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Angor had carried his new material cache back to Freighting Town.
Producing zoning crystals would take time. Each piece was used for recording and determining a single s.p.a.ce coordinate, while one could use multiple pieces together to generate a s.p.a.ce barrier that separated two planes.
Crafting each piece was as trying as making a low-tier alchemy item.
Angor took several days examining the hemi-pa.s.sage in the “dream wasteland” and determined that he needed 120 pieces to fully seal it.
Even though the crystals didn't involve any synthesis or enchantment work, it still took him a month to finish them.
Summer had silently arrived.
Angor spent an entire month in full seclusion, during which Freud visited him many times but was always chased away by Toby.
At the end of the seclusion, Freud came again to learn about the general condition of the dream wasteland. When he noticed that Angor wasn't going to send him away again, he suddenly decided to swear to Follower's Oath.
Apart from the eagerness to continue their research, Freud believed that he wouldn't suffer too badly if he chose someone like Angor to be his “boss”.
To his surprise, however, Angor rejected his offer.
“That can wait. I need to solve the threat I mentioned earlier. Once this is done, I'll move you into the dream wasteland and let you see it again, before you make your final decision. If I fail, it means it's too dangerous to go there. In this case, I'll never use the Dream Whelk ever again.”
Angor took a brief rest to recover some stamina and left the town. To make sure nothing bothered him while he dealt with the unknown nightmare domain, he needed to find somewhere private.
The Land of Revelation had many unoccupied wildlands, which was what Angor was looking for. After selecting a proper place, he deployed an illusion to keep random animals away, asked Toby to guard him, and got down to real business.
First, he took out Gondola and placed a lot of materials including the zoning crystals on it.
Then he activated the Dream Whelk and pulled the fully-loaded boat into the dream wasteland.
n.o.body could see anything different if they looked at Gondola or the objects on it from the outside. Only someone who could comprehend the energy signatures coming from the Dream Whelk could tell that the boat had been transferred to a different realm in another form.
Angor retrieved the Dream Whelk back into his bracelet and cast Dream Enkindle on himself.
He was disappointed when he noticed that he appeared somewhere with no nightmare energy. Without the energy, he couldn't send his vision away to scout what was beyond him.
When he prepared to quit and use Dream Enkindle again, a question suddenly struck his mind.
What if Gondola also sp.a.w.ned somewhere void of nightmare energy? This was very likely because the nightmare energy from the tunnel had not spread too far from its source yet.
If he wished to monitor Gondola from far away by using his “nightmare vision”, he had to wait until the nightmare realm reached it.
He left the dream wasteland and used Dream Walk on Gondola this time while hoping that Gondola didn't fall too far off from the nightmare tunnel.
In Gondola's dream, he successfully sensed nightmare energy around him, albeit very weak.
He used Dream Enkindle to randomly appear in the dream wasteland again. He then used his wide vision to search for Gondola.
It took him half an hour to locate the boat sitting somewhere far to his south. The distance didn't look like something that could be covered by feet at all.
As he planned, he kept leaving and entering the dream wasteland by using Dream Enkindle repeatedly.
A week quickly pa.s.sed as he searched for a desirable starting point.
It was definitely impossible to land directly on top of Gondola because the dream wasteland was so big. He only hoped that he could show up somewhere close enough to it so that he could walk there within another few weeks. As a level-3 apprentice, he could spend several weeks sleeping without dealing with his bodily needs. But he had better not overdo his limit.
Three days later, he finally arrived at a spot that appeared to be favorable. He was standing about 500 kilometers away from the boat. By running non-stop, he would get there soon enough.
Thankfully, it appeared that he couldn't feel tired in a dream.
Previously, when he entered Gondola's dream, he was always an attachment on the boat that was forced to move along with it. Now he was glad to see the boat as real as in reality. Even the “water wave effect” was perfectly copied.
“This is amazing…” he exclaimed while putting a hand on his favorite vehicle. If the boat retained its full functions here, then Freud's “free alchemy training” was also possible. By putting valuable or dangerous alchemy materials to sleep, he could use them in alchemy drills here without actually consuming them.
But then… he had to gain full control of this place first.
He calmed his mind, climbed onto Gondola, and saw all the materials he prepared, including all the zoning crystal pieces, several weapons, and magic scrolls, as well as a wizard robe with a simple defensive enchantment.
The boat was fully charged before it was put to sleep. He only had to get moving.
He was quite far from the hemi-pa.s.sage. Maybe several years, if he were to head there on foot. With Gondola, however, the distance was manageable.
About a day and a half later, he arrived near the source of all nightmare energy and saw the hemi-pa.s.sage still there, as well as the holey plane barrier over it.
The barrier didn't look different from before, which meant no monsters squeezed through it yet.
Now that he actually came to the tunnel instead of using his “nightmare vision” to look from afar, he could feel more clearly that the nightmare energy was so dense that it made the whole place feel like the Nightmare Realm.
He wondered where the tunnel would take him if he entered it. Would he show up at one of the outer regions of the Nightmare Realm, or the very core?
Of course, he wasn't going to commit suicide by trying that out.
After parking Gondola, he took the bag of zoning crystals, took a deep breath, and walked ahead. According to The Mystery of Nightmare Domain, there were only three steps for cutting off a nightmare domain from its nightmare tunnel, and there were many points of caution.
Firstly, Angor needed to calculate the exact spots for placing the zoning crystals, which were related to the size and shape of the tunnel. A skillful wizard like Sunders would finish the job within an hour, while he might spend a week or two on it.
He didn't need to do it now, though. Half a month ago, he already memorized everything he needed when observing the tunnel, and he had the results ready.
The second step was to deploy the zoning crystals.
The last stage was to use Black Requiem to guide a large amount of nightmare energy into the crystals before creating an area completely free of nightmare energy around the crystals so that they wouldn't get tainted by any extra energy.
He took the crystals he prepared to the tunnel and was ready to install them.