceremony is over. You may all leave now." The members quickly flee the room. John is still unsure of what this mysterious man has planned for him, but he knows that he can't stay put any longer. With one swift movement, he pulls at the restraints, which snap off easily, allowing him to jump off the cold stone table. The leader looks at him with amusement as he stands on his own two feet. “You never disappoint me”

“Who are you?” John asked

The room is thick with the metallic scent of blood and the sound of dripping that comes from the pipe, mixed with the cries of those in pain. John is horrified and sick at the sight of his surroundings and is unable to focus. He looks to the man, eyes wide, and shakes his head in disbelief.

"Who are you?" He shouts over the noise.

The man removes his dark cloak, revealing a priest's collar and the face of Pastor Jenkins. La'Suif stares at John with a look of amusement.

"You must have been expecting someone else," he says, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "My name is La'Suif but I go by the name called Jenkins and I am the leader of this group, as you all know my brothers aren't in Raven wood right here." He spreads his arms out with a flourish as if presenting his domain.

John steps closer, his voice quavering with fear. "What is going on here? What are you doing?"

La'Suif smiles deviously. “Centuries years ago….I and my brothers journeyed across the ocean, dry land in search of prosperity until we found this land. Occupied by a creature of Hell, a demon, known as the king of Hell. We made a deal with the devil in exchange for the lives of our first child, but after getting granted what we wished for….we tasted what real power felt like. We made up our minds to be gods amongst the humans after getting the demon trapped in its prison”

“Let me guess, the oak tree?” John asked with skepticism

“Exactly, you are so smart,” La'suif says. John's heart races as he tries to process the words that have just come out of La'Suif's mouth. A shiver runs down his spine as he realizes he is trapped in this strange place with a leader who made a deal with the devil. He takes a deep breath and tries to continue the conversation.

“So you are an immortal, who has lived over 100 years, and you blend with the people of the community. And why we're you after me”

“you could say that…I had eyes on you before you arrived, I planned how you arrive at Ravenwood, how did you think I knew you arrived at the hotel?”

“So what do you want from me? What do you hope to get from me?”

La'Suif smirks and turns away from John, looking out over the trees.

“After I and my brothers parted ways years ago… I seek a way to get more power but I realized the only way that could happen is if only my brother's powers are taken away from them” he says, “I want to be a being far beyond immortality, I want to be a god”

John shakes his head in confusion.

"But why? and how do you plan on achieving that?“

La'Suif turns back to him, eyes burning with an intense fire.

“By summoning the demon of revenge!”He pauses for a moment, letting the words sink in. "That will help my power to be absolute."

La'Suif picks up the glass of blood, his long fingers wrapping around the transparent container. He lifts it to his lips, taking a long sip. John watches in horror as he sees the crimson liquid slide down La'Suif's throat.

“What are you doing?” He exclaims, his voice quivering with fear.

A smirk slides onto La'Suif's face as he sets the glass down. “Summoning my powers, of course. I plan on using it to create a demon that will help me achieve my goal of becoming a god. It will take much strength and power, but with this blood, I can do it.” He observes John for a moment before continuing. “Do not worry. The demon will be bound to me and answer to my will. It will cause no harm to anyone here.”

“I...I don't know if I can trust you," John stammers, fear still gripping his body.

“You have no choice," La'Suif says sternly, his voice growing cold. "This is the only way for me to get the power I need.” He turns away from John


John's mind races as he stares at La'Suif. He knows he can't trust the man, but the thought of having his daughter back is too tempting to ignore.

“What kind of deal are you proposing?” John asks tentatively.

La'Suif turns back to him, a cold, cruel gleam in his eyes. “I'm offering you a chance to bargain with me,” he replies. “I will bring your daughter back from the dead, but in exchange, I require your soul.”

John can hardly believe what he's hearing. Is this really what it takes to bring his daughter back? His heart pounds heavily as he struggles to find the right words. “And what do I get in return?” he asked once more

La'Suif laughs, a low and sinister sound that echoes through the room. “In return, I will grant you a single wish. Anything you desire, it is yours.”

John's head spins as the offer sinks in. He takes in the musty smell of the room, the eerie shadows flickering across La'Suif's face, and the coldness of the glass in his hand. He knows that no matter what he chooses, there's no turning back.

“How can I trust you?” John asked

“You don't need to trust me, John. You only need to accept my offer. Take it, and your daughter will be restored. Refuse it, and she will remain lost. The choice is yours.”

“And if I accept?“ John asked

“If you accept, I will give you your wish. Anything you desire will become yours - but be wary of what you wish for. There is no turning back, once you make this decision.”

John looks around the room, his eyes lingering on the near darkness and eerie shadows that seem to flicker across La'Suif's face. His heart pounds heavily as he takes in the musty smell of the room and the coldness of the glass in his hand.

John takes a deep breath before meeting La'Suif's gaze. “I accept your offer,” he says firmly.

La'Suif smiles, his teeth glinting in the dim light of the room. “Very well,” he replies. “We have a deal.”

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