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601 Confused Heart IX

 As everything had happened in the mental world, no one was hurt physically. However, their minds were drained extensively-especially Lize's. After experiencing that many stimulations in the mental world, her consciousness almost couldn't hang on any longer. The threats surrounding Emerald Valley appeared to have vanished after the elimination of the Mind Devil. Rhode wasn't in a hurry to continue their journey and he brought Anne and Lize back to Blackberry Town for the time being.

Anne was seemingly obedient of Rhode's advice. He told her not to take the fake Lizes' words to heart and she threw the troubling matters to the back of her head. She looked after Lize along their way back as though nothing had changed. On the contrary, Lize was having a tough time responding to her concerns. Even though it wasn't her actual self in the mental world, it was still part of her consciousness. It felt as though a drunk blabbered bravely and after he sobered up, he couldn't wait to hide in a hole after realizing the embarrassing things that he had said. The situation was the same for Lize now. Although Anne believed that it was the monster's fault, Lize knew it was otherwise. However, she was at a loss in responding to Anne's genuine comforts, and it was almost as painful as when she was interrogated in the mental world.

Rhode watched from the side and let out an inward laugh. No matter what, the main cause of this situation was that Lize disobeyed his orders and came to Emerald Valley. Therefore, she deserved a small punishment and since she currently wasn't fit for 'physical punishment', it was best to let her reflect upon herself using this 'emotional torture'.

After returning to Blackberry Town, Rhode made Anne and Lize return to their room, while he informed the inn owner about the situation in Emerald Valley. The inn owner was delighted that the troubles had been eliminated. He received Rhode passionately and sent out men to check on the place. However, Rhode didn't accept the inn owner's cordial reception because he had something more important to attend to.

And that was to check on the spoils of war.

After leaving the mental world, Rhode received the corresponding system prompt for the mission accomplishment. After the Frozen Lake battle, Rhode had reached level 43. As his level increased, the EXP requirement for the next level also increased. Moreover, he had often led his team to accomplish lower-level missions in order to avoid unnecessary sacrifices of men, which led to him receiving insignificant EXP. Although the completion of this mission only increased his level by one, the additional EXP from defeating the Mind Devil was rather rewarding. In the end, he increased his level by two and reached level 45.

Got to say, the Mind Devil was really 'useful', apart from its annoying and lethal mental attack. If Rhode was immune to its mental attack, this monster would be nothing more than a level 30 BOSS, which was the best EXP grinding tool for players. Rhode would surely grind out the Mind Devil's nest by himself for up to five days if it existed and perhaps he might even break through level 60 and transcend into the Legendary Stage.

But it was a pity that the Mind Devil's nest didn't exist.

However, Rhode wasn't concerned about these small details at the moment. He extended his arm and two black cards emerged in his palm. They were the 'presents' that Celestina had given him. They had the same black background and red borders as Celestina's card. However, the pattern was totally different. One of them had a massive steel coffin and it appeared to be a medieval torture instrument. Its cover was opened to the left and right sides and revealed densely packed razor-sharp thorns within. Rhode turned the card around and a line of system prompt emerged before him.

[Received the Seven Sins Deck 1/7. Artifact Card. Spell Card - Lustful Maiden]

[Lustful Maiden (Artifact Card Attribute): Use on one target. Infusible. Mental Elemental Attribute. Seven Sins Materialize. Holder can specify an individual target and summon the Lustful Maiden to restrain and extract the target's spiritual powers. Inescapable. Unavoidable. Can be dispelled]

[Extraction of Greed: Nothing can compare to the craving for greed (Extracts spiritual powers)]

[Fearlessness: Endless desires do not require restraint and reasons (Ignores level and defense. Unlimited duration)]

[Self-Destruction Tendency: Any attempt to recapture will be deemed as suicide (Automatically explodes when dispelled. AOE Spiritual Attribute Attack. Power is based on the value of the spiritual powers extracted)]

[Undaunted By Dangers: The greediest snake can't swallow an entire elephant (When the target's level surpasses the holder's, the dispelling effect will deal equal damage to the holder)]

Rhode blew a whistle. He scrutinized the card in his hand, at the same time looking at the tightly shut door subconsciously. He realized that this card was summoned by Celestina using Lize's personality fragments. But... Rhode fell into deep thoughts.

This card appeared to be a pretty decent addition, judging from its descriptions. It was also a double-edged sword‚especially its final effects. If the limitations from the [Undaunted By Dangers] didn't exist, this card would have the potential to be one of Rhode's trump cards. By then, as long as he summoned the [Lustful Maiden] when he faced higher level enemies, he could extract their spiritual powers. If the enemy forcefully dispelled it, it would also be dealt with the self-destruction damage. Afterward, Rhode could easily annihilate it. However, with the [Undaunted By Dangers], Rhode couldn't possibly do it. No matter what, the side-effects of being hurt by the damage wouldn't be beneficial for him.

Rhode shrugged his shoulders and laid down the card in his hand to pick up the other. Unlike the [Lustful Maiden], this card presented an image of a young lady tightly bound by steel chains on a circular shield. This was only a mimicry and she didn't have any facial features, fortunately. But, even so, the posture of the young lady was extremely shameful. Her legs were spread apart by the pulling chains and it displayed her most private part bizarrely. The young lady's arms were wrapped around her knees and a thick, black eye mask had covered her eyes. At first glance, this was a really obscene picture.

[Received the Seven Sins Deck 2/7. Artifact Card. Spell Card - Prison of Mad Love]

[Prison of Mad Love (Artifact Card Attribute): Use on one or multiple targets. Infusible. Mental Elemental Attribute. Seven Sins Materialize. Holder can specify an individual target or multiple targets and summon the Prison of Love for defense. Comprehensive Protection. Elemental Absorption. Can be dispelled]

[Protection Duty: Give up everything for its loved ones (Any types of attack against the user will be resisted)]

[Oppressive Tendency: Pain isn't a punishment, it is the praising song for love (When the Prison of Mad Love resists an attack, there will be a certain chance to absorb damage of up to a maximum of 5 levels above the user)]

[Love Connection: The gift bestowed by the master is the supreme enjoyment (When the Prison of Mad Love emerges in battle, the user will consume 5% of spiritual powers per hour to maintain its presence)]

Pfff!

Although Rhode wasn't drinking water, this line of system prompt almost made him spit out his saliva. He swore that he had never seen Artifact Decks with such introductions and properties without moral principles. Come to think of it, Internet games had to go through audit before publishing; after all, and such contents obviously weren't beneficial for the development of young teens... Hmm...

This card was equally impressive from its description. As a card that specialized in defense, Rhode could summon it to increase his mental strength and focus dramatically. There would be many times where he could even give up his defensive stance and launch attacks with this card around him. Besides, the [Love Connection]'s side-effect wasn't as thorny as the [Undaunted By Dangers]. This card could be considered to be really useful. But...

Rhode shifted his attention to the front of this card.

Sometimes, the binding steel chains weren't only be present on the card picture.

Rhode was sure that if he summoned this card with a licentious young lady in public, his reputation and integrity would go down the drain completely. Although there were many times when Rhode was unconcerned about the evaluations of the outside world, he wasn't a masochist who would feel excited over others' disdainful looks, after all. It would be nothing more than a disaster for him.

This is a really sinful summoning card...

Rhode flipped the two cards around and let out a hopeless sigh. No matter if it was the [Lustful Maiden] or the [Prison of Mad Love], both were considered outstanding spell cards. If they were used appropriately, their potential could be unleashed to the best of their abilities. However, there were indescribable traps hidden beneath these enormous enticements. The [Undaunted By Dangers] was still fine because it was still a special effect that came with it and he could understand it as to maintain the balance of the deck. As for the other card, it would depend on whether Rhode could abandon his pride and sense of shame.

However, as a human, abandoning his sense of shame was too difficult for him.