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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“It looks like a swimming pool.” Lin Sheng carefully skimmed his surroundings. Next to the pool, a mahogany rack was filled with test tubes of different sizes. Most of the containers were empty, but some had black ashen residue in them while some had gray slime. Of over a dozen racks, only two of the racks had test tubes that emitted a silvery glow.
Lin Sheng went around the pool and came before the two racks on where the test tubes were glowing. From the memories of the fat dude, he knew the stuff test tube was the still perfectly usable, single-application Circle of Reaping. “I wonder if I can take these things outside.” Lin Sheng grabbed the only three test tubes on the rack and carefully studied them in his hands.
The test tubes were only of the size of a finger in diameter, less than a palm in length, and seemingly extremely fragile. The silvery liquid in the test tubes continuously surged and danced like a burning flame, but sometimes, it appeared like some agitated little bugs. A cork, exquisite as if ceramic with finely carved, gold-inlaid patterns and some unknown mysterious runes, was keeping the liquid in.
Lin Sheng thought for a moment. He followed the method in the fat dude’s memories by taking off the cork of one of the test tubes and poured the content on the back of his hand. The sticky substance slowly and steadily flowed out from the test tube and slid down Lin Sheng’s skin. But it faded and disappeared as soon as it made contact with his skin. He felt like a little mouth had grown on the back of his hand, where there was always a vague feeling of hunger, which was a strange sensation. How could hands feel hungry? He glanced at the empty test tube and put the cork back on before placing it back on the rack. “Now, let’s see what blood I can take in.”
His keen eyes scanned around, and at the other side of the pool, he saw a dark and narrow tunnel, inside which there were more prison cells with even sturdier doors. “It should be where the holding cells of highly dangerous living creatures located and where the fat dude got his Rock Dragon blood.” Lin Sheng immediately identified the place in his mind. After acquiring so many memories, he began to have a rough understanding of the language used in the dreams.
Holding the remaining two test tubes in his hands, Lin Sheng slowly entered the narrow tunnel. With the faint fluorescent glow from the pool, he could make out the white prison cells inside. In the cell on the left, the skeleton of a winged white deer lay in the corner. What was left of this creature was only bones and dried skin. The cells on the right were empty, however.
Lin Sheng was hopeful of finding some new, strange blood. He was curious as to whether this would enhance his ability in the real world. He would not be afraid to try out. After all, he knew he would not die for real in the dreams, and he could kill himself immediately if something went wrong.
With this thinking in mind, Lin Sheng ventured deeper into the tunnel. He trudged carefully until he reached the end. There were sixteen holding cells in the tunnel, but none of them contained any live creatures—a stark contrast to the tunnel on the outside where there had been the heavily armored soldiers and fire-spitting fat dude. The first requirement for the Circle of Reaping to work was the presence of a living thing, without which the circle simply would come to life.
He came to the end of the tunnel and glanced at the back of his left hand, where the Circle of Reaping had formed an exquisite, silvery flower tattoo. “There is nothing in here.” He doubled-back and was out of the tunnel in no time. He then took this time to mooch around the pool area, again, hoping to find something. But disappointingly, this place seemed to be only cold storage, from where the pale green mist was released and turning gray in the air.
“Apparently, this is where the gray mist comes from.” Lin Sheng squatted beside the pool and dipped a test tube inside the green sticky liquid. It hissed and white fluffy, frost-like stuff immediately formed on the surface of the tube. It was bone-chilling cold. “I’m sure it is just cold storage.” He pulled out the test tube from the pool and put it back on the wooden rack.
Lin Sheng did not want to stay any longer here. He slipped out through the gap in the doorway and was back in the gray mist-filled arched corridor. “I might as well go back to the blocked exit and dug my way out. Maybe I can find something there.” So, he lifted his leg, but a sense of vagueness rose in him, and he heard the rhythmic ticking of the clock. “Time’s up…” Lin Sheng realized. His vision turned dark and quickly lost consciousness.
Being able to make so far and deep in the dream surprised him. That was even after an exhaustive fight with the fat dude. So, waking up at this moment did not come with as a surprise.
He had no idea how long it had been. It could be an hour. Maybe two. When he finally woke up, his mouth was dry, and he felt extremely thirsty as the sunlight was directly shining on him, the heat grilling him, turning the room into a hot oven. Half of his face was under the light and half in the shadow. So, when he opened his eyes, he saw dark spots in his vision. It was the sequela of eyes being exposed to intense light.
“The fat dude is dead at last.” He whipped open the quilt as it had come so unbearably hot that he was sweating. But he was utterly exhausted, just wanting to lie in bed. “But, from where the ticking sound came?” Lin Sheng cast his eyes over to the bedside table, where his plastic alarm clock had been. However, he had accidentally broken it when he woke up the day before. He had not bought a new one, so there should not be any clock ticking sound in the room. “Or was it just something in my head?”
Lin Sheng took a deep breath and slowly helped himself sit up in bed. He felt cold again. So, he might as well put the quilt back on to cover his legs. Sitting on the bed, his brows knitted together as he began to recall the dream. “Strangely, at first, I thought since Blackfeather City and Snowgale Fortress are all related events, and they all had something to do with the sanctum, Ancellia, and the Sacred Light faith, this dream would be likewise related. But, Heaven knows, I was wrong. It is not connected to the previous events at all.”
In the memories of the fire-spitting fat dude and other souls, no one had ever mentioned the sanctum, sacred light nor sacred power. No Blackfeather City, no Snowgale Fortress. It did not contain any hint that it was related to the two earlier dreams. There was only the Mastery of Death and Decay, the royal court magician, and the Circle of Reaping. In this memory of the fat dude, his world had no other intelligent life except humans. In the world of Blackfeather City and Snowgale Fortress, however, there were the barbarians, the giants, the ancient evil spirits, and other legends and records. “Could it be that the world in this latest dream is entirely independent of the other two?” Lin Sheng speculated.
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