436 The Witch

    'If there is any sacrifice, let me pay for it.' Gu Jun thought as he laid inside the glass chamber. His body was connected to it. His eyes fixed at the library's domed ceiling. 'I'll take on everything. It was me, Gu Jun who changed the time so let me suffer the price alone.'

    "Captain Gu, we still haven't confirmed everything yet..." Yu Chi shared the burden of worry but he was not one who knew how to comfort others.

    "You're right." Gu Jun knew it was pointless lying there, wrecked by concern. Time was precious. Both Phecda World and Mysterium World were in danger. So in spite of his splitting headache, he moved into action. "I can feel the Yith making their moves as well. They have their own arrangement. Perhaps they are even listening to us right now." Gu Jun was not just speculating. He seemed to know this for a fact, it should be the consciousness implant of the Yith. "They do not wish to show up to expose their location in time. But they wish to help us to achieve our common goal. Captain Yu, you should get into the machine, see what will happen."

    Yu Chi had been waiting to do that. The excitement bounced off his skin. He walked over to the neighbouring platform and laid down into the glass chamber on it. Despite the state of abandonment, the chamber was spotless. Through the transparent bottom, one could see the exquisite carving, inscriptions and patterns on the platform. They were part of the machine. Once Yu Chi laid down, he experienced what Gu Jun explained. Some of the light came from under the machine to join with his body...

    "I think... I'm ready..." Yu Chi said after a deep breath. "What now?" Gu Jun had no idea what would happen next either. "We should try to empty our minds to accept the Yith. With our physical limitation and the exhaustion caused by temporal crossing, we might only have one chance at this so we need to try our best." After that, they moved into action. Gu Jun had no idea whether Yu Chi was successful or not.

    Gu Jun already had too much on his hand to manipulate the machine for himself. He focused on the special pattern on the domed ceiling and a strange sensation started to creep towards him. The power of the witch struggled to awaken as well. The two forces intertwined and the machine whirred to life once more as the tubes lightened up again. His eye suddenly widened and his blood shot through his body. His brain was expanding, the feeling returned.

    'The Yith, the Yith...' Gu Jun summoned in his mind. 'Use me but please do not harm anyone else...' He was trying to open himself up to everything. His body was morphing into a cylindrical shape that was just large enough to fit into the glass chamber. At the top of the cylindrical body, there were 4 column-like tentacles. Each tentacle was attached to different things. Two of them grew into crab-like pinchers; the other one had a red organ that had 4 suction plates; while the last ended in an irregular yellow ball about 0.6 metre in diameter. On the ball, there were 3 black oculus that made a circle. They enabled the creature to look at all angles of a 3-dimensional space. This round ball appeared to be its head and on the top of its head, there were four greyish-white slender stems. Each stem had a blossom-like organ at its end. It was perhaps an antenna or a signal receptor; underneath the head, right where the human jaw would be there were 8 green small whiskers wiggling.

    The whole body, from the cylindrical 'torso' to the tentacles, was covered in a ragged semi-elastic scale that changed colors. The underside of the cylindrical 'torso' was covered in a layer of greyish white gel. Through contraction of the body, it could move forward like the snail but at a much faster speed. This strange lifeform appeared to be the Yith... No, more precisely, this was one of the forms of the Yith. When they built this library, they adopted this form. Since they were an essentially mental parasitic race, they could exist in another body... It was the reason Gu Jun could not confirm whether this was the Yith's actual form. In any case, Gu Jun felt his whole body being torn apart before being remade into this form.

    The tentacle with the 4 suction cups reached towards a metallic beam and started to operate it. The stems and whiskers around the 'head' connected to other parts of the machine too. Gu Jun was both in his human state and the Yith state. He was assimilating into the machine. When the machine stopped, his brain might really split open.

    'Where... am I going...' Illusion swam before Gu Jun's eyes. The cylindrical body was sucked into the temporal whirlpool. His head, his hands, his body was twisting. The horrifying sound of a gramophone needle grating against a broken record buzzed in his mind. Suddenly, everything stopped.

    "I hear that some citizens at Arkham have gone insane again." "Those demonic servants, they should all go to hell." "Hasn't it been clear enough? If you ask me, we should just burn all of them! Just what did we, the people of Salem ever do to deserve this horrid fate?!"

    Gu Jun could hear some snippets of angry conversation. It was spoken in English... 'Arkham? Salem? Does this mean I'm at the Massachusetts World?'

    There was a pull on his nerves that caused Gu Jun to suck in a breath. It also solidified his presence in this strange place. This time, it felt totally different to when he entered Elder Tong's mind. This time, the infiltration was even more complete. Gu Jun glanced at his hands, they belonged to a human. This was a Caucasian male with callused hands. Some information entered his mind. The man's name was Sam Maness, he was a prison guard at Salem. The year was 1692, the height of the Salem Witch Trials. Many people were imprisoned on suspicion of witchery or collusion with witches. A young girl at Arkham, Keziah Mason was just captured and thrown into jail.

    "Hmm..." Gu Jun took a deep breath and his vision clarified. The dim and wet jail was built underground. He was at the entrance. A group of jail guards were cursing and chatting, they were the ones who uttered those words earlier. Almost instantly, Gu Jun saw someone that was different from the rest of them. It was a middle-aged man with a potbelly and freckles. He too was looking at Gu Jun with awe.

    "Ol' Yu?" Gu Jun asked in Chinese. The middle-aged man nodded immediately. The other prison guards heard Gu Jun and someone asked, "Sam, what did you just say?" During this period, everyone was very sensitive to foreign words, sounds and languages.

    "What?" Gu Jun shot back. From the host's mind, he knew they were all guards of the same rank so he had to act like he belonged there to lower the suspicion. "I was saying, I plan to go down to the cells for patrol, any one of you want to come with me?" He knew these people would not want to interact with these evil things due to fear of being cursed. As he expected, the guards looked at each other but no one said anything. In the end, it was the infiltrated fatty, Gilman Porter who stammered, "Me?"

    "Then, come on." Gu Jun urged as he stepped down the stairs. Yu Chi grabbed an oil lamp and moved to follow.

    "Why are you guys suddenly so interested in the patrol?" "Have you fallen for the witch's beauty?" The guards behind them cursed and laughed, "She's the devil, do not be fooled by her looks!" "Don't do anything that would harm the rest of us!"

    Gu Jun knew from his own research that most witches in history were set on the pyre due to their beauty. They were envied and like Eve, that was their primitive sin. In the Salem Witch Trials, most of the witches were young girls. The two went down the stairs and with a previously decided signal, confirmed the other's identity. As they went down the steps, the thicker the moisture. A rancid smell lingered in the air. The wooden cells were mouldy and overgrown with unknown mushrooms. Some of the cells had malnourished and dirty inmates while others were empty. Seeing the duo passed by, some of the inmates pleaded their innocence, others groaned incoherently. There was little that just stood there quietly.

    Gu Jun paid attention to his surroundings. There had to be a reason the Yith sent them here, it was probably to do with that witch. For now, Gu Jun could not sense the witch trailing him anymore. Who knew where she had gone? Then again, the Massachusetts World was where the witch came from originally...

    The two walked almost to the end of the underground jail when they heard the sound of shackles clinking. Most of the cells here were empty but one of them carried an important inmate. The police found many tomes about the occultism at her place, things that would only be understandable by Satan's worshippers. The evidence was more than enough to implicate her.

    Right at the end of the trail, Gu Jun saw a 18 years old Caucasian young woman inside the cell. Despite her slender frame, she carried a dangerous aura about her. She had a curtain of black hair, faded green eyes, marble like skin and a pretty face. From the looks of it, this young woman was the type who would be casted into jail due to other people's jealousy of her beauty. Gu Jun didn't know about the others but he was certain this was Keziah Mason and she was definitely a witch but he just wasn't certain that initiation happened before or after her imprisonment.

    'Could this be the same witch who entrapped me at the oak forest?'

    "What... are you two?" Suddenly, before they even said anything, Keziah Mason asked, "I can see you, your real identity."
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