“Soul’s mark?” Salvatore repeated the word, and his face gradually became unsightly.
“Yes.” Alexander Robin nodded calmly, “After the soul is dyed, it can be regarded as an incomplete demi-deity.
“If the soul stays in a fixed place for a long time, the escaped elemental power can even unconsciously infiltrate the surrounding environment and gradually transform it into an environment suitable for itself. If the power of the element gathers, it may even leave a fragment of will there.
“For example, Noah’s Blood Butterfly Valley or Austere-Winter’s Storm Tower. The supernatural scene that distorts the world is the mark left after the death of a powerful transcender.”
Hearing this, Salvatore took a deep breath.
He repeated, validating the information, “So, will the elemental power infest corpses too?”
“It’s more accurate to describe it as a vessel. Even if the transcender doesn’t die, whether a hand or a bone, it may gradually reshape the world around it.
“However, the power of the elements is mainly stored in the brain. Hence, it is not a serious problem as long as it is handled properly.”
Captain Alexander replied. Then, he frowned slightly, “What are you trying to say? Or rather, what have you done?”
The former [Champion], the old knight captain approaching 60 years old, sat in the parlor of Noah First Bank in a white suit that looked very out of tune with him.
Alexander had a majestic face, sun-tanned skin, short reddish-brown hair that was well taken care of, plus those golden-orange pupils reminiscent of a lion and that iconic scar. Instead of a banker, the identity of the chairman was still more suitable to be called “warrior” or “general”.
Typically speaking, Salvatore would not even dare to look at him.
Thousands of killings and battles had equipped the man with an aura of blood and war.
Salvatore had just advanced to the Silver Rank. In the state where his perception was sensitive but his will was inadequate, it became even more challenging to resist the intimidation exuding from the man.
If this matter had not directly involved Annan’s safety, Salvatore would not have come here to communicate with this troublesome man!
But, he was also grateful to the Paper Princess.
Luckily, the Paper Princess had a sharp mind.
She issued Salvatore to consult Captain Alexander in his method of handling the “Dream Stealer”.
Although the Paper Princess was a de facto deity, she was not a deity who ascended from the transcendent path. Instead, she was the “deity” created out of thin air by her creator and lover.
So the Paper Princess was not fluent in the path of transcendence.
Alexander was different.
Although he was only a Silver Rank Transcender, he was an [Champion] after all.
—He was undoubtedly the [Champion], a hunter of evil deity believers and dark wizards, and a senior executive of Silver Sire Church. For the secrets of the transcendence path and the Fallen path, there were not many people in Noah who knew better than him.
Salvatore did not hide anything.
He told Alexander what he added in crafting the Dream Elixir.
In the current state, he was quite regretful.
Benjamin’s original recipe did not mention the extra step he had taken. Instead, his ability as a [Alchemist] guided him to make this amendment.
In fact, the crafting recipe was alright if the brain of the Gold Rank Wizard was not added or the power of Dream Stealer Danton’s element did not affect the nightmare.
However, Salvatore’s original intention of helping Annan to enter the nightmare more safely and stably brought harm to Annan instead.
“—You’re such a piece of shit, Salvatore.” The hoarse voice sounded grimly at the bottom of his heart, “The formula is already in your hands, and you can’t even do it properly.”
But it was just a mistake…
“Is it really just a mistake? Isn’t this a mistake because of your arrogance and complacency?”
Shadow whispered like a demon to destroy Salvatore’s sanity, “If you had consulted Alexander before crafting it or written a letter to the tower master and asked, would you make such a mistake? Please don’t use time as an excuse. It won’t take much of your time.
“Stop making excuses. It’s your fault. After you became an alchemist, did you get carried away? Hmm? You have even started smoking. Do you plan to indulge in drinking too? Do you still want to create the special drug?
“Seriously, Salvatore. Give me your body if you feel like you can’t do anything right.”
The shadow is always stronger than me.
Indeed, Salvatore was well-aware of it all this time.
As long as he offered the body to the shadow, all problems would be solved.
He would not cause any mishaps because of his mistakes. At the same time, he got to make up for the mistakes immediately, even if they had already happened.
“I get it,” Salvatore whispered.
“Um?” The shadow paused and let out a hoarse and low sneer, “So, you finally can’t stand failure? Do you want to give up? You can always leave your body to me.”
“—I’m going to take care of this matter myself.” Salvatore said slowly, “I want to save Annan.”
Looking at him, the relaxed expression on Alexander’s face gradually escaped. He became stern and serious.
“I’ll help you if you need me, Black Tower’s Son.” The captain spoke in a reliable tone, “But, do you have a plan?”
“Some.” Salvatore replied, “Let’s hurry back now. I will modify the ‘Dream Elixir’ access point on the way. This way, when we are by Annan’s side, we can use the drug to enter his nightmare directly.
“As for defeating Danton, I’ll leave it to you.”
“Relax, don’t underestimate me. I’m a priest too. I know nightmares well. Even if we can’t defeat Danton, we just need to help Annan escape.” Alexander said earnestly, “Danton’s last will is trapped in a small pill and can’t escape. We don’t need to fight him to the death immediately. We just need to let Annan not fall into his trap unprepared.”
“I’ll listen to your command, captain,” Salvatore responded.
However, contrary to what they thought, Annan did not fall into Danton’s trap of becoming a mindless puppet.
Instead, Annan went on a rampage in the fear fragments.
With one punch, Annan smashed the steel operating bed directly. At the second punch, he punched a hole in the bed.
Indeed, Annan did not destroy the handcuffs but the place where the handcuffs were connected to the operating table. Annan even swung the chain, cosplaying as the Sylas . Considering that only the left hand was connected to the handcuff and he smashed the bed at the end, he resembled Chang Koehan .
“That’s it?” Annan sneered, breaking the chain at his ankle.
When he saw the chainsaw, he already understood what the fear was.
This was the fear of facing the “necessary price” and the “choice determining the life and death”.
In the storyline that Danton arranged for Annan, Annan should use the dull saw to cut off his left hand.
After all, this was just a nightmare. It would not lead to disability, and there was nothing that could not be done. It was only the difference between whether or not to bear the pain.
Would he suffer prolonged pain that he could not give up midway or a slow death?
That was the typical plot arranged in the Saw movies series.
Either way, it should be possible to escape from the nightmare. However, Annan chose the third way.
Are you asking me to pick the left or right hand?
Isn’t the road in the middle wide?
[TN: Saying a road being wide is a Chinese idiom to indicate that the solution is easy.]
“It’s a pity. I can’t fix you up with my fists.” The fear fragment was resolved the moment Annan sat up.
Annan leaned against the wall, raised his head, and said calmly, “There are two more chances for you.
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