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Shadow Slave

Chapter 104 Soul Arsenal

Chapter 104 Soul Arsenal

Not wasting any more time, Sunny dove into his Soul Sea.

Despite his changed mental state, it was as calm as always. The silent expanse of still water stretched into the empty distance, with the Shadow Core hovering above like a dark star. Tiny spheres of light floated in the air around it, reflecting on the surface of the tranquil sea.

The silent shadows were still there, standing motionless at the edge of darkness. Compared to before, their ranks had swelled. Monsters of all shapes and sizes were among them now, making Sunny's collection of slain enemies look increasingly impressive. Walking past them, he glanced at one or another from time to time, recalling the thrilling battles with a mix of dread and pride.

This was his personal museum, a dark monument to all his sins.

"Wait… sins? Why sins?"

Just at that moment, Sunny stumbled and stopped. Not too far away from him, a gaunt shadow stood among the menagerie of terrifying creatures, silently staring at him with empty eyes.

That shadow once belonged to a young man, not much older than Sunny himself. He had lived in the ramshackle settlement beyond the castle's gates, struggling to survive like everybody else. Before… before…

Sunny looked away.

"Don't you look at me like that. It was your own fault, fool. You shouldn't have asked me all those questions!"

Out of the three people he had murdered with his own hands, this kill was the only one that made Sunny feel something. Because it wasn't done in the heat of the battle or to settle a personal score. This one… this one was done in cold blood.

It was why he had to leave the castle — among other things.

Sunny grimaced.

"I said stop looking at me! Just stay dead and don't bother me with your nonsense!"

Huffing angrily, he turned away. Soon, he walked past the shadows of the Blood Fiend, the hunting party's leader, and the deadly Stone Saint.

Glancing at the statuesque figure of the stone monster, Sunny forgot all about the gaunt shadow and smiled. He was here to take a look at her Echo, after all.

The prospect of having another Echo under his command was already very exciting. The loyal and strangely personable scavenger had been of great help to Sunny in the past, tremendously increasing his combat performance. After all, despite having a Divine Aspect and a uniquely powerful Ability, Sunny was still just a Dreamer, one whole rank below the Echo.

The scavenger, however, was merely a beast… while the Stone Saint was a monster. Her power was comparable to that of the ferocious carapace centurions, far surpassing anything that Sunny could ever hope to achieve in this cursed place. The strange nature of the steadfast living statue made her even more formidable.

Having a servant like that would make many impossible things possible. However, Sunny wanted even more. He was waiting to see what miracle his Aspect was going to perform, hoping that the results would surpass his wildest expectations.

Soon, he was standing under the black sun of his Shadow Core, observing the spheres of light that represented his Memories.

There were nine of them now.

The ones that he actually used were the Puppeteer's Shroud, the Midnight Shard, the Prowling Thorn, the Ordinary Rock, and the Endless Spring.

Savoring the anticipation, Sunny summoned each of them one by one and read the glowing runes surrounding the Memories.

He had gotten the heavy kunai after defeating a peculiar creature that resembled a monstrous armored porcupine. The rain of jagged bone quills had left several holes in Sunny's body, but the reward was well worth it.

Memory: [Prowling Thorn].

Memory Rank: Awakened.

Memory Tier: II.

Memory Type: Weapon.

Memory Description: [This flying dagger is as unpredictable and fickle as the affection of a young beauty, but, perhaps, not as deadly.]

Memory Enchantments: [Rose of Betrayal].

Enchantment Description: [The Prowling Thorn is connected to its wielder by an invisible string. This string is strong but mercurial — just like the treacherous bond of sentimental attachment.]

After reading this description for the first time, Sunny couldn't help but wonder if the Spell had been scorned by a lover once. The runes practically exuded bitterness.

Next on the list was his most dangerous Memory, the talking rock.

Memory: [Ordinary Rock].

Memory Rank: Awakened.

Memory Tier: I.

Memory Type: Tool.

Memory Description: [Just an ordinary rock.]

Memory Enchantments: [Not Really].

Enchantment Description: [The word is mightier than the sword. The rock is mightier than the word.]

The funny thing was that the Ordinary Rock, which was capable of repeating various sounds, had fallen into the hands of a person who was unable to tell lies. It was now the most honest Memory in two whole worlds.

…It had also made Sunny think twice before opening his mouth. Sometimes.

The last Memory he decided to take a look at was, perhaps, the most precious to him. It was the beautiful glass bottle that Cassie had given Sunny as a farewell gift.

Memory: [Endless Spring].

Memory Rank: Dormant.

Memory Tier: IV.

Memory Type: Tool.

Memory Description: [A lovesick devil had once imprisoned a mighty river in this fragile glass bottle. It was his gift it to a beautiful desert spirit.]

Memory Enchantments: [Gift of Water].

Enchantment Description: [This bottle contains enough water to make flowers bloom in the desolate heart of the most lifeless of deserts].

This one was sort of romantic. It seemed as though the Spell was all over the place when coming up with these descriptions, to the point where Sunny couldn't even tell if it was being serious.

With a sigh, he dismissed the sphere of light containing the Endless Spring and glanced up.

The other four of his Memories were not very useful. They were an incredibly heavy tower shield, a suit of armor that was worse than the Puppeteer's Shroud in every regard, a glass eye capable of producing bright beams of harmless red light, and the obnoxiously loud silver bell — the first Memory he had ever gotten.

The remaining three had been awarded to him for killing comparatively weak monsters on the streets of the cursed city. He was hoping to trade them for something more suitable during his next visit to the castle, whenever that might be.

Forgetting about the Memories, Sunny finally focused his attention on the brightest sphere of light that was floating in the dark emptiness above his head

The one containing his new Echo.

He willed it to descent and watched as the sphere glided down, softly touching the surface of dark water a few moments later. It slowly dimmed, revealing the stone figure hidden within.

Here in the dark silence of the Soul Sea, the Stone Saint looked just like a statue. She was approximately as tall as Sunny, looking miniature in comparison to the rest of the Nightmare Creatures he had to face on the Forgotten Shore.

She was also uniquely human-like in appearance. If not for the dark grey hue and the stonelike nature of her granite skin, Sunny might have even mistaken the strange monster for a Sleeper. Provided, he couldn't see much of her body behind the graceful dark armor.

The nature of these strange creatures remained a mystery.

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