Chapter 115 – Following the Shadow (2)
‘Is it a method of contracting space?’
If the density of space was different, even if it was the same one step, the distance would be different.
He speculated that they had reached the main circle quickly because of a principle similar to that.
Rutia knew the fastest route toward the top of the tower of the main temple.
Hyun began asking himself another question.
Was there a way to walk from Iluna to Asra?
If the Symmetrical World ignored the physical obstacles of the other world, maybe it could even cross the universe.
‘It isn’t absurd at all. There’s a good chance of that being true.’
Rutia probably knew a route that led toward both worlds.
If only he could find her… No, know the information she knew.
“Wait, that’s it!”
Louise was surprised at Hyun’s sudden reaction.
Hyun calmed Louise down.
“I’ll go check something. I’ll be back soon, so please wait for me here.”
“Where are you going…?”
* * *
[You’ve changed to rest mode.]
After logging out, Hyun started to check out his capsule’s memory.
—It was to check out the information he’d transferred from Asra Online’s knowledge repository, the ‘Interloop.’
Because Hyun couldn’t memorize everything, he had saved lots of information as either text or screenshots.
In other words, Hyun’s capsule had become the knowledge repository.
The search keyword was clear.
Hyun used text search and letter recognition to search for information.
‘What? There isn’t any result?’
He wasn’t expecting to get 0 results.
Had he used the wrong search settings?
Even after changing the search settings, the result was the same.
Hyun started to feel uneasy.
If the Symmetrical World was a new addition, it was obvious that there wouldn’t be any search results.
He struggled for a bit while trying different keywords, and he finally found some results after trying a new sentence.
Lots of information appeared.
He also discovered something new…
The place Rutia called the Symmetrical World was saved in the Interloop under a different name.
In the Interloop, it was called ‘The Underground.’
—That’s why he hadn’t been able to find any results.
<Just because the Underground’s Sun is black doesn’t mean there isn’t light. That is because there are many particles there that emit red light, as the Underground is a territory that belongs to the Abyss…>
After reading the explanation, he discovered that Underground didn’t simply mean a territory beneath the surface.
Why did they call the Symmetrical World ‘Underground’?
It seemed to have a different meaning from the generally known concept of ‘Underground.’
Hyun kept searching frantically.
On top of Underground, Iluna, and Map, he added a few more keywords.
<Iluna is like the lighthouse of the world. Iluna’s Underground is connected to every place on the surface, and Iluna’s surface is connected to every place on the Underground. The amplification of Empathy results from such features of Iluna…>
There were lots of things that were hard to understand, but it wasn’t like the information was useless.
After a while, Hyun discovered a text he was able to comprehend.
<The first Pope never skipped a day of praying on Iluna. He left the castle in the morning, and after lunch, he always began praying under the eclipse. If he wanted to have dinner, he had to return to the Holy Kingdom using the Underground’s fog road.>
He found a hint while reading a story about the first Pope.
SeoHyun slowly read every sentence and interpreted them one by one.
The first Pope knew of a way to go back and forth from Iluna.,,
Through the Underground Fog Road, which was in the Symmetrical World…
That meant that there was a road in that place that connected Asra and Iluna.
While trying to calm down, Hyun kept searching.
This time, the keywords were ‘fog road’.
While numerous bits of information appeared in front of him, SeoHyun swallowed his breath.
Among the available information, there was even a very detailed map.
Hyun was glad he’d taken screenshots of even things like that.
With shaking hands, he expanded the drawing.
A smile was drawn on Hyun’s face.
The results of the five days of hard work he had done before Asrian opened its servers were showing results.
* * *
Soon, every NPC heard that the Heavens had lost Iluna.
It wasn’t something that they could’ve hidden from the beginning.
After all, you couldn’t hide what was in the skies.
There wasn’t anyone who hadn’t seen the blue moon that had become visible.
Iluna hadn’t been visible since a few thousand years before.
Everyone had a different reaction.
Some people laughed and talked, while others had grim expressions on their faces.
Some people clicked their tongues, saying that the end of the world was approaching, while others trembled under their blankets.
The reason why every NPC had a different reaction was that each of them thought differently.
There were even some NPCs who weren’t interested at all in Iluna’s Unexpected Event.
Wasn’t it just a barren land that was hard to live on? Why was it such a big deal?
But the Priests were worried.
Without Iluna, they would have problems using holy energy.
The position of the Holy Kingdom would get weaker, and with that, their positions in society would also get weaker. So it was obvious that they would be worried.
The Pope, Bishops, and High-Priests were greatly affected.
But the one whose head was hurting the most was the Pope.
“How could something like this happen to me…!”
The Pope blinked intensely while looking up at the sky.
He was walking on the balcony but ended up heading to the chapel.
“I must think of a way…!”
The Pope began praying in front of the statues of the Archangels.
He remembered a passage from the sacred texts.
Iluna, the Phantom Land, was the lighthouse that guided the believers of the Heavens, and it was the bridgehead to destroy the Abyss.
The fact that they’d lost such a place was more severe than losing a simple place that was useful in fortifying the holy energy.
The Pope began praying desperately.
It didn’t matter how desperate he was. He knew that the effects of his prayers were weak.
Compared to the first Pope, his Empathy was insignificant.
As time went on, they became more efficient in using the holy energy, but they couldn’t do anything about Empathy, since that was something you were born with.
It was the same for the previous Popes.
For hundreds of years, they hadn’t been able to summon an Angel—they’d barely been able to receive oracles from low-ranking Angels.
But something unexpected appeared in front of the Pope.
The Pope knew that what happened would be written in the history books.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Lightning struck and went through the ceiling of the Archangel’s chapel.
The Pope raised his head.
Among the three sculptures that depicted Archangels, the middle one had broken.
In the place where the broken sculpture used to be, there was a woman who resembled it.
An Archangel… Her huge wings were opened wide.
The rainbow light coming out from her crystal wings spread holy light through the dark chapel.
The Pope cried with his mouth wide open.
Tears of joy dripped from her eyes.
The one in front of him was the Archangel that represented the truth.
—An Archangel who had only appeared once before had shown herself before him.
He could hear the sound of the window being hit from the outside.
The Holy Knights realized that something special had happened inside the chapel.
To avoid that important moment from being interrupted, they had to block the entrance.
“Oh, Archangel of Truth!”
The Pope knelt down and bowed his head.
He then started to wonder if that was really happening.
Even summoning a servant-ranking Angel was hard.
Even in dreams, seeing an Archangel descending was hard to see.
He was the Pope, but even he didn’t have enough power to summon an Angel.
Why had the Archangel decided to descend?
The Pope’s questions were soon answered by the Angel.
“As expected, exercising strength with ego isn’t easy.”
There were two ways by which a Transcendent could influence the world…
The first was receiving Empathy through prayer, and the other was using the ego.
But they rarely used their ego.
It took a lot of time for a Transcendent to recover their ego.
Depending on the amount of power exercised, it could take them a few years or even a few thousand years.
In other words, Transcendents used their ego only when they had something very important to say.
The Angel smiled while looking at the Pope, who was knelt down.
“I don’t have much time, so I’ll immediately give you the oracle.”
The Pope waited for the Archangel’s next words with his head bowed down.
Did she want to tell him how to deal with Iluna?
They needed a new strategy to avoid a crisis in the Holy Kingdom.
Maybe the Archangel knew how to do that.
But what the Archangel said next was completely different from what he was expecting.
“There’s a user who has very high Empathy. If you find him, ask him to «Pray» to me.”
The Pope was surprised.
The influence users had wasn’t that big yet…
The Pope felt confused by the fact that an Archangel had used their ego to descend in order to talk to him about a user.
“Yes, if he keeps praying, he’ll eventually visit this country.”
“I’ll make sure that happens.”
Even while replying, the Pope thought that it seemed like order more than an oracle.
But he didn’t commit the profanity of questioning the Archangel because of his confusion.
It seemed like the Archangel of Truth was about to disappear after saying that.
“W-wait for a second, please!”
While risking coming off as rude, the Pope tried to stop the Archangel from disappearing.
She still hadn’t told him how to solve the crisis of the Holy Kingdom.
The only one who could shine a light on how to solve the issue was her, the Archangel.
The Pope bowed and waited for her guidance.
“Archangel of Truth, please hear the petition of this humble—”
“Is it about Iluna?”
The Archangel interrupted before the Pope could finish his sentence.
It was as if the Archangel could see through the thoughts of the Pope.
At the same time, she tilted her head.
After reading his thoughts, she realized that there was a contradiction in his thinking.
“Do you really care about Iluna? You were so scared about dying that you didn’t even go to that place.”
At that moment, the eyebrows of the Pope began trembling.
The Archangel of Truth could see through human emotions.
It seemed that it was true that, to be able to stand before her, you mustn’t have anything that can put you in shame.
The Pope hit his head on the floor.
He was ashamed that the Angel had seen through his disgusting heart.
“Please forgive me…!”
But he couldn’t stop there.
He had to stop his mistakes from negatively affecting the rest of the Holy Kingdom.
For the first time, the Pope regretted his past.
It should be okay even if he weren’t there, right?
How foolish he was!
The Pope had decided that, if necessary, he would offer his life.
His head was full of thoughts about how to protect the Holy Kingdom.
While facing the Truth, you shouldn’t have anything dirty that could put you in shame.
“Finally, I understand what you wanted to say.”
The Archangel once again saw through the emotions of the Pope.
The contradiction inside him had disappeared.
The dirtiness had disappeared, and only firmness remained.
The answer the Pope was waiting for came when he had decided that he would offer everything he had if necessary.
“We, the Heavens, will solve everything related to Iluna, so don’t worry about it.”
As soon as the Pope asked back, he realized his mistake.
The Archangel of Truth couldn’t lie.
You shouldn’t doubt the Truth’s words.
“Yes, we’ve thought of a very special way.”
“Could I ask you how you are planning to do it…? If I could be of help even a little bit…”
“Have you heard of the word ‘Asrian’?”
“Asrian…? Is it a word used to describe those who live in Asra…?”
The Pope did his best to come up with an answer, but he couldn’t understand what the Archangel was talking about.
After a while, the Archangel mumbled.
“As expected, you cannot be of help. Yet, even if you don’t do anything, the thing you’re worrying about won’t happen.”
“Let everyone know that the prayers directed to the Heavens shouldn’t stop.”
The Pope was moved.
The Archangel had already thought of a way to solve the issue.
He was so moved by that generosity that he began crying.
After making a gentle smile, the Truth became bright lightning again and disappeared.
Even after the Angel disappeared, the Pope was still kneeling towards the broken sculpture.