Chapter 164 – Disgusting
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How did I end up here…

Sofia was currently stuck in a narrow bone coffin of her own making, with only a few holes to let air in. She couldn’t open her eyes. Even if she kept them closed, she only saw white. Every bit of the coffin’s interior was covered in small ritual circles that shone like miniature suns. It was no exaggeration to say that a single one of them could obstruct your vision if you looked in its direction, let alone hundreds of them.

[Venerable physique of the primeval void] ♢ :

Third step : Become able to breathe light (0/100%)

Current step training method : Hold your breath in the brightest environment you can find.

All I need to do now is hold my breath.

About a minute later, Sofia gasped for air, her chest heaving wildly.

That’s got to hav-

[Venerable physique of the primeval void] ♢ :

Third step : Become able to breathe light (0/100%)

“No way…”

Is this not bright enough?

She decided to try one more time but holding her breath as long as she possibly could.

She kept an eye on the counter while she held her breath. Well, my eyes are closed, but that still works.

Only when she felt she was about to pass out did the number start to climb.

[Venerable physique of the primeval void] ♢ :

Third step : Become able to breathe light (1.7/100%)

The aftermath was worse. It took her a long time to recover.

So I need to almost die for it to go up. Nice. Well then, screw this. I’ll do it my way.

It took ten minutes to carve an undeath rune. Then much less time to die from asphyxia. No matter High her health, it quickly depleted after she ran out of air. The hardest part was to hold her breath; every fiber of her body wanted her to breathe.

She passed out.


Uh? I didn’t die? Looks like I fainted. The rune is still there. I have about three hundred health left… How’s the progress?

[Venerable physique of the primeval void] ♢ :

Third step : Become able to breathe light (17.36/100%)

Oh, that’s much better! Then I only need to do this a few more times, and I’ll be done. I’ll heal first, though… I’ll make a blessed bone construct out of a bone ring and call it a day for healing. Give me that sweet 0.5% max health per second!

I should always have it on. Kind of dumb not to. Does Pareth even need a shield anymore?

She would have to think more about the best item to make with the blessing, but for now, she made a ring because the smaller the item, the faster it was to transfer the blessing to it.

She got rid of the rune and let her health climb back up, thanks to the ring blessed with [Bone dominus], while she channeled another rune.

Let’s get at it again.

And so, the cycle of fainting continued. She actually died once; she wasn’t sure how this time was different from the other ones, it had felt the same, but the rune had disappeared, so she was glad to have been diligent with putting it on every cycle.

[Venerable physique of the primeval void] ♢ :

Third step : Become able to breathe light (78.04/100%)

Unlike the effect of the dark vision, there was no weaker version of this one. It felt like nothing had changed yet. Just a bit more.

Four tries later, and the skill reached completion before she even fainted. The change was instantaneous and revolting. Like a wave crawling under her skin from head to toe, her body was altered by the skill. And then…

That's it? I don't feel any different.

She noticed something strange; she didn't faint. But she still hadn't breathed in. Yet it didn't feel like she was holding her breath anymore. Breath light…

Works without actually breathing? Guess I'm a plant for real. Sofia Aphenoreth, the saintess necromancer demon baroness plant. What next?

She thought that about the titles ironically, but she actually wanted to know, so she extended VPPV's description.

[Venerable physique of the primeval void] ♢ :

First step : Become more resilient to explosions (50%)

Second step : Become able to see in the dark (100%)

Third step : Become able to breathe light (100%)

Fourth step : Become unhindered by the cold (0/100%)

Fifth step : Be Invisible to seekers

Current step training method : Consume the raw heart of monsters wielders of cold magic.

Invisible to seekers?

Also, there's no preview of step 6 this time, so I suppose this is where the first realm ends.

Sofia opened the coffin by letting the bones flow over her until it was back to a flat plaque under her. She got up and stored those bones. Alith stopped her training and walked over, "Done? How is it?"

"Yeah, done. And, well, it is strange. Like I do not need to breathe anymore. And that's it."


"Guess so, not very exciting, though. And the last step of the first realm also shows up, though I'm not sure what it means. Look," Sofia said, sharing the skill description.

"Eh, just ask Zerei? She's playing in the water below the cliff, I think."

They strolled over to the cliffside and looked down. Zerei was sleeping on the water, letting herself be carried by the current. She kind of looks like a dead bird…

She's not dead, right?

Sofia used [Heal undead] on Zerei. It couldn't heal her, but it certainly could catch her attention. Zerei stretched, still floating on the water. She plunged and jumped back out of the water, flying up. She landed perfectly in front of them. "You're done! What's the training method for the next step?"

"Yes, here, you can look. But do you know what invisibility from seekers means?"

"I see. Good, yes. And this… I cannot say for certain if this is what your skill refers to, but the thing usually called a seeker is a disembodied soul used to target long-range skills. It's used for teleportation, divination, aiming artillery strikes, plain old spying, targeted curses… An extensive and useful thing that you'd be lucky to be protected from, yes!"

So no more teleportation? And no more divination? Is this the system trying to free me from the church completely? Anyway, if that’s what it is, thanks, mister scribe!

“I need to get this as soon as possible then! Do you have an idea for the current training step? I’m sadly used to raw hearts, but I don’t know too many ice-magic-using monsters. And if the other steps are an indication, it will need to be strong monsters for it to work.”

“I do know a few potential targets, yes. The issue is whether they’re still around or not.”


They were still around. Somewhere in the middle of the mountain chain above the Red Winds Empire was a cave full of giant ice spiders, their levels in the low two hundred. It wasn’t even a dungeon, just a massive colony of spiders. Zerei’s black curse balls killed them in one hit.

“Do spiders even have a heart?” Alith asked.

“Sure they do, yes, and these should be perfect for Sofia’s training because they’re quite big and very useful for fueling ice-type rituals. They even have an internal skeleton, if you see what I mean.”

“Quite big?” I’m not… Ah, whatever, I ate my own. I can eat a spider’s.

Considering the size of the spiders, Sofia hoped she wouldn’t need to eat more than one, but she knew training a new step was never that fast. Carefully opening the abdomen of the headless spider that a curse ball had decapitated, Sofia almost gagged when she saw ‘the heart’. It was more like a long wrinkly tube than anything else. It was cold to the touch and about as long as Alith was tall.

I hope I don’t need to eat too many…

At least I get some new book summons out of this...


Seven. She had to eat seven of them, all the while feeling her throat and stomach freezing over and breaking, only kept in shape thanks to the High-priest skeleton’s constant healing.

“Looks like I’m done with this one.”

Just to try out the effects, she took another bite. As expected, nothing happened, which was good. She could eat that like it was regular raw meat now. Hopefully, it proves to be a bit more valuable than that.

[Venerable physique of the primeval void] ♢ :

Fourth step : Become unhindered by the cold (100%)

Fifth step : Become untraceable in the spirit plane (0/100%)

“There’s no preview at all for the next realm.”

Zerei shrugged, “You’ll worry about that when you get there. What is the next step’s training? Come on; we still have a lot to get you through. And how is the level of the graveyard going?”

Since they were moving, Sofia had to train the graveyard skill instead of the blood one. She couldn’t just flood everywhere with blood to train.

‘[Graveyard of the righteous] reached level 109’

‘[Graveyard of the righteous] reached level 110

‘[Graveyard of the righteous] reached level 111’

‘[Graveyard of the righteous] reached level 112’

“It’s coming along nicely; gained four levels already. This step’s training process, though…” Sofia insistently looked at Alith.


“Eh, let me read it for you: Current step training process, successfully hide from spirits with your consciousness in the spiritual plane.”

Zerei’s ears perked up, “That’s a challenging requirement, yes… For anyone else! Ahahah!”

“So we’re playing hide and seek, and I always have to search? What a terrible fate,” Alith said, shaking her head, but she was already turning back to her ghostly form.

Are we doing that right here among the spiders? Oh well, we can go through walls, so…

Sofia summoned the graveyard skeletons.