[Chill of the Winter Sun (Ritual)]
[Related discipline: Frost, Light, Death]
[Ritual environment: You may freeze water naturally during the daytime, outdoors, and in outdoor temperature.]
1. Influence: Any “influence” in the frost category (mandatory).
2. Material: 12 complete corpses that have lost their temperature (mandatory)
3. Curse vessel: Light-concealing ice cubes (mandatory), blizzard weather (complimentary), hail weather (complimentary), heavy rain weather (complimentary), Transcended corpse (complimentary), “Old Grandmother’s” Real Name (complimentary), “Mr. Ray’s” real name (complimentary)]
[Ritual description: In this ritual, the person who carries influence must be the ritual host; the host places all the corpses according to the 12 timings on the clock with their faces facing up and their mouths open. There is no requirement to the corpse’s posture, but it must be as consistent as possible with the other corpses. Next, put a light-concealing ice cube in each corpse’s mouth. The host stands in the middle of all the corpses, breathes naturally, and waits for the ice cube to melt. Additional materials can be added at this time. The ritual is achieved if all the ice cubes melt before sunset.]
[Ritual effect: The host’s ritual spell “Chill of the Winter Sun” will alter into an aptitude type ability “Chill of the Winter Sun”. This effect will last for 12 days of winters.]
[Chill of the Winter Sun (Enhanced): Ability to freely alter breathing into “Chill of the Winter Sun.” This process will continue to exhaust the order magic.]
Is that all?
Annan knew that an ability unlocked via a series of complex missions or achievements should be superb, but it was baffling for him because he didn’t understand its specifics.
…Wait, I can ask someone, right? Annan suddenly remembered that he was no longer alone! He had a mirror!
As Annan recalled the item, he immediately tapped the [The Man in the Mirror’s Newborn Mirror] out from his inventory.
Since looking into the mirror would shorten lifespan, Annan had covered it up with a cloth. But Annan had almost forgotten about it because it was not in plain sight.
Annan unveiled the cloth covering the mirror and cast his gaze into the mirror.
It could be because of the increase in his Perception attribute, he could feel that something in his body was permanently lost this time.
It cost one day of his life.
“Michelangelo Buonaro… are you there?” Annan hesitated and chose the “past” name of the Man in the Mirror.
Although he knew both forms of the [Man in the Mirror] shared the same knowledge, he instinctively felt that the older form would be more knowledgeable.
After a short delay, the mirror’s surface undulated like water waves.
An old man with white hair and a white beard whom Annan had never formally met before appeared in the mirror.
His face was solemn, but his tone was gentle, “What’s the matter, Annan?”
“I’d like to ask…” Annan quickly voiced his doubts.
Michelangelo nodded. He indeed knew the answer.
“You actually know what Chill of the Winter Sun is.” Hearing the questions, Michelangelo replied with a chuckle.
Are all you people from the Prophet faction so boisterous? Annan murmured instantly.
Wait, if I’m supposed to know about this… Annan was stunned as he suddenly realized something.
“It’s… Old Grandmother’s?”
“Yes, you have guessed it right.” Michelangelo replied slowly, “It is the blizzard exhaled by Old Grandmother at Wyrmrest… the blizzard that enveloped the entire Austere-Winter territory and could be used as a barrier to isolate and freeze the curse.
“This is a [Dragon’s Breath] ability with Old Grandmother’s traits. Among all the aptitude abilities, this is a relatively rare type. You have the blood of the Old Grandmother, so your spell output will be higher than others. Of course, it certainly wouldn’t be as strong as having it unleashed by Old Grandmother herself.”
“…Ya, I got that.” Annan nodded.
He was self-aware in his heart. Although this ritual itself seemed complex, it wasn’t yet at the extreme level.
Annan also had a vague impression of this ability.
He seemed to have used a similar spell in [Nightmare: White Tower] when Merlin realized that Maria was in danger and stood in front of her.
He took a deep breath in and exhaled the air slowly from his lungs as if he was smoking. White smoke then poured out slowly of his mouth and nose. There was also visible white chill air gushing out of his eyes and ears, and the surrounding temperature dropped rapidly.
It was Merlin’s nightmare, after all.
The spell he had acquired should be [Chill of the Winter Sun], where Merlin channeled his energy, getting ready to unleash it.
Although Annan didn’t know what would happen if Merlin exhaled that breath out, it seemed overwhelming while it was still being prepared to be cast.
Annan’s heart wavered. This ability seems to be quite strong.
“Since it carries off Old Grandmother’s aptitude, it is then an aptitude ability. The long-term ability obtained through the ritual will roughly be divided into ‘aptitude type’ and ‘quirk type’.
“The aptitude type is a divine mutation within one’s own body. One clear example will be the Shadow Demon of the Noah Kingdom’s royal family, granting her shadow a life. As far as I know, when your [Winter’s Heart] curse can be fully awakened, it will also hatch into an aptitude ability.
“The quirk ability is to call upon a specific alien creature to merge with oneself and to enhance it with a special blessing. It does not change the organ or the soul. Usually, aptitude-type abilities are based on years, while quirk abilities cannot last for more than a day in the ritual area or after the ritual ends.
“The common quirk-type abilities include the deity of fire and creation, the Father Flint’s [Fire Breath], and the deity of light and purification, Mr. Ray’s [Purifying Touch]. The former allows the ritual host the ability to breathe fire. Although its spell effect sounds similar to the [Chill of the Winter Sun], it is different from the special ability of Father Flint’s apostle’s [Spirit Casting]. As he spits fire, the [Casting Spirit] that synchronized with him would spit fire at the target as well. For the latter spell, [Lake Fairy] will be summoned in the ritual area. One could borrow the [Purifying Touch] ability of Lake Fairy as long as one is not far from it.”
Michelangelo in the mirror explained patiently to Annan.
If this is the case… Annan quickly understood — the first ritual ability he saw, [Tongue in the Mirror], should be a quirk ability.
“Kafni’s ability came from ritual?” Annan asked, “Then do you know whose ritual it is?”
“That’s the Silent Lady’s ritual, [Animate Shadow]. It’s Silent Lady’s aptitude ability. She can freely shape the shadows She touches into different forms like flames, cobwebs, chariots, or castles. She can even turn them into beasts, monsters, or people.”
Michelangelo answered, “Judging from what I saw that day, Kafni should have gotten [Animate Shadow — Tentacle Form]. She is brilliant in choosing a form that isn’t difficult to shape and has great potential. These tentacles connect with her on a spiritual level, thus expanding her Perception range and naturally enhancing her shadow as if they are parts of her body.”
…Silent Lady? Annan was startled.
He even thought it was a gift from some false deity.
He didn’t expect it to be from an upright deity.
Did Kafni actually have contact with Silent Lady?
“Then, I have one last question.” Annan asked as he thought of this, “Do you know the nightmares of the ‘memory’ type? What is the collection of memories?”
“…That’s the basic distortion level nightmare, but also the challenging kind.”
Michelangelo paused before answering, “If the nightmare is of a distortion level and the ‘possessed’ is your past self, the memory feature may be triggered. Under the memory feature, the nightmare will not seem normal. It will not distort the past but instead is completely consistent with history— unless you fail to play yourself properly and be exposed. Then, enemies called ‘memory fragments’ will appear. Memory fragments may be any of your past enemies, and the ‘memory’ feature will gradually collapse upon their appearance in the memory…
“When a nightmare has a memory feature, you don’t have to think about anything. Just do what you did according to the original history, and you can complete it. This is where it’s simple.
“But what’s hard about it is that you have to reverse your thought process. You have to do things you dared not do and think about possibilities you didn’t dare imagine to decrypt the nightmare completely. It means you have to overcome your past and think outside your box. You have to change what happened in the past.
“On the basis of decrypting the nightmare perfectly, you will complete the ‘collection of memories’ if you play yourself successfully throughout the nightmare. It symbolizes that you have confronted your own heart — and the ‘memories’ itself is also an advancement material for some professions. I also know a ritual that can deepen the extraction of elements by burning large amounts of memories during the Gold Rank’s advancement process. In short, this is a precious resource.”
Michelangelo paused and replied softly, “Also, Benjamin has always been waiting for ‘memories’ of his own.”
What are those “memories”? Is it related to Benjamin’s first love stuck in the nightmare related to the Pale? Find out what happens next by getting early access to chapters with Patreon! Please do check out the community goal in our Patreon as well! Thanks for the support! Click here to access our Patreon page.