༺ Clean-up (3) ༻
The mud-esque bits of flesh that were wriggling on the ground, were turned back into the remains of the dead after being hit by Luna’s Silence Totem.
Hearing the dreadful scream, the cultist great shaman, Somnia, trembled so violently that the accessories on her body made a cluttering sound.
“What? How did you stop my spell? Who the hell are you even?”
“I, I am Luna, the shaman of Ideope! The daughter of the Great Night, Luna Knoxdotty!”
Luna raised a rather sturdy-looking Silence Totem high into the air and shouted arrogantly. Her appearance overlapped with Zhang Fei from the Three Kingdoms who was bravely guarding the Changban bridge.
For some reason, she looked pretty dependable right now.
However, Somnia, the great shaman, only burst out into boisterous laughter beneath her ominous mask at those words.
“Ah, if you’re the daughter of the Great Night, are you the child of the Knox Child tribe? I couldn’t tell because you weren’t wearing a mask. Is that a Silence Totem you’ve got there? Looks like it’s pretty well made.”
Still, I could say that Somnia’s attitude, which had been filled with hostility just moments before, had eased considerably… to the point that it was hard to believe that she had been hostile toward us in the first place.
Was this like the scenes from those movies where meeting someone from the same hometown led to the situation working out for the better?
Of course, it was not like I couldn’t understand why such a thing happened. I would also be thrilled to meet a Korean like me in this strange world.
From behind her mask, Somnia started to speak out.
“I am Somnia, the daughter of the Deep Abyss. Nice to meet you, fellow friend from my hometown. By the way, I’m just saying this for the sake of it but… Can’t you pretend that you didn’t see any of this? I don’t wish to clean up the dead body of a fellow friend from my hometown, you see…”
“There’s no way you, who doesn’t even wear a mask, can stop me, a great shaman, right? Moreover, the Knox Child tribe is originally supposed to serve the same hell magic as us. So, why don’t you just join us?”
“What? Are you telling me to become a cult member?”
Luna’s shoulders shuddered as though she was truly horrified for being offered to be scouted by the Pluto cult. I had experienced this a few times already, so I had become used to it, but this really seemed to be the first time Luna had experienced something like this.
“Just imagine it… The deep and intense magic of a formless world. It is something that we barely felt through the mist emanating from the cracked grounds… And now, we are bringing that very magic to this land.”
Somnia’s fist, clenched and outstretched in the air, trembled as she spoke further.
“The ascension of hell into these lands above. Breaking the boundary between life and death. We, the voodoo shamans, who wield the power of the dead, will live like kings in this new world. We won’t be disregarded just because of our belief in superstitions.”
“Wow, living like a king—”
I couldn’t just let this be. Luna seemed like she was losing her mind as though she was being possessed by this nonsense. I had once wondered just how on earth the pseudo-religions were sustained.
But from what I have seen, it seemed like they were exploiting and using innocent children like Luna to sustain their power and existence. If things continue on at this rate, Luna just may become a cult follower!
“Luna, you don’t have to listen to this cultist’s words! She’s just spouting some random lies!”
“I know that, too. I was just trying to listen to what she wanted to say. You said you are Somnia, right? This is my answer!”
Luna held her fist and stretched out her middle finger and pointed it toward Somnia.
It turned out that action was a universal way to curse someone. Looking at that finger, Somnia laughed as if she was utterly dumbfounded, and all her jewelry and mask started shaking violently.
“Wow, I’m really speechless.”
After laughing for a long time, her body suddenly stopped altogether.
“Ha, this is why I don’t like children from the Knox Child tribe. Children from rich and fertile islands won’t ever understand what I felt growing up on a barren and poor island.”
Somnia drew a dagger from her belt.
“Whatever, all right. I’ll kill you, fill your stomach with cotton, and turn you into a Nzambi since you, being a daughter of Ideope, makes us siblings and so your compatibility with my sorcery is very high.”
Frankly, the dagger she took out was more like an awl or a black horn than a dagger. The rugged patterns drawn in a conical shape over its body made it look extremely ominous.
Seriously, if someone got stabbed by something like that, they would definitely contract all kinds of diseases, including actual tetanus.
“Also, you there, Wutugu, no, Hassan of Samaria! You tricked us last time, didn’t you!? I’ll tear you to pieces and put you in hell, you punk!”
I was extremely shocked when she suddenly directed her hostility toward me. I thought she didn’t remember me because she hadn’t mentioned anything about me till now…
“Oh, no. uh, I was also a victim… in a way.”
“Shut up, you sonuvabitch of Mars! Because of you, everything was ruined! Eat this voodoo from the Deep Abyss!”
Holy shit! I couldn’t believe that she was blaming me after they, themselves, failed to enact their evil plans. She really had no fucking shame at all. However, it was not surprising because this was the average personality of the people from this world.
Somnia swung the strange dagger and stabbed it into the ground with all her might.
The dagger pierced through the hollow bricks of the underground hallway and settled deep into the ground.
I wondered what the fuck she was trying to do right now, but without giving us a moment to react, strange bony and fleshy protrusions began to randomly rise up through the walls.
Splosh— Clash— Splosh—
“Come to me, the entrance to the Deep Abyss. Breaking the boundaries between the living and the dead, Oh Dark Dawn—!”
The wriggling flesh absorbed all of the mud and water to inflate its grotesque size.
It was soon lumped together into a mass of about half the size of Luna, each in the bizarre shape of a person or beast. Was that what a ragged goblin made out of mud would look like?
It didn’t seem very strong, but their numbers were quite high. 10? 20? It kept increasing! Damn it! Wasn’t this cheating!? This shaman was so fucking strong! Did Luna take the wrong skill tree or something?
“H-Hassan, let’s run away for now!”
Suddenly, Luna grabbed my arm and quickly dragged me out toward the distance. Of course, I also chose to run away with Luna for now.
Behind us, Somnia’s loud voice could be heard echoing throughout the hallways.
“You can’t escape death! You fucking bastards!”
* * * * * * * * * *
We ran in a hurry without even trying to look back for a moment. The number of zombie goblins chasing from behind was just too much for us to deal with.
Of course, we could have somehow handled them if there were only zombie goblins chasing after us. However, unless that powerful cultist Somnia was an imbecile, she wouldn’t just sit idly by and let us deal with the goblins as we wished.
It was an utterly crazy notion to deal with the zombie goblins and Somnia at the same time, so it was important for us to get past them somehow.
“Euakkk, holy shit!”
All of a sudden, something crashed on my ankle.
When I turned my head to see what caused the piercing pain on my skin, I was greeted with the sight of a four-legged beast, an abominable combination of flesh and hide, dangling while clutching to my ankles.
At that moment, it let out a loud growl that seemed to be made for the purpose of signaling our position to our pursuers.
“Shut up, you motherfucker!”
I was outraged at the sight of it attacking my body. I became so enraged that I swung my club at its head with as much force as I was able to generate in one go.
Then, the damned monster screamed painfully, turned back into grotesque flesh and rotten mud, and disappeared into the ground.
“Uh, holy shit! Luna, what’s the best way to handle this monster?”
Luna was a shaman from the same place as Somnia— Ideope. Maybe she knew something like an effective way to attack this monster. But Luna just shook her head as if saying that there was no other way except for us to run for our lives.
“The Tatari tribe is the best in Ideope in making statues and Nzambi. I can’t beat so many of them all at once. There’s just no possible way to beat them—!”
“Fuck! Then we really only have the option to run away!”
“They are weak to fire so we can actually burn them, but—”
Luna shuddered and stuck out her tongue at the sight that lay before our eyes. If we were to set fire in a place like this, she knew that starting a fire in this place would only lead to a disaster.
It was probably safe to say that this was Somnia’s home term. As expected of a cultist, she was well-versed in dirty tricks. Her tactics were shrewd and cunning.
So, we ran as hard as possible to find the ladder leading to the underground exit. However, something had already disastrously destroyed the ladder leading to the exit.
“Somnia must have broken it!”
“Fuck! We are really dead now!”
Eventually, we came to the conclusion that we were trapped in this smelly and horrible underground waterway; unable to do anything to get out of this terrible situation.
At that moment, a zombie goblin came at me with its ragged mouth open wide. In its hand, a sharp piece of bone from an unknown animal was clutched like a dagger.
It was a very crude weapon, but if someone got stabbed by something like that, they would definitely get infected with all kinds of germs.
“Ugh, you filthy bastard!”
Hence, I swung the club with all my might and struck it in the head.
Even in this situation, seeing the punk’s body get smashed by my club which made it scatter all over the ground looked pretty cool.
If my weapon was an ordinary sword, it would have quickly become dull after cutting off that dirty, greasy skin a few times.
“Go die, you punk!”
I continued swinging my club at the zombie imp offspring swarming toward me.
Then, interestingly, the weight of the club I was wielding began to feel lighter and lighter somehow.
It’s not like I suddenly misjudged the weight in my excitement or something. I genuinely felt that the club’s weight had gotten slightly lighter, making it easier and more comfortable to wield.
I wasn’t sure what was happening, but it was still super interesting!
“You’re all dead now, you bastards!”
So I swung the bat with one hand and smashed the heads of all these fucking dead animals. The weight had become lighter, but the strength remained the same, which made it far more effective to use against these damned zombies.
“Luna, they’re nothing special.”
“T-That’s—! What’s that? It would be difficult to make them return to the soil easily without using the Silence spell!”
“Did I suddenly become super strong?”
Was it because I gained confidence in battles after dealing with Schizo, the greatsword-wielding warrior?
Or maybe my newly acquired club had additional damage to the dead and undead perk attached to it. In fact, it was a universal rule to use blunt force on undead monsters, after all.
In any case, these damned zombies had stopped rushing at me recklessly due to my fierce momentum and started looking around cautiously.
I couldn’t believe that these zombie punks were able to feel scared. They seemed a bit different from the skeleton warriors of the Necromancer I had faced before.
“Shit! Indeed, having a stigmata does make a difference. You even use an interesting club. Does it have the effects of a Silence Totem on its own?”
At that time, Somnia appeared once again, cutting a path through the grass of the underground waterway in the dark.
Somnia’s appearance changed the whole situation as cold sweat flowed down my spine, unlike when we were facing the crude zombies.
“I didn’t want to use this method as there would be no traces left of my original form anymore.”
Somnia soon pulled a hefty amount of strange grassroots out of her pocket from the inside of her belt.
And after slightly lifting the mask and revealing her mouth, she put the grassroots in her mouth and munched on it.
“Grrrrr— Grrwwwww— Uaaaaa—!”
A beastly groan was heard immediately.
The sound of joints and bones cracking and twisting echoed loudly in the underground waterways.
Sominia’s muscles and flesh expanded through the thin fabric of her robe and became noticeably reddish in color.
“The sky toad that leaps off the ground!!!”
With an unintelligible shriek, Somnia started swinging her fist in the air and her surroundings.
Soon, her powerful fist smashed into the head of a zombie goblin beside her.
Fuck! How could you attack your own comrade? I didn’t understand what in hell was up with this situation. Was there an invisible battle taking place that my eyes were not able to see? In any case, the problem was that the strength behind those swings seemed quite powerful.
“Damn, that motherfucker also used doping! You fucking coward!”
“She swallowed the cannabis flower directly! With that amount, even an elephant wouldn’t be able to pull itself together for a day!”
Driiippp— Plop— Plop—
Blood flowed from Somnia’s fist after she smashed the heads of all of the zombies she had created.
Also, from under her strange mask, I could see a transparent liquid, that was probably her saliva or even tears, dripping down to the ground.
After slaughtering the zombies, Somnia now charged at Luna. Luna must have gotten frightened by the immense pressure she was exuding as she simply fell on her butt with a horrified expression on her face.
The red blood-colored fist was pointed at Luna’s head while she was in such a defenseless state. Luna’s head would totally snap off if she were to be hit by something like that!
“Damn it! Luna, lower your head!”
So I had no choice but to kick the ground as hard as possible and dash at the incoming Somnia.
While holding the club tightly in my hands, I passed Luna’s head and hit Somnia right in the stomach. Immediately, I felt a strong impact on my hands, followed by a loud noise.
Holy shit! It felt like I was hitting a literal telephone pole, instead of a human body.
I didn’t know why, but the hand I used to hold the club, that hit her body, had started to tingle. Her skin felt like it was as hard as a rock, and I thought to myself that even a blade might not be able to cut her skin.
Still, Somnia, who had come toward Luna with raised fists faltered for a few steps. It seemed like my attack had not been completely ineffective, after all.
However, the problem was that the target of her attack had now been completely transferred to me.
I could hear Somnia’s grotesque screams coming from beneath her mask and saw her charging toward me at full speed.
She raised the soles of her feet high in the air.
And soon, when they reached the ground with all their might, the waterway’s rough and crumbling brick floor was completely destroyed, and debris flew in all directions.
“Damn it! That was so freaking scary!”
Still, due to the large movements of her attacks, and the interval between the attacks being so long, they were not very hard to avoid.
However, it was obvious that I would die in a heartbeat if I couldn’t avoid these attacks. Every shot was like an ultimate move!
However, even though I had activated the Night’s Cloak, Somnia’s fist still flew straight toward me.
It was because the blessing was only able to reduce my presence. It was not something that was able to make my body transparent.
Fuck, it was a situation where every move in my arsenal was being blocked.
Somnia’s fist clenched tightly with a fierce and loud sound as if it had gotten exaggeratedly enlarged. Then, the strengthened fist was shot toward my head like a bullet.
I somehow managed to duck my head to avoid her attack.
The attack extended in a straight line and eventually pierced through the stone wall, embedding her fist deep into it. Somnia flinched as she tried to pull her hand out.
During that brief moment, I shouted at Luna.
“Luna! Is there really no solution for this?”
“A-Actually, I have one!”
Luna rummaged through her small pouch and threw something toward me.
It was a plant with red petals whose roots were cut off.
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