– Human, why are they all not moving like that?
As Raon mentioned, hundreds of people were remaining still with their heads bowed so much they were almost touching the ground.
None of them were raising their heads to look at Cale.
‘What the hell?’
He was quite anxious as he had never seen something like this before.
Choi Han called to him in a quiet voice while Sui Khan took a step toward Cale and tried to make some sort of gesture.
It was at that moment.
Cale’s senses noticed something.
He felt a familiar aura behind him.
It was the first time he felt this aura not inside his body but outside.
He could hear Choi Han calling him in confusion, but Cale ignored him and turned around.
The rest of the group standing behind him…
Beyond their shoulders…
– Human, that!
There was a large plate on top of the tall altar.
A fire was on top of the white plate.
It was a large rose gold-colored fire that was continuously releasing golden currents.
“Cale. Isn’t that fire your power?”
The silent Cale opened his mouth at Eruhaben’s comment.
“It’s a bit different, Eruhaben-nim.”
He was familiar with it and it was similar, but also a bit different.
– That’s right. It is different from my power.
The owner of the Fire of Destruction. The cheapskate agreed with Cale’s comment in a low voice.
– It’s purer than me.
Cale agreed with this.
‘There is some fundamental difference.’
The cheapskate’s fiery thunderbolts that Cale used were quite a pure power of fire and thunderbolt, but the fire burning on top of the plate was closer to the foundation.
‘Should I call it a root?’
“You felt it immediately as we expected, sir.”
Cale turned his head after hearing a voice coming from below where they were standing.
They could hear the sounds of jewelry.
– Human, there’s another feeble person here!
A middle-aged woman wearing a long red priestess robe got up and walked toward Cale.
As Raon mentioned, the middle-aged woman was quite thin, and her complexion did not look very good. Furthermore, her skin was white, no, completely pale, as if she had never seen the sun.
– Human, she looks like when you go overboard using your ancient powers!
She did indeed look like Cale in that state.
Her outfit was different from the others.
‘…It’s a thunderbolt and fire.’
Her priestess robe had golden embroidery that looked as if they were supposed to be a thunderbolt and a fire.
Anybody would think that she had a high-ranking position in this temple.
“I greet the esteemed sir.”
She bowed slightly and greeted Cale.
“I am a believer of the Fire of Purification and am currently serving as the Pope.”
The Pope, whom Cale thought looked extremely fatigued, smiled.
“Sir, do you have the same power as that fire?”
How should he respond to this question?
Cale debated for a moment, but thought that there was no need to hide it and answered honestly.
“It is similar but a bit different, ma’am.”
“The god spoke to me.”
The rest of the priests lowered their bodies even more.
“ ‘Someone who has carried on my power will be here soon.’ ”
The Pope repeated the god’s words.
“ ‘Treat him as you would treat me and do not show any hesitation in giving him help.’ ”
Cale’s eyes slightly clouded over.
‘Did the cheapskate perhaps die and become a god?’
The Fire of Purification. Was that strange feeling he had at first correct?
– …Did I… perhaps become a god?
The cheapskate spoke in a shaking voice as if he was filled with awe, but Cale just ignored him.
He was focused on something else.
‘Either way, they should help us properly since the god they serve said that to them.’
It looked as if the God of Death gave them some proper helpers. Of course, it was not the God of Death but the God of the Fire of Purification, whom he suspected was the cheapskate, that helped him.
Cale calculated things and immediately spoke in a relaxed manner.
“I need a place to quietly have a conversation, ma’am.”
“Yes, sir. We will escort you right away.”
Hundreds of priest robes fluttered as they got up in unison and started to move. A path was quickly created in front of Cale’s group.
The priests knelt down immediately after the path was created.
‘…This is a bit overboard.’
It truly seemed like a bit much.
Cale’s face turned stoic and he peeked to his side. Eruhaben had a similar look on his face.
It truly seemed too much if an ancient Dragon, who received a fanatical level of respect from Elves, had such a look on his face.
Cale stepped down the stairs heading up to the platform and spoke to the Pope, who was the only one standing again.
“You do not need to go so overboard with us.”
The Pope smiled awkwardly.
“Is this how you normally act?”
Cale asked and she looked even more awkward as she answered in a quiet voice.
“Our god told us to treat you as if we were serving him, but…”
“We’ve never actually served our god, so…”
Which church would have met and served their god?
“So the church’s bishop-level priests and higher-ups gathered together to discuss how we should act.”
They apparently had a meeting to discuss how to serve Cale.
Eruhaben could see Cale’s face turning even more solemn in real time.
The Pope observed Cale’s expression and quickly continued to speak without speaking.
“We discussed it for seven nights and eight days except for a little bit of time for sleep. Oh, esteemed purifier.”
‘…You discussed it for seven nights and eight days?’
Cale held himself back from saying that and shook his head with an extremely stern look on his face.
“I do not like such exaggerated acts of respect. I am someone who will only be here for a little bit, so it is enough if you help me with my tasks properly.”
“…I understand, oh esteemed purifier.”
The Pope answered without saying anything else, but there seemed to be some disappointment visible on her face. However, she quickly hid it and Cale could not see it because he was following behind her.
Cale followed her first while the others followed behind him.
A large white door soon appeared and the priests standing in front of it opened it.
Cale’s group followed the Pope through that door.
The priests who were bowing their heads finally started to raise their heads one after another.
Someone gulping echoed loudly in the silence.
‘She said that the purifier has red hair.’
The purifier truly did have red hair as the Pope mentioned.
And although they had not heard about the people who came with the purifier through their god, they were beyond what any of them could have imagined.
A Dark Elf, a Vampire, two Cats, and a Dragon.
It was a small Dragon, but that was definitely a Dragon.
The door closed once Cale’s group left and one of the priests, who had been keeping their mouths tightly shut, shouted what he had been holding in this whole time.
“A perished Dragon!”
All of the Dragons in this world had died.
Dragons were creatures that had peculiar attributes and could handle mana as they pleased. They were existences that could mediate and stop the destruction of a world. This world was crumbling relentlessly because that largest line of defense was gone.
Someone gulped again.
Gazes full of desperation and anticipation were looking at the closed door.
It was at that moment.
The priests, who were bowing down almost as if they were lying on the ground, felt the ground start to shake.
An old priest who seemed to be over eighty stood up. Some of the priests around him got up and took off their long priest robes.
Underneath those robes were thin armors that did not seem to fit their titles as priests.
“Why now of all times?!”
The old priest also had armor underneath the robe. The alarm started to ring throughout the temple the moment he started to move.
Cale was the person who reacted most sensitively to this rumbling and noise.
“Pope-nim. What is going on?”
“…It is probably better to show you than to explain everything to you, oh esteemed purifier.”
The Pope smiled bitterly and pulled up her flapping priestess robe.
She had armor underneath it as well.
“We will be moving quickly.”
The Pope gently pushed off and moved forward as soon as Cale noticed a red aura surrounding the Pope.
“It is fine if you follow slowly.”
The Pope said that but had to flinch and looked back.
– Human! I knew I would get used to the mana here quickly!
Raon had used acceleration magic on everyone.
– But human, this place is weird!
“Cale, this place is indeed a bit different.”
Raon and Eruhaben spoke to Cale at the same time. Cale looked at Eruhaben while still following behind the Pope.
At that moment, Choi Han and Dark Elf Shawn pulled out their swords and moved past Cale in formation as if to guard him.
Eruhaben noticed Cale’s gaze and continued to speak.
“The concentration of mana is very thin here.”
– That’s right! The mana around here is only about one-fiftieth of our world!
The Pope was now at the entrance of the temple.
Cale finally realized what was odd about this temple.
‘There are no windows at all.’
This white building had no windows to let sunlight in.
In addition, every door was extremely thick.
It was to the point that it required multiple people to push them open.
– Human, those people are kind of strong!
People wearing white armor with red crests were quickly gathering at the temple entrance.
“Open the door!”
The door slowly opened the moment the Pope shouted. The Pope spoke to Cale’s group who had followed her without any issues.
“Please don’t be shocked.”
The view outside the door was now visible to Cale.
Eruhaben sighed while Sui Khan mumbled.
“The situation is worse than I knew.”
There was a half-transparent red wall about ten meters away from the temple.
That wall was surrounding the temple.
And beyond that wall…
– Human, it’s black.
There was a ground that had been dyed black and a sky that was covered in black fog.
There were some plants on top of the black ground but they looked odd. However, there were only a few of those plants and most of the ground was desolate.
Honestly speaking, even that was not very visible. The sun was not easily seen because of the black fog.
They could only make all of this out because there was sunlight shining down on top of this temple.
“The Wall of Purification has decayed and crumbled!”
Someone wearing armor approached the temple and reported to the Pope.
Of course, everybody could see it even without his report.
The half-transparent red wall that was visible as soon as the temple door opened… A portion of it had turned black and had crumbled.
And underneath that wall…
“It seems as if the foundation crumbled because of the rumbling and the liquefied dead mana broke through the weakened area to shoot up!”
Black liquid was shooting up.
“It really is dead mana.”
Shawn was looking at the stream of dead mana shooting up in disbelief.
He had never seen dead mana shooting up like this as if it was water underground.
“Wear your helmets!”
The old priest appeared and shouted at that moment. The priests wearing armor all put on their white helmets.
The Pope spoke to Cale.
“That black fog has dead mana inside it. It is fatal if you breathe it in.”
Some of the priests came over and handed Cale’s group some masks. These white masks were not just regular masks; they had a red crest on them and were letting out a faint light.
“The dead mana is unable to enter the temple, so please wait inside.”
The Pope then headed out of the temple.
The situation seemed urgent to the point that she could not look after Cale. Cale asked the priest next to him who was holding a mask.
“Does something like this happen often?”
“Oh esteemed purifier-”
Cale thought that this guy was going to ramble and cut him off, making the priest answer properly.
“Sir, the Wall of Purification used to never break. However, it has been a recurring issue lately as dead mana that is so pure that the Wall of Purification cannot handle it has recently appeared. Some parts of the temple have been closed off as a result.”
“This Wall of Purification thing… Can you not fix it if it breaks?”
The priest could not even look at the purifier that their god said was like himself as he answered.
“…Sir, we would need at least half a year’s worth of time to do that. We do not have such luxury.”
However, he finally managed to raise his head and look at the purifier’s eyes.
They were extremely indifferent.
He was calm even in such a situation.
That truly made him seem not from this world.
As a result, the priest said the following.
“Sir, it is hard enough for us to protect the parts that are still intact.”
The priest then quickly lowered his head.
He could see the young Cats.
“You should first evacuate and we can explain in detail-”
He saw the red kitten look at Cale at that moment. Hong, On, and Raon saw Cale frowning after looking at them, the black fog, and the black ground as if he was annoyed.
The priest heard Cale’s voice.
“Yes, young master-nim.”
“Do you want it?”
“Yes, sir. The quality is very good.”
The person in the black robe, who had the least presence of everybody in the group, walked forward.
The priest saw the person’s hand through her long robe sleeves.
Her hand was covered in black lines that resembled spider webs.
The priest’s eyes opened wide.
This was the mark of honor left on the people who were poisoned by dead mana but managed to survive.
The reason that this mark became a mark of honor was because the Emperors of the Iska Empire had this mark for generations.
The priest heard Cale’s voice once again as his pupils were shaking relentlessly.
“Then you can take care of that dead mana.”
“Yes, young master-nim.”
“I’ll do what I need to do.”
The priest raised his head after sensing a familiar aura. He was not the only one. The Pope, who was releasing a red aura, and all the priests in armor, who were releasing a similar but weaker aura, all stopped walking and looked at Cale.
The priest gasped.
Rose gold fiery thunderbolts came out of Cale’s hand and started to wrap around him.
The Fire of Purification that was located in the central prayer room of the Grand Temple…
He felt a power that was as destructive and pure as that fire, something that could burn up the darkness.
This golden red light that looked as if it would glow on its own even if the entire world was submerged in darkness caught his eyes.
The old priest, a bishop of the temple, subconsciously commented.
“Oh, Fire of Purification-”
Cale walked out of the temple and commented to the Pope who was looking at him with a piercing gaze.
“It looks like I will be able to fix that wall.”
The Wall of Purification… The aura coming from that wall was the same as Cale’s.
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