Chapter 492: The Man Betting Against Deity
—Ghirlandaio David Buonaro.
Yes, Dmitri had heard that name from Maria before.
That was a few years ago, shortly after Dmitri’s incident.
In that bet against the deity, Dmitri lost his ability to bear offspring because of his defeat. Subsequently, he lost the right to inherit the Austere-Winter Dukedom.
Although the matter was kept strictly confidential, the public statement was that “Dmitri was cursed because of the Rotten Man’s plot”.
Of course, this was not a lie. Even the Edict Magic would judge that this statement was true. Dmitri had lost because the Rotten Man had pulled strings in the dark. Ultimately, the Rotten Man had taken away Dmitri’s “bet”.
Others might wonder why the Rotten Man dared to make a move on the direct descendants of an upright deity.
However, they could only hide this doubt in their hearts.
After all, that was the Rotten Man!
It was a common awareness to be respectful to the deities. However, among the deities, there was obviously a gap.
It was not surprising that Rotten Man would do anything.
They would see Dmitri as a poor man who was attacked. No one knew what kind of excellent deeds he did when he was young.
After all, he was defeated.
As a result, he was forced to hand over the responsibility that was initially on his shoulders to his younger brother.
Of course, he did not blame Annan.
Dmitri was very clear that Annan’s plan was indeed correct and effective.
However, Annan’s capability was still incomparable to their father.
Even the precocious Annan still lost to Ivan Austere-Winter.
Although the [Winter Heart] curse had interfered, Annan could still show sympathy to others. He could use the power in his hands rationally and cautiously, and he had never misjudged any crime. Thus, he would be a king who rewarded and punished fairly, was compassionate to his people, and always rational. This was also why only one-third of the young people left when the Austere-Winter Dukedom succumbed to the winter year.
With only one and a half legions still able to participate in the battle, they relied on geographical advantages and strategic commander advantages to fend off the Noah Kingdom’s aggression many times. However, Dmitri did not know why King Noah wanted to invade Austere-Winter and go for a sudden peace treaty.
In the end, except for the Freezing Water Port, a peace treaty was signed without paying any price. Even the given Freezing Water Port made the Noah Kingdom a little uneasy. Instead, that place felt like a spy in their kingdom.
Austere-Winter hardly paid any price, but the Noah Kingdom was greatly tormented.
Even when Ivan had to take over the Austere-Winter Dukedom during the “winter year”, Ivan did not complain. Instead, the country was governed orderly, creating the lowest mortality rate in the winter year of all generations. It was even the first time that immigrants returned to Austere-Winter Dukedom before the winter year was over.
However, Ivan’s excellent quality might have drawn the envy of fate.
He had an incurable disease.
The reason why it was incurable was that this “disease” came from Ivan’s excellence. So instead of saying it was a disease, it was more like a gift.
His innate ability [Winter Heart] had long evolved to the ultimate form [Austere Winter’s Blood] at the same level as Old Grandmother.
This was the central mystery passed down at the beginning of the world’s birth.
It was the ultimate meaning of the Truth carried in the Old Grandmother’s bloodline.
If Ivan was a Gold Rank transcender, he might be able to use this power to alter himself into a dragon.
However, the problem was that Ivan was not even a Transcender.
That was because of his clear self-awareness, knowing he did not have such strong desires and obsessions. Thus, he would not be able to set foot on the Gold Rank. Since he knew he could not reach his limit, Grand Duke Ivan had not embarked on this path from the beginning.
But it was simply not the strength that a mortal body could bear.
As a result, Ivan was plagued by illness, and heat would suddenly escape his body every few days. This had happened even though the Austere Winter’s Blood in Ivan’s body was relatively gentle. Those who came into contact with Ivan’s blood would immediately suffer severe frostbite. The effect was like barraging liquid nitrogen onto the face.
The Austere-Winter family could withstand almost all types of damage, but only the “Frost” attribute damage would kill them.
However, as long as the Old Grandmother woke up, Ivan could be saved.
The “Wyrmrest” of the Old Grandmother was the covenant She established when She ascended, which She could not defy.
Every Wyrmrest would never exceed 80 years.
As long as Ivan could live for another 30 years, he could be saved.
But, obviously, he could not take it anymore.
Grand Duke Ivan’s ability to move was getting worse. He occasionally vomited blood with ice shards in it. Also, his body would lose heat once every two days on average. His speeches became slurred. His body would tremble violently, and his thinking was in a mess as if he had Alzheimer’s disease.
He could only persevere through the ritualist’s medical treatment.
However, the Grand Duke, who was able to go to the front line to supervise the battle with high spirits, could never return.
Annan thought this was because Ivan possessed transcended strength at the Truth Rank level, but his mortal body could not contain it.
Among the many deities, the Cup-holding Lady could preserve a person’s memory and revert the body to a newborn baby. The Pale Princess could alter a person into a sane ghost. The Motherly Moth could make another person inherit all the memories of the target person. Finally, the Rotten Man was able to make mortals “immortal”. These were the solutions that could solve the problem.
The first target the Austere-Winter Dukedom picked was the Rotten Man.
This was also the most thorough solution — as long as they could win the bet.
The Rotten Man had to find seven sacrifices to complete his ritual. He did not dare to make a move on the people of the Austere-Winter Dukedom. In comparison, the Underground Federation had no king, and the “kings” of the Papal Kingdom were the seven upright deities’ popes.
Even if the Rotten Man completed his ritual in the United Kingdom and the Noah Kingdom, the number was far from enough.
Thus, the Rotten Man had to accept the bet Dmitri made.
He used his “royal blood” to summon the Deity of Immortality and Heirless, Rotten Man and bet against him.
If Dmitri won, then Rotten Man would give the most outstanding immortality to the Austere-Winter’s Grand Duke “Ivan III” and use the same immortal power at the Truth Rank to neutralize Ivan’s strength;
If Dmitri lost, then Rotten Man would take away Dmitri’s fertility.
Thus, if the Rotten Man lost, only one immortal would be added to His ritual’s formula. This was equivalent to adding an Undying of the same level as himself. In fact, the last step of the Rotten Man ascendancy ritual was to kill all the Undying except Himself. However, for each additional Undying, his power would amplify. Thus, it was a win-win situation.
As long as Dmitri won the bet, he would help Rotten Man progress in His ascendancy ritual.
No matter what, the Rotten Man suffered no loss.
It was just that Dmitri was inadequate. He hesitated for a moment at the last moment and lost to the Rotten Man.
Originally, Dmitri had to consider other methods.
Could he negotiate with other upright deities in exchange for this miraculous power?
Although he did not know any rituals, his brother Annan would.
Annan always knew everything.
He just had to pay the price whether it was fertility or longevity, kidney, hair or skin.
If you want to take it, you can do whatever you want.
How was Dmitri so free and easy?
That was because Dmitri·Austere-Winter was never afraid to “give”.
He was not a transcender nor a ritualist.
He was the Old Grandmother’s bishop and would be the cardinal-bishop in the future. If all the bishops believed in him, he would also be the Old Grandmother’s pope.
Since Dmitri was a child, he swore to give all his soul to all living beings.
There was no room for his own flesh and blood in the path he was destined to walk.