Lord of Mysteries 2: Circle of InevitabilityChapter 58 - 58 Cherishing Talent
58 Cherishing Talent
After two nights of reconnaissance, Lumian discovered that the monsters inhabiting the outskirts of the dream ruins were fewer in number than he’d initially believed.
Having dispatched the skinless creature, the shotgun-wielding monstrosity, and the monster with the black mark, Lumian found little else in his search of the area. All he uncovered were a few twitching chunks of flesh.
Their sole purpose seemed to be as sustenance.
Yet Lumian had long since realized that he had no need for food within the dream.
Each time he entered, he felt invigorated and hunger-free. His energy would wane only after extended bouts of exploration or combat, replaced by a sensation akin to hunger. But it was a mild feeling that didn’t necessitate additional nourishment.
Once the hunger became unbearable, Lumian’s spiritual reserves and stamina would be all but depleted. Physically and mentally drained, he’d be forced to exit the dream.
After consuming a meal and recovering in the real world, he would return to the dreamscape, his vigor restored and hunger vanquished.
As he delved deeper, Lumian surveyed his surroundings for any signs of collapsed structures. He discovered a smattering of coins, but their combined value amounted to little more than a Louis d’or.
He found merely a few livre bleu inscribed with words.
Left with no alternative, Lumian decided to venture further into the ruins.
He cautiously navigated through the faint gray fog and oppressive darkness, weaving between the ruins’ standing and fallen walls.
Suddenly, he stumbled upon a series of shallow, bizarre footprints.
It was difficult to classify them as footprints—the left one appeared ordinary, but the right seemed more akin to a palm imprint.
Another monster? Lumian stealthily trailed the footprints, all the while scrutinizing his environment and envisioning the ideal battlefield for various scenarios.
Eventually, he detected movement, prompting him to halt. He skirted around the area and scaled a toppled building, using the scattered, hefty rubble as cover.
Peering out cautiously, Lumian surveyed the source of the noise.
There, in the center of an uncluttered wasteland, stood a figure that could scarcely be described as human.
While vaguely humanoid in shape, closer inspection revealed a host of incongruities.
Two eyes occupied the space where a nose should have been. Above them, a mouth, and below, a pair of ears. The nose was nestled near the temples, while a leg and an arm replaced each shoulder. The lower half of the figure consisted of another leg and arm. The entire form seemed to have been haphazardly assembled from mismatched human components.
This revelation instantly clarified the nature of the peculiar tracks Lumian had been following.
The creature was garbed in a brown short-sleeved shirt and dark blue trousers, typical attire for lower-class Intisians. It paced the barren landscape, shoeless and hatless.
Lumian refrained from attacking, opting instead to observe patiently.
Before long, the monster raised an arm and contorted its body backward, its head making contact with the ground.
It’s incredibly flexible… it would make a great dancer… Lumian mused sardonically.
As if on cue, the creature launched into a dance.
Its movements alternated between bold and graceful, sometimes bizarre and comical, yet always rhythmic.
More notably, the creature seemed to possess no skeletal structure—its limbs twisted and folded behind its back, and its legs and arms intertwined with ease.
As the Prankster King of Cordu Village, Lumian quickly devised a fitting moniker for his newfound quarry: Noodle Man!
Drawing on his observations, he began to formulate a strategy for the impending confrontation.
I mustn’t assume that I can evade its attacks simply by maneuvering behind it. Noodle Man is capable of treating its front and back interchangeably…
I must be wary of its potential to constrict me like a serpent…
Though its vital points remain uncertain, it does have a head—I’ll start by chopping off that…
As Lumian’s thoughts raced, the monster’s dance grew increasingly frenetic. It leaped skyward, limbs splayed as if attempting to embrace the heavens.
Lumian found himself somewhat entranced, an urge to sway his body in sync with the creature’s movements taking hold.
He couldn’t help but recall a melody his sister often played, the beat echoing through his mind: Dum-tch, dum-tch…
Suddenly, a warmth spread across his left pec as whispers seemed to reverberate in his skull.
His scalp prickled and body shuddered, as though the phantom voice that had once pushed him to the brink of madness was about to speak again.
Uh… Lumian hastily undid the buttons of his leather coat and gray shirt with his left hand and gazed at his bare chest.
The inky thorn mark over his heart had returned. The bluish-black symbol, consisting of an eye and writhing worms, materialized and bore down on the former.
Lumian froze in shock as his mind raced.
I hadn’t even entered Cogitation, let alone held it for a few seconds…
Did Noodle Man’s dance somehow trigger this?
Is there something related to mysticism about that dance? Some hidden magic?
Luckily, when the mark activates like this, the horrific whispers are nearly mute. It won’t drive me to death’s door or strip me of all restraint. But I’ll suffer a skull-splitting migraine, uncontrollable tremors, and disorientation…
Since becoming a Hunter, Lumian had avoided entering that Cogitation state to tap into his special trait. The danger seemed far greater now.
Before, he had flirted with death and emerged unscathed. But now, hovering at death’s door might cause him to lose all self-control, with irreparable consequences!
Worse, excessive exposure to that ghastly whisper might drive him irreparably insane, even if he survived and retained control.
He dared not take that risk again unless it was a last resort.
After two or three seconds, Lumian was no longer astonished by the thorn symbol being stimulated by Noodle Man’s dance. An indescribable joy welled up in his heart.
He could endure such a negative state completely!
So, is there a chance that by learning Noodle Man’s dance, I can dance it ahead of time to activate… uh—partially activate the special trait of my dream when hunting powerful monsters? Then, I’ll charge at the stunned target and finish it off in a few moves.
Even if I can’t fully trigger my special trait by dancing, it should be useful. I don’t expect the target to give up resisting like the shotgun monster. It’s enough to weaken them greatly… Lumian’s thoughts raced. The more he watched the dancing Noodle Man, the more he found it pleasing.
The eyes on the nose, the mouth on the forehead, and the arm that acted as a leg. How could any of that be as beautiful as the magical dance?
In the blink of an eye, Lumian felt a strong sense of cherishing such talent, allowing him to find a reason.
Aurore said that we can’t select talents with a uniform standard. So, why must it be a human and not a monster?
He decided not to hunt the Noodle Man before mastering the dance. He would come and observe it a few times every night to try to master it as soon as possible.
Of course, he planned to experiment with the other party first.
He wanted to see how the incomplete special trait would affect the monster!
Lumian quickly made up his mind. He didn’t button his clothes and bared his left chest. He circled around the cover and jumped from the collapsed house to the wasteland.
Noodle Man’s dance abruptly halted.
It began to tremble.
It turned to Lumian, prostrated itself, and lay on the ground.
Lumian stopped and didn’t approach further, maintaining a safe distance.
Noodle Man didn’t move.
Lumian nodded imperceptibly and muttered to himself, “Even when facing my ‘special’ trait that hasn’t been fully activated, such a low-level monster will give up resisting and express its submission… I wonder what will happen to those at a higher level or those with Beyonder characteristics… What I can be sure of is that the effect won’t be as good…”
Lumian looked at Noodle Man and smiled.
“Come on, dance again.”
Noodle Man didn’t dare look up. It was unknown if it understood what Lumian was saying.
Seeing that his sincere words were ineffective, Lumian emphasized, “Quick, dance for your pépé again!”
Noodle Man’s body trembled as it continued to prostrate.
How can I communicate with it if monsters can’t understand human language? Lumian felt a little helpless.
He immediately put his newly acquired Hermes vocabulary to use and said, “I. Need…”
Lumian didn’t say another word and began a dance with his body movements.
The monster didn’t even acknowledge him as it pressed its face against the soil of the wasteland.
“Are you an imbecile?” Lumian couldn’t help but curse.
He felt his scolding was unjustified. After all, which monster he had encountered was not stupid?
Even the most intelligent shotgun monster was subdued by human intelligence!
At that moment, Lumian felt the warmth in his chest dissipate.
He instinctively lowered his head and noticed the thorn symbol and the bluish-black symbol vanish simultaneously.
Lumian quickly shifted his gaze towards Noodle Man.
Noodle Man happened to raise its head and looked at Lumian with its nose-located eyes.
The man and monster stared at each other, stunned for a second.
Thud, thud, thud. Lumian turned around and ran away.
Noodle Man leaped up and chased him ferociously.
Lumian was well acquainted with the area. His running speed was faster than the uncoordinated monster, so he easily shook it off and circled back to the wasteland to hide in his original location.
He didn’t flee because he was afraid of the other party, but he was concerned that he might not be able to control himself if they really fought. He didn’t know if he could find another dancing Noodle Man in the dream ruins.
Before learning that mysterious dance, he had no intention of hunting this strange monster.
After waiting for a while, Lumian saw Noodle Man return to the area.
He nodded and muttered to himself, As expected, monsters have their own territory. They are accustomed to moving around or patrolling a certain route… This is very similar to wild beasts…
Next, Lumian patiently waited for the dance that might not happen.
After nearly two hours, he had expended quite a bit of his spirituality and felt a little hungry.
Noodle Man, who had rested for a long time, walked to the center of the wasteland and raised its arm and leg.
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter