“What I always do?”
Eruhaben was calm. Cale felt extremely iffy about this, but that wasn’t the important thing right now.
“It is subsiding.”
The red fog was slowly subsiding as Choi Han mentioned.
He could see a bit farther now, but he still could not see the expressions on people’s faces. He could only sort of make out the location of the people.
“Cale-nim, where are you going?”
Cale entered the largest area at the end of the hallway.
He saw a lot of people blankly standing around on his way over, but he did not pay them any attention.
‘I don’t feel very good.’
He was still dizzy and felt as if he was suffering from motion sickness. He was not able to care about other people’s expressions nor moods right now.
The area where the jiangshis of the Emperor’s Palace’s underground tomb were located…
Unlike the hallway, the red smoke had yet to subside here. (TL: The author used smoke here instead of fog; I will leave it in case it was on purpose.)
– Human, be careful as you walk around!
They could only see about one meter in front of them.
– Where are you going?
Cale gave a short answer to Raon’s question.
Cale lifted his head up.
Through the red fog…
He could at least see extremely tall figures compared to the others.
Cale stopped walking.
Raon called out to Cale in a low voice. It was not because he wanted Cale to respond.
“…It was like this.”
Cale heard Eruhaben’s sigh-like mumbling behind him.
How would the red smoke purify the jiangshis?
Cale was curious about that, so he headed toward the Dragon jiangshi in order to check.
Ooooo— ooooooong— oooo—
He could hear quiet rumblings.
The pebbles or bundles of light sparkling from within the red smoke…
The noise was coming from these pebbles vibrating.
– Human, they are being sucked in.
The gold light and red smoke seeped into the bodies of the jiangshi Dragons.
It was not just with the Dragons.
They seeped into the bodies of all jiangshis.
The red fog had not subsided; it had seeped into these bodies.
“They are being purified-”
He heard the ancient Dragon’s sullen voice.
Dragon corpses are left in the physical world if they died of unnatural causes.
Cale moved a bit closer to a jiangshi Dragon.
‘As expected, the Dragons are absorbing quite a lot of smoke.’
The red smoke around the Dragons was decreasing rapidly.
It was making the Dragons return to their original appearances.
“Amazing, it is an amazing power.”
Eruhaben walked past Cale and placed his hand on a Dragon corpse’s skin.
“He is returning to his appearance from when he was alive.”
Not how he had appeared after being infected with dead mana. He was returning to his original form.
– Huh? Human, over there-!
Raon spoke to Cale with shock, making Cale lift his head.
Eruhaben saw what they were looking at and started mumbling.
A lot of emotions could be felt in his voice.
“…He is finally dying.”
The biggest emotions were joy and relief.
The Dragons’ corpses were slowly turning into powder or dust from the head down.
The Green Dragon…
The Orange Dragon…
The Yellow Dragon…
The Dragon corpses regained their original colors before they all turned into different colored powder and scattered into the air.
Sparkling powders filled the area that had been filled by the red smoke earlier.
“…I guess this is how this place ends.”
Eruhaben made that comment before tightly closing his mouth.
Raon was no longer invisible as he moved next to Eruhaben’s side.
Sui Khan responded to Choi Han’s comment.
“It is quite a lot of mana.”
Mana was basically overflowing from the powders created by the purified Dragon as it disappeared.
“They say that the nature around a Dragon gets revived when a Dragon dies.”
The silent Eruhaben added on as if he was explaining to them.
He then turned his gaze and continued to speak.
“Imperial Princess. Open the door to the underground tomb.”
Imperial Princess Olivia was blankly looking around before she snapped back to her senses at the ancient Dragon’s voice.
“Ah yes, yes, sir.”
She gave an order to the knights standing next to her.
The knights immediately headed toward the door.
Although it had originally been the Emperor’s bedroom… This door that had been under the bed… Everything in the bedroom had been cleared out and the door to the underground tomb was now modified so that multiple people could enter at the same time.
She heard the sound of a breeze fluttering by.
Powders of different colors all moved with the wind.
Olivia blankly watched them fly away.
The colorful powders were moving like flowing water. It looked as if the Milky Way was moving through the sky.
She subconsciously took a deep breath in.
The red smoke… It was so easy to breathe inside this thing.
It was refreshing.
That single breath made her feel a different liveliness as well.
It was probably left behind by the purified Dragons.
‘…This is extremely pure mana.”
The traces of the dead Dragons would ride the wind out of the tomb and spread throughout the Imperial Palace, the capital, and even the farthest corners of the Empire.
‘Maybe beyond the borders of the Empire might be too far.’
Olivia had that thought as well but it was not important.
‘Things truly are starting new.’
This single breath allowed her to feel that Xiaolen truly was starting new.
She looked around.
Most of the red smoke with the golden glow had disappeared.
She heard someone gasp in admiration.
Gasps of admiration might be too simple of a phrase to describe it. It sounded as if they were sighing in complete and utter disbelief.
Olivia gasped while feeling the same thing as those around her.
All of the jiangshis she could see…
“…All of them were purified.”
Olivia could see that the jiangshis had returned to their original forms.
It had happened to every single one of the jiangshis.
Even the black corpses of the former Emperors had returned to normal.
Of course, that ‘normal’ was in their necromancer form with their bodies covered by the black spider web-like lines.
‘Necromancers. I guess that too is a form that is suitable for nature and does not need to be purified.’
As a necromancer, Second Imperial Princess Olivia kept this realization in her mind as she continued to think.
‘The decomposition will probably start soon.’
The jiangshis would follow the natural order of things soon.
“Your Royal Highness.”
Her subordinate approached her and whispered.
‘All of the jiangshis seem to have been purified.”
Her subordinate’s voice was shaking.
“I, I guess it was possible to do it all at once.”
Olivia’s gaze turned to the side. She heard what her subordinate was saying with disbelief.
“But if it is the power that created such a sight… It does seem possible.”
The Purifier was standing at the end of her gaze.
‘The Purifier, no, Cale-nim.’
The person who had been staggering as if he was dizzy must be feeling better as he was now standing firm.
However, although he seemed fine with the stoic look on his face, his complexion was pale. He also seemed to have a fever or was feeling frustrated at something, as he was undoing the top button of his shirt.
‘He is someone who always uses his powers like this and sacrifices himself. Furthermore, he is not someone who makes a show of it, so I don’t think we will know until everything is over.’
She suddenly recalled what Mary had said.
“Your Royal Highness, it looks like everybody was shocked.”
Olivia heard her subordinate and looked away from Cale to look around.
Zero, the Pope, and the people who had been there from the beginning were shocked, but the reactions of the people who had never seen Cale before were even more dramatic.
‘They should believe it now.’
Some of those people had not believed what they were told about Cale’s actions and had evaluated it lowly, thinking people had been exaggerating.
They also tried to make themselves look good in order to increase their influence in Xiaolen for the future.
‘They should shut the fuck up now.’
Olivia kept the swearing to herself as she observed each and every one of them with a cold gaze.
“Your Royal Highness.”
Olivia turned after hearing a voice.
“…Oh, esteemed Purifier?”
“May I go in first to get some rest?”
Cale’s complexion was even worse than Olivia had expected once she saw it up close.
“Yes, sir. Please get some rest.”
Olivia responded immediately and Cale nodded his head before taking his people and walking away.
Her subordinate looked at Cale’s back before commenting.
“This sir truly is an interesting person. He could easily say something to talk up the things he has done. But he always leaves without saying anything.”
“…That is why-”
Olivia wondered if it was okay to say what she was about to say before deciding to say it.
“That is why he is a person using the powers of a god, don’t you think?”
She continued to speak.
“Heroes of legends sometimes become even greater than gods.”
She did not say anything else after that. But after seeing the Pope approaching Cale, she looked away from him and started moving to do what she needed to get done.
“Oh, esteemed Purifier.”
The Pope approached Cale and started speaking.
Cale was tired but still answered.
The Pope checked his complexion before whispering quietly so that only Cale and his people could hear.
“You can just take the divine item.”
“…Are you sure the Church does not need it?”
Cale asked, despite it just being out of courtesy.
This divine item…
It was an item that the Church of the Fire of Purification needed in order to expand their reach now that they were no longer considered an evil cult.
The Pope smiled.
She whispered in an extremely quiet voice.
“I plan on making a fake one.”
“That is wise.”
Cale truly meant this compliment.
‘It makes sense. Xiaolen will have no need for this divine item ever again. It shouldn’t be a big issue that there is a fake one.’
Cale, who was nodding his head and organizing his thoughts, turned his head after sensing something weird.
He was sure that he saw something weird.
In the sleeves of the Pope’s baggy priestess robe… He saw two small orbs in her hands.
Anybody would be able to tell that those were video recording devices.
Cale looked at the Pope, but the Pope simply smiled and said goodbye.
“Then I will make my leave now, oh esteemed Purifier. Please rest well.”
Cale started to think.
‘She’s running away on purpose.’
Cale debated whether to grab the Pope and ask about the video recording devices and what was recorded on them, but… He didn’t.
‘I’m going to leave soon anyway. Yeah. I’m never coming back here.’
Cale heard Sui Khan’s voice by his ear.
“Now we just need to get through the grand farewell party.”
Sui Khan smiled with his young face the moment Cale’s sharp gaze headed toward him.
Cale nonchalantly commented after seeing his face which made it clear he was enjoying this quite a bit.
“They told me that they will make it as small as possible.”
For Cale, who would be busy and tired with the jiangshi purification…
Olivia had promised to make the farewell party as small as possible so that he would not find it tiring.
Cale trusted her.
* * *
However, that trust was totally destroyed.
Magic explosions and fireworks all over the place…
A choir must have come from somewhere as he could hear singing as well as the music of a grand orchestra ensemble.
“It’s a carriage.”
Durst responded to Cale.
“Yes, sir. It is a special one with no top that is decorated beautifully while still being simple yet cool.”
“…And it is starting from the Imperial Palace.”
“Yes, sir. You will then teleport from the central plaza to go to the temple you first arrived at in order to return home.”
Cale lifted his head up.
The sky was clear without a single cloud.
The bright and energetic music turned holy.
“You can head out now, oh esteemed Purifier.”
Cale clenched his eyes shut at Durst’s comment.
He was so relieved that he still had white hair and green eyes.
‘I, I am never coming back to Xiaolen.’
Cale setting a flag for himself…
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