Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Upon hearing The Hanged Man, Klein’s heart skipped a beat. He had an ominous premonition as he ignored his persona, put down the lantern, and took out two slips of paper. He then crumpled them into a ball and stuffed them into his ears.
Seeing Gehrman Sparrow do it without any questions, Alger heaved a sigh of relief. He reflected on how nice it was to work with an experienced fellow. Even though he was an adventurer known to be crazy, he was someone who followed reasonable instructions. He knew what and what not to do.
Just as he was about to throw the dead rat which still retained some of its warmth at the Illusory Chime Tree to divert its attention, he suddenly saw the shrubs shake as a yellow-skinned, black-striped tiger appeared.
Amidst the melodic chimes, the tiger walked towards the strange tree normally, but its eyes were glazed over. It felt indescribably creepy.
When Alger saw this, he lowered his arm and abandoned his attempt of throwing the dead rat. Resisting the headache, he calmly watched as the tiger walked closer to the tree due to the growing influence of the melody.
It crouched down, raised its right claw, and bared its claws, slicing itself at the neck.
Despite the oozing blood, the tiger seemed to have lost all sense of pain. It continued digging in deeper, engorging the wound before it began to skin itself, revealing a “naked” body covered in mangled flesh and blood.
The chimes gradually weakened as the branch suddenly came alive. It extended downwards, stabbing into the tiger’s sorry, unprotected body.
Alger, who was already prepared, immediately drew his dagger, opened his mouth, and sang hoarsely, “Break, break, break;
“On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
“Break, break, break;
“At the foot of thy crags, O Sea 1 !”
His voice had bold overtones, but it was completely out of tune. It was at complete odds with the comprehension of both humans and creatures. It was a jarring boom that had a metallic sound to it. It was filled with the power that left one frustrated and disgusted.
Meanwhile, the Illusory Chime Tree’s branches trembled as they retracted like they were huddling together. Following that a melodious chime lessened the terrifying noise to a small extent.
At Alger’s side, although Klein had used paper balls to stuff his ears and had converged his spirituality, he immediately felt his forehead’s blood vessels throb. He instantly had the urge to kill the singer and destroy everything before him.
Furthermore, his mind had the feeling of being ripped apart. His muscles and vessels were squirming as a result.
Others charge people money to sing, but Mr. Hanged Man’s singing charges you with death! Klein lampooned as he resisted the irascibility in his heart.
“Break! Break! Break!”
Every word Alger said burst out like waves striking reefs. Bolts of silver lightning descended in turns, as though in euphoric praise.
As silver flashes lit up one after another, they smote down at the Illusory Chime Tree’s surface, causing it to tremble incessantly. Its branches shook in a numb and random manner, making it difficult for it to produce the melodic hypnotic music.
Alger took this opportunity as he threw the dead rat and thrust the dagger in his hand forward.
With a howling wind, invisible blades swooshed over, slicing at the branch at the top and nearest to the Illusory Chime Tree’s trunk.
The colorless, palm-sized, translucent fruit fell as it was swept up by a gust of wind and flew into Alger’s palm. The tree bark which was covered with eye-like cracks froze as the remaining branches drooped down, having lost their ability to move.
Indeed, as long as you gather the correct intel ahead of time, Beyonder vegetation at the same level is a lot easier to deal with than animals due to its lacking intelligence… Alger took out a golden container he had prepared, and he put away the Illusory Chime Tree’s fruit.
Then, he turned around to look at Gehrman Sparrow.
He suddenly stopped speaking as the word “forward” vanished from his vocal chords.
At that instant, he saw Gehrman Sparrow’s cold expression looking somewhat warped. The whites around his brown irises were slightly red, as though he would unleash an attack upon him at any moment.
Alger felt tense as he slowly drew a gasp and completed his sentence.
“Let’s continue forward.”
“Let’s go,” Gehrman Sparrow replied softly. He first circled around the withered Illusory Chime Tree and walked deep into the dark forest.
He didn’t get any bark, branches, or materials that were rich in spirituality, because they were bound to encounter many Beyonder creatures later. Furthermore, he didn’t have any so-called storage artifacts. Naturally, he left whatever space he had for worthwhile spoils.
Besides, having too many things on him would only weigh him down and prevent him from fully displaying the agility of a Clown.
Unfortunately, those are materials without any vitality or blood, making it impossible to enter Groselle’s Travels… I can let my marionette bring them in, but that will be very troublesome and detrimental to the subsequent exploration… As Klein sighed, he calmed his mind, extricating himself from the remnant effects of The Hanged Man’s singing.
This was the most jarring and terrible singing that he had heard in both his lives!
If The Hanged Man continued for another one or two minutes, he couldn’t guarantee that he could stop himself from beating him up.
Using just paper balls to stuff my ears and converging my spirituality can only weaken the effects. There’s no way to really block it out… Even a deaf person can hear it. This includes an “exchange” at the spirituality level… This is probably the most indefensible attack from an Ocean Songster. Furthermore, there’s no way of dodging it once it happens. There’s only Lightning Strike which can be dodged ahead of time. This is a rather powerful Sequence 5 as well… However, why does Mr. Hanged Man’s singing feel completely different from Elvish Songster Siatas… As Klein summarized and analyzed his experience, he was somewhat puzzled.
At this moment, the lantern-holding Alger, who was walking beside him, couldn’t help but consider a question:
Even Gehrman Sparrow can’t stand my singing. How should I act as an Ocean Songster…
In that silent environment, the two quickly proceeded forward amidst thick trees that appeared to be covered in snakeskin as they approached the ancient ruins.
With a Seafarer beside him, Klein saved himself the trouble of using Dowsing Rod Seeking. He focused on watching out for any sudden attacks.
The dark and silent environment resembled a horror story. As the two proceeded forward for an unknown amount of time, they discovered that the trees were beginning to systematically become sparse.
This was completely different from the situation back when they met the demigod-level feathered serpent. The trees there had abruptly become sparse, while what they were encountering now was a progressive change. It made them have the misconception that they were about to leave the dark forest.
“After passing through this zone, we will arrive at the periphery of the ancient ruins.” Alger broke the silence.
He paused and then added seemingly casually, “Based on my experience, it becomes more dangerous as we approach it. The signs of a demigod creature I found last time was around here. However, oddly, the periphery of the ancient ruins doesn’t have any signs of Beyonder creatures. However, I have no idea about deep inside it.”
This is probably because there’s an even more terrifying existence inside the ancient ruins. That zone is its territory, so other creatures do not dare to approach… Klein mumbled inwardly.
He had a sense for the danger level of this expedition. He had previously performed the corresponding divination above the gray fog, and the revelation he received was that it had its ups and downs, as well as its problems. However, leaving safely wasn’t much of a problem.
After The Hanged Man said that, Klein chuckled.
“You likely know what my guess is.”
He didn’t say anything further as he entered the zone with sparse vegetation.
Alger silently walked beside him, increasingly convinced about his judgment of Gehrman Sparrow: He was calm and crazy!
After proceeding dozens of meters forward, they suddenly saw a pair of ghostly-blue eyes situated at where the lantern’s glow could reach.
It was a black baboon crouched on a branch. Its fur was naturally curled, and its head grew black crystals. These crystals grew upwards in a random manner, forming a strange crown.
Upon seeing the black baboon, Klein and Alger simultaneously had the urge to bow their heads to not look directly at it. They felt as though it was the ruler of the nearby region, their sovereign.
Sovereign… Alger relied on the excruciating headache which the Whip of Mind brought him in order to escape its influence as he hurriedly took a step to the left in an attempt to avoid any direct clashes. He left the unknown Beyonder creature to Gehrman Sparrow.
They had agreed to it prior.
However, despite walking to the left, he ended up walking forward. His legs also hobbled as though he suddenly needed crutches.
Subconsciously, Alger drew his dagger, causing sharp wind blades to swish towards the curly-haired baboon.
At that moment, the baboon grinned.
The wind blades suddenly changed direction in midair, moving in every direction at random to perfectly avoid hitting the target.
Upon seeing this scene, Klein gave up his plans on approaching through ordinary methods. His left glove instantly turned transparent as he turned invisible.
Alger stopped his actions that resulted from his stress when he saw Gehrman Sparrow in his top hat appear behind the black curly-haired baboon. The distance between them was less than five meters.
Right on the heels of that, the black curly-haired baboon’s body abruptly stiffened as though it lost control of most of its body. It even tried hard to raise its palm, trying hard to dig at its eyes in an attempt to distort something.
And at this moment, Gehrman Sparrow had already made use of this delay to raise the iron-black revolver in his right hand, aiming the dark barrel at its head.
Then, without any emotion, the crazy adventurer pulled the trigger.