Book 2, Chapter 93

Background

Kellac unfurled a scroll that he’d brought himself to reveal a series of names of deities. Every name corresponded to a strip of colour, together forming a chart that transitioned from black to white. Chart in hand, the former cleric carefully compared the colours and names to the wisp of flame rising from the plate. The reddish orange could be seen corresponding to the God of Valour on the chart, but there was no name for the light gold apart from a neighbouring strip of golden red.

Once the scroll burned completely, Kellac let out a long breath and wiped the sweat off his forehead. He looked quite exhausted, exercising extreme caution as he stowed the scroll away before relief finally showed on his face.

That small, exquisite scroll didn’t have any special powers. Its only purpose was that the colour chart listed every known deity on this plane. The strips of colour had a trace of the deity’s divine power sealed within, but when the scroll was rolled up this presence would vanish without a trace. It was evident that this was a rare material.

Be it in the human kingdoms or otherwise, any religious places would burn the possessor of such a scroll at the stake as per an oracle sent down by their god. Human kings or even popes of churches would be no exception, and if someone was powerful enough to ignore most powers divine punishment or a deity’s avatar would be sent to seek them out and kill them.

This small scroll was known as the Book of the Gods, amongst the highest level of classified information of every church. It was a first order taboo, to be found and destroyed no matter where it surfaced.

Thankfully, the Bloodstained Lands had always been forsaken by the gods.

The three other men watched as Kellac pondered over his results. Carefully sorting out his scroll, he finally spoke up, “Indeed, most of this scroll came from the God of Valour. If someone else was handed this scroll, they might not have noticed the anomaly within. However, there’s a faint trace of another power nestled within Neian’s own. As for its nature… It’s somewhere between Runai and Cerces, the deities of time and space.”

Amon slowly spoke up, “Doesn’t that mean this trace of divine power doesn’t belong to any true god of this plane? Is it a heretic god of another plane?”

Kellac shook his head in reply, “That can’t be. Since he can nestle his own divine power within Neian’s, it’s clear that he’s extremely familiar with the rules of this plane. Foreign gods would not be able to achieve this. This trace of divine power exceeds the threshold of a demigod, approaching that of a true deity. It’s likely some unknown demigod of this plane is preparing to transcend. This batch of scrolls was tainted by a true cleric, it isn’t a counterfeit.”

Silence pervaded the room for a moment, the atmosphere so heavy it grew nerve wracking. The impending birth of a true god was incomparably significant to the entire plane. The people and interests involved could overthrow countries, kill entire peoples, or even tear lands apart!

All four of these old men had their own identities and held uncommon power. However, in front of such an important matter all of it seemed negligible, not worthy of mention at all. In front of a true god, the entirety of the Bloodstained Lands may as well be nothing, forget characters like them who held limited power over some parts of it.

Another of the old men gazed at Kellac, finally speaking up, “This might be your chance, old friend.”

Kellac was preoccupied with something, but the words of this man caused his entire body to jolt. It was evident that the other man had expressed his own concerns. It took a while for him to speak up, “I’m already very old. My body has been burned by divine power and is falling apart. Besides, this is merely a demigod… If I don’t receive his genuine acceptance and blessings, it will be completely impossible for me to become a high priest.”

Amon sighed, “You can’t live much longer anyway. The gods of this plane no longer accept you, and you’re not willing to rely on foreign gods. This is your last chance.”

Kellac laughed bitterly, “Even if I wanted to rely on the heretic gods of foreign planes, I wouldn’t have a chance. None of the invaders we’ve met have had a cleric able to cast spells. This means that these foreign gods cannot extend their power into Faelor at all.”

“This Richard is clearly close to the new god. Perhaps there might be a chance with him,” another said.

Kellac nodded, “If there’s a chance, let’s contact him and see exactly what he wants. It definitely won’t be as simple as doing some business to earn gold. The birth of a new god normally implies crisis and battle.”

“There’s another interesting bit of news,” one of them spoke up, “A formidable group of invaders appeared northeast of the Bloodstained Lands not long ago. The churches of Circe and Neian sent a combined force with hundreds of paladins to meet them, but they were all wiped out. Their current whereabouts are unknown.”

“Whereabouts unknown?” Amon immediately took out a map and examined it carefully under a magic lamp, tracing his finger south the entire time. “That can only mean one thing: they’ve entered the Bloodstained Lands.”

The four men looked at one another, all thinking of Richard at the same time. However, they quickly dismissed the idea. One of them had been observing the entirety of the massacre outside the city last night, and they understood some details of the battle. The kid did indeed have capability and power that surpassed his age, but he was still far from wiping out the combined forces of Circe and Neian.

Amon looked at everyone before speaking up, “Looks like we have some more preparation to do now. Things definitely won’t be peaceful in the future.”

The few old men nodded their heads and left.

……

Richard spent that entire night on high alert, even though he appeared relaxed. Although he was staying in an inn of the Golden Warflag and had established connections with Marquess Anrick, this was still the Bloodstained Lands. Anything could happen at any time.

Contrary to Kellac’s assumptions, Richard really didn’t have too much of a motive at Bluewater Oasis. He merely wanted to do some business to earn money. Gold meant equipment, warriors, and materials. The first two would directly amplify his power, while the last he could use to boost his forces further given he spent some time.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA