Zuikaiku was unable to accept it.
As a Destructive-rank magician, his self-esteem had always been high. He wasn’t just assured in his own strength but confident in his intelligence as well.
After all, not just anyone could just build up a 50-member-strong magician corp on their own and make an illustrious name for themselves.
Most Destructive-ranks were lone wolves and preferred not to train, guide, or regulate the ability of others.
Being able to groom 50 people meant that he had the ability to train 500 or even 5000 members. Creating such a force was indeed effortless for him, and it was mostly his own disdain for the task that Zukaiku chose not to do so.
After establishing Blood Feast, he had control over a thousand transcendent beings and held status akin to an emperor which further elevated his already inflated ego.
Moreover, with that mysterious organization, Path of the Flaming Sword, placing him in such high regard and learning the so-called ‘Truth of the World’ gave Zukaiku a sense of innate predominance over the ignorant masses, making him feel superior.
However, the most recent fiasco had utterly brought down the supercilious magician’s sense of superiority and stomped it in the mud mercilessly.
Being captured and brought back to Secret Rite Tower for questioning by Joseph was a disorientating period for Zuikaku. His thoughts were a mess and his mind in utter disarray, causing him to be unaware of the ongoings around him.
That was until Secret Rite Tower started administering medicine, which allowed Zuikaku to gradually regain his lucidity and gave him the opportunity to escape.
The human skin book of his had pages entirely made out of baby skin, and this had been an extremely complex process.
Thus, the book wasn’t just used for communication purposes and actually had a portion of his soul sewn into it as well.
As long as he implemented the specific incantations and procedures before killing himself, Zuikaku could use the human skin book to resurrect himself!
Of course, everything relied on him being sane in the first place.
This time, he really had to thank Secret Rite Tower.
“Hahahaha! I will return from the dead and kill every one of you!”
Zukaiku’s neck was contorted and his head was drooping, yet he laughed maniacally at the panicked knights guarding his cell.
He had largely recovered his sanity but had continued with this facade in order to lull his interrogators into a false sense of security. The humiliation he had experienced over these past few days would never be forgotten.
Just you wait!
Even though he currently had nothing, the determination and perseverance of a Destructive-rank was not to be underestimated. He would make a comeback sooner or later!
And at that time, Secret Rite Tower would face his wrath!
He would hunt down each and every one of them to use as materials for his human skin book!
With this in mind, he closed his eyes sluggishly and promptly lost his consciousness.
Lin Jie could suddenly sense a new addition to his dream realm.
Ever since he finished constructing his dream realm, this entire dream has become a somewhat private room of his own.
Access to his dream realm wasn't just limited to when he fell asleep at night. He could still effectively remove and add objects into it at any point in time, like when he recently placed a stack of documented notes as well as a bunch of random stuff into the dream realm.
Such as Candela's sacred sword, the human skin book...
Of course, there were certain things within the realm that couldn’t be removed.
His body also couldn’t enter the dream realm whenever he liked, and it could only be done by ‘meditating’ or other similar approaches.
Nevertheless, his control over the dream realm still remained, and he was always completely aware of the state of affairs within.
Now, for instance, Lin Jie was acutely aware of the human skin book's movement which he had placed on the bookshelf. The book jolted before its pages flipped open in a flutter despite the evident lack of a breeze.
The pages were flipped with added haste and the writings on the book, akin to a madman’s gibberish, began to liquefy into a dense coagulation of bloodstains.
After which, the pages began excreting thick and fresh blood, which gushed out like a current. As the scarlet liquid splattered onto the ground, it transfigured into a slime-like creature whose form gradually changed to resemble that of a human.
“What is with this freaky dream creature?” Lin Jie halted his woodwork and exclaimed with a frown.
The previous creature that entered the dream realm had been a mismatched amalgamation of a humanoid.
That, by itself, was already creepy enough, but now there was an even more outlandish presence of a slime made of blood.
Creatures of the dream realm are all relatively grotesque, but this feels much too disgusting, thought Lin Jie to himself.
All the more so since this thing had used the human skin book as a medium to ‘seep’ into the realm.
Unlike the patchwork monster from before, where Lin Jie would’ve closely observed to see whether the situation could be turned around into a business opportunity, right now, he just wanted to kill this thing.
To Lin Jie, this slime creature was like a giant fly buzzing around his clean and orderly house, which repulsed him.
While Lin Jie had these thoughts, he noticed that the bloody slime had started to move.
Initially, as though it was lost, it oscillated its head side to side, scanning its surroundings. Then, it picked up the human skin book and did a little display as if celebrating wildly on the spot.
Immediately after, it began squirming toward the stack of documented notes Lin Jie had placed on the coffee table, leaving behind a bloody trail.
Lin Jie decided that enough was enough.
Find the original at *hosted* novel.
It now felt as if a vagrant had broken into his immaculate house. A filthy and pungent burglar about to mess with this stuff.
It wasn't just connected to the human skin book but had a sinister appearance as well. How was it any different from pests like flies and mosquitoes?
Better swat it to death.
With this thought in mind, an invisible force immediately materialized within the dream realm and the bloody slime was then swatted by a seemingly intangible palm.
It struggled wildly as blood splattered all over the place. During the process, it let out a gurgling noise and lifted the human skin book high up in the air for no apparent reason.
This gave Lin Jie a shocking surprise.
The bloodstains on the human skin book underwent another transformation, returning back to its original shape which resembled writings.
He had only one thought in his mind—This thing can actually use the human skin book?!
Anything that can use this unholy book is definitely something nefarious!
And judging from its doing, is it trying to unleash a superpowered move?!
I definitely need to remove this threat in case something bad happens and my dream realm gets destroyed, Lin Jie thought to himself.
Thus, he applied additional pressure.
Zuikaiku thought that he was finally free.
He had finally been resurrected with the aid of the human skin book. Even though opening his eyes to a foreign environment had given him a scare, he was however relieved to find that his surroundings were void of human life and seemed rather serene.
Zuikaiku scanned his surroundings and realized he was likely to be in the residence of some academic or scholar. The entire place was eerily tranquil with only stacks of documented notes and books around.
He had surmised that the human skin book would’ve been lost in some other place, yet it had instead been kept in an environment perfect for his post-resurrection recovery.
"Hahahaha…!" Zuikaiku laughed heartily as he picked up the human skin book.
Isn't this the grace of the Gods?
Now, all he needed to do was successfully escape Secret Rite Tower’s pursuit and contact the Path of the Flaming Sword. His comeback was just around the corner!
After composing himself, Zuikaiku cautiously approached the coffee table with the intention of determining the identity of this place's owner as well as to find out if there was any information beneficial to him.
Yet before he could take another step, an ominous sensation came over him. It felt as if someone was peering at him as the premonition of an imminent crisis arose.
And at that instant, an unstoppable force descended and crushed him entirely.
Every single bone in Zuikaku's body rattled in unison and started cracking under the pressure as his eyes were torn apart by the force. After casting several spells, he finally concluded that he was no match for this unstoppable force.
In a show of sincerity, he raised the human skin book in a hurry, recording down all the spells he had learned in his lifetime on it.
"I am willing to relinquish all of my knowledge to You!
"Please don’t kill me!” he cried out.
Still, the originator of this invisible force paid no attention to him. Instead, the intensity of the said force increased, causing him to collapse and howl in agony.
Eventually, he was completely flattened.
It was only at this moment did Zuikaiku recall the shrills of all the babies he had skinned.
Hadn't he also been unable to hear their cries for mercy back when he was taking those innocent lives?
On this day, he had finally had a taste of his own medicine—
What business is it of yours if I were to destroy you.
Just like swatting a fly with a slipper, the barely humanoid bloody slime combusted spontaneously, turning into a splatter of bloodstains.
Lin Jie cleaned up the stains with a clear revolt before picking up the human skin book.
He flipped open a page of the book only to discover that written on it now were… spells?