|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
The time: Paliseth had just led Mo Ning away to the city not long after being summoned by Mo Ke…
Having just learnt that Mo Ke had become the goddaughter/godson of Lolthe, Mo Ning, thanks to the direction of Paliseth, had obtained a rather interesting piece of news: she could obtain a humanoid form earlier if she made a wish to Lolthe.
In actuality, whether it was the creatures of Purgatory or magical beasts in general, they could all attain a humanoid form once they hit Nine-star. However, Mo Ning had just reached Six-star, and based on her current speed of advancement, it would take several centuries before she could reach Nine-star.
It had to be said then that this was only because Mo Ning had the talent required to become an Overlord. If she didn’t, then it would be impossible to begin with.
So why would such a talented Nightmare Steed want to take on a humanoid form all of a sudden? That was because Mo Ke would never accept her horse form and several centuries was just too long for her.
However, all those weren’t the main reasons why she did it. She just liked Mo Ke.
Ever since Mo Ke defeated her and signed that engagement pact with her, she had only grown fonder of him by the day.
That was why as she trotted up to the altar with Paliseth, she would constantly ask of Paliseth, “Are you sure I can assume a humanoid form prematurely?”
“Definitely. With the all-mighty divine power of the goddess, crafting a humanoid form for you is easy.” Paliseth answered in the softest, most soothing voice possible. For one reason or another, she had decided to help Mo Ning solve this nagging problem.
Perhaps it was because she wanted to curry favour with Mo Ke? Or perhaps she wanted to indirectly ingratiate herself into Mo Ke’s circle by working through Mo Ning? Either way, no one could say for sure what a Dark Elf was planning deep down.
Unlike the previous ceremony where she tried to sacrifice Mo Ke, Paliseth had brought Mo Ning around the city before finally leading her to a secret passageway that soon opened up to a room before she even realized it.
At the center of this secret room was a small altar, roughly five meters by five meters. It had three tiers to it, and other than the four permanently lit fires around its corners, this altar was the only object within the room.
Mo Ning was a bold horse. She did not fear that Paliseth would try to harm her. However, that strange altar was still a little unsettling for her, especially how those fires mysteriously stayed aflame with any outside input.
“This is an altar by which we may directly contact the goddess.” Paliseth proceeded to explain the details. “In actuality, such an honor would have ordinarily never been made available to us, the Shadowhunter Clan. It was only because of her holiness that the goddess bestowed this honor upon us.”
At this point, Mo Ning was still a Nightmare Steed, meaning that she was a blackish looking horse. She curiously but slowly trotted around the altar, fully taking in the eerie coldness of the construct, despite the burning flames that surrounded it.
“So you’re saying that I may contact your deity by using this altar?”
“That’s right. As long as it is a matter related to her holiness, we may use this altar to connect to the goddess.” Paliseth nodded at Mo Ning before continuing. “Give me a moment, I’ll make an offering to the goddess.”
Before Mo Ning could even respond to that, Paliseth had already fished out the white offering plate required and placed it atop the altar. Curiosity getting the better of her, Mo Ning peeked over the shoulders of Paliseth to look at the offering. The white jade-like plate held a still-beating heart that was leaking blood even now. From the sheer size of it, it most likely came from a large magical beast.
Having done that, Paliseth knelt down and began the ceremony. She chanted in the language of the Dark Elves, a language that Mo Ning did not understand, not that it mattered, seeing it would most likely be words of praise of Lolthe anyway.
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A minute flew by like a second and a black rift began forming just a couple feet above the altar, through which the beating heart automatically flew in.
Now that the heart of unknown origins was swallowed up, the rift grew even bigger and even gave out a bloody red glow that quickly coalesced into multiple red eyes. Yet in spite of that haunting display, Paliseth remained dead calm; in all likelihood, this wasn’t the first time she had experienced such a phenomenon. Mo Ning, on the other hand, was shocked by that. But being a Nightmare Steed, one of the higher-tiered creatures of Purgatory, it didn’t take long for her to realise that this rift wasn’t going to harm her. This was merely the precursor to an evil god descending, and those eyes were so creepy simply because this was an evil god we were talking about.
It was only through such ceremonies and rifts that divinities of the higher realms could send down their wills. In honesty however, there were many ways for the mortal realm to make a connection with the higher realms. This was just the simplest.
“Paliseth…” Came the benevolent sounding voice of Lolthe. Had it not been for the fact that Lolthe was a famously evil god, a person could have been fooled by the sheer gentleness of her tone.
“Goddess, your servant Paliseth humbly requests for your presence.” Paliseth lowered her head onto the ground and continued speaking in this state. “Behind your servant is Lady Mo Ning, someone who had signed an engagement pact with her holiness. She has a wish to make.”
“Mo Ning… so you have a pact with my child… yes… I can feel it. It’s a very important pact as well.” Lolthe’s voice drifted out of the rift like a gentle spring breeze. At that very instant, she was every bit a loving, benevolent goddess, as long as one ignored the decidedly sinister manner in which she descended,
“Greetings o divine one, I am Mo Ning, one who has signed a pact with your child.” Mo Ning woodenly introduced herself once more, clearly anxious from having to address a higher being for the first time in her life. Even though Lolthe was Mo Ke’s godmother, there was still no denying that she was slightly afraid right now.
Having realised that as well, Lolthe did not reproach her, and instead comforted her. “There’s no need to fear me, since you have signed that pact with my child, you are related to me as well. Paliseth mentioned you have a wish to make of me, what is it?”
Seeing Lolthe react in such a friendly manner, Mo Ning decided to take a leap of faith. “Any kind of wish is alright?”
“Yes. As long as it’s possible for me, I will do my best to fulfill it.” Lolthe patiently replied.
“I wish… I wish to have a humanoid form…” Finally, Mo Ning couldn’t resist the temptation and blurted out what she truly felt. “Even though we’ve already signed an engagement pact, Mo Ke, your child, still seems resistant to the arrangement. I know she resents the fact that I’m a horse, so if I were to take on a humanoid form, she would definitely come around. On my own, this would take too long… would you help me?”
Mo Ning gazed longingly at the black rift now filled with a myriad of bloody red eyes, her heart beating with a courage that did not exist mere moments ago. She realised that, even more than being afraid of the haunting eyes in the rift, she desperately wanted to make Mo Ke like her.
Her prayer did not go unanswered for long as Lolthe quickly answered, “It is possible, but…”
“But what?” Now that hope was literally right in front of her eyes, Mo Ning couldn’t help but interrupt Lolthe out of pure anxiety. She quickly realised how rude this was and lowered her head in apology. “I apologise… I did not mean to interrupt you on purpose…”
“It is fine. Now listen closely… It is possible for you to take on a humanoid shape now, but you must know that once you do, you will never be able to alter your form again, not unless you become a demigod. Do you understand?”
“That’s fine! All I need is just one chance.” Mo Ning was practically beside herself with joy right now.
“Alright then. What form do you wish to take? I have a variety of options you can choose from.”
“There’s no need for anything ostentatious, just my future form will work. But I hope that my lower half will remain that of a horse’s while my upper half becomes a human.” Mo Ning quickly replied with the answer she had prepared long ago.
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“You wish to become a Centaur then?” Lolthe asked after a brief pause.
“Centaur? I’ve heard that term before from my elders. That should be what I’m looking for.” Mo Ning firmly stated.
However, Lolthe was a little puzzled as to why she would want this. “Not a complete humanoid form instead?”
“No. Mo Ke signed the pact with me because she wanted a mount to ride on. Even though this reason is not what I was hoping for, it is still a fact that she needs a mount.” As Mo Ning said that, her eyes never wavered, though there was a tinge of sadness within them. “In short, this pact was signed because I could bear her around. If I were to fully become a human, that would no longer be possible…”
“Is that so? I am able to bestow upon you the power to switch forms at will, it would just be a little troublesome for you…”
“No, that’s okay. I think I will maintain a partial horse form… that would be a lot easier for me as well.” Mo Ning sighed dejectedly at that point. “I am truly not used to a human form… but she…”
“Sigh… emotions huh…” Lolthe sighed then looked at a downcast Mo Ning and said, “In that case, close your eyes…”
“Hold on.” Mo Ning’s eyes immediately lit up with gratitude now that her wish was about to be granted. Instead of being a symbol of fear, those eyes were now like a ray of salvation for her heart. “I know that you are an all-mighty goddess, but I still wish to know if there’s any way I may repay this favour.”
“What are you willing to do for me?
“As long as it doesn’t harm Mo Ke, I’m willing to do anything!” Mo Ning firmly answered.
“I naturally would never want to harm my own child.” Lolthe warmly smiled at her words of concern. “In that case, I would just need you to remember that you owe me this favour.”
“Mhm, I will bear it close to heart.” Mo Ning smiled as she closed her eyes. “Please proceed.”
“As you wish…”
An unknown location within Gehenna…
A black skeletal figure, clad completely in bone armor, sat alone atop a skeletal throne that seemed as eternal as itself. There was an eerie silence about the air, like the figure hadn’t changed in the slightest for eons, whether it was its loneliness or its unmoving stature.
Suddenly, a blue magical array formed in front of the skeletal throne. From within, a mote of light the size of a human head emerged. The light weightlessly floated above the blue array, slowly spun around and began releasing the signature mana of necromantic magicks.
The skeletal king atop its throne lifted its head to reveal a pair of burning eyes. It stared into white mote of light and said as such in a tone that was neither friendly nor hostile. “You’ve come.”
An ancient voice came forth from the light, “The dimensional barriers of the new world regenerates too quickly. Even we of the Demigod-tier wouldn’t be able to open it within this century…”
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“Hades will not interfere in this matter.” The skeletal king replied coldly. “We will wait then.”
“As undying creatures, our time is endless… but I’m afraid that certain evil gods would get impatient.”
“An evil god…” The skeletal king fell silent for a moment. “The barrier is a matter to be concerned with, but if some foolish evil god wishes to mess up the plan at this stage, Hades would naturally act as well.”
“But the issue still stands that the barrier regenerates too quickly. The help of an evil god would be necessary.”
“That will never happen. All the evil gods in the higher realms are being watched by their good counterparts. They would never risk a divine war just to break open some barrier. But their patience has a limit as well; we need to produce some results soon.” Having said that, the skeletal king paused for a second before continuing. “So, Demilich, what do you suggest?”
“There is a way, but… it will be troublesome.”
“Speak. It shouldn’t be worse than a war amongst gods.”
“Bah. I just knew this task would be a bothersome one.” The mote of light twitched a little, as if displeased. “Not too long ago, I sent some apprentice Necromancers across the dimensional barrier into the new world. But they ended up performing worse than the skeletons. They actually died from breathing in the air upon entering the new world. There is something in the air that is infecting them.”
“Blast… this matter has me infuriated as well. Because these apprentices have not been turned into undead, it is still possible for them to die from sickness… but the lower tiered undead Necromancers have no way to make it across the barrier…”
“A strong constitution is required in order to resist this new malaise…”
“The Devils wouldn’t be affected by the sickness as well, they are known for being world invaders.”
“Lucifer would interfere with that plan.” The skeletal king shook his head.
“I never said to bring the Devils in, but this new method of mine does involve them…”
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