I CAME BACK AND CONQUERED IT ALL Chapter 2 Prologue (2)

Prologue (2)

Red mana began to spread out with Angelica at its center. It slowly filled the room with the altar, intertwining with each other and stretching out, taking the shape of hands and arms. It formed four distinctive shapes, the same number as the team’s people, excluding Angelica herself.

“What on earth are you talking about?”

The group was unified in their confusion, staring at me in wonderment. They could not see the mana that others emanated. In short, they could not see what I could witness in front of me.

“Ah!”

Suddenly, Angelica thrust her red arms that she had formed over all of us. We didn’t even have the time to resist. In that moment-

A system window appeared before my eyes.

-Skill [The Successor’s Eye (Rank: EX)] resists the Skill of [Dominating Touch (Rank: SSS)].

At the same time, I could see sparks splashing between my body and the red hand that had approached my head. The hand couldn’t come any closer. However, as for the rest…

“Is…is everyone okay?”

A cold breeze like ice passed my back. My crew members couldn’t resist the red hand; the bloody aura that Angelica emanated grabbed the rest of their heads as if it were about to crush them. The expressions on their faces were erased like it had all been a lie. They were like puppets with empty eyes. They stopped moving and speaking, turning stiff.

Because I had encountered Angelica’s skill, some of the system messages were shared with me by the [The Successor’s Eye]. It was a piece of information about the unfamiliar skills Angelica was currently unleashing.

[Dominating Touch (Rank: SSS)]

Skill Effect: Able to freely control nearby targets during the time the skill is cast.

Passive: The subject’s memory can be read, and simple memory manipulation and suggestions are possible. Manipulated memories or suggestions are maintained even after the skill’s casting time is over.

Restrictions: 1) The number of objects that can be manipulated once activated is limited to four. 2) If the manipulated memory or suggestion is extremely different from the target’s common sense, values, or deeply desired goal, the memory or suggestion will be nullified after the skill ends. However, this penalty doesn’t apply during the casting of the skill.

Mana Cost: 5,000 when activated, 50 per second for subsequent maintaining of the state.

“Manipulation…skill?”

It was also a powerful one that had never been seen before. Angelica came down from the altar, her expression drowsy as if she found it very annoying. Then, she looked us over.

“I’ll tell you again, but you’ve been working hard so far. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to go up to the hundredth floor by myself.”

The words resonated through the room, leaving a lonely void.

“You all have done well. Aren’t you all tired? I understand. So now…”

Her tone was completely detached.

“Everyone, die.”

At that moment, everyone except me took out their weapons.

“Oh, no! No!”

My screams rang throughout the room. My teammates expressionlessly held their weapons to their necks. Then…

Rip!

There was the sound of flesh tearing, the sound of ripping, and the sound of something being pierced. A thick smell of blood filled the room.

Thump!

All at once, they fell to the floor. The mana core that had been beating in my teammates’ hearts disappeared as if it had evaporated. Something hot and wet filled up my eyes. I didn’t even have the strength to stand anymore as my legs collapsed under me. I was trembling, almost as if I were having a seizure. I was barely able to squeeze out my voice.

“Angelica?”

And…

“Tsk.”

She clicked her tongue as she stood before the altar. As if it was annoying, she stared at me with a face I had never seen before. A cold voice flowed in my ears.

“It surely doesn’t work for you, huh? It bounced off again. It hasn’t worked, even if I tried it hundreds of times so far. Why should it work suddenly today? I wondered if it would work if your mind were awake…if I knew this was going to happen, I would’ve brought one more to the tower. Someone who can help in battle.”

I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

“You tried it on me before? I wouldn’t have missed seeing that mana when it was activated!”

“Of course, I did it after secretly drugging and anesthetizing you. Why would I do that when your eyes were wide open? Am I an idiot?”

Then she looked at me, her eyes frowning as if she were concentrating again. The system window then appeared.

-The skill [The Successor’s Eye (Rank: EX)] resists the skill [Dominating Touch (Rank: SSS)] even stronger!

Spark!

The red hand that tried to get close to my head failed to achieve its purpose and shattered like broken glass in the air. Red fragments of mana fell to the floor, mixing with the flowing blood before it quickly disappeared. As my wandering eyes glanced around, lost, they landed on Nate’s severed head. My gaze met with his relaxed pupils. In a flash, extreme despair and anger mixed up and swirled inside of me.

“Why?!”

I howled like a beast, squeezing the oxygen out of my old body.

“What the hell?!”

Angelica approached with a dagger in one hand and an egg in the other. My gaze reached behind her, to the bodies of the rest of my teammates.

“I’m tired of playing with people and manipulating them. And….the plan took a wrong turn because so many more died than I expected a year ago.”

Playing with people? I then remembered Angelica and the process that our guild went through to be in the place we were in, building up around her. One of the reasons why Angelica was praised was that the hunters, stained by their egos, and the heads of corporations and governments from all over the world understood her sincerity once they talked with her. They wanted to walk the same path as her and become her strength to carry on.

What if it was not a result of just simple persuasion? Was it the effect of mental manipulation and suggestion?

“Do you want to know?”

Angelica laughed, baring her teeth. She quietly opened a sub-dimension, placing the Egg of the Dimensional Bird into it.

“Ah···!”

The meaning of her actions was self-evident.

“I won’t break the Egg of the Dimensional Bird.”

Instead of breaking it, she was securing it into a safe space. Dizziness, panic, and a sense of extreme crisis swept through my head.

“If the egg hatches, the gate and the dungeon won’t disappear even after the tutorial ends. Rather, it will connect this place with more dimensions!”

A mixture of horror and guesses rotated coolly through my head. She, who had led us to the hundredth level with Prophecy, didn’t wish for Earth’s isolation from the start. And instead of [Future Foreknowledge], she had hidden a unique skill named [Dominating Touch]. I came to a hopeless conclusion.

“In the first place, you never had the skill [Future Foreknowledge].”

“That’s right.”

[Future Foreknowledge] was a passive skill that didn’t require mana, so I thought that her mana’s flow was not visible. Even if she predicted while I was in contact with her, I thought the system message couldn’t be seen because it was the same EX level as my skill.

However, it was all a lie. Angelica’s skill was the kind that could manipulate people’s minds. She had no unique skill called Prophecy. No, then…how did she know in advance of the events such as the collapse of the SSS-class dungeon or the appearance of the Tower of Choice?

I thought that Angelica found me since I lived so far without revealing my unique skill, with her power of Prophecy. How would did she know I had this kind of skill without Prophecy? Another question was raised.

“Why…now?”

How the hell would she benefit from opening more gates to Earth? Upon seeing my confusion, Angelica replied.

“I told you. At that time, a year ago, too many died, more than I expected. That’s all.”

I could read the madness in her eyes. This Angelica wasn’t the kind of person I had loved from the start. My lips trembled as they moved.

“You crazy monster.”

“You can say what you like.”

Angelica came to me, muttering like she was humming.

“It’s fortunate. Because you are the only one on this planet who can resist my skills, and you are only a powerful half-a-hunter. Without your unique skill, you’re no different than…just a civilian.”

Her lips drew a thin line.

“I’ve found your skill quite handy until now, but let’s say goodbye.”

A shiver ran down my spine.

“Bye.”

Rip!

Angelica’s dagger pierced my throat, and I felt a roaring pain and darkness well up in front of my eyes. I was drifting away from my senses and from everything else. After that, I was engulfed by deep darkness. The hall on the hundredth floor was no longer visible, and I felt dizzy. I was drawn into a world full of other things that replaced my senses.

Darkness. Just pitch-black darkness.

How long had it been since I had gone into this state?

A strange golden color approached me from somewhere, distance and direction difficult to distinguish, and wrapped me around. I felt like my body was floating, and I flew away towards somewhere at the speed of a streaking meteor. Without even questioning it, I was dragged around by the turbulent power.

I flew for a while, but after a time, foreign gray energy crossed into my path and crashed with me. There was no pain, but I noticed that the path I was flying to changed slightly. Falling, falling, falling…the dense abyss covered me with a rough texture, and the sound that resonated dull in my ears was gradually becoming clearer.

I then heard someone’s voice.

“Oh, get up now, will you?!”


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