Herring’s sword penetrated the chest of the boss called Crystal Sage in front of her eyes. His original body and his doubles all turned into ashes and disappeared.
Herring sensed the unowned souls that surged from the Crystal Sage swarming into her body.
There were around eight thousand souls, and they could help her character enter the next level.
Still, Herring didn’t feel like she had got much power from the Crystal Sage.
She was an invader right now. Once she killed a nightmare guardian that had self-consciousness, Herring would be able to take away a small part of the energy from the guardian, giving it to the Dream Dungeon that supported her invasion behind her, “Dark Side.”
This was the reason why Herring believed that she could force that Dream Maker to show himself after seeing the last nightmare guardian in this Dark Souls world and killing it.
The last guardian was definitely the core of this Level S Nightmare Dungeon. As long as she kept taking its energy, the Dream Maker behind wouldn’t just turn a blind eye.
However, Herring also discovered that some monsters in this Nightmare Dungeon didn’t have self-consciousness. Even though they were tricky to deal with, she didn’t have to die sixty times to defeat them either.
These dumb monsters Herring met before were all regular soldiers and little monsters.
Right now, after encountering this boss called Crystal Sage twice, she got familiar with the rules and mechanisms of its moves. She trounced it in less than five minutes.
But this was normal. If every monster in this Nightmare Dungeon was like Iudex Gundyr, which she couldn’t defeat without dying sixty times, it would be impossible for her to see the Crystal Sage alive.
Herring just thought that… this Level S Nightmare Dungeon wasn’t as “rich” as she had imagined.
This was already her second day in this Nightmare Dungeon. She and her subordinates of Team T, who could still continue to fight, analyzed the structure of this Level S Nightmare Dungeon.
It was a rare Nightmare Seed of aggregated populations. The most typical one of this kind of Nightmare Seed was the Superhero World behind the Dream Eaters.
Superhero World was a Dream Seed with a Level SS Seed as the main universe. It was then surrounded by Level S Seeds and Level A Seeds as the population.
On the other hand, Dark Souls used a Level S Nightmare Seed as the main body and several Level A to Level D nightmare consciousnesses as the nightmare guardians…
While exploring the High Wall of Lothric, Herring thought this Lord of Nightmare would have many children. After all, even the group of hounds had self-consciousness, biting her and making her crawl everywhere.
Now, it seemed like the number of children of that Lord of Nightmare… wasn’t large enough to take care of the entire world of Dark Souls.
However, Herring didn’t feel glad or discouraged because this boss, Crystal Sage, was too easy to beat. She gazed at a map called the Farron Keep far away.
She could sense a guardian with a powerful nightmare consciousness there.
According to the story background of Dark Souls, that would be the first Lord of Cinder she had to challenge, the Abyss Watchers of the Undead Legion of Farron who shared wolf blood!
Herring patted her face gently to gather her spirit and was ready to challenge that powerful nightmare consciousness. However, her time was up by then. She was forcibly pulled out from the Nightmare Dungeon.
At this moment, Herring woke up suddenly. She sat up from the dream-entering equipment and put her hand on her forehead.
The pain and injuries brought by the deaths in the nightmare had eased a bit after Herring defeated those strong nightmare consciousnesses and raised her character’s level.
Herring had died many times in Dark Souls. Over time, she had learned how to alleviate the harm caused by her deaths. However, she still felt a dull pain in her heart, no matter how she suppressed it.
She wasn’t planning to rest, but…
“Herring, why didn’t you report to the headquarters that you’re fighting with a Level S Nightmare Seed?” A slightly old voice sounded in Herring’s ears.
She looked up and saw an old man standing in the dream-entering room. He was staring at her with a sullen expression. Karl, who was smiling, and Maine, who was sitting on a wheelchair with a frustrated look, were also next to this old man.
The headquarters of the Dream Eaters still received the news. The man before her eyes was her immediate supervisor, one of the leaders of the Dream Eaters.
“Because I think my team is capable of completing this mission alone,” Herring replied without changing her expression after being reproached by her supervisor.
“Capable of completing it alone? Over half of the members of your Team T have been injured! Because you hid the truth from us, the Gray Snake and the Cherry Blossoms have gotten information ahead of us. Most invaders they sent inside have already killed two nightmare guardians in that Nightmare Dungeon! What about you?”
“Four, and countless if I include all the ones below Level A! Those people should still be wandering around the High Wall of Lothric right now. I bet they haven’t even seen what the Undead Settlement looks like. I’ll be exploring the Farron Keep next. Give me more time, and I’ll be able to take away the power of a child of the Lord of Nightmare, further weakening the combat power of its children.”
Herring didn’t think that anyone in these two invasion organizations, the Cherry Blossoms and the Gray Snake, could compare to her and Maine in invasion progress.
Unfortunately, Maine had accidentally killed that old bishop lady who gave him the small Lothric banner. His actions forced the nightmare guardian, “Dancer of Boreal Valley,” who was supposed to meet players in the mid-stage, to come out. After challenging him several times consecutively, the Dancer of Boreal Valley successfully broke Maine’s leg.
He needed to rest for a while before he could continue to challenge the dungeon.
Her supervisor didn’t say anything after learning that Herring’s invasion progress… was way faster than other competing organizations.
The purpose of the Dream Eaters wasn’t to complete all the levels in Dark Souls. Rather, it was to weaken the power of that Lord of Nightmare and its children, allowing their own Dream Seeds or Nightmare Seeds to swallow the Lord of Nightmare with one bite!
“I have no idea what kind of emotional energy that Lord of Nightmare is fed on, but if you go in there right now, you may also become its source of food, even if you can weaken the power of its children!”
Herring and the Dream Eaters under her command could indeed take away the power of that Lord of Nightmare and its children. However, it was likely that the emotions the Dream Eaters produced in the Nightmare Dungeon had become the source of energy for that Lord of Nightmare.
If they made that Lord of Nightmare even stronger after going back and forth, it would truly become a knotty problem.
“So, what else can we do? Directly use our Level S Dream Seed for a full invasion? That would cause us even greater losses.”
Herring’s plan was to first defeat all the guardians with nightmare consciousness and meet the final boss, even if the guardian at the end wasn’t the Lord of Nightmare itself.
Once they consumed too much power of those children, the Dream Eaters would be able to run wild in Dark Souls.
After weakening the children enough, they could use the Level S Dream Seed supporting the Dream Eaters for a full invasion. They could kill that Lord of Nightmare with one shot and swallow it.
“For the devouring plan of the Nightmare Seed this time, the headquarters has worked with the government to initiate an operation.” Her supervisor handed a report to Herring.
Herring took the report. It was about this Nightmare Dungeon of Dark Souls, but…
“Level A Dream Drama, ‘The Giant and The Little Bee,’ produced by Ocean Dream Media, streaming on the Dream Streaming Platform by Naifei Media, 121 episodes produced… suggestions on removing and banning on the Internet?”
After seeing this piece of intel, Herring immediately looked up at her supervisor and understood what it meant.
“‘The Giant and The Little Bee’ is the source of the power of one of that Lord of Nightmare’s children? The others as well…”
Herring rarely watched drama series, but she would occasionally watch this kind of soap opera.
She hadn’t watched many episodes, as it was too cringey. She only watched it to kill time when she went to the gym or when she was eating.
And yet, this report was telling Herring that the male and female protagonists in this drama, who were in a sweet and greasy relationship, were in fact bosses in Dark Souls, who had killed people countless times?
If she was a diehard fan, she would probably not be able to accept it.
“It’s very likely. Tracing back in time, a bunch of drama series stopped updating a few days ago. These drama series all came from the same dream media. We’ve already reached an agreement with the government. The operation involving the two Level S Nightmare Seeds isn’t only about the company running ‘Lost Heart’ anymore. Once these drama series and games are banned and taken down, the power of the children of that Lord of Nightmare will be weakened effectively.”
Herring looked at the large number of dream maxi-series and online games. They had quite a lot of diehard fans.
If all of them were taken down, those powerful nightmare guardians would indeed lose part of their source and supply of power!
“If we do this, they may open Dark Souls to the public!”
Herring suggested a tactic which the other party would use only when they were backed into a corner.
It wasn’t a problem for countries to ban Dream Dungeons. Low-level Nightmare Dungeons and highly purified Nightmare Dungeons could be banned using the channels of Superhero World for suppressing and blocking access.
As for drama series and games on computers, they were even simpler to deal with. They could directly be banned and taken down from the Internet.
However, a Level S Nightmare Dungeon couldn’t be blocked, or it was very difficult to do so. If the blockage time of the entrance of Superhero World got longer, people living inside would be at risk of being contaminated by the nightmare.
So, the Dream Eaters could only think of a way to stop the live broadcasts of Battle Royale right now. They couldn’t stop people in the country from flooding into the Nightmare Dungeon of Battle Royale to participate in the chicken-eating game.
So, Herring was thinking… What if the other party opened the Nightmare Dungeon of Dark Souls to the public as well?
“Who would be willing to enter that dangerous nightmare? Then get killed a hundred times by the nightmare consciousness inside?” Herring’s supervisor said as he glanced at Maine. The guy was sitting in the wheelchair and looking at the ceiling with stubble all over his face, smoking and thinking about something.
“You and Maine have suffered a lot there. It’s even more unbearable for normal people! So, we only need to ban those drama series to cut off the source of the power of those children. Then, that Lord of Nightmare and its children will be fighting alone! Nobody can help them. We just have to take all their energy away before the Gray Snake and the Cherry Blossoms do and let ‘Dark Side’ swallow their Lord of Nightmare. This operation will then succeed.”
Dark Side was the main source of power for the Dream Eaters and a popular hero in Superhero World.
But would it truly be that easy?
Herring looked at the invasion progress of the Cherry Blossoms and the Gray Snake in the report. The two most powerful invaders had already been exploring the High Wall of Lothric.
“Set three hours for me again,” Herring put down the report and said to the doctor next to her.
“Herring! I’ve already made it clear enough. You should go inside to explore again after the ban is enforced and the power of those nightmare guardians weakens!” Herring’s supervisor was worried about her mental and physical condition.
“You know I don’t like hunting weak prey. I’m going to cut off the heads of the thriving Abyss Watchers before the ban!” said Herring.