Chapter 42: Magic Books and Gemstones (Part 1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The imp saw that Saleen was asking it for its name and hesitated. It looked over at the others and said, “Master, an imp’s name cannot be let known to outsiders. Are these people your wives?”
Saleen held back a laugh and said, “Don’t worry. They do not understand your language.”
“I’m Ajalasi Sabisi Dikabulia Anduxisi Sagong.” The imp read out a name that was not that long, at least not for a demon.
“Um, now that you’re following me, we need to give you another name. Are you male or female?”
“I don’t know yet…”
“You’re not matured yet?” Saleen was shocked. This imp had been imprisoned here for tens of thousands of years and still hadn’t matured. Some imps could only confirm their gender after they had matured. Saleen was sure of that.
The imp was slightly embarrassed. Any demon, even those of the lowest grade, would take only one or two thousand years to mature. However, being imprisoned here had left it unable to grow.
“Why don’t you change into a human form,” Saleen instructed.
The imp had ingested a few fish and had regained some of its powers. It began to perform the transformation magic. The spell cast by the demon hadn’t been a mere illusion. Even if touched, it could not be differentiated. After ten minutes, the imp was left panting on the floor, having completed the transformation magic.
The imp had transformed into a slender woman. She had long black hair and eyebrows with sunken eyes and a long neck. She was wearing a simple robe, thin enough to see through the fabric to the skin. Below her waist was a skirt with an extra layer of beast hide surrounding it. Her clothes were similar to the ones that Sika had originally worn, and showed off her exquisitely tender waist.
This appearance definitely looked very similar to drawings of humans that had existed tens of thousands of years ago. Saleen couldn’t be bothered to change it as long as it looked human enough. However, this imp had pretty good tastes. This woman was classy yet stern at the same time. She had attractive features and had become another unusual temptation.
“This is good.” Saleen did not wish to be surrounded by ugly people either. He had initially been worried about the imp’s standards of beauty, but had nothing to worry now.
“Of course. I followed the appearance of the Myers Goddess while transforming.”
Saleen coughed violently. This imp had a lot of guts, disrespecting the looks of a goddess!
“Master, do you not like it?” The imp could feel the change in Saleen’s mood. Saleen calmed himself down and thought: It has been so long since the fall of the Myers Goddess that this world no longer has any priests who worship the Temple of Nature. It is highly unlikely that anyone would remember how the Myers Goddess looked anymore. Forget it. The imp does not have enough energy to undergo another transformation.
Looking at the imp lying on the floor, Saleen could not picture this scene with the Myers Goddess. He shook his head and said to the imp, “This is fine, from now on you will be known as Nailisi.”
“Master, what is your surname?” The imp looked happy to be known as Nailisi. She had started calling Saleen her master, which was a good sign as it showed that she was quickly adopting her new identity.
“I’m Saleen Metatrin.” A streak of darkness flashed across Saleen’s youthful face. When would this surname see the light of day again?
“Then from now on, I shall be known as Nailisi Metatrin. Master, is that alright?” The imp had seen that Saleen was not in a good mood and asked this carefully.
“Yes, that’s fine. Tell me more about this space… no, this temple.” Saleen surveyed his surroundings. His magic torch had not been extinguished and had been placed on the steps by Sika.
“This is the sacrificial altar, the heart of the temple. It has three stories and a total of twenty-four halls.”
“Oh, this is the Temple of Nature!” Saleen was both astonished and disappointed. He had thought that this temple had been built secretly by a disciple of some unknown god to snatch over the disciples of the Myers Goddess. If this was the Temple of Nature, there would not be any remains in the ruins. The Goddess of Nature admired simplicity and this place had been abandoned right after it was built. There would not be any magic props lying around here, much less weapons. What shocked Saleen the most was that back in those days, the Myers Goddess had been the common faith of the entire mainland. Why had she needed to secretly build a temple?
Once an order was given by the goddess, even the First Dynasty’s emperor wouldn’t have refused it. The goddess could have chosen anywhere on the mainland to build the temple. With the strength of humans back then, in no more than a week, a temple of an even bigger scale could have been built.
History tended to unwittingly bury some truths.
Saleen remembered a sentence from some magic notes. Without considering this unusual question, he said to Nailisi, “If this is the altar, is the main temple in the back?”
“Yes.” The imp answered obediently. However, because she was lying on the floor, it had been somewhat ungraceful.
“How much longer do you need to rest!”
“Master, I just need another two hours. I’m exhausted,” the imp hurriedly explained herself. She hadn’t matured yet and casting a transformation spell would leave her weak for two hours. She was afraid that Saleen would find her useless and looked pitifully into his eyes.
“There aren’t any dangers here, are there?” Saleen asked
“Nope. Every danger has been eaten up by me. It is just that this temple’s surroundings have a constant magic array and I cannot leave. Master…”
“Call me chief next time. That’s right, you should learn some new vocabulary. This language is hardly used by anyone on the mainland anymore. Since there’s no danger, wait for me here. I shall take a look at the main temple.” Saleen explained this simply before saying to Canghong and the others, “I doubt there are any valuables in these ruins, but it’s hard to say. These are the remains of a temple of the Goddess of Nature, and it hasn’t been used before. Let’s go to the main temple. We might find something there.
Canghong used the light from the magic torch to survey his surroundings. He was a mercenary that was always out and about and was familiar with this type of layout. Hearing Saleen’s words, more disappointment appeared on Canghong’s face. This exploration had not only used up a large portion of his savings but had also lost him more than half of his men.
“Don’t lose hope. This temple is very old. We might find some ancient classics left in the main temple. Any book in there could potentially fetch tens of thousands of gold pieces.” Saleen tried to comfort Canghong even though he knew it was unlikely to happen. From the imp’s description, this temple had been given up by the humans.
Canghong forced himself to lift his spirits and followed Saleen to the back of the altar. The stone wall at the center of the altar was, in fact, a pillar. As it was a rectangular pillar, it had been mistaken for a wall. A wall painting was carved into the pillar, Saleen noticed that on the wall painting, there was a woman who looked exactly like the woman the imp had transformed into.
After the fall of the Myers Goddess, most of the temples on the mainland had slowly disappeared as time passed. However, in every empire, some ruins had been preserved. Mages had researched the layouts of such temples, making it unusually easy for Saleen to find what he was looking for.
Behind the altar were six tunnels, each of them connecting to the main temple. Saleen took out a second magic torch and lit it. With reference to the pillars in the middle of the altar, a thin line appeared on the floor under the light and pointed to the third tunnel. The tunnel was long and was considerably wide, making the area less stuffy. The drawings on the two sides of the wall were very lifelike. Saleen knew that if he were to chisel down these wall paintings, they could fetch a decent price. However, he did not have that much strength. Besides, he was holding onto the Ring of Gifts which belonged to the Goddess of Nature, and defacing her temple would be rather despicable.
Through the tunnel was another large space. Saleen lifted his magic torch and turned his attention to the middle of the area, thanking his lucky stars. In the middle of the temple was a house. The house was carved entirely out of black steel rock. The windows were slim while the pillars of the corridor had been fashioned into the appearance of a tree.
This was the resting place of the goddess. Back then, female pastors had stayed inside while waiting for the orders of the gods or the coming of the Goddess. It seemed that this temple hadn’t been given up halfway. The most important parts had been built, and there could be some loot inside.
The Goddess of Nature had not erected any statues, and the rooms surrounding the main temple were where the disciples lived. The whole place seemed quite empty and lacked the secrecy of the sacred Holy See.
“Let’s take a look around.” Saleen retrieved two more magic torches from his bag and passed his to Sika. He casted a Fluorescence spell and walked alone to the room in the center of the temple. Canghong hesitated and split from Sarah to search the rooms surrounding the temple, hoping to find something. He knew that even if he were to fight with Saleen, he would not be able to obtain anything. Saleen had been merciful enough in not killing him up to now, or perhaps he was too soft-hearted. If he wasn’t clear on the current state of affairs and offended the mage, the Caucasus female warrior would immediately feed him to the demon.
In the house of a goddess, there were usually six rooms: the bedroom, the prayer room, the preaching room, the ancient classics coom, the magic room, and the basement. Saleen entered from the preaching room. This was the only room with a wide window, where the female pastors would face the many thousands of disciples located in the temple square and preach to them from here every weekday.
The room was wide and had a wooden sofa in the center. The preaching session could last up to a day, and every four hours, the female pastor would rest for a short while on the sofa. Saleen observed the wood and realized that it was just ordinary pear wood. It had not decayed with the passage of time simply because this place had been isolated from the outside world, making it seem as though time had come to a standstill.
Behind the preaching room was the prayer room. Female pastors came here every day to do their work, for this was also the place for them to communicate with the Myers Goddess. Behind the prayer room was the ancient classics room. It was similar to a study for the wealthy, with wide bookshelves.
Saleen eyes landed on the center of the bookshelf. Three books were placed there. The inside of this room probably contained thousands of books in total, but on this shelf, there were only these three. Saleen walked up to it excitedly, casting detection magic.
There were no traps or magic arrays. The three books laid quietly on the bookshelf, almost as if they had waited tens of thousands of years for Saleen to find them.