Eighteen people tugged at chains on the ground, causing one of the altars in the area to shake as the centre of the hall sank down into a pit that was ten square metres in area. The walls of this new recess started creaking before blood spurted out from openings, slowly filling it up into a small pond. This blood was extremely sharp on the nostrils, but there was a hint of sweetness to it as well. A mixture of the blood from ice giants and mammoths, it would be a crucial medium for the next part of the ceremony.
As the blood started to overflow, two of those involved in the sacrifice worked together to skin the young man until he was all exposed flesh. One of the elders took up a golden dagger and made his way over, but the Emperor suddenly stretched out a hand to stop him, “Let me do it.”
“That isn’t in line with tradition…” the man said hoarsely, but seeing the old Emperor’s hawk-like glare he had no choice but to hand over the dagger.
While small, this blade was extremely heavy. The handle was quite coarse, never smoothed since its construction centuries ago. Looking at this blade that had taken hundreds of years to forge yet had only been used once, the Emperor seemed deep in thought as he stroked the blade and turned to a rock altar nearby that had a silver sword and an iron spear stabbed into it. This dagger had originally been placed inside as well, but the time had come to call upon it.
He finally withdrew his gaze, walking over to the young man with a complicated look in his eyes. Leaning over to pull out the gag, he gently caressed the youth’s flesh and bone, “You’re my favourite son, but unfortunately you’re also the one of purest blood. We need your blood to summon our ancestor from the depths of the void; you will be remembered.”
The young man recoiled with more disgust than pain, turning his head to avoid the old Emperor’s palm. He used so much strength that the two men trying to hold him down almost lost their grips, his eyes shooting flames, “You’re the one with the purest blood! You can summon even more powerful ancestors, you bastard! You don’t like me, you just want to sit on your throne! Any number of deaths won’t make you flinch, you freak! You should have just died ten years ago, Sist—KHRK!”
The golden dagger flashed across the prince’s throat, bloody foam spurting out from his windpipe and putting an end to the hateful speech. The Emperor sighed deeply with seeming regret, taking his son’s limp body to the side of the blood pool. A small amount of energy was enough to get the blood to shoot out like arrows into the pool, the corpse growing dessicated in mere moments. The Emperor then threw the body into the pool and turned around, “We can begin now.”
A dozen assistants headed to their designated positions, the lead shaman standing atop a raised platform and chanting in a hoarse voice, “Great Ancestor of the North, the Auburn Commander who conquered the frozen mountains, Son of Gold, Godfrey, this descendant beseeches you. The powers of the devils threaten to crush us all, the Empire built upon your inheritance is in danger of extinction! I pray you stop your long journey for a moment, and deliver us from our crisis. Return, mighty Godfrey!”
““RETURN, MIGHTY GODFREY!”” everyone chanted in unison.
The old shaman’s voice echoed constantly in the hall, the blood in the pool starting to bubble violently without a single drop spilling out. All of the assistants went white, one of them quickly screaming loudly before fainting. Blood started flowing out of that man and was absorbed by the altar, leaving a dried corpse behind. All of the other assistants fell down one after the other, meeting the same fate.
Panic slowly filled the old shaman’s face, but his chants grew louder and louder until he was shouting at the top of his lungs. A golden ray of lightning suddenly shot up from the altar, a blade ripping a hole into space. A black fog leaked from the depths of the endless void, looking like something that was struggling to get out. A moment later, a huge golden hand shot out of the crack and grabbed it by the edge, ripping it open to reveal a golden giant.
The golden giant stepped through and lowered his head, thunderous voice echoing through the hall, “Who is it that summons me? Thirty years spent hunting prey, wasted! Convince me that my return serves a purpose, or your souls will be used as fuel to warm me in the void!”
The old shaman quickly gave the giant a concise report of the situation in the Empire. Historical records spoke of Godfrey’s cruelty and temper; testing his patience was a fool’s errand. The giant silently heard the man speak before lowering his head and sweeping his eyes across the hall, pinpointing the location of the Emperor, “You are the current Emperor?”
When he caught the gaze of the giant, the Emperor felt like a mountain had been placed upon him. Under the immense pressure, he hurriedly stated who he was. The Son of Gold just snorted, mumbling to himself, “They get worse with each generation.”
The giant then leapt into the pool of blood, his body shrinking as he went. It became quite obvious that the form was more ethereal than corporeal, and as the entire silhouette submerged into the pool the blood suddenly calmed down and started draining away. A minute later, the dead young man was standing amidst dried stone once more, with the slit on his throat having disappeared. The look in his eyes had changed completely, a profound rage sealed within.
Moving his new body for a while, Godfrey snorted loudly and flashed in front of the old shaman, “Why do you give me such a weak vessel?!”
Sweating from every pore, the shaman hastily defended himself, “Forgive me, Son of Gold, we wouldn’t dare offend you. Nearly a thousand years have passed since the original treaty of the gods, there is no way to supplement our ancient blood. This is the purest vessel of this day!”
“The treaty of the gods!” Godfrey bellowed angrily, golden lightning flashing from his eyes. The old shaman quivered in fear, crumpling to the floor. Fortunately, the Son of Gold’s anger slowly dissipated into a sneer, “Those idiots in their divine kingdoms, do they think they won’t be found by predators if they just hide themselves away? They will pay the price for their folly soon enough. We should not sit by as those idiots drag this plane to destruction, that treaty… it will be trashed soon!”
This information scared the old shaman witless. He wasn’t particularly powerful, and gods could see into the very soul. Even hearing such heresy would be grounds for eternal punishment.
Godfrey didn’t rant much longer, gaze turning icy as he shifted the topic, “Now, give me my equipment! I want to see just who dares to attack my descendants.”
“Looks like the teleportation’s done.” Stood atop the cloned brain, Richard was staring at the imperial capital in the distance.
“Very primitive,” Nasia yawned lazily.
Looking at the sky that looked like it would fall down, Richard nodded, “Mm, I didn’t make such a ruckus even when I transported my entire army. Won’t such a thing alert every god on this plane?”
“Bah. That’s just because your portal uses the laws of that old dragon. What happens if you don’t, do you think you’d even be able to transport your army at all? Sending three to five people to another plane is already a huge achievement; without using the target plane’s laws, a mana portal can only take one. Even masters of spatial magic can only reduce the ripples of teleporting themselves, not take others with them.”
Richard was taken aback for a moment. These were basic principles of spatial magic, but his reliance on the lighthouses of time had drawn him away from this question.
Nasia continued, “How do you think people conquered planes before the Church? Only true powerhouses could survive the spatial storms between the planes, exploring through the void. Entering any foreign plane would be just as noisy as you saw now, inevitably resulting in an enormous battle. It was only after the old dragon appeared that just about anyone could engage in these things.”
“Huh… How do you know this?” Richard was a little confused. Nasia wasn’t a local of Norland.
“Reading. Everything is in historical records,” she answered surprisingly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA