Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
City of Silver, Mortuary.
Derrick stood in front of a flight of stairs as he looked straight ahead with reddened eyes. In front of him were two coffins containing his parents.
Embedded in a stone plate in front of him was a simple silver sword. The frequent booming of thunder caused the house to shake and the sword to sway.
The Berg couple inside the coffins weren’t completely dead yet. They struggled to keep their eyes open while making weak attempts to heave for air, but in the eyes of some, the luster of their lives could no longer suppress their irreversible darkening.
“Derrick, do it!” An elder dressed in a long black robe looked at the youth and said in a deep voice with a staff in his hand. The expression of the youth was visibly contorted.
“No, no, no!” Derrick, who had brownish-yellow hair, shook his head repeatedly. He took a step back with every word, and finally let out a ear-piercing scream.
The elder struck down his staff and said, “Do you wish for the whole city to be buried along with your parents?”
“You should know that we are the People of the Dark who have been forsaken by God. We, we can only live in a cursed place like this and all the dead would become horrifying evil spirits. There’s no way to reverse it regardless of what we do, other than—other than ending their lives by the hands of a family member!”
“Why? Why?” Derrick asked in despair, shaking his head. “Why are the citizens of the City of Silver destined to kill their parents the moment they are born…”
The elder closed his eyes, as if recalling what he had experienced in the past. “This is our destiny, this is the curse we must bear, this is the will of God…”
“Draw your sword, Derrick. This is a show of respect for your parents.
“After this, when you have calmed down, you can try becoming a Divine Blood Warrior.”
In the coffin, Berg tried to speak, but he could only let out a groan after his chest heaved several times.
Derrick took several steps forward with great difficulty, returning to the side of the silver sword. He extended his shivering right hand.
His brain registered the cold touch of the metal, causing him to recall the Blood Ice his father brought back when he went hunting. Blood Ice the size of a mere palm was enough to keep his home cool for a few days.
Images flashed past his eyes—his stern father teaching sword techniques, his friendly father patting away the dust on his back, his gentle mother mending his clothes, his brave mother stepping in front of him when they encountered a mutated monster, and finally, his family huddling in front of a flickering candle and sharing food…
A faint sound croaked from his throat despite his utmost suppression. With a low grunt, he exerted force with his right hand and drew the sword.
Tap! Tap! Tap!
He lowered his head and charged forward, raising the sword and driving it down with force.
Ah! Blood splattered following a pained scream. The blood splattered onto Derrick’s face and into his eyes.
His vision became red. He pulled out the sword and pierced it into the coffin by the side.
After the sharp metal pierced through flesh, Derrick released his grip and wavered as he stood up.
He didn’t look at the condition of the people inside the coffin. Derrick stumbled as he ran out of the Mortuary, as if he was being chased by evil spirits. His fists and teeth were clenched tight. The blood on his face left streaks across his face.
The elder who had taken in everything from the side sighed.
There were stone pillars that lined the main streets of the City of Silver. Atop the stone pillars were lanterns, and within the lanterns were unlit candles.
There was no sun in the sky here, no moon, no stars; only an unchanging darkness and lightning that threatened to tear apart everything.
The citizens of the City of Silver walked along the dark streets with the illumination of the lightning. The few hours when the lightning died down was considered by them as the true night as mentioned in the legends. That was the time where they had to use candles to light up the city, drive away the darkness, and make it serve as a warning for the monsters.
Derrick made his way along the street. He didn’t have anywhere he wanted to go, but as he walked, he realized that he had reached the door of his house.
He took out his keys and unlocked the door. He saw the familiar sights, but he didn’t hear his mother’s concerned voice or his father reprimanding him for running about. The house was empty and cold.
Derrick clenched his teeth again. He walked quickly to his room and searched for the crystal ball. His father had told him that this was a crystal ball used by a long-destroyed city to worship their deity.
He knelt and faced the crystal ball, praying without any hope in mind. He pleaded bitterly, “O Magnificent Deity, please cast your eyes on this land that you have forsaken.
“O Magnificent Deity, please allow us, the People of the Dark, be freed from the curse of our destiny.
“I am willing to dedicate my life to you, using my blood to please you.”
Over and over again, just as he was in complete despair and about to stand, he saw a dark red glow burst forth from the pure crystal ball.
The glow was like flowing water, instantly swallowing Derrick.
When he regained his senses, he realized that he was standing in a magnificent palace supported by giant stone pillars. In front of him was a long ancient table, and on the other side of the table was a human figure obscured by a thick fog.
Other than that, there was nothing around him. It was empty and ethereal. Under him was a boundless fog and incorporeal dark red specks of light.
Derrick felt a flame of hope ignite in his heart. He stared at the human figure at the very top, confused and puzzled.
“You, are you God?”
After asking this, he suddenly remembered a statement he read from a book in the City of Silver and quickly lowered his head.
That statement was: “You may not look directly at God!”
Klein leaned back as he crossed his hands. He adopted a relaxed posture and answered using the language of the giants, Jotun, “I am not God, I am merely The Fool who is interested in the long history of this world.”
Klein had already activated his Spirit Vision by clicking his left molars. He noticed that the youth in front of him had different colors covering the surface of his Astral Projection and the depths of his Ether Body.
This meant that he was not a Beyonder.
The Fool… Derrick ruminated over the term and, after a long silence, said with difficulty,
“I don’t care if you’re God or The Fool, my prayers will not change. I hope that the people of the City of Silver will be freed from the curse of their destinies. I hope that the sun and sky described in the books will appear in our skies. If possible—if possible, I wish that my parents can be revived.”
Hey, I am not a wishing well… Klein put down his hands and laughed.
“Why should I help you?”
Derrick froze. He thought for some time before saying,
“I will offer my soul to you. I will use my blood to please you.”
“I have no interest in the soul and blood of a mortal.” Klein smiled and shook his head. He saw the color of the youth’s feelings turn into the color of despair bit by bit.
Without waiting for the youth to speak, Klein nonchalantly said, “But I can give you a chance.”
“I am a Fool that likes a fair and equal exchange. You can use what you can attain to exchange with me, or people like you, to exchange for things you want. But remember, they must be equal in value…”
“This can make you powerful. Perhaps one day, you can rely on your own strength to free the City of Silver from its curse and make the sun appear in your sky once again.”
Based on the youth’s description, Klein was confident that the City of Silver was the so-called Forsaken Land of the Gods.
Of course, he couldn’t be certain of this for the time being. After all, the religious literature claimed that the world existed in a “sunless” state during the First Epoch, the Chaos Epoch. No one knew if there were any other strange lands that the countries of the Northern Continent were unaware of, other than the Forsaken Land of the Gods.
Derrick listened quietly. He lowered his head in silence and replied after a while, “I want to become the Sun. I wish to obtain the formula of the corresponding starting Sequence potion from you.”
Sequence, potion, the Sun… The Sequence pathway that the Church of the Eternal Blazing Sun possesses… From the looks of it, we exist in the same world…
The term “Sequence” was born from the revelation of the first Blasphemy Slate, which happened at the end of the Second Epoch, the Dark Epoch… In other words, if the City of Silver is really the Forsaken Land of the Gods, this means that it was split apart from the Southern and Northern Continents at the end of the Second Epoch.
Could this be related to the cataclysm of the Third Epoch? According to the legends, the Evernight Goddess, Mother Earth, and the God of Combat descended upon this world and protected humans from the cataclysm along with the Lord of Storms, Eternal Blazing Sun, and the God of Knowledge and Wisdom… Klein obtained a fair bit of information from the youth.
But he had trouble interpreting what the youth was saying, and even more trouble organizing his words, as he wasn’t fluent in Jotun.
Luckily, ancient Feysac was derived directly from Jotun. Klein could be described as an expert in that area, and thus, he could master Jotun relatively quickly, preventing him from making a fool of himself.
Klein maintained his posture. He replied with a calm tone, “We can discuss this transaction in the future. Do not go out for the next two days. Try your best to not be in the same room as anyone else.”
He didn’t know the unit of time used in the City of Silver, much less the time difference it had with the Loen Kingdom. All he could do was generalize it as tomorrow and wait until the Tarot Gathering was over before he told him that was the time for future meetings…
Klein knew that there was a term for “day” in the Jotun, and thus deduced that the youth would understand even if the City of Silver didn’t use it as a measure of time.
“Alright, I’ll follow your instructions,” Derrick replied with his head lowered. He didn’t have any objections.
Klein heaved a sigh of relief. He tapped his fingers on the side of the table and said, “Before I send you back, let me first complete our equal exchange. I gave you a chance to be strong, and you have to give me something equal in return.”
“I have said that I am The Fool who is interested in the long history of this world. What I ask in return is the history of the City of Silver, everything that you know.”
Derrick thought for a moment before replying softly, “I will describe it faithfully.”
“The City of Silver has existed ever since the omnipotent and omniscient God, the Lord that created everything forsook this land. No, it existed before that, but it was called the Kingdom of Silver.”