Sneak Attack in the Night
Rody felt depressed after talking to Wuya. Wuya had spoken in riddles, and most of what he said sounded strange. Finally, Wuya stopped talking after he said that he just came back from the Death Canyon.
This conversation also left Rody in shock. All the plans that had been discussed before he arrived were now useless. When a person could read your mind, any kind of strategy would become ineffective. Another important fact was that Wuya was not attacked by an assassin. That meant that the possibility of splitting up the mountain tribes would be low.
After Rody was led by a few mountain warriors to rest in a clean wooden house, he sat down to think. Rody also conversed with Andy in his mind.
“What is the meaning of that prophecy?” Rody asked as he thought of the ‘disaster’ and the ‘curse’.
Andy’s voice sounded dull and dry as he replied, “How would I know? Do you actually believe in the prophecy? Hehe, have you already forgotten about the prohibition placed by Abbas the Great?”
“Prohibition…” Rody muttered and then shook his head as if he was trying to shake off the confusion in his mind.
Rody naturally knew about that ‘prohibition’.
Among the practitioners in this world, there were warriors, magicians, and sorcerers that sought to control and manipulate energy. However, two hundred years ago, during Abbas the Great’s era, there was another kind of practitioner. This practitioner was different compared to warriors, magicians, and sorcerers. They were like the most devout religious practitioners. They do not pursue power or wealth or even preach their doctrines to the masses. Their only purpose was to ‘comprehend the will of God’.
Their practice was really simple. They were usually born with the talent to become great magicians, but then they felt it beneath them to become just powerful magicians. All day long, they would conduct research on god from all angles to prove god’s existence. In the eyes of other practitioners, these people were not only crazy but also stupid. This was because these practitioners did not put their innate talents to good use but only wasted time on useless ideas.
These people often had a few strange guys that would spend half their lives meditating and would one day suddenly declare that they had heard God’s instructions. After that, they would say some incomprehensible ideas.
Rody had read about these incidents during his time in the Imperial Academy. He had also found a lot of these records in the books of the Tulip Family. Among those were also records of the more famous ones.
In the Empire year 107, one of the most famous practitioners of the Empire suddenly got up one morning and ran to the streets to shout out that he had received the words of God. “The largest religious church of the Empire would be destroyed in three days because God is angry at his representative’s corruption.”
Naturally, his outrageous words were regarded as the words of a mad person. The practitioner was caught and locked up. Three days later, that practitioner was to be executed by burning at a stake in front of that church. Presiding over the execution was the Pope.
It was said that when the practitioner was being burned to death, the practitioner did not even protest or beg for help. Instead, he laughed as he looked towards the sky. While he was burning, a fierce wind blew. The wind was so strong that the people nearby could not keep their eyes opened. The wind blew the burning firewood into a fireball that moved towards the church.
The Empire’s largest church with hundreds of years of history, the Prometheus Church, was a building that was older than the Empire itself. However, it was burned into ruins. Countless magnificent murals and other things were destroyed in the fire. Even the Bishop of the church had perished in the fire.
The official records of the Empire stated that the Prometheus Church was old and made of timber, which was why it got destroyed in an accident.
Another interesting record was that during the ascension of Abbas the Great, a practitioner declared that the Empire would unify the continent. However, he also said that Abbas the Great would become an unprecedented tyrant. He then said that the debt of blood would be repaid by later generations. As the practitioner had a special status, he was not killed.
When Abbas the Great rose to the throne, the Empire had finally conquered the entire continent. However, the war that lasted seventeen years, had reduced the population by nearly three million people. There were also several hundred thousand people of the grasslands that were ordered to be slaughtered by Abbas the Great. After the people of the grasslands who had a population of over a million was subjugated, only less than four hundred thousand people remained.
Besides that, while the Empire was conquering the south, they were suddenly invaded by the northern Roland Continent. This started a second war with the Roland Continent. The Roland Continent’s sudden invasion caused the Empire to fall into a crisis. The Roland Continent’s knights had captured the Westwood province and were less than five days’ journey away from the Empire’s capital. At that time, the entire capital fell into a panic. All the nobles urged Abbas the Great to stop the conquest in the South. They wanted to request for peace negotiations with kingdoms in the South and send the armies to the North. The situation was so urgent that it caused Abbas the Great and the Empire to waver. However, a practitioner then declared the will of God. He said that the Empire would be able to win the war against the invaders from the Roland Continent and that the Tulip Family banner would defend the Empire.
Finally, the Duke of the Tulip Family leading one hundred thousand of the ‘Lightning God’s Whip’ had completely defeated the northern Roland coalition army of two hundred thousand. The northern Roland invaders ultimately fled back to their continent with less than thirty thousand soldiers remaining. Not only were the invaders repelled in this battle, but the coalition was also destroyed. The political situation in the Roland Continent also experienced a great change, and it was no longer able to unite and become a threat to the Radiant Continent.
On top of that, the one that helped the Duke of the Tulip Family to win that war was the sudden rise of the Great Sage Dandong. It was also because of Dandong’s support that Abbas the Great managed to conquer the entire Radiant Continent. Among Dandong’s techniques were deception, entrapment, division, and incitement to sow discord in the various kingdoms on the Radiant Continent to destroy their unity. After that, the kingdoms were all destroyed one by one, and the continent was finally united.
These records made some readers paranoid and break out in cold sweat. It somehow felt like the God had a pair of invisible hands to control everything.
The practitioners then became a target of hatred, fear, and discrimination. However, none dared to belittle them. As these practitioners tended to look at the stars and hoped that the stars would give them God’s instructions, they were soon called ‘astrologers’. However, these practitioners also liked to gather on top of the Empire’s tallest building, the White Tower, to look at the stars. That is why these practitioners were also known as the ‘White Tower Magicians’.
After the Empire had won the second war against the northern Roland Continent, the status of the astrologers greatly improved. Many people gradually started to believe in the crazy words of these astrologers. Although they were still considered crazy, their words often came true. These words were soon known as ‘prophecies’.
However, there was a great change in the Empire during the later years of Abbas the Great.
It was during the later years of Abbas the Great when both the Duke of Tulip and Dandong who had helped him conquer the continent had passed away. It was said that Abbas the Great also had an astrologer in the palace. One day, the astrologer and Abbas the Great had a long talk at night. Nobody knew what was said, but the astrologer’s words had greatly angered the greatest Emperor of the Empire, and his head was immediately chopped off personally by the Emperor. When morning came, the palace maids saw the head on the floor and almost fainted in fear. Abbas the Great was still there, lost in thoughts, sitting in the pool of blood.
Three days later, Abbas the Great declared that all the astrologers in the Empire were rebellious. At the same time, he somehow managed to reach an agreement with the Pope, and the next day, the astrologers were declared as heretics. Almost all of the astrologers were massacred by the Empire’s soldiers and religious law enforcers.
For a full a month, people were killed or burned at the religious stake every day. During that time, some people were hanged to death daily. Almost all of the records by the astrologers were also seized and burned. It was as if Abbas the Great had gone mad. Not only did he execute all the astrologers, but even those that opposed these commands were executed.
Finally, Abbas the Great ordered a prohibition. “In the future of the Empire, there will be no astrologers, and there will be no prophecy. All heretics will be burned to death!”
Facts had proven that a lot of things were very fragile in the face of the Imperial sovereignty. After a few years, there were no more astrologers in the Empire. After the lunatics had disappeared, there was nobody left to make any crazy prophecy.
The Empire then strived to suppress public opinion by prohibiting the people from discussing this. Abbas the Great had also burned all the records of the astrologers and their practicing methods. As a result, no one practiced as astrologers anymore in the Empire. Now, after two hundred years, the word ‘astrologer’ was forgotten by the people. Nobody mentioned the word ‘prophecy’ anymore. Any magician that spoke of prophecies was treated like a plague and would immediately be killed.
“Do you know what that palace astrologer had said to Abbas the Great? What kind of terrifying prophecy was it?” Rody could not help but asked Andy.
Andy sank and said, “How do I know? However, it is clear that what the astrologer said to Abbas the Great was not good! Even though all the astrologers were talented people, they did not know how to use their brains! They did not know what they could say and what they could not say. The prophecy from today as well… If this prophecy was said during that time, Abbas the Great would have definitely destroyed the tribe!”
Rody remained silent. The prophecy stated by Wuya constantly weighed on his mind. He sighed and then spoke out, “Alright. Let’s sleep! We will meet with the other mountain people tomorrow!”
In the middle of the night, Rody was lying down on a wooden bench when he suddenly felt cold. He turned over and got up. As he sat on the wooden bench, he felt his neck turn cold. He could not help but reach for the sword at his side.
It was quiet and dark in the wooden house. However, there was a window, allowing the stars of the night sky to brighten up the inside of the house. Rody’s eyes looked around and did not see anything abnormal. However, the uneasiness in his heart continued to grow. He could not help it; he got up and walked to the window.
Wuya had ordered the mountain people to prepare this house on this high terrain. The house was built on a tall wooden platform and the situation in the valley could be seen from the windows.
At night, the noisy people of the Flame Tribe have quietened down. Occasionally, a few people were walking about. The straw sandals they wore made little sound.
Rody sighed and secretly ridiculed himself for feeling odd for no reason. Shaking his head, he went back to lie down on the wooden bench.
Something is wrong!
Rody felt a bone-piercing chill crawling up his back. That feeling made the hairs on his skin stand. He subconsciously lowered his hand and then heard a cracking sound. The wooden bench had split into two.
“Who…” Rody, half kneeling, held the sword in front of his chest vigilantly. Had he not evaded quickly enough, his head would have already been rolling on the floor.
The surrounding was still quiet and Rody’s heart was racing. The attack suddenly came from the left. The wind swooshed and a cut appeared on his clothes. Rody had also sidestepped to avoid the sword. But this time, Rody’s skin was also cut. His blood was dripping. There was a neat cut on his clothes. It seemed that the sword was very sharp.
“Who is this?!” Rody cried out in a soft voice. He then kicked the wooden bench to the side and rushed to the wall. He looked at the surroundings as he placed his back against the wall.
Sh*t! What happened? The other guy is invisible?