“The Church of Protection?” The leader of the devil hunters sneered. His muffled voice and thick accent couldn’t cover up the ridicule in his tone.
“How dare you ridicule our god?” Rage could be seen on Morand’s face. No bishop would lie down and take an attack on their god.
“No, no. How would I dare ridicule a true god?” The devil hunter was dressed in the distinctive garb of the southern seas. He had yellow skin and thick lips, his brown hair styled with several small pigtails.
”It’s just… We have the opportunity to punish those who attack the faithful, as well as imposters.”
“Imposters?” Cold sweat beaded down Morand’s forehead, and he had an extremely bad premonition.
“Follow the Lord’s orders, check for devils!” This diminutive leader did not give him the chance to do anything, shouting out all of a sudden as holy light flowed to reveal a few Detect Devil spells were already cast.
Leylin was a Lord of Baator, so other than fundamental holy skills members of his church could also detect devils. The spell was something Leylin had invented himself, and over time it had shown itself to be a 100% accurate.
All this was to say that devil hunters held authority when it came to checking for devils. And just as Morand hesitated for a moment, the situation fell out of his hand.
“Oh!” The milky white holy light around one of Morand’s subordinates suddenly shifted to a bright red, the face of the man changing a few moments after the spell was cast. A blood-curdling screech rang out as the man grew a horn, and a layer of hellfire surrounded him.
This paladin had turned into a devil in a moment’s time! Morand and the rest were flabbergasted at the sudden, fierce, change!
“You’re daring enough to shelter a devil, pretending to be paladins… What sort of blasphemy is this?” The leader spoke righteously, “Kill them all!”
“Justice! Justice!” the other devil hunters shouted, a terrifying wave of hellfire raging forward in attack.
“You…” How would the bishop not know that they’d fallen into a trap? The only thing he couldn’t understand was— why had the Giant Serpent Church that had made every effort to avoid clashing with them before changed so suddenly, becoming a savage, crazy beast?
All the doubt and astonishment ultimately condensed into one question. “HOW DARE YOU DO THIS?” Morand roared.
Unfortunately, nobody replied. Seeing his opponent remain obstinate, the leader of the hunters issued an order, “Transform!”
“Hehe…” Numerous high-ranked devil hunters suddenly smiled with malice as the tattoos on their bodies grew active. Parts of their bodies, normally hands and legs, started to demonise in the midst of terrifying hellfire. Bright red scales formed as sharp demonic nails grew out of their hands. Thin, needle-like chains coiled around their arms.
A devil hunter retained their human intellect and normal abilities when they transformed. On top of that, they obtained a devil’s physique, and similar magical ability.
The strength from this sinister change instantly drowned their opponents’ resistance. Even Bishop Morand threw out his trump cards one by one, eventually burnt to ashes by the hellfire.
The leader of the devil hunters left his group, walking towards the boy and butler who’d been shocked stupid. “I’m aware of your identities. Please follow me!”
Although he’d returned to his normal appearance, the frightening form from before had been etched into the boy’s mind. It would inevitably leave a strong impression on him. His butler was in better condition, able to maintain his courtesy. Sealing the admiration in his heart, he replied, “Devil hunters? Truly a formidable army. If our Lord had such guards, he wouldn’t have met his demise so easily…”
After sending the two of them off with respect, the look on the small guy’s face immediately changed.
“Are all the preparations done?”
“Leader!” Another monkey-like devil hunter walked to his side and whispered to him, “Everything is completed. The devil transformation was recorded, and we located the affected commoners and nobles.“
“Well done. Contact the central church post haste! Settle things before they can even react!” The small man touched his chin, a predatory gaze within his eyes…
The wit of these subordinates was inspiring, and they’d performed such deeds repeatedly. It was tragic that all of it had to be condensed into a few pages when they reported to the headquarters of the church in Debanks Island.
“Hmm?” Tiff raised his spectacles. Even someone like him, with legendary strength, seemed to have been eroded by the passage of time.
However, the truth was that this was all an act. His appearance had been changed on purpose, a kind old man as the pope more acceptable to the citizens.
As the pope of the Giant Serpent Church, he’d performed his work very well so far. What was once the Sakartes Empire had slowly recovered over this long time, and was flourishing once more. In fact, the Faulen Empire was even more prosperous than Sakartes at its peak.
More land had been put to use as they acquired technology from the mainland, and the number of goods sold on the streets had grown in number as well. Most importantly crafts had been introduced to the natives, bringing them from the dark ages to the iron age. Tiff had a feeling of glory as he looked down from the mountain atop which the Giant Serpent Church stood to gaze at the capital.
The pope massaged the spot between his brows until his eyes felt better, starting to read the report from his subordinates.
“The issue in Faulen Island was dealt with pretty well. The Church of Protection suffered losses, even… The person in charge is called Tubanke? Pass down the order, have him transferred to headquarters.”
A transfer order stamped by the pope was sent out quickly, causing the surrounding clergymen to grow envious. The man would obviously be promoted. However, Tubanke had gotten this by fighting on the frontlines. They had nothing to say about it.
“The Poison Scorpion Church’s child has secretly set sail, on his way here alongside a high-ranked wizard… They’ll be here in ten days?” Flipping over to the next document, a rarely seen expression surfaced on Tiff’s face.
‘I need the Lord’s guidance.’ Tiff stood up and tidied himself up before heading to the rear of the church.
This place was forbidden grounds within the church, even guards few and far between. The lack of people gave it an atmosphere of seclusion. The original marble palace had been worn down by time, its lustre changing to one of archaic charm.
There was an enormous shrine behind the headquarters of the Giant Serpent Church. A statue of the Feathered Serpent God Kukulkan lay within, built atop ninety nine marble pillars as it emanated a trace of sacred brilliance.
“Master… You are the stars in the sky, with the authority of massacres. All commoners crawl under the protection of your wings…” Tiff started praying.
The thread of faith connected itself to the statue, and the Feathered Serpent buzzed as a youth emerged from the golden radiance. Tiff lowered his body further; his master had arrived.
”Tiff!” Leylin was wearing a loose white robe, every inch of his body flawless as a result of his godfire. Golden light flashed in his eyes as he looked at Tiff.
”I learnt of the incident with the Poison Scorpion Church. You’ve done well!” The first thing Leylin did was approve of Tiff’s work. He continued with his decision, “When they get here, bring them to me. I’ll receive them personally.”
“Your wish is my command. May your divinity spread throughout the world!” Tiff replied in excitement. Leylin had always maintained a low profile, starkly in contrast to his attitude today. He naturally knew that his Lord had decided to change his actions, and that change would cause an enormous transformation in the prime material plane.
‘Is it time?’ Tiff suppressed the elation in his heart, withdrawing slowly.
‘Such an intelligent chap!’ The golden gleam in Leylin’s eyes grew even more dazzling as he looked at Tiff’s back. A hundred years had passed in the astral plane, and the World of Gods had experienced an even longer span of time. His preparations for ascension had finally been completed!
Leylin can’t help but to take a look at his own status.
[Leylin Faulen. Race: Human (Demigod), Rank 27 Arcanist (Legendary). Strength: 21. Agility: 21. Vitality: 21. Spirit: 27. Arcane Energy: 270. Divine Force: 200 (200) Status: Healthy. Feats: Legendary Sturdiness, Scholarly, Intermediate Perfect Body, Dreamscape Vision. Specialties: Origine Force Detection, Origin Force Amplification, Illusions.]
‘My divine force has finally manifested…’ He seemed to be happy, ‘The island’s population has increased as well, and is sufficient to support a God of Massacres. Everything’s ready!’
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