Chapter 171

The priest twisted his mouth slightly. His eyes were wildly changing. The female priestess turned her attention to the holy knights waiting a little further away.

They were an army of holy knights that subdued warriors who made trouble at the temple. Working in the central shrine of Prigojin, the capital city, the warriors had to possess a special level of skill and ability.

“Those words you just spoke… did you know you are spewing blasphemy?”

“Is it blasphemy to say that I want to talk to your god?”

“It’s blasphemy for an insignificant human to recklessly speak to a god. God does not speak to anyone. If you knew of this yet still spoke your blasphemous words, you must be prepared to face the wrath of god.”

“Then what should I do now?”

“Only our priests have the qualifications to converse with god. Ask one of the priests what you want. If the priest asks our god, he will decide whether to give you an answer.”

“Really… god seems to have a taste for troublesome things. So, why do we need to offer sacrifices? Does god use it?”

The priest was left speechless for a moment. Such a question was far from the ones he often heard in the temple.

“You blasphemous…! Again, I warn you, be careful with what you say. I think you’re a foreigner, so I’ll turn a blind eye this time. You asked why you need to offer sacrifices? God sees man’s faith. A sacrifice is the minimum act to exemplify one’s faith and devotion. Couldn’t it be said that the greater the sacrifice, the greater one’s faith?”

“Is that so?”

“If you don’t have an offering, why don’t you go back and prepare one and come back? There are many people waiting behind you. If you don’t have any other business, would you kindly leave your place in line now?” the priest said with a solemn expression. His eyes were already on the person behind San and Biyeon.

“How much is usually offered?”

The priest glanced at San with ferocious anger simmering in his eyes.

“Well, it depends on your status. Nobles start with at least one Tongbo. But are you a nobleman?”

“One Tongbo… based on the standard of living here, a commoner could survive for ten days off of one Tongbo. Is this too expensive?”

San looked over at Biyeon. Biyeon nodded her head.

“Think of it as an entrance fee. I don’t know why a great god needs money from trivial human beings…”

Biyeon took out one Tongbo and held it out.

The priest’s face twisted once again. A look of contempt covered his face as if he had seen something he shouldn’t have seen.

“Write your offering amount and your name here and place the sacrifice on the other side of the altar. Go inside the temple, find a priest, and tell him your wish. He is a second-class priest who has been granted the power of the word by God Tehara.”

The two smiled bitterly before doing what the priest told them to do. They felt like they were back on Earth at a local Korean hospital. The nobles had already entered the temple without any rites of passage. None of the nobles were interested in San and Biyeon. The two moved on. At that moment…

Wah!

They heard a child cry out from behind them. Although they could hear children screaming here and there, one child’s cry was particularly loud. Biyeon and San turned their heads at the same time. They felt a strong sense of urgency and emergency in that tearing, crying sound. Everyone looked in the direction where the sound was coming from. It seemed everyone else felt the same way. Where everyone was looking, a man and a woman who seemed to be commoners were forcibly covering their girl’s mouth and watching the surroundings with fearful eyes. Making such a fuss in a solemn temple could be caused to be expelled before even receiving treatment. They could already see the nobles grimacing. Two holy knights approached them.

“What's going on? Brother?”

A large knight asked the man who appeared to be the girl’s father.

“My child is sick and cried because of her pain. She’ll be quiet from now on.”

The father looked at the knight with fearful eyes. The girl’s mother held her child, who was about ten years old, as she tried to soothe and comfort her. However, the child’s eyes were already trembling while clenching her neck. Saliva foamed and flowed from her mouth. The knight tilted his head and called a priest over.

“It seems like she’s taken over by a bad spirit. Could you take a look?”

The fat priest approached and looked briefly at the child’s condition, then shook her head and shouted. It was something that happened occasionally in the temple.

“The child is possessed by an evil spirit. Take her out of the temple. Brother! Call over more holy knights!”

“Possessed by an evil spirit! No way…!”

Despair filled the eyes of the parents. Their daughter’s body suddenly twisted, and she ran a sudden fever, so the parents brought her over to the temple in a hurry… If she was really possessed by an evil spirit… there was no way that their child would survive. An evil spirit referred to a spirit that used a human as its host. Usually, they hid and coexisted with their host, but when they entered the realm of a god, the host would lose self-control and have seizures.

The holy knights drew their swords and applied purple holy water to their blades. The girl’s parents were holding their child tightly as they looked with terror at the approaching knights. Their hands were trembling. As the knights approached, the girl gave off another sharp cry.

“What will happen to that child?” San asked a priest who was next to him.

“She will die. A person possessed by an evil spirit will go crazy and is no longer cognizant of what he or she is doing. Don’t worry about it and come inside. Priest Orr is waiting for you,” the priest spoke bluntly and turned around.

“Wait… can’t the god’s priest cast out the evil spirit? Do you really need to kill that child?”

“Well, that kid has already been defiled by the evil spirit. Don’t you know that spirits are very difficult to cast out, and even if we do, they’ll leave the host’s body and drive the host crazy? Some spirits are very powerful. Even if we’re able to chase it away, they will re-enter a weak human again, so the number of victims will only increase. Only by killing the host with the sword of the gods can an evil spirit be wiped out cleanly.”

“Are you saying that it can’t be done even with the power of Tehara? In this temple?”

“The Chief Apostle can do it, but it’s a difficult task because it consumes a lot of divine power. Or I would have to use a few bottles of precious holy water, but that commoner doesn’t have the ability to pay… Huh? Where are you going?”

“Damn you bastard… it was a matter of money in the end…” San spat out in disgust as he turned towards the child. Biyeon was already running towards where her child was.

One holy knight was already pushing the parents, and another was grabbing the child by the back of the neck and pulling her out. The girl’s scream grew louder. Her child's nails scratched her floor. A groan was heard from the floor. People trembled at the sound of her nails screeching on the temple’s granite floor, but they largely watched the child being dragged out indifferently.

The nobles in the distance were watching with their arms crossed with mild curiosity. The child’s parents were blocked by the other knights and couldn’t get to their child.

There was nothing they could do. They could only cry out for help while looking imploringly at the priests… 

“Wait!”

The holy knight who was dragging the child stopped. Someone was holding his shoulder from behind him. The knight tried to shake his shoulder, but he couldn’t move. The knight turned his head to find out what was going on. A woman in commoner’s clothes was staring at him with a firm expression.

“You… who are you?”

“I have something to say to the child. Could you give me some time with her…?”

“What… huh?”

The knight’s hand, which was holding the girl’s nape, loosened its grip. The child fell to the floor and crawled forward, pushing against the floor with the soles of her feet.

The knight grimaced and touched his wrist. His hand lost strength and tingled. The knight raised his head. A man was squatting in front of him and looking at the child. He was looking at the possessed child.

“Can you speak?” San asked, with his arms outstretched, placing his hands on the girl’s head and looking straight into her eyes.

“That… that… that…”

The child's expression was distorted.

“You’re a pretty shy spirit aren’t you? Why don’t you like it here?"

“Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-”

The expression on the child’s face flickered from one emotion to another. Her expression became so bizarre that no one could not tell whether she was crying or smiling. Soon, her eyes gleamed with madness. Then, a mixture of fear, anger, and sadness…

Five members of the holy knights came running with their swords drawn. Priests in white and red robes rushed forward and surrounded San and Biyeon.

“Stop. How dare you do such a blasphemous thing in a sacred temple!”

A man dressed in white, who seemed to be the leader of the priesthood, shouted. His eyes were twinkling with anger.

Biyeon, who was still holding the holy knight’s shoulder, responded with a determined voice, “I don’t think it’s necessary to kill the child, so why not wait for a moment? We have no desire to make a fuss.”

“What nonsense!”

The holy knight raised the tip of his sword and shot it forward toward Biyeon. Biyeon smiled bitterly and parried the strike with the back of her hand. The knight staggered sideways.

“Why are you so urgent? A person’s life is at stake. Will anything happen if you wait just a moment? Does your god have an icy heart with no mercy?” Biyeon asked with disgust. The whole temple went up in an uproar, and the holy knight flinched and stopped on the spot.

“Shut up and wait until the job is done. I’ll take responsibility.”

After throwing out a few words, Biyeon turned her gaze toward San. The nearest knight staggered as if drunk. Some of the other knights coughed up blood. The priests dumbfoundedly looked at Biyeon’s back with their mouths open. No one dared to move forward after seeing the mysterious pressure Biyeon emanated around her.

San maintained eye contact with the girl. The girl’s eyes fluttered anxiously.

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