Volume 1 –
Chapter 752 Sacrificial Offering
With his hands behind his back, Chen Xiaolian leisurely led Riche and the others back to the hill.
Riche and the others were actually anxious to start the third phase of the quest. However, seeing Chen Xiaolian’s carefree attitude, all they could do was to obediently follow behind him and walk forward step by step.
It was not that Chen Xiaolian wanted to spend more time inside the instance dungeon. Rather, walking was all he could do right now. Originally, the wings on Moonless Fivefold Light Armour could have granted him flight. However, he had lost control over it.
If Riche and his team members utilized their abilities or props to hurry back to the hill, Chen Xiaolian would have no choice but to run there. However, doing so would immediately give rise to suspicions.
In order to maintain his façade, Chen Xiaolian had no choice but to put on an enigmatic and profound act as he slowly walked forward.
After walking for over 10 minutes, they finally reached the hillside area. On their way there, Chen Xiaolian had listened to Riche, who continued to explain the details of this instance dungeon.
In the first phase, the two guilds had captured a total of six members from the Egyptian royal family. Although the next quest only required two people, they had brought the others with them to the Aswan desert to act as backup, just in case.
Resting before each God statue was a stone sarcophagus, whose interior was filled with spikes. After placing the captured member of the Egyptian royal family into the sarcophagus, it would automatically close up. The spikes inside the sarcophagus would pierce the body of the sacrifice, causing the resulting blood to flow into the God statue. After that, the God statue would begin breaking as the outer stone layer shed off to reveal the body inside.
“Earlier, we… … underestimated this instance dungeon’s difficulty level.” Riche led Chen Xiaolian through the hill defenders to arrive at the central area of the hill.
There were six metal boxes on the ground. Behind the box was the sarcophagus that Riche had mentioned earlier. Stone shells could be seen littering the areas surrounding the sarcophagus.
“We had assumed that we only needed to fight one BOSS,” Riche continued. “We made proper preparations, surrounding the stone statue before sacrificing the Pharaoh’s bloodline. Unexpectedly, after Anubis appeared, he was able to endure the first volley of attacks and escaped from this hill. After that, he began summoning countless jackal-headed monsters, similar in appearance to him, and attacked us. Although those monsters were not too strong, there were simply too many of them. In the end… … our situations were reversed and we became the ones besieged.”
“Pharaoh’s bloodline?” Chen Xiaolian looked at the six metal boxes. “Open them.”
“Yes!” Riche quickly stepped forward, opening the lids to all six metal boxes in one go.
The first box was empty while the five remaining boxes contained one person each. The skin colour of the five people was very dark. However, it was different from black people. It would be more accurate to say it was more towards the chocolate colour. Their facial features were between that of Europeans and Asians. They wore dark eyeshadows and sported precious gold ornaments on them.
However, the five people’s eyes were closed as they remained motionless within the boxes.
“Dead?” Chen Xiaolian frowned.
“No, they are not,” Riche was quick to explain. “When entering this instance dungeon, each of our guilds received a soul gem. After capturing the members of the royal family, we have to use the soul gem to absorb their souls, leaving only their bodies behind to become vessels for God. They are all right. They have just become empty vessels.”
Chen Xiaolian gave the five metal boxes a glance.
All five were adult males. As their clothing were simplistic in nature, he could see the strong and sizeable muscles on their bodies.
“They are all adult males?” Chen Xiaolian turned around to look at Riche. “Is this due to your spirit of chivalry?”
“No,” Riche hurried answered with a laugh. “Why would we do something so pointless? The system is the one that designated these targets. We simply captured them.”
“If so, are there other members of the Egyptian royal family who did not get designated as quest objectives?” asked Chen Xiaolian after a moment’s consideration.
“Huh? That…” Riche became at a loss for words. He had not considered that detail before.
“There are, Mr Moonless!” Since meeting Chen Xiaolian, Terraflame had not spoken much. Now, he quickly spoke up, “I did not give it much thought earlier, but after considering it in detail, it is true. The system only designated healthy adult males as quest objectives.
“After we decided on our temporary alliance, we had exchanged the details for the first phase. Our Starfall Guild captured two while Thorned Flower Guild captured two as well. The other two were captured by the other guilds. Besides these six, though, there were five other quest objectives, but they were all killed in action and could not be captured. All of the objectives are adult males. When we were raiding the royal palace, we did encounter other members of the royal family. However, they were not designated as quest objectives. In fact…”
Terraflame pondered for a moment. “The present Pharaoh is also not designated as a quest objective. He… … is an old man.”
Chen Xiaolian nodded his head, choosing not to say anything else.
“Mr Moonless, can we begin?” Seeing Chen Xiaolian ask questions without cease and Terraflame answering them in detail made Riche anxious.
“So eager to die?” Chen Xiaolian sent a ridiculing jab at Riche. “Earlier, Anubis nearly killed you fellows. And now, there is Horus. Are you confident you can defeat him?”
“Players like them are often arrogant and foolish.” Terraflame leaned closer to Chen Xiaolian. “Mr Moonless, your guidance has left me in awe, greater compared to my awe of your powers. Due to your guidance, I have figured out a possible method of completing this quest.”
“Oh? Tell me about it.” Chen Xiaolian’s mouth curled into a mysterious smile.
“The blood of the Pharaoh must be the purest. If the requirement for the blood sacrifice is simply bloodline, no matter how you look at it, the Pharaoh himself should have been designated as a quest objective. The fact that he is not means there are other conditions besides bloodline purity. Now that I think about it, they must be age and gender,” said Terraflame frankly. “When it comes to Gods, they are always a picky bunch. I believe… … perhaps, only the young and strong can satisfy their needs for them to come forward.”
Chen Xiaolian said nothing. All he did was to nod his head slightly. For Terraflame, however, that was highly motivating. He hastily continued, “Thus, I’ll make a bold guess… … only when the conditions are satisfied can the Gods who possess these bodies exert their full powers. So, if we can make it so these people, designated as satisfactory vessels, fail the conditions, we might be able to greatly reduce Horus’ combat power after he arrives!”
“Not bad. Smarter than him.” Chen Xiaolian revealed a satisfied smile. “So, do you have the ability to do so?”
“Yes!” Terraflame’s eyes shone as he nodded his head again and again.
Riche and Terraflame had already led their group up another hill, located several kilometres away from their original position.
Just like the other hill, a statue – over five metres in height – stood atop the hill.
Anubis had a jackal head. The head on Horus’ statue was that of an eagle. His right hand was also wielding a sceptre while his left hand held onto a circular amulet talisman.
Horus, the patron saint of Pharaohs in Egyptian mythology, the son of Osiris, King of the Underworld and Isis, Goddess of Life. He was the symbol of kingship and the God of Vengeance.
Not far from the statue was a stone sarcophagus. In between the statue and the sarcophagus was a stone groove.
The five metal boxes had been placed before the sarcophagus. As for the Awakened ones and Players, under the commands of their superiors, they had already set up combat formations around the place.
“Be careful. Do your best to make him as old as possible without killing him!” Terraflame patted Aliosha’s shoulder heavily. Staring into her eyes, he whispered, “Do not embarrass our Starfall Guild before Mr Moonless.”
Although this great figure had no intentions of taking action, raising his impression of them was not a bad thing.
“Don’t worry, Manager!” Aliosha nodded her head. She had a serious expression on her face as she crouched down before the first metal box. Extending her left hand, she pressed down on the man’s chest.
“Aliosha is one of my capable members. Her ability can greatly stimulate the various attributes of her team mates’ potential during battle, strengthening and amplifying their abilities. Generally speaking, she serves as a support. However, during melee combat, she can also absorb her enemy’s life force,” explained Terraflame, who stood beside Chen Xiaolian. He ignored Riche, who stood behind them with a jealous look on his face. “In mere minutes, she can make this sacrifice a rickety old man.”
Exposing one’s abilities was the biggest taboo within the Awakened circle. However, for the sake of showing his sincerity to Mr Moonless, Terraflame decided to ignore that.
“Excellent.” Chen Xiaolian placed his hands behind his back as he observed the sacrifice inside the metal box, an impassive look on his face.
After Aliosha placed her hand on the sacrifice’s chest, wrinkle after wrinkle emerged at a noticeable rate. The sacrifice’s hair, originally black in colour, began turning white while his sturdy muscles became like a leaking water balloon, rapidly deflating.
In less than five minutes, the man inside the box, a young man in his twenties, had transformed into an old man with wrinkled skin and white hair.
“Enough!” Terraflame hastily called out to stop Aliosha’s life stealing ability. “If you continue, he will die!”
Aliosha stood up, performed a bow towards Chen Xiaolian and retreated.
“We can begin, Mr Moonless.” Terraflame gave Chen Xiaolian a smile. “No new prompts appeared in our personal systems. He is still a quest objective for the sacrificial offering.”
“Excellent.” Chen Xiaolian nodded his head.
“Are you sure this will be useful?” said Riche, vehemence in his voice. “What if there is no effect? At the end of the day, aging the sacrifice to reduce the BOSS’ powers is just your speculation!”
“Pay attention to your words, Riche. This is not my speculation. It is Mr Moonless’ idea!” Terraflame glared at Riche. “Besides, even if it doesn’t affect the BOSS, do you think Mr Moonless will do nothing? Since he can finish off Anubis, he can naturally also finish off Horus.”
After that, Terraflame immediately cast an ingratiating smile at Chen Xiaolian. “Naturally, I firmly believe that your judgement will not be wrong.”
“Just do it.” Chen Xiaolian revealed the enigmatic smile of his before turning around to walk to the back.
“Wait! Mr Moonless, where are you going?” Terraflame and Riche were both taken aback.
“Like I said earlier, you fellows should attack first. I will only attack if necessary.” Chen Xiaolian turned his head and smiled. “If you do not trust me, then, forget it.”
“How could we possibly not trust you?!” Both Terraflame and Riche hastily forced out a smile on their faces.
“If that is all right, let’s start.”
Chen Xiaolian’s pace was steady and even, a relaxed expression on his face. However, he was feeling somewhat nervous.
Riche’s earlier question mirrored the concern in his heart.
He had made this judgement based on the contents of the instance dungeon. However, Chen Xiaolian could not be certain if this method would prove effective or not.
If, after his arrival, Horus was as strong as Anubis, Chen Xiaolian really did not know what he should do.
Riche and Terraflame looked at Chen Xiaolian’s distant figure. Although they felt somewhat faint-hearted, they also feel somewhat emboldened.
Given how powerful this person was, his words were surely not meaningless.
“All right, let’s begin.”
Once again, the two of them issued out preliminary instructions through their respective guild channels. After that, they brought out the sacrifice within the metal box.
Riche retrieved a soul gem from his storage equipment and pressed it upon a groove at the centre of the stone sarcophagus. Next, following a scraping sound, the cover of the sarcophagus automatically opened up to reveal its spike-filled bottom.
The sacrifice placed within the sarcophagus was only faintly breathing. It would appear that he had reached the end of his life and could breath his last at any moment.
Terraflame and Riche exchanged glances. Watching the cover slowly return to its original position, the two of them hastily retreated to stand by their combat-ready members.
Dark-red blood flowed through a small hole beneath the sarcophagus, falling into the stone groove before flowing towards the base of the statue.
An odd-looking rune was engraved on the base of the statue. After reaching the base, the blood from the sacrifice flowed upwards to fil up the rune.
It did not take long for the rune to be filled up. In that instant, the entire hill began shaking.
Cracks began appearing across the surface of the statue. Next, seemingly in the process of shedding its skin, the outer stone shells fell down the ground.
“Who?! Who used the Pharaoh’s blood to perform a sacrificial offering onto me! Who?! Who DARES interrupt my eternal slum- HACK! Cough!”
A rumbling roar rang out. However, halfway through, its roar was interrupted by a fierce cough.