Chapter 756: The Stuff of Nightmares

Seeing Alica look at Sarah like a fangirl meeting her celebrity idol, I started to feel as if it wasn’t quite right for me to stick around. As such, I began to navigate the menu, before suddenly thinking of something. “Will our match still be happening on time? I remember hearing that one of the perks of being a guild member is not fighting each other.”

Sarah looked over, smiling at me. “That’s only true if the two parties are in the same guild prior to the match being arranged. Since yours is already set, joining the guild won’t stop it. Otherwise, people could just get out of invasions by temporarily joining the same guild.”

I nodded my head at that, relieved that I was still able to go through with the trade. Just as I was about to issue the command to leave, I saw Alice running over towards me. “Let me thank you!” She called out, a wide grin splitting her face. “There’s something I think can help you. One of my hidden cards. I’ll sell it to you, if you want?”

Blinking, I glanced at Sarah, before looking back at Alice. “What is it?”

“It’s a special type of seal created by using a few different energy types with technology.” She began in a happy tone. “Within the area of the seal, the Game System is suppressed. Any boosts that a person has received from the game system is temporarily stripped away, and any systems that they have access to are unusable. I use it in my prisons to make sure nobody can easily escape.”

Well that was… a lot more powerful than I was expecting. Perhaps not for my world specifically, because the system works by evolving the body rather than offering a stacked enhancement. Granted, that latter system would make it a lot easier to handle food, as I wouldn’t need such a convoluted ring system. That’s probably why Sanction’s people used a stacked enhancement.

Still, this would negate the Skill system, the Guild system, Parties, and things like that. Most importantly, it should be able to disable the Scout’s minimap that I recently purchased, so inmates wouldn’t be able to use that to help them plan an escape. “How much is it?” I asked hopefully, to which she thought it over.

“I wasn’t planning on putting it up for sale, since it’s a trump card against other game worlds. Given the situation, I’ll say five thousand, like the transfer orbs! Deal?”

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Nodding my head, I extended a hand to transfer the points over to her. While this would not fully suppress people as it might in other types of game worlds, it was still enough of a benefit to make the purchase worthwhile. Besides, as she said, this was a trump card. If someone like Sanction invaded me again, I could use this to completely negate their game system powers.

Once the transaction was completed, I began attempting to leave once again. This time, I actually got the chance to issue the command, as it didn’t seem like anything else would stop me. Now… I just had to wait and see what method we’d get sent back with.

After a few moments, I felt as if something were crawling on my skin, sending chills down my spine. Looking down at my hands, I could see strange characters being written there, squirming along my flesh and traveling up my arms. “I’ve never seen this one before.” Alice said hesitantly, Sarah grabbing her shoulder and tugging her back.

“You’ll want to move a bit back.” Sarah whispered, though not quite low enough to prevent me from hearing. “There are two that start like this that I know, and… ah, yeah… it’s this one.” Her face scrunched up as the characters began to cover my face. Soon, I could see them as if they were forming all along the walls of the room, everywhere I looked.

Gradually, the characters began to shift, forming identifiable words. The same three words repeated countless times across every surface. ‘I see you’. The words were written in uneven black text, and it even looked like they had appeared over Sarah and Alice’s bodies. However, given their reactions, I knew that wasn’t really the case.

Soon, the characters began to shift and shudder, squirming as they split open. Each of them formed into numerous eyes that stared straight at me. The eyes began growing larger and larger in my vision, pushing together and merging to create a massive pupil, inside of which I could see a reflection of myself. My body split open a hundred times over, each cut showing a similar eyeball

And behind me… a door that was slowly opening. Hands began reaching through the door, dozens and then hundreds. They were connected to arms with impossible joints, each extending numerous meters to reach out towards me. I wanted to move, but couldn’t, my body paralyzed as the sickly grey hands grabbed my limbs.

With one sharp tug, I was dragged into the door, landing on a soft couch. My head swiveled to look around the room, and I soon found that I was back in my own Admin Room. Leowynn and Ryone were next to me, looking pale and shivering at what had just happened.

“…Please tell me that there is something that can be bought on the market to stop things like that from happening.” Ryone shuddered, hands wiping along her arms.

“Let’s find out, because I do not want to go through that again.” I agreed wholeheartedly, sending a mental message out. Terra. A system to control the transit methods between Admin Rooms. Does it exist and how much is it?

Hmm… nope… no system. She responded with a mental yawn. Transfer random. Pulled from countless dreams and nightmares across the myriad worlds… Someone petitioned for a system like that once… but not enough people wanted it. Said it was a waste of points when they could just bear with it. Sorry.

“…Terra says we’re out of luck.” I reported with a groan, Leowynn soon matching my gesture.

“Okay… nightmare-inducing travel methods aside, at least Alice seemed pretty sweet?” Leowynn brought up in a clear attempt to take our mind off of what had just happened. “And she has pretty good tea, too! Though… you didn’t seem to like it all that much?”

Noticing her gaze, I shook my head. “It was just too sweet for me. Regardless, we were able to make a new friend, and one that it seems like we can ask for advice when we hit problems related to game systems. Just in case Sarah isn’t free.”

After I said that, I heard a nearby door being kicked open. Turning to look, I saw Tubrcok walking into the living room, carrying a large black case over his shoulder. Realizing what this meant, I immediately jumped to my feet, eyes wide with anticipation. “You finished it already?”

“Aye, it was a simple order.” Tubrock nodded, tossing the case towards me. “Ye want the full run-down of how ta use it, or figure it our yerself?”

“Did you add anything in, aside from what I asked?” I asked curiously, to which Tubrock shrugged his shoulders.

“Not particularly. There’s a bonus feature attached to the weapon, though. If ye use at least a million points of energy, ye should be able to sense the option to activate it. That’s all I gotta say.” He said, giving a small wave towards Leowynn and Ryone before moving back to the door he came from.

“You got a new weapon?” Ryone asked curiously, standing to move next to me as she looked at the case.

I gave a small nod, finding the latch to open it. “It’s a bow. Accalia is teaching me archery to go with a few new divine techniques we came up with. Since I didn’t have a suitable bow before, I wanted Tubrock to make me one.”

As I said that, I took a look at what he had created. The bow itself had an elegant, golden body, but looked largely standard in terms of shape. I didn’t notice any special engravings or decorations… or even a string for that matter. “Oh, he went with this model?” Ryone asked, sounding surprised as she looked at the bow.

“You know about it?”

She nodded. “A stringless bow is a rather common product in high-level archery shops, so I’ve dealt with them before as a merchant. Replacing strings needed for high level bows can be both tedious and expensive, so they created these as an answer. Once you grab the bow and make the motion of pulling a string, it will automatically create one from your ki.”

“If you channel additional ki into the string, you can make it stronger, requiring additional strength to pull it back. Since it lets you both adjust the strength of your bow and prevents the need to replace the string, this model of bow became a favorite starting from a couple centuries ago?”

Listening to her report, I was much happier about the item I had been given. “What about firing energy arrows? There won’t be a clash between the ki string and a mana arrow, right?”

“That’s actually part of the beauty of a ki string.” Ryone chuckled. The archer controls their energy to keep the arrows from touching the string while solidifying them. Once they’re ready, and they release the string, the reaction from the colliding energy types adds an extra propulsion force to the arrow. If you want a low-power arrow, it’s suggested to use a ki arrow with a weak ki string.”

Nodding my head at her reply, I pulled the bow out of its case. “Well, then… I’m going to test this out. Do either of you want to come with?”

Leowynn shook her head at that. “I’m going to lay down and rest for a little while.” After saying that, she stood up to hug both me and Ryone, smiling. “Have fun, Mom, Dad.”

Ryone smiled softly, squeezing Leowynn’s shoulder. “I’ll be in to see you after we’re done.” Leowynn simply rolled her eyes with a grin at that, teleporting away to where I could only assume was her room.

“Well… since it’s just us.” I chuckled, bringing us to a large meadow to test the bow. “Would you like to make a target for me? I want to test out this hidden feature Tubrock mentioned.”

Ryone tapped her chin, before her eyes gleamed mischievously. “He said it takes a million points… so let’s give you a target you couldn’t miss if you wanted.” As she said that, the ground began to shake. In the distance, the earth seemed to rise, forming a mountain. And then… the mountain stood up, a colossal humanoid figure made of stone.

I could tell that it was simply a doll Ryone created with the Admin Room privileges, but it was still a walking mountain that was slowly making its way towards us. Suppressing my nerves, I held the bow in my left hand, moving my right hand to where the string would be. As she had explained previously, I felt a small tug at my ki, an orange string appearing at my fingers.

My control of my energy was still a bit less than fine, so I did not trust myself to launch arrows that weren’t based on ki. As such, the energy I chose to use was the Ki of Beginning, which had almost no negative reaction when it clashed against regular ki. Closing my eyes, I focused on enhancing the string while pulling it back, channeling my Ki of Beginning into the fire pool. Using this Beginning Fire, I pulled out as much of it as I could, condensing it into an arrow along the body of the bow.

The wind around me seemed to scream as it was torn apart by the arrow I was forming, a blazing line stretching out from my fingers. After the energy reached a certain threshold, I felt a small pulse from the bow itself, and knew that was what Tubrock was talking about. Focusing on that pulse, I triggered it with my mana, and watched as the magic unfolded.

Next to my body, a five-meter tall bow with a body that was at least half a meter thick appeared. Its body was blue with gold engravings, and possessed golden ropes of light extended from the top and bottom. However, these did not appear to be its string. Rather, these connected to another smaller construct behind the bow, pulled back to keep the strings taut.

Both of these blue-gold fixtures had a large hole in their center, aimed towards the mountainous figure approaching. The flame arrow I was creating was seemingly snuffed out, only to appear within the center of the hole on this far larger bow. The arrow grew larger until it was surging through both holes of the massive bow, its power surging as it waited to be released.

Through this, I could feel the properties bestowed to this alternative bow. It accelerated the movement of the energy within the arrow it held, causing it to appear larger and more unstable. And when I released the string and the arrow was fired… The air around us erupted in a devastating blast, a red pillar seemingly connecting the bow with my target.

When the dust settled, I looked at the massive target, waiting to see the results of my shot. What I saw was a gaping hole over a hundred meters in diameter along the right side of its chest, looking as if it were cleanly carved out. This was the property of the Beginning Fire, most likely, as its basic power was to essentially disintegrate whatever it touched. Had I been using a standard ki arrow… the result would have no doubt been far more explosive.

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