Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 4

4 The Deadzone

Lineir never expected to wake up again. But the heavens had different plans for him. His head thumped into the ground and the jarring shock pulled him back to wakefulness. Alert again, he slowly opened his eyes and saw that he was still being dragged but he was far deeper into the Deadzone than anyone in living memory had ever been. The bony hands on his ankles were still pulling with the same force as before. As a matter of fact, they felt even stronger, as if closer to the center of the Deadzone, they were energized by the aura of death. Around him were scattered bones of every sort, and all was covered in a black substance which resembled dried blood. It was as if he was on a giant scab in the land.


Presently, his head smacked against the ground again and his ears rang from the impact. Shocked, Lineir let out a stifled cry, he frantically glanced at the undead carrying him, another huge skeleton which was remarkably well preserved. It didn't seem to care in the least that he was still alive and kept dragging him forward like one might pull a sack of meat along the ground. Lineir was surprised that he couldn't see any other undead in this place. There should be millions of bodies here, but all he saw were scattered bones and that half dry black gel which covered everything.

Smack..... Thump!!

The land beneath his head rhythmically jumped up and down every couple of minutes as if some giant beast was stomping on the ground and Linear immediately paled to the utmost as he imagined what massive undead could be causing this. Perhaps one of the legendary constructs of hundreds of thousands of undead come together, a Bone Lord, or a Grim Herald. But Lineir felt there was something wrong with this idea. The ground was literally rising and falling so hard it hurt his head when it fell. There was a distinct rhythm to it and whatever it was, it was just too big, beyond anything he could think of. To make matters worse, he was definitely getting closer, his head smacking more and more often. Eventually, he came to a stop and his leg was dropped.


Lineir uttered a grateful groan as his aching leg was finally released. Looking around, he dared not make any sudden moves, but saw that his surroundings were scarier than any he had ever encountered before. A rising mound of corpses stretched out in front of him, higher than the walls of Brackenrock City. Every few seconds, it would pulse, a wave of movement passing through the whole mass. The whole thing was black and filled with that black scab-like substance. The skeleton that had been dragging him appeared to bow to the mass and then it kneeled and fell apart into pieces. The black liquid on the ground rippled and the pieces were carried away on this black tide into the mass in front. It continued until it was indistinguishable from any other part of the mass. At that moment, Lineir felt his whole body rise, the black substance beginning to ripple and propel him towards that black mass.


With that rhythmic pulse, Lineir realized what it was in front of him. Bony corpses squished together into a coherent mass and given shape, what was in front of him was no mere undead construct! It was an undead heart bigger than a city made of hundreds of thousands of rotting corpses and he was about to be pulled in! At that moment however, a red light intruded into his view a few meters away. The spider which had torn itself from his back and gotten him in this predicament was beckoning with a leg, its back no longer swollen with his blood but a smooth empty sack. Lineir thought it over. The strange spider had already taken his blood, but the undead heart pulling the black tide in would certainly be his end. He began to weakly stroke parallel to the pulsating black tide of gel, trying to make his way to the spider which was floating on top of the black substance like a water bug. As he arrived, the spider grabbed onto his hand with its legs and then ran up onto his back and dug its fangs in again!

"You leech! I'm about to die and you can't even let me go into the afterlife while I still have blood in me!"
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