LTBE - Chapter 434.2: I’m Not Him (2)
Both the process and the outcome of Roel and Bryan’s fight came as a shock to the crowd.
It was completely unexpected that a veteran Origin Level 2 transcendent who possessed the protection of an evil god would actually fall in defeat.
The implications of the battle were also far-reaching. A devastating rebellion that threatened to shake the Theocracy at its core had been averted, and the Xeclydes would be able to further reinforce their authority.
Without a doubt, this was a huge victory for Roel and his allies.
There were still a couple of evil cultists around who had survived Roel’s final attack. Upon witnessing Grandar’s terrifying might and the death of their vice-leader, they flew into a state of panic. Those who tried to escape were mercilessly mowed down by the heretics and the inquisitors, so most of them chose to surrender instead.
It was rare for evil cultists to surrender to the inquisitors—it was obvious what would befall them should they fall into the clutches of the Genesis Goddess Church—but no one was surprised by it. The battle they had witnessed was that shocking.
From Sia’s momentary appearance to Grandar’s formidable might, all of these thoroughly crushed the evil cultists’ morale, robbing them of their fighting will. Even looking at Roel was enough to make their legs wobble, to the point that some of them even landed on their bum.
Thanks to that, the clean-up was much faster than anticipated. After much slaughter and bloodshed, peace finally returned to Tark Prairie.
Hanks revealed a rare smile as he watched Roel return safe and sound. The usually austere inquisitors also bowed respectfully toward him. They hadn’t forgotten how Roel had manifested the visage of Sia during his breakthrough earlier, and that led them to put him on a pedestal.
Not to mention, Roel had also proven himself through his actions and accomplishments.
The heretics of the Strength Cult could hardly suppress their excitement after witnessing the miracle produced by their god. The looks they directed toward Roel were even more reverential and fervent.
As for those from the Unyielding Cult, they were more certain than ever that Roel would lead them to a brighter future.
“It looks like you have found your own belief core. Good.”
Hanks walked toward Roel and noticed a distinct difference in the latter’s aura. With an approving nod, he calmly offered a compliment. In response, Roel bowed deeply to him and expressed his gratitude.
“Your advice gave me a clear direction to work toward. Thanks to that, I was able to achieve a breakthrough. You have my deepest gratitude.”
“No, my advice can only bring you so far. You are the only one who can make sense of your own heart. It’s your own accomplishment.”
It was oddly in line with Hanks’ stoic personality to reject Roel’s gratitude, evoking a chuckle from the latter. After sharing a short conversation, Roel turned his attention toward the depths of the prairie. Hanks fell silent too.
They knew that it was not over yet.
It was great that they had managed to quell the Elrics’ rebellion, but the crisis was far from over yet. All they had achieved thus far was providing a safe and stable environment for Nora to awaken her bloodline. If she failed to overcome her limits and lose herself to her divine instinct, chaos would still befall the Theocracy nevertheless.
It went without saying that Roel wouldn’t allow that to happen. He had made preparations for that.
“Can I leave this place to you?”
“That goes without saying. Affairs relating to evil cultists fall under my jurisdiction.”
With Hanks’ stoic reassurance, Roel bade his farewell before rushing off to where Nora was.
Back in the house, Nora was already completely surrounded by golden light.
To her surprise, she wasn’t brought into the blank space as she had been many times before but a sacred fortress floating amidst the clouds. It emitted a holy glow from warm sunlight reflecting off its pristine white walls. It was the kind of place that naturally induced warmth and serenity.
Even Nora was stunned at the splendor of the fortress. A name instinctively arose in her mind—Anktah.
Known as the City of Angels, Anktah was a majestic fortress constructed by the gods in the ancient era. It floated imposingly amongst the clouds, symbolizing the authority and glory accorded to them as Sia’s envoys.
Even though it was dubbed as a city, Anktah didn’t serve as a residential area. Its nature was closer to that of a temple, and only the highest-ranking angels were qualified to take residence there.
The gates leading into Anktah were wide open with two rows of saintly angels standing before the entrance to welcome her. Nora’s body began walking forward uncontrollably.
Solemn music started playing as she entered the city. The passers-by halted their footsteps and bowed toward her with respectful smiles. It was under such an atmosphere that she continued advancing ahead. She eventually entered a grand castle and passed through several doors.
At the end of a long passageway, she found herself stepping into a council room containing seven ancient chairs. She paused for a brief moment at the entrance to glance at the seven faintly glowing angels seated on those chairs.
The seven angels swiftly noticed her presence and rose to their feet, their white robes flowing gracefully to the ground. The guards escorting Nora deferentially lowered their heads and backed away as the seven angels walked over to welcome her.
The Seven Archangels.
Nora reflexively knew who they were right away as if the information was encoded into her.
The Seven Archangels took turns stepping forward with cordial smiles to look into her eyes. There was a white-haired old man amongst them who gave off a familiar aura. Yet, every single one of them shook their heads and walked to the side after meeting her gaze.
Despite their disapproving gestures, their attitudes grew increasingly respectful. They gathered around Nora and led her deeper inward with warm smiles.
Beyond the council room was an audience room that emanated an air of sanctity. Delicate carvings resembling art pieces could be seen at the four corners of the room. At the other end of the room was a royal throne, where an imposing golden-haired woman wearing a crown sat.
The moment Nora caught sight of the woman on the throne, she suddenly felt a throb. A strong feeling of intimacy washed through her body, filling her with goodwill toward the woman.
Similarly, the golden-haired woman on the throne dropped her austere expression the moment Nora stepped into the room. A warm smile slowly spread across her face, and she rose to her feet and walked over.
As the distance between them narrowed, Nora’s bloodline started to rush. Intense light gushed out of her body, and the powerful and authoritative aura she emanated compelled deference from everyone else.
The Seven Archangels revealed heartened smiles.
Nora’s mind started to blank out. Her agitated bloodline influenced her emotions, and she became agitated herself too. The strong feeling of intimacy she felt told her that the approaching golden-haired woman was someone whom she could fully trust, and a peculiar tingle began taking root in her heart.
Nora had grown up receiving much affection from her surroundings, but she could never experience maternal love because her mother had died giving birth to her. There was a part of her that desired to know what maternal love felt like, but that was an impossible dream. She could only make do with her own imagination, which ironically only further stoked her desire.
The golden-haired woman smiling benevolently at her stirred indescribable ripples in her heart, leaving Nora confused as to whether she was before her mother. It plunged her emotions into a state of disarray.
It was then that the golden-haired woman smilingly offered her hand.
Nora hesitated, but slowly, she began raising her hand to accept the gesture. As she did so, she couldn’t help but glance at her wrist, which brought an inexplicable question to mind.
Is something missing here?