Chapter 5: Alchemical Armor [Diamond Scale Armor]
TL: Changed MC name to Suren
After hearing the report from his subordinate, the bald Ivan asked, “How strong are those puppet warriors?”
“They’re not too strong. They all use cold weapons, and firearms can easily shatter their bodies,” replied Markus, clearly still shaken. He swallowed hard before continuing, “But there are just too many of them, and they can’t be killed! Even if they’re blasted by a firearm until only a severed arm remains, they can still chase and hack at people. Moreover, the house is full of these puppets. They can appear from any corner, from inside cabinets, doors, cellars…”
“Can be shattered by firearms? I see,” Ivan said, gaining some confidence after hearing his subordinate’s account.
He analyzed, “It seems that the ‘Ghost Species’ ability is to control puppets to kill. It should only be a first-order anomaly. Otherwise, if it had second-order strength, it wouldn’t have had so much trouble killing you. Our previous estimate of this cursed space being A-level was overestimated. It’s at most B-level.”
Suren, standing nearby, didn’t quite agree with Ivan’s analysis. Based on his experience of watching over a thousand horror movies, the “Ghost Species” actions gave him the impression of a playful killer. Killing seemed more like a game to it.
Clearly, Ivan was left with two choices: either leave this strange mansion immediately or continue searching for “Sir Isaac’s relic”. Regardless of the choice, they would likely have to confront the “Ghost Species” anomaly in the house. If the anomaly’s ability was just to control puppets, it wouldn’t pose a significant threat to Ivan. At least, the puppets at their current level didn’t seem lethal to him. The best outcome would be to obtain the treasure and eliminate the anomaly. But if the “Ghost Species” had more abilities, they would have to face it even if they chose to flee without seeking the treasure.
As the leader of a group of hunters who had been living on the edge for many years, Ivan didn’t hesitate and said, “Let’s go! Let’s see what’s strange about this mansion!”
As the “living map”, Suren was naturally taken along. Ivan glanced at his subordinate and ordered, “Markus, keep an eye on this kid. If there’s any movement, kill him immediately!”
Markus glanced at Suren and replied, “Yes, Captain!”
Suren wasn’t surprised by Ivan’s decision to continue the exploration. He would have done the same. However, he was surprised when, before leaving, Ivan demonstrated an extraordinary ability that was beyond comprehension.
Suren had thought that Ivan’s steam mechanical arm was already quite astonishing. But then, Ivan shouted, “Curse Mark Armor·Release!” He quickly formed several hand signs and muttered a few unintelligible incantations at a rapid pace.
This strange ritual triggered a miraculous transformation. As soon as the incantation ended, the room was filled with a brilliant golden light. Under Ivan’s feet, a golden hexagram magic circle appeared. The complex patterns on the circle seemed to possess a magical power, giving one a glimpse into the profound depths of the endless void and a strong sense of mystery.
“Magic?” Suren was even more surprised at this sight.
But the strangest part was yet to come! After the magic circle’s light faded, the patterns that Suren had thought were colorful tattoos on Ivan’s skin slowly solidified into physical objects. Upon closer inspection, they had turned into a layer of metallic scales with a gleaming luster!
After the ritual, the metallic scales covered Ivan’s entire body. His demeanor changed drastically, transforming him into an imposing armored giant.
Markus, who was watching, seemed to gain some confidence. He said with a hint of flattery, “No matter how many times I see it, Captain’s Alchemical Armor [Diamond Scale Armor] is always so shocking.”
“Hmm.” Ivan nodded without saying much. He said in a deep voice, “Follow me!” With that, he opened the door and walked out fearlessly.
Seeing this, Suren’s interest was piqued. He observed carefully that the metallic scales were formed from the tattoos on Ivan’s body after the magic circle appeared. Clearly, this was another extraordinary power beyond Suren’s understanding.
Before he had time to think more, the pull from the rope made him stumble forward, almost falling. As he stepped out of the room, Suren suddenly had a thought. He stopped avoiding and turned to look directly at the “Nutcracker Puppet” in the corner, giving it a smile. His meaning was clear: I’ve found you.
Since he had found it, it was time to “trigger” it. Based on his years of experience playing horror games, triggering certain specific conditions might lead to unexpected plot developments. Although most of the time, such actions were suicidal, but… given the current situation, it couldn’t get any worse, could it?
In the blink of an eye, Suren and the others had left the room. At this point, no one saw that the “Nutcracker Puppet” in the corner started to tremble, making a “clicking” sound as if it was grinning eerily.
“Kid, you go first!” Compared to Ivan’s caution and Markus’s nervousness, Suren seemed much calmer.
He was well aware that although his combat skills and marksmanship were decent in his previous life, in this fantastical world where the body could resist bullets, he was at a “bottom-tier” level. To survive, using his brain was definitely more practical than using his hands.
He was tied with a rope, serving as a human shield at the front. But this was just fine, as it allowed Suren to carefully observe everything in the corridor.
As he had predicted, this was a luxurious mansion. The corridor was brightly lit, but not by electric or gas lamps. Instead, glowing gems were encased in glass lampshades. There were many closed doors on both sides of the corridor, with soft woolen carpets on the floor and exquisite oil paintings on the walls at intervals. But the corridor seemed a bit too long.
After walking for a while without seeing the end, Markus asked in a trembling voice, “Captain, where are we going? We… seem to be trapped.”
Ivan pondered for a moment, seemingly realizing the abnormality of the mansion, and asked, “Kid, where is the room you mentioned?”
Suren looked around and said directly, “I’ve never been here before. But to find the room on the treasure map, we must first find the banquet hall.”
He had already noticed that no matter how large the mansion was, the length of this corridor was abnormal. But before he could say more, an eerie old woman’s laughter echoed in their ears, “Hehehe… according to the game rules, if you’re found, you’ll be killed.”
The voice didn’t sound human. It was so low and sinister that it sent chills down their spines.
Upon hearing this, Markus turned pale with fear. “It’s coming! It’s coming!” he cried out in panic. Every time they heard this voice, a comrade was killed. At this point, Markus was on the verge of collapse, trembling all over.
Suren scanned the corridor, quietly leaning against the wall, becoming extra cautious.
Ivan, however, snorted, “Hmph, trying to scare us!”
Just then, a few figures “floated” towards them from a distance. Upon closer inspection, they were several eerie puppets floating in the air. Their designs were very crude, like lotus roots pieced together. However, each one held a long, sharp knife in its hand, and their jaws clattered at a high frequency, making a “clicking” sound that made one’s hair stand on end.
“So these are the killing puppets in the mansion that guy was talking about? And they can fly?” Suren looked at the eerie puppets flooding in from both sides of the corridor, his eyelids twitching involuntarily.
But then, there was a sudden “thud”. Without looking, just from the shockwave that nearly knocked them off their feet, they knew that Ivan had fired a shot.
The shot hit the pile of puppets tens of meters away, scattering the approaching puppets. However, this did not slow down the tide of puppets rushing towards them.
Those puppets with severed arms and legs, along with a pile of “parts”, continued to charge.
“Hmph!” Ivan snorted, unafraid, and charged into the pile of puppets.
His metallic scale armor played a significant role at this moment. The puppets’ swords and knives struck it, sparking a shower of sparks, but they couldn’t harm him at all.
“This bald guy is indeed strong. But those puppets can’t be killed. If we don’t break the game, we’ll eventually be worn down here,” Suren thought. His hands were tied, and he didn’t have much room to move. His chances of survival under the onslaught of the puppet tide were extremely low.
However, he had no intention of giving up. At this moment, Markus, who had been scared to the point of trembling, had long since let go of the rope tying Suren.
Most of the puppets were held back by Ivan, and this was an opportunity not to be missed.
“Now!” Suren looked at the surroundings, and without hesitation, he pushed off with one leg and charged towards a glass window on the side of the corridor.
He had observed earlier that there was a fog outside the window. Although he didn’t know which floor this corridor was on, judging by the structure, it definitely wasn’t high up. The chances of falling to his death were low.
But… as he jumped, something unexpected happened!
With a “crash”, Suren easily shattered the glass window and flew out, falling into the thick fog. He had prepared himself for a high fall, expecting to land in a garden or something.
But to his surprise, when he landed, he stepped on a soft carpet. Looking around at the familiar surroundings, Suren was stunned.
“What the… I’m back?” he muttered.