Lord of Mysteries 2: Circle of Inevitability - Chapter 53
Tentacles? Lumian was momentarily dumbstruck before recognizing the appendages that ensnared the fleshy mass.
He knew Aurore’s novels well and had seen all the illustrations. Not only did he recall every melodramatic scene, but he also grasped concepts typically beyond his ken, such as monstrous tentacles.
Seven or eight inky tendrils enveloped the fleshy lump, dragging it towards the crumbled building.
A figure emerged from the chaos of strewn rubble.
The creature bore a humanoid form, its upper body and feet bare, clad only in black pants.
But it lacked a head, sporting only a remnant of a neck. A whirl of razor-sharp teeth filled the cross-section, and its crimson skin gleamed between them.
Lumian couldn’t help but imagine a human whose head and half their neck had been replaced by some bizarre, gaping orifice. He shook his head, unable to locate a weak point for attack.
Seven or eight fleshy tentacles sprouted from the monster’s maw, swiftly hauling the fleshy mass before it and hoisting it up.
The creature’s neck-mouth blossomed open like a morning glory.
Its pearly, needle-like teeth clamped onto the flesh, swallowing it whole like a snake devouring its prey.
Lumian scoffed silently.
So, you still need to eat. Thought you guys could survive without food…
He then fell into deep thought.
Monsters should be common in these ruins. Food must be scarce…
So some monsters feed on others, like now. Or maybe, everyone’s both hunter and prey…
Could I lure an unbeatable monster to others and exploit the chaos?
Theoretically, yes. But it’s risky. They might just team up to kill me first…
As Lumian mulled it over, he noticed the monster’s chest—heaving from the effort of digestion—was beginning to swell and contract, as though it was undergoing intense digestion.
This attracted Lumian’s attention and made him realize that the monster’s chest was anything but ordinary.
Three black, seal-like marks adorned its pectorals and base of the neck.
Wh— Lumian’s pupils dilated instinctively, straining for a better look.
He’d seen something similar on the padre!
At the end of the Lent celebration, the padre’s body had swelled, tearing his clothes to reveal a black mark!
Upon closer inspection, Lumian confirmed that the three black seals on the monster matched the padre’s.
Composed of cryptic words and symbols, they seemed to connect with an ineffable realm.
The difference? The padre bore at least 11 or 12 marks, whereas the monster had only three.
What’s the deal with these marks? Are they bestowed by a hidden power? And the more you have, the greater the boon? Lumian wondered, perplexed.
He tried in vain to memorize the markings but couldn’t in such a short time. Without pen or paper, he couldn’t reproduce them either.
The monster finished digesting the fleshy mass. It swung its arm, shaking the fleshy tentacles beside its mouth-orifice.
The mark beneath its neck glimmered, and a low hum emanated from its chest.
The sound swelled, evoking a maelstrom of air tearing through a beehive, whistling in and out of countless tunnels.
The trumpet-like orifice gaped wide, amplifying the maddening drone.
The cacophony grated on Lumian’s nerves, making him itch to pummel the beast.
Your noise is unbearable, you know that?
As rage coursed through his veins, Lumian acted on impulse, leaping from the partially collapsed rooftop, shotgun in hand.
Lumian hit the ground hard, his eyes locking onto the monster’s gaping maw filled with razor-sharp teeth.
He was about to rip the other party a new one for being a stubborn old pig, but serenity gripped him like a vice. He felt helpless, like a bystander who had been thrust onto the stage of a deadly play.
The monster’s blood-red mouth was trained on him, and it made no sound.
“Can I say that I’m sorry, that it’s a misunderstanding?” he muttered, his voice barely audible.
He suspected that there was something wrong with the noise just now, causing him to lose his mind. He jumped out of his hiding spot and tried to attack!
But it was too late for apologies. He had to make a choice: fight or flee.
With his experience, Lumian knew that running was not an option. The monster was unscathed and ready, its eight tentacles raised and poised for attack.
Therefore, if he really wanted to escape, he had to fight before finding an opportunity!
If he wanted to survive, he had to fight. Without hesitation, Lumian raised the shotgun in his hand, loaded with lead bullets.
The monster was caught off guard by Lumian’s speed and decisiveness. It had no idea what the shotgun was and didn’t stand a chance as it was pelted with lead bullets.
it howled in pain, its mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth opening instinctively. Its chest was a bloody mess, including the black mark on its right side,
However, the black mark seemed to be engraved in his blood and flesh. It was still clearly visible and remained unharmed.
Lumian didn’t revel in the monster’s screams. He quickly repositioned himself and pulled out a new round from his bag.
But before he could take aim again, the black mark on the creature’s left side glowed, and it vanished into thin air.
Just like that, it disappeared in front of Lumian!
Had it escaped or turned invisible? He racked his brain for answers from the various novels Aurore had written and the mysticism knowledge she had taught.
Lumian searched frantically for any sign of it, but it was gone.
This scene and difficulty that he had never faced before made Lumian panic. He wanted to take the opportunity to escape and subconsciously take a few steps back.
Lumian’s ankles were suddenly yanked, and he lost his balance, flipping over and hanging upside down.
Dark, fleshy tentacles appeared out of nowhere, wrapping tightly around Lumian’s legs and hoisting him up.
The monster was right in front of him, its black mark glowing on its right side. The vortex-shaped mouth filled with white, razor-sharp teeth widened to reveal a blood-red interior.
The stench was overwhelming, and Lumian felt dizzy as he hung upside down.
He could see the blood-colored skin of the monster’s mouth and countless teeth.
Thinking quickly, he grabbed one of the tentacles and wrapped it tightly around his arm. In his hanging state, he aimed his shotgun at the monster’s mouth and fired.
The monster screamed as flesh and blood spewed from its mouth.
It flung Lumian away, and its body turned transparent before vanishing once again.
Lumian hit the ground and rolled before getting back up, determined to find his target.
Suddenly, he caught a whiff of blood approaching him.
Without hesitation, he leaped in the opposite direction.
Dark tentacles emerged from the air where he had been standing, but they missed their mark.
The monster reappeared three to four meters away, its vortex-shaped mouth wide open, ready to strike.
Lumian loaded his shotgun with lead rounds, but the black mark on the monster’s left side glowed, and it vanished again.
Invisibility. It’s indeed invisibility! Lumian instantly made a judgment.
Coupled with his previous encounter, he believed that this invisibility could not hide his scent and would lose its effect once he entered an attack state.
After figuring it out, Lumian calmed down and mocked inwardly,
How can you be invisible if you can’t even hide your scent?
Capturing traces was a Hunter’s forte.
Lumian regained his composure and calmly surveyed his surroundings as he circled the area.
Soon, he spotted the monster’s footprints and caught the scent of blood and its unmistakable stench.
Using these clues, he dodged the monster’s attacks and fired his shotgun, but it seemed to have no vital points. The creature only grew weaker after being hit multiple times.
With the lead rounds running low, Lumian quickly thought of a solution.
In just a few seconds, he had an answer.
He had scouted the area beforehand and found several natural traps that could be used, including one that would be perfect for this monster.
As two faint footprints appeared in the distance, Lumian turned and ran, narrowly avoiding the dark, fleshy tentacle that missed its target.
He kept running, occasionally looking back to make sure the monster was still chasing him and to dodge any attacks.
Buzz, buzz, buzz!
The monster’s “noise” only fueled Lumian’s anger, making him want to turn around and attack with his axe. But he reminded himself that his goal was to kill the creature, not just vent his frustration.
Fortunately, he remembered that his goal in running was to kill that guy. At the moment, he wasn’t really running away. Anger and frustration didn’t change his plan. It only made him more motivated.
Thud thud thud!
Finally, he spotted the half-collapsed building and rushed inside, stopping at the edge and pretending to lie in ambush.
Soon, he heard the shallow footprints of the monster approaching, along with its stench and blood.
Lumian estimated the distance of the tentacle and took a couple of steps back. With a swing of his axe, he struck a stone pillar that was about to collapse, and then kicked it hard, using the reaction force to roll back.
The half-collapsed building couldn’t withstand the impact and crumbled, a cascade of heavy rocks filling the passage. Boom!
The monster, hiding and ready to attack, let out a fierce scream that lasted only a second before it was silenced forever.