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    Chapter 161

    "You'll all regret this!" The enchanting woman was furious, but she still didn't dare to leave the group and venture into the mist alone, knowing the dangers of being on her own. She could only reluctantly join them. "Fine then, where are we going to complete that damned mission?"

    God Amongst Men suggested, "Perhaps we should go out and take a look? I mean, maybe not everywhere outside is affected."

    The gloomy man and the milk tea dog had no objections. The four of them cautiously left the hotel and commandeered a car on their way out.

    The fog seemed to have thickened without them noticing, reducing visibility to just a few meters ahead. The surroundings were shrouded in a white haze. The gloomy man slowed down the car. "Have you seen any signs of humans?"

    "No," the enchanting woman and the milk tea dog replied as they scanned the surrounding buildings, shaking their heads.

    "Of course not. They must have evacuated people from this area beforehand."

    "It seems Carmen managed to do it with her team. Still, it's hard to believe the Secret Church's influence has become so powerful."

    "Yeah, it feels like our children have grown up."

    "Hahaha, that's hilarious. Indeed, the Secret Church started with just a few members, and now it seems to have taken over all of Arkham. It's strangely touching."

    The live stream audience was entertained, but the NPCs' hearts sank, as if everything was unfolding according to that legend – they seemed to have truly entered a world of fog.

    "Don't panic," Milk Tea Dog said cautiously, "see, we haven't encountered any monsters, have we?"

    No sooner had he spoken when everyone in the car heard a loud thud from above, as if something heavy had landed on their vehicle.

    All eyes slowly turned to Milk Tea Dog, who wore a baffled expression. "Well, it might not necessarily be... "

    "Shut up!" the gloomy man and the alluring woman shouted in unison.

    At that moment, the car's roof began to cave in, groaning with the strain, as if something was trying to force its way inside.

    Without hesitation, the alluring woman fired upward. The bullets pierced the metal, and whatever was above paused for a moment before applying more pressure. Through the bullet holes, they could see a green-skinned creature on the roof, attempting to slice through the metal.


    Suddenly, the car collided with a solid object and flipped over.

    The cultists' faces twisted in terror as they saw the world spin around them. Fear filled their eyes, and the alluring woman couldn't help but close her eyes to pray.

    By the time she regained her senses, gasping for breath as if she had survived a catastrophe, the vehicle had flipped 180 degrees, with the driver's seat smashed utterly against the ground. Her forehead had struck something, causing blood to trickle down, and the pain made her whimper softly. A voice then sounded beside her, "Are you alright? Give me your hand, we need to get out of here quickly."

    The alluring woman forcefully opened her eyes to find the Divine Being already outside the vehicle. She immediately seized his hand and struggled to squeeze out through the narrow space.

    After a great struggle, the alluring woman noticed that the gloomy man and the milk tea dog had also managed to escape from the driver's seat, both of them with some injuries, though not severe ones. Surprisingly, despite the catastrophic rollover, there were no fatalities or critical injuries.

    "Considering our circumstances, we've been rather fortunate," the God Among Men said.

    It wasn't merely good luck.

    The alluring woman felt a heavy heart. In that split second when the car flipped, she caught a glimpse of a translucent shield appearing inside the vehicle, akin to a protective dome.

    Indeed, there was a wizard among them, but she had no clue who it could be.

    She surreptitiously scanned everyone present, her gaze passing over the benevolent God Among Men, the expressionless gloomy man, and the timid Milk Tea Puppy with their fearful countenance.

    Could one of these three be the wizard? What was their stance? Did this mist trap belong to them?

    A series of questions raced through the alluring woman's mind. At that moment, she noticed God Among Men looking at the roof of the car. "It seems we're being targeted," he said.

    From the rooftop view, the extent of their encounter was clearer: the roof was pockmarked and had a considerable crack running through it. If not for the rollover, that thing would likely have forced its way in from above.

    The question was...

    "What on earth was that thing?" the glamorous woman asked, perplexed.

    Silence ensued; no one knew.

    The unknown was always the most terrifying.

    "Well, it's just one of Lane's sentient plants, hhh," someone commented.

    "It does look rather frightening. It's a plant, but damn, it can actually run with legs," another added.

    "You call that a plant?!" someone else scoffed.

    "I've been saying this for ages – Michigan University should add a course on botany specifically to study and identify these creatures Lane creates," a voice chimed in.

    "Speaking of which, why didn't it just attack directly?" asked another.

    "Of course, it's because of the classic horror movie tropes! Have you seen Jaws? Eighty percent of the time, the shark isn't even there, but it's all about the suspense, the constant fear, and the hints, get it?"

    "Gurus, you guys have watched so many horror flicks, huh? Hahaha!"

    "Cultists, always the unlucky ones."

    "The main thing is, they know that monsters and minions truly exist in this world, so their imagination paints an even scarier reality."

    The live chat had guessed correctly.

    Having witnessed various terrifying creatures firsthand, the enchanting woman was now flustered, while the gloomy man's expression darkened even more. The dark circles under his eyes, resembling smoky makeup, seemed to carry a deeper sense of despair.

    "We should probably leave this place quickly," he said. "That monster might come back."

    Indeed, thought the God on Earth.

    A rustling sound emerged from the mist, causing everyone to freeze in their tracks, especially the enchanting woman and the milk tea dog. The former was genuinely terrified, while the latter was merely pretending.

    "There's... something coming."

    "Run! Head southwest!" The deity's voice echoed timely amidst the chaos.

    In times of panic, people instinctively follow instructions. The enchanting woman, without a second thought, began running alongside Milk Tea Dog and the deity as they started moving. Unbeknownst to her, a subtle fragrance was gradually permeating the air with each step they took.

    As the scent infiltrated their lungs, their already heightened emotions due to fear swelled further, casting a pale pink glow in their eyes.

    The path pointed by the deity indeed led them away from monsters. However, the commotion behind them relentlessly pursued, as if the prey's escape had been detected. The voice grew more urgent, and the enchanting woman turned back, nearly losing her wits at the sight.

    What a horrifying creature it was – massive limbs like tree trunks, a cavernous mouth oozing corrosive saliva from its trunk-like body, and black, writhing tendrils resembling branches.

    This monster seemed to defy the laws of existence; merely gazing upon it instilled sheer terror.

    Indeed, it was none other than the long-absent Black Goat's Offspring, or perhaps more accurately, the Black Tree Being.

    Unfortunately, the Black Tree Being was faster. As the devotees frantically fled, it was closing in on the last one, almost catching up. Milk Tea Dog screamed, attempting to grab the enchanting woman's arm, only to be slapped away mercilessly.

    "Sa-sa-save me, please! I'll give you so much money, no –!"

    With a sickening sound, the Black Tree Being seized Milk Tea Dog, followed by an inhumane torment. None of them dared to look back. The enormous size and terrifying form of the Black Tree Being suppressed any notion of resistance.

    If it were one of those gloomy monsters they were familiar with, there might have been a chance they could exploit its weakness. But this one... Forget it.

    The death of Milk Tea Dog sent everyone into a frenzied dash. The God on Earth fired a few symbolic shots, but they proved nothing more than the Black Tree Man's invincibility to blades and bullets.

    As the saying goes, when encountering a tiger, you don't need to run faster than the beast; you just need to outrun your companions. However, that logic didn't apply here.

    For the Black Tree Man never paused. With multiple limbs and mouths, it consumed Milk Tea Dog while continuing the pursuit as if it was a basic action.

    The alluring woman felt utterly hopeless. There was an undeniable gap in physical strength between men and women. No matter how hard she ran, she couldn't bridge the distance between her and the God on Earth or the gloomy man. Death was already at her heels.

    A fierce glint flashed in her eyes. She drew her gun and aimed at the gloomy man's back. "No one is allowed to run! I'll shoot anyone who does!"

    Since she couldn't outrun them, her only option was to threaten them both into stopping to fight together.

    "D*mn it!" The gloomy man immediately understood the alluring woman's plan. Swearing, he didn't stop even after the God on Earth did. Seeing this, the alluring woman pulled the trigger without hesitation.

    Surprisingly, the bullet didn't penetrate the gloomy man's body but stopped in front of him, as if held back by some invisible force.

    "A wizard! You're a wizard!" the alluring woman exclaimed in shock. It was the last thing she said before the Black Tree Man caught up, seized her, and dragged her into another mouth.

    God Among Men's eyes shimmered with determination as he started running again, yelling, "Brother, we can't escape for long. Why not take our chances? I know some magic too."

    His intention was clear: if he were also a wizard, the gloomy man would have to think twice before using him as a stepping stone. But together, they might stand a chance against the monster. After a moment of contemplation, the gloomy man looked at God Among Men and said, "Alright."

    With that, both of them halted. God Among Men pretended to cast a spell, making a gesture towards the Black Tree Man, who indeed stopped, writhing as if struggling against an invisible force. The gloomy man's eyes brightened. "Well done!"

    To control such a creature, he truly was a powerful wizard.

    Without hesitation, the gloomy man approached the immobilized Black Tree Man, his palm emanating corrosive black mist – one of the two spells he could cast without incantation. He was about to touch the motionless tree creature.

    But just as he was about to attack, the Black Tree Man, which had been stationary, suddenly moved. Its black tendrils lashed out like whips, sending the gloomy man crashing to the ground.

    The last thing the gloomy man saw before losing consciousness was God Among Men's astonished face, seemingly puzzled as to why the monster had broken free from his spell.

    After a while, a slow stream of chat messages appeared:

    "The art of acting"

    "Ha! As expected of you!"


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