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IRNDGL - Chapter 26: With My Carpet of Needles and My Crown of Snow

Heris’ cold indifferent attitude changed into a look of surprise. In the next moment, the silver wolf had knocked him to the ground and had ripped open his shoulder.

He drew out a dagger and stabbed viciously into the silver wolf’s eyes, tightening his muscles as he held the silver wolf’s paw in a vice-like grip. “Uri!” he growled.

The young man pushed back by the shockwave stumbled backwards twice. Blood flowed from his forehead, but his gaze was stern as he shouted, “Confusion Technique! Flash Technique!”

It was clear from the way he invoked his spells that he was of a much higher level than those three other magicians that had died unnatural deaths.

A black magician’s power of language depended on his innate skill as well as his creativity. How refined and simple a magician’s incantation would illustrate his mastery of magic. A simpler incantation represented a higher level of mastery.

For example, Wilde’s own teacher, a black magician on the fringes of Supreme-rank, was able to complete the discharge of magic with just ordinary words.

Ji Zhixiu howled. Her mind became caught in a confusing vortex and her vision had gone white from the stabbing.

As Wilde’s disciple, Uri had tempered his skills in many battles and was adept at providing the best support.

Heris hooked his hand upward, breaking the silver wolf’s front paw. He pulled out the dagger and flipped the huge wolf to the ground.

“Damn it!” Ji Zhixiu felt her whole world tumbling. Her spine seemed to be on the verge of snapping and a great sense of danger engulfed her.

“Steel Resolve!” recited Ji Zhixiu.

The octopus-like spiritual mass in the sky that had been following her extended its tentacles to cover her nose and mouth, drawing away the negative statuses.

Ji Zhixiu came to her senses and through her bloodied vision, saw a cold gleam rapidly approaching her.

The hairs on her body stood on end as she quickly opened up her jaw, inclining her head and biting the dagger that was stabbing towards her.

Squelch!

The dagger penetrated her cheek and got stuck between teeth and flesh.

Ji Zhixiu’s cold eyes were filled with killing intent as she twisted her head and tore Heris’ arm while her huge body rolled forward. A sickening bone-crunching noise erupted from Heris’ body.

Ji Zhixiu then extended her arms and clawed Heris’ body from both sides.

“Flame Incantation - Putrefying Sun!”

With ample time for preparation, Uri finally completed his chant.

A dazzling illusory sun appeared above Ji Zhixiu, shining down on her. Her flesh and skin started swelling and squirming as foul black smoke started oozing from her body where the sun rays hit. It was a terrifying power and Ji Zhixiu felt as though her body would swell up and explode at any moment.

Visually, this was simply a nauseating sight.

Danger! Extreme danger! Run away! These were the only thoughts in Ji Zhixiu’s mind as she immediately chose to do a forceful space leap once more.

Her body that could no longer bear the strain completely transformed in the process of the leap.

Plop!

She didn’t even know where she landed either.

“Haa… Haa…” Uri was panting heavily as his hands limply formed a gesture to toss the Putrefying Sun within the sealed up boundary. “Mr Heris… Are you alright?”

He stood up, looked ahead and was met with an alarming sight.

White Wolf’ leader, Heris, laid on the ground covered in blood with a severed arm flung several meters away. He appeared to be at death’s door.

“I’m fine.” Unexpectedly, the man’s voice was as calm as ever.

Swaying heavily, he got to his feet. Flesh and muscle rapidly regenerated and an arm grew out of his bloodied stump. Even more surprisingly, another arm grew out from a wound on his body.

Heris glanced at it for a moment and then tore off his extra arm.

This was a common occurrence for a hunter with a high concentration of sordid blood—physical mutation.

If Heris didn’t do a periodic ‘cleansing’ of his body, he would become a multi-limbed and many-eyed abomination in no time.

“Seems like that tenant at 23rd Avenue is even more powerful than we imagined.”

“Are you talking about the power to transcend space-time?”

“No,” Heris shook his head. “What I’m saying is that she could use Ruen’s soul to access his intelligence network, precisely determine our position, and also dispel your mind-confusion technique. This sort of power really interests me.”

The two thoroughly-drenched figures gazed at the severely ruined area within the boundary after being ravaged by Uri’s Putrefying Sun for some time.

“Unfortunately, I have more pressing matters to attend to now. You go take a look, Uri. He’s more important than Wilde.”

"Yes.” Uri nodded.

Heris opened his palm, revealing an egg that looked like a gemstone.

“Say, Uri, what do you think will hatch from it?” muttered Heris as he gazed at it with an obsessed look on his face.

“...A dream beast.”

“No, not at all. It’s a god, a true god.”

——

Lin Jie closed his bookstore, locked the door, and bolted the windows. He then inspected all his bookshelves once and kept his register log and accounts book.

Finally satisfied, he picked up the dreamcatcher Wilde had given and headed upstairs to get ready for bed.

The second storey’s layout was very different from the first. The first storey was brimming with books while the second storey was where all the living amenities were.

Besides the washroom, kitchen, and bedroom, there was even a little corner specially for working out.

As he didn’t go out much and spent most of his time cooped inside the bookstore, Lin Jie had no choice but to draw up a weekly workout schedule for himself.

Even though the degree of exercises wasn’t that challenging, he couldn’t allow himself to really become an idle bum.

Due to the incessant rain as well as slight leakage from the ceiling, the entire second story had a damp vibe.

Lin Jie felt he had been negligent and had actually forgotten to get some lime desiccant to absorb moisture. “Haa, I’ll go get some when the rain stops.”

Lin Jie opened the door to his bedroom, revealing only a bed, a desk, and a chair in this narrow space.

Stacks of paper containing his research resources piled up on the table. All of these were a slight investigation he did during the two years he spent assimilating to life in Norzin.

Lin Jie found a nail, hammered it into the wall to form a simple hook and hung the beautiful dreamcatcher on it. Its position was situated directly on top of his pillow.

If Lin Jie laid down, the tips feathers of the dreamcatcher would be directly facing his eyes.

After keeping his tools, Lin Jie stretched his back, removed his clothes, turned off the lights, and laid down in bed.

He watched the swaying, gentle feathers above him.

“Let’s hope it is really effective… sweet dreams.” Lin Jie closed his eyes and darkness took over.

——

A dream?

Lin Jie blinked several times as he stared blankly at the vast white world before his eyes as fine snowflakes fell gently all around him.

He raised his head and saw lush green branches, covered by snow. A twisted tree trunk like an artery sprouted from the ground with a massive canopy that seemed as if it could block out the sun. A vast bed of white iris flowers on the ground swayed with the wind.

Beneath it, a silver-haired lady leaned against the tree with her eyes shut.

Her beautiful features were like pure moonlight and she was wrapped in a light, white fabric. A pair of slim, blemish-free pale legs peeked out from beneath the fabric.

Immediately, Lin Jie thought of some words he had heard before from a source he had long forgotten——With my carpet of needles and my crown of snow.

BeetleBarker's Notes:

With my carpet of needles and my crown of snow — Lyrics from White Knuckles by Holly Henry

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Special thanks to Tetra & Aco for editing and pr-ing
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IRNDGL Manhua translation by Zeroscans
Written by Great Calamity Of Fire (万劫火). Translated by BeetleBarker.