Chapter 728: Behind the Back
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Clang, clang, clang.
After three consecutive bell knocks, the dwarfs outside of the temple of “God of Craftsmen” all stopped. Clenching their right hands into fists, they bashed and prayed at the same time.
“Great God of Steam, you are the master of machines. You control the arts of craft and grant us strength and courage…”
Katrina, who was about to leave, was slightly shocked. Since when had the God of Craftsmen become the God of Steam? It seemed that the Congress hadn’t paid enough attention to this country of dwarfs.
“However, this ‘God of Steam’ looks slightly different from the ‘God of Steam’ that the alchemical dwarfs in Rentato worship. The gesture and words in their prayers are apparently not the same.” Katrina had encountered the dwarfs from the Night Highland when she and her friends wandered in Rentato and visited the alchemical workshops. Their weird gesture of eye-covering during their prayer left a deep impression on her.
She looked around, only to discover that humans, werewolves, elves, and the other non-dwarf races stopped walking. Although they did not join the prayer, it was obvious that they did not want to disturb the dwarfs’ ritual at noon. She thought to herself, Judging from their reaction, it must’ve been a while since the God of Craftsmen turned into the God of Steam.
The sound of prayer, which was gradually synchronized, created a strange resonance, letting the creatures who did not pray sense the magnificent sacredness, too. The air was filled with the intoxicating fragrance of alcohol.
That was the greatest feature of Dumute. The dwarfs loved not only ale but also any kind of wonderful liquor. The merchants who visited this place had mostly come to exchange their wine for minerals and the alchemical items created by dwarfs.
The dwarfs, whose bloodline had been modified by sorcerers, boasted basic spiritual powers. Together with their deftness and their talents, it was not hard for them to build apprentice-level items, but the low-rank and the middle-rank items had to be built by the dwarfs whose blood powers had been activated. The ancient sorcerers had modified them for the main purpose of crafting the lesser alchemical items to save their own time.
As for the senior-rank items, few dwarfs could forge them, and their success rate was much lower than the sorcerers’. The legendary items, on the other hand, could only be created by Heit, the God of Craftsmen, through divine power and his own talents. Even Okun, the God of Valiance, was incapable of that.
The fragrance of wine spread out from different houses. Mixed, they seemed enough to put down the passersby who could not drink much. However, Katrina had a remarkable capacity for drinks since she was born in the Schachran Empire. She was not disgusted at all. Instead, she even took a deep breath and narrowed her eyes.
After the noon prayer, Katrina returned to her hotel with the crowd. She closed the window and began to meditate, preparing herself for the operation at night. Although dwarfs had limited height, they loved beautiful and magnificent buildings from the bottom of their hearts. Therefore, nobody would feel restrained in Dumute as long as they were not giants. The stone houses in this place had an average height of four meters.
Midnight soon came. Teams of dwarf soldiers patrolled on the street loyally and warily. Because the God of Craftsmen suddenly turned into the God of Steam and subverted the God of Valiance, Dumute was actually not as peaceful as it appeared, and emergencies caused by the “heretics” who opposed the great God of Steam happened now and then. Therefore, Hamina City was in fact under close watch.
Katrina deployed a magic circle to eliminate magic waves first. She then enhanced herself with the spells such as Advanced Stealth. Although Dumute was not biased against sorcerers, what she was going to do concerned the God of Craftsmen, their highest spiritual leader. She couldn’t be more prudent.
Landing on the ground as soft as a feather, Katrina snuck toward the temple of the God of Steam. On her way, she raised her head to observe the stars and the environment while calculating the coordinates where she should put the statue according to the formula that her teacher provided.
“Why does this formula need the specific coordinates of the few major temples as well as the types of the buildings around?” Katrina recited the many parameters she needed. She was puzzled by the patterns of the coordinate changes. What was the result of the calculation exactly, and why did it need so many weird parameters?
However, since it was her teacher’s request, she did not think much about it. Taking a long detour, she finally came up with the specific coordinates. Then, she quietly walked toward a white sculpture on the southeast side of the God of Steam.
“Is this Heit’s statue?” Katrina observed it carefully.
The dwarf was wearing an armor that was engraved with sacred patterns and holding a gigantic hammer in his hand. His long beard dangled to his chest and covered his face. Inside his eye sockets were two glittering rubies.
“The statue that my teacher gave to me is an eyesore compared to this…” Bringing out the figurine that Lucien gave her, Katrina was amused. “My teacher’s sense of beauty always fluctuates.”
Lucien’s taste in music, architecture, and his design of the Moon Timer were unquestionable. His ideas such as “Arcana Voice” had amazed many people too. However, in most cases, his thoughts and creations were of such a unique aesthetic that nobody else could accept them. Take the figurine of a dwarf made of many metal parts for example. It looked good and emitted coldness on the surface, but it had a big bald head that was full of creepy patterns, scaring everybody who saw it.
Her smile gone, Katrina focused her attention and let the figurine of the bald dwarf float at the heart of Heit, the God of Craftsmen, according to Lucien’s request, before she chanted the long and sophisticated spell.
The spell was written in the language of the ancient Magic Empire, but it carried a strange feeling of holiness. Gradually, a silver light protruded from the dwarf’s body. It spread out like a gigantic web that controlled human hearts.
“You are the master of mind, the emperor of gods, the great God of Steam… Allow me to summon your name. Supreme Yuri, please grant me the power to control everything…”
In her spell, the silver glittering lines stretched into the heart of Heit statue, and the rest of them integrated with the void, raising quakes.
In the quakes, the pure and holy light showed up like tiny angels. Singing, praising, and praying in pleasant sounds, they danced up and down around the Yuri statue.
The noises seemed to have been frozen. There was no reaction from the temple far away.
The quakes in the void suddenly grew intense, and the tiny spots of light were melted into the Yuri statue. Then, the Yuri statue was gradually blurred on the spot, until it was nowhere to be seen again!
“It has melted with time and space?” Katrina was deeply astounded by the scene, which she had never seen before. “Is this the subtlety of legendary power? But why does it carry a tiny hint of divine power?”
She shook her head and calmed herself down. Erasing the traces around carefully, she returned to the hotel.
When Katrina’s back disappeared at the end of the street, a bird that was absolutely black, with a cluster of hilarious and cold feathers on the head, swooped from the dark night.
Hovering, the bird stopped on the head of the God of Craftsmen and let out an obscure voice that nobody could hear. “Lucien Evans is truly gathering faith in secret. It seems that he is very confident about his theory… He’s bold enough to steal Heit’s power of faith…
“… And he sent a student for the mission. It would have fooled everyone if it weren’t for me…
“No, I have to find a way to remind Heit. Lucien Evans cannot be allowed to collect the power of faith smoothly, or he will step into the level of demigods faster than everybody else…”
The bird flew down from the statue and circled it while uttering weird, appalling tweets as if it were informing every living creature of their time of death.
On the third day after Katrina left Hamina City…
A team of dwarf soldiers discovered “cultists” who slandered the God of Steam during their patrol and were engaged in a fierce battle.
As it happened, there were senior-rank casters among the cultists. The dwarf soldiers suffered heavy losses. Thankfully, the temple of Heit was around, and a few priests soon arrived, surrounding those cultists in a square not far away.
Divine power burst out everywhere, raising the most extraordinary views in the square. One cultist fell after another, and the square was on the verge of destruction.
The priest and the senior-rank caster among the cultists launched Sunstrike at each other. The aftermath of their battle swept across the square, shaking and shattering the statue of Heit. The holy light and the silver lines on it flashed.
During the flash, Heit, who was deep inside the temple, opened his eyes. Two clusters of gold fire were burning in them, which reflected his furious heart.
He extended his hand, and the statue of the bald Yuri appeared in his palm.
“Who is stealing my power of faith?” In fury, Heit gnashed his teeth. “The God of Steam? Lucien Evans!”
The wind of fury swept across the whole temple, and a gold fire descended from the sky, burning the senior-rank caster into ashes.
After examining the survivors’ memories carefully, Heit was silent for a moment, before he shouted in exasperation, “You can steal my power of faith, and I can steal yours!”
His eyes were focused on the statue of Yuri in his hand. Then, he enveloped it carefully with a golden flame, so that he would not alert anyone.
Inside the Atomic Universe, a vague gold light appeared on the statue of “God of Steam” Yuri. Nobody would’ve discovered it if they hadn’t been watching it all the time.
Inside the magic tower, Lucien was briefly stunned. He turned around and looked out, his lips curling into a smile.