Shadow Slave - Chapter 566
Chapter 566: Lmprisoned
Sunny looked at the runes. Their eerie glow was swiftly growing brighter and brighter, drowning the chamber in a ghostly light. Slowly, a deep frown appeared on his face.
Then, suddenly, his eyes widened.
But it was already too late. The runes shimmered, and in the next moment, he felt his reserve of shadow essence plunging. It was as though something was draining the essence out of his soul with terrifying speed.
At the same time, the range of shadow essence diminished even further, becoming limited by the size of the cage. The gloomy shadow recoiled, trying to get away from the shining runes.
Sunny hurriedly tried to summon the Cruel Sight, but he was a second too slow. Before the spear could form itself from the sparks of light, his essence ran dry, and it disintegrated before assuming a physical form.
He looked helplessly at the bars of the cage and clenched his fists.
This was indeed a jail cell built to contain Awakened. Without shadow essence, he wouldn’t be able to use Shadow Step to escape. More than that, he couldn’t summon Memories anymore — manifesting them into reality demanded essence, as well, even if it was a tiny amount.
The same went for Echoes… and even Shadows.
He also felt weak, and was only going to grow weaker in the coming hours — without essence circulating through his body, Sunny’s strength was vastly diminished.
…Whoever created this damned cage really knew what they were doing.
With a resentful snarl, Sunny turned around and allowed himself to slide down to the center of the dome, where Cassie stood with a lost expression on her pale, delicate face.
Raising one hand awkwardly, she tentatively moved it through the air around her and whispered:
“…I am blind again.”
Sunny frowned, stared at her for a moment, and then turned away.
“You were always blind.”
Of course, he knew what Cassie meant — without soul essence, the Aspect Ability that allowed her to perceive the world from several seconds in the future was gone, too. It wasn’t exactly sight, but something that had replaced being able to see to her.
His words might have been cruel, but Sunny was not in the mood for pleasantries.
Being locked in a cage, powerless to escape… that was his worst nightmare.
And he had no one but himself to blame for ending up that way!
Turning away from the blind girl, Sunny sat down, lowered his head, and grabbed it with both hands.
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Suddenly, the cathedral shook again.
Cassie remained silent for a while, then said quietly:
“This must have been the Gateway. They… they really destroyed it.”
Sunny closed his eyes.
“I guess you are right.”
He heard her sitting down opposite him and wondered about the black altar that was now laying somewhere in the depths of the Citadel in pieces. Was the ivory knife destroyed, as well?
Had there even been a second knife, to begin with? Or was it just a lie Mordret had invented to lure him into the Night Temple?
What else had he lied about?
Sunny gritted his teeth, suppressing a groan. He felt scared, furious, and utterly humiliated.
He had been so careful not to trust the mysterious voice after hearing it for the first time. But Mordret had been so helpful, and had provided him with so much valuable information that proved to be true. Sunny was, most likely, only alive because of the lost prince’s aid.
Even so, he had never lowered his guard. If there had been the smallest hint that Mordret wanted something from him, he would have suspected the worst. But the bastard was just too devious and cunning… terrifyingly so.
Mordret had played him like a fiddle…
He had understood perfectly just how untrusting Sunny was, and went with the lightest of approaches. Knowing that any pressure would scare his paranoid mark off, Mordret had simply mentioned the ivory knife in passing and never spoke about it again… in fact, after the hook was in, he had never spoken to Sunny again.
Observing silently and waiting for his prey to come to him of its own volition…
‘Oh, gods… how much has he seen?’
He was willing to bet that there had never even been a need for Mordret to wait days between their conversations. All of it was just a part of an intricate web of lies and manipulation.
‘Fool! I am such a fool!’
How had he allowed himself to be fooled so completely?
A crazy smile suddenly appeared on Sunny’s face, and he let out a stifled laugh.
Wasn’t the answer obvious? Truth… his downfall was the truth! Like a masterful liar, Mordret had mixed just enough of it into his lies to make them believable.
“Oh, the irony…”
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Cassie shifted slightly, and asked, her voice soft and cautious:
“Sunny? What exactly happened back there?”
He let out a bitter chuckle and answered in a dark tone:
“Why? Don’t you know everything?”
The blind girl didn’t answer, and after some more time passed, he sighed.
“…Sorry. It was me. I got us into this mess.”
Sunny straightened and forced himself to calm down.
Dwelling on the past was not going to do them any good. The situation was bad, but not hopeless. The future was uncertain, and there would surely be a chance to turn everything around… he just needed to remain in control of himself and be ready to act when an opportunity presented itself.
Who said that Mordret was going to have the last laugh?
“Do you remember the mysterious Lost I told you about? The one who had taught me about the Seed, and the knives?”
Cassie nodded slowly.
Sunny lingered for a few moments, then shook his head.
“Well, as it turns out, he lured me into the Night Temple on purpose. He needed the piece of mirror I found a while back, for some reason. When Master Pierce saw it, all hell broke loose.”
She remained silent for some time, and then asked:
“Do you think that this Lost is here, in the Night Temple?”
Sunny looked away. When he finally spoke, his voice sounded grim:
“I do. Actually… I think that this whole Citadel is a prison. A prison that was meant to contain a single creature. Him.”
Cassie shivered and hugged her shoulders. A heavy silence settled between them.
After a while, she said:
“Maybe you are right. But, Sunny…”
Her voice trembled:
“…What kind of a being would require a hundred Awakened fighters, two Ascended knights, and a Saint to guard it?”
Sunny stared at her, not knowing what to say.
He had no idea.
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