Bonus Chapter: That Corner (2)

Parvi shot him a glance.

“People are missing!”

“No, no, no, that’s not it. I know that.” Weimer shook his head seriously.

His eyes lit up.

“I know what’s missing!”

“What?” Captain Gray and First Mate Ol’ Keaton asked in unison.

Weimer laughed.

“Money, notes, and gold coins!”

He straightened his back and continued explaining, “Although we haven’t entered the houses to conduct a detailed search, according to my experience, even if we just look from the outside, we should be able to find some. However, there’s nothing at all!”

“Perhaps it’s just that the people here aren’t very rich and don’t have the habit of leaving their money around.” Parvi didn’t agree.

This was not an important problem. The four of them quickly diverted their attention. After entering the municipal square, they looked at the tallest building.

It was a black-spired cathedral.

Mushrooms tenaciously grew out of the cracks in the bricks of the cathedral. They were either simple and plain, or gorgeous and colorful. They strung together, showing a presence that couldn’t be ignored in front of the green vines.

“This place feels like it’s been abandoned for even longer.” Parvi paused before saying, “From the architectural style, this looks like the cathedral of the Goddess. Do the people here also believe in the Goddess?”

She found this rather peculiar.

The residents of such a hidden island and strange town seem to believe in the Evernight Goddess…

Ol’ Keaton stared at it for a few seconds before saying, “Seems so.”

Then, he immediately added, “It feels like the closer we get to the square and the cathedral, the longer it appears to be abandoned.”

Be it the weeds on the road, the green plants on the surface of the buildings, or the mushrooms of all kinds, the closer they got to the center of the town, the more numerous they became. And the cathedral seemed to be covered in a green coat with many speckled holes.

After a moment of silence, Parvi suggested, “Let’s go to the cathedral. As long as the Goddess is still watching this land, there won’t be any particularly serious problems there.”

Captain Gray and Ol’ Keaton didn’t object, but the former reiterated the rules of this exploration.

“After entering the cathedral, you can only use your eyes to see and ears to hear. Don’t do anything else.”

“No problem.” Weimer walked towards the cathedral at the side of the square.

This left Parvi with no choice but to gesture a circle on her chest and simply ask for the Goddess’s protection.

As there wasn’t much time left, the four of them sped up and quickly arrived at the cathedral’s entrance.

They were in no hurry to push the door open and enter. They “sized up” their surroundings individually.

“Very quiet,” Captain Gray concluded.

The other three also expressed that they did not find any problems.

The black cathedral’s door was ajar. After Weimer exerted force with his hands, it slowly opened.

The bottom of Captain Gray’s black eye patch immediately lit up, helping him see the scene inside clearly.

There were no tables or chairs in the hall. There were windows on both sides that shone with light, and it was dark red above.

Drip, drip, drip. Drops of viscous, pale-yellow liquid fell from the sky and hit the ground like rain, giving people the feeling that the dome was severely damaged and was facing a storm.

Before Gray could speak, he saw the viscous, disgusting liquid dissolve into puddles.

The puddles rolled and bubbled endlessly.

The bubbles popped, and deformed babies with moist skin and pale yellow dirt crawled out.

As these babies grew rapidly, they dripped more viscous yellow liquid, creating more puddles and stirring more bubbles…

“Waaa! Waaa! Waaa!”

They began to cry.

Just seeing this scene caused blood to flow from Gray’s eyes. The eye patch turned dark red as if he was moved to tears by the birth of life.

His mind was blank. He felt that every part of his body was nurturing a new life.

The sharp pain snapped him to his senses, and he instinctively took a step back.

The scene in front of Gray returned to normal. It was still the empty cathedral hall with wide windows that lacked maintenance, and a tall and magnificent dome. There was no viscous liquid that fell like rain, nor were there countless deformed babies and puddles everywhere.

“Huff, puff” Gray panted heavily.

The next second, he turned around and shouted as he ran, “Run!”

Thud thud thud! Gray rushed out of the municipal square.

He did not care about Parvi, Ol’ Keaton, and Weimer at all.

He was already considered a responsible captain for still remembering to warn his teammates under the current circumstances.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

Gray didn’t dare stop at all. Relying on his amazing physique despite his blurred vision, he ran all the way out of the strange town, back to the crude port, and onto his ship.

Ol’ Keaton, Parvi, and Weimer rushed back in less than ten seconds.

“Set sail!” Gray ordered.

Gray waited until the ship set sail before he bothered to check his injuries. He raised a hand to his eye and instantly felt moisture.

However, when he brought his hand to his eyes, he realized that it was not blood—just tears.

As he ran, he kept crying.

Grey’s brows knitted together, startled and suspicious.

Soon, he confirmed that he was not injured at all.

“What did you guys see?” He turned to look at Ol’ Keaton and the others.

Weimer looked at the captain. His eyes were red as if he had just cried.

He said with lingering fear, “I saw fireball after fireball.

“They fell from the roof with a whoosh and then exploded!

“Light. My eyes were filled with light. I felt like I was going blind. No, I’m already blind! Then, I felt like I was melting. It hurt. It really hurt.”

Weimer heaved a sigh of relief.

“Fortunately, Captain woke me up at that moment.”

He rubbed his eyes and said in confusion and relief, “I’m fine now. It’s just that I kept crying at first, but then I got better. It was like a bad dream.”

What he meant was that the dream was very real. There were still lingering fears when he woke up, but he would be fine after a while.

Captain Gray nodded and carefully examined Weimer’s eyes.

After confirming that there was really no problem, he looked at First Mate Ol’ Keaton.

“What about you?”

Ol’ Keaton looked at the distant coastline and the shrinking port and said in a reminiscent tone,

“The entire cathedral collapsed. I fell to the ground with the surrounding pillars and stone bricks.

“It was bottomless. Moreover, my head, my flesh, and my skin fell at different speeds. They began to pull at each other. It hurt, it really hurt…”

The slightly loose skin and deep wrinkles on Ol’ Keaton’s face trembled as if he didn’t want to recall any more of the incident.

He exhaled and said after a while,

“My entire body was about to be torn apart. Then, it was as if there were invisible hands around me. They pressed my hands, legs, head, skin, flesh, and bones to my internal organs with great force…

“I wished I could die as quickly as possible. Fortunately, I woke up the next second thanks to you, Captain.”

Weimer sighed with emotion.

“This is even more painful than what happened to me. If you hadn’t woken up in time, you might have seen yourself turn into a blood-colored meatball.”

Parvi listened quietly and said thankfully, “I wasn’t in that much pain.

“I saw darkness—darkness that made me feel at ease.

“Then, I fell asleep. It was like I was back in my bed until I was woken up by you, Captain.”

Captain Gray nodded slowly.

“From the looks of it, what we encountered or experienced is different. Moreover, we are left without any injuries.”

“It’s just some stress.” Ol’ Keaton affirmed the captain’s statement.

He then voiced his guess.

“Perhaps we were under an illusion or hallucinated for some other reason. And because everyone has different personalities and experiences, what we saw and experienced were different.”

Before Ol’ Keaton finished speaking, Parvi blurted out, “Mushrooms! Could it be those mushrooms? Those mushrooms were the strangest!”

“Yes, definitely!” Weimer agreed after being momentarily taken aback.

It was common knowledge that one could be poisoned and end up hallucinating after eating certain mushrooms. In such a strange place, it was reasonable for one to be affected just by approaching the mushrooms.

Captain Gray seriously recalled for a moment and said, “That’s possible. There was a very faint, sweet smell in the air… The fragrance of some mushrooms?”

In the middle of a small town called Utopia, on the surface of the cathedral that was suspected to belong to the Church of Evernight, mushrooms suddenly became active.

They squirmed and crazily spewed out large amounts of spores. Before the spores landed, they had already grown into different mushrooms in the air. Then, they continued to create more spores.

And in the gap between the black bricks occupied by the mushrooms and green plants, pale-white, tiny, baby-like deformed palms squeezed out.

Silently, the entire cathedral collapsed, and a bottomless pit appeared in the ground.

The huge pit spread out, pulling the buildings over and shattering them into pieces.

Elsewhere in the town, the large number of houses that had originally stood tall had long disappeared, leaving behind large pieces of colorful glass-like traces.

In the depths of the ground, muffled sounds came one after another.

In just a few seconds, the place had completely fallen silent.

Buildings rose from the ground one after another, and the town quickly recovered as if it had a vitality of its own.

The furnishings in the houses were almost the same as before, but there were certain differences in their details. What was left had switched to the right, and what was far became close.

Late at night, on the ship.

Weimer, who could not sleep because of what happened during the day, came to the deck and breathed in the moist sea breeze.

“You’re still awake?” He saw the boatswain, Parvi.

Parvi was still wearing the clothes she wore during the day. She looked at the dark sea in the distance and said,

“I was going to sleep, but I suddenly recalled some details after I closed my eyes.”

“What details?” Weimer asked curiously.

Parvi’s face reflected the red moonlight as she said, “There’s something else under the darkness I saw in the cathedral…”

Without waiting for Weimer to ask, she muttered to herself dreamily,

“There were many skeletons, some children’s and some babies’. Some of them were normal, while others looked like monsters. It was packed with them, everywhere.

“Also, there seemed to be a raven hidden in the depths of the darkness.”