Book 5 Chapter 23.1

Book 5 Chapter 23.1 - Treading on the Path of Return

The elder collapsed, disappointed and defeated. The armor on his body began to distort, every piece warping under groaning sounds. Only now did the energy accumulated from the fierce battle completely erupt, not even the super alloy heavy armor able to hold on. Blood sprayed out from the cracks in the armor like a fountain, but evaporated soon after from the energy. 

Su followed the stairs down, not touching the holy image on top of the praying room’s altar. That was a priceless treasure, but the endless energy it released would constantly resonate with Su. The holy image was like a dormant volcano. Su was worried that if he made contact with it, he would instantly be burned to ashes by the surging energy. If this was before Su completely ignited himself, then he still had some confidence. However now, he was already burned to embers, so where would he still have any thoughts of greed?

Su’s body was currently burning, sharp pain continuously stabbing his brain, making it so that he almost couldn’t think deeply at all. Everything before his eyes flickered between bright and dark, the Panoramic View also intermittent and discontinuous. Suddenly, a clap of thunder erupted in Su’s mind. His entire body trembled, and then the world around him immediately entered darkness. 

Pitch black, and quiet. 

Time trickled away one second, one minute at a time. 

After who knew how much time had passed, a small red dot quietly appeared at the center of Su’s consciousness. In the endless darkness, it was incredibly striking. It gradually enlarged, he could vaguely make out that this seemed to be red silk, rotating as it grew and expanded. In the boundless darkness, this bit of light drew all of Su’s attention. This red color grew larger and larger, Su eventually realizing that this red silk was being blown by the wind. Meanwhile, at the center of the red silk, a young lady’s silhouette gradually became clear. 

She was sleeping, her long hair scattered around her body, bits of stellar splendor flickering around its surface.

Under the extreme silence, the sound of fabric being torn apart suddenly sounded, the fluttering red silk seemingly ripped into two by an invisible hand. However, upon closer inspection, it was still a complete piece, supporting the young lady in the air. 

However, changes took place in an instant. It became viscous, thick, and no longer fluttered gracefully about, and a strong bloody odor immediately filled this entire place. All of the red color instantly became blood. The blood surged, raising the young lady’s long hair, immersing her body, eventually submerging her sleeping face. She sank into the blood-colored sea, floating in this bottomless sea of blood. 

“Madeline!” Su opened his eyes again!

Only after quite a bit of effort did he identify his current situation. He was half collapsed on the ground, head supported on the turn of the stairs, most of his body already losing its senses. A large pool of blood had gathered below him, this blood currently aimlessly flowing about, from time to time releasing some blood wisps to probe the surroundings. However, without Su’s will, the intruder cells didn’t know what they were supposed to do at all, only blindly scuttling about based on instincts in a chaotic manner. 

Su forcefully moved his body a bit. Fortunately, his hands and feet could still be moved, even though they didn’t have much strength left. The loss of blood made him feel waves of weakness, almost all of the energy of the intruder cells in the blood below exhausted, useless even if they were taken back. 

The surroundings were dark and cold, only the weak light from the distant exit above illuminating it. The ice-cold staircase continuously headed downwards, no end in sight at all. It seemed like after losing consciousness, Su’s body tumbled down quite a bit on the spiral staircase before stopping. 

He grabbed the handrail, forcefully supporting his body to a standing position, and then walking downwards step by step with rigid movements. Before going unconscious, his entire body was under burning pain, while now, it was replaced with large areas of numbness, all of these areas where his body’s tissues completely died after being ignited. The flame in his body had already stopped burning, but Su was still tenaciously holding onto life. If he was given enough time and nutrients, then he still had a chance of recovering. What was a bit troublesome was that a small half of his brain tissue had been burned down. Even though the remaining intelligence cores still allowed for thought, the speed of thinking wasn’t even a hundredth of his overloaded state. 

The Panoramic View could still be turned on, but it could only reach a dozen or so meters, moreover the illumination extremely weak, the imaging blurry. In the Panoramic View’s exploration range, there was only a passage that continuously extended downwards, completely no end to be seen. Beyond the passage’s four walls, through the concrete layer and load-bearing structures, was thick rock. The only path was to continue downwards, what Su needed to obtain was also below. 

“Madeline…” Su silently read this name, that blinding red color seemingly reappearing before his eyes. 

That wasn’t a premonition, but rather came from a derivation. This scene had appeared the instant he fought against General, and then it reappeared when Madeline mentioned the Land of Rest. Finally, in the battle of the holy temple, under that extreme state, it was completely deduced. 

The third transformation didn’t completely eliminate the danger concealed within Madeline’s body. In the battle of Sunset Castle, the young lady used her own power to slaughter all of her enemies, the price being the complete exhaustion of her own life force. Only by borrowing some type of tremendous external power was she able to complete the third transformation, regaining consciousness. However, as her abilities grew stronger by the day, the hidden damage left behind would gradually appear, moreover one day once again triggering a complete genetic collapse. The young lady would become just like before, once again bathed in blood, completely melting away into death. The difference was that this time, the blood that submerged her would be her own. 

The nucleus could postpone this process, but it couldn’t completely stop it, to the extent where it might even make this genetic collapse become unavoidable. When he came into contact with General’s nucleus, Su already sensed that the nucleus’ innermost function to trigger its host’s genetic collapse. Meanwhile, the order to trigger this function would come from outside, in other words, the higher level creature that controlled the nucleus could make General whose existence was entirely dependent on the nucleus instantly break apart. Afterwards, when Su inspected the nucleus in Cirvanas’ body, he discovered that it had a similar function. 

This discovery made Su completely incapable of sleeping. 

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