“The divine item the Pope received?”
Cale slowly looked unsettled.
The Fire of Purification started speaking more urgently after seeing his expression.
“Yeah! That thing! I’ll let you borrow it! Until you die!”
‘Until you die.’
Cale did not like the way that sounded. His expression slowly became more unsettled.
The puppy’s tail became weaker the more that happened. The Fire of Purification’s eyes were shaking.
The Fire of Purification placed his front paws on Cale’s pants.
Black dirt ended up on his pants. Cale slowly moved that leg back and created some distance from the dirty paw.
He was not one of the children averaging nine years old. He had no reason to accept the Fire of Purification.
The puppy’s ears flopped down, but Cale didn’t care. The Fire of Purification did not submit to his gaze.
“Listen to what I have to say!”
“Xiaolen won’t need that divine item anymore after purifying all of the jiangshis there right now. You understand that, right?”
The Fire of Purification nodded his head even though Cale nonchalantly answered and responded energetically.
“However, you will need it in the Central Plains!”
It was at that moment.
Cale heard the sound of heels in the distance.
‘What was that?’
It felt as if the sound came from far in the distance covered by fog.
However, he still heard it very clearly. It was very odd.
It was both faint yet clear.
‘Something is weird.’
He looked around.
Nobody was there.
Cale looked down.
The Fire of Purification curled up his body before looking around.
He looked scared.
“That damn balance! I had even less time than I thought! I think I was caught by the God of Balance!”
The puppy with red fur quickly moved over to Cale’s leg and stuck to it. It looked as if he was trying to hide.
“Cale! Fuck up the Blood Cult’s Number 7 some more!”
‘Hmm? Did this god bastard just tell me to fuck someone up? I knew this bastard was one of those gods. He’s a bastard like the God of Death.’
“You’ll hear a lot of things if you fuck him up!”
The Fire of Purification was hugging one of Cale’s legs with both paws while looking around.
His voice sounded urgent.
“The Blood Cult makes quite a variety of jiangshis! The jiangshis they used for the Black Bloods household are the lowest of the lowest.”
The Hunters’ households had a competitive relationship with each other.
It was highly unlikely that the Blood Cult, otherwise known as the Blue Bloods, would make good jiangshis for the Huayans, the Black Bloods.
“Anyway, there are these living jiangshis among the jiangshis. You have to make sure to learn about that!”
Cale subconsciously said the words he just heard.
“Yeah! You don’t know about them, right?”
Upon hearing Cale’s response, the Fire of Purification nodded his head as if he understood.
“Ah, I see! As expected of a reader of that genre of novels!”
Cale naturally ignored that and asked about the living jiangshis.
“Those are the ones that look alive, right? The ones who still look human?”
These jiangshis acted as if they were regular people.
If the jiangshis in Xiaolen had characteristics that made it obvious that they were jiangshis… Then the living jiangshis did not seem like jiangshis at all. They looked like regular people.
Furthermore, they were able to carry on a regular life like people, making them the cream of the crop for jiangshis.
In most wuxia novels, the Blood Cult or Demon Cult tried their best to make these living jiangshis while the main character tried to stop it. These living jiangshis were usually brought forth by forbidden secret methods that should not be used.
Cale said the thought that came to him out loud.
“I guess living jiangshis have appeared in the Central Plains.”
“…I can’t say!”
“What do you mean you can’t say when you’ve basically told me everything?”
“…There is a weird god who would care very much about whether I confirmed it myself or not.”
The puppy’s ears and tails sulked down.
“Anyway, the divine item will be necessary for you. It is my gift to you.”
The puppy’s tail started to wag wildly again.
Cale looked down at the Fire of Purification after feeling him pull at his pants.
“Thanks for what you did in Xiaolen.”
The puppy’s fur, which was a mix of red and gold, was slowly becoming clearer.
It was sparkling.
“And I’m always thankful to you for using the Fire of Destruction for good.”
The puppy’s eyes observed Cale looking even more unsettled. The puppy chuckled.
“Embarrassed? Cale, you really-”
“You said thanks. But it is just words?”
The Fire of Purification blankly stared at Cale for a moment before nodding his head.
“I understand the God of Death a bit now.”
“Nothing. But Cale…”
“What is it?”
Cale wondered why the Fire of Purification was suddenly acting all serious.
He was slowly looking less and less like a god.
“I can’t have you treating me as if I am the same as the God of Death.”
He truly did not seem like a god.
‘Eruhaben-nim feels more like a god.’
“I’ve already prepared another gift.”
Cale accepted it once the Fire of Purification said that.
“You are much better than the God of Death.”
The Fire of Purification’s tail started wagging all over again.
“My friend and I made this gift together. I’m certain that it will be very helpful to you in the future when you do something.”
It was at that moment.
It was that noise again.
However, it was a bit clearer than before.
Cale looked around.
There was still nobody.
However, the Fire of Purification’s reaction was different.
“Hurry up and go!”
The puppy moved away from Cale and circled around him as it warily looked around.
“I’m sure you are curious about a lot of things, but you will eventually get all of the answers!”
‘I knew it would be like this.’
He never got information easily whenever he met with a god.
“Cale, just remember this!”
Cale looked at the Fire of Purification, the puppy roaming around him in circles and warily looking around, while listening to the puppy speak in a solemn voice.
The puppy looked around the empty area before it spoke.
“Whether it is reason, hope, balance, or justice… Don’t think about those things!”
The puppy looked at Cale.
His eyes were looking right at him.
“Just do whatever you want to do!”
The puppy spoke in a low voice as the corners of Cale’s lips twisted in an odd way.
“At least we will help you.”
Cale immediately responded.
“When you say we, are you talking about the ancient powers?”
‘The ancient powers in my body.’
Cale asked about them and…
The puppy just smiled.
“Did all of the ancient powers become gods?”
Cale asked again.
The god responded.
“No. Not all.”
It was at that moment.
The moment he heard the heel clicking even closer…
Cale saw the rose-gold light shooting out of the puppy’s body. That light was so radiant that the fiery thunderbolt Cale had used in Xiaolen could not even compare to it.
However, this light only felt warm to Cale.
The pillar of fire that rose up with the puppy at the center shot all the way up toward the ash-colored sky.
Cale heard a drum-like noise from a black mountain that was rising up far in the distance on this completely black ground.
The heel click sounded even closer.
The drum became louder as if in response.
The ground started shaking.
He could feel something moving below him, deep down underneath.
Cale subconsciously thought about the Scary Giant Cobblestone at that moment. He had no idea why.
However, the way the ground was shaking right now made him think of the Super Rock.
It felt as if this whole area was turning into a large boulder to move.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“Guess you are about to fight someone?”
The puppy smiled.
“Probably. But my friend is very strong. Strong enough to support a crumbling world. He doesn’t ever allow an enemy to go after his territory nor his people. That is the meaning of his existence.”
The puppy peeked at Cale and nonchalantly commented.
“Protect. It’ll be helpful if you remember that word.”
The moment he heard the heel clicking again…
Cale lifted his head up.
A white pillar of light was descending from the ash-colored sky.
The puppy wagged his tail toward Cale.
“Is it time for me to go?”
The puppy nodded his head at Cale’s question. He then said the following.
“Bye-bye. You’ll see someone else next time.”
Cale’s world was calm as he heard the puppy calmly comment.
Right before he closed his eyes…
He saw someone shoot out of the black mountain and fly toward the white pillar of light.
He also saw the Fire of Purification running toward the white pillar of light.
It was extremely faint, almost as if it was a dream.
* * *
Cale snapped back to his senses.
He was leaning against the altar.
– Cale, Cale!
– You woke up?
The cheapskate and the Super Rock talked to Cale one after the other.
– Are you dizzy? Are you okay? Did the god scold you for using too much of the Fire of Destruction? And am I really that god?
– Hey, be quiet. Cale has a headache.
“But I don’t?”
Cale was fine.
In fact, his head was only hurting because the Super Rock and cheapskate were being loud.
However, Cale checked to see if there were any changes to his body.
He looked at the thing that he touched as he felt his neck.
It was a necklace made of silver.
There was something dangling on this necklace that was long enough that it could hide underneath his shirt.
A small rock was dangling on the pendant.
– When did this thing end up on your neck?
The Super Rock sounded confused before he continued in a stiff voice.
– Cale, there is something special about that rock.
– Mm. I’ve never seen this material before. I have no idea what kind of process is required to create such a rock.
Cale thought it was just a small rock. It was about the size of his thumbnail, and this black rock with holes made him think of basalt.
However, Cale could feel warmth in the hand that was holding the rock.
A warmth that put him at peace, a warmth that relaxed the tension in his body similar to when you enter a warm room after working outside in the cold could be felt from the rock.
– I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure it will be useful somewhere.
Cale nodded his head at the Super Rock’s comment.
‘I’m sure that the man who shot up out of that black mountain- Is the Super Rock.’
It was only a hypothesis, but Cale was certain.
‘This is something from that world.’
This rock was from the world where Cale met the Fire of Purification. It was something from that completely black world.
‘I’ll keep it for now.’
No matter what it was, it’ll be fine if he just kept it for now.
Cale looked at the fire burning on top of the altar before heading out of the central prayer room.
“Oh, esteemed Purifier-”
The Pope, who had been waiting outside the door, approached him. Cale looked at everybody once before nonchalantly commenting to the Pope.
“Let’s go purify the jiangshis. I am taking the divine item after that. Do you understand?”
The Pope smiled.
“Yes, sir. I just learned of it.”
Eruhaben approached him and asked.
“Cale, he told you to have the divine item?”
“Yes, Eruhaben-nim. I was told to take it because it’ll be necessary for the Central Plains.”
“Hmm. I’m sure there had to be such an arrangement since a god gave it to you.”
Eruhaben nodded his head as if he accepted it before looking at Cale with an intolerable look on his face.
“Are we not heading back in a few days?”
“Yes, we are.”
Cale’s face stiffened as he responded. His face looked as if he realized something.
Eruhaben looked at him and spoke in a pitying tone.
“…There are approximately 1,200 jiangshis. This heater is small. I don’t think you can purify that many of them at once.”
Sui Khan added on.
“Yet there is not much time left.”
Eruhaben commented again.
“Cale, hasn’t your power decreased a lot?”
“Won’t you have to pull a few all-nighters if you want to purify all 1,200 of them before we head back home?”
The ancient Dragon looked at the silent Cale as he continued.
“…You won’t cough up blood, right?”
A deep sigh came out of Cale’s mouth.
“Those motherfucking god bastards.”
The Pope’s pupils started shaking after hearing Cale’s quiet muttering, but Cale put a hand on his forehead as he addressed the Pope.
The Pope subconsciously responded extremely quickly after hearing his extremely annoyed voice.
“Yes, yes, sir? Yes, esteemed Purifier?”
“All of the jiangshis are gathered in one place, right?”
“Yes, yes, sir. The church and other administrators are gathered together to make that happen.”
“Please lead the way.”
Cale scowled and extended his hand as he thought about potentially staying up all night.
The Pope immediately handed him the divine item.
* * *
“…Are you not heading out?”
Cale looked around with the divine item in his hand.
The people in his group, some familiar faces, and even a lot of people he did not know…
Quite a lot of people were standing amidst the jiangshis, looking at Cale.
“Oh, esteemed Purifier. As the Pope, I must see the glorious moment that our Purifier uses the divine item.”
Cale scowled at the Pope’s comment.
In this large underground area…
The people standing with the jiangshis were all looking at Cale with sparkling gazes.
Of course, Choi Han and the rest of his people had expressions that were different from the rest.
The Pope is cray cray.
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