|Author: Mad Flower||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2065 characters|
|Translator: Keissen||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1207 words|
“Ahhhhhh!” With a wild scream, S.K.Y.’s eyes snapped open, his body convulsing with hysteria. It was noon, and the bright sunlight slipped through the heavy curtains, casting a warm glow on his bed. Staring at the familiar ceiling and panting heavily, he gradually found his composure. His mind reeled from the nightmarish images of his dream, filled with terror and strangeness.
Reaching to the end table, he retrieved and donned his gold-rimmed glasses, then sat up, taking a deep breath to steady himself. He clutched his forehead, fear etched across his face, as he mumbled, “Why is the crown in the dream so similar to the crown of thorns that I got? What is the connection between the two?”
His mind was haunted by the dream’s vivid imagery: the mysterious place, the self-immolating middle-aged man, the sinister child. It all sent chills down his spine.
“Why would I dream that? I’m sure I’ve never been to that place, and never met people like that…” The more he pondered, the greater his fear grew. He had always believed that dreams were a collection of memories, and that nothing unfamiliar would appear within them. Could it be the crown’s influence? Or perhaps the game itself?
Driven by this thought, S.K.Y. grabbed his phone and frantically searched for information regarding dreams in [Saint Demon World] using a search engine. But his efforts were in vain; he found nothing. A chilling thought entered his mind: “Am I the only one dealing with this…”
He closed the webpage and leaned back on the bed, gazing at the ceiling. Resolving to avoid using the crown, at least temporarily, he whispered to himself, “Now that Taurus and I are high-level bureaucrats of the Jade Empire, we have many privileges in Jade City. The Guild is expanding quickly. I don’t need to take risks anymore.”
S.K.Y. then got out of bed and made his way to the washroom, unaware that his shadow held a pair of blood-red eyes that watched his every move!
Within the confines of the Jade Flower Garden, Yaeger arose from her bed, her gaze falling on the creature beneath her that resembled a worm. In reality, it was Vera 17, completely immobilized due to overexertion, lifeless like a deceased worm.
Turning away from the sight, Yaeger leaned against the bed and activated her aura, instantly forming a semitransparent barrier that clung to her skin. She recalled using this ability in the underground maze’s site of heritage during her fight with Chris. He had caused his aura to self-destruct, and in a desperate attempt to survive, Yaeger had shielded herself with her fox-coat.
‘Although it may seem like I improvised this technique, I was actually emulating Mira,’ she thought. After the battle, she realized that what she’d done was similar to [Body Of Steel], an ability Mira had used against her in the Tower of Heroes. Mira’s technique involved liquid metal, while Yaeger, not being an Ability User, utilized her aura. The underlying principle was probably the same.
‘Explosions are far from conventional attacks; they’re unpredictable and potent. Even if I were to shield my entire body, some part of me would likely sustain heavy injuries. I must count myself lucky that the impact of the explosion bounced me away, sparing me from serious harm. Reflecting on it now, Mira’s metallic ability bears a striking resemblance to Chris’ explosive technique. The similarities between them have revealed a convenient trick that I might employ in future battles.’
With these thoughts, she dispelled the barrier, conscious of the significant Mana cost. ‘Too much Mana wasted. I can’t keep using this in battle, but it could be a lifesaver in critical situations,’ she mused.
On her adventurous journey through the maze, Yaeger’s most remarkable prize was the [City of Chaos]. In addition to that, she succeeded in lifting Alicia’s curse and accumulating 12,000 points, which she could exchange for various items in the Event Shop. The specific things she could obtain were unknown to her.
‘All the rewards I’ve garnered are merely external possessions. What truly counts is the enhancement of my own abilities. My arduous battles with the two Swift Black Dragons and the life-or-death confrontation with Chris have yielded invaluable lessons and growth.’
Her duel with the dragons opened her eyes to the immense potential of the Special Effect in the [Chaos Roulette], providing her with a comforting assurance of a hidden trump card. Meanwhile, the relentless pressure exerted by Chris spurred rapid improvement in her skills. Yaeger had ascended to the pinnacle of the Platinum-ranked, standing as an unparalleled figure within that realm.
‘With my current strength, I doubt anyone in the Grandmaster Realm, aside from Mylene’s master, can defeat me,’ Yaeger reflected, slightly bewildered by her own progress.
She had been reborn not long ago, and in an astonishingly short time, she had transformed from a novice into a Grandmaster. It was almost surreal. Now, she stood close to becoming the most formidable individual in Cathay, with the potential to surpass even the strongest soon.
“It feels like a dream.” Yaeger’s head moved in a subtle shake, her thoughts drifting away from the future. Instead of obsessing over surpassing Mylene’s master, she chose to concentrate on the present. “Little cutie, time for you to steal the show,” she chuckled, rising from the bed.
The worm, feigning death, instantly twitched and desperately crawled forward. Its playacting was over, and escape was the only thought. Unfortunately, escape from the room was impossible, and its frantic efforts were fruitless.
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Yaeger’s foot found Vera 17’s chest, and she stared down at her. “Enough of this, stop your struggling. I won’t kill you,” she assured, her smile sweet yet chilling.
“Sob sob sob!” Muffled by the cloth in her mouth, Vera 17’s pleas were unintelligible.
Sealing the room with her aura, Yaeger then removed the gag from Vera’s mouth.
“Help! Help! A molester! A rapist!” Vera 17’s voice rang out, hysterical and high-pitched. But the sound couldn’t breach the room; it merely reverberated within the walls.
“You are quite the bold one,” Yaeger remarked, crouching to tap Vera’s bewildered face. “Keep up the noise. Let’s see if anyone arrives to rescue you before you ruin your voice.”
Desperation consumed Vera 17, her body heavy with helplessness. Even if Yaeger hadn’t suppressed her cries, the superior sound insulation of the luxurious apartment complex ensured that no one outside could hear. Living on the top floor and surrounded by vacant units, Yaeger’s location was secure from prying ears unless a patrolling guard happened to be nearby.
“Now, prepare for an injection. Or rather, a needle prick… No, it’s acupuncture. Well, not exactly. There will be puncturing, but it won’t be for healing,” Yaeger teased, leaving Vera 17 somewhat perplexed, yet aware that it involved needles.
“You… Don’t do it!”
“Don’t fret, it won’t hurt a bit. I’m ever so gentle,” Yaeger cooed, her aura shaping into tentacles that bound Vera 17 firmly. Transforming further, part of it brightened into a vivid green.
“Hehehe, it’s injection time. Be a good girl, and hold still.”
Before she even finished speaking, the bright green needle of aura violently stabbed into Vera 17’s body!