Chapter 181 - Phantom

Kingdom’s Bloodline Masterless Sword, 无主之剑 2022/9/13 16:52:38

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

“I… what happened to me?”

Thales felt as though he was levitating in the sky. His mind was incredibly relaxed. He asked flatly, “Where am I?”

“Listen to me.” Asda’s voice echoed from the glowing silhouette. “I am unsure how to explain your current condition. From what I know, you are merely a contactor who knows little to nothing about mystic power or your name of origin, let alone becoming a Mystic…

“I can sense that you are not a Mystic … You are not one of us, yet… you are indeed ‘knocking on the Door’…

“Like a clumsy newborn who was lifted ten thousand meters from the ground, you are in imminent danger…” the Air Mystic’s voice trembled slightly.


Thales did not know how he managed to speak, but he did anyway. “What do you mean… knocking on the Door?”

A hint of anxiety appeared in Asda’s voice. “After passing through the first threshold, the Mystic in question shall exit his or her physical body and shift into his or her basic form. Taurus called this transformation ‘knocking on the Door’…

“A Mystic who has ‘knocked on the Door’ will connect to other Mystics psychically. It’s akin to pounding on THEIR Doors. In other words, a Door Knocker is like a lit torch in the dark. Since then, he or she will be watched by the other Mystics. Parties with malicious intent can identify your exact location—”

A dull sound echoed. Thales almost thought it came from within his mind. Its sharp, ear-splitting echo lingered, causing him to feel incredibly restless and uneasy.

‘This is…?’ He had an eerie premonition of imminent danger.

Another dull thump, like a slow heartbeat, the sound carried tremendous weight and shook his heart.

At that very second, Thales sensed the presence of a strange entity in the void. A wave of panic washed over him. He was not the only person who felt that way.

“They’re here!”

Asda’s voice became agitated. “Go! I don’t have much time to explain. Return to your physical form now!”

Thales gathered some of his hazy thoughts, trying hard to think.

‘Right. No matter who “they” are, they definitely have no good intentions.’

Thales lifted his chin, staring at the diminishing ‘Asda’, or rather, his silhouette.

In that instant, from the depths of the black void, two hostile and relentless gazes shot at Thales. They inched towards him.

Horrified, Thales’ thoughts raced like a rapid stream.

‘I need to leave now. I must… go. But where should I go?’

“Think about who you are… think about your next move… think about the incident before you ‘knocked on the Door’…” said the glowing figure anxiously. “Do not wallow in the comfort of your current condition and lose yourself in the process!”

‘Who am… I? Is that important?’ Thales thought.

“Thales!” A clear voice came to him from nowhere, filled with fear, youthful, yet quivering.

He felt his mind jolt!

Suddenly, the darkness that enveloped the boy dispersed. Asda’s silhouette vanished before him.

The visions he had stored in his memory—the ocean and the desert, the people and the beasts—were slowly receding, like a backdrop in a theater that came down abruptly, revealing the blank wall behind it.

Visions of snowflakes, corpses, and streets that fell into ruin flashed by. Followed by the grand, majestic Heroic Spirit Palace, halfway on the mountain that overlooked Dragon Clouds City. Followed by the blood hydra, and at last, the interior of a giant tentacle made of human flesh.

‘Where am I… now?’ he thought in a haze of perplexity.

In the scarlet interior of the gigantic tentacle made of mangled corpses and minced flesh, Little Rascal knelt, wailing, gazing at the boy who was hung and impaled.

The Blood Mystic, Giza Streelman, stared coldly at the girl, who wept on the ground made of flesh.

“You… you’ve killed him…” Little Rascal’s cheeks were streaked with tears. She gazed at Thales tearfully.

Giza frowned. The blood-red veins on her face faded.

Little Rascal seemed to think that Thales was very much dead. She sobbed, reached out a hand for his gruesome corpse. Tears streamed down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry…” Little Rascal bit her lips, weeping.

Giza watched Little Rascal. The coldness in her eyes melted into tenderness.

“Child.” Giza, who was pasted on the flesh wall, comforted her like a girl whose candy was snatched from her hands. “Don’t be sad. It’s not his fault… And not yours, either…”

Giza closed her eyes in a wave of desolation. Two tentacles reached out from the flesh wall behind her.

“It’s ours.”

The tentacles slithered towards Little Rascal.

“Go, little lady,” Giza said sadly, “Stay alive… forget about what happened today. Cherish your identity as a human.”

Almost immediately, the terrified and distressed little girl was hauled by the tentacles into a deeper layer of the flesh wall, and she eventually vanished.

But a second later, the Blood Mystic opened her eyes abruptly, and let out a scream.

She turned to look at Thales ‘corpse’, which hung mid-air.

“Why…” Giza turned around slowly with a puzzled look. “This is impossible…”

She watched Thales open his eyes, his body impaled by numerous tentacles.

‘Ah. It looks like… I’m back.’

As though he had just woken up from a deep slumber, Thales slowly widened his eyes, staring at the person before him in a daze.

His thoughts were a mess. He could hardly remember what happened to him.

‘This place is… This is…

‘Eh? Are those… severed hands? Internal organs? Eyeballs? Human flesh?!’

Thales discerned his surroundings.

It was a blood-red, naked, young woman merged into a sea of flesh, and who eyed him oddly. Thales felt a chill.

At that moment, tonight’s memory flooded back into his mind like tidal waves: Northland, King Nuven, the archdukes, the duel, Asda, the Mystics, Black Sword, Ramon, Little Rascal, Giza, the hydra, the destroyed Shield District, the Blade of Purification… and… towards the end… when he was impaled by Giza’s countless tentacles.

The last thing he saw was a spike that jabbed into his left eye mercilessly.

‘No.’ Thales’ whole body shuddered. ‘No!’

Fear, panic, anxiety, worry, puzzlement, confusion…

All the emotions he was deprived of returned to him in that very second.

Seeing the Mystic before him, his breathing quickened.

The misperception of emptiness and feeling of isolating himself from everything which he experienced earlier felt like a dream now.

“What on earth…?”

Thales came to realize that his limbs were still bound by the tentacles. What scared him more were the numerous spikes lodged in his body and through his torso, with one in his left eye, one through his throat, and another through his heart. There were more nailed into every inch of his skin, making him look like a hedgehog suspended in the air.

Thales gasped, his heart was filled with terror. He felt exceptionally nervous about the spike in his head, the one that jabbed into his left eye socket and out the back of his skull.

‘But… eh?’

Thales noticed something peculiar—the places where he was pierced did not bleed.

‘No pain? No irritation? What’s going on? I…’ In his panic, he could feel the tentacles and spikes pierced through his entire body. ‘What’s happened to me? Did I become a ghost when I died?’

It was Giza’s reaction that answered his suspicions.

“Why are you…?” Giza stared, wide-eyed, at the prince, her voice filled with confusion and astonishment. “Why are you not dead yet?”

Hearing this, Thales was startled. ‘Why… am I not dead?’

He stared at Giza nervously, then looked down at the spikes that pierced through his own body.

‘I-I’m not dead?’

Giza’s face darkened. The blood red patches on her cheeks trembled aggressively.

“Then we shall go through it again!”

“Wait—” Thales panicked. His heart was pounding violently.

The Mystic ignored him. A second later, the spike on the tip of the tentacle that stabbed into Thales’ left eye suddenly pulled back, made a sharp turn, and broke out through the top of his skull.

Sensing the movement of the tentacle, Thales shuddered abruptly.

‘I…’ He stayed still. ‘Wait a minute. I felt nothing… Nothing at all?’

Thales was alarmed, then sighed slowly with relief. ‘I’m… fine?’

He felt as though it was not him who got pierced by the spikes.

“Impossible!” The blood-red patches on Giza’s body grew and stretched. She narrowed her eyes and an uncharacteristically intense look appeared on her face. “Your whole body is skewered. Why do you look unharmed? You can’t even feel the pain?!”

Thales was about to answer that he had no idea what was going on when Giza’s expression turned grim. She seemed to have noticed something.

With a grimace, Giza raised a finger. Immediately, all the spiked tentacles that impaled Thales began to writhe.

Thales felt his scalp crawl, watching the squirming tentacles on his body.

‘This! Oh god!’

The familiar hisses of flesh sounded from these murder weapons.

Several tentacles began to wriggle to other parts of his chest, skewering and slicing his upper torso, slashing and impaling his skull and brain. It felt as if someone was carving him up with knives.

Nevertheless, Thales did not move a muscle. He just stared at Giza blankly. His gaze then traveled between the tentacles, as though he was not being butchered right at that moment.

The slashes and stabs went on for ten seconds until Giza stopped and all tentacles and spikes slowed down as well.

“How can this be …?” Shocked, the Mystic shook her head. “The attacks don’t work on you?!”

Thales was panting, unable to answer. His mind was a mush of panic and terror.

The tentacles and spikes retracted from Thales. There was no wound or blood on him, even his clothes remained intact. As it looked now, Thales was merely a wraith-like shadow with colors. The boy was astonished.

‘I’m, this is… a physics-defying situation? But… my arms and legs. They are still bound, aren’t they?’

Ignorant about his current condition, he gaped, unable to respond. He vaguely felt a sensation similar to the one he experienced back in the void dimension.

Thales suspected that no matter how fearsome Giza’s spikes were, when she ordered the tentacles to attack him…

… All her attacks seemed to miss.

All of a sudden, Giza’s expression changed drastically. As though thinking of something, she gnashed her teeth, which was very uncharacteristic of her, and raised her chin up.

“Zarkel!” she bellowed. “Zarkel Tudor! Show yourself! You despicable meddler!”

The Mystic whipped around, glancing at her surroundings. Her voice burned with fury. “Was it you? You wretched old man! It was you, wasn’t it?”

Her voice echoed in a sea of flesh and blood.

A few seconds passed. There was no response. She could hear only the buzzing of flesh as they rubbed against each other.

Giza felt a slight jolt and realization dawn on her.

The Mystic turned around to face Thales. Her eyes glimmered with a cryptic, peculiar emotion.

“No, it wasn’t Zarkel…” Giza mumbled. Her eyes wide with bewilderment. “It was… you?!”

Giza extended a tentacle. It pierced through Thales’ torso.

When she drew back, the spot where Thales was stabbed seemed unharmed, as though he was a phantom. Giza refused to believe that. Another tentacle of hers shot up. The spike on its tip lodged into Thales’ right arm.

Just like before, the spike went right through his bound right arm. He was left completely unscathed.

At this point, Thales had not the slightest idea what had just occurred.

Giza frowned, stuttering, “This is-This is your ability?”

‘Did he lose control due to the mystic energy interference?

‘Impossible. If he was losing control, how could it end up like this?’

Thales panted while still dazed. He peeked at his bound limbs, then at his body.

‘My ability? What sort of ability is that…’

Giza raised her eyebrows, shaking her head vigorously, as if she had just witnessed the strangest occurrence.

“You are just a contactor. Why is it that you can use mystic energy?” She scowled, as though she was reminded of something, and her expression darkened.

“It was you… you were ‘knocking on the Door’?”

Thales was still peering at his own body, pondering.

‘Have I already become a Mystic? But… why can’t I feel anything…

‘Unless-Unless Giza cannot hurt me at all?!’

“How could this happen?” Giza clenched her teeth, voice deep and brimming with hatred. “You’re just a newbie contactor. You’re not even a Mystic yet!

“This is just a loss of control. How could you have possibly knocked on the Door?”

Thales frowned. He thought of what Asda had told him about losing control.

‘Is it true that… I am special?’

Giza glared at Thales with a terrifying expression. “Have you really… knocked on the Door?”

At that very second, Thales swore that he saw despair, sorrow, pain, grief, and remorse in the eyes of this unreasonable, crazy woman.

“No.” Giza squeezed her eyes shut. Her voice filled with sadness and anguish. “You have become… a Mystic, regardless?”

Thales stared at her, puzzled. ‘What’s her deal? This crazy b*tch…’

“No…” Giza gnashed her teeth. Tears trickled down her cheeks. She shrieked hysterically, “No! You are not a Mystic yet. You are still at the contactor stage. It was just an accident…”

She snapped open and burned with ferocity and determination. “There must be a way. There must be a way to kill you. Let’s start with mystic energy interference…”

As she spoke, the flesh of the giant tentacle began to wriggle and contort. One after another, the smaller monsters that Thales had seen before burst out of the wall of flesh.

Thales shuddered. He took a deep breath but his head spun. ‘Stop thinking about those confusing things. There’s something more important… to deal with right now.

‘… like this crazy b*tch!’

But the moment the prince lifted his chin—

A tiny, newborn black monster jumped into Thales’ wraith-like body with a kick of its hind legs.

It then burst into a pile of flesh and blood inside him.

If Asda was present, he would have recognized that it was the same tactic Giza used to prevent him from reverting back to human form after crushing him.

At that moment, Thales only felt his whole body flicker once, like a ripple on the water surface.

Suddenly, a spike flew past him, grazing his left arm.

There came a stinging pain. This time, Thales’ ghost realized that his left arm was slashed… and was bleeding.

His ‘phantom’ body seemed to have lost its effect.

“See?! I knew it.” When she saw that, Giza grinned with excitement. “Mystic energy interference works after all.”

More and more coal-black monsters followed Giza’s actions and lunged into Thales’ body, then exploded.

The dismembered remains of the monsters flew out of his body.

“Ahhh!!” Thales cried in pain. The side of his calf was pierced by a broken spike and blood trickled out of his wound. His special ability had begun to dwindle and seemed to be losing its effectiveness.

Thales gawked in horror at the stampede of monsters that came his way. An endless stream of pain throbbed on the surface of his skin. It gained frequency… and became more painful.

The extreme physical discomfort was accompanied by Giza’s cackle and the monsters’ hisses.

Thales shut his eyes in pain. He felt the monsters slither through his wraith-like body and explode, leaving wounds inside him. He had a feeling that, in a short while, the power that ensured his survival would vanish completely.

‘No… No!!’

Another monster exploded in the side of his lower abdomen. Its severed crab claw pierced his left abdomen as it burst out of his body.

Amid the explosion and monster hisses, Thales desperately tried to recall Black Sword’s instructions.

‘Quick… Quick! Anything- Anything that can save me…’

Black Sword’s words crossed his mind. ‘With the help from Tremblor, I evaded the attacks of her tentacles.’

Thales was shaken. He thought of the high frequency vibrations Giza used on hm. More smaller monsters came at him.

A coal-black monster sped past his cheek. Instead of piercing his flesh, it left only a gash.

The power of Phantom had faded. The Blood Mystic snorted.

Thales had no time to fear or panic. Instead, he clenched his teeth and followed Black Sword’s instructions on summoning another energy within him.

‘Help me, Sin of Hell’s River. This is a moment of life and death. Help me!’

As his will to survive became stronger, the Sin of Hell’s River channeled into his limbs.

‘I need… the strength to… rid myself of these tentacles! If only I could… slip out of them!’

Thales heard a low buzzing that only he could detect. His limbs convulsed at an extremely high and indiscernible rate.

The prince drew a sharp breath, feeling as though his body was going to be crushed by the vibrant energy of the Sin of Hell’s River.

‘This sensation…’ Giza’s eyes widened.

In the next moment, the four tentacles that bound Thales trembled, and the boy was released in mid-air.

A monster flew over his head, snipping off a strand of his hair.

Thales fell onto the fleshy ground, panting heavily. The Sin of Hell’s River receded from his limbs.

Thales gritted his teeth, trying to get on his feet. However, the numbness in his legs compelled him to fall back down.

Thales touched a piece of flesh beneath his feet—inside which there was an ear covered in blood—and jumped.

But in the next moment, a pang of soreness throbbed in his limbs. He began to shudder violently and sweated profusely. His limbs went slack.

‘Exhaustion… Soreness… Pain…’

His muscles ached as though he had lost all his strength. After getting out of the restraints, he could not even manage a step.

In the meantime, the smaller monsters were already charging towards him. Thales’ eyes widened and his heart sank.

It seemed that the power of Tremblor was far more than his body could bear.

‘No.’ Thales felt the soreness in his weakened limbs, staring at the monsters before him.

He looked at the smiling Giza in despair and thought, ‘Is it really the end?’