Chapter 1116 Familiar Gaze
Lovia’s response made Joshua even more wary. He looked at the other members of the expedition team and anxiously asked, “Did any of you hear any abnormal footsteps?”
With Thunder God’s Roar and a broadsword in hand, Derrick recalled for a few seconds and shook his head in denial. Haim, who held the Unshadowed Crucifix in his hand, looked at the Sealed Artifact that was still glowing and replied, “Perhaps it’s your hallucination?”
“No, I heard it very clearly.” The scarlet-gloved Joshua frowned and expressed his opinion.
Upon hearing this, Demon Hunter Colin, who was walking right in front, half-turned around and calmly instructed, “Haim, Antiona, check on Joshua’s condition.”
“Yes, Your Excellency.” Haim immediately walked to Joshua and pressed the Unshadowed Crucifix which appeared to be a manifestation of pure light against his teammates’ forehead.
However, this Sealed Artifact didn’t undergo any changes.
Immediately following that, the wine-red-haired female warrior, Antiona, came to the side of Joshua and raised her left hand.
There was a pale gold bracelet around her wrist. On it were three small bells covered in golden scales.
The tinkling sounds that sounded calmed Joshua’s heart. He was no longer as tense and impatient.
“No problem.” Antiona cast her gaze towards the Chief, Colin Iliad.
Two complex dark green symbols appeared in Colin’s eyes. He looked at Joshua for a few seconds before nodding and saying, “It might not be an illusion, but you have to be careful if any abnormalities arise within you.”
Seeing the Chief supporting him, Joshua secretly heaved a sigh of relief.
After the doubts were temporarily put away, the City of Silver’s expedition team continued down the staircase that was covered in the glow of sunset one level after another.
Suddenly, everyone heard a groan.
From the corner of his eye, Derrick Berg saw Joshua raise his hands and strangle his neck.
As he was a Dawn Paladin, he had immense strength. Just as he let out a grunt, his hands snapped his neck.
With a gloomy and twisted expression, Joshua collapsed, his eyes filled with disbelief.
The person who killed him was himself!
“…”Although Derrick and the others didn’t manage to react in time, their years of training and the experience they had gained from exploring the depths of the darkness made them instinctively take up battle positions, wary of any subsequent attacks.
Then, they heard a muffled grunt.
It was from Shepherd Elder Lovia.
The facial muscles of the woman with long silver-gray hair tightened as obvious twitching and squirming appeared, as though another face had grown out.
She plopped to the ground on the wide staircase as she grimaced with indescribable pain.
Her hands moved slowly but uncontrollably as she clenched her neck.
Just as Lovia was about to exert her strength, two swords that were smeared with silver-gray ointment reached out and pried her palms apart.
Demon Hunter Colin, who was already prepared, reacted in time.
Lovia’s body twitched as she lowered her head even further. Opening her mouth, she spat out pieces of torn flesh and incomplete organs.
She took a deep breath, as though she had finally recovered. Then, she propped her elbow on the ground and took a step forward, prostrating herself and swallowing the flesh and blood organs that she had just spat out in a pious and humble manner.
Demon Hunter Colin, who had several old scars on his face, quietly watched this scene without stopping her.
Finally, Lovia looked up and said with her unfocused gray eyes, “It was degeneration.
“A form of degeneration that everyone has.”
“Do you have a solution?” Colin asked without any change in his tone.
Lovia nodded without hesitation.
As soon as she finished speaking, she used her right hand to grab her left index finger. With a loud snap, she pulled it out and stuffed the blood and bones into her mouth. As she chewed, she muttered, “The Lord that created everything;
“The Lord who reigns behind the curtain of shadows;
The degenerate nature of all living things…”
The honorific name of the True Creator… Derrick’s eyelids twitched when he heard that. He suddenly felt that something subtle was happening around him.
The orange glow became more saturated and closer to the color of blood.
Above the gray fog, The Fool Klein’s expression instantly turned solemn.
Although he couldn’t see anything through his “true vision,” he could vaguely sense that there was a gaze cast over from afar, causing it to interfere with his observations; thus, weakening his clarity and range.
In addition, that gaze gave him a strange sense of familiarity.
It’s difficult to not be familiar with it. The first half of my life after I transmigrated was to deal with “Him”—”His” son, “His” Oracle, “His” wish to descend, the items left behind by “Him”, “His” crazy ravings, and all sorts of murals related to “Him”… At that moment, Klein was completely certain that the entity who had begun to focus on the City of Silver’s expedition team was none other than the True Creator.
Frankly speaking, when Lovia began to recite the honorific name of that entity, Klein wanted to directly smite her with “Lightning Storm” and eliminate the problem before it appeared. However, he ultimately held back the urge because he wasn’t confident that he could finish off the Shepherd in one strike. The evil spirit that Lovia had “Grazed” was likely at the level of a Sequence 3. Although it had died a long time ago, its current combined strength was still at the level of Sequence 4. It likely wasn’t a problem for her to withstand “Lightning Storm,” which was close to but not at the angel level, for some time.
And once The Fool couldn’t easily kill Lovia, it would be a sign of fear in the eyes of Demon Hunter Colin.
In addition, Klein believed that Colin Iliad was happy to see Shepherd Elder Lovia chant the True Creator’s honorific name. He wanted to use this to put The Fool in check and achieve some semblance of balance.
This was actually an act of disrespect in front of deities, making it very easy to anger those great existences, but there was nothing that Colin Iliad could do. He couldn’t simply trust The Fool and the True Creator, so he could only try his best by probing them while staying on the edge of a cliff.
Only by doing so would the City of Silver not suddenly be destroyed like the cities that had been buried deep in the darkness, covered with the dust of history.
What a pity. If the Unshadowed Crucifix was in my hands now, I’d have the chance to instantly kill that Silver Knight evil spirit by using all my strength to activate the powers of the mysterious space above the gray fog… It’s a fundamental restraint… Klein sighed silently and could only accept this development.
He hadn’t discovered anything unusual with Joshua until this City of Silver warrior with scarlet gloves strangled himself. Only then did he see his spirit turn dark and gloomy.
Just as the Shepherd Elder had said, this was a form of “degeneration” that he originally had. It was no different from losing himself because of money and beauty, making it very difficult for external forces to detect it.
That staircase should have remnant godhood powers that represent degeneration. They’re embedded into the environment, making it difficult to discover and resist… Previously, the stone golem had no spirituality, so it wasn’t affected… From the honorific name, the True Creator wields control over degeneration. Just “His” gaze alone is enough to disperse the corresponding powers… Klein adjusted his mental state and continued to observe the subsequent developments.
During this process, he couldn’t help but consider a question:
Was the True Creator like him now, watching the movements of the City of Silver’s expedition team in “His” divine kingdom?
…On Earth, this is called a fellow viewer watching the same livestream… If I were to send “gifts,” would the True Creator “gift” even more? By making this teasing remark, he tried to ease the nervousness and concern that he felt from having the True Creator cast “His” gaze over.
That was a true god. Be it Adam or Amon, they weren’t even qualified to be on par with “Him”!
At that moment, Shepherd Lovia had already stood up, and her left index finger had also grown back.
She looked at Chief Colin Iliad and said, “This region will no longer suffer from degeneration.”
This meant that the staircase wasn’t that dangerous anymore.
Normally, the expedition team would ignore Joshua’s corpse. Whether they advanced or retreated, they couldn’t afford to waste any time. If they stayed in an extremely dangerous area for too long, the other members would have an accident. However, since the six-member council’s Elder Lovia used a tone of certainty to indicate that there were no problems nearby, they could rest and deal with it.
Derrick put down Haim’s broadsword and walked to Joshua’s side. After staring for a few seconds, he bent down to pick up his scarlet glove and wore it on his left palm.
He still remembered that Joshua was always bragging about the mystical item he had obtained during an expedition.
He could also clearly recall that when he left the Afternoon Town camp, he had said that he would be forced into a marriage after the expedition, with no idea as to who his wife would be. Yet, an hour later, this teammate had turned into a cold corpse.
To the people of the City of Silver, this was something that happened frequently. No one cried or broke down. However, there was an emotion that had already seeped into their bones and blood. It was heavy and mixed with grief.
They watched as Derrick raised his left hand and aimed it at Joshua’s corpse.
A blazing flame flew out, enveloping the teammate who had been fighting alongside them earlier.
After the cremation, Demon Hunter Colin put away the Beyonder characteristic that had seeped out. The rest of the team members grabbed a handful of ashes and placed them into a hidden pocket in their clothes.
Amidst the silence, they continued down the stairs and arrived at the bottom of the staircase. There was a towering palace bathed in the glow of dusk. Behind it was a corridor and staircase that led to another area.
The palace door was open, and it was pitch-black inside. Not a single ray of light could shine inside.
Demon Hunter Colin carefully observed for a while before saying, “Just like in the outside world.”
What he meant was that the group should use various means to maintain a lit environment and not allow themselves to fall into a state of absolute darkness.
Hence, Haim activated the Unshadowed Crucifix, allowing it to envelop all of his teammates. At the same time, Antiona lit a lantern and held it in her hand, in case the cross suddenly lost its effectiveness.
The group entered the palace and walked through the abnormally empty hall. Their footsteps reverberated into the distance, but there weren’t any echoing sounds.
As he walked, Derrick suddenly felt his eyelids grow heavy as he felt a strong sense of sleepiness.
At this moment, he heard the Chiefs low growl:
“Don’t fall asleep!”
Derrick suddenly woke up, snapping out of his fatigued state of not being able to open his eyes.
At that moment, a female warrior’s body went limp and fell to the ground, as though she had fallen into a deep slumber.
Then, she disappeared into thin air and disappeared in front of everyone.
Demon Hunter Colin and Shepherd Lovia exchanged looks for a while before shaking their heads and leading the team forward.
During this process, they would hurt themselves from time to time, using pain to stay awake.
Finally, they passed through a bunch of arches and saw the darkness that couldn’t be dispelled up ahead.
With the help of the light from the team, they discovered that it was a hall with countless murals drawn. In the middle of the hall was a long dark red table. Situated around it were high-back chairs with intricate patterns.
This… Derrick felt a baffling sense of familiarity.
He immediately came to a realization that this was somewhat similar to the scene at the Tarot Gathering!
Suddenly, balls of light lit up and murmurs sounded around them.
Around the hall stood stone pillars that didn’t support the dome. Scarlet flames were ignited one after another, illuminating the surroundings in an abnormal manner.
The murmurs grew louder, as if they had finally passed through a long and distant space and arrived at their destination. The hall was so lively that it was as if a gathering was held.
Around the dark red table, blurry and illusory figures suddenly appeared. A total of eleven figures sat on different high- back chairs.