Book 6 Chapter 12.2 - Sacrifice
Unknown as to whether it was due to the prolonged chanting in the divine language, his voice didn’t seem to suit human language that well. The red-robed archbishop’s voice was hoarse and unpleasant to the ears, as if a group of insects were releasing sounds, the pronunciation occasionally muddled and unclear. His small-framed body was shriveled, the thick red robe looking like it might crush him underneath at any time. His height didn’t even reach the Red Duke’s shoulders, but from the spectators’ perspective, it wasn’t one party looking up towards another, but rather a conversation between giants.
Kanos’ voice was loud and clear like thunder. “Do not worry, old friend! On the battlefield, I will not look down on any opponent, even if he is only a rabbit! Any opponent who can kill Murray is not simple. What type of present have you prepared for me this time? I hope it is at least five red-robed warriors.”
The red-robed archbishop laughed, saying, “I prepared ten red-robed warriors for you!”
Kanos said with shock, “En? Why did an old fella like you suddenly become so generous, actually willing to send out ten red-robed warriors!”
“That is not all.” The red-robed archbishop lowered his voice until it was at a point only him and Kanos could hear. “You can obtain two black-robed warriors as well.”
Kanos’ entire body shook, and then he said slowly, “Don’t they require sufficient offerings of status each time they set out?”
The red-robed archbishop released a hoarse laugh, saying, “Indeed, status. Don’t you feel that the status of the coward who fled from Maca City is already enough?”
Kanos nodded, and the said with an overcast tone, “Indeed a good offering, should be enough to satisfy them.”
When dusk arrived, an army of six hundred ability users slowly left Xilur City. The slaves already constructed a temporary camp outside the city, while Red Duke and his bodyguards set out before the others to establish a presence. This was also the empire’s tradition; the moment war began, the troops that were setting out to battle could no longer reside in the city. When the sun rose tomorrow, this army would head north to pacify a disorder not seen in the northern border for more than ten years.
The strength of this army formed from six hundred free individuals could be said to be terrifying. They needed to provide for themselves, train abilities, and when it came time to battle, had to apply to join the army to fight for the empire. This type of great army, in theory, could completely sweep through the northern border, and with the Red Duke in the lead, there shouldn’t be anyone who could contend against them. However, the atmosphere of the army seemed quite heavy and stifling, without any sign of loosening up. There were no lack of intelligent individuals among the free citizens, and right now, they were already starting to wonder what kind of enemy it was that needed an army of this level to suppress. It wasn’t enough even with Red Duke and all of his unstoppable generals setting out, still requiring the red-robed archbishop to spend three-days making offerings for the sacred elixir, and only then was it enough.
Could it be the northern continent shrouded in darkness that was attacking?
Suspicions began to quietly spread, but no one would voice their thoughts, instead seizing every bit of time to carry out maintenance on their weapons or rest to preserve strength.
The night before the battle was calm, but for a few people, this was not a normal night.
The red-robed archbishop raised the torch, walking down the underground depths’ dark paved corridor. The dusky light from the torch flickered continuously, drawing out long shadows that warped and distorted into all types of strange shapes. It was as if spirits and devils hid in the darkness, making the surroundings appear malevolent and sinister. Two stout and strong large men followed behind the red-robed archbishop. Their upper bodies were bare, lower bodies only covered in short leather shorts. However, their heads were entirely covered in red cloth cowls, only two small holes opened to allow for vision. Between the two large men, Maca City’s garrison officer’s expression was deathly pale, legs so weak he couldn’t stand at all, currently being dragged by the two stout men underground. He continuously screamed out, “I am the great emperor’s relative! You are not allowed to kill me! Not allowed to!”
However, regardless of whether it was the red-robed archbishop or the strong men dragging him, it was as if they didn’t hear anything.
After walking for a seemingly endless amount of time, the red-robed bishop finally arrived before a metal door covered in moss and rust. His trembling hand produced a copper key, and then swept aside the moss covering the door’s surface to reveal a covered keyhole. It was unknown just how long it has been since this door was last opened.
The key was inserted into the hole, and then it began to turn in a somewhat shaky manner. The lock’s components that lacked smoothness grinded against each other, releasing ka ka tsa tsa sounds, as if a devil was grinding its teeth.
Finally, the lock released a groaning sound.
The red-robed archbishop found the ring embedded into the door, and then pulled on it forcefully. The metal door shook, about to open up, but was stopped by the rust and moss. Only after five whole minutes were used to clear out the obstacles did the red-robed archbishop finally force open this metal door.
Behind the metal door was absolute darkness, not the slightest bit of light to be seen. Once the torch’s flame entered the door, it was as if it was devoured by darkness, completely disappearing. It was impossible to see what was inside the darkness. Was there a ground, or was it a bottomless abyss?
A cold and gloomy wind blew over from behind the door, the wind carrying a strong aroma that seemed to be a mixture of several dozen strong fragrances. It really was indescribably strange for this type of fragrance to appear here.
Under the red-robed archbishop’s guidance, two robust men dragged the garrison officer in front of the metal door. They were extremely careful not to get within a meter of the door. As he watched the darkness that seemed to possess life behind the metal door, fear gripped the garrison officer’s heart, to the extent where he even forgot to cry out.
The red-robed archbishop walked into the metal door, and then walked a few more steps before stopping. The world behind the door was still absolutely dark, the torch in the archbishop’s hands only enough to illuminate himself. When one looked in from outside the door, the red-robed archbishop looked as if he was frozen in a dark space. No matter how they looked at it, they couldn’t see what the archbishop was standing on.
The red-robed archbishop raised his arms, that bleak and hoarse voice as if chanting an ancient verse:
“It is time to wake, king who is fast asleep in the darkness!”
“It is time to wake, unresigned eternal heroes!”
“I brought over the king clan’s bloodline…”
“And I can promise a brief yet brilliant life,”
“Thus, acquire the sword in your hands and grudges in your hearts!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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