Once they were done checking the sealed caves, Richard gathered all of his followers once more. Phaser and Zangru were sent to have a small troop of rune knights patrol the mountain for hidden enemies, finding any other surprised like the thousand warriors and two massive creatures that could pose a threat.
Asiris was ordered to investigate for anything related to divinity or the abyss; he was the best candidate to look for the mastermind behind all of it. Judging from what they had found in the Genesis, the creator of this place evidently transcended Faelor’s might and knowledge, and would be rare even in Norland. It would be astonishing if it hadn’t come from an abyssal lord or a deity of some sort.
Kellac rushed over once Richard headed out of the caves, “Your Grace, the barbarians are in the middle of another uprising!”
“Another?” Richard frowned, “Isn’t this the third time?”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
“We’ve been here for less than a day.”
“These cretins have no manners at all. They even injured a priest this time!”
“What? Didn’t we already imprison all of their warriors? Did we miss any of them?”
“Uh… He was hurt by the women and children.”
“The women and children? Then what did you…”
“As ordered, all the participants in the uprising will be executed!”
Richard quickly recalled the distribution of barbarians in this valley. There were a total of 50,000 or so, and a fifth of them had died in battle. The remaining warriors had been captured, leaving only women, children, and a handful of elderly behind. This was the only tribe that seemed to be normal in the entire barbarian planes; unlike the others who were naturally limited to level 10, they could advance as long as they had the talent and put in enough work. He lifted his hand to stop Kellac, “Execute the ones who attacked the priest, reinforce the security for the rest.”
“Your Grace, this isn’t the time for mercy! They’re just barbarians, our priests are far more precious and important than them! If we don’t enforce stricter punishments, they might waver!” Kellac insisted.
In a world where the gods reigned supreme, the clergy was revered sometimes even more than the nobility. Kellac was unusually stubborn whenever it came to situations involving status and class, a standpoint that caused Richard to sigh, “Fine, lock up everyone who participated in the uprising and have some priests trace their faith. But that’s the limit.”
Sensing the finality in his tone, Kellac reluctantly agreed and left quickly. He shook his head at the fallen priest’s receding view and returned to continue examining the spell formation in the caves. Tracing one’s faith involved a number of divine spells that could verify whether one had any faith at all and also the origin of that faith. If Kellac had to be violent, Richard at least wanted to find out who the real source of the barbarians’ faith was. They claimed it was the bloodline of a titan, but he had his doubts about that. The only problem was the process of tracing faith was excruciatingly painful and could break the target’s mind, quite similar to how Asiris’s extraction of memories worked. The original plan had been to use the maimed barbarian warriors, but the women and children would give up the information much more quickly and hopefully without being broken entirely.
The Genesis slowly grew more peaceful over the next few days. The worker drones had already dug hundreds of metres into the ground, but they found nothing valuable while Richard was focused on researching the spell formation.
The massive array in the mountain was so powerful that it could directly pull on the origin force of the plane, fuelling the growth of the giants and zombie warriors. This was an exciting discovery that explained the reason for the desolation all around the Genesis; this array was just drawing far too much energy. There were infinite uses to such a spell formation, and there were situations where this could be used as the only energy source.
However, even repeated calculations told Richard that this formation alone couldn’t bring a vast region like the Genesis to its current state. It would be impressive enough for it to render a few dozen kilometres around it barren, but the affected area was far greater than the amount of energy the formation was pulling. The total surface area of the land here was millions of square kilometres, but the formation only supported a few thousand.
Then where did all the origin force go? This was the question he couldn’t answer.
While Richard was deep in thought, a mysterious woman cloaked in dark grey was walking through a long underground corridor. The place was filled with murals of various demonic battles, the entire place painted black and red with the ground made of volcanic rock that occasionally spurted thick steam.
The smell of sulphur filled the entire walkway, making one feel like they were constantly burning. Common people couldn’t last here for more than a minute, but the cloaked woman continued to walk steadily as though she could reach the end of the world.
Eventually, the corridor gave way to a large door. The woman hesitated before reaching forward to push the door, her pale hands shaking visibly, but the moment her fingertips touched the bronze door her surroundings warped and she found herself in the centre of a huge hall.
Despite the darkness, the hall looked ancient and magnificent. The roof was a hundred metres away, but the demons carved upon it looked like they could come to life at any time. The walls were covered in thick dark fog, but her attention was quickly drawn to the floor and she jumped in shock. She was stepping on lava!
Realising that she was being protected from the fog and lava by an unknown force, the woman slowly calmed down. It was only then that a majestic voice rang through the hall, “Weak one, how dare you hesitate and doubt me? What more do you stand to lose at this stage?”
The cloaked figure trembled and lifted her head, the gas slowly dissipating to reveal a darksteel platform and throne. Even to the naked eye, it was obvious that this platform was made for a giant being that stood over a hundred metres tall, leaving the observer feeling as small and insignificant as an ant. The throne was currently empty, but the cloaked figure still looked towards it and spoke up, “It’s only normal to be careful when dealing with a demon.”
The voice laughed maniacally in response, “But you won’t be able to reject what I’m giving you!”
The woman went silent for a while before asking, “Are you the one who helped the Highland Wargod return to godhood?”
“Of course! I used the origin of this plane to craft a new divine body for him, and then I built him a new divine kingdom. The former I’ll just give you, but the kingdom depends on your wealth.”
“I still have half of my wealth left,” the cloaked figure said after some thought.
“Half?” the demon asked in disappointment, “How much can a weakling like you have? It won’t be enough to build a full kingdom; do you want to freeload off a ruler of the abyss?”
“No, it’s not like that! My kingdom was destroyed too quickly, this was all I could gather in that time!” the woman defended herself.
“Alright, let me take a look.”
The cloaked figure took a ring off of her finger and threw it in front, a hill of treasures suddenly forming on the ground. Most of it was extremely pure divine crystals, but there were also a hundred legendary-grade items, rare raw materials, ancient skeletons, and the eggs of various creatures.
“This is it?” the demon sounded rather disappointed, “Do you think those useless divine crystals will make all these other things look valuable?”
“This is all I have…”
“Sigh, I can’t expect more from a plane the devils don’t even want to come to. But whatever, consider yourself lucky. I still have three godsparks you can choose from; do you plan to keep your old name once your new body is built?”
“Of course, how could the great Runai settle for anything else!” The woman lifted her hood, but her dignified voice was not matched by her twisted expression. She quickly hesitated for a moment before changing her mind, “No, I might need to change my name. I no longer have any worshippers in the world; when I rebuild my kingdom, I will burn the souls of those invaders in divine flames for a thousand years! I will capture everyone related to them and make them my slaves; the men will work in the abyss for all their lives, and the women will be breeding whores!”
“A complete vengeance!” the demon complimented, “That’s more malicious than I will ever be. You can compare to a devil lord!”
The figure beneath the hood was the last avatar of the Goddess of Time, now her main body given the fall of her divine kingdom.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Gem
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA