Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 237: Wrath of the Gods
Jesse Dylan of Tumbleweed lost his voice, and the fluctuations of another spiritual sacrifice spell became weaker and weaker. Hamlin could basically guess what happened. After all, after spending all these years in the choir of the Laddism Church, “Spiritual Sacrifice” was the only spell they were allowed to practice.
Jesse Dylan fell into a serious injury or coma, making it impossible to continue to deliver magic through the seal. As for Adrian Cross, from the perspective of the battle that took place not long ago, he most likely didn’t have much energy to spare.
Now that they have left the abyss, the two members of Tumbleweed were extremely weak, and one of them showed clear signs of deformation. It was a good time for the fanatics to act—even if the Pope himself pursued the matter afterwards, he couldn’t be able to fault the procedure and could only eat this hidden loss.
The palms of Hamlin’s hands resting on the armrests were full of sweat.
Rugo, the one-eyed dwarf, despised humans. Even if he would agree with Mr. Cross because of his strength, it didn’t really mean he really cared about Cross’ life.
He could return to the surface safely and unscathed. He just needed to continue to pretend to be weak and watch all this. When this task was over, he would be able to leave the choir and return to his home where he was no longer poor.
Hamlin Elmer raised his head and turned his blind eyes in the direction of Adrian Cross’s aura.
The traitor of the Laddism Church, the black badge of sin. When he originally stayed in the Holy Land of Hatfield, Hamlin had heard a lot of rumors about Adrian Cross.
He colluded with a high-level figure of the Mooney Sect and lost his power at the most important moment for the battle of the dragon breath stone mine, causing the elites of the Knights of Judgement to fall into a bitter battle and he was greatly wounded. Not to mention carrying the mark of a contract with a superior demon and inducing the “Battlefield Saint” Cahill Edwards to form a contract with a superior demon.
Despite the benefits Tumbleweed bestowed on his brother, in that suffocating darkness, Mr. Cross was the only one who found him in poor condition.
The only one.
Hamlin shivered and lowered his body, tremblingly trying to connect the sacrificial blood mark to the back of the neck of the former Knight of Judgement.
His older brother was waiting for him to go home. It was a felony to use spiritual sacrifice against people outside the holy church—not to mention apostates—without authorization. Once discovered…
Impulsive and extremely stupid, Hamlin thought to himself. It had never occurred to him that the first time he attempted to defy the dogmas, he would have to take such a risk of this magnitude.
But if the other party just wants a little time, a little time to protect his companion.
Mr. Cross’s voice trembled a little. Would the “Shining Morning Star” also feel fear?
Hamlin clasped his cold hands and shuddered as he gasped for breath.
[O merciful God, all glory belongs to you. Please forgive me for my sins and take me out of this quagmire.]
He prayed desperately from the bottom of his heart, and then channeled his power regardless.
Adrian Cross, who had gained the power, didn’t pray.
After many pleas to no avail, he simply accepted the status quo. The former Knight of Judgment just stood there quietly, holding on to his broken body, with a terrifying peaceful smile on his face.
The wariness radiated from the tattered silver sword to the surrounding area, but whenever anyone tried to approach, the blade was bound to bring up a bloodstain when it cut through. Whether it was armor, a heavy shield, or another sword, all became paper-thin and fragile in front of that sharp aura.
Considering Hamlin’s own weak condition, Adrian didn’t dare ask for too much strength. He stayed there stubbornly, with sword skills as his main attack form while using spells as an auxiliary, without retreating a single step.
Like a fortress with breath.
Until now, how many minutes had passed?
A new round of spells blasted down, and the field of vision was stained with blood red. Adrian found that his breathing had begun to become unstable.
But the person behind him still didn’t wake.
…Then it continued.
He was gradually moving towards death, and Adrian knew this very well. After several fierce battles in succession, his hands trembled uncontrollably, and his muscles seemed to be completely torn apart. Excessive blood loss made his entire body cold.
But the smile at the corner of his mouth became bigger.
What a familiar cold, Adrian thought groggily. Just like sixteen years ago? Or seventeen years ago?
It should be at that time that he first met the guy behind him who couldn’t wake up.
Adrian couldn’t remember too many details about the war; only the scorched tree trunks, swollen corpses, and the overwhelming snowstorms after the war. In the winter, when there was a lack of food, human cannibalism was followed by demons and beasts swarming to snatch the remaining corpses.
Grief turned into hunger, hunger turned into despair, and then violence was born. Chaos.
And he stepped on the thick snow, walking alone in the storm at night.
After losing everything in the war, Adrian, who was still a teenager, didn’t have much choice—he didn’t want to stab his former neighbor’s head with the tip of a branch for a little bedding and hard bread, but he didn’t want to shrink into the ruins of blood splashing and beasts wandering, waiting for death to come.
In the endless madness, a person who wasn’t strong enough was very likely to become the dinner of a certain beast or a certain number of people.
Fortunately, he wasn’t desperate.
The Laddism Church was not far away. They were willing to accept war orphans of the right age. He just needed to walk through the woods next to the ruins of the village for two days and nights. Amid a blizzard that seemed never-ending, such a move was tantamount to suicide.
However, that was his only choice.
The wind blasted ice that made the skin of Adrian’s face numb. The shabby clothes that weren’t thick enough couldn’t withstand the cold, and his feet had already lost consciousness, and he could only shiver and count his steps.
He didn’t know how long he had been walking, and all he saw was a vast expanse of white. Adrian couldn’t even tell where he was coming from and in which direction he was going. To make matters worse, he may have been going in circles like a headless fly.
The dead sporadic trees were buried deep in the snow, gradually turning into the same appearance in his eyes.
What followed was an increasingly thickening darkness.
After a daytime journey, facing the gradually darkened sky, Adrian tasted true despair for the first time.
He thought he could find one or two wood stakes to resist the cold wind, and if he was lucky, he could get some dead grass and soft bark for food, but he didn’t find anything. There were only scattered dead trees and white snow left in the world.
He was about to die.
Adrian inserted the thick branch in his hand into the snow layer as deep as his knees, almost instinctively moving forward. Everything in front of him began to blur, and the skin rubbing against the rough clothing began to become hot and painful. His breathing seemed to be frozen, his throat was blocked by the cold wind, and he couldn’t breathe.
The last thing left in his memory was the snow; a blur of glowing white snow in the night. Adrian knelt down and let them catch his body. He raised his head laboriously and stretched out his hand in the direction of the imaginary church.
But he knew in his heart that the snow here would bury him and then spit out his bones in the spring.
‘I don’t want to die yet,’ Adrian, who was still a teenager at the time, thought numbly.
That was his last thought before he lost consciousness.
What happened afterwards was enough to be called a miracle.
In fact, until not long ago, Adrian Cross wasn’t sure if it was a bizarre illusion he had had at his deathbed. Or maybe he had simply encountered some kind passerby and his frozen brain had distorted reality.
The first thing to come was a warm breath, and his gaze passed through the eyelashes decorated with ice grains. Stimulated by the long-lost warmth, Adrian swept his eyes unconsciously.
He saw a row of huge sharp teeth belonging to beasts, but his nose, which was so frozen that he lost consciousness, didn’t smell the peculiar fishy smell of the beast, and there was only a vague sound of wind in his ears.
The excessively tall beast was staring at him with icy blue eyes. Its gaze was cold and emotionless, like its color. He still couldn’t escape the fate of being eaten by beasts, or so Adrian thought casually, but at least now he wouldn’t feel too much pain.
However, what came immediately was not the tearing of sharp teeth, but an ocean of soft fur.
The huge beast laid down, curled his body into a ball, and wrapped him in the middle of its body. The soft and smooth white long hair seemed to have magic power, and a strange sense of floating wrapped him, and his limbs tingled to regain consciousness. Adrian subconsciously grabbed the long soft hair, making sure he smelled a little mixed aroma of berries and milk.
If this was an illusion before death, perhaps death may not be as terrifying as he thought.
The long, fluffy white fur insulated him from the blizzard’s hail while allowing him to breathe freely. It was so warm that the overly comfortable softness couldn’t give any semblance of reality.
But after waking up the next day, Adrian found that the furry illusion was still in place. He finally struggled to get himself out of the pile of long hair. The huge beast was still balled up, and the white fur and snow almost fused as one. Those icy blue eyes were closed tightly, and the weird horn gleamed with delicate golden light under the sun.
It was also snoring slightly.
The blizzard had stopped at some point and the sun poured down. He no longer felt hungry or thirsty. Adrian stretched out his arm, passed through the thick long hair, and tentatively poked the beast. The other party just snorted a few times and balled up even tighter.
Adrian looked around subconsciously. Under the clear blue sky, he could see a little bit of the spire belonging to the church.
The destination was right in front of him, but he clearly hadn’t gone very far last night. Given what was happening right now was bizarre enough. Adrian pulled out a thick branch in his hair and gave the weird animal a clumsy salute.
The other party smacked its mouth in its sleep, without meaning to wake up. The elegant behemoth was still lying in the snow, as beautiful as a dream.
The matter after that was simple. Adrian arrived at the church with strong support, and then was successfully taken in. He ran back to the woods on the first day he got his winter clothes, but the weird beast had long since disappeared.
It also didn’t exist in any books, murals, legends, or even the nonsense of bards. Adrian tried to ask the high-level officials of the church and the residents who have lived there for a long time, but all he got were basically “never seen it”, “you’re just seeing things” or similar responses.
The beast only existed in his broken memory, leaving no other traces.
After that, every winter, Adrian would go to the woods to look for it, chasing an increasingly vague illusion—until that winter day when the promotion order came, and he was to become the Chief Justice of the Knights of Judgement.
Adrian, who was no longer a teenager, lowered his head and said goodbye to the woods for the last time.
The moment he raised his head, he seemed to see it again—that beautiful beast, standing not far away from the dead trees. Its icy blue eyes were full of playfulness.
But when Adrian looked closely, only snow could be seen among the brown-black branches covered with ice edges.
[You finally found me. Adri, I told you, right? I like the way you are now. It makes me feel… very nostalgic.]
Jesse Dylan had known for a long time… That bastard who wouldn’t wake up.
In the gradually blurred consciousness, the memories faded.
Adrian raised the sword in his hand. His ears filled with the sounds of his own breathing and heartbeat. His swollen eyelids were almost too heavy to lift, and his body was instinctively resisting the waves of sword blades, sharp arrows, and spells.
The silver sword let out an overwhelmed sound. The former Chief Justice of the Knight of Judgement could hardly see anything in front of him.
He gripped the somewhat deformed silver sword. His remaining strength wasn’t even enough to raise the corner of his mouth. The fanatics seemed to be shouting something, but he could no longer understand the meaning of those words.
Adrian could only barely distinguish the spells that appeared in front of him.
The former Chief Justice of the Knight of Judgement was once very good at this endless pursuit. It was an extremely destructive spell and difficult to launch. His opponent must have had a high-level scroll specifically used for Jesse Dylan.
The warm white light pierced his eyes, like bright snow in the sun.
[Promise me, don’t die easily.]
[Then you have to protect me. I’m very fragile.]
He had promised two things to the capricious Mr. Dylan, but now it seemed he must break one of those promises.
Since he could choose only one, he would choose the one he liked best. The other party had given him so many years of time, so it was time to give it back.
“Goodbye,” he said softly, suddenly wanting to hear Jesse Dylan ask that question again.
[Hey Adri, do you like me a little bit today?]
Since he didn’t like lying, how should he answer this time?
In order to avoid excessive loss of magic and kill Hamlin, Adrian cut off his own spiritual sacrifice. He didn’t dodge the burning white light, but just squeezed out all the remaining magic he had in his body to build a final protection.
The spell penetrated the flesh and blood, and then dissipated. The deformed sword was inserted into the ground, but Adrian Cross still didn’t fall.
Only pools of blood continued to accumulate at his feet, and then spread. The warm blood gradually cooled and soaked the long coat of the blond young man behind him.
Two or three seconds passed, and Jesse Dylan blinked.
This journey to the Abyss wasn’t at all pleasant. As if a complete release of instinct, the hostility of the Demon King’s own body overwhelmed him without hesitation. The connection with his own body was severed, and the battle at the Pale Hive had completely overdrawn his powers, so he almost didn’t have the power to maintain his form.
Jesse raised his hand and was satisfied to find that he had returned to his human form.
Then he propped one hand on the ground, and as soon as he sat up, he frowned because of the wetness of his hands and the blood that filled his nose.
“Adri.” Jesse turned his gaze as usual and looked at the figure standing beside him.
But his knight commander did not respond to the call. Jesse raised his eyes and even saw a small piece of sky through the terrifying hole in the opponent’s left chest.
The blond young man fell silent.
“……No.” After a while, he retracted his gaze and muttered softly. “It seems that I’m still a little late.”
After that, he stood up and scanned the fanatics who were standing quietly around him, as if they hadn’t recovered from the scene in front of them.
“Gentlemen, gentlemen.” Jesse Dylan’s tone sounded as brisk as ever.
His star went out. Adrian Cross was a mortal, after all, and humans were fragile and transient. They easily died for various strange reasons. Even if he was once a “Shining Morning Star”, he would inevitably slowly decay, turn into bones, and eventually be completely forgotten by the world, like a worm molting in the corner of an abandoned house.
“It’s true that something terrible happened just now, but it was all a misunderstanding, I promise. I can explain.” Jesse raised his hands and stepped forward, soaked in blood but was strangely mellow.
Their main target, the apostate Cross, was dead, and there was nothing to be feared. The fanatics looked at the man in front of them and frowned.
Jesse Dylan had completely returned to his human appearance, and all the abnormal magic fluctuations had disappeared at that moment. After achieving the main purpose and losing important evidence of his deformation, things began to get a bit tricky, but they didn’t wait for each other to agree on the next second…
“…I should have said this,” The abnormally beautiful blond young man walked past the body of the former Chief Justice who hadn’t fallen down, and the smile on his face completely disappeared. “But I’m a little pissed off right now.”
The only remaining member of Tumbleweed took another step forward, picked up the half-unconscious gray parrot on the ground, and threw it on the back of the fuller goat.
“Actually, correction. I’m quite pissed off.”
Jesse thought for a while, and his tone was laced with some seriousness. He didn’t look back at the corpse, yet his tone was cold and calm.
“I haven’t been able to beat Adri, yet you killed him. Like I said, I don’t like losing.”
It was clear the other party hadn’t taken any action, but the backs of the fanatics who stood closest to him suddenly felt chills down their spine. This was instinctive fear, as if it wasn’t a human in front of them but some unknown and terrifying natural enemy.
They didn’t wait for the orders and attacked directly.
But their goal didn’t even bother to cast a look. Jesse Dylan glanced at the spell that rushed into his eyes. The spell stopped in mid-air for a few seconds, and then returned the same way.
The deadly spell passed through the caster’s head, and the sound of his body falling to the ground was particularly heavy in the silence.
“You made the first move.” Jesse shook his finger. “Remember, now even Adri or our leader can’t make excuses to scold me.”
“Adrian Cross is dead.” The leader of the mages swallowed as he hissed back.
Commander Rugo didn’t make a sound. He looked at Jesse in front of him with his big yellow eyes and his thin hands touched a scroll.
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m not stupid,” Jesse responded lightly, taking another step forward. “It was clearly agreed that he wasn’t allowed to die easily… He was quite fragile before, and I only took my eyes off him for a single moment. Ugh.”
“You can’t attack us.” The fanatic in the red robe glanced at his companion, who fell to the ground. His voice was shrill. “We haven’t violated any dogma. Even if the Pope was here, he has no right to interfere with our actions!”
“Adrian Cross was originally a despicable apostate and a little merit escorting can’t offset his sins. As for you, Dylan. Stay where you are now, otherwise we will start attacking—”
“Apostate… Ha.” A sneer gradually appeared on Jesse Dylan’s beautiful expressionless face.
“What do your dogmas matter to me? For the benefit of the surface? To be honest, I know your stupid dogmas, but none of them stipulates that the deformation check must be carried out immediately. Let me see the time… Well, I just fell into a coma for fifteen minutes. What? Did you receive some divination in advance that if you didn’t check immediately that the surface would explode in fifteen minutes?”
“If you’re really justified, my stupid Adri wouldn’t resist the so-called ‘righteousness’. Make your own dogmas, preach your own justice, and then exploit the loopholes of the dogmas that you have set for yourself. Your goal was Adri from the beginning, right? Using me to do this… Ah, how wonderful.”
The blond young man clapped his hands insincerely and took another step forward.
“Attack!” the mage ordered loudly. “For the glory of Zenni!”
Several white rays of light shot out from all directions.
Then it disappeared halfway, leaving no trace.
“I’ve changed my mind.” Jesse Dylan glanced at the corpses that were mutilated from his spell rebound and rubbed his chin. “It’s boring to kill you all so quickly… After all, according to your delusions, if you die in battle against ‘evil’, you can still enter paradise, or some other shithole.”
What answered him was a more rapid and violent attack.
But those earth-shattering spells still melted quietly halfway through. The sharp blade burned and vaporized directly before it touched the corners of Jesse Dylan’s clothes.
“As I see it, you all deserve a reward for being so pious… Truly deserving of a careful ‘commendation’.”
Jesse walked directly to the leading mage and grabbed the opponent by the collar. The tone of voice was very soft, but the malice in it was almost overflowing.
“Don’t you want to maintain the glory of God and keep believers pure? Isn’t your ultimate goal to return to your ideal paradise and prostrate yourself in front of Zenni?”
The mage touched the dragon breath stone dagger in his pocket, raised his hand and stabbed Jesse Dylan in the abdomen, but it was like piercing into the void, as he couldn’t hurt his opponent in the slightest.
“What the hell are you?” he squeezed a question out from between his teeth.
“I have many names. Which one do you want to know?” Jesse’s voice was clear and loud. “Now my name is Jesse Dylan, but the elves like the name ‘Celestine’, and those one-eyed dwarfs call me ‘Mansfield’. Did you see the dragon fainting over there? They call me ‘Dimitrios’.”
Then, the blond monster curled his lips sarcastically.
“And you always call me ‘Zenni’.”
“What nonsense are you talking about—”
“Next, please greet your gods properly.”
What is going on with this arc. Everyone be dying!!! My poor little heart can’t take it.