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Ethereal Paradigm: A Canvas of Black
Author :ICARUS
© Webnovel

65 Espionage

"And I'm not spying! I'm evaluating! It's the same difference!"

-Kim Harrison,

━━━━━━━━┓ ✠ ┏━━━━━━━━

Second by second... the domain becomes darker and so, the clearer I came to see and yet, the golden light of daybreak still is yet to say its complete goodbye.

Here's the status quo.

Monsters have surrounded us, even before we could get to the innermost part of this unlit labyrinth of a forest.

Chimera, Aggressive slimes, Red Rabbits, the Gorilla-like monstrosities and the wolf pack which has its individual peculiarities.

Not to mention that there's something unspeakable that I could sense moving underground. It's as if they were lured here with a purpose. The masterminds? I think I have a clue. A hundred-meter radius, veiled in white robes, humanoid creatures are on stand by, each of which is on atop of trees, spying us like legit Ninjas and I have the jest that they are interested in Shiro whom they called the 'Kurenai' for whatever reason they have.

The dark intent in the atmosphere also began to ameliorate degree by degree as the monsters drew closer and in it, I can sense this burning passion to kill. Good luck though... Think about the lexicon 'killing' in front of me, and I can likely kill you first.

Then, as though finding myself traversing the dark hearts of those monsters that are coming for us, I gained full control over them, in an instant. What's inside their hearts? It's not hunger, nor to prey, but the blatant endeavor for more darkness and blood spill. Good. I can kill them anytime I want then.

Wondering what's been constantly breathing on the underground, I also tried to take control of it, but it was not Gnome... Its attribute is something else and I can't even feel any dark intent coming from it. It's impossible to read... but, I can quite see the shape that it's in that if I am to describe using the ancient depictions of mythology, is like a 'Gorgon' but way, way bigger. Its upper body is alike to that of a mere human, with head and eyes, yet, with a venomous looking mouth and snakes for hair, while its lower part is something alike to the body of a serpent. Its name according to the system? 'Euryale' with an HP of over a million...

For whatever reason, I can't also see any charisma coming from those humanoid encircling us either. They have nothing in them, and every time I try to enter their minds, something's protecting them. Maybe they have somewhat like an item that could nullify binding abilities? That would without a doubt put me in a pinch.

We continued to walk down the slowly, but assuredly darkening path, and not yonder, those monsters began to surround us. They have arrived, with fangs ready to be inflicted on us, if not of my manipulation.

Their stats? It's 20 times stronger than the red rabbits we have fought too far. Everything is elevated beyond foreseeable rates that, fighting 'fairly' with all of them at once, would without a doubt spell a challenge, even for my paradigm. And by 'fair', I mean not being a coward as to see through the hearts of these wild entities.


Not happening though. I'm not dumb as to let such abilities to lie in wait, unutilized while it is assured to save me both my energy and time. I will use it, without 'manly' questions asked.

Shiro then got her weapon ready, while I am still in full control of their hearts... and then, came down a very brutal tone of amplified voice that came echoing through the forestry, a voice of wanton desire for the head of whoever and whatever it is that they want, which I think is the one in command of the monsters, prior mine.

"NOW!!! KILL THEM!!!"

Ahahahaha... how overly and confidently stupid. As the white-veiled creature said those words, the monsters did nothing. They just stood there. Of course, they will only take heed of my command.

I have long immobilized the monsters with the same binding ability, by transforming their ill intent to chains making sure that I can hold them down as long as I want to. Then, as though having the ears and eyes of clairvoyance, I was able to hear and see what those weirdly killers are devising. Legit espionage indeed.

"WHAT? WHAT HAPPENED?" Seeing how his words did not influence the monsters, this one started to stress out.

"Sire. We have lost control of the monsters!" Reported one, bowing his head to what seems to be of high in command. A very poor report indeed.

"HA? WHAT DO YOU MEAN?"

"I don't know sir, but they're not responding."

"DAMN IT!" Replied the one in front of the lackey, one that I quite find larger than those around,

with an uncontrollable temper for a tone.

Yep... Damn it indeed.

"Ahahaahaha... You don't quite get it, don't you?" another one began talking. He is one with those, but in his head is this rather high and broad white cap and in his hand is a scepter with light floating particles encircling its yellowish gleaming crystals. A priest maybe?... I feel that he is quite different and this ominous unexplainable clean aura coming from him is ever obscure. I can without a doubt, pick some dark intent, but I can't manage to get through.

Unfortunately, the same with the previous attempts, I failed to enter his mind and I just continued to spy at them using the dark side of a tree nearby. The priestly-looking guy's tone is calm and is very cheerful as if he himself is in control of the situation. And then...

"That man... He can control the shadows. And this is rather bad, monsieur. Kurenai has a weapon in hand, I can sense that it's obtained from Tartarus and it's now in the brink of the evening. We should withdraw for now" the priestly-veiled creature exclaimed in front of the constituents.

What? How does he know of these details?

"WITHDRAW?! Are you asking me to look like a milksop the moment I return to the kingdom? I would RATHER DIE than withdraw myself now! Tsk! Now that the Kurenai is in our sight, I can't let this come to pass! DAINSLEIF, JUST DO YOUR ROLE! You can run if you want to and squeak like a baby!" replied the big guy in a much more hostile manner.

"Ok, ok... Calm down, you hot-tempered baloney. And if you want to increase the slight chance of capturing them, then I would suggest lowering down... your voice a bit."

"AND WHAT MIGHT YOU MEAN BY THAT?"

"The man's eavesdropping on us, the moment we first appeared."

"WHAT? THEN DO SOMETHING YOU USELESS MAGE!"

Then, as if he sensed where I'm spying from, he looked at the darkness where I'm performing the espionage and oh, what an unexpected demeanor it was. His face is partly a human's, with two symmetrical horns coming out from his forehead.

"You, how you doing. you heard the big guy. Go easy on us kay?" he said as if he's directly looking to me. He found out where I'm surveilling them from, and then he cast these abominable light-like rays that illuminated their whereabouts, making it impossible for me to see them, cutting my main line of anticipation.

Moreover, that light is something odd, though. Did it cancel my paradigm directly?

The face of a rather, nervous teenager then began to be apparent in my face, making Shiro a little- bit worried. Yet, this is where my inability to feel fear comes somewhat handy. I can move and think clearly without having to worry about recklessness.

"Oni-chama..." Her face began to show the usual-concerned expression. Not good. I can't let her lose her morale now.

'Shiro, I'm here okay? As long as I'm here, no one can touch us" I comforted Shiro, crouching my right knee down to the slightly-moist ground while patting her right on the head.

"Hai, oni-chama!" the little girl lifted her countenance, as she received the insurance, which were mere words, but yeah, potent enough.

"Nice, Shiro! "

Ok, now that I have calmed the girl down, time for me to weigh in the rational facts. We're surrounded and the perpetrators can't be underestimated either. Running and hiding now, is nothing but a very foolish choice and survival's most abominable wishful thinking. Time to get real.

First. I need to get a wider view while setting up the arena where Grendel could gain more momentum. That way, I could also see where the enemy would be coming from. This is their domain, and it's without question that they had traveled this forest a thousand-time now. So,I need to change the landscape a little bit.

"Shiro, could you cut down these trees that surround us? It distorts our view of our very first moonrise, and also while you're at it, could you also kill those frozen monsters?"

"Of course oni-chama!"

Shiro, with formidable strength, throws Grendel with the strongest momentum I have ever seen that not even the hefty trees could hinder. The blades of the mythical chakram came hacking through the hundred or so monsters and also hereby, cutting down the trees making them fall in different directions.

As the girl quickly finished killing the manipulated gnome-type monsters, she then initiatively began to focus on cutting down even more trees.

Then, in a single potent throw of the former frisbee champion, about a hundred trees and more fell powerless. Then appeared a view of the last streak of dawn that is quickly being conquered by the darkness of the uprising night, and from it, the slightly chipped full moon also began to arise.

Yet, what surrounded the moon is not its clear corona but the veiled creatures who are mainly whom I and Siro are up against, drifting on the air, with the white robes that they used to conceal their identity, serving as their wings.

And one of them stood the same priestly-image who holds a scepter of power.

"Yow! Would you give us the little girl?" he said while extending his hands toward us, making Shiro, who just realized who they are really after begin to take cover in my rear.

This is going to be one heck of a showdown. It's me against a bunch of demi-human pedophiles, with their main target as my ally.

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