The walls and floor of the Holy Temple were embellished by glowing runes and ancient symbols. A hymn was playing in the distance. It was the holiest place of the human faction’s Church of Light. At the very least, the denizens of Floating Ice City saw the priests of the Holy Temple as the representatives of light and divinity.
Tap tap tap…
My Shade War Boots struck crisply and rhythmically against the floor as I walked toward the heart of the temple with steady footsteps. From another person’s standpoint, I probably looked like a murderer with the Purgatory Sword in my hand and a bloody cloak behind my back.
Xinran was holding my hand and bowing her head. She was either thinking about something or avoiding my gaze.
"Are you scared?" I asked.
Xinran looked up at me with an inscrutable expression on her face. In the end, she shook her head and said, "No, I… I’m just feeling a bit anxious, that’s all…"
"Anxious? Is it because you can finally become a priest of the light?"
We continued until we ran into a dozen or so templars wielding heavy swords. They were led by a templar captain called Templar Captain Buck. He raised his hand and stopped us in our traps, "Halt! This is the temple’s sanctuary, and it is not open to the public! If you have any business with our high priests, please seek them outside the temple!"
I swallowed. Outside the temple? I don’t think I saw anyone like that outside the temple just now. I was so focused on leading Xinran into the temple that I didn’t even consider the idea.
"Xinran, would you like to acquire your class outside the temple instead?" I asked.
Xinran looked at me and implored in a pitiful manner, "Big brother, I wish to meet the archbishop himself. He is the only one who can teach me the true essence of the light…"
I was slightly taken aback. The true essence of light? Hmph hmph, that didn’t sound like something Xinran would say.
Still, I turned around and asked Templar Captain Buck, "My younger sister would like to meet the archbishop in person and implore him to teach her the light. Is that okay?"
I licked my lips and added before he could reply, "I’m an acquaintance of Princess Karinshan, you know. I helped her kill Undead Magus Cardilla during the battle to retake Floating Ice City!"
"Oh?!" Templar Captain Buck looked at me with new respect. "You are that young warrior Princess Karinshan often talks about? Haha, that is wonderful! In that case, I will speak to the archbishop about your request myself. He prefers to meditate in peace and silence, so he doesn’t normally see anyone unless it is for something important!"
I nodded at him with a smile. "Thank you!"
"Please wait here!"
Buck turned around and walked into the main hall. A while later, he returned with a look of joy on his face and said, "Young hero, the archbishop has accepted your request. You may take your younger sister to him now. But please, don’t ask too much of him. He has already worked too hard to spread the word of the light!"
I nodded. "No problem!"
I turned around to hold Xinran’s little hand again before saying, "Let’s go, Xinran!"
"Mn, big brother!"
The corner of Xinran’s lips turned up a little as she nodded. It was a smile, a smirk, meaning of which eluded me.
There was holy light circulating inside the interior of the main hall, meaning that this place was probably very important to the Church of Light. Floating Ice City was one of the kingdoms situated near the border between the Light faction and the Dark faction. Therefore, it made sense that the power of light here was denser than in most places.
A magus whose hair had turned completely white was seated at the center of the main hall. He was holding a scepter with light circulating around it, and a glowing, azure-colored gem at the top. I could sense the immense power residing within, as if the power welling in the gem would break out at any moment.
The magus was none other than the archbishop himself, Alves Dias!
I couldn’t even see his level. This meant that he was Level 100 or higher, an NPC I couldn’t kill no matter what I did at this stage. Of course, that was a purely hypothetical comparison. He was my faction’s NPC, so why would I possibly want to kill him? In fact, I might even need him to give me a super heal if I happened to be on the verge of death one day.
Archbishop Alves was also accompanied by ten red deacons. “Deacon” was a religious occupation only a powerful worshipper could undertake. They were the messengers of the gods, and they had the ability to see through a person and declare an oracle. They were very important inside a church, and they were second only to the archbishop!
This time, I could see their stats screen. All 10 Red Deacons were Level 95 Dark Gold Rank bosses, and I had no doubt they could one-shot me if four or five of them attacked me at once.
I entered the main hall and faced the leaders of the Light faction fearlessly.
Archbishop Alves looked at me before asking in a trembling voice, "Young hero, are you the man who revived Princess Karinshan and killed the evil Undead Magus Cardilla?"
I nodded. "Yes, I am!"
"If I may ask, what business do you have with the church?" The archbishop smiled widely at me.
I took half a step to the side and showed Xinran. "My sister worships the power of the light, and she wishes to become a priest of the Silver Moon Alliance. I would like you to perform a holy baptism on her yourself!"
"Oh?" Archbishop Alves looked at Xinran and smiled at her. "Would you kindly raise your head, young girl?"
Xinran replied and looked up slowly. Her exquisite countenance was completely devoid of expression, and her black eyes were slowly turning red!
Her transformation shocked me. Something clearly wasn’t right!
"Heavens! You! Who on earth are you!" The archbishop suddenly lost all his composure and started shaking uncontrollably. Pointing a wilted finger and Xinran, he roared, "Why!? Why do you possess such tremendous power of darkness? Show yourself, heretic!"
Xinran’s eyes opened and turned red completely. A powerful breeze whipped her hair into the air, and her long dress crumbled into dust when dark energy surrounded her. When she emerged from the darkness, she was clad in the same black armor and bloody cape I saw her in last time when we were fighting Undead Magus Cardilla. Finally, she made a grabbing motion with her hand and brought out the vanished Dragonbone Spear!
I took two steps backward before shouting loudly, "Xinran, what are you doing?!"
Xinran didn’t answer me. Instead, she directed her full anger at Archbishop Alves and shouted angrily, "Old man, you’re the one who burned a woman on a stake at Frost Mound Town half a year ago, aren’t you?!"
Alves replied just an angrily, "Woman? Burned on a stake? You mean that heretic who disobeyed gods’ will? Hmph! Her death was well-deserved!"
Xinran gritted her teeth, tears dripping down her cheeks. She said murderously, "That… was my mother! How dare you burn her to death! Who do you think you are, old man? Why do you think you have the right to take another person’s life on behalf of the gods? I will kill you and avenge my mother!"
Alves was past maintaining his image at this point. He raised his scepter menacingly and declared, "I know your face, you evil hellspawn!"
Energy circulated around Xinran as she glared at the archbishop with eyes full or murder. "I come from hell, but I am no hellspawn. Besides, your identity means nothing to me! Archbishop or not, I will kill you with my own hands, old man!"
Suddenly, she turned toward me and asked expressionlessly, "Will you help me?"
I was completely confused by the sudden situation, to be honest. I didn’t know how to answer her.
In the end, she smiled lightly and said, "Nevermind, I shouldn’t have asked this of you in the first place. It’s not like I’m important to you, right?"
I was conflicted. I gripped my sword, but I still couldn’t say a word to her. It wouldn’t be right to help either side.
Alves suddenly waved his scepter and shouted, "Deacons, summon the templars to the main hall now! We cannot let this girl leave this place alive! I sense a hellish power inside her… a power so great that it rivals even the fallen angels themselves! Kill her, and our temple will be famous throughout the entire empire!"
The ten deacons pulled out their swords immediately. Outside the main hall, Templar Captain Bark and a whole squadron of templars rushed in with their sword at the ready. The Templars were Level 90 elite NPCs, and Buck was another Level 95 Dark Gold Rank boss. As I am now, I doubt I can take more than a few hits from him.
The ten deacons shouted and acted in unison. They all launched a lightning bolt at her!
The girl let out a soft laugh before launching into action. A streak of sharp wind energy about ten centimeters thick appeared at the edge of the hellish weapon as it suddenly glowed, as bright as the sun. Anyone with two eyes could see it was a powerful weapon in its own right. The next second, she landed in the middle of the crowd and launched a devastating cyclone of death at all the enemies around her. Four Red Deacons were turned to mincemeat in just an instant!
I opened my eyes as if this was the first time I saw this side of her. Xinran had to be powerful beyond imagination to be able to kill four deacons in one strike.
Light burst out of her spear again as two deacons flew into the air, a giant hole in both of their necks. Their eyes bulged as if they couldn’t believe that they had died just like that.
However, a deacon managed to swipe his blade through Xinran’s cloak and cut a hole in her war boots, marring her pale leg with a deep, bloody wound.
At the same time, Archbishop Alves raised his scepter and chanted loudly, "I, Alves Dias, offer a contract to the great God of Light. Please give me your holy light and burn this hellish beast to dust—Holy Spell!"
A golden light pierced through the roof and hit Xinran directly!
Xinran let out a painful groan as the skin on her arms suddenly caught on fire! It was the holy flames of the domain of the gods, and it dealt increased damage to all creatures of hell! I couldn’t even imagine the kind of pain Xinran was suffering right now!Previous Chapter Next Chapter