Qin Ye’s eyes instantly lit up - This thing is definitely on par with the Chaos Lotus.
The Cathayan system of divinities has its origins in Pan Gu, a primordial god who is said to have formed the heavens. But legend has it that Pan Gu was born from the Chaos Lotus. In other words, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Chaos Lotus was in fact the genesis of the Cathayan system of divinities.
And to that end, the Holy Grail could be considered on par with the Chaos Lotus.
After all, it is the only artifact that Jesus had left behind on earth. Throughout the Bible, Jesus’ miracles have been revealed in various means and ways, but the only artifact that was in fact associated with his miracles… is none other than the Holy Grail.
In other words, this is an artifact that could be said to represent Christianity, and it was likely one the of the divine artifacts of the western system of divinities! Its status couldn’t possibly be any lower than that of the Chaos Lotus.
The Plumed Serpent God chuckled, “My body has been broken up into thousands and thousands of elementary Yin Talismans, and they’ve all melded into the Heavenly Dao for the purposes of reconstitution. The price that comes with it is that the Heavenly Dao has slowly been devouring me. I’ve lost a lot in this process, but in exchange, I’ve also come to learn of many secrets, including that of the Holy Grail.”
Nobody said a word, and they all listened intently to the Plumed Serpent God.
“First of all, the Holy Grail that I’m talking about is not the Christian Holy Grail, but the Chalice of Preiddeu Annwn. This is actually the predecessor of the Holy Grail. The whereabouts of the real Holy Grail remains unknown to date.”
Qin Ye’s heart sank slightly, but he still sighed in contentment. A predecessor to a divine artifact would still be a quasi-divine artifact. It would easily rank in the realms of the Book of Life and Death, and quite possibly even higher than that of the Mythic Palace of Reflections.
The Plumed Serpent God continued, “The Chalice of Preiddeu Annwn. This is also known as the trophy of the Annwn, part of the underworld. And to that end, this underworld naturally refers to part of the Middle Eastern Underworld, which, of course, has now been unified under the rule of the Aegyptian Underworld. That said, we must be clear that this is still a divine artifact for the gods of the Jews.”
“The Chalice of Preiddeu Annwn comes from the Jewish religion. I can’t see how exactly this artifact came into existence. Perhaps the Heavenly Dao doesn’t know, or perhaps it’s just a secret that is too well concealed. But from what I can see, it’s neither made of gold nor jade, but crafted out of a skull. Perhaps it might’ve been the skull of Moses, the only prophet of Judaism, or perhaps the legendary eternal god, the Messiah. Nobody knows.”
The pieces seem to be coming together… Qin Ye pursed his lips and glanced at Zhao Yun with a gleam in his eye - So, shall we go to war together? Will you join me in this war for the Holy Grail?
“Legends had it that when Jesus was crucified, his disciple Joseph had used this chalice to catch the blood shed by Jesus. Its whereabouts have been unknown thereafter. But that’s not the only legend of the Holy Grail in history! Elsewhere, in distant Britannia, there is a similar legend, and its protagonist… is none other than King Arthur!”
Are we really going to war for the Holy Grail?
Qin Ye’s eyes widened - Are you serious?
“I’ve heard of it.” Zhao Yun responded, “The Britannian legends would have it that the Holy Grail first appeared in Lancelot’s travels to a kingdom for a feast, where a beautiful maiden held up a golden chalice to the king, and everyone knelt down to pray. It was then that the queen walked over and prophesied that if the Holy Grail ever appeared, the Round Table would be destined to be destroyed.”
“Or so it was recorded in various texts. After that, the Isles of Britannia were ruled by their legendary monarch, Arthur Pendragon, more commonly known as King Arthur. As the head of the Knights of the Round Table, he unified Britannia and continued to expand his reign outwards. And thus, he came to encounter the most powerful empire of his time, the Roman Empire.”
“The legends had it that the emperor at that time was none other than Lucius Tiberius. Back then, he ordered King Arthur to pay tribute to him, but King Arthur refused, and even declared war on Lucius, defeating him, and thereby expanding his kingdom to the mediterranean reaches. And it was also then that he first learnt of the Holy Grail.”
The mediterranean seas are located right next to the Middle East. It’s not surprising that King Arthur would’ve learnt of the Holy Grail… Qin Ye nodded slightly.
“You know of the geography of those locations.” The Plumed Serpent God lamented, “But you probably don’t know the exact time periods and locations that I’m referring to.”
“There is a lesser known legend that has been told regarding King Arthur and the Holy Grail. That is, during one of their Round Table gatherings, there was a sudden flash of sunlight after a peal of lightning, whereupon the Holy Grail appeared, drifted around the table, before vanishing into thin air. Even then, its brief moments filled all of the knights present with an otherworldly experience like never before. That was what triggered King Arthur’s search for the Holy Grail.”
“Thus, the knights vowed to travel through the lands in search of the Holy Grail, whether of their own free will, or by the order of the King. With that, 150 Knights of the Round Table left, and… never returned. However, King Arthur continued to order such searches, until finally, only three knights remained. And that was how the famous Knights of the Round Table came to be no more. That was how the prophecy was fulfilled.”
“The three were none other than the profane Bors, the purest Percival, and the honest Galahad. Of these, only Galahad was able to hold up the Holy Grail. And in the moment that he held up the Holy Grail, countless glorious angels descended to welcome his soul into heaven. This is pretty much a summary of the legend of the Holy Grail told in Britannia.”
The Plumed Serpent God spoke with great fervor, “But do you know something? There aren’t any records of where the Round Table is located, nor when these events occurred. And it was for this reason that everyone thought of these things to be a myth. Everyone thought that King Arthur was nothing more than a construct of the human imagination, told in myths and legends passed down over time.”
Qin Ye raised his brows, “And the truth?”
“He existed!” The Plumed Serpent God took a deep breath, “And this is all gleaned from Anubis’ personal records: In around 350 AD, three young knights found their way to the City of Salem in search of the Holy Grail, and they found it. One of the knights managed to hold up the Holy Grail, and the rift between the Three Realms immediately tore asunder, whereupon he was received into the Heavenly Realm.”
“Anubis recorded this entry in his personal records. But as soon as he was done with it, he immediately had second thoughts, and eventually proceeded to destroy it.” The Plumed Serpent God smiled coldly, “It thought that nobody knew, but the Heavenly Dao saw everything.”
Everyone had grave expressions on their faces. Qin Ye had a multitude of questions in his heart. He could tell that this was just a brief summary, and there was much to unpack. But unfortunately, he simply couldn’t afford to ask too much. After all, he couldn’t allow the Plumed Serpent God to notice that he was in truth unfamiliar with world history and the situation around the world. He couldn’t risk letting the cat out of the bag.
Therefore, he glanced at Zhao Yun.
Zhao Yun frowned deeply, “Received into the Heavenly Realm… That means that this is a divine artifact. After all, only divine artifacts possess the ability to forcibly open a rift between realms. Besides…”
His gaze grew incisive, “Where is the Holy Grail now?”
“Sure, Galahad might have been received into the Heavenly Realm, but are you telling me that… the Holy Grail is now in the Heavenly Realm? Haven’t you forgotten the ironclad rule that none of the realms are to overtly interfere with the affairs of the other? Who are you kidding?”
“Course not.” The Plumed Serpent God chuckled, “The truth of the matter is that Galahad had never brought the Holy Grail with him, and the Holy Grail… was naturally left where it was.”
“How can a mere mortal wield a divine artifact?”
So that’s how it is… Qin Ye heaved a sigh of relief in his heart, while Zhao Yun continued thoughtfully, “315 AD. Isn’t that when the Aegyptian Underworld was expanding and invading the Middle Eastern Underworld?”
At once, Qin Ye was reminded of something he had learnt about world history from the Second King Yanluo.
320 AD. Anubis’ army poured out of Aegyptus and into the Middle Eastern Underworld, claiming all of its territory for itself.
No… Something’s still not right… Qin Ye suddenly recalled something, and his eyes gleamed brightly as he desperately made eye contact with Zhao Yun.
Fortunately, Zhao Yun noticed it.
Soon, a voice rang out in his ear once more, “King Yanluo, is something the matter? Feel free to speak up. Rest assured that I’ll keep all sounds from the ears of the Plumed Serpent God.”
Qin Ye nodded, “Something’s still not right… Isn’t it the territory of an underworld commensurate with the national territory back in the mortal realm? What’s the use of conquering other nations? Aegyptus has remained pretty much the same size throughout history, so how could the Middle Eastern Underworld be considered part of their underworld? And there’s still Thanatos and Yamaraja, who have far larger territories than the Aegyptian Underworld. How do you explain all these?”
He could clearly recall the balance of powers right now. Europa, including Britannia, was largely under the control of Thanatos; Alkebulan belonged to the Coalition of Alkebulan Underworlds; Middle East belonged to Aegyptus; the northern parts of the East Continent was controlled by Hell; the Spice Islands remained under the charge of Hindustan; while the New World was in the hands of the Death God Mictlantecutli and Death Goddess Mictecacihuatl. Australis was the only land without a ruler.
And this was a thought that had suddenly occurred to him. Wasn’t there a rule that an underworld was only as large as the corresponding territory in the mortal realm? What’s going on here?
Zhao Yun responded with great joy, “It’s great that Your Excellency had thought about these things. It shows that your understanding of the netherworld is deepening. Well, the truth is… the concept that the size of an underworld is commensurate with the size of its corresponding territory in the mortal realm, is a false proposition.”
“Firstly, you should know that even divine artifacts are further subdivided into different categories. The Book of Life and Death and the Judgment Pen are both considered divine artifacts, but they’re not of the highest grade. King Yanluo’s Seal is. This is why King Yanluo’s Seal is often said to be the foundation of Hell. We call it the creation artifact. And to that end, its greatest function isn’t really the Yellow Springs that pours forth from within. Rather, it is its ability to… stabilize.”
“Stabilize the ecosystem of Hell, together with the ecosystem of Yin spirits, and… any other territories or kingdoms that have been added to Hell.”
“Only creation-level artifacts possess the function of stability. Incidentally, the Holy Grail is also a divine artifact of this level. Even if its predecessor isn’t considered a creation artifact, it can’t possibly be far off. With it, we’ll be able to stabilize any lands that have been added to our territory. Although not many people know of this concept, the truth of the matter is that every underworld that exists to date has in their possession a creation artifact as well.”
“For instance, the three divine artifacts of the Nipponese Artifacts combined would form a creation artifact known as the Minakanushi. Another example would be the Russian Underworld’s Slumber of Moonlight Shadow, or the Aegyptian Underworld’s Scales of Eternal Justice. Naturally, that’s only one of the prerequisites to expanding one’s territory in the netherworld. Amongst other things, it also depends on the might of the death god, as well as the military strength of the underworld. Last but not least, when the mortal realm expands its territory, so also will an underworld’s territory expand by a commensurate amount. So, with that said, do you finally understand how important the Plumed Serpent God’s message is this time?”
Qin Ye nodded. He understood. The Second King Yanluo hadn’t told him of all these things because he was of the view that Hell had enough territory for now, and it wasn’t the time to be declaring war on the other underworlds in any event.
Who would’ve thought that a tyrant like you is actually such a pacifist…
Silence. The Plumed Serpent God didn’t say a word, because he could tell that Prefect Qin was currently conferring with Zhao Yun. He wasn’t in the least bit anxious. In fact, he was even somewhat ecstatic at the seriousness with which they appeared to confer with each other.
It’s amazing that Prefect Qin could get such support from the Ghost King. With this, his odds of ascending the throne should be reasonably high! And once that happens, he’ll finally be able to do something to rescue me from the Heavenly Dao!Previous Chapter Next Chapter