(Translator note: I will highlight Blue on the texts that go too deep into the lore rather than the main event in the hope to improve the reading experience.)
It would be short-sighted to only focus on Benjamin to acquire more information.
Klaus knew a lot as well.
The way to clear this dungeon instance was to kill all betrayers.
Basically, that was to kill everyone except Benjamin, Don Juan Geraint, and John. Although Annan did see a handful of “loyal underlings,” their numbers were too few.
And in the second live, they all died of unknown AOE from Benjamin.
When they were dead, and Klaus was also dead, the dungeon instance was forced to an end.
Annan could no longer ask Benjamin those questions.
Yet, Annan didn’t plan to spare Klaus’s life for detailed questioning.
After all, Klaus was too dangerous.
After seeing so many Transcended, Annan fully understood how dangerous a Silver Rank Transcended was.
Carney of the Bronze Rank could become so powerful after becoming a demon. His combat strength was far beyond the ordinary Bronze Rank Transcended. When Annan cleared this dungeon instance last time, Klaus was desperate. He activated the curse and tried to demonize himself.
This was probably why Benjamin was so nervous back then and asked Don Juan to freeze Klaus to death.
Once Klaus completed demonization, a Silver Rank Wizard (especially the Alteration Wizard) muted from spell casting might not be able to beat him.
So the most proper choice was to kill Klaus with a backstab as soon as there was an opening for it.
Until then, some “betrayers” should be kept alive and let them take refuge in the cabin ahead of time.
In this way, Annan got to guarantee that the dungeon instance wouldn’t end even when Klaus was killed.
So, Annan had to finish his question with Klaus before meeting Benjamin.
What kind of identity should Annan choose?
First of all, Annan was certain that Klaus was also a believer of the Rotten Man Church and a subordinate of the Third Prince. Moreover, the Third Prince might not know that Klaus was related to the Rotten Man Church.
Hence, taking sides with neither “Princess Royal” nor “King” would work.
If Annan intended to betray Don Juan Geraint’s forces, then Annan’s status was lower than Klaus. Everything would be the same as his previous live in this nightmare.
If Annan claimed to be a member of the Rotten Man Church or the Third Prince, then it became inconvenient for Annan to ask for information.
—Hence, there was only one faction that could work.
That would be the Venerated Skeleton.
The Rotten Man’s forces knew from the beginning that the Venerated Skeleton himself had been at Freezing Water Port.
That was why Klaus and the others didn’t dare to stay. Instead, they ran away after getting off the ship. It was even possible that they had escaped by boat without getting to Freezing Water Port.
They knew that the relationship between the Venerated Skeleton and Rotten Man was terrible.
Just as the Venerated Skeleton came over to give Annan a hint over Rotten Man’s intelligence. Rotten Man was reluctant to provoke the Venerated Skeleton, but the Venerated Skeleton was actively looking for Rotten Man’s trouble.
“I think you might be disembarking soon?” Annan smiled slightly, “Why don’t you visit us at the Freezing Water Port?”
Annan could see a horrified expression on Guard Captain Klaus’s face.
Klaus was taken aback by this answer.
He blinked his eyes intermittently.
Then, he stepped back a little hesitantly, looked at Annan with some suspicion, and asked in a low voice, “Why do you ask me if I serve the Third Prince?”
“This is because I want to tell you that our next conversation has nothing to do with those two.”
Annan smiled and said, “It’s just a matter among the mortals. Don’t overcomplicate it.”
Of course, Annan was hinting at something.
Hearing this, cold sweat broke out from behind Klaus.
He knows that I’m serving the Rotten Man church.
This is a secret that even the Third Prince doesn’t even know!
Their Rotten Man church had just evacuated from Austere-Winter Dukedom. They were in the middle of transferring their forces to the Noah Kingdom and infiltrating the royal family.
Yet, news had already leaked to the Venerated Skeleton side.
“Does that lord already know about this?” asked Klaus respectfully.
Annan nodded solemnly.
John’s honest face gradually became a little indifferent, “The Venerated Skeleton knows your goal from the beginning, no matter it is about’s Rotten Man’s intention to complete his Immortality Ritual and what you did in Austere-Winter Dukedom.
“That’s why he sent me into this man’s body.”
Annan learned about the Rotten Man’s “Immortality Ritual” from the book.
Rotten Man wasn’t a complete deity.
According to the book, “He is the same as the Venerated Skeleton.” Both were deities who didn’t fully grasp the truth.
According to the typical soul promotion pathway, only by obtaining a complete Truth Fragment and forming your book of truth could you organize the ascendancy ritual and become a true deity.
As for the boundary between false deity and upright deity, it wasn’t so clear. The difference between false deity and upright deity was that upright deity had a “human appearance. ” Also, the upright deity had its own asylum month.
After all, there were no planes such as “star realm” or “deity realm” in this world. The deity’s body still existed in the world.
Since the deities were visible and tangible physical entities, naturally, there was a small probability that they would fall and perish.
For the upright deity in its asylum month, it could radiate its power to the whole world and could be resurrected when the month comes.
In other words, only the upright deities possessed immortality.
But the situation of Rotten Man and the Venerated Skeleton was different.
When they became deities, they did not get the book of truth.
The Venerated Skeleton probably sacrificed the corpses of the whole nation through ritual and obtained a temporary truth. In other words, all he got was temporary clergy. As long as that ritual was ruined or stagnated for some reason, the truths that he utilized to become a deity would dissipate altogether.
The situation of Rotten Man was similar to the Venerated Skeleton.
He was a eunuch before becoming a deity.
At the same time, he was also a powerful “alchemist” – the Alteration Wizard.
His curse allowed him to complete the “Alteration of Life.”
That was to transfer the life span of blood relatives to another person.
So, he continued to hold taboo rituals for his king and transferred the lifespan of the king’s offspring to the king.
At the same time, he carried out another ritual.
He transferred the king’s blood to newborns all over the country in the disguise of “blood testing for newborns.”
With the secret support of the old king, he completed this compound ritual without the spy agency knowing it.
However, it wasn’t certain whether Rotten Man betrayed his king in the end.
These lifespans were still impossible to reverse the aging king’s body.
So Rotten Man brought destruction upon the Great Barrier, letting the gray fog sweep across the country. The immense curse power immersed in the newborns of the country. Using these pure babies as purifiers and the connections of blood, the power of clean curses flooded into his king’s body along with infinite vitality.
Indeed, he wanted to initially imitate the Venerated Skeleton’s ritual and make his king a deity with an infinite lifespan. He and other citizens would be reborn again with the power of “Immortality God.”
His plan was refined.
But the king was furious about this.
He personally executed Rotten Man, who was loyal to him and grew up with him.
What Rotten Man didn’t expect was.
The king wasn’t angry that “so many newborns are dying because of this evil plan,” but at him for “destroying the barrier and destroying the land passed down from generation to generation.”
But because the ritual wasn’t completed, the king hadn’t yet received the truth. These curses made his lifespan depleted faster, and he died after seven days eventually.
Through the blood connections, immense curses and vitality poured into Rotten Man’s corpse, resurrecting his decaying corpse.
He originally planned to form the king’s temporary truth of “eternal life” and “heirless.”
In the end, Rotten Man, who had never thought of becoming a deity, became a deity.
Soon, he grew fond of this state.
So he didn’t plan to resurrect the king and those innocent newborns.
He only needed to repeat this ritual six times to complete his ascendancy ritual truly.
In this way, his temporary truth could be solidified and allow him to become a true deity.
Compared with the Venerated Skeleton, Rotten Man’s advantage was that he didn’t have a ritual base that could be physically destroyed. However, the Venerated Skeleton’s ritual base wasn’t easy to destroy since it was in the depths of the gray mists—the old kingdom.
The Rotten Man’s power was also far weaker than the Venerated Skeleton.
In a stricter sense, only one-seventh of the Rotten man was a deity. That was why he was much more active.
Of course, this was the information when the book was written hundreds of years ago.
No one knew how much ascendancy Rotten Man had obtained out of seven at this moment.
Find out what happens next by getting early access to chapters with Patreon! Please do check out the community goal in our Patreon as well! Thanks for the support! Click here to access our Patreon page.