Chapter 309 Haunted Corridor
Everything started to dim when they stepped into the corridor!
The dull walls started to decay, and their paint began to peel at a rate visible to the naked eye. More and more pieces fell off before withering and turning to dust in the air. Once the surface of the wall had peeled off, it revealed a rusty, metallic surface. An intimidating clanging rang out in everyone's ears.
"This appears to be some form of illusion!" Kerr commented softly.
"Does anyone have anything to counter illusions?" Will's voice was trembling.
Advanced apprentice Warren searched through his belt for a while before taking out a black jar. He asked in a soft voice, "I have some Psychedelic Grass. Does anyone need it?"
"Me," the other three apprentices replied simultaneously.
They were overjoyed.
Psychedelic Grass was a type of herb with sawblade-tipped leaves. They were one of the fundamental ingredients for concocting hallucinatory potions. If the Psychedelic Grass was ground to paste and smeared on the tip of the nose, it could refresh the spirit and increase the body's resistance to illusions.
The four apprentices did precisely this. They turned around and were about to ask Alice if she needed the Grass as well, only to find her holding a brilliantly glowing gemstone in her hand. She was observing the changes around them.
The gemstone was diamond-shaped and translucent. A refreshing and calming soft glow emanated from within it.
A Gem of True Sight!
The muscles of their faces started to twitch. They were utterly speechless for a moment.
This magical gemstone allowed the owner to see through invisibility and illusions and was extremely expensive. The lowest listed market price was four hundred magic crystals. The few of them couldn't possibly afford it with their meager funds. They might all be apprentice adepts, but a slightly more respectable pseudo-adept like Alice could thoughtlessly take out a gem like this one.
Wasn't this the difference between apprentices a little too large?!
Alice shook the Gem of True Sigh and moved towards the wall. The withering and decaying sight instantly dispersed. The walls went back to their dark brown wooden pattern. It had returned to how it was before.
As expected, it was an illusion!
The apprentices were finally able to relax when they saw this.
Will frowned and slowly inched forward.
If they measured the length of the corridor based on the length of the castle, it shouldn't have been any longer than a hundred meters. This distance should have been short enough for them to see the end of the corridor, even if the lighting was terrible. Oddly enough, their vision couldn't extend more than seven or eight meters from where they stood.
The scenery in the distance looked as if the darkness had devoured it. The group couldn't see anything at all.
It seemed this was another illusory effect!
Will slowly moved forward, his eyes continually sweeping past his surroundings and his feet. He stopped walking every time he felt something wrong or different, and Will only continued when he was sure it was safe.
The darkness before their eyes slowly faded away.
The candlelight on both sides of the wall flickered with a dim yellow light. The light projected their shadows onto the walls. One moment they would extend and the other they would shrink. One moment their shadows would be on the right, and the next they would be on the left. It was almost like a stalking monster lived in their shadows. The wooden boards beneath their feet were old and rotten. Every step they took caused the floor to creak noisily.
A fifty-centimeter square wooden painting frame hung to the wall on the left side. The shadows had obscured it, causing the party to miss the painting until now. Now that they were finally close enough, Will was able to discern its contents.
The painting was of countryside fields. There were mountains in the distance, rivers by the crops, and a small hill was in the middle of the picture. A faint silhouette stood on the hill and was facing forward.
The technique of the artist was excellent. That said, who knew what the artist thought when he drew this? The artist had painted the entire painting with black and white only. What should have been a picture of a beautiful countryside scene had been turned into a sinister and ghostly image.
Will shook his head and turned his attention back to the ground he was stepping on.
The creaking noises continued as he walked. He couldn't focus and pay attention to the other changes around him. He finally stopped to listen for odd movements and sounds, but the creaking noises continued to come from behind him.
"Can you guys walk more soft…" Will couldn't help but turn around to scold his companions, but what he saw shocked him.
His companions indeed followed behind him, but…their faces were pale white, their facial features distorted. Two streaks of bloody tears dripped down their cheeks.
"What happened to you? " Will asked with a trembling voice.
Wicked and terrifying smiles appeared on their faces as sharp claws extended from their fingers. They howled and wailed as they surrounded Will.
Will stumbled backward in fright. He was no longer able to endure the terror of the sight. He turned around and quickly started running.
Will ran across the river and past the fields. He was out of breath and had no choice but to stop on a small hill to catch his breath.
I must have finally escaped those terrifying monsters, haven't I?
Will looked about fearfully, only to find himself in a wholly different place.
This…this wasn't the dim corridor he had been in.
Will looked at the sinister mountains in the distance, the gray fields he had run past, and the black river before him. There was a floating wooden frame in the distant air. It was like a window to the outside world. Through it, Will saw a pale silhouette leading Kerr, Warren, and the others as they slowly walked down the corridor.
Judging on his position and angle, Will was shocked to find himself in the painting he had just seen. The human figure in the drawing had already replaced him!
Dammit! Was this illusion or reality?
For a moment, even Will couldn't tell if he was under the effect of illusion or whether the painting had trapped him inside. Thus, he frantically ran towards the wooden frame, waving his hands about as he shouted for help.
Oddly enough, it didn't matter what he did. The wooden frame remained the same distance away from him as if he would never be able to reach it.
Back to the dim and dark corridor.
Kerr couldn't help but frown, "Will, can you hurry up? If we shuffle like you are doing, god knows how long we are going to take to investigate the entire floor!"
Will mumbled an acknowledgment and finally hastened his footsteps.
The corridor wasn't even all that long at the start. The party quickly arrived in front of a wooden door.
The party moved closer to inspect the door. They didn't sense any traces of magical flux on the wooden door. There shouldn't have been any magical traps set on this thing.
Under everyone's encouragement, Will worked up the courage to push the door open.
Creak. The wooden door eventually opened.
The inside was a small and delicate library. The interior space wasn't vast, but a significant number of books and scrolls had been stuffed onto the wooden shelves by the wall. Most of the books glowed with faint magical light. It was evident that these weren't any ordinary items.
Books. So many books.
The apprentices already treated the accumulation of knowledge as instinct. They immediately wanted to walk into the room and start searching for books that interested them. But right that moment, a sound came from behind them. Alice's immature coughs rang out.
The apprentice adepts froze. They quickly made way and bowed respectfully, "Lady Alice, please!"
Alice coldly laughed as she took a step forward, "Take a better look before you start splitting the spoils among yourselves!"
She raised her tiny arm and the soft white light from the Gem of True Sight projected into the library and onto Will!
The ordinary scene immediately plunged into a nightmare the very next second. A horrifying image fell upon everyone's eyes.
The wooden door had vanished. The path before the apprentices wasn't a library, but a strange black crack in the wall. A painting hung at the end of the black fissure. Several shadows moved about in the painting as they looked at the party.
Will, who had been standing by the door, turned an unbelievable shade of white under the gem's glow. Even his skin seemed to be translucent. It was a sinister, ghastly thing to see.
"I have already opened the door. Quick, enter!" Will turned around and smiled as he encouraged the party to walk in.
His face was so white it was almost as if it had been smeared with ashes. Two lines of bloody tears could be seen streaking down his face. When he let out a sinister smile, his muscles distorted tremendously, as if he was a demon from another world.
Dammit! When was Will replaced with this thing!
The next second, three spells of various colors crash onto 'Will' without any hesitation.
The energy levels of these attacks were only between 12 to 15 points. They didn't do much damage, but they were spells that the apprentices could cast quickly. The fake Will immediately realized something was off. However, he wasn't able to dodge in time, and all three of the instant-cast spells hit his body.
The white bone shield levitating around Will didn't seem to exist at all. All the spells went right through it and hit their target. The fake Will screeched in pain from the damage. His voice was hoarse and cold, completely different from a human's voice. Moreover, even though his body had been shredded to pieces by the spells, not a single scrap of flesh or drop of blood spilled. Instead, he slowly dispersed into the air as if he was a substance made of energy.
The fake Will knew that he had been exposed. Its body quickly transformed and started turning into a translucent energy substance. It silently melded into the wall beside it.
The three apprentice adepts missed their second wave of attacks. They only managed to make a massive hole in the wooden wall, revealing a dark space behind it.
A cold and sinister wind blew from inside the hole. The party couldn't help but shiver at the occurrence.
"Damn It! It's a spirit! " The advanced apprentice Warren cursed angrily, "Our attacks earlier weren't enough. We didn't do enough to damage it. Everyone must be caref…"
He didn't finish his sentence. A light flashed near the wall, and a transparent form came out of the wall and slashed Warren's left arm with its sharp claws.
Warren screamed in agony.
Two spells immediately fired at the spirit, but they only managed to damage the wall further. Once again, it had hidden in the shadows.
Warren endured the pain and tore the damaged cloth off his shoulder. He could see several deep claw marks on his arm. The wounds had extended all the way to his bone. Moreover, the injury was turning blue and black. A layer of crystalline frost had already frozen the flesh around the wound and was slowly creeping towards the rest of the arm.
"Damn! It's a pseudo-adept level spirit. Everyone be careful!" Warren shouted at the top of his lungs.