Chapter 22: You Are My Faith (III)
The next day, teacher Gwyn asked Shang Ke whether or not he was willing to go with them to the imperial capital and live with Kaiser. They could think about what to do later.
Shang Ke naturally agreed as it was the result he had wanted. Since he wanted to seal the Devil’s Tree, then he would need to rely on Kaiser.
The people of Turan Continent did not know how to seal the Devil’s Tree yet. They had to gather at least seven types of righteous faith energy, and then seal the Devil’s Tree with the help of a magic crystal. The stronger their powers of faith and the more types there are, the greater the chance that the seal will be successful.
Although magic crystal were precious, they were not really a rare thing. The truly difficult part was getting through the wall of devil qi and approaching the Devil’s Tree.
It was a hellish trip that tested one’s willpower and faith, and those who do not have a firm nature are unable to embark on the journey. Once a crack appears in your heart, then you will be poisoned by the Devil’s Tree, lose yourself, and even turn back to attack your own companions.
According to future development, even Kaiser and his group of warriors would experience failure twice, sacrificing hundreds of man before finally arriving in the center of the abyss’ marsh. With the power of seven people, they barely managed to seal the Devil’s Tree.
The last time they participated in that mission, there were over two hundred warriors. After the seal was completed, there were barely five that survived. One third of them had died from their companions that suddenly fell to the darkness. It really caused them a lot of sorrow.
This kind of “clairvoyance” was Shang Ke’s only advantage at the moment. Not only did he know how to seal the Devil’s Tree earlier than others, but he also knew who the other six warriors that would seal the Devil’s Tree with Kaiser were.
After they broke down their camp, Shang Ke and Kaiser’s group all left for Watcher City. The city was located at the edge of the marsh’s abyss, and it was surrounded by devil qi all year round. As such, most of the people that travelled around here were soldiers and experienced mercenaries. The common person simply did not dare to tread here.
When they had just entered the city, Shang Ke could feel the devil qi in his body bubbling and moving. Drifting devil qi was entering his body from his surroundings. This kind of devil qi usually did not take the initiative to enter one’s body, and it would only be pulled into the bodies of those whose hearts hold negative thoughts. Darkness also rises in locations where populations gather.
Many devil apostles were hidden in this city, and as a King level apostle, Shang Ke could easily feel the existence of every low ranking apostle. But not every person whose body had been invaded by the devil qi was an “apostle”.
There were usually three stages to the devil qi invading the body.
During the initial stage of invasion, the person would subconsciously fight the devil qi, which results in a power conflict. They would feel a lot of pain, before going crazy. This kind of invasion was easily noticeable, and as long as they were treated in time, they could still return to normal.
The middle stage of invasion would usually happen with those who either harbored evil schemes or were very weak. They would very easily surrender to the devil qi’s induction and become a slave to the Devil’s Tree. A small number of the stronger ones could become low ranking apostles, who were able to hide the devil qi within their bodies and were no different from everyday people. However, so long as they meet someone with great faith, then they would have difficulty controlling themselves and want to attack.
People who had been completely invaded were known as “King Level Apostles.” They were the Devil’s Tree’s faithful believers and could obtain large amounts of power from the Devil’s Tree. Some of them hid among the common people, some liked to come and go alone, some liked to unscrupulously massacre, and some were adept at inciting disharmony.
They were able to strongly pressure lower ranking apostles, and were also able to easily identify them in a crowd, but if they themselves did not want to be found, then the low ranking apostles would be unable to find them.
After Shang Ke became Osari, although he still had the aura of a King level apostle, he did not have the strength of one. It was because he no longer believed in the Devil’s Tree, so he naturally could not obtain its power. Not only that, but Shang Ke had to rely on his own willpower and continuously suppress the devil qi in his body. He had been completely invaded by the devil qi, it was deeply rooted in his body and could no longer be dispelled. Additionally, with time he would not only lose the aura of a King level apostle, but he would also become increasingly weak.
Shang Ke felt that he was probably the most miserable great villain since the beginning of history. He had the great villain’s red name, yet he did not have the strength of one. If he was found out by someone, then that name would become like a “Die” sign with special-effects.
He must find a way to raise others’ favorable impression of himself to the max before his villain identity was found out.
Kaiser and the group walked into an inn to stay for a meal, and immediately attracted many people’s gazes. Their lines of sight mainly fell on Vadula and Amy, the two beautiful women. Shang Ke wore a hood, so not many people paid attention to him.
He held Pupu and followed behind Kaiser to a table, shrinking himself to reduce his presence as much as possible. This was because there were at least three low ranking apostles in the inn. Their gazes seemed to sweep in his direction, landing on Kaiser’s and Pupu’s body the longest, but they did not find Shang Ke, the very hidden big BOSS.
Kaiser’s eyes held a trace of coldness, but a frivolous smile still hung on his face.
Pupu was not herself, and her small hand grabbed Shang Ke’s sleeve as she sat straight like him. After she got tired of sitting that way, she leaned her head on him.
“Shang Ke, I’ll take you around after we eat. We can also help Pupu buy some clothes while we’re at it,” Youri politely suggested.
Shang Ke looked down at Pupu and said, “Pupu does need some clothes, but as for the money to buy them, I’m afraid that I’m out right now.”
He was originally about to take out the gold coins in his pocket, but then thought about how he and Pupu were both “pitiful people who were abducted and going to be sold,” so how could he have money? As such, he temporarily could only continue to freeload.
“You will have money very soon.” Youri smiled as he continued, “That group of slave traders were all wanted criminals. Not only did we find a lot of money on them, but we can also use their tattoos and exchange them for some reward money. You also have a portion of the reward money.”
“I also get some?”
“Of course.” Youri poured him some water and replied at the same time, “Those people were not killed by us in the first place, and the person that killed them also did not take their tattoos, so this means that their killer didn’t plan on turning them in for the reward money. We picked up a great deal of loot, so your share is included.”
“Thank you.” Shang Ke did not expect that they would be willing to give him a portion of the reward money, and couldn’t help but give them all a good person card.
After they ate, the group divided into two. Teacher Gwyn along with Duro, Amy, and Fred were going to the guild to receive the reward money. Youri, Kaiser, Vadula, Shang Ke, and Pupu were going to buy clothes and replenish their supplies.
Shang Ke held Pupu’s small hand and followed Kaiser and the others through the street. Youri enthusiastically introduced Watcher City’s local goods and customs to Shang Ke as if it wasn’t also his first time in the city.
Kaiser didn’t feel like exposing him, and merely smiled as he walked beside Shang Ke, subconsciously helping the other separate the crowd, preventing him and Shang Ke from colliding with anyone. The only girl in the group, Vadula, was instead being quite neglected.
She was inwardly a bit irritated, so she walked up and pulled Kaiser’s arm.
Kaiser slightly raised his eyebrows, then took his arm back without batting an eye. He knew that Vadula liked him; however, he did not have any feelings for her.
Vadula bit her lips and looked at Kaiser with and expression full of grievances, only to stop after discovering that he simply wasn’t looking at her. His gaze fell on the young man that had picked Pupu up and was holding her.
Vadula pursed her brows, an indescribable feeling of crisis arising in her heart.
At this moment, a disturbance was occurring not too far from them. A man was firmly tied by a cord, his expression crazed as shouts poured out from his mouth, his body constantly wiggling. A group of people placed him on a stretcher, rushing to a nearby light palace hall.
“What happened?” Shang Ke asked.
“Someone was invaded by the devil qi,” Kaiser simply answered.
“Let’s go take a look.” Youri was someone who liked to butt into things, so he pushed Shang Ke and ran over.
Once a person in the initial stage of invasion was discovered, they would immediately be sent to a light palace hall. The exorcists in the light palace hall were all doctors or clergy that had faith in “light.” Their main duty was to dispel the devil qi of those who were in the initial stage of invasion.
However, the process of dispelling the devil qi within the invaded person was very painful, and the success rate was only 65%. If the treatment failed, then the clergy could only have them drink poison and allow them a peaceful death.
Shang Ke and the others arrived at the light palace hall, only to hear mournful screams from within. The bound man struggled in pain under a couple of clergys’ treatment. His skin was red, the veins showing and looking very terrifying.
Pupu leaned her head into Shang Ke’s neck, using only one eye to peep at the situation. In her eyes was only curiosity, and there was no fear.
Shang Ke was after all a man, so he also did not mind it.
At this moment, the crowd behind him suddenly burst and quickly pushed him forward.
A hand from behind stretched over and hugged his waist, and soon after, he heard Kaiser softly speak near his ear, “Be careful.”
“Thank you,” Shang Ke replied. Under Kaiser’s protection, he walked forward a few more steps.
The treatment continued for roughly another dozen minutes, but was still unable to dispel the devil qi within the man’s body.
In the end, the clergy that was in charge of the treatment could only express his regret as he gave up, telling his attendant to prepare the poison.
“I beg of you, please save him!” A woman threw herself on the man’s body, loudly wailing, “Please treat him again, he surely can recover!”
The woman’s begging did not obtain the clergy’s pity, as this kind of scene was long since a common occurrence.
The devil qi’s invasion represented their weak willpower or that they had evil schemes, so most people did not sympathize with them.
Shang Ke saw that the devil qi was intermittently visible on the man’s body. He could see that he himself was doing his best to resist, but because of the excessive pain, he was unable to expel it.
Gears turned in Shang Ke’s mind, and taking the chance when the clergy was tangled up with the man’s family, he moved closer to the man. He held Pupu with one hand while his other hand quietly touched the man, and he used his body’s aura to guide the other’s devil qi into his body.
As the devil qi was gradually guided away, the man’s pained expression gradually eased. After the devil qi was completely cleared, his consciousness returned.
Shang Ke was originally just testing his hypothesis, and he didn’t expect that he would actually succeed.
Although absorbing the devil qi caused Shang Ke’s complexion to pale a bit, his mood was very good.
He had finally found a way to clean himself of his “red name!”
It was to use his own body as a vessel, helping those people who has been invaded by devil qi to turn back to normal.
He would use his willpower to continue pressing down the devil qi. Even if the path before him was full of thistles and thorns, he felt no fear.