Such a vivid sense of fear.
That intensely strong and piercingly cold shiver traveled all over the players’ bodies as if the icy liquid was being injected into their veins — it was a chill crippling from the inside out.
Lethargy made their bodies numb. Despair blocked their thoughts.
It was obvious at first glance that it was the Venerated Skeleton Himself.
He just stood there, yet it took all the players’ strength to barely turn around.
Longjing Tea’s pupils shrank slightly.
What met their gaze was a giant skeleton standing at a height of nearly ten feet.
However, the Venerated Skeleton looked entirely different from the “lean and withered” skeleton the players first encountered when they met Him.
He wore a white cashmere cloak, a pure white triple crown on His head, and a gold crying mask on His face. His feet were clad in heavy white metal boots, and His hands were covered with thick white gloves resembling bear paws.
At this moment, He spread His cloak wide open to both sides.
That skeleton, which once looked like a ghost, thin as a phantom and seemingly on the verge of disappearing, now donned a robust and unyielding armor, towering like a mountain.
The crown on His head seemed a bit worn, and the mask on His face also showed some signs of tarnish. Even the well-maintained pure white armor bore a few scars.
He looked like a paladin.
Not as the undead master known as the Venerated Skeleton, but rather like a paladin who fought to the death against the undead.
It was so ironic.
“I recognize you…” The old and deep voice of the Venerated Skeleton sounded from under the golden mask, “Annan’s servant…”
Perhaps it was because the interior of the armor was empty, so there was a strange echo.
Seeing that the Venerated Skeleton didn’t want to attack them, Longjing Tea was relieved.
For a moment before, Longjing Tea thought the Wandering Child destroyed the ritual area of the Venerated Skeleton, leading Him to exact revenge while also defending the high ground.
“Don’t worry. I saw it; you didn’t disturb the peace of the deceased…”
As if the Venerated Skeleton had read Longjing Tea’s thoughts, He gave him an “empty” glance and sighed.
Longjing Tea did not meet the Venerated Skeleton’s gaze.
Because that crying face mask didn’t leave enough holes to reveal His eyes — rather than calling it a mask, it was more like a metal plate, fixed like a clown’s expression, branded onto the face.
The players cheered up because the Venerated Skeleton didn’t attack them immediately.
…So, is this a friendly NPC with the name typically adorned in yellow color?
As long as we don’t attack, you shouldn’t be an enemy, right?
That would be great…
Longjing Tea breathed a sigh of relief.
In his panic just now, he thought he was about to be beaten up by the Venerated Skeleton.
Maybe it was because it was Chocolate’s body or simply because the Venerated Skeleton didn’t exert a strong oppressive aura on animals. The first one to snap out from the shock was Dove in the form of a serval cat.
She walked up to the Venerated Skeleton, wrapping boldly around His legs.
As Chocolate grew, Dove became a large cat over half a meter tall. With her size and the enhancements from her original form, she could easily hunt down a human.
Having three warriors of the same rank might not be enough to defeat this cat.
However, in front of the Venerated Skeleton, twice as tall as the Yaselan dwellers, Dove looked like an ordinary pet cat.
The Venerated Skeleton glanced at her but didn’t kick her away. Instead, he looked deeply at Wandering Child.
“Elves…” He whispered with some nostalgia, “I haven’t seen the circle of an elf for a long time.”
“Have you seen this item before?” Wandering Child spoke up. He asked nervously. “This is… the inheritance I got from the ruins of the elves.”
“Naturally. In my time, the circlet was glorious.” The Venerated Skeleton was concise in His words.
Not because he couldn’t utter more words coherently.
He just didn’t talk much… He had to think about how to say it when it came to “modern” grammar.
“The elves worship the circlet. For the elves are the people of the snake.” The Venerated Skeleton replied calmly, “The will of the snake resides in all circlets.”
He raised his hand and made a gesture casually.
Without the appearance of curse markings or even the fluctuations of a curse, the steps on the ground began to merge again on their own — as if time was flowing backward, it seamlessly turned back into a wall with no door.
The only difference was that the dispelled dust did not gather again.
The Venerated Skeleton didn’t elaborate further on the topic of elves. Instead, he turned around and walked away.
Once He spoke, He didn’t hesitate any further.
He headed toward a deeper, darker place where no light shone. Dove immediately followed by the Venerated Skeleton’s side—the cat’s body shone with fragmented light, gracefully accompanying the giant while lighting the way for the rest of the players.
His heavy metal boots should not have the creaking sound of snow when they stomp on dust. Or rather… Judging from the three-meter-high size of the Venerated Skeleton, there should only be the sound of a huge iron block thundering the ground.
His presence should be as imposing and undeniable as a steamroller.
Longjing Tea took a deep look at the Venerated Skeleton.
Are his footsteps so light because he’s trying not to damage the ground here?
Or is it because inside that heavy armor, there’s nothing but a set of bones…?
A thought struck him. He took two steps forward, boldly asking, “Venerated Skeleton, do you need us to clean up the dust here?”
“No need.” The Venerated Skeleton uttered that low, echoing old voice without looking back, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”
It was a voice that resembled a sigh.
The players followed the towering paladin.
The light shining from the Serval’s body refracted on the metal armor, emitting a dazzling radiance. However, the lights were too little and dim—so much so that the shadows from the Venerated Skeleton appeared darker.
The group walked in silence, passing by one after another equally silent graves.
Even though there were no spirits here, Longjing Tea still felt a chill down his spine.
It was a sense of vicissitude that couldn’t be felt by merely visiting historical landmarks.
There’s some kind of “presence”.
Longjing Tea quickly captured that feeling.
The historic cities he visited had histories much older than the Elegy Dukedom, but they weren’t nearly as eerie as these graves. That was because next to the “ancient city” was “not so ancient” surrounding buildings.
Longjing Tea felt the fear of peeking into the cracks of history—like falling deeper into the cracks of the world.
Rather than calling Elegy an ancient city, it was more like an ancient tomb.
Clusters of small structures, like garages, quietly lie beneath the city. They might be organized by family lineage, marriage ties, or close friendships.
Then, these giants entered the tomb in an orderly manner, took the poison, and waited for others to seal their “lid”.
Logically speaking… shouldn’t all these corpses have been absorbed into the Venerated Skeleton’s body?
“This is my hometown.”
It was sudden and without warning.
The Venerated Skeleton spoke up.
“This is where I was born and died. It is where I died and was born again.”
Like every old man who missed his hometown and folks, He told the stories of the past to the young people who were not close to him.
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