Please note: This chapter consists of sensitive parts that may be disturbing or traumatizing to some readers. Continue on your own discretion or skip this if you feel uncomfortable.
It was late at night. A bright crescent moon hung in the night sky, and countless broken stars gleamed and arched over the moon.
In the deep mountain valley, a piece of land was surrounded by rugged black rocks, which could have been natural or artificially polished, with different shapes, glowing with a faint black and cyan luster in the moonlight.
Most of these black rocks had densely packed holes, and when the night wind passed by, they made a penetrating wail one after another. Among the piles of black rocks, the light and shadow intertwined, like some invisible monster lurking in the darkness, struggling to get out; it was creepy.
The bonfire was burning.
The huge crimson flame, as large as a house, burned in the dark and spewed clusters of flames into the night sky.
At the foot of the crimson flame, there were large black and cyan slabstones.
Hundreds of them were spread out on the ground, creating an irregular circle.
There were countless lines carved on the slabstones, which were obviously all carved out by humans. The lines were exquisite, without the slightest error. Those lines that meandered through the entire black and cyan slabstones resembled patterns, designs, and runes, with an indescribable mystery. Upon closer inspection, there was an inexplicable feeling of terror, like one’s soul could be sucked in.
The lines carved on the black and cyan slabstones should have had the same colours as a slabstone, but under the firelight, the edges of those lines faintly revealed a blood red colour.
That was the color of blood that had been stained with blood flowing down those lines for a long time.
The faint scarlet color under the firelight made this black bluestone slab more and more fascinating and terrifying.
The scene at this moment was like a greedy monster from the abyss of darkness opening its big mouth, never satisfied with devouring the flesh and souls it longed for.
The black-robed man stood quietly in front of the bonfire with the fiery light reflecting on him, but was strangely unable to drive away the shadows on his body.
His face had been hidden in the darkness, and no one could see his appearance.
He stood motionless by the bonfire with his hands down, like the pitch-black slate erected around the bonfire. There wasn’t any breath of life from him.
It wasn’t until the believers came from a distance and delivered the sacrifice he was fancying that he finally made a move.
He turned his head and looked in that direction.
The face hidden under the hood of the robe was hard to see, but in the turbulent air, they could feel his heated stare.
A soft seat woven from wicker was carried by four believers, and they walked slowly towards the altar.
A young child sat quietly in it.
In the dark night, the child’s pale blond hair and snow-white skin were unusually conspicuous, and it seemed to glow slightly under the firelight.
Because he had just been forcibly pressed in the lake to cleanse his body, the pale golden hair hanging on his cheeks was still damp, and occasionally a drop of water would drip onto Garlan’s cheeks from the tips of his hair.
The dust and dirt that had stained him while escaping had also been washed away, revealing his fair skin.
The female believers who were responsible for washing him, cleaned him, and then changed him to a new suit. The clothes that had been worn out in the past few days were thrown away. He now wore the same black and cyan clothes as these believers.
However, it was not a long robe, but a sleeveless short one. It allowed his neck, half of his chest, and hands and legs to be exposed to the night. Garlan could probably guess why there was a need for these parts of him to be exposed.
Garlan, who was sitting on the chair, gritted his teeth and tried to move, but his body was so limp that he couldn’t even move his fingers.
Those people forcibly gave him a cup of a drugged drink. It was not known what it contained but after he finished drinking, he no longer had any strength. His body seemed to be completely paralysed. He could only helplessly allow them to put him on the seat and parade over.
Suddenly, his back became cold as if there was an incoming chill, and Garlan looked up.
His breath became shallow and raspy when he saw the black-robed man who made his heart terrified, slowly approaching him.
The man’s gaze was fixed on him, as if he was looking at a lamb to be slaughtered.
The black-robed man nodded slightly towards the side. Two lunatic believers stood nearby, each grabbing one of Garlan’s arms, held him to his feet, and walked towards the black-robed man.
The black-robed man stood there and stretched out a hand from the tightly wrapped black robe.
A female believer next to him came forward, knelt to his feet, and held out a black wooden plate. On it was a quill pen and a small dish of crimson paint.
An abnormally fair hand held the snow-white quill pen on the plate and stained it with the blood-red ink. The black-robed man leaned over and carefully and meticulously painted the complex and mysterious blood runes on the skin of the child in front of him with that pen.
First the calves, then the arms, and finally the neck.
Normally, the runes on the sacrifice were drawn by the crazy believers in advance, but this time, there could be no mistakes on this important sacrifice, so he did it himself.
After the black-robed man put the red-dyed quill back on the wooden plate, most of Garlan’s exposed skin was filled with dense scarlet patterns.
The snow-white skin was lined with the blood-like bright red patterns, and it was reflected in the red firelight, giving people an extremely strange feeling.
He wanted to struggle, but couldn’t move his body, so he could only be framed by the two people next to him, standing in front of the bonfire.
The black-robed man stretched out his hand, and his fingers quickly made various gestures in front of his eyes.
He didn’t know what the other party wanted to do, he just frowned and looked at the moving hand before his eyes in confusion.
After a while, the hand suddenly stopped.
He heard the black-robed man laugh, the laughter was low and deep, and it vaguely revealed a sense of satisfaction and pleasure.
“It’s no wonder that you have…”
The black-robed man retracted his hand and continued, “The power of God cannot confuse you.”
Garlan was startled for a moment, and then instantly understood.
He remembered the first time he saw the child sacrifice. The child stood on the altar with an absent look in his eyes. Even when he had his hands and feet cut, he didn’t move. Even when his throat was finally cut, he did not move.
Come to think of it, that kid probably got something similar to hypnosis.
And just now, this black-robed man also wanted to hypnotise him and let him voluntarily sacrifice himself and bleed like the others. But for some reason, it seemed to have no effect on him, so the black-robed man gave up.
One of the two male believers next to Garlan held him while the other grabbed Garlan’s hands, letting both of his hands be stretched towards their priest.
The black-robed priest took the gold dagger from the believer who was kneeling at his feet. He held the gold dagger which symbolised the An-Ki Cult, held it against his forehead, and prayed a few words in a low voice.
Then, with a wave of his hand, he cut Garlan’s wrist with the gold dagger.
The blood gushed out, flowing over the crimson pattern on Garlan’s wrist, dripping down the slender arm, drop by drop on the black and cyan slate where he stood.
The blood instantly melted into the lines carved out on the stone slab and slowly flowed forward along the winding lines, filling those dry, hungry carvings little by little.
The fire was shining, and the dim carvings seemed to suddenly light up the moment they touched the flowing blood, like a hideous monster moving and stirring little by little.
At the same time, the long, breathtaking chanting of the black-robed man sounded in the dark night.
He stood in front of the bonfire, raised his pale hands, and raised the blood-stained gold dagger in his right hand.
His low voice was not loud, but at this moment, it seemed as if an invisible force was spreading his trembling voice from the bottom of his heart across this land.
Countless believers in black robes knelt down around the cyan stone slabs religiously and threw their bodies to the ground1(Actual words:五体投地) Touching hands, knees, and head to the ground is the most pious etiquette of Buddhists. Describes admiration and admiration to the extreme., and their faces were deeply stuck to the ground.
The cut by the black-robed man was neither light nor heavy. It just kept the blood flowing out steadily.
Garlan stood on top of the cyan stone slab, with his hands still raised in the air.
He couldn’t move. He could only watch his wrist continuously bleed, like a broken string, falling drop by drop in the dark night.
Immediately afterwards, his ankle hurt severely.
The man in the black robe who had finished chanting leaned over, and this time, cut his ankle.
Garlan couldn’t see his feet, but he could feel the warm liquid seeping out of the severely painful wound and flowing over his heel.
The world in front of him began to shake unsteadily, and the excessive blood loss made him feel dizzy.
More than that, in addition to the severe pain of being slashed, there was also an indescribable fear that firmly grasped his heart.
In this repressive darkness, in the weird blood-red eyes, he had to watch his blood continue to flow… He had to feel the blood in his body flowing out little by little. Together, his own vitality slowly disappeared…
This feeling of slowly dying was an extremely long and terrifying process.
This extreme sense of fear could almost drive people crazy.
This time, do I have to die in the hands of such a guy in this way?
He thought in a trance.
…It would be better to die in the hands of Heimos.
His vision began to blur, as if even oxygen was gradually being lost. Garlan felt himself panting heavily, and his chest rose and fell more and more violently.
The flames in his sight were dimming, and darkness struck, slowly eroding him, taking away the light from his eyes.
At this moment, the child’s once bright golden eyes had completely dimmed, and the dangling eyelashes dropped a dark shadow under his eyes, like an ominous omen shrouded in the slowly dilating pupils.
You didn’t keep your promise.
Garlan scolded Heimos in his final consciousness and then completely plunged into darkness.
Suddenly, the bonfire flickered violently.
That was the moment when the blood flowing down the winding carvings touched the bottom of the bonfire. In front of the black-robed man who raised his hands and chanted loudly, it rushed towards the sky and burned fiercely.
A very subtle shadow that ordinary people couldn’t feel appeared in the hot flame.
The chanting stopped abruptly, and the black-robed man looked at the trace of a black shadow in the flame, and his whole body shuddered with excitement.
For the first time in such a long time, for the first time from such a far away place, he felt the breath of the God he was serving with all his heart and soul.
Even if it was just such a little invisible aura, it had already made him ecstatic to the extreme.
Tiamat! The Mother God who created all things!
After a long time, you will finally wake up from the abyss of death again!
Oh, my God!
Can you hear—
Your humble and loyal believer will dedicate everything to you—
That ecstasy made the black-robed man tremble with excitement.
Sure enough, offering this sacrifice is the best way.
Now, he only needed to sacrifice the flesh and soul of this precious vessel to his God—
Thinking of this, the black-robed man couldn’t wait to turn around and walked towards the sacrifice.
The child who was held up by others bled a lot, had a weak breath, and hung his head feebly. The light golden hair moistened with sweat seemed to have lost its luster and was scattered messily on the bloodless cheeks.
The black-robed man stood in front of Garlan, grasped his blond hair with one hand, and pulled him along with his head hanging.
The child with his hair being grabbed was forced to tilt his head back, and his weakly opened lips reflected the flames of the violently burning bonfire ahead. There was no colour, and it was shockingly pale.
At this moment, the child’s throat was exposed to the sight of the black-robed man, and the dense blood-red pattern printed on the snow-white neck’s skin made it look more delicate and fragile.
The black-robed man’s face hidden in the shadow of the hood showed a fanatical look at this moment.
The blood dripping gold dagger flashed with a golden-red luster in the firelight.
The pale hand of the black-robed man waved in the air.
The golden dagger swept a cold light in the dark night, and pierced hard towards Garlan’s throat——
A ray of piercing coldness first came.
Subsequently, a lightning-like arrow appeared.
Like a white beam of light, it suddenly cut through the night—
The black-robed priest let out a low growl. His right palm was pierced by the arrow, and blood gushed out.
The gold dagger had only cut through the shallow layer of skin on Garlan’s neck, and it was knocked out by the arrow. It whirled in the dark and fell on the stone slab with a loud clunk.
Everything happened so quickly. The black-robed man whose palm was pierced by a sharp arrow hadn’t recovered yet. Following closely behind was another sharp arrow piercing through the air.
The small sharp arrow pierced the wrist of his other hand, and the severe pain made him subconsciously loosen the hair of the child he was holding.
Holding his two hands that were pierced by sharp arrows one after another, the black-robed man abruptly turned around.
In the next second, the pupils hidden under his hood suddenly dilated.
Under the moonlight, through the bright flames, a tall and burly figure on a horse could be seen galloping at high speed.
That person was like a thousand horses dashing forward on the earth.
The momentum was terrifying and unstoppable.
The dark horse running in the dark night was just as omnipotent as its owner, that in the blink of an eye, it appeared right in front of the black-robed man.
It raised its hooves high, stopped abruptly, and made a high-pitched neigh like a dragon.
The golden-brown hair of the tall man riding on the horse flew in the dark, like an angry brown lion.
His scorching eyes were like charcoal fire. With terrifying pressure, he looked down at the black-robed priest from his horse.
The man stood under the towering horse, trembling in fright.
No one saw it, but his hands hidden under the black robe were indeed shaking uncontrollably.
Standing before him on horseback—
Before the King of Aaron Landis—
That was the figure that made all the believers of the An-Ki Cult quiver.
Like a towering mountain erected between Heaven and Earth, no one could shake it.
The Hero of Aaron Landis.
A few years ago, he wiped out the entire An-Ki Cult with iron and blood2(Actual words:铁血手段) 铁血 which means Iron blood and is a metaphor for a strong will and a spirit not afraid of sacrifice., which made all the followers hate him, but they were also terrified of him from the bottom of their hearts.
A few years ago, the slaughter of that unbeatable king who was as terrifying as a lion was deeply imprinted in the hearts of every believer.
That was a power that even the power that God had given them couldn’t resist.
They couldn’t confront the king head-on.
The young king had a killing aura of an indestructible and ferocious warrior from the sea of blood and corpse-filled mountain 3(Actual words:从尸山血海中杀出来的金戈铁马的气息)that was enough to crush and immaterialise all the darkness’ power.
The king, who had just reached, was like a blazing sun.
All kinds of sorcery and ghost tricks4(Actual words:鬼魅伎俩) It is a sinister metaphor and a despicable means of secretly hurting others. would be completely wiped out under this raging sun.
Even the dark power from the abyss of hell could not contaminate this resolute and awe-inspiring king.
——The place where King Camos went was the place where the sun shone, and all shadows would become invisible——
Standing under the majestic black horse, the black-robed man raised his arms as he stared at the young king who had terrified him.
King Camos looked down at him as if looking at an inferior ant surviving in the dark.
He didn’t even bother to look at the true face of the black-robed man under his hood. He raised his hand and swung his sword decisively.
The huge blade cut a cold light in the dark night.
The blood burst into the sky, and the head of the black-robed man was cut from his body along with the hood he had never taken off.
The head wrapped in black cloth rolled in an arc in the air, sprinkling blood along the way.
Suddenly, another horse galloped nearby.
A young man leaned on the horse and urged the speed of the horse to the extreme.
He happened to be galloping past under the head that was tumbling in the air, so the blood sprinkled from the head high in the sky splashed a little on his cheeks and stained the corners of his eyes.
Heimos’ golden-red eyes stared at the front and continued forward. It was as if he didn’t feel the blood splatter.
In the next instant, the long sword in his hand slashed twice in the air.
The arms of the two believers on the left and right of Garlan spurt out large amounts of blood, and their screams broke out as their shoulders were ripped apart.
The blond-haired child who had lost support fell forward and was about to fall to the ground.
On the galloping steed, Heimos jumped and dismounted.
The steed that had lost its rider continued to run forward, sinking into the depths of night.
The young man knelt on the ground with his knees bent almost the moment he landed.
His hands slammed forward and hugged Garlan, who had fallen forward, into his arms—
Another eerie chapter from the start, but it kinda ended on a good note I guess?
Those who have read, let me know what you think about it? 🙂
- 1(Actual words:五体投地) Touching hands, knees, and head to the ground is the most pious etiquette of Buddhists. Describes admiration and admiration to the extreme.
- 2(Actual words:铁血手段) 铁血 which means Iron blood and is a metaphor for a strong will and a spirit not afraid of sacrifice.
- 3(Actual words:从尸山血海中杀出来的金戈铁马的气息)
- 4(Actual words:鬼魅伎俩) It is a sinister metaphor and a despicable means of secretly hurting others.