Chapter 265 Dark Inferno (Part 2)
“Don’t just stand there, leave!” Ye Ci stood in front of Alaunar and raised her hand. The dark flame surrounding her ring was burning brighter and brighter.
Understanding dawned upon Alaunar. He stared at Ye Ci. Her already pale skin was a shade whiter under the sickly glow of the dark flame that casted greenish shadows on her skin. Despite the fearful sight, there was no fear in Ye Ci’s eyes. The boy saw something he could not understand in those eyes, and was surprised to see the faint smile on her lips.
Alaunar could not believe what he saw. He blinked once, twice, and continued staring at Ye Ci’s face. The Elf was indeed smiling. Her face was not filled with fear, but with joy. It was as if she was not staring upon her imminent death, and was instead looking at a very precious treasure. At that moment, Alaunar finally realised that the Elf standing before him was not an ordinary person. He realised that she was a gambler.
Yes, Ye Ci was a gambler. She was a gambler who was addicted to high stakes.
Life or death, victory or defeat… It all depended on that single moment.
Ye Ci adopted a defensive stance and stared at Ciss. She could still feel Alaunar’s presence behind her. “Why are you still here? Go!” She did not want the boy to die. Despite her ability to revive Alaunar, the cost that she had to pay in terms of Loyalty was simply not worth the risk.
A sudden surge of courage flared in Alaunar’s heart, “No! I will not leave you here!” the boy shook his head. With Alaunar’s decision already made, Ye Ci no longer voiced out her objections, and instead focused her attention on Ciss.
Will she live? Or will she die?
Ciss completed her channeling, and launched a dark shade at Ye Ci from the tip of the staff. The shade was in an even purer color of black than the dark flame of Ye Ci’s ink. It was just like the darkness of night, and the black of ink.
The ring seemed to have sensed the incoming shade as its flame flared swell. The dark flame was now half the size of a human.
Ye Ci could feel her hand shaking. The ring seemed to have come to life. It was hungered, and it wanted to devour the dark shade.
The dark shade shot towards Ye Ci at high speed, but it collided with the dark flame of her ring. The flame was able to block Ciss’s attack, but the impact of such a high leveled skill sent Ye Ci sprawling on the ground at least 6 yards away.
Ye Ci could feel a stabbing pain in the back from her fall, but to her great fortune, did not suffer significant damage. The dark shade did not dissipate, but was instead trapped by the dark flame, and was slowly being devoured.
“Are you alright, Elf?” Alaunar immediately cast Recovery on Ye Ci, bringing her back to full health. Concern was clearly written on the boy’s face.
As Ye Ci stood back up on unsteady feet, the trembling of her hand was getting greater. It was of course not due to her injury, but because of her ring that had become even more active after devouring the dark shade. The ring was livelier than ever, and the dark flame surrounding it was almost as large as Ye Ci.
There were no changes to the stats of the ring, but Ye Ci remained vigilant. She knew that demonic items might turn against their owners if a player was not careful. A large number of players in her past life had suffered from such fate due to their negligence. Some of them lost their levels, while others had their Talent Points devoured by such artifacts.
This was why Ye Ci was wary of the ring even when she desired the power of Naga. She had to make sure that she was in control before taking the risk. The ring’s reaction to the dark shade was a source of great concern for Ye Ci, but she decided to keep in on. After all, it was not easy for a demonic item to harm its owner unless it was highly refined or the seal placed on the item had been removed.
Ciss’s visibly stiffened when her attack was devoured by the dark flame. “Y-you…” she said with a soft voice as Ye Ci approached her.
“Do you want to go for round two?” Ye Ci was brimming with confidence as she raised her hand. She knew not the effects of another attack from Ciss would have on the ring, but it was worth a try.
“N-no, no.” Ciss recoiled in fear.
She let go of her staff and knelt before Ye Ci, “My master, my king, I knew not of your arrival. I have offended you. I’m willing to atone for my mistake.”
Ye Ci let out a long sigh and lowered her hand. The ring immediately returned to its dormant state, as if nothing had changed, as if it was just an ordinary ring.
“You are forgiven.” said Ye Ci.
“I thank you for your mercy, master.” Ciss' voice was full of gratitude as she prostrated herself before Ye Ci.
Ye Ci could never understand the obsession of religious fanatics harbored for their deities. Even a normal person carrying an artifact of their god was treated like the god himself. It was a foolish gesture.
“Why is the Shrine of Sha’jia here?” This was a question that Ye Ci desperately needed an answer. She could remember being transported to this map after touching the book, which meant that the map was an illusion.
“This is not the true shrine of Sha’jia. It is an illusion created by the power of the Book of Demons.”, The ring was an artifact of Naga with strong demonic energy that was something familiar to Ciss. The servant of Sha’jia recognised the ring as Naga’s artifact, which led to her respectful treatment of the ring’s bearer, Ye Ci.
“If I’m not mistaken, there’s a Doluo Tribe nearby. Why did you choose this place to create a shrine?” asked Ye Ci.
Despite her lower intelligence, Ciss hesitated. She did not want to answer the question. Her hesitation prompted Ye Ci to raise her hand once again. Flame surged out from her finger and Ciss cowered back in fear.
“Oh? You will not answer my question?”
“N-n-n-no.” and Ciss immediately spilled all her secrets to Ye Ci.
A large gem known as Inferno’s Heart was hidden at the bottom of the Kalidar Volcano. It was the source of the energy stored within the volcano. Naga’s men had been searching for such an energy to awaken their master after he was sealed during the Great War. They soon discovered Inferno’s Heart that was hidden deep in the heart of the volcano. Try as he might to obtain the gem, Sha’jia was met with failure due to the strong magical barrier that protected the Inferno’s Heart. This was why he colluded with Nuoba of the Doluo tribe. If Nuoba could destroy the magical barrier, Sha’jia would grant him the power to take over the Doluo Tribe and become the new chieftain.
The Doluo tribe was led by a powerful Shaman that was feared by even Sha’jia himself, and was protected by the Mermaids. Sha’jia who was severely weakened after Naga’s defeat was no match for their combined might. He could only erect an illusion of his shrine within the Pitch Black cave as a means of communication with Nuoba, and to collect dark energy that he could use to erode the barrier.
Alaunar was enraged. The boy held Dalufar with high regard, but Nuoba and the woman standing before him were planning to kill the great Shaman. He would have attacked the woman had Ye Ci not stopped him in time. Fearing that Alaunar would foil her plans, Ye Ci sent the boy out of the temple. Despite his protest, Alaunar obeyed her order.
Ye Ci then turned around to face Ciss once again when Alaunar was a safe distance away, only to find the servant of Sha’jia staring at her with a doubtful expression, “Why are you with a member of the Doluo tribe?” and Ye Ci responded with a smile, “Oh? You’re working with Nuoba, but I’m not allowed to have a Doluo as my guide?”
“N-n-no, it was not my intention to doubt you.” Ciss’s face became a mask of fear when she noticed the displeasure in Ye Ci’s voice.
Ye Ci stood at the grand hall of the shrine. An illusionary dungeon like this was very common in the later stages of the game, but the creation of such a dungeon would require a medium. The master of this dungeon was no doubt Sha’jia, and the medium that was supporting the existence of the dungeon was definitely the arrow on the altar.
“Where is Sha’jia?” Ye Ci stood before the altar, carefully hiding the glint of greed in her eyes as she studied the arrow.
“Lord Sha’jia has not recovered from his wounds from the Great War.” Ciss was apparently excited at the mention of Sha’jia. She had fully trusted Ye Ci due to their previous interaction. This was proof that an NPC with lower level of intelligence could be tricked easily with the right way.
“So where is Sha’jia? Is he here?”
“N-no,” Ciss shook her head, “I do not know where Lord Sha’jia is. I can feel his presence in every shrine.”
Ye Ci nodded at the NPC. She was able to deduce from Ciss’s information that Sha’jia had erected multiple shrines and illusions of himself, and was hiding his true form in an unknown location.
But how did Sha’jia receive his wound? Due to the vast quantity of information that had been accumulated in the later stages of the game, Ye Ci could not remember the minor details of the lore. She knew nothing of the wound suffered by Sha’jia.
“Are you an illusion as well?” Ye Ci shifted her gaze from the arrow to Ciss.
“No, I’m real.” a strange glint appeared in Ciss’s eyes.
“Placing your true form in an illusion is very dangerous.” Ye Ci raised an eyebrow.
“I’m not afraid! I’m willing to give my life for Lord Sha’jia, and for you my master!” Ciss madly proclaimed her faith.
Ye Ci stared at her ring. If this ring can absorb her spell, can it devour her soul as well? A cold sneer appeared on Ye Ci’s face as she stared at Ciss. She stood before the woman and pointed at her, “I do not believe you.” Dark flames immediately surged from Ye Ci’s ring. Ciss’s expression grew slack as she stared at the ring as if she was in trance, “What do I have to do to gain your trust?”
“Offer to me your life.” Ye Ci responded without even a shred of emotion.
Ciss stared at Ye Ci with dull eyes, and Ye Ci could see the confusion on her face. She knew that the NPC was hesitating.
“What is it? Are you denying your own words?” Ye Ci sneered at the NPC, “Is this the extent of your loyalties?”
“N-no! No, it’s not!” Ciss shook her head. Her religious fervor was pathetic to Ye Ci’s cold gaze.
As an NPC, Ciss was still trying her best to analyze the situation, but her personal trait had decided her fate. She could only think of one thing in her fervent state.
I MUST PROVE MY LOYALTY! I MUST PROVE MY LOYALTY!
“What will you do if I can prove my loyalty?” Ciss retained some basic sense of judgment despite her ever decreasing retionality.
Ye Ci waved her hand in front of Ciss, and the dark flames danced with her movement, “Then you shall be granted eternal life.”
It was a temptation that Ciss could not resist. Madness crept into her red pupils as she continued to stare at the ring, and she drew a dagger without warning.
Ye Ci could tell from the jewel encrusted hilt of the weapon that it was no ordinary item. The dagger, which was a mage’s secondary weapon might be lacking in terms of damage compared to the dagger of a Rogue, but it could still deal a high amount of damage if it struck a vital spot.
Ye Ci narrowed her eyes at Ciss. If the NPC decided to strike at that very moment, she could only resign to her bad luck.
But Ye Ci had apparently overestimated the level of intelligence possessed by Ciss. The servant of Sha’jia stared at Ye Ci with a hysterical laugh, “I AM SHA’JIA’S MOST LOYAL SERVANT! NOBODY CAN DOUBT MY LOYALTY!” and she plunged the dagger into her heart.
Warm blood gushed out of her wound, splattering the ground, and onto Ye Ci’s face.
As she wiped the blood away from her face, Ye Ci stared at Ciss.
The beautiful looking NPC was staring back at Ye Ci as the life slowly drained from her eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Nope, like I said, no April's Fool prank. Was planning to, along with a few translators from Volare, but some concerns were raised and.... Well, it's just no fun in doing it alone so..... (If you want to know why it was called off, you can track me down on Volare's discord server and send me a DM)
Well hope you guys enjoyed the chapter. As always, sorry if the I did not do good with the translation. Have a nice day!
Don't forget there's a teaser next page!
Waiting for translation of VN/Manga is too fking slow, so I've decided to take matters into my own hands.... Because I really have nothing better to do anyways, so I'm trying to learn Japanese on my own. Any tips/advice?