• Prev Chapter
  • Background
    Font family
    Font size
    Line hieght
    Full frame
    No line breaks
  • Next Chapter

691 Pursuer

As the blazing white flames rapidly dissipated, Lumian turned his back on “Hisoka” Twanaku and fixed his gaze on the Guardian, who was swaying unsteadily more than ten meters away. With a chuckle, he declared, “Before, I needed my team’s help to defeat you. But now, I can take you down alone.”

His words were aimed squarely at Hisoka.

Collapsing to the ground, Hisoka’s consciousness gradually faded as he caught Lumian’s remark. He instinctively tried to clench his fists, but lacked the strength to do so.

A desperate gasp escaped his throat, his pupils dilating and losing focus.

Hisoka cursed himself for choosing Devil Transformation over Wraith Transformation when confronting Lumian Lee. If only he had opted for the latter, he could have disrupted Lumian’s attempt to play the blackened bone flute with Wraith Shriek. Alas, he had no way of knowing the specifics, only able to sense the presence and source of a malicious intent. Given Lumian Lee’s ability to infuse bullets, fireballs, and other attacks with electric shocks and target weaknesses with precision, Devil Transformation had seemed the more versatile choice, offering protection against various contingencies.

As for why he hadn’t summoned a barrage of Sulfur Fireballs, even at the cost of mutual destruction—Hisoka sensed the considerable distance separating them. By the time he could conjure and launch ten to twenty fireballs, Lumian Lee would have already finished playing the flute. With teleportation at his disposal, Lumian could effortlessly evade the clustered assault. Moreover, spells like Language of Foulness had a limited range.

Left with no other recourse, “Hisoka” Twanaku could only resort to Emotional Shock and Desire Detonation, targeting Lumian Lee’s weakness. He hoped that after both of them sustained grievous injuries, their recovery rates would be comparable, granting him an opportunity to mount a different response.

However, despite the pain, blood loss, and abnormal look in his eyes, Lumian Lee managed to maintain his balance. Fighting through the debilitating effects, he executed a precise area-of-effect bombardment enhanced with electric shocks. The effort inflicted fresh wounds upon himself and temporarily paralyzed him.

“Gasp…”

Hisoka Twanaku mustered his remaining strength to drag Lumian Lee down with him in a final, desperate gambit of losing control. But his life force had reached its limit. Darkness engulfed his vision as his consciousness slipped into oblivion, a maelstrom of indignation, resentment, and agony consuming him.

The colossal Devil’s body spasmed a few times before falling still.

Hisoka’s last glimmer of hope for revival was extinguished.

He was well and truly dead.

As Lumian spoke, he drew his revolver and trained it on the nearby Guardian.

Disoriented and reeling, the Guardian instinctively condensed a broadsword of light. Dropping to one knee, he plunged it into the ground before him.

The sword merged with the earth, erecting an impenetrable invisible wall.

As a gravekeeper merged with a dream projection, this Guardian had no effective defense against the Symphony of Hatred. His companions, the Spirit Warlocks and Soul Assurers, caught off guard by the attack, couldn’t pull him into a dream in time to avoid the melody’s direct impact. He could only rely on his own physical and spiritual fortitude to withstand the detonation of desire and emotion.

For Beyonders with dream projections, this assault posed a mortal threat.

Before the gravekeeper could regain his bearings, another incandescent white fireball wreathed in lightning struck him, triggering a violent explosion.

Fortunately, his boon as a Guardian spared him the fate of his companions, who were culled like stalks of wheat. Without it, he would have been unable to mount even a token defense on pure instinct.

Lumian’s green eyes took on an iron-black cast as he stood tall and squeezed the trigger.

Bang! Bang!

Twin yellow bullets, trailing blazing white flames and silver lightning, slammed into a single point on the invisible wall.

Rumble!

The already destabilized wall shattered. The Guardian could only watch helplessly as a searing white spear enveloped in lightning hurtled towards him, piercing his chest and sending him flying.

Another Cull, another bout of digestion.

Clinging to the last shreds of consciousness, the Guardian scattered the broadsword of light into countless minuscule fragments.

These luminous shards coalesced into a hurricane that raged in all directions.

Hounded by the storm of light, the blazing white flaming spear soared twenty to thirty meters before finally coming to rest.

As the flames ebbed away, Lumian straightened his posture, clad in a white shirt, black vest, dark trousers, and a golden straw hat.

Behind him, the bright and terrifying Hurricane of Light gradually petered out, thinning the ground. The corpses of the fallen gravekeepers and “Hisoka” Twanaku lay broken and strewn about.

Reeling from the Symphony of Hatred’s influence, his injuries abnormally severe, Devajo’s gaze flicked from the bodies littering the ground to Lumian, who stood facing him from afar. His already pallid complexion turned even more ashen.

What in the world is happening?

Is he even human?

Devajo, in whom thoughts of vengeance had fleetingly stirred following the blow, swiftly abandoned any such notions. Igniting the sulfurous blood he had spat out with azure flames, he hastily retreated into the forest.

He wanted to escape!

In any case, he could offer no aid to the human skin the archduke had crafted through ritual. Lingering in the vicinity of the black ancient tomb would only expose him to greater peril.

Lumian paid no heed to Devajo’s flight. Though weakened, his spirituality remained abundant. Transforming once more into a blazing white flaming spear, he traversed dozens, nearly a hundred meters in a blink, coming to rest beside Lugano, Amandina, and his companions.

The four Beyonders lay unconscious, spared the Symphony of Hatred’s melody—the effects were minimal, a mere nightmare, but still wracked them with pain. Their contorted expressions gradually eased as they roused from their comatose state.

Seeing them open their eyes and regain their faculties, Lumian instructed, “Leave this place at once and return to Tizamo. Find somewhere to lay low.”

The conflict unfolding before the black ancient tomb was not something Lugano and the others could influence. Lumian himself dared not approach, so he intended to send his four temporary allies to safety.

He had previously consented to Camus and Rhea accompanying him, believing the former’s Psychic Piercing and the latter’s Lightning Arrows could synergize effectively with his own abilities to counter Hisoka’s dream projection, Reaza, and the others. Amandina’s power to compel others into dreams was also quite useful. Moreover, following her was the only way to approach the black ancient tomb without falling prey to the invisible figure’s attacks. To his surprise, Hisoka had displayed combat prowess far exceeding Padre Cali’s. With the area unsealed and devoid of preset traps, not only had Camus, Amandina, and the rest failed to render aid, they had ended up hindering each other and becoming a liability.

Reflecting on his two prior battles—the attempt to capture Hisoka alive and the confrontation with Padre Cali—Lumian grasped a fundamental principle.

At times, there was strength in numbers. But in other situations, solitude was preferable. Facing different foes under varied circumstances demanded adaptability, lest one court disaster by adhering to a fixed approach.

Lumian recalled a maxim Emperor Roselle had once shared, as explained by his sister Aurore:

In warfare, as in the flow of water, there are no constant conditions.

“We can return to Tizamo? Even me?” Lugano couldn’t contain his pleasant surprise. Instinctively, he extended his remaining hand, pressing the flickering light against Lumian’s wounds.

As a Doctor, Lugano was unable to treat a patient’s internal organs directly. He needed to open the cavity and make contact with the injured site. It was akin to performing surgery.

Lumian nodded and replied,”Indeed, but you’ll need to remain under Camus and Rhea’s supervision.”

He planned to linger a while longer, to see if he could aid Iveljsta Eggers, a member of the Church of The Fool’s temperance faction.

It was the duty of a Tarot Club’s Minor Arcana card holder.

Of course, Lumian had no intention of venturing into the area immediately fronting the black ancient tomb. He might well perish before even realizing what had struck him. His aim was to ascertain whether he could sway Reaza and the others to interact with the corresponding godhood items, or utilize the golden mask upon Hisoka’s corpse to some end.

At that moment, Devajo, who had only just arrived in Tizamo that very night, had already vanished back into the forest, retracing his steps.

Mustering his dwindling strength, he started sprinting.

As he ran, Devajo abruptly halted, casting a perplexed gaze towards the path’s bend, obscured by the trees.

Beneath the dim, crimson moonlight, a short figure approached.

It was a boy of seven or eight years, garbed in blue pajamas speckled with yellow stars and a matching nightcap. His plump face and the short blond hair peeking out from under the cap were smeared with cream, blood, biscuit crumbs, cake fragments, and sundry other substances. His brown eyes blazed with intense hunger and desire.

In his mouth, a vibrant, cold, and slick viper’s tail writhed and shook as he gulped it down, segment by segment.

The boy’s cheeks bulged as he chomped vigorously.

In the next instant, he caught sight of Devajo.

A wave of intense, terrifying malice flooded Devajo’s mind.

Lugano, having secured permission, was on the verge of informing Camus, Rhea, and Amandina of their impending return to Tizamo when a petrified scream rang out from the forest.

They froze in their tracks.

Mere seconds later, a pitch-black monstrosity, towering nearly three meters tall with curved goat horns, came barreling out of the forest. It charged from the direction of Tizamo, making a beeline for the black ancient tomb, panic etched in its every movement.

That man just now? He’s a Devil too… A minion of the Nois family’s Demon, perhaps? Could the green-eyed figure fashioned from human skin be a manifestation of the Nois family’s Demon, projected into the Dream Festival? Lumian’s gaze shifted to the shadowed forest at the Devil’s back, an ominous feeling washing over him.

He made a snap decision and addressed Lugano, Amandina, and the others.

“Grab hold of me!”

Lugano swiftly returned to Lumian’s side, seizing his arm.

Camus, Rhea, and Amandina followed suit, startled but mimicking Lugano’s action.

The five of them winked out of existence, reappearing in close proximity to Hisoka’s corpse.

The instant Amandina’s form finished coalescing, her eyes flew wide.

Voice quavering, she turned to Lumian and said in a deep voice, “T-that figure… it’s appeared once more…”

Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter