Book 3 Chapter 11.5

Book 3 Chapter 11.5 - Choice

“Don’t worry, it’s only here to lead the way.” Peperus said. 

The shadow stopped in front of Su and Peperus. Its outer appearance looked like that of a human, but its four limbs were on the ground, and its joints were inverted like a human shaped insect. Its eyes were especially large, and its mouthful of teeth were fine and sharp. Both its long limbs and slender body made Su think of Malim, a pitiful fella that clearly experienced excessive mutation. However, the humanoid creature in front of him had large areas of hard exoskeleton around the surface of its joints. Black and red colors alternated, making it look like the carapace of an insect. At vital points, there were even several protrusions that were as sharp as blades. Just these two traits alone proved that its fighting strength must be quite a bit more powerful than Malim’s. 

It released two hiss sounds, and then it began to leap along the mountain road. As they ascended the path, shadows stirred about restlessly from both sides in the darkness, but they were all forced back by its low roar of intimidation. 

Roughly 10 minutes later, Su finally stood in front of the castle!

The castle was created from dark black stone materials. The castle walls that were over 30 meters tall could make anyone that stood in front of them feel as insignificant as an ant. The outer walls of the castle were covered in a large expanse of irregular dark red stripes that shone with faint radiance even in the darkness. 

The ten meter tall great gate was grand and imposing. At the center was the decoration of an enormous spider whose belly region was similarly full of glaring black and red stripes. The eight eyes had a vague radiance swirling about. 

While standing in front of the main entrance of the castle, Su sensed that this spider decoration seemed to possess intelligence, and that those eyes were inspecting him with a type of method he couldn’t understand! This type of feeling was something he had previously felt from that enormous black dragon head when he first entered Black Dragonrider general headquarters.

Before Su could use his perception abilities to investigate this strange and sinister looking spider sculpture, the castle entrance slowly opened. Then, under the loud sounds of organ sounds, the brilliant radiance within rushed out, completely drowning Su within it!

The castle’s main lobby was broad and lofty. Thirty-six deep black and circular stone pillars were divided into two rows that extended from Su all the way into the castle depths, supporting this extremely grand and spacious area with a ceiling over 20 meters tall. The ground was similarly as dark black as the base. A spacious scarlet carpet directly led into the main hall, extending into the main hall’s limit. At the other end of the carpet was a five meter tall and thirty meter wide altar made of a similar black stone material. The center of the altar was absolutely empty without any sacrifices that were made. The altar was also decorated with blood-colored patterns, so from the distance, it looked just like a flowing blood river! This was clearly purely a piece of decoration, but Su would always feel as if he could smell some strong bloodiness. As a result, he would always feel as if he was under some kind of illusion, that the enormous altar was actually pouring out blood endlessly!

Meanwhile, above the main hall floated more than ten balls of flames that brightly illuminated the entire main hall. They were moving about in an unhurried manner without any patterns, the changing light and shadows that it brought about made the black and red main hall seem as if it came alive. 

Following an oppressive thunderous noise, the castle’s main entrance slowly closed behind Su, isolating the cold and wet outside world from the blazing fantasy of the castle’s main hall.

Su suddenly turned around and noticed that Peperus didn’t follow him into the castle. At this moment, this main hall that was large to an almost unreal extent only had him inside of it!

However, Su could vaguely sense that there were many existences there who were using very ambiguous means to pry into him. 

Right when Su was feeling a bit stifled, a creak sounded. A small copper door at the side of the main hall opened, and then an elder that was covered in white hair walked out. From his polite, modest, and perfect bearing, as well as his meticulous outfit, it seemed like this was the castle’s general manager. 

“Mister Su, please follow me.” For some reason, Su always felt as if there was something profound hidden within the elder’s eyes. However, he still followed the elder into the side door. After walking through a long corridor and then ascending two flights of spiraling stairs, a wide clearing appeared before him. 

In front of Su was a corridor that was five meters wide and twenty meters long. Hanging at the end was an enormous oil painting. 

The noblewoman in the painting was standing to her side in front of deep red curtains adorned with golden patterns. Behind the curtains was the corner of a gorgeous chair, and one could see a crown resting upon it. The noblewoman was wearing a court attire that exposed her shoulders, the main color theme being black and gold. Upon closer inspection, the decoration was of all types of golden silk japanese roses. Her hair was put up high above her head with a floral ring-styled diamond tiara holding it in place. These set off her swan like graceful neck, as well as large amounts of her fair skin that extended down towards her chest. 

Her outwards appearance was extremely young. Her face resembling that of a classical beauty, and her appearance was dignified and elegant. Her light gray pupils contained the coldness of nobility, seemingly quietly watching everyone that passed through this corridor. 

Within her dignified and luxurious appearance was a trace of childishness that made it nearly impossible for others to guess at her true age. The woman on the painting was even a bit younger than that of what Su remembered, looking like she was just over twenty. 

Su remembered her. In fact, even if his eternal memory didn’t exist, Su still wouldn’t forget her, let alone everything that happened back then in that small town. It was just like how when the elder first appeared, Su immediately recognized who he was. After an entire seven years had passed, now already close to the eighth, her appearance in the painting seemed to not have any changes, instead almost becoming a bit younger. 

He still remembered how that day, those gray eyes examined him under an extremely close distance. Within the depths of those pupils, apart from clear ridicule, there was also shock and deep thought. Before that day, apart from the little Madeline, no one else could get that close to Su. 

Not only did her eyes pierce through Su’s body, she even searched Su’s consciousness in a method he could not understand. Moreover, while being examined, endless fear accompanied those eyes as they peered into the depths of Su’s soul. This wasn’t something she did intentionally, but was instead something brought about by the instinctive fear of her mountainous strength that Su could not understand. 

“My full name is Angelina Von Lanaxis. Remember my name. I hope that when you come looking for me, you can bring me a pleasant surprise…” Su still vaguely remembered her gentle yet resounding voice. 

“Angelina…” Su softly said this name. Angelina, the elder, and Madeline, everything seemed to have returned to that day seven years ago. 

“Within the Blood Parliament’s territory, there aren’t many people who dare to directly utter the empress’ name. Of course, you could be an exception.” The elder’s voice was ordinary and gentle, but it left Su feeling a cold shiver. 

Based on what Su currently understood, if one were to ask him if there were any powers greater than the Black Dragonriders or Trials Division, it would undoubtedly be the Blood Parliament’s chairman Bevulas, as well as the Spider Empress Lanaxis that always resided within the deep red castle. As for these two mountain-like dark giants who were exceedingly far and remote, after hearing their names, Su immediately tossed them to the side. The distance between the Blood Parliament and the current Su was too far. Su wasn’t someone with great ambitions, and his goals were simple, so he didn’t wish to have any relationship with these great characters. That was why he did not associate the Angelina who brought away the little girl with the Spider Empress. 

“Spider Empress…” When he looked at the painting hanging from up above again, the look in Su’s eyes became a bit different. 

The old man raised his head and looked at the painting. With a smile, he said, “This painting took three whole years to draw. It was only finished last month.”

To the left of the painting were two tightly closed doors. The deep red doors had dark golden patterns. What was a bit different was that below the spider was an enormous sword resting horizontally. From its style, it was precisely Death Prison. 

The elder lightly tapped on the side of the door, and then the dark red scanner formed a virtual keyboard. After it scanned the elder’s genetic information, the doors slowly moved to the side. When the doors moved, Su found that the seemingly wooden door was actually a meter thick and formed from some type of alloy. From the scanning method and the silent manner in which the doors moved, this seemingly ancient castle actually possessed astonishingly high levels of technology. 

Behind the doors was a vast hall, and at at the end of the fifty meter long hall a steel-cast dragon coffin was arranged. A ray of light shone down from the twenty meter tall dome above, shining down onto the steel coffin. Under the light and shadow, the dragon head carved from metal on the side of the steel coffin seemed to possess life, appearing sinister and domineering. 

The elder stood at the entrance, but he didn’t walk into the hall. He only produced an inviting gesture to Su and said, “This is young miss Madeline’s residence. Before visiting the Town of Trials, the young miss always trained and lived here. Right now, the young miss is inside. Your distinguished self can see her, the time limit being three minutes. I will wait for your distinguished self here.”

With only three minutes of time, Su no longer showed the elder any courtesy and walked inside the domed hall with large steps. He walked over to the dragon coffin that was displayed at the end of the domed hall. He had a feeling that Madeline was inside that steel coffin.

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