Chapter 735: Odd Vortexes
From a distance, this new island wasn’t much different from the one that trapped them for an entire night. The same plain ground, the same dark atmosphere, and the same creeper vines.
The sailors weren’t happy to see it since they almost died somewhere like this. It seemed that Erwin agreed with them since the captain was telling his men to speed up and get out of here ASAP.
Angor startled everyone by taking a great leap in the air and used two “mini-tornadoes” to reach the island.
Since the protector of the ship decided so, the sailors had no choice but to halt the ship somewhere nearby.
As soon as Angor arrived, the creeper plants smelled human flesh and woke up from their slumber, then they relentlessly slammed their fierce-looking arms at him.
Angor simply moved ahead. At the same time, his Field of Fire cantrip surrounded him and burned all the plants close enough to ash.
Following his display of strength, the other presences hidden on the island looked his way.
Groups of glowing souls that looked particularly eye-catching under the dark sky slowly appeared and gave Angor their bloodthirsty gazes.
“As expected!” Angor grew visibly excited upon seeing the undead creatures that surrounded him.
The experiment at Phantom Island did not provide him a definite conclusion that explained the exact nature of Prelude to Rebirth. To do more tests, he needed a ton of undead souls to gather bullets. Unlike other people, he always hoped that he could run into as many such deadly souls as possible.
Using the revolver, he wiped out all souls in sight quicker than reaping grains.
When Erwin decided to move The Limpet ashore, there were barely any souls remaining behind. With the souls gone, the negative energy Angor felt from the island earlier also vanished.
Instead of returning to the ship, he took a small tour around the island hoping to figure out why so many souls gathered here.
It didn’t take him very long since the island was so small. Yet he found nothing other than reeking, uncultivable soil.
He tried digging deeper and still failed to notice anything of interest. It was as if the souls popped up here for no reason.
These souls should have come from dead people, and dead people meant corpses. But he didn’t find one single corpse or skeleton.
In the end, he accepted the assumption that this was caused by the special environment of Specter Basin and told Erwin, who just anchored a moment ago, to keep moving.
The ship ran into more islands, and Angor would stir up the undead souls and kill them. Meanwhile, Erwin simply kept the ship steady for a while until Angor came back.
Clearing out five islands gave Angor one bullet plus a portion of another one. Combined with what he gathered before this journey, he still needed “1.5 bullets” to completely fill the cylinder.
“There are too many hidden reefs ahead, we can’t go that way,” Erwin said and discouraged Angor from going for more islands.
Angor looked that way and decided to comply. He could try searching for islands himself, but that would put him closer to the center of Specter Basin, which was a reckless thing to do. It was best for them to return to Death Loop before getting surprised by something.
However, they didn’t get to move very far when another vortex appeared in their path.
“Did we come across the earlier vortex again? It can’t be. We used a different direction!” a sailor clarified.
Erwin commanded the ship to turn and go around the vortex again.
And for the third time, a vortex showed directly ahead of them as if something was intentionally preventing them from going back to Death Loop.
“Is there like, an intelligent monster blocking our way?”
“Or, it’s trying to force us deeper into Specter Basin.”
“Why is this place so cold? I’m using my garb intended for Wintertide, but it’s still freezing!” A sailor crossed his arms. “I-I got the feeling that we’re gonna stay here forever.”
“It’s going to happen if we don’t do something about the damn whirls.”
Affected by the depressing aura looming over the entire place, people were getting more pessimistic by the second.
Again, Helen and Erwin had to ask for Angor’s help so that their men did not completely break down.
Angor was also wondering why the vortexes were so deliberately preventing them from escaping.
Is that something common at Specter Basin? That no one gets out once they’re in?
“Should we try to cross Specter Basin? That’s our only choice if we can’t go back…” Helen suggested with a worried look.
“No, unless we absolutely can’t help it,” said Angor. “We’d better head back.”
“But the vortex…”
“Let me see…” Angor considered. “You remain here for the moment, I’ll check the water from below.”
He had a feeling that the vortexes were indeed caused by a monster.
Correct or not, he had to see for himself.
Humans tended to fear the unknown and what they could not see.
They wouldn’t be surprised to see a giant blue whale swimming on the bright surface. But if they saw a shadow of the same size underwater, they might assume it as all sorts of horrific beings.
The dark sea was a perfect place for the human imagination to work its wonders. And most of the time, such imagination only led to terror.
It was made worse when the water of the Specter Basin was almost pitch black.
The sailors on the ship would all avoid looking into the water, let alone jumping into it. And when Angor offered to explore beneath, he shocked everyone greatly.
In the views of ordinary folks, Angor’s suggestion meant a one-way ticket to hell.
However, Angor himself wasn’t bothered by the idea at all. He once spent a long time exploring the bottom of the Sea of Purification, completely alone. This was nothing new to him.
After asking Toby to watch the ship, he leaped out of the vessel without a second thought.
The first thing he noticed was that the water was way saltier as well as fetid compared to ordinary seawater. He quickly activated his Purification Field so that he didn’t accidentally digest any of the terrible liquid.
Although he couldn’t see very far, the chaotic current caused by the vortex convinced him that this area was far from peaceful.
Swiftly, he cast Light to illuminate his surroundings.
The first thing he saw was a large fish with stretching fangs. It looked so hideous that he felt his body jump out of instinct.
After avoiding a straightforward tackle attack from the fish, he used another simple cantrip to turn the fish into an ice block. He learned this one by altering the “Ice Wall” cantrip. It seemed it worked better than intended when in water.
He looked around and didn’t see a second predator coming for him. However, there were a lot of tiny, unknown creatures floating about.
He pushed through the force of the disturbed current and moved closer to the vortex.
Soon, a glowing dot that was directly under the vortex entered his view.
He was almost sure that whatever was shining down there was the cause of the obstructions.