Chapter 1328 Forced Embrace
The walls shook violently.
Hordes of nightmare creatures swarmed through the dim and dark corridors, sprinting toward the battlefield.
Meanwhile, an inconspicuous silhouette the size of a palm slowly but firmly crawled forward on the ceiling where their gazes were not directed.
The surface of this shadowy figure was covered in hair. It grabbed onto the cracks between the rocks with its sharp claws and silently moved forward against the shadow of the ceiling.
The battle outside the castle was still as intense as before. That much was obvious from the constant quaking of the castle and the rate at which the nightmare creatures respawned.
It was already the fourth phase of the Nightmare Castle. Every single nightmare creature that emerged from the dark corridors and rooms were Third Grade at the very lowest. These monsters were terrifying creatures that could wreak havoc on the outside world. However, here in this castle, they were no more than fodder in the battle against two high-grade individuals.
Mary was not as powerful as Greem and did not possess the ability to face Kerslin head-on. Should she be exposed, what awaited her would be a never-ending encirclement of Third Grade nightmare creatures.
What surprised Mary was how smooth her operation had gone since sneaking into the castle’s third level. The castle was still filled with shocking numbers of nightmare creatures and traps. However, it was almost as if there was an unseen deity sitting in her mind and giving her instructions.
What paths to take, where the traps were located, when she should wait in silence, and when it was fine to proceed. Guided by that tiny voice, Mary was able to make it past one trap after another, sneaking by one scout after another. Just like that, she had managed to reach the fourth level of the castle.
If her sense were not mistaken, the consciousness core that was engaging Greem in a vicious battle of the soul outside emanated from this location.
However, Mary didn’t dare unleash any of her Spirit, let alone scan everything around her with her spiritual senses. Thus, she took full advantage of her bat transformation to hide and proceed carefully. Finally, after crawling through a long corridor, Marry arrived at a wide and spacious magical hall.
This hall had most likely once been the core hall of Kerslin Castle. Numerous crystals surrounded the central platform. A black ball of light measuring ten meters in diameter hovered above the crystals, connecting itself to various regions of the castle through black ribbons of light.
Hundreds of strange images flickered on the black ball. These were live images being transmitted back from various locations in the Nightmare Castle. Most of these images were of the battle that was currently happening in front of the castle.
At this moment, a hazy and translucent figure of light stood before the central platform.
He lifted his head and examined the continually shifting images, his hands flickering about as if they were in a dance. Under this mysterious individual’s control, the offense, defense, and flow of life energy throughout the castle were perfectly organized.
The figure of light was translucent, and an exceptionally bright ball of light flickered at the location of his heart, vaguely radiating a soul fluctuation unique to living beings.
Kerslin’s soul core.
Mary felt a fire ignite in her heart and prepared to climb over across the ceiling.
However, just as she was about to move, the strange voice in her head appeared again.
“Be careful; that figure of light is a fake. This place is full of magical traps. Do not take a single step forward!”
Mary’s body trembled as she instantly stopped in her tracks.
There was too much distance between her and the mysterious figure. Moreover, she couldn’t actively use her spiritual senses to examine his soul aura. As such, it was quite difficult for her to determine if the figure was the real thing.
The voice in her head had helped her a lot on her journey through the castle. Mary chose to believe in the voice without any hesitation.
“Then what should I do? There’s not much time left,” Mary posed the question in her mind, “Alice, if you know what to do, just tell me. There’s no need to put on all this show and performance!”
The voice in her mind paused for a moment. Finally, its deep, neutral voice turned into Alice’s sweet voice.
“Hehe, I was worried you would hesitate if you knew it was me!”
“Hmph! I still don’t know if you will lead me to my death. However, all I need to know is that you will never hurt Greem. That is why…I believe you!” Mary spoke without any hesitation in her voice.
Alice paused for a moment and finally let out a sigh, “Who knows who’s the luckier one between you and Greem to have met each other! Well, speaking of which, what you should do next is……”
Mary couldn’t be bothered to think about Alice’s complex emotions. Instead, she shut her eyes and listened to Alice’s strategy. No one could hide their secrets before a powerful Fate Witch.
Not even the newly born Kerslin!
There were no secrets that Alice couldn’t uncover as long as she wanted to. The only question was whether she would be willing to pay the expensive price for those secrets.
With Alice’s utterly unfair magic, Mary was able to weave between the countless traps and energy threads as if an omniscient god aided her. Her target was no longer the humanoid form in the center of the hall, but a small, secret room hidden in a tall pillar behind the hall.
This small room was only a dozen square meters wide, and it had barely any furniture in it. There were only a chair and a table.
Adept Freed, who had been missing all these days, sat quietly on that wooden chair. He had a black dagger stuck on the top of his head. His eyes were white, his body trembled, and he let out meaningless moans from his mouth.
Clearly, Kerslin was still in the process of the intense soul assimilation with Freed. If Kerslin hadn’t wanted to inherit the knowledge and memories in Freed’s soul perfectly, this battle of the souls would have concluded a long time ago.
Mary climbed to the door of the secret room carefully, but was stopped by a thin barrier of energy. The barrier might look thin, but it possessed incredible energy intensity. An assassin proficient in Agility like Mary would have a difficult time shattering the barrier in a single strike.
With the barrier at the entrance, Mary would not have any chance of sneaking in unnoticed.
Just as Mary started to wonder what to do, Alice’s voice rang out once again.
“Prepare yourself! I just contacted Greem. He will launch his most ferocious assault seven seconds from now. His attack will trigger Nightmare Castle into entering an energy overload. This barrier will vanish for half a second, so you must grasp this opportunity. The moment you enter the room, you must control him with your soul brand.”
Mental communication was the fastest means of conveying information. Even the most complicated of thoughts could be conveyed in the blink of an eye.
The instant the attack that shook the castle arrived, Mary transformed into her human form and lunged into the room while the barrier was down.
Her movements were quick, but this was Kerslin’s Nightmare Domain, after all. Kerslin had the home-field advantage. The moment the blood energy fluctuated, Kerslin was able to pick up on it.
Energy immediately erupted in the magical hall outside, and a ferocious spiritual pressure pressed toward Mary like a hill, threatening to crush everything into pieces.
Meanwhile, ‘Freed’s’ body trembled violently in the room. The battle of souls had been put aside for a moment. He lifted his head, two blinding lights glowing from his yellowed eyes.
There wasn’t much time left for Mary!
For powerful individuals like themselves, a thought took no more than an instant. Naturally, when facing an enemy, their reactions would be their first line of defense. There was no need to think or hesitate- the moment Mary’s aura was exposed, Kerslin and the Nightmare Castle’s retaliation was already ready.
The energy barrier that had disappeared for an instant due to the energy overload appeared once again. It extended from the walls and quickly surged toward the center. It would take no more than half an instant for them to seal the entrance once more.
When that happened, the invaders would first have to break this barrier if they wanted to reach Kerslin.
Unfortunately, even half an instant was time.
For Mary, who had exceptional Agility, Kerslin’s rapid responses were no more than hilarious movements in slow-motion.
Crimson energy erupted at the door’s entrance the previous moment as Mary transformed into her human state. The next instant, Mary’s crimson figure had made it through the room and had arrived next to ‘Freed.’
A miniature tornado instantly appeared between the two of them, forming a vicious vortex that tore at Mary’s body. These blades of wind, each as thin as a scale, ravaged Mary’s body. Even with her blood energy shielding her, countless fine cuts still appeared all over. It was almost as if she had been thrown into a shredder.
The vortex of wind continued to grow in size, attempting to shut off all of Mary’s paths of attack.
‘Freed’s’ line of thought was straightforward. He would force Mary back with this fearsome instant-cast spell and buy some time for himself. All he needed was one second-no, half a second-and he could redirect the powerful energies of the castle’s core to protect this body. It would allow ‘his’ consciousness core to escape back to the central crystal.
Of course, this meant that it would have to abandon the soul of this advanced Fourth Grade adept, as well as the opportunity to reach for the next grade for the time being.
It was a shame, but it did not hesitate at all.
That was because the pain of having another subjugate one’s soul was not an experience it was willing to relive!
Sadly, the opponent that it faced today wasn’t just the legendary fire adept stirring up a storm out there. There was also this Fourth Grade blood adept. However, what truly decided Kerlin’s fate was the mastermind behind the scenes- Alice, the Witches of Fate’s leader!
Mary did not intend to retreat or step away. She endured the terrifying spell, bursting through the vortex to grab hold of ‘Freed’s’ body. She then sank her fangs into his neck.
At the same time, a strange beam of prismatic light surged into ‘Freed’s’ body, forcibly detaining Kerslin within.
‘Freed’ let out a scream of horror, two distinct voices coming out of his throat.
However, no matter how they struggled and howled, the powerful instinct of a vampire soon overwhelmed their true consciousness.