Garen fell silent.
'Did you think your Soul Seed and Secret Techniques could triumph against them? Don't be naive.' Black Sethe laughed sarcastically. 'Only techniques that specifically counters against illusions would truly be able to go against them, the current you is still leagues away from them! Without my protection, you're just a blob of delicious cake!"
"Then why would you protect me? I don't recall asking for help?" Garen walked out of the corridor slowly, exited the complex entrance of his rented unit and began walking down the steps.
Black Sethe seemed to be speechless.
'Do you think I wanted it? Isn't it all because I'm bound to you! I'm also a goner if you croaked, did you think I protected you willingly?!'
'And then you actually thought about giving up practicing the Slaughtering Hand! Give up on making me stronger! This is actually an innate Secret Technique that would make both of us stronger simultaneously, yet you want to give up on it?!' Black Sethe suddenly fumed.
'Do you even know how much more troublesome it would be after this? Do you even know how much effort I have to put in in order to take care of these trashes? You don't even….' He fell silent abruptly.
Garen's movement forward suddenly came to a halt, he'd lifted his left leg but it hadn't landed, instead, it was still dangled mid-air.
Suddenly his consciousness began to blur and everything around him seemed to be rapidly distanced, the sound of the cars, the ongoing foot traffic, the crisp chirping of birds, the warmth of the sunlight, all of it appeared to leave him suddenly. Once again, he fell into a psychedelic dream realm with no control over himself.
He had originally been standing at the roadside of the building while around him were streetlights, pedestrians and youths on bicycles, the green old truck that carried stocks, the stall selling fruits, the public bus which cruising by slowly, the gardener who was watering the plants and the white collars who were rushing for work.
But now everything seemed blurry, and he could neither see anything in detail nor hear anything clearly.
Garen felt like he'd suddenly entered a mute blurry world where everyone's faces couldn't be clearly identified. It was all blurry, and the ground was shaking and vibrating.
Suddenly, a strong force came crushing down on his chest.
Garen only felt that his chest went numb, it wasn't really painful, but he can hear his own sternum breaking. It was a really crisp, crackling sound.
He subconsciously wanted to swing both his arms around, but his body could not move at all.
There seemed to be someone screaming by his ears, screaming his name, but he couldn't hear it clearly as it was broken up.
Another strong force came crashing on his left arm, his left forearm was broken instantly and was twisted into an unnatural angle. Oddly enough, Garen did not feel anything at all.
What he could hear was the increasing anxiety of the voice, as though that voice was screaming and shouting some things.
Once again, another strong force hit his shoulders, which made Garen kneel on the ground, he could finally clearly see what's been attacking him.
Just a few meters away from him was an unknown creature towering over him.
It looked like a clay doll lumped together from white clay that stood about 3 meters tall, with distinct limbs but no facial features, and all over its body were protruding dolls' heads and limbs. It walked very slowly, as though its movements weren't very agile.
It lifted its arm and Garen noted that there was no palm, no fingers, just a rounded end like a rolling pin. It then swung violently at him, aiming for his head.
Garen lifted his head, quietly looking on as the white arm came crushing down, his face was soon shadowed by the arm, but he revealed no hint of panic or horror.
In the instant before the arm hit him.
"Wake up!!" Suddenly, a loud voice rang at the side of the Garen's ears. As the voice roared, it carried a heavy tremor and loud thump.
Garen suddenly opened his eyes, he actually found himself standing on his original spot, asleep with his eyes shut.
He was still standing in his original spot at the entrance of the building, and the sidewalk was still bustling with the boot and vehicular traffic. Nobody paid any heed to him who had been standing there with his eyes shut, perhaps most of them thought he was getting a short shut-eye from his exhaustion in order to recover.
'You were almost a goner.' Black Sethe's fatigued voice suddenly rang.
"what was that just now….?" Garen was slightly dumbfounded, he felt that his brain hasn't completely recovered, it was still murky, he subconsciously extended his arm to touch his right ear canal, it was wet inside with a viscous liquid.
As he took his finger out for a look, it was blood.
The bright red blood was very attention-grabbing under the shine of the sunlight.
Suddenly Garen felt a crisp ring on his shoulder, as though the bone was broken, and then the left forearm, completely fractured with a snap.
Lastly, it was the sternum, the successive crackling sounds made him feel stuffy in his chest for a while, and his sternum actually collapsed inwards in that instance.
Garen took a deep breath and he began breaking out in sweat.
The muscles around his body began moving and vibrating, the extreme precision of muscle and bone control was activated in an instant
In an instant, a long series of joint crackles could be heard as his muscles contracted in waves, each wave producing a different amount of force much like an agilest and meticulous pair of hands which instantaneously realigned all his broken bones back in place. Afterwards, he then tightly wrapped them with his strong muscles in order to lock those bones in position.
This was the greatest level of self-body manipulation technique, a technique that could only come in handy when the body sustained severe damage.
Garen stood still as his body shuddered. The injuries all over his body have been stabilized, the body parts which had internal bleeding have been settled, and his wounds were closed as his blood began clotting, thanks to his strong blood-clotting ability.
"The Devourer is here and it's their formal army this time around, that was the White Claydoll, the regular soldier of the Devourer." Black Sethe explained while sounding fatigued, "any later and you might have died inside.'
Garen did not say a word.
"Do you know why in the dream realm, your body's physique was exactly as fragile as a regular person? That's not because you're too weak, but they were too strong…. An average White Claydoll's strength would still be over ten tonnes at their weakest, they are considered to be a pure destroyer in the dream realm, it's lucky that the Void Creatures have not fully recovered, if they were back then they would have mobilized at least ten White Claydolls at one go and completely destroy your dream, and then forcefully drag you into their illusory realm and then rear you like a pig to be eaten at any time.
Garen took a deep breath, it was the first time he'd sustained such heavy injuries ever since his transmigrated into this world.
Broken left arm, collapsed sternum, shoulder completely shattered, internal bleeding, all of this had happened in a split second.
'I used my powers to forcefully pull you out of the dream just now, if you cannot get used to moving around the dream realm quickly, then you'd die at the hands of void creatures sooner or later.' Black Sethe seemed to be oddly fatigued. 'We're lucky that the flow of time for void creatures isn't the same as ours; they'll need some time to move over from another dimension of time. What seems to be ten minutes to them would probably equate to our ten days or even a month, so you still have some time to adapt as soon as possible.'
Garen once again felt this familiar feeling, the sense of looming danger. Even though it was weak, he had not felt it for a long time.
'Don't expect that you can get rebirthed after being killed by the void creatures!' Black Sethe's sudden statement shattered Garen's deepest mental assurance. 'I don't know how your body could achieve these kinds of space-time attributes and be able to transmigrate into another dimension upon death, but I have seen this kind of physical properties among those people who were fearless as they thought death could not touch them, but do you know what their endings were like?'
He snickered lightly.
'In the end, they were eaten by Void Creatures and not even a shred of their souls was left, this kind of transmigrating body properties are the Void Creatures' favorite meal.'
'Mages were immeasurably strong, and among the worlds that fell under their power, there were a few that were transdimensional. This kind of technique wasn't anything they were new to, but they would still be defeated by the Void Creatures. I'd advise against any feel-good mentality.'
Garen stiffened his posture, as he got into his new car and slowly started the engine to drive to the house in the countryside.
He remained fully confident in himself; if he could train himself to be as mobile in the real world, then he was absolutely confident of meeting any opponents!
Black Sethe on the other hand, was only snickering.
The sky was full of fire-colored clouds in layers like a flight of stairs, it seemed to extend from near to far, as the colors got darker from butter yellow to murky gold.
At the borders of Grandor, in a red-roofed house at a T-junction.
Arisa and Isaros alighted from a little white car. Both of them were donned white skirts with silver buttons forming decorative lines.
As they walked up to the front of the house with its red roof and grey walls, with the fence in between them, Isaros looked up at the structure of the building.
The left half of the roof was slanted, whereas the right half of the roof was flat. The house's front had some red windows scattered about but on the far right was a cylinder-shaped building with a conical top protruding out, much like a miniature version of a castle tower.
"Pruyn should be referring to this place, there should be someone coming over later," Isaros murmured. " Arisa, you wait for me on top, close the car door properly and observe your surroundings, tell me when the time is right if you notice anything."
"Okay." Arisa understood the severity of the issue and nodded seriously.
Pruyn had distracted the troops that were after his life and he'd asked the sister to come pick him up. Even though this looked simple enough, they could not let down their guard at any moment, as that was the rule that had ensured their survival after all these years. Most of the time, when the situation looked safe, it was actually the most dangerous time for them.