Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Joshua, now the center of everyone’s curiosity, was observing Robzek’s dreamland.
It was a vast, barren wasteland.
A thick haze the color of yellow-green permeated the air. The ground was like a swamp and filled with dark green mud. Corroded and withered trees stood around. An infinite number of twisted and horrifying Chaos existences wandered in such an environment.
This was the Plagued Land, and those were the minions of the Evil God of Pestilence. They came in varying species and shapes but not a single one of them bore the resemblance of an ordinary living thing. Even the most ‘normal’ of them was a bunch of flesh put together as a combination of cyst and organs. Their bodies were filled with swaying barbs and appendages that brimmed with sticky liquids of a rotten smell, which they eject off their bodies occasionally.
And there was a squad fighting and slaying these revolting demonic monsters in such an environment.
Sacred Light flashed like falling stars across the atmosphere. They were like giant hammers that pummeled those Chaotic monsters into bloody puddles and incinerated their remains into black smoke. Under their leader’s guidance, this squad of young but formidable holy knights swept away all the Chaos monsters around like a storm.
It did not surprise Joshua that their leader was a young Robzek.
At present, Robzek looked a little lost. The powerful holy knight might be crisply cutting down the minions of Chaos but he looked rather out of it, probably suspicious as to what he was doing back at the Plague Land and also curious why his level has returned to Gold Tier.
Nonetheless, this was not the time to think such thingsit was the time to cut down and vanquish the malice. Robzek did exactly that by unleashing his combat skills perfectly. Dancing and swerving around with his giant hammer he pulverized numerous monsters of Chaos while the Sacred Light vaporized all the fluids that splash out of the monsters, leaving the holy knight unblemished.
The battle was ending soon. It was a fine expedition; none of the knights were hurt and every Chaos minion had been killed. Nonetheless, out of a moment carelessness a young holy knight with weaker Sacred Light abilities could not cleanse a monster’s outpouring goo in time, allowing it to come in contact with his body.
Being splashed by monsters’ ejections would not cause much harm to peoplethose were just normal bodily fluids ultimately and the most it does was produce a revolting smell. This, however, was not your run-of-the-mill fluids. In minutes, the young knight showed signs of being infected by pestilence as transparent boils began to swell over his skin in which a brown-red viscous muck flowed and sloshed around distinctively.
The holy knight who was in his twenties at most endured the agony with his extraordinary will, and exhausted his powers, using both Sacred Light and holy spells to stop the spread of the disease. “Save me, Commander Robzek…” he begged with a raspy voice that was under clear torment. “My mother awaits my return, I don’t want to die”
But there is no saving him.
A glance was all Joshua needed to tell that the forces of Chaos had already corroded the young man’s body. Anywhere else would have allowed the suppression of the pestilence but this was the Plague Landthe home ground of the Chaos. The pestilence was supported by persisting Chaos energies, and it was essentially a death sentence for the young man.
Robzek could see that too, and he knew something else that was more terrifying. If the holy knight’s body was not ‘completely cleansed’, the other knights would be infected too since they would have to touch his body to evacuate him. Meanwhile, that young man would turn into a monster of Chaos.
It was simply too big a risk.
The forces of Chaos were uncannysometimes there were just no preparing against them.
“Let’s try it! Ollie could still be saved!”
“Right, we’re not far from the waypoint. If we could quickly deliver him to the Great Altar, Ollie would be able to recover!”
The other knights were begging Robzek for mercy. They believed that they could stabilize their comrade’s illness, and when they returned to the Great Altar the hierarchs of the Chruch could completely heal the pestilence. Although there would be some symptoms left, the young knight would not be completely scorched to ash by the Sacred Light.
But there was no hint of hesitation on the silver-haired holy knight.
“Forgive me.” He said softly and ignored every request from the other young knights. As the youth named Ollie looked on in shock, Robzek gripped his neck and snapped it.
“This is the only thing I can do for you.”
Igniting a Sacred Flame in his hand and remembering the life of the young knight in melancholy, Robzek muttered to himself, “I’m sorry, little Ollie. Your mother would definitely be sad which is why I would not let the mothers of the other sixteen be sad too.”
Though he was apologizing there was no hint of regret in his voice.
The hand that turned the young knight into ash did not even tremble, and the holy knight’s expression and will was hard as iron.
“I have experienced despair once. Because of my leniency, my carelessness and my tendency to believe in luck, none of the seventeen other knights returned alive to the Holy Altar. It is by a fluke that I myself was sent to the Great Altar and received healing from the Pope himself.”
“It’s my most regretful mistake that I held on my chest for twenty-five years. Every night I toss around in bed remembering it, incapable of falling into sweet slumber ever again.”
Every other comrade of his had begun to die from the pestilence afterward. He himself survived between despair and torment as he led the remaining knights in retreat while holding off other Chaos beasts that kept coming. Though they fought long and hard, all that was left of his team was himself.
Such a thing was enough once in a lifetime.
“Now, rest. At least this time your comrades would not lose their lives,” he said without emotion.
However, the other young knights did not share his opinion. They unsheathed their blades and pointed them in unison against Roland, an irrepressible anger obvious in their gazes.
“It really is a dream then. Real knights would endure the pain of sacrificeit might be hard to see a comrade die, but it is no reason to unleash your rage, much less point your weapon at your friend.” Robzek said coolly, shaking his head at his look at the remaining fifteen.
Although he was facing stares of hate and rage, his tone was unmoved and even seemed regretful. “You guys should have been freed, but it seems that my efforts were futile This may be a dream, but let me teach you what it means to obey the chain of command.”
“First and foremost, don’t raise your blade at your commander.”
Joshua nodded in approval of the knight’s actionsRobzek could very well clear his test without any help. However, those other young knights obviously were a test set by the Divine Dungeon Shroud their capabilities would definitely be above that of normal knights. If Robzek did not stay vigilant, the tables could be turned against him.
“Well that’s about it, I understand the characteristic of this shroud now.”
If he were to carelessly fall into the dreamland too Joshua was confident that he could accomplish the challenge smoothly. He turned towards the direction still shrouded heavily by the shroud. “Up next, the Mage Guild and that Chest of Erebos.”
The deed came after the choice. As if his gaze could penetrate the mist, he quickly searched his surroundings and headed towards the huge main doors of the guild.
Along the way, the shroud became noticeably agitated and no longer calmJoshua’s tossing of both Robzek and Moore away from its influence had clearly angered it. Still, the pair were yet to be released from its dreamland while it could not attack the warrior due to his divinity either.
The Mage Guild’s headquarters was built with enchanted paste and concrete which in turn spared it from the shroud’s corrosion. There was not a trace of weather damage on it.
After Joshua entered, he realized that the shroud was thicker there. A leaden pressure came as he sensed that the shroud inched closer despite his protection, reducing the invisible shield from five meters to four and a half.
“The closer I get to the deity’s relic, the thicker the shroud gets, and my divinity repelling effect would be nullified too.”
This was something easily understood, which was why Joshua did not slow down. Following the path he learned when he previously visited this place under the guise of Brandon and Nostradamus, he swiftly moved past the hall and corridors and took the spiral staircase leading down to the underground labs.
Even with the surging mist, there was an eerie silence across the building, broken occasionally by the echoing footsteps of the warrior in the corridor. He stretched his ears and listened, but there weren’t any sounds of life or flames of life within his scope of vision.
Seems like most of the guild members had escaped, save for the members of the second lab that were closest to the Chest of Erebus.
Nothing much happened other than that. Most of the guild’s vital properties were left unblemished with the help of protective spells, and there were just several scattered documents and warriors that were turned into powder or muck.
Soon, Joshua arrived at the entrance of Underground Lab 2.
Right now his protection was no more than half a meter. Like ink, the thick shroud swarmed himhe would have lost his bearings and missed his target if not for his keen senses towards the environment.
“Seem like it’s here,” the warrior muttered as he entered without much ado.
Behind the door were seven dim flames of life. Apparently, they were the mages who were researching the Chest of Erebus, and their life signs appeared so weak that they would expire soon despite the flashing runes that preserves them.
Joshua could feel indistinctly thatsave for one older wizardthe mages were being tormented in their respective dreamlands, and appear unlikely to pass the challenge. That older mage must be the Husk that Nostradamus had mentioned; he appeared to have found the way to solve the dreamland like Robzek.
In the middle of the lab, there was a huge screen made from white crystal with an almost undetectable crack. An inexhaustible amount of shroud was flowing out of it like a volcanic discharge.
It goes without saying that the heart of the screen was where the source of the problemthe Chest of Erebuslies, but Joshua did not have the time to mind it. He had to save the mages first, and ensure that they do not the die from the corrosive shroud.
He could handle the shroud anytime, but there was no telling when any of the seven mages would expire. It would be troublesome if they suddenly die when he fought the shroud, which was why he walked towards them, ready to carry them off and throw them out of the mist.
Then, he stopped in his tracks.
He turned towards the white crystal and squinted. “Such weak divinity is actually enough to condense and form a consciousness?” He said quietly. “As expected of the God of Fortune. Such good luck even after it had fallen to such a state.”
As he spoke, a huge sturdy shadow with two heads formed fuzzily within the white crystal.