Chapter 233 - Witch Hunt (8)

I still don’t know why Vieira left me. 

Vieira Dune had poisoned Jeong-woo and stabbed a dagger into his heart. She had manipulated his emotions up to the very end, and his brother was lost for a long time after she left.

When Leonte and Bahal betrayed him, they’d received high positions in the Cheonghwado and Red Dragon as a reward. They managed to gain more honor and wealth than when they had been in Arthia. But that wasn’t the case for Vieira Dune.

She’d already become the leader of Walpurgisnacht, and Jeong-woo was fine with her leaving Arthia. That was how much he trusted her, and she knew this more than anyone else. She didn’t have any reason to betray him. They didn’t have any misunderstandings, and they never fought.

Right up to the moment she’d poisoned and stabbed him, they had smiled at each other, whispering sweet nothings, and promising to be together until the end. His brother had confirmed her sincerity with his Draconic Eyes.

What twisted her? Or had she always been this way and had put on an act the entire time? Did that mean her sweet words to his brother were fake? No one knew the truth except for her.

Yeon-woo thought, ‘It’s none of my business.’ It didn’t matter what the reason was, the important thing was that she’d turned her back on his brother. His eyes were emotionless when he decapitated her.

However, Vieira’s head and body suddenly turned to smoke. 

‘As I thought.’

It was another of Vieira Dune’s signature skills, Body Transfer. She’d received it from the entity that the witches called their Great Mother. Vieira Dune had an incredible talent for mind control and magic that affected the mind. The Great Mother like this, and so she gave her the power to move her Ego Data to another body.  

In other words, it was possible for her to switch bodies. Of course, there were limits to this, but it was still a skill that Yeon-woo wanted. ‘I have to take it no matter what. It basically means that I can have extra lives.’ Yeon-woo shouted at his shadow. “Boo!”

I’ve found…her…location. Boo sent the coordinates through the connection. 

Yeon-woo spread his Fire Wings. She wasn’t too far away, probably because of the skill’s limits. He rushed over with Blink. Boom! The ceiling collapsed over the spot where he and Vieira Dune had been.

* * *

“Huff, huff! Haa!” As soon as Vieira Dune opened her eyes, she gasped and fell to the floor. The sweat on her forehead dripped to the ground. She had only lost one of her many bodies in the castle, but the pain of being decapitated still lingered, and she could still sense the steel against her neck. ‘Those eyes…definitely…!’

They were eyes that didn’t exist anymore, but why had they appeared? What was happening?

“Dune!”

“What’s the matter, Dune? Are you alright?”

The witches ran frantically to her. They had no idea what was going on inside her head. They were inside a chimera stable in the castle, planning on releasing more chimeras to fend off the intruders. Her sudden Body Transfer had startled them. It meant that the enemies had already fully breached the castle.

“Dune?”

When they saw her shaking eyes, they realized how desperate their situation had become. She was always calm and had never shown her emotions, but for the first time ever, she looked flustered, and she was mumbling things they couldn’t understand. “No way. There’s no way. That guy is dead. Dead! I made sure of it!”

“Dune?” One of the first witches carefully touched her shoulder. Vieira Dune’s head instantly twisted towards her. Gulak flinched and took a step back when she saw Vieira Dune’s white eyes. She shuddered, feeling like Vieira Dune would swallow her up at any moment. 

 Vieira Dune grabbed Gulak’s collar and pulled her close. “He’s dead, right? I killed him with my own hands! Right?”

“I don’t know what…”

“Say yes!”

“Yes! Y-you’re correct!”

 Vieira Dune glared at Gulak for some time before she could settle down. “Sorry, I was caught off-guard.” She released Gulak and swept her damp hair back. ‘It doesn’t matter who he is. I’ll know for sure when I take his mask off. However the Philosopher’s Stone didn’t work.’

Even though they’d been attacked suddenly, it wasn’t normal for her to lose like this. The Philosopher’s Stone she possessed was the best one they’d created, and it was connected to her soul. If she were in any danger, it would be triggered automatically. This made her confident that even Allforone or the Summer Queen would find it impossible to break the Philosopher’s Stone. 

However, when she was decapitated, the Philosopher’s Stone hadn’t worked at all, as though it were a broken watch. ‘The masked man. He’s behind all of this. He’s got to be the one who released the tablet and caused all this commotion…’

And it was clear that he was further along when it came to the research on the stone, since he even knew how to prevent it from triggering. 

‘Did the other witches…?’ Vieira Dune clenched her teeth. She finally understood how their defenses had shattered so quickly. Without the Philosopher’s Stones, they couldn’t fight against the Large Clans. 

‘I have to catch him first.’ Her mind was growing a little muddled. She had no idea who he was and why he was after them. However, she had to find a way to deal with him.

They needed Ananta to wake the Great Mother, but it seemed like Ananta was with the masked man right now. They had to catch him. ‘What if we revealed this to the other Large Clans?’

She might end up waking a tiger to chase out a wolf, but she didn’t seem to have any other options. Vieira Dune looked around at the witches in the chimera storage room and was about to tell them to get into a defensive formation when Gulak shouted with wide eyes. “Dune! Be careful!”

Vieira Dune was about to ask what the matter was, when she felt something hot behind  her, and a sharp blade pierced through her back. Instead of screaming, Vieira Dune coughed up blood. Her lungs were boiling, and she couldn’t breathe.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Vieira Dune’s back stiffened instinctively at the sound of the voice in her ear. He sounded as though he knew where she was planning to go. How did he know about Body Transfer? Not many people knew about it, even within Walpurgisnacht. He had to be…!

However, Vieira Dune thoughts ended as a new blade penetrated her head. Just before her consciousness faded away, she saw the witches and chimeras being swept away by the black fire. 

“Cough!” Vieira Dune let out the scream that she hadn’t been able to make as her eyes opened. The pain of being decapitated twice was horrific. Her vision was still blurry, and she chalked it up to the Ego Data not settling properly in yet.

She was in a dark room, but before she could get herself together, he grabbed her neck again. A sword cut through her jugular. “Urrk!” The last thing she saw before her vision went to black was a pair of will-o’-wisps burning in the darkness. Vieira Dune continued to die.

In a defense facility deep underground: “No!”

When she opened her eyes in the body of a young witch on the battlefield. “No!”

Even in the forest in the outermost sections of the Endless World of Night. “Please!”

Even when she woke up near the gate and tried to escape. “Please stop!”

Every time Vieira Dune attempted Body Transfer, Yeon-woo was hot on her heels, cutting her throat, stabbing her heart, and crushing her head. After being stabbed by Yeon-woo once more, Vieira Dune flapped around like a fish out of water in one of the remotest corners of the castle. “Please! Please!”

Vieira Dune panted, her once-steady mind almost half-destroyed. She couldn’t completely escape from the shock of death, and repeatedly dying and knowing that someone was pursuing her had taken a toll. On top of that, Vieira Dune failed to use mind control multiple times. Her specialty was powerful enough to push all her rivals to their deaths, but it didn't work against Yeon-woo at all.

[‘Curse: Hypnosis’ has failed due to an unspecified reason.]

[‘Curse: Mind Wash’ has failed due to an unspecified reason.]

[You have been afflicted with side effects from the failed skill attempts.]

Mind control didn’t work on Yeon-woo because the Cold-blooded trait was the greatest enemy of all magic that affected the mind. It made all her skills fail, and because of that, Vieira Dune had to further suffer from the backlash and penalties of her failed attempts.

The damage to her Ego Data became greater, and her mind and body began to separate. Her soul was starting to come apart. The impassive leader of the witches was trapped in fear. “Aahh! Aaahh!”

The more tired she grew, the more dissatisfied Yeon-woo felt. He frowned behind his mask. Vigrid pinned Vieira Dune to the ground as though she were a butterfly.

“Stop overreacting,” Yeon-woo growled looking at her. “Ananta suffered more than you. Even Sesha and that guy. Why are you screaming so much? You haven’t even paid for all their suffering, right?” When pushed to the extreme, people either bore the fear or gave everything up. Vieira Dune was one of the latter types.

“You! Who are you?!” She knew that she couldn’t escape from Yeon-woo, so she shouted in fury. 

At first, Yeon-woo didn’t understand what she was saying, then he rubbed his mask and smirked. “Oh, I forgot I had this on the entire time. It’s no fun like this.” He slowly took his mask off. 

She paled when she saw her face, her eyes wide with shock. She couldn’t speak at all, consumed with a different type of fear. She hadn’t been mistaken about his eyes.

Yeon-woo faced Vieira Dune with the same face as Jeong-woo and said coldly, “I hope you come back to life again and again. I’ll kill you each time, Vieira.” And with those words, Yeon-woo pulled out the Magic Bayonet and swung it at Vieira. 

Thwack!

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