Book 2, Chapter 23

The Fall(2)

A short while later, miserable cries rang out from the interrogation room once more. The priest’s voice was high-pitched and bright, the sheer volume of the scream showing his ability to praise his god. It was a pity, however. Despite his age he was only level 3. That showed how ‘great’ his devotion was.

The priest, Marvin, first cursed Richard loudly. However, that quickly devolved into prayers to his god, and not long after he was begging for forgiveness. A bout of pure misery later, he quieted down. The entire process took less than three minutes.

Richard had said that the five minute session he used on the sturdy warriors could kill the priest. He didn’t possess the iron will that the veterans did, so even if Flowsand could heal his physical wounds his mind would likely crumble. However, this simplified three minute set seemed to work just as well. By the time Richard let Marvin down, he hid in a corner and hugged himself as he wailed, “What do you want to know? I’ve already told you everything, there isn’t anything more. I even told you about the church!”

Having said this, the young priest actually hugged his knees and burst into tears.

“Quiet,” Flowsand stated indifferently, and Marvin immediately withdrew his tears. To him, Richard’s torture was nowhere near as terrifying as this cold rock in front of him, who’d constantly cast lesser healing spells to make it impossible for him to faint.

“Stand.”

The young priest bounced off the ground immediately, his back sticking to the wall as he stood ramrod straight.

“How many lesser heals did I use just now?”

“Eight!” Marvin answered instantly. However, he suddenly realised the meaning of that after he said it, and couldn’t help but begin to tremble.

Richard shook his head. Flowsand evidently had much more control over the situation than he did, so he silently went to the side to clean his tools. However, just as he turned away he heard Flowsand call out to him, “Richard, give him another round.”

“No!” Marvin yelled, “NO!” He pounced towards Flowsand, looking like he was about to grab her thighs as he begged, “I’ll say anything, I’ll do anything! Please, no more!”

Flowsand took a small step back, just enough to escape his embrace. She then bent over, placing her right index finger by her lips in a shushing gesture.

Marvin’s cries dissipated even as he maintained posture, his two hands outstretched in a mock embrace as he froze in position like a statue. Their faces were now no more than twenty centimetres apart.

Flowsand’s eyebrows raised, and Marvin slowly nodded. However, he obviously didn’t understand what she meant.

She pointed at the wall once more, and Marvin immediately retreated to his original position, standing straight against it.

“You’re willing to do anything?” Flowsand asked.

“Yes!” Marvin was extremely resolute.

“Then surrender!”

“Alright!” Came the answer, but only then did Marvin start to feel slightly dizzy.

Surrender? How would that work? He was a priest of the God of Valour, and only level 3 at that. If he betrayed his god he would drop in level, being unable to even use divine spells anymore. What use was a priest without his spells?

He tried to think harder. These invaders were the natural enemies of the gods of this plane, or at least of the God of Valour. Even if it wasn’t too late for him to change his faith, it was impossible for divine force to traverse the countless planes. Even if there was a god in that other plane, how many years would he have to work to return even to his current level?

However, Marvin did not look confused in the least. There actually wasn’t much difference between a level 1 priest and a level 3. They were all trash, just of a different standard.

Flowsand turned to Richard, smiling as she said, “Look, he’s already surrendered. How easy.”

Richard almost fainted at that point. Indeed, it was easy, but that was a problem. It made his words worth little, but Flowsand likely had more in store for that.

As expected, she gave Marvin a piece of paper and had him draw the sigil of the God of Valour on it. Marvin looked confused, but he didn’t dare go against her words. He even infused a bit of his divine force into the sigil, drawing it out completely. He wouldn’t dare play any games in front of a priestess who could easily cast eight lesser heals.

Flowsand gave him another piece of paper and instructed, “Recite this!”

Seeing the short few lines on the paper, Marvin’s hands began to tremble. His face finally turned pale, as he looked up at Flowsand and then at Richard. This time, Richard’s bloodstained tools finally served their purpose— he lowered his pale face, beginning to chant the words on the paper phrase by phrase in a trembling voice. This was a paragraph written in the language of the gods, something that remained basically constant through the myriad planes. It was the first thing he’d had to learn in his training.

These words… They were the most vicious of curses against his god!

“I hereby swear upon my soul… I shall abandon your so-called glory, and throw it to the dirt…” Marvin’s trembling grew worse the more he spoke. “… Such is my testimony!” He felt weak the moment he finished, his face turning an unusual red as all the divine force in his body began to burn up. The scorching pain wasn’t as bad as Richard’s torture, but it wasn’t far apart!

Thankfully, he was only a level 3 priest. Had he been level 10, then the burning of his divine force would leave him dead. As someone who had once been a servant of this god, the curse would bring his god’s attention on him. It could be said that Neian paid more attention to Marvin then than at any other moment in the priest’s life.

Flowsand flipped open the Book of Time, a stream of light shooting out of the page. It formed a wisp of the golden sands of time, emanating an aura of dignity that came from the will of a supreme deity.

“Let go of your mind, and use all your soul to take in the favour of your new Lord. What you see now is what you will pray to for the rest of your life.” Flowsand’s voice was solemn, and the Marvin who was being burnt by his divine force could endure it no longer. He knelt down, beginning to pray loudly towards the wisp. Just as the prayers left his mouth, it turned into a strand of golden light that charged into his body, becoming a freezing cold that suppressed the heat.

A light golden lustre suddenly surged out of Marvin’s body. He took a look at his hands, unable to believe his own eyes! In that short period of time, he who had lost all grace felt the new divine force filling the gaps left behind by Neian’s power. His strength actually rose rapidly, only stabilising once he reached level 6!

However, the golden flames blazing on his body seemed slightly pale, and there was a slight scent of rot on him that was starkly different from Flowsand’s power.

Marvin placed his hands before his eyes and took a close look, his body beginning to shudder slowly. He looked up, forcing out a question after a struggle, “I’ve… fallen?”

Flowsand closed the Book of Time, speaking indifferently, “Congratulations, you’re now a fallen priest. Now, feel the great power you’ve been granted!”

A priest would face divine punishment if they cursed their god, the most common of which was having one’s divine force burn out. If they could get through that without dying, then another god could take them in. Many evil gods welcomed fallen priests, with some instances of the reverse as well.

The problem was that although such priests could obtain the divine force of their new god, the mark of the old one would not be erased. Thus why they were called fallen— their expertise wasn’t in spreading faith, but in eliminating the worshippers of other gods.

Marvin’s eyes stared hard at the Book of Time in Flowsand’s hands, and he took a step forward with the desire to touch it. However, Flowsand’s eyes flashed the moment he got close, and his fingertips burnt a pale gold. The pain was so bad that Marvin began to cry miserably, and in the blink of an eye he was sweating profusely.

“You can burn his divine force?” Richard was astonished.

Flowsand nodded, “His fallen divine force is under my control. The burning of level 6 divine force can weaken him, but at level 6 now betrayal will cost him his life. This is just a small warning; now that we’re done with the punishment, we can stop.”

The flames burning Marvin’s fingers disappeared as Flowsand spoke, leaving no traces of injuries at all. However, the soul-rending pain had been carved into the fallen priest’s mind.

“Go back to the prisoners, and hear what they’re saying,” Flowsand instructed, and Marvin immediately followed a footsoldier to leave.

Richard couldn’t hold his curiosity in once he was gone, “How did he connect to the divine force of the Eternal Dragon? I feel basically none of his power in this plane.”

Flowsand raised the Book of Time in her hands, saying, “The Book of Time allows me to connect directly to the Eternal Dragon, no matter which plane I’m on.”

Despite Flowsand’s words, Richard felt that the ease with which they’d subdued Marvin wasn’t really because of the Book of Time. Flowsand herself was the likely reason for such effectiveness. However, it was late into the night. He sent Flowsand off to sleep, while he returned to his room to meditate and restore his mana.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA