Chapter 23: I’m Firm & Steady
“Do you know Nightmare Fragments?”
Salvatore also held a cup of black tea and sat opposite Annan.
He seemed to be always sleepy; his eyes had thick eye bags, most likely resulting from always staying up late. Both his eyes opened slightly as he whispered, “They said Freezing Water Port’s foreign trade activities are prohibited. It’s most likely not because of the conflict escalation with the Chilly Austere Dukedom in the north.
“It’s because Freezing Water Port is cursed.”
“…To be specific.”
Annan’s heart thumped as he questioned, “What kind of curse? Who caused it?”
If someone said to Anana that a particular place was cursed, he would naturally not believe it in the past. But now, he had learned that the extraordinary power of this world was made up of curses. He had even witnessed the fate of those suffering a curse.
It seemed possible for a region to be cursed…
“It’s a false deity,” Salvatore also lowered his voice as if worried about disturbing something, “Deity…”
Annan repeated the word with his heart palpitated.
Although Annan did not know the difference between the false deities and upright deities, he was disconcerted to get involved with the end-game boss while he was still unranked.
Damn my luck, why!
I’m just settling down in a random port. Why am I getting involved in such big trouble?
“Specifically, as long as someone chants or silently recites the name of the false deities within the area where Freezing Water Port can be seen, they will be dragged into a nightmare.”
Salvatore said slowly, “I won’t tell you his deityhood for the fear that you will think of this name, which will further lead you to say it out subconsciously.
“This is a set of mystery locks composed of multiple Nightmare Fragments. Its interlocking characteristic is ‘reenactment.’ That is to say, if you die from this nightmare, you will lose all the memories of the nightmare and start from the beginning.
“The shallow nightmare  is fine. But if you fall into a deep nightmare subconsciously, your mortality rate will soar. After all, you don’t know how many times you have repeated the same mistake. You will be vulnerable to falling prey to a cycle of infinite death inside the nightmare. Until you are completely eroded into a monster by the curse as you lose control of yourself.”
The young mayor took a deep breath.
His expression was serious, “Silver Sire’s church sent their manpower here to purify the nightmare.
“This nightmare cannot accommodate many people. No matter how many people the church sends, there will only have one person in their nightmare. To prevent victims from dying in the nightmare, which then became the nightmare’s nourishment, the church only sent one person over.
“That person is Priest Louis. Although he is just a typical churchman and not even a legit priest, he is a substitute walker from the Silver Hand and has ample experience in purifying nightmares.
“He has to perform at least 300 effective purifications in the nightmare to weaken the whole nightmare and stop the interlock. So, his main purpose here is not to encourage trade here or to treat people’s injuries. His duty is to keep entering the shallow nightmare and immediately escape after completing the purification. It is hazardous work.”
Salvatore yawned and took a pause. He took a sip of black tea in his cup and emphasized, “I’m here to prevent this secret from spreading. On the one hand, I’m here to look after civilian lives. On the other hand, it is also to prevent Priest Louis from purifying desperately for a while, only to find that the nightmare here is getting stronger.”
In other words, Priest Louis is sent here to deal with the dungeon instance.
Salvatore failed to notice Annan’s expression became a little weird.
He was still worried about this matter previously.
If the players came to Freezing Water Port, but there was no dungeon instance for them, would the energetic players stir up troubles?
After all, there were very few people here. There was a shortage of monsters for them to slay. Annan was not sure whether the NPC would offer missions to the players.
If the players entered the game only to do some farm work, catch fish, build houses, etc., then the name Mist Continent might as well be renamed as “Perfect Life Simulator.”
It seems all will be fine now.
Annan intended to throw all the energetic players to challenge high difficulty dungeon instances directly.
I can try to develop their masochistic tendency too.
But, Annan was very curious about another thing, even wary of it,
“Senior, then why did you tell me this?”
“Freezing Water Port doesn’t need two mayors. The main person responsible for purifying the nightmares is Priest Louis. I don’t have the Holy Light, and I can’t use spells in nightmares. What can I do when I go in? To put it bluntly, my duty is to write a letter to the capital to request support after Priest Louis has lost control or death.”
Salvatore said with a smile. It was apparent that he was in a good mood, “In other words, after you take over this job, I will return to Black Tower and advance into Silver Rank.”
Annan shuddered in his heart.
You’re fucking running away!
Truth to be told, Annan suddenly began to wonder if Salvatore had discovered some alarming dangers, pushing him to look for a chance to run away.
Seeing Annan seemed a little unhappy, Salvatore said immediately, “I’m not leaving right away. Before I leave, you can come and read my book at any time. If you don’t understand anything, you can consult me at any time. After all, I was the leading graduate back then. Besides, I was also a prefect. It would not be a problem for me to teach you.”
This is fairer.
Hearing this, Annan’s expression turned better.
He was not the real Don Juan Geraint anyway. If there were a big problem that could not be solved, he would just run away.
Compared with the future risks, the benefits that could be obtained immediately were the most tangible.
The most important thing was that he could finally read some books. I hope that I can quicklycatch up with the common sense of this world from Salvatore.
Annan found it exhausting to interact with others, purely relying on his acting skills.
So, Annan quickly responded.
“Do you have any plans afterward?”
Annan asked another question.
Looking at Annan’s expectant and earnest gaze, Salvatore coughed slightly and turned his head away unnaturally.
“I should stay in Black Tower for a long time. I want to work directly in Black Tower as a professor to teach. In my free time, I can do some research. It will be relaxing.”
Having said that, he glanced at Annan and sighed softly, “Of course, if the situation in the capital city continues to be chaotic, I probably won’t be at ease to stay inside the Black Tower for long.
“Once the war breaks out…”
He did not say anything afterward, but Annan did not ask.
The royal family’s inheritance rights, the issue with the Chilly Austere Dukedom’s higher-ups, and the false deity having his eye on Freezing Water Port…
With all these things intertwined, the more Annan found out, the weaker he felt.
“I may have to trouble you with the advancement ritual, later on, senior.”
Annan stood up and said to Salvatore seriously.
Salvatore nodded slowly.
His tired eyes opened slightly, and he warned, “You go to study the book first and adjust your state. Advancement ritual needs to be carried out in a nightmare. I will go to Louis to ask for some information first to provide you the nightmare summary.
“Remember, don’t do unnecessary things. In case you fall into a deep nightmare, no one can save you. Got it?”
Annan nodded and replied firmly, “I’m not going to hurt myself like that.”
In my past life, they tend to describe me as a steady person like a defense tower. Presumably, I should be a sensible person.
Annan’s evaluation of himself had always been proud.
 Take note that nightmare means Dungeon Instance.