Chapter 39: The Fire Keeper Beat Me!
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
After Herring opened that heavy door, this nightmare had indeed come to an end.
There was an ancient building at the end of this Nightmare Dungeon behind the door. Further behind was a cliff. There wasn’t any road for moving forward in the whole Nightmare Dungeon.
The guards around this building were also mummies in black robes that she encountered before. These mummies were like fragile dummied in front of Herring, who had defeated Iudex Gundyr.
This verified Herring’s suspicion even more!
That Dream Maker was in a desperate situation. Iudex Gundyr was the last trump card he had.
However, Herring still walked into that ancient building with extreme caution.
After she entered the building, there were five giant thrones in front of her eyes. A short figure was sitting on one of them.
Was this short figure the incarnation of the Dream Maker?
While Herring was planning to get closer to that short figure on the throne carefully…
“Ashen One, you’re finally here.”
A soft, female voice resounded in the entire building. This made the nervous Herring turn around immediately. She aimed at that figure in the middle of the building with the daggers in her hands.
It was a woman whose eyes were covered by a crown-like object. She was wearing a long dress and had her hands crossed in front of her, as if she had been waiting for Herring for a long time.
“You seem to have self-consciousness as well? Tell me… where’s the Dream Maker of this Nightmare Dungeon? I’ll consider sparing your life.”
Herring could sense that this woman had self-consciousness, just like Iudex Gundyr. However, she lacked Gundyr’s strong sense of oppression.
Then, there was only one possibility Herring could think of. This woman was most likely the consciousness of a lower-leveled Dream Seed that had been swallowed by the Level S Nightmare Seed.
This was pretty common in Nightmare Dungeons. This kind of swallowed secondary dream consciousness could instigate revolt in most situations.
So, she was in the same situation as Herring, being detained in this Nightmare Dungeon by that Lord of Nightmare and the Dream Maker.
“I’m the Fire Keeper who serves you. Ashen One, please stick the coiled sword into the bonfire in front of you. If you continue your journey, you may be able to see the person you seek to meet.”
The Fire Keeper?
There was no emotion in Herring’s mind when she heard that soft voice.
“You don’t have to force yourself to keep doing role play. The Dream Eaters under my command have already broken through the blockade set by that Dream Maker. You just have to tell me where the Dream Maker is. Then, you may be able to escape from this damn nightmare,” said Herring.
However, Herring’s words made the Fire Keeper tilt her head gently.
“Ashen One, the power you have right now is far from the level required to liberate us. If you’re willing to touch the darkness in my mind, I can guide the unowned souls wandering around you into your body. This will help with your journey to defeating the Lords of Cinder.”
The Lords of Cinder? Haven’t I already killed the nightmare guardian?
Herring certainly didn’t think that a single kill could inflict severe damage to the Nightmare Dungeon. However, the destruction caused by the invasion of a hundred Dream Eaters should at least make it quiet for a while.
“If you don’t tell me, I’ll have to take some extreme measures.”
Herring didn’t have the mood to chat right now. She walked towards the Fire Keeper with the daggers in her hands.
“Ashen One, there are many enemies outside the high wall waiting for you to challenge. Please don’t waste your energy on me…”
The Fire Keeper watched Herring get closer with the daggers, but she wasn’t planning to run away. She kept reminding Herring not to do something meaningless with a gentle voice.
“The high wall? If you’re talking about the living creatures outside of this building, I’ve already killed them all. There’s just you left at the moment… Tell me! Where’s the Dream Maker of this nightmare?”
Herring didn’t behave politely anymore. She flashed over to the Fire Keeper and held a dagger at her neck.
The Fire Keeper sighed softly and said, “Ashen One, I suggest you not to do so…”
“Really? Looks like I can only use…”
Before she could finish talking, Herring felt someone grabbing her collar. Then, the rosy lips under the sterling silver crown of the Fire Keeper in front of her gave a slight smile. She landed a punch on Herring’s face. After that, everything went dark before Herring’s eyes.
Before she responded, another extremely familiar “YOU DIE” appeared in front of her.
When Herring was reborn, the Fire Keeper’s gentle voice sounded around her ears.
“Ashen One, do you want me to transform the unowned souls into your power?”
This immediately made Herring stand up. She stared at the harmless Fire Keeper vigilantly.
“You’re also a nightmare guardian?” Herring asked.
“I’m the Fire Keeper responsible for guiding you. I’ve already stuck your coiled sword into the bonfire. You just need to touch the bonfire to go on the road to the high wall and…”
As the Fire Keeper spoke, she walked over to Herring. Herring adopted a fighting posture, but this time, she didn’t feel the slightest malice on the Fire Keeper.
The Fire Keeper stretched out her hands, which were full of scars, and held Herring’s hands gently.
“Before you go on the road… let me guide the unowned souls to be your strength.”
While the Fire Keeper was talking, Herring felt an energy fuse into her body.
The feeling of being filled with power was very addictive. When the Fire Keeper let go of her hands, Herring felt that the power in her body had improved slightly.
“Unowned souls mean…”
“Every creature you defeat in this world shall become your strength. You can go on the road to explore the high wall now. The person you’re looking for is at the end of the high wall.”
No wonder Herring’s power didn’t increase when she killed Gundyr despite feeling like she had taken some energy away from its body… It turned out she needed the person in front of her to make use of the energy inside her?
The Dream Eaters were undoubtedly enemies of this Nightmare Dungeon. Many Nightmare Dungeons didn’t give Dream Explorers power, as nobody would upgrade their food. So, there wasn’t a reason for this Nightmare Dungeon to grant the Dream Eaters more power. But the Fire Keeper before her did…
“If my goal is to kill all the living things in this Nightmare Dungeon and to take away their ‘souls,’ you’ll transform their ‘souls’ into energy for me?” A greedy thought suddenly came to Herring’s mind.
“Of course. That is my responsibility.”
Herring didn’t know whether the Fire Keeper’s response was real or not, but the Fire Keeper was willing to help her take the power of this Nightmare Dungeon. At least she wasn’t on the side of the Nightmare Dungeon or that Dream Maker.
The only thing she had to do was to see what other trump cards this Dream Maker had.
Herring turned her gaze to the option of the “High Wall of Lothric” above the bonfire.
She had killed a terrifying and knotty nightmare guardian like Iudex Gundyr. Herring really couldn’t think of anything else that could stand in her way.
That was even more so when she could become stronger by absorbing the souls in this nightmare!
Herring chose to teleport to the High Wall of Lothric. The sight in front of her eyes changed again… Before she knew it, she was already in a small room.
There was only one wooden door in the room that was connected to the outside world. Herring directly pushed the door open. What welcomed her wasn’t the end of a broken wall but an entire ancient city!
Wait… Even if Iudex Gundyr isn’t your last trump card, it should still be the second or third last?
But what’s with this whole city?
Herring quickly ran to the city wall and looked at the enemies wandering around the broken streets below. These were all some normal soldiers. Herring could certainly defeat them easily.
However, she could sense at least three nightmare consciousnesses comparable to Iudex Gundyr in this city. Even more were lying dormant on the far edge of this world!
While Herring was in a daze, a huge black dragon suddenly flew over in the sky and landed on a tower far away from the city, letting out a terrifying roar at Herring, the intruder.
Everything was telling Herring that Iudex Gundyr, who once killed her dozens of times, was just the beginning. This was a complete Nightmare Dungeon.
She had just stepped out of the Novice Area. If she wanted to see the creator behind this nightmare and completely destroy it…
She must be ready to die a few hundred or a thousand times!
However, was Herring ready for this? Or… could her body withstand the endless torture of this nightmare?
Herring didn’t know either. She listened to the roar of the dragon and the growls of some monsters that came from nowhere.
This immediately gave Herring, who used to be highly spirited, a thought of retreating.
It just so happened that the invasion time was also over. Herring looked at the black dragon flapping its dragon wings and flying towards her from afar. She smiled and pressed the button for leaving this Nightmare Dungeon like crazy.
After Herring woke up, the first thing she did was to confirm the injuries of her Team T in the Nightmare Dungeon.
“Seven people have symptoms of chest hemorrhage, and six have severe congestion in their legs. All members have symptoms of mental impairment, especially memory impairment. Captain, the result of the final evaluation shows that one-third of the members can’t participate in the next invasion.”
The attending doctor responsible for monitoring the condition of the team members reported a tragic result. Herring’s Team T had a total of fifty-three people.
Just one Iudex Gundyr was enough to send one-third of their team members into the emergency room. Five or six were even in a life-threatening situation.
The invasion had caused a serious loss of members in the entire Team T. Herring was also hesitant to organize a second invasion.
Should she give up? She couldn’t reconcile herself to it! She had finally located the core Dream Dungeon of the Dream Maker who had created Battle Royale. It felt like she was so close to being able to meet that Dream Maker.
Thinking as the Captain of Team T instead of an individual, if this operation succeeded and they got two Level S Nightmare Seeds, such a record would be unprecedented… She couldn’t even finish thinking about the advantages of this in a day.
However, were she and her Team T truly capable… of killing so many nightmare guardians and completing all the levels of that Nightmare Dungeon?
“Karl is actually right,” Herring’s partner, Maine, suddenly came in front of her and said as he looked at her, who was leaning against the wall.
“That Level S Nightmare Dungeon isn’t something a team of Dream Eaters can destroy alone. We need to ask headquarters for help. They’ll send more reinforcements here. It’s best if they send another Level S Superhero World Dream Seed as a backup.”
The Level SS Superhero World in America was formed by multiple Level S Dream Seed Populations.
With a Level S Dream Seed as support, the Dream Eaters would be able to invade that Level S Nightmare Dungeon with overwhelming force. By then, it would be much easier for them to destroy that Level S Nightmare Dungeon.
“Then, it’ll be none of our business. Besides… we may be able to get through the Nightmare Dungeon.” Herring looked at her hands and said, “Can you help me seal the mouths of Karl and his subordinates?”
“That is a pain in the ass. I can slow the headquarters down for a few days, but let me remind you… the intel has already been leaked,” Maine said something that shocked Herring.
“The core dream of that Dream Maker. Purifier, Gray Snake, Cherry Blossoms… They seemed to have noticed this ‘weak’ Nightmare Dungeon as well. They just haven’t found a way to enter yet.”
Maine was talking about the famous dream invasion organizations around the world. They were sort of the enemies of the Dream Eaters as well… However, they rarely fought with each other over a Nightmare Dungeon.
“That’s impossible. Who would come and snatch our prey? Even if they know the way to enter, who will be willing to go in for the second time after being tortured by Iudex Gundyr in that Nightmare Dungeon?”
Herring gave a hollow laugh. She truly couldn’t believe that there would be anyone so into masochism in the world that he would continue exploring that Nightmare Dungeon, challenging other guardians after dying thirty to forty times under Iudex Gundyr’s halberd.
“So, you still have the mind to keep challenging it right now? I can’t hide the news from the headquarters for too long. We can’t rule out the possibility of other organizations finding the entrance either…” Maine reminded her.
“Give me two shots of morphine. Inject them directly with glucose and nutrient solution. Set the invasion to six hours this time! I’ll kill everything that moves in that Nightmare Dungeon before anyone does! And I’ll force that Dream Maker to meet me!” Herring lay into the dream-entering machine again and said fiercely.
Maine shrugged and signaled the attending doctors, who were at a loss, to follow Herring’s order.
Even though Maine smelled a hint of conspiracy in it, swallowing two Level S Nightmare Seeds was a temptation that couldn’t be resisted by any Lord of Nightmare or owner of a dream in the world. The dream invasion squads under them would certainly not just sit tight. They would think of a way to enter that Nightmare Dungeon at any cost.
However, Maine wasn’t worried that the Nightmare Dungeon, Dark Souls, would become popular, as this Nightmare Dungeon was extremely strong in persuading people to rage quit.
From his perspective, many invaders would choose to leave that desperate Nightmare Dungeon after being trampled by Iudex Gundyr.
There weren’t many masochistic people who weren’t afraid of dying in the world. Thinking of this, Maine said to one of the attending doctors next to him, “Give me two shots of morphine as well. I still haven’t taken revenge on that guy called Bordeaux for freezing me.”