Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Backlund, in a basement that resembled a temple.
Mr. A, dressed in a hooded black robe, motionlessly quietly knelt in front of a figurine of The Hanged Giant for an extended period of time.
Suddenly, he pricked up his ears as if he was listening to something.
After a short pause, Mr. A’s hands jerked up, and he snapped his right index finger with his left palm.
He stuffed the bloody finger into his mouth and munched on it like he was eating snacks, making crunching sounds.
Mr. A’s throat wiggled, and he swallowed his gnawed fingers into his stomach.
His body suddenly trembled, as if he was being grabbed and shaken by an invisible figure.
In this state, Mr. A stretched out his right hand and used the blood from his wound to write words on the ground.
Those words were written in neither Jotun or Dragonese, which could stir the powers of nature, nor was it in Hermes which was used for sacrificial rituals. Instead, they were written in the most ordinary and commonplace language, Loen.
The scarlet color quickly gathered together and the words pieced together into a few sentences.
“The Fool that doesn’t belong to this era.
“The mysterious ruler above the gray fog.
“The King of Yellow and Black who wields good luck.
“Adorers and devotees in Backlund.”
After the end of the “divine epiphany,” Mr. A stopped trembling, and a new finger grew out of his squirming wound.
He lowered his head and carefully read the words he had just written, the corners of his mouth curled up in the shadows.
“By your divine revelation!” Mr. A humbly prostrated as though he had found the meaning of his existence once again.
City of Silver, at the top of the spire.
Lovia walked to the window and looked down at the candlelight in the darkness, her expression softening.
After an unknown period of time, she heard a knock at the door.
“Your Excellency?” Lovia turned around with alacrity and greeted the visitor with a smile.
The door opened backward automatically.
The person standing outside was none other than Demon Hunter Colin Iliad. He was draped with a brown coat and a leather belt with secret compartments around his waist.
“Lovia, the abnormality of the exploratory team has been verified,” Colin described plainly. “As captain, regardless of your condition, you have to stay in the dungeon for three days and undergo the Glory Crown’s cleansing. You should know that this is the rule.”
Lovia didn’t show the slightest hint of anger as she calmly smiled.
“I know, I’ve already made preparations to stay in the dungeon for a long time. When it’s over, I can accept any arrangements even if you guys still don’t trust me.”
As she spoke, she had walked to the door and went past Demon Hunter Colin while facing him.
Colin turned silently and followed her down the winding steps.
Halfway there, they heard heart-wrenching cries and shouts.
“Is it starting again?” Lovia asked with a slightly confused expression.
Collin nodded and replied in a low voice, “Yes, this is a destiny that we can’t escape from…”
At this moment, in a large hall in the middle levels of the spire.
The members of the exploratory team and the few residents of the City of Silver who had been corrupted were pressed down to the ground by seemingly corporeal holy lusters. They were unable to move, as though they were carrying a huge mountain on their backs.
A couple in their forties with dark skin held a sword with complicated patterns as they walked up to a young man in his early twenties.
The young man’s body had already turned into a meat slush, but his head was still intact. Only a long, thin, blood-red tendril grew out of it.
Seeing the couple approaching, he shouted in horror, “Dad, Mom, what are you doing?
“Didn’t we agree to eat grilled iron scorpions together tonight?
“Dad, Mom, I caught a lot of iron scorpions for you…”
The couple couldn’t bear it any longer and turned their heads to the side, but they raised the sword in their hands high into the air…
After two stabbing sounds rang out, the young man stopped his wailing. He twitched first, then he completely lost all signs of life.
Elsewhere, a young girl, who was around ten years old, raised a sword with complicated patterns on it. Tears were streaming down her face as she stabbed her elder sister.
The girl lying on the ground suddenly laughed and gently said, “From today onwards, you’ll have to live your own life. Don’t be naive anymore…”
The girl immediately cried until her vision turned into a blur, and the sword in her hand stopped in midair.
However, a strong palm pressed the back of her hand, pushing it forward.
The girl was left stunned, as though she couldn’t hear or see anything.
This was the ancient curse that everyone in the City of Silver was under. They had to kill their own blood relatives to prevent them from turning into terrifying and strange evil spirits after their deaths.
Therefore, even though Darc had completely mutated into a monster and was corrupted by an unknown existence, having no value in interrogating, the “shadow” observer didn’t dare to kill him on the spot. Instead, he tried his best to restrain the monster and bring it back to the spire to wait for his parents. Otherwise, the situation would only become worse.
The exploratory team members were currently receiving the same treatment that they had been subjected to, a process that remained unchanging for more than two thousand years. Although no one knew if they would mutate after dying in this state, no one dared to gamble on it.
Fortunately, the City of Silver didn’t have a large population, and all of them lived in the same area. Under the arrangements of the upper echelons for each generation, there were quite a few people who were related to each other by blood. Even if they were limited by three generations, they would still be able to find quite a few.
Because of this, the Beyonder in charge of setting up a patrol team would first have to consider the matter of blood ties in order to prevent any unexpected situations from occurring.
The requirements for exploratory teams weren’t that strict because their missions were always to invade deep into the darkness and stay far away from the City of Silver. Even if they died or mutated, it wouldn’t affect everyone’s safety.
Once a resident no longer had blood relatives within three generations, they would be placed under strict surveillance, and as soon as he became seriously ill or visibly aged, he would be exiled into the depths of darkness, away from the City of Silver.
When the previous captain of the exploratory team, Uddel, was isolated in the dungeon, there were actually three elders in the spire. However, the one who took action was Chief Colin Iliad in the end. Otherwise, they could only attempt a seal.
This was because Uddel was the elder brother of his direct kin.
Shepherd Lovia and Demon Hunter Colin silently entered the bottom level of the spire. Accompanied by a few Dawn Paladins, they arrived at the depths of the dungeon.
Soon, both of them stopped outside a cell. The Dawn Paladins dispersed themselves a distance away.
Without any abnormalities, she walked into a room with a single bed, a table, and a single candle at a moderate pace.
Before the metal door closed, she turned around and looked at Demon Hunter Colin with her pale gray eyes.
“Your Excellency, you once told me that when residents of the City of Silver leave this place and die in the depths of the darkness, they won’t immediately turn into evil spirits. A few days have to pass. Therefore, the other members of the exploratory team have plenty of time to pull open a distance from them.”
Colin nodded and expressed his agreement.
Lovia closed her eyes, revealing a sad smile, “In an exploration two months ago, a team member died in front of me.
“I pretended to be separated from the rest of the team. I waited there for five days, but he didn’t turn into an evil spirit.”
Demon Hunter Colin looked at her in silence, not saying anything until the metal door closed with a clang, and the seal took shape.
In the ancient palace above the fog.
After waiting for a while, Klein was finally relieved when he saw that there were no changes to the crimson star which symbolized Little Sun.
He should have succeeded… He rubbed his temples, wrapped his spirituality around his body, and descended back to the real world.
As soon as he felt the presence of his body, Klein experienced the bitter cold.
He sneezed, then he quickly removed the wall of spirituality and crawled back into bed.
Sadly, his bed was already ice-cold.
Fortunately, my body receives a certain degree of protection after entering the gray fog; otherwise, I would probably catch a cold tomorrow… Klein wrapped himself tightly with his blanket and sighed.
The current state he was in reminded him of a joke he had heard in his previous life.
Warmth is basically gained by vibration…
Before his bed warmed up again, he could only let his mind wander as he thought about all sorts of matters.
Yes, there are no pressing matters for me recently. The Magician’s rules have been concluded. Even if I don’t challenge the impossible and only engage in “acting” normally, I should be able to digest the potions around New Year’s. My next task is to collect the Beyonder ingredients for the Faceless potion and save up the necessary funds. But that’s not something I can rush… The taut strings in Klein’s mind gradually softened, and he suddenly had the thought of resting for two to three days.
As the bed warmed, he fell asleep without realizing it. When he woke up, he heard the church bells ringing eight times.
Klein stretched out his arm, felt the cold, and silently withdrew it.
It seems to have turned colder again today… Since there’s nothing pertinent to do, it seems I can just continue sleeping in… Relaxed, he closed his eyes again.
But after a while, he heard his stomach growling and felt the bulge in his lower abdomen.
Life is full of hard choices… Klein mumbled.
After ten minutes or so of struggling between the two feelings, he finally gave up, got up, and rushed to the bathroom next door.
After changing his clothes and washing up, he went down to the first floor and took out some ingredients to cook Feynapotter noodles.
This time, he didn’t intend to use the meat sauce that he bought, but instead, he wanted to try the meat paste he had made two days ago. This was the meat paste he had carefully chosen from the ingredients based on his memories. Although there were ultimately differences in the ingredients between the two worlds, preventing him from fully replicating the authentic taste, Klein still found it pretty good after sampling it.
It wasn’t long before he had a bowl of Feynapotter noodles with condiments and meat paste, He found it a really wonderful morning.
Keeping in with the tradition of this world, he browsed through the newspapers as he ate, and he checked if Eye of Wisdom had placed an advertisement first.
Based on his late night thoughts from yesterday, Klein decided to have some fun today, so he considered whether he should go to a concert, an opera, or a play.
The tickets to many of the music halls in the West Borough, Hillston Borough, and Cherwood Borough are at least six soli, and if it’s a famous musician, then they would even be on the order of pounds. Music halls specially catered to commonfolk range from six to nine pence. Those that are open to the poor with money to spare in East Borough only need one pence… Klein flipped through the relevant materials to select his choice of entertainment for the day.
At that moment, he heard the doorbell ring.