“In addition, stop performing large-scale blood sacrifices. There’s no need for such obstructive activity before you hear further from me, especially something that’ll attract the attention of the churches,” Leylin reminded them again before leaving.
“Of course, Chosen of our Lord!” The devil priest answered without hesitation, not that he had any authority to go against Leylin’s words. Moreover, the reason for their enormous blood sacrifices was to attract Beelzebub’s attention. Now that he had already sent a substitute, there was no need for that anymore.
“Lord’s substitute, please grant us your name!” The aged devil priest plucked up his courage to ask right before Leylin left.
“My name?” Leylin smirked beneath his mask. “My name is Kukulkan!”
The power of faith essentially came from fear and obedience, respect and admiration, or from one’s soul force. Godhood originated from that as well. With a specific name, great power, and falsely assuming the identity of Beelzebub’s Chosen, he could win the reverence of these devil worshippers. He could even disseminate and spread Beelzebub’s faith before usurping everything.
However, this was the only mature organisation of Beelzebub’s that Leylin found somewhat acceptable. When he would build his own church in the future, these people would not be of much help. After all, Leylin would not want his own church to be a gathering point for devil worshippers.
The next step was to cancel certain blood sacrifices and evil rituals that violated his core values. This was the domain of a benevolent god, and also an essential step for a divine being to gain extensive approval in the prime material plane.
“Lord Kukulkan, we will do as you wish and prepare for the recovery of our Lord!” Leylin was startled from his reverie as he watched the devil followers shouting his name loudly. A special energy akin to soul force enveloped him within the zealous ambience.
The false divine power of devouring almost went out of control and wanted to swallow this energy to transform completely, but Leylin resisted it.
‘The power of faith?’ Leylin signed internally before disappearing into a private room.
“You heard the Lord’s orders!” The devil priest straightened his back and looked at all of the followers, especially directing his gaze at the nobles. Having lost the powers that the devil bestowed upon him, the arrival of this divine being allowed him to regain some confidence.
“Get the tasks done quickly so that we can welcome those paladins of the God of Justice!” There was no room for reconciliation between devil worshippers and paladins. If they met, it would be a fight to the death.
While one paladin was more than enough to slaughter an entire room of devil worshippers, strategy, allocation of manpower, and hidden actions would make things difficult for them.
“Of course!” A few of the nobles laughed sinisterly, the shadows they cast on the wall behind them looking like terrifying demons themselves.
‘I can’t believe I have to play to dress up as god and play the devil twice in a day…’ Leylin had currently arrived outside the city.
He looked around vigilantly. His appearance of a powerful divine being was but a pretense, and he himself was only a rank 10 wizard. Had the devil worshippers just now rebelled against him, he was not sure that he’d have been able to suppress them. However, as he’d borrowed the superior aura of a high-ranked devil, he was certain he wouldn’t lose out.
However, him pretending to be a divine being, on top of his possession of the Devilblood Dagger, was enough to scare the hell out of those followers. Moreover, those who had offered sacrifices to the devils already had shackles on their souls. If they did not wish to be tortured even after death, they had to act according to Leylin’s wishes.
‘Compared to dealing with those low-ranked followers, this needs more attention…’ Leylin pulled himself together with a slight sigh, and a thread of flames appeared on his figure, taking the shape of a flame-winged serpent. The small blaze lit up the Gloomwood, giving off a demonic feeling.
‘He’s here!’ Leylin turned quickly. A black spirit was running towards him so quickly that it couldn’t be followed by the naked eye.
‘Advanced Barrier!’ ‘Advanced Protection!’ ‘Advanced Invisibility!’ A few enormous spell barriers were erected, separating the area from the outside world completely.
‘A high-ranked Professional? No, he’s even stronger than Odge and Boruj, almost a Legend…’ Leylin inwardly assessed as the person he was thinking of arrived in front of him.
“Tiff!” Formidable divine power circulated around the area, making Leylin seem like a god as he called out to Tiff. At the same time, the aura of his original form also rolled off his body.
“You’re not my God, but you have his power!” Tiff was indeed standing in front of Leylin, but he did not look like his previous self. His hair was now greying at the temples, and his vigilant eyes glared unwaveringly at Leylin.
Leylin felt several different probing spells targeted at him immediately, and if not for the fact that he was the original body and had the A.I. Chip’s help in concealing his abilities, it would be have been difficult to deal with the fellow.
Brilliant divine power floated above Leylin’s hand as he stared Tiff in the eye, “So, do you still have any suspicions?”
“I wouldn’t dare! You are the favoured one of my Lord!” Tiff pressed his right hand to his chest as a form of respect and bowed, showing his acknowledgement of Leylin’s identity.
Strong beings like this were not easily subdued. Honestly, if Tiff were to make any moves, he would have found out that Leylin was only a pretentious false god. Once he figured that out, taking care of Leylin would be as easy as popping a bubble.
“Since you’ve summoned me, what can I help you with?” Tiff still looked suspicious about the whole situation.
“Our Lord has already defeated the Archdevil Beelzebub and I’ve received orders to take over everything Beelzebub has in the prime material plane!” He kept to the truth. Tiff was the one person Leylin trusted the most here, even if he seemed doubtful of everything right now.
Even if the boy decided to go against him, Leylin could use the power he’d formerly left with Tiff to make him turn back.
‘However, he was able to use the energy I left behind as a foundation to receive magical powers and become similar to a bloodline holder… Or should I say half-chose? He’s somewhat talented…’ Leylin seemed to have already seen beyond Tiff’s facade.
“You’ve defeated the Archdevil? The Sovereign King of Gluttony?” Tiff’s voice involuntarily cracked. He had obviously heard about this earth-shaking rumour. The loyalty of these worshippers, who’d already lost the magic abilities bestowed by the devil, had long been shaken. Some information had spread out.
Worshippers in the prime material plane were shallow. If Leylin had waited to make his move a couple of decades later, Beelzebub’s people would have almost completely disappeared. Thankfully, that was not the case.
“Mm. I’ll need your help, how much manpower do you have in the Dambrath Kingdom?” Leylin asked. Unless his background wasn’t optimal, a near-legend like Tiff would have a certain amount of influence.
“I’ve created an organisation with faith in our Lord. There are fewer than 300 followers right now, and the highest ranked among them is a Baron…” Tiff clenched his teeth, and told Leylin unwillingly. The familiar soul suppression was too strong on him, and he had no choice but to speak the truth.
‘An organisation in worship of me?’ Leylin was pretty taken aback. ‘To sustain a miniature organisation without the support of divine power… He has a lot of potential…’
The difference between true and false gods was that one could grant their priests divine spells and other powers, ranging in ranks from rank 1 to rank 9. With the great power separating their planes and the prime material plane, the highest rank of spell a powerful devil or demon could bestow upon their worshippers was rank 5. Anything past that would require a blood sacrifice to go through, or have some other such restriction. This type of worship of false gods would suffer a unanimous crackdown by the true gods.
Demigods were similar. Without enough power to grant high-ranked spells to their followers, they were not widely spread. The Feathered Snake God, Kukulkan, that Leylin had made up previously was an otherworldly demigod who was still in deep sleep! He would not be able to grant even a rank 1 spell.
Leylin felt a special respect for the fact that Tiff could still sustain worship for Kukulkan under conditions like these, to the extent of enticing a baron. While he’d have used his own methods for it, it was still rather amazing.
‘But I can’t let this situation continue for too long... I’ll soon have to give them some hope!’ Leylin decided. A god that was unable to respond to prayers and grant spells would be eliminated like Beelzebub sooner or later.
‘If his original form is still recovering from his injuries, it doesn’t make sense for me to confer divine spells in his stead!’ Leylin’s original form as a near rank 7 Magus was from another world after all, and the World Will of the World of Gods was hostile towards his power. Not to mention the amount of energy that would be consumed by crossing the crystal sphere shell. If he were to use his original form to bestow divine spells, he would quickly go bankrupt and even die.
‘The only way is to advance to become a Legend is the and condense my divine force. By doing that, I’ll have the most basic capability to respond to my followers.’ Leylin gritted his teeth.
“Devout follower of our Lord, Tiff! I have something for you to do. Let us meet at the capital city of the Dambrath Kingdom.”
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