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A s.p.a.cious white hall was revealed before the opened door.
At the center of the hall was a large pool built with white stones and was surrounded by many strange blue sculptures.
The sculptures had been crafted from the image of attractive ladies with long scorpion tails on their backs. This tail they possessed was about one meter long and was the size of a human leg.
The ladies crouched beside the pool and raised their tails in the air as if they were ready to strike any time.
There was a vortex in the center of the pool spinning slowly. Its radius was about four meters.
Angele was not sure how deep the pool was due to the seemingly endless dark hole in the middle of the vortex.
He exhaled once and slowly stepped into the hall.
Angele glared at the sculptures and checked the scorpion tails quickly, then focused on the large vortex in the water.
Blue light dots flashed in front of his eyes and he looked a bit confused.
"This place…there are no energy particles here…" He muttered as he observed the hall.
There were four small stone pillars in each of the corners.
On top of the white stone pillars, the burning white flames brought light to the area, but Angele did not see any smoke.
He narrowed his eyes and noticed that something was written on one of the stone pillars.
He quickly walked to the right corner.
Words were written on the smooth surface of the stone pillar beside the flame, but Angele did not know the language.
He raised his hand and placed it on the written words.
A blue electric pulse appeared above the words and struck Angele’s hand. He was startled by the strike making him take several steps back.
His face turned pale and it took him a while to recover.
Suddenly, Angele heard a noise that sounded like stones being cracked.
The strange noise was increasingly becoming more intense; it came from the sculptures around the pool.
He returned to the door quickly and stared at the large pool carefully.
The white stone layer of the beautiful scorpion women started dropping to the ground.
As if they were waking up from slumber, they then began to move.
A scorpion woman on the left made some noise that sounded like a snake’s. Her long black hair spread onto her shoulders.
All the stone pieces had dropped to the ground, revealing her smooth, fair skin. She swung her black scorpion tail in the air several times. The scene was terrifying.
The scorpion woman had a pair of shallow eyes and her face looked identical to the one on the Wall of Confusion.
"Hisss…It has been a while since someone visited the illusion pool…" The scorpion woman slowly moved around the pool and looked at Angele. She was speaking in the ancient language.
"The Wall of Confusion asked me to come here. I have a question, what is this illusion pool you said?" Angele questioned in a light tone. He held the handle of the cursed scimitar tight, slowly taking out the Light of Thorns using his other hand.
"The illusion pool? Hisss…This is the portal to the other realms, but you need the specific coordinates…and we are the guardians of the portal…" It seemed like she was the only scorpion woman that could speak.
Angele had also noticed that the other scorpion women were having trouble moving their feet. Only the one who was talking to him could control her limbs freely.
"How do you enter the portal then?" Angele remained calm and kept asking.
"Jump into the black hole in the center but first…you need to survive the challenge…Hisss…" The woman scorpion was approaching Angele slowly.
hat challenge?" Angele took one more step back with the door right behind him.
"You have two choices. The first choice is allowing us to have intercourse with us. We want your seeds. The second choice is for you to let me consume a part of your soul." The scorpion woman laughed.
Angele’s expression changed, and he was about to respond.
However, the golden key suddenly started vibrating and it almost felt like a pumping heart.
The Wall of Confusion’s voice was transmitted into his ears.
"Kill them…The guardians have the purest bloodline that will help you enter the Nightmare Realm. They are what you are seeking. The guardian’s power is restricted by the illusion pool and what you see are merely images. Don’t let fear take over your mind…Don’t let fear…"
She kept repeating her last words until her voice disappeared.
Angele was certain that the scorpion woman in front of him did not overhear their conversation.
"Tell me your name first." He stared at the woman.
"Bella Ca.s.sia is my name. Just call me Bella. I like my name a lot." There was an attractive smile on the scorpion woman’s face.
Angele slowly put the silver ring on his right index finger.
He did not have much time left and was wondering if he should follow the Wall of Confusion’s words. Angele thought the wall had no reason to lie to him and she was being honest during their conversation. She gave him the reward right after the question was answered.
However, he did not want to trust the wall too much.
‘Leaving the Nightmare Realm in 2 minutes and 36 seconds…2 minutes and 24 seconds…’
Zero was warning Angele every second and he could see the countdown timer in his sight.
‘Alright, let me give this a try…’ he thought. ‘Activate "Combat a.s.sistance Mode".’
Blue grids covered everything in Angele’s sight.
He closed his eyes for a second, it had been a while since he used the combat a.s.sistant mode and he needed some time to get used to it.
"What’s going on? Are you still thinking? Or do you want to leave?" Bella looked confused.
"Leave?" Angele suddenly opened his eyes and stared at the scorpion woman. "I won’t leave. I was about to have intercourse with you." He looked at the scorpion women quietly.
"You almost…tricked me…" Angele glanced around and pursed his lips into a smile.
He raised his cursed scimitar and charged toward Bella, turning into a blurry shadow.
The cursed scimitar drew a silver arc in the air and slashed through Bella’s body, hitting an empty s.p.a.ce beside the pool. A white scorpion woman sculpture then slowly appeared from nowhere.
The blade smashed into the sculpture’s neck.
"No!" Bella shouted like crazy, all the scorpion woman around jumped to Angele like real scorpions. They were moving fast in the air while making the annoying snake sound.
Angele turned around and pulled the scimitar out of the sculpture. He caught the falling white sculpture right away and jumped into the illusion pool.
"See you." He watched Bella charging toward him and smiled.
Angele disappeared into the center of the vortex.
He held the broken sculpture in arms and started sinking.
He could see the anger on the scorpion women’s faces. It seemed like the guardians were not allowed to touch the water.
The chilling water surrounded Angele and it was touching every corner of his body gently.
Several seconds, countless translucent blue human-shaped creatures swam up to him. They looked like mermaids, but their bodies were blurry.
The beautiful mermaids raised their arms, embracing Angele and the sculpture slightly. They were coming to him one by one.
The mermaids had clean translucent faces and their eyes were beautiful.
Angele could hear a lady singing from somewhere far away.
The lady’s voice was gentle and attractive which sounded a lover whispering in his ears. He was not sure if everything around him were just illusions.
Angele felt relaxed as he found a hint of warmth in the chilling water.
He slowly closed his eyes.
‘Sadly, the time is up.’
Angele and the sculpture disappeared from the illusion pool.
Angele suddenly opened his eyes and took several deep breaths. He had almost fallen prey to the sweet dream of comfort and peace. It was hard for him to resist.
He slowly calmed down.
The white scorpion woman sculpture was still in his arms and the stone layer on her skin had disappeared quickly, revealing a dead body of a scorpion woman. Her white blood was still dripping down her chin.
Angele put the dead body on the floor.
He was still in the bedroom but there was no red mist in this world.
The familiar noise produced by the lava came from the hallway outside the door.
"I need to deal with it now." Angele looked at the dead scorpion woman while frowning.
He was surprised by how much life essence he had extracted from the scorpion woman when he stabbed the blade into her body. The illusion pool was similarly perfect for his escape as he did not have much time left.
"So, what should I do now…?" Angele raised his cursed scimitar, but he was shocked after checking the blade.
The silver blade of the scimitar was covered in cracks and they looked like a spider web.
Another crack appeared on the blade and there was red blood dripping down to the ground.
"The power of the guardian is too strong…" Angele found out the reason right away.
The guardian’s power was so strong that the cursed scimitar almost broke after absorbing the life essence of just one scorpion woman.
‘Create task. Find me the material that can help me absorb the life essence.’
‘Task created. a.n.a.lysis started. Simulation started. Checking for results…’
The biochip reported back after several seconds.
Angele’s expression changed after he checked the results and he quickly turned the dead body around.
The scorpion woman’s chest was covered by a thin layer of silk and he found a red musical note right in the middle of her chest. The musical note looked like a twisted rune.
Angele wasted no time and crouched. Aiming at the red musical note, he started sucking it.
The noise sounded like air escaping from a balloon.