Chapter 1286 Illusion

 

The instant the Grayskin rat darted forward, the Many-Eyed beast leaped forward impulsively.

Slow Ray!

Beam of Decrepification!

Aura of Weakening!

Three gray beams landed on the rat simultaneously, causing its tiny body to turn grayer than before. It wasn’t until the rat was crouching on the ground and utterly immobile that the Many-Eyed Beast shifted its heavy body beside the rodent. One of its eye-stalks wrapped around the rat and put it into its giant maw.

The gray rat was so tiny that it could barely even sate the appetite of the Many-Eyed Beast. However, the taste of blood was more than satisfying.

The creature reached out with its red tongue and licked away the last bit of flesh and blood from between its teeth. It was then that the Many-Eyed return to its spot, glanced around, and finally crouched down again.

How could it possibly know that in the five seconds that it left its post, a tiny snake no more than a foot long, had slithered under the crack beneath the door?

There were two men in the room. One was standing, and the other was lying down.

The one lying on the bed was a middle-aged man in adept robes. His face was pale, and his lips were purple. His skinny chest heaved with strenuous effort, and his breathing was labored. The other man appeared somewhat fat. Even though he was dressed in intricate nobles’ clothes, he still seemed to be disheveled and worn-out due to the lack of grooming.

The adept lying on the bed had lost consciousness and was in a coma. That seemed to be the reason the noble was pacing around the room anxiously. The man couldn’t help but let out a sight whenever he saw his companion’s unconscious figure.

Spalla snuck into the room but did not reveal herself immediately. Instead, she moved into the shadows in a corner of the room and silently evaluated everything in the room.

She was already a Third Grade vampire adept, not a rookie that just made her way out into the world.

This man looked exactly the way Antoneil was described in the information she possessed. For some reason, though, Spalla felt a genuine unease in her heart when she laid eyes on the man.

It was almost as if someone somewhere was hinting at something to her.

What was wrong, exactly?

Was she too suspicious because her trip here had been too simple and easy?

Or did she actually fail to catch something crucial?

Spalla immediately closed her eyes. She began to replay every detail and action taken by every person since she entered the building.

With the Spirit of a Third Grade blood adept, Spalla was able to perfectly reconstruct and review everything from every angle without any difficulty.

Suddenly, Spalla’s body trembled. She seemed to have understood something.

She emerged from her hiding spot without hesitation, transforming into her human form in a shroud of red mist. She ignored the terrified Crimson Grand Duke Antoneil and shouted to nowhere in particular, “Marilyn Mona, this must be your mental illusion, right? I, Spalla, am here already. Do you intend to continue deceiving me?”

The trembling Antoneil suddenly let out a cry of surprise, “You, you are Lady Spalla. You are here to save me. Oh, take me away from this place, please!”

He cried as he stumbled towards Spalla.

A severe expression appeared on Spalla’s face. She lifted a hand, and a red beam shot straight through Antoneil’s skull, creating a puncture hole from the front all the way to the back.

Antoneil’s body froze and collapsed limply to the ground, terror splayed over his face.

Spalla didn’t seem to care at all that her rescue target had just died by her hand. Instead, she silently gathered her powers and waited for the psionic to arrive.

Finally, a sweet female voice rang out in the room.

“I am truly curious, Miss Spalla, about how you managed to see through this illusion. Could you sate my curiosity?”

As the voice appeared, strange changes took over the room like a sinister wind.

All color quickly faded away from the room.

The faded walls and floorboards quickly started to peel and fall off, revealing the empty grayness beneath. All the furniture in the room, the adept on the bed, and the corpse on the ground faded in color, leaving only gray shapes behind.

However, Antoneil’s corpse wasn’t completely fake. As the colors and disguises wore away, its actual appearance came to light.

A Venomfiend.

It was a sort of unusual slime-like creature with pungent blisters all over its body.

A sharp black spike floated within its semi-translucent body. It wasn’t hard to imagine what would have been awaiting Spalla if she had let it approach. Poison spray and a poisoned stab.

The scene in front of her flickered as everything vanished without a trace. Spalla instantly returned to her original spot, at the entrance on the first floor.

Ralph remained frozen on the spot, while Spalla was still a bat climbing out of his robe.

Spalla shuddered. She finally understood that everything she just experienced earlier had only been an illusory dream. However, how could she be sure that what she saw now was reality?

Spalla didn’t dare delay any longer. She flew up into the air and started to radiate violent blood energy, creating a domain of blood energy around her.

As expected, where the blood domain spread, the ‘real’ hall started to quake. The wooden floorboards below her crumbled and fell into nothingness.

To think there was only a void beneath the floor. Spalla could see a sea of fire burning towards her from a distance. However, before the flames could reach Spalla, this mysterious world was shattered by her violent blood energy.

The world in front of Spalla’s eyes quickly flickered when the illusion was broken.

This time, she appeared in an empty and mysterious hall. A young, pretty female adept slowly walked toward her, one step at a time. She was holding a black wooden spike gleaming with a sickly green sheen in her hands.

It looked exactly like the spike in the venomfiend’s body.

“How many times do you intend to use the same trick?” Before Spalla could shout out loud and shatter the illusion, her body trembled, and she roared instead, “Bastard! You dare trick me?”

Unfortunately, she understood the situation a little too late.

The pretty adept in front of her was no illusion at all. In fact, even the poison spike was real. The enemy had waved her hand, and the spike had stabbed Spalla in the waist as her blood energy dispersed.

Strangely enough, despite being stabbed, Spalla did not feel any pain at all.

Spalla was utterly shocked. She curled her fingers into claws and slashed several dozen times, sending crimson trails cutting through the air at the enemy.

Unfortunately, Marilyn Mona gave her no chance to attack. She had retreated the instant she managed to stab Spalla, placing down several psionic barriers in front of her as she retreated.

By the time Spalla broke through the barriers, the scenery around her had changed.

This time, Spalla was in an incredibly large arena. A massive sea of countless terrifying voodoo beasts was pressing towards her from every direction.

The voodoo beasts at the very front row growled and huffed, white mist coming out of their noses as they did so. The ground beneath them rumbled when they stepped forward. Their teeth were razor-sharp, and their eyes were bloodshot.

Spalla was slightly terrified. For the first time in this battle, she felt a genuine chill in her heart.

She pulled out the black spike from her waist. What started flowing out wasn’t red blood, but white pus that smelled like bitter almonds. A strange, numb sensation began to spread from her waist to her spine, heart, brain, and limbs. Spalla felt her eyes blur. She could no longer feel her waist now.

“This damned bastard! Just how many illusions did she make? Which ones are real? And which are fake?” Spalla shouted internally.

However, she had no time to verify reality or illusion. The terrifying horde was roaring and thundering toward here like a vicious torrent.

A violent and bloody battle instantly broke out in the arena!

As the battle in the illusion continued, Spalla’s actual body remained unmoving on the building’s first floor.

A dozen bubbles hovered in the air around her.

She was inside one of those strange bubbles, caught in a nightmare with her eyes shut. Every time a bubble popped, a new one would float over and catch her within.

A few strange wounds would then appear on Spalla’s body, causing blood to spill out. However, Spalla did not seem to realize this. Her eyes remained shut, her eyelids shuddering violently. She could not escape the illusions. 

Of course, not all the illusions that Spalla was experiencing were fake.

Over thirty adepts in uniform sat cross-legged in the rooms surrounding the hall. They concentrated their Spirit, guiding Spalla’s mental consciousness and dragging her deeper into the illusions.

Occasionally, Marilyn Mona–who was standing in a corner of the hall–would send a dozen voodoo beasts or some adepts to attack the shapeshifter in the dreams.

It was the presence of these actual enemies that made the illusion so terrifying!

If Spalla could not differentiate between illusion and reality, then the illusory attacks would be able to leave actual wounds on her body. However, if she believed all attacks to be illusory, then the real attacks mixed between would inflict terrifying damage on her.

Real and illusory, illusory and real.

Sometimes, it could be very hard to tell the difference between reality and illusion.

And on the strange battlefield of the mind, the inability to do so often meant death!