Chapter 98 - Temple of the Fallen God (1)
The two guards shouted in turn as if they were competing in a contest of loudness.
“We have a pass.”
The guards rolled their eyes and looked at the permit. On the paper, there was the signature from the leader of Nameragon, Radet, authorizing Crockta’s group to enter the Temple of the Fallen God.
The guards verified the contents before looking in front again. Then they shouted, “Ha!”
Then only their legs moved from the entrance. It was like a scene from a cartoon. Their movements were reminiscent of the orc guards at Orcrox.
"Um... very good.”
Crockta nodded. From the point of view of the gnome, it wasn’t just good. Tiyo was also looking at them with impressed eyes.
"Oh... Ohhh...!” Tiyo looked up at them and applauded, "You guys are true soldiers dot! What is your name?”
The guards looked down at the shining Tiyo and answered again, "Nameragon’s garrison! Third class soldier! A! Ru! Nan! On duty!”
"Nameragon’s garrison! First class soldier! Ta! Na! Du! On duty!”
Tiyo’s eyes widened.
Then he also took an upright posture with his heels together and saluted excitedly, "I am Quantes Gnome Garrison’s leader, Ti! Yo! I salute your posture on duty dot! I can forgive a soldier who failed an operation, but a soldier who fails in guard duty can’t be forgiven!”
They didn’t shake at all at Tiyo’s praise. Tiyo clapped once again.
“The future of Nameragon is bright dot! Keep alert!”
They still kept their eyes at a 45-degree angle.
Crockta passed through the heavily guarded entrance to the Temple of the Fallen God. The temple was located on top of a hill. They had to walk up stairs for a long time even after passing the entrance. It was located inside Nameragon but there were no visitors, so it looked deserted.
“This is the place.”
They stood in front of a temple. It wasn’t small. It was different from the type of buildings Crockta saw in Elder Lord. There was an oriental feeling.
Vines were climbing up the wall and closed door. Crockta touched them. The accumulated dust appeared on his fingertips. He pulled at the door handle. The door slowly cracked open. The door was wide open and a cool breeze poured in.
Before stopping at the Temple of the Fallen God, he remembered what Radet said.
‘I don’t know why you are going there, but despite being named after a god, it is just an abandoned place with limited access.’
However, Crockta currently felt something different. As he opened the door of the temple, a refreshing feeling swept through his body. He heard Tiyo and Anor breathing in deeply. They sniffed the air of the temple.
It was dark inside the temple. But it didn’t feel ominous at all. Crockta went inside. After a few steps, Crockta felt something rattling.
It was his belt. The Demon’s Mouth slowly opened its eyes. The belt didn’t show any movements, but as the master of the Demon’s Belt, he could sense that the demon inside had woken up.
He remembered when he first met the demon. He witnessed the world’s emptiness and was terrified, so he fought against the world. He swallowed the remains of evil that blocked the north continent. Shortly before leaving the Black Forest, he had said something unknown to Gushantimur.
Now, this guy was looking out again.
The sad eyes of Gordon popped into his head. Elder Lord. What type of secret was it hiding? Was it his vain delusion or really something more...
"What are you doing?”
Tiyo suddenly spoke from next to Crockta. Crockta turned his head.
The small gnome could be seen. He looked similar to a child, but he was completely different from all the children Crockta knew. The delicate eyebrows were raised why his expression said he was curious about Crockta’s unpredictable behavior.
"Are you surprised?" Anor asked from his other side.
This time he looked at Anor. The cut ears showed unsightly scars. But Anor didn’t bother concealing them. A human and dark elf, born and raised in persecution, now walking into the world with his companions. There was no need to investigate whether he was half or mixed. He had risen as ‘Anor.’
The world that surrounded them. The air of Elder Lord, the sky of Elder Lord. All things were connected. He couldn’t believe that this was just a well-made game.
The deaths he saw in front of him were no different from the tragedies of the battlefield that he saw in reality. He wanted to find the answer here.
Crockta stared back to the front. The surprisingly clean space despite being neglected for so long, and the darkness beyond it.
He walked towards it.
A humming sound heard.
It was dark.
They stopped walking. Tiyo grabbed the handle of General while Anor moved behind Crockta. It was a man’s voice. He continued humming. It was a pleasant tone like he was doing an enjoyable task, such as touching the leaves of a bonsai or doing pottery.
The sound interrupted the serene darkness.
"There is supposed to be no one here,” whispered Tiyo.
Crockta nodded. There was no one here according to Radet. There were only the guards at the entrance, and no one else came with them. Who did this voice belong to?
The humming slowly got closer. A light dawned.
A man appeared around the corner. The sudden approach caused Crockta’s group to step back. His appearance was human but not human. It was hard to see the features due to the darkness. It was similar to the demon in the belt that Crockta saw in the past. The part where the mouth should be moved in the darkness.
More humming followed. Crockta grabbed the handle of the greatsword before letting go again. The presence has his hands clasped behind his back. He didn’t feel like an enemy.
Then he seemed to laugh.
“Hello, everyone.” It was the voice of an ordinary man. However, it seemed to tickle his ears with a strangely sweet touch. “Welcome to the Temple of the Fallen God.”
He placed a hand over his chest and bowed.
"What is your identity dot?” Tiyo asked. He was still worried about whether he should aim General.
Then the man said, "Since you are in a temple, an administrator I suppose. Isn't that right?”
"Radet said there was no one here.”
"The mayor dot.”
“Aha. I don’t know the circumstances of the outside.” He whispered like it was a joke. "Of course, I’m not a person.”
Then he slowly stepped back in a bizarre, slipping motion. "It has been a long time since I’ve had visitors, so turn on the lights.”
He clapped. Dim lights scattered and the inside of the temple became brighter. It was a clean, white space. The interior was wider than what it seemed from the outside. The darkness around the black figure in front of them wasn’t disturbed at all by the light.
He turned around. But Crockta’s party didn’t follow him.
Tiyo asked again, "What is your name dot?”
“My name.” He stopped walking. He turned back and chuckled. He touched his chin and gazed into the air, like he was looking through old memories. “My name... it has been a long time since I said it.”
Then he laughed again.
"My name is Paimon. Tiyo.”
He also named Crockta and Anor in turn. He already knew about all of them.
"Since you came to the temple, shouldn’t you say a prayer? I’d like to show you around. You don’t need to be wary.”
Crockta’s group exchanged a glance. Then they nodded.
They couldn’t tell his identity but he didn’t seem to be an enemy. Crockta needed to know more about the Temple of the Fallen God.
They followed Paimon deeper inside. The building felt much larger than when viewed from the outside. They didn’t know if it really was that big, the construction was twisted or if there was something making the outside seem smaller.
There were paintings and carvings on the walls. They were delicate and beautiful but strange to understand. Sometimes they were small and intricate, sometimes so big that the group couldn’t guess what they were a part of.
"The fallen god fell down here, but it wasn’t a god who fell down.”
Then the man said. His tone was similar to when he was humming.
"Now, this is the last place I suppose. It is a place to honor them.”
"Look around slowly.”
Tiyo and Anor looked around. The murals on the walls and sculptures continued. They were obscure but beautiful.
"I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
In the meantime, Crockta kept staring at Paimon.
[Cannot be determined.]
He couldn’t understand Paimon with Heart and Soul Penetration. It meant Paimon was stronger than him or a very bizarre being.
They entered a new room within the temple. There was a rock altar in the center of the circular room. There were burnt and broken rocks. In Crockta’s eyes, they looked like meteorites.
Tiyo looked at the rocks and lifted General.
"Those stones, aren’t they suspicious?”
Paimon just laughed. "I will now explain it properly. You are this type of person."
Tiyo was still skeptical about Paimon. Anor hid behind Crockta again. "Radet definitely said there is nothing in the Temple of the Fallen God dot.”
Paimon nodded. “That’s right.”
"What are you saying dot?”
"They wouldn’t have seen anything in the Temple of the Fallen God.” Paimon approached them. It was a unique sliding motion. "You too wouldn’t have been able to meet me if it wasn’t for him.”
His hands reached out and pointed at Crockta.
“What do you mean?”
"Don’t pretend to not know.”
The black figure laughed again. His fingertips that were aimed at Crockta’s chest slowly rose, slowly heading towards his forehead. Crockta’s face stiffened. He was pointing to the marker on Crockta’s forehead. As he waved his hand, the red headband around Crockta’s forehead was released.
It was the white star that indicated a user. The mark of the curse of the stars.
Then the man said, “Apostle of the fallen god.”
Crockta’s eyes widened. The man didn’t say curse of the stars, but ‘apostle of the fallen god’.
However, Crockta’s idea didn’t go further.
Paimon pointed to his own forehead. It was shiny. Indeed, there was a white star on his forehead.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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