Chapter 1291: Intention of the Cult of Armageddon
A search went on in the abandoned old house. Aside from collapsed walls and corpses, the crazy followers of Rockmarton left only one valuable thing…
A evil, dark-red altar.
The altar, about two meters in radius, was not unusually large. It is built with some unknown material, which looked like loose volcanic rock, but was exceptionally solid and exuded a nip in the air. Twisted runes, written with blood, were almost distinguishable on the base of the dark-red altar. But upon closer inspection, the runes seemed to float on the surface and make people’s head swim. Next to the altar were two piles of ashes—humanoid ashes.
When looking at the ashes, one could not help but have some creepy associations in mind.
“It is a substance from the Chaos, a filthy thing that formed after the blood of Lockerton polluted it,” Calaxus said while squatting down in front of the altar. He felt disgusted when he touched the altar with his finger. “Only those cultists who have become half-monsters can summon such things from the void through a psychic ritual. No wonder they have chosen to stay here; it is a tearing point of Chaos, the vulnerable spot at the border of Order, where they could have a closer connection with the Chaos. These cultists could even summon the evil thing directly from the world of Chaos.”
“What is this altar for?” Lily poked the edge of the altar with her claws. “Is this blood?”
“The altar is only a medium for communicating with the dark power in Chaos. They sacrifice the living,” Calaxus said as he looked at the two piles of ashes beside the altar and frowned. “Those madmen probably use the descendants of the sages, bloodline of Sanctum. It would please Rockmarton who would then lend them his unimaginable power.”
Hao Ren scratched his chin as he began to connect the dots. “The cultists might have borrowed Rockmarton’s power to restrain a divine artifact that they could not control.”
“A divine artifact?” Calaxus immediately looked up. “What do you know?”
“They took something from me.” Hao Ren spread out his hand, and he was careful not to tell everything to the stranger. “Among those escaped cultists are two siblings, Willie and Lavinia, who have been lying deep inside the nobility of Taros. They stole a disc from me by way of deceit, thinking that it was the Radiant Disc.”
The high-ranking monk was wide-eyed hearing the words. “Radiant Disc? Where did you get that sacred thing? Is it real?”
“It was they who thought that the thing was the Radiant Disc. I didn’t say that it was,” Hao Ren said while shrugging. “It sounds like something vital. Why it makes the cultists risk their lives for it?”
Calaxus was hesitant as if he were weighing whether to keep this matter as a secret of Sanctum. Before he could make a decision, Lily already patted on his shoulder. “Uncle, tell it to Mr. Landlord; he would be able to help!”
After considering his health bar and brute strength of the Alpha, Calaxus decided to tell all.
“The Radiant Disc is a lost ancient artifact since a thousand years ago. Legend has it that it is a key that could deflect and open the Realm of Reflections under the holy mountain of Asurmen and lead to another dimension of this world. According to ancient legend, the Realm of Reflections is also a secret path leading to the eternal prison of Rockmarton. But the goddess of creation has blocked this secret path. Even if the mortals could open it, they could only watch it from afar but not get close to it.”
“The prison of Rockmarton?” Hao Ren had already guessed it from the beginning, but he was careful not to show that on his face. “Did the safety mechanism of the goddess of creation not shred Rockmarton into pieces when he first escaped from the prison? Isn’t that what remains in this world is only a reverberation of Rockmarton?”
Calaxus’ face was gloomy. He thought of the words of the Shadow of Nightmares that made him shudder earlier. After a moment of hesitation, Calaxus glanced at the alpha and Hao Ren. “What I’m going to tell you is one of the oldest secrets in the world. Even in Sanctum, only the upper echelon of the Church has access to this knowledge.”
When the female knight, Tridis, heard this, she immediately said, “Then I shall excuse myself.”
“It’s unnecessary anymore,” Calaxus said. “The thing only remains a secret at a particular time to a specific person. I don’t think there is any need to keep it secret anymore judging from the situation. Rockmarton is not dead. He did not die right from the beginning.”
Hao Ren had already guessed this earlier. Lily did not think that it was a terrifying piece of news as she had heard it from Calaxus before. But others, including some of the monks from Sanctum, were shocked beyond words.
These monks, whose rank were not high enough in Sanctum, did not qualify to know this secret.
Calaxus hemmed and continued. “Rockmarton is unimaginably powerful to the mortals. Only the power of the goddess of creation can suppress it, barely. This evil giant has never really died but just lost its physical body in the real world. He continues to exist in the form of nightmares and negative energy and is imprisoned in an eternal prison called The Forgotten Abyss. His spiritual body survived in that cage, unlike what the story in mythology that he drifts in the Sea of Carnos in the form of shreds. This story was initially intended to appease the believers. But it has now become the ‘truth’ that everyone in the earthly world believes.”
Hao Ren nodded as he listened.
But ordinary people of this world would find this truth too heavy and dark as to be believable.
“The Forgotten Abyss is a world ruled by nightmares and distorted shadows, deep in the Sea of Carnos but not in the depths of the conventional dimensions,” Calaxus continued. “It is in the foundation of this world, where no mortals could go. Except for the outposts of and prison warden and the ancient holy spirit, it is only a void. But this prison is not completely isolated from our world.”
Hao Ren interrupted him. “About the Realm of Reflections—it is the bridge that connects the real world with the nightmare world?”
The high-ranking monk nodded.
“So… do the cultists want to enter Rockmarton’s cell?” Hao Ren arched his eyebrows. “What do they intend to do?
“This is what I can’t believe.” The voice of the high-ranking monk sounded unusually suppressed. “There is a final barrier between the Realm of Reflections and the Forgotten Abyss. It is the power of the goddess of creation, which isolates the world of evil giant and the mortals. The Cult of Armageddon could at most borrow a little bit of power from the Forgotten Abyss through their ceremony. How could the cultists think that they could break through the barrier? They can’t even get into it, let alone free the soul of Rockmarton!”
Hao Ren nodded as he listened. Suddenly, a thought came to mind. “What if the barrier that the goddess of creation made has failed?”
Calaxus looked at Hao Ren, wide-eyed.
“The light of Asurmen.” Hao Ren said slowly, “How long have you been away from Sanctum?”
The high-ranking monk hesitated again as he tried to suppress his uneasiness. “It has been more than a month. As the storm of Chaos has blocked the major portals, we could only travel by magic-powered warship. It took us half a month to cross the Sea of Carnos, and another half a month wading through Ansu South with Alpha.”
“Then you surely do not know what has happened in Sanctum after that.” Hao Ren sighed. “According to the findings of the astrologer using the state-level detection magic, the Light of Asurmen over Sanctum has gone out less than a month ago, after you have left Sanctum.”
The Sanctum monks were all rooted to the spot.
“I couldn’t believe it happened so fast,” Calaxus muttered to himself.
“It seems that the situation in Sanctum has already started to go wrong before you have left.” Hao Ren’s eyebrows arched. “That explains the sudden withdrawing of troops by the Theocracy.”
Colors drained from Calaxus’ face. “It must be a rumor. If what you say is true, then the cult must have made all the plans—they must be fully capable of entering the Forgotten Abyss, and even free the soul of the evil giant!”
“Maybe the situation is not as bad as you think,” Hao Ren said with a sly smile. “The ‘key’ in their hands is fake.”
“Fake?” At first, the high-ranking monk had no idea what Hao Ren meant. But quickly, Calaxus came to his senses. “You mean the Radiant Disc is—”
“I don’t know what the real Radiant Disc looks like, but the one they stole from me is not the real one,” Hao Ren said with a smirk. “If they use that thing to open the door, things would get interesting.”
Calaxus blinked. Things had taken a sudden twist; he needed to calm down beside he also had a concern. “Even so, with the extinguishment of the Light of Asurmen, Sanctum will be in danger.”
Lily looked at Hao Ren and then Calaxus. “Uncle, do you want to go back to Sanctum? I’m afraid your hometown has gone kaboom.”
Doggie was shooting her mouth off.
Calaxus took a few deep breaths to calm himself down before regaining his composure. “If the Light of Asurmen has gone out, it would not help even if the entire investigation team goes back. If the Pope and his cardinals are still holding on, then our mission may be the last hope of saving Sanctum.”
“Mission?” Hao Ren was curious.
Before Calaxus could reply, Lily interjected. “They want to go to the Cassouin Grand Temple in the wilderness! They say there is a light there!”
“The Cassouin Grand Temple? Oh shit!” Hao Ren froze.
Lily quickly came to Hao Ren. “Mr. Landlord, do you know that place?”
Hao Ren scratched his chin and finally pieces all the puzzles together.
“Calaxus, if I’m not mistaken; I was the one who created that light.”