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IRNDGL - Chapter 201: False God Above The Dome

Lin Jie stood in the middle of the room.

It was the same old layout before him. The wooden floor, bookshelves, a faint musty smell of old books, and the shadow of the tree outside as sunlight passed through.

Unlike the first dream he constructed, the level of completion and finesse of the current one was a whole different level, as if it had been smoothly upgraded to 1080p and was basically no different from reality.

Additionally, there was now a sword, a stack of documented notes, and a book on the coffee table beside the sofa.

This was the result of his attempt at 'Dream Reality Extension,' which was also the act of putting objects from reality into a dream.

Fearing that the documents would be stolen and that the sword would be difficult to carry around, Lin Jie simply projected them all into his dream and studied them during his sleep.

After successfully constructing the frame of his dream realm, Lin Jie would not have any other dreams each time he fell asleep. Instead, he would 'wake up' in this dream, just like it was a save point or a safe house.

Lin Jie went downstairs, walked to the door, and opened it.

The door, which the Waning Crescent Apostle Buck had found immovable, was easily opened. However, Lin Jie wasn't met with bright sunlight outside, nor the sight of the large sycamore tree that could be seen from the upstairs window.

Instead, he was faced with an austere white corridor.

The overall presentation of the chalk-white corridor was intricate and seemingly divine. Its ceiling was about ten meters high and the entire corridor was spacious.

Rose stained glass windows adorned the walls on both sides, along with murals, colonnades, and statues. The polished floor gave off a brilliant shine, completing a stunning scenery too hallowed to be sullied.

This was the sacred cloister of the Church of the Dome's Central Chapel, located at the bottom right corner of the whole building when viewed from a bird’s eye view. The purpose of this location was purely for aesthetics. It was often used to receive noble followers when they visited to generate an unforgettable first impression.

Moving further onwards was the main area of the Church, a lengthy hall used for worship. In addition to that, the area also included storage for various icons and relics of the pope as well as a residential area for the clergy members of the Church.

The entire church was basically shaped like a crescent moon. Furthermore, located at the tip of this crescent building was an inner room exclusive only to the pope and apostles.

This was the second dream realm that Lin Jie had created and the first node beyond his dream framework.

Of course, this area was ultimately still a dream.

Lin Jie had spent approximately two weeks carrying out all the steps ranging from entering, influencing, guiding, and occupying the dreams of other individuals.

The time spent on the first two steps was the longest. This could be owed to the fact that Lin Jie had to precisely position himself into a dream of one of the apostles. And in order to do so, he had to leap through countless dreams to pinpoint the exact connection.

However, when he lamented the difficulty of this task to Silver, the only response he got was a look of resignation from Silver, as if she was dealing with a dumb child.

Lin Jie later had a revelation that these initial steps should have indeed been easy, yet he still spent too much time performing them.

Silver would have probably found his performance talentless.

Fortunately, he was a disciple personally trained by Silver, hence he would still have no choice but to reluctantly accept the fact.

The latter steps which followed after were much more straightforward. Relatively, if compared to the previous two.

Because of how fragmented most dreams were, he could barely decipher any information from them. However, once he had verified the dream realm belonging to one of the apostles, he immediately marked it down.

After which, he would begin the process of guiding this dream.

For an apostle of the Church of the Dome, having the church appear in their dream wouldn't be out of the ordinary. In fact, this was frequently observed, and Lin Jie would need to guide the apostle to have this recurring dream until a complete dream realm was formed.

But for some reason, after Lin Jie had successfully isolated and occupied the dream from the apostle, that apostle's presence could no longer be detected.

This left Lin Jie baffled and unable to determine the principle behind it. However, the only goal he had in mind was for this to be successful.

Now, only one final step remained — overlapping the dream realm with reality.

Dreams were nothingness.

Regardless of how realistic dreams were, the truth remained that these all existed in an illusory place. Aether used for constructing dreams also symbolized the sky, like the air that existed far above.

Similar to how dreamcatchers are always placed above the head in order to filter out and capture the ‘floating’ nightmares.

And now, Lin Jie was about to make this dream realm descend.

All the way down to reality.

——

Central Chapel, inner chamber.

As per the norm, Rodney was clothed in the solemn white-gold papal robes. With his scepter in hand, he gazed upwards at the open circular skylight.

The view of the sky, full of gray clouds. Occasionally as they drifted, the hazy shape of the moon could be seen.

On an altar beneath, layers upon layers of fresh but contaminated blood were caked onto it. Even if the mess was to be absorbed by the altar, the bloodstains left behind couldn't be wiped clean.

What remained was mottled, cloudy wisps of dark crimson, giving an illusion that they were wriggling. This was particularly eye-catching as the phenomenon was a stark contrast to the pure white altar.

Rodney had a deranged look on his face. “Soon…Very soon… and He will be able to emerge… I can feel His presence. He is preparing, He is whispering, He thirsts for his rebirth…”

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In between mumbling to himself, he sometimes raised his hands in the air to give a shout. As he regained his composure after a while, a loud rumbling of a building collapsing and the clamor of a battle erupted.

At the same time, thick smoke billowed into the sky, dyeing a blood-red hue into the night sky.

The actors and the stage were all set. The curtains were finally unveiled to reveal the final performance, a decisive battle to end all battles.

For the Church of the Dome, the Sun’s Faith, and Secret Rite Tower, these three parties regarded this final battle as the most crucial juncture.

All three parties had started to grow impatient regarding the unceasing skirmishes that had already persisted for a week.

“Hmph, the Sun’s Faith… Is this the so-called demonic god?

“How laughable. Can an organization with a failed history and petty thieves scrounged together as members dare attempt to become gods?”

Rodney sneered, “Today, we shall show them the true meaning of despair. In the face of a true God, everything else is just a poor imitation!”

The placenta on top of the altar had begun to alter its shape and form. Blood vessels and tumorous growths were bulging, contorting and extending, enveloping the entire altar.

Underneath its silver-hued epidermis, winding blood stains began to surface. Within the placenta was a fleshy mass which squirmed and writhed restlessly. A myriad of appendages resembling arms, legs, and heads were all squeezed together as they steadily clambered outwards.

It was as if the souls of the priests who were wronged and sacrificed on this altar had all congregated within the placenta.

Additionally, seven umbilical cords had sprouted from the placenta, all of which sprawled across the entire inner chamber. At the ends of each umbilical cord were capillaries that spread out like spiderwebs.

The entire inner room looked like a slaughterhouse.

The Saintess’ voice could be heard from outside the chamber as the next batch of followers were already starting to make a ruckus. Many had begun to grow suspicious of this ritual and were preparing to escape.

Crack! Crack! 

The adornments on Rodney’s scepter which resembled phases of the moon began to shatter consecutively, symbolizing the death of apostles in succession.

"Ahh!"      

The panicked commotion of followers trying to flee was heard beyond the door, followed by the high-pitched scream of the Saintess and a loud explosion.

Krrack———

Two interlocking concentric phases of the moon became distorted, symbolizing the demise of the Saintess.

BOOM!!!       

At last, the doors to the inner chamber were blasted open. Blinding light as a result of the explosion filled the room. The surroundings outside the church were already plunged into a sea of chaos.

Flames charred every crevice of Vincent’s body, causing his body to appear like a half-solidified mixture of magma and scorched earth.

Tossing the corpse of the Saintess aside, he strode forward, his two eye sockets glowing with a blazing, fiery rage.

Following behind him were Athena, Joseph, and others. Beyond them, in the sea of flames, figures could be made out engaging in combat, probably combatants from Secret Rite Tower and the Church of the Dome's clergy.

Rodney spread his arms with a smile. “Vincent, my child. Welcome ba…”

In a flash, Vincent’s body became a blur as he viciously socked Rodney in the face!

Thud!

Flames burst up as Rodney crashed into the altar.

Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!

Vincent proceeded to unleash a series of punches. Flames crackled from his eye sockets and sparks crackled from how hard he was grinding his teeth.

“Who! Are! You! Calling! Your! Child!"

Rodney was a Supreme-rank after all, but these hits were pummeling his brain to a pulp. Despite the dent in his head, Rodney still continued to chuckle as he looked upwards to face Vincent, who now resembled a burning man.

Sputtering, he asked, “Cough…Cough. Is this the power bestowed to you by the Demonic God you believe in?

"Does it only amount to this?”

Vincent glared at him. “I will show you His true power.

"The power of Eternal Doom."

Vincent clenched his fist tightly, and a searing, explosive power that seemed unrivaled materialized out of thin air.

BOOM!

“Ahhhhhhh!”

Rodney was swiftly engulfed in flames. As he continued to struggle desperately, the Moon's divine power within his body ignited and started to implode continuously. Concurrently, it was also this same divine power that was restoring him.

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His Supreme-rank capabilities only served to prolong his adversity. Only after ten whole minutes did he finally meet his fate.

Yet upon his imminent demise, Rodney’s singed and unrecognizable face revealed an unsettling smile. “I…too…consumed…Holy… Moon… Essence…hehe…”

Rodney’s final treacherous laughter no longer had the hoarse voice which belonged to him, but rather, these were overlapping voices of numerous individuals. Amongst one of the voices was a prominent child-like shrill.

Vincent suddenly felt countless tiny tentacles wriggling on his palm. This violating shock forced him to release his grip.

Immediately after, the bulging silvery placenta rapidly retracted its seven umbilical cords. Their movement mimicked tentacles as they snatched the corpse of Rodney away from Vincent. A gaping maw had crudely formed at the base of the placenta, which engulfed Rodney’s corpse and consumed him.

As the tentacles danced around in the air, the placenta began to detach itself from the altar and started to levitate upwards.

Coincidentally, the gray clouds in the sky dissipated, and the clustering seemingly coincided with the full moon and seemed to take its place altogether.

At this point, the small party was regaining composure from the mentally scarring laughter.

But as they stared in disbelief at the sky, some of them couldn't help muttering, "What is that..."

Vincent stood up and started to retreat. He replied gravely, “Usurping the moon's authority and wearing the ‘skin’ of the moon as its own — this is the false god that the Church of the Dome has always believed in!”

The placenta squirmed ceaselessly. It was akin to a layer of membrane containing an ‘embryo’ within.

Everyone witnessing this sight could see it as clear as day. Beneath this giant grotesque mass, a colossal eye opened up, which was nearly the size of the entire placenta.

Subsequently, via the mass intertwining of tentacles, the gradual formation of a ‘face,’ ‘mouth,’ ‘head,’ and ‘body’ appeared all over the placenta. The sky was split by the tentacles as a super-colossal beast befell, covering the entire sky and letting out an earthshaking roar.

Sucking in a deep breath, Joseph spoke, “All units standby. Form the barrier.”

beetlebarker's Notes:


Special thanks to Tetra & Aco for editing and pr-ing
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IRNDGL Manhua translation by Zeroscans
Written by Great Calamity Of Fire (万劫火). Translated by beetlebarker.