Chapter 275: The Gnome Scholar who Brings Shock
“Just what is under here?” Ivan asked from beside the four Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors.
Upon turning a cow’s skull, what had originally been a normal looking wine cellar had transformed to reveal a dark, and seemingly deep tunnel before him.
“We don’t know.”
The four Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors replied, “If you proceed down this tunnel, there is a lounge not far in. We were only ever allowed to go so far as that lounge. Thus, we do not have any idea of what else might be hidden further in.”
“You guys don’t even know what the general use of this place was?”
Ivan, Wilde, and several others exchanged glances as they simultaneously shouted, “Stingham!”
Stingham understood their intentions as he confidently strode into the tunnel as if saying leave it all to me.
“Having a teammate like him really takes the worry out of everything.”
Everyone immediately followed behind Stingham.
It turned out that the four Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors had not lied as barely twenty meters later, a lounge appeared beside the tunnel’s path.
“Was this lounge really only for you four to use?” Stingham exclaimed the moment he stepped into the lounge.
This lounge was more luxurious than even the best hostels in St Lauren. Not only was the room covered with grand decorations, but there was a cabinet filled with various alcohols which completely lined one of the walls, and a large table in the center of the lounge which was piled high with various fresh fruits and entrees.
“This is our lounge,” the four Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors swore.
“It’s so wasteful!”
Stingham became enraged as he furiously said, “The Evil Dragon Followers are truly too wasteful. Even the lounge of these low level Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors is so luxurious. They are eating better than a minor lord would! Brothers and sisters, we must eradicate the Evil Dragon Followers!”
“……” Complete silence answered Stingham’s rant as everyone tried to comprehend his reason for eradicating the Evil Dragon Followers. At the same time, they understood that this kind of extravagant treatment was probably one of the methods which the Evil Dragon Followers used to attract arcane masters.
“Stingham!” Ivan and the others shouted once more.
Stingham immediately began to walk further into the tunnel.
The group had only walked forward another ten or so meters when an unpleasant stench began to waft into them. It faintly smelled of disinfectant mixed with some kind of potion.
“What is this smell?” Stingham grumbled as a sliver of light appeared before him.
At this moment, a sharp and angry roar abruptly tore through the echoes created by their footsteps.
“There’s someone here?”
“Who is it, acting so arrogantly?!”
“Just who are you?! How could you possibly act more arrogant than me!” Stingham shouted in response.
A bang resounded through the tunnel.
Stingham, Ferguillo, Ivan, and everyone else all froze.
The sliver of light before them widened, illuminating a large, sinister looking iron door which was being violently pushed open.
A short old man wearing a strange leather dress with a head of gray hair, pale green skin, and hands as large as his body appeared before him. A pair of glasses hung rest atop the bridge of his nose.
As he emerged, the old man waved around a glass flask containing some sort of strange reagent in his right hand. He was furious as he shouted, “I told you all to scram! Don’t you guys know that if you make such loud noises, it will disrupt my research?!”
After finishing his tirade, the old man quickly withdrew and angrily slammed the large iron door shut.
Everyone remained motionless as if they had been turned to stone.
“What did I just watch?” Charlotte rubber her eyes as she muttered, “I saw a gnome? Did I just get cursed at by a gnome?!”
“The gnome saw us and then swore at us, and then directly slammed his door shut?” Wilde babbled as he too rubbed his eyes.
It really was your typical crochety and awkwardly developed old gnome. He was only about half as tall as a normal human, resulting in the thick fingers of his huge hands nearly dragging on the ground. His nose was also very large and nearly covered up his mouth below.
But didn’t gnomes only ever run their little stores? They were pretty much separated from arcane energy. Even if they managed to become an arcane master, they would only become a low levelled one who anyway could defeat.
The gnome who had just appeared was already old and beginning to lose strength. Furthermore, there were arcane energy fluctuations pulsing from his body. So why did he dare face them so arrogantly just now?
Unable to come up with a clear idea, Wilde abruptly shouted, “Stingham!”
Stingham abruptly leapt forward and forcefully kicked the door which had just been slammed shut by the old gnome as he loudly shouted, “Old man, how can you act so arrogantly? Do you parents know?”
Another bang resounded as Wilde threw himself at the door after Stingham.
Charlotte also felt an urge to slam into the door, but she managed to resist as she thought to herself, Stingham could indeed be described as a genius if it was related to his actions and words. At the very least, she would not have to worry about being bored or lonely as his teammate.
“What is this?”
As the door before them crashed open, Charlotte couldn’t help but gasp in surprise.
The old gnome, who was in the process of lifting a potion flask, also froze in place.
In front of the old gnome was a slanted table, atop which a humanoid creature was firmly locked in place. Its body was cut open from its chest to its lower abdomen and covered in blood.
As for around them… the room was so large that they couldn’t see the other end. Huge glass flasks and crystal containers as tall as them were scattered throughout the room. Upon closer inspection, they realized in horror that these flasks and containers held various corpses, limbs, and organs suspended in liquid within.
“What is that thing?”
Upon seeing the humanoid creature before the old gnome, Stingham lost all of his previous bluster and arrogance as he stared at it in a daze.
Although the creature had a human-like body, its arms and head seemed reminiscent of a dragon’s. Both of its arms were entirely covered with golden yellow scales, and two horns protruded from its yellow bone covered face.
But the most horrifying thing was that within this creature’s chest, there were not one, but three black hearts vigorously beating.
“So terrifying… old man, you indeed have the qualification to act arrogantly,” Stingham couldn’t help but mutter.
“I told you kids to scram, but you didn’t, and instead barged into my laboratory and disturbed my research! Just what do you kids want?!” After recovering from his daze, the old, strangely dressed gnome immediately flared up and entered an enraged state as he picked up a short knife from a nearby table and began hopping over.
“What do we want?” Stingham stuttered. He had been shocked into a daze by the old gnome’s words.
“Can you not see that we aren’t Evil Dragon Followers, but one of the Kingdom of Eiche’s arcane teams?” Charlotte asked in confusion. She couldn’t comprehend what was going on at all.
“I don’t give a crap about what kind of arcane team you are, you are disturbing my research!” The old gnome’s face flushed red in anger as he shouted once more, “Scram!”
“……” Charlotte fell silent.
“Ah! I know what we want,” Stingham abruptly blurted as if he had just woken from a dream. His voice was full of excitement as he shouted, “We want to rob you!”
“Rob me?” The old gnome cocked his head as a chill ran through his body.
“Correct! We came here to rob you!” Stingham proudly looked at the old gnome as he shouted, “Hurry up! Bring out all of your valuables!”
“Bandits! You guys are all bandits?! No! Don’t do this! Don’t take my precious!” The old gnome immediately lost all his previous bluster as he threw himself over the cut open humanoid creature atop the table and hugged it desperately.
“This is your precious treasure?” Stingham’s eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets as he exclaimed, “Old man, you must be joking?”
But right at this moment, Ferguillo’s calm voice sounded as he asked, “What is this?”
“Who are you?”
“You said this is your laboratory, what do you do here?”
“If you clearly explain everything, then perhaps we won’t rob you.”
“Really?!” the old gnome cried out in disbelief.
“Of course! If this is your treasure, do you think we would want it?” Stingham shouted as he dispiritedly looked at the bloody, cut open creature.
“I am Figaro. Others know me as the gnome scholar.”
The old gnome wiped away some of his sweat as he hurriedly explained, “My research is on the undead, specifically on how to modify human bodies with the limbs and organs of other creatures in order to give them additional abilities and strength. I am currently experimenting with grafting dragon limbs onto a human body.”
“Grafting dragon limbs onto a human body?”
A strange look emerged in everyone’s eyes as they gazed at the gnome who called himself a scholar and thought, “Is that why this human has two dragon’s horns atop their head?”
“So this is your experiment?” Ferguillo asked. As he examined the cut open humanoid creature, his pupils slightly contracted.
“Yes. I cut off both arms and replaced them with a dragon’s limbs,” Figaro responded while nodding.
“Hiss…” Wilde and the others all sharply inhaled.
“What does that do?” Ferguillo looked at Figaro, “Could it be that these limbs end up assimilating with the body while retaining their characteristics? They keep the strength and power of a dragon? In this case, does the person’s arcane particle circulation speed increase? Do the limbs remain more able to withstand spurts of arcane particles?”
“You are very insightful! It is exactly as you said!” Figaro seemed to greatly enjoy Ferguillo’s questioning as he excitedly responded, “Only a little be has completely assimilated, but already, these arms are capable of easily blocking most materializations. Furthermore, they can withstand the force generated when all arcane particles are released in one go.”
After a short pause, Figaro proudly said, “Of course, my final goal is to create one which infinitely nears the original creature.”
Everyone was so shocked that they couldn’t speak as they inwardly exclaimed, “It’s not injection of blood, but a direct grafting of a dragon’s limbs onto a human body? But this creature already looks far different from a human being!”
“Why has it transformed as it has to the point where it is no longer recognizable as a human? And where are you getting your dragon limbs from?” Ferguillo questioned Figaro, “Without dragon limbs, your research is nothing even if you do manage to successfully determine the theory and method behind it.”
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