Book 2: Chapter 107
(TL: Minor edit, ‘leader’ was changed to ‘bishop’. I’d made the change, but it seems it wasn’t saved.)
They walked down a dark hallway.
The only sound that could be heard was their soft footsteps, and the lights above them flashed as though they hadn’t been maintained for a long time.
The people they encountered as they walked all bowed deeply to Kim Min-chul. To Min Ha-rin, they were more like puppets than people.
Unable to bear the silence, Min Ha-rin opened her mouth.
“Are we going to see the Branch President?”
Kim Min-chul answered without looking back.
“We’re going to the Bishop first.”
They went down to the basement.
Not by elevator but by stairs.
They descended down a spiral staircase that had clearly not been there before. The deeper they went, the darker it became and the more unsettled Min Ha-rin became.
It felt that not just her body but also her mind was being buried beneath the ground.
After an unknown amount of time passed, they reached the end of the spiral staircase, which felt like it led down into a bottomless abyss.
Several candles placed in a straight line along the hallway subtly illuminated their path. Kim Min-chul walked down this hallway without hesitation, as though he was very familiar with it.
‘…was there such a place in the Korea Branch?’
Suppressing her doubts, Min Ha-rin continued to follow Kim Min-chul.
Eventually, they arrived at a door at the end of the hallway, and when it opened, they saw a person in the room.
At first, Min Ha-rin thought that the figure sitting in the middle of the room was a corpse.
He was so old that she couldn’t help but think that.
The skin on his entire body was severely wrinkled to the point where he appeared shriveled. His thin cheeks and wrist were reminiscent of an old tree.
The old man wore a priestly robe similar to what Kim Min-chul was wearing, but his robes were embroidered and were much more colorful.
Of course, with his thin body, he looked more like a scarecrow wearing a sack than a religious leader.
Looking at this old man, Min Ha-rin couldn’t help but feel that it wouldn’t be strange if he died at any moment. She’d met people who were around 80 or 90 years old. But this old man in front of her looked much older than them. It was as though he was the embodiment of the concept of aging.
Nevertheless, there was one thing that stood out.
His eyes were sharp. Like a nocturnal animal’s or a predator’s, they stood out in the dimly lit room.
“You must be Min Ha-rin.”
His voice was as rough as his appearance. A terrible sound similar to when one scratched their nails on an old tree.
However, Kim Min-chul bowed his head reverently when he heard this voice as if he’d heard the voice of God.
“I heard a lot about you from your younger siblings. I’m Slei Paprostin. The Bishop of the Church of Eternal Life.”
Slei smiled slightly as he looked Min Ha-rin over with his bright eyes.
“I heard you were a swordsman, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Are you a Wizard?”
“A Swordsman became a Wizard? That’s not a simple process…”
Slei did not hide his interest in Min Ha-rin as he pointed upwards.
“Was it your Master upstairs who did that for you?”
“Right. As we expected, he is a great being.”
Min Ha-rin narrowed her eyes at those words.
“…do you know my Master?”
“We’ve been waiting for him.”
“Come and have a seat, Min Ha-rin. We have so much to talk about. I’ll use this chance to explain to you. The doctrine of our Church of Eternal Life.”
* * *
Lukas used Ghost to look around the base.
After becoming an Absolute, he no longer needed to distinguish between his body and soul, but this time, he made an effort to leave his body in the room.
This was because he thought someone might stop by to check on the room while he was roaming around the base. If that were to happen, it would be very suspicious if Lukas wasn’t present.
Of course, the most important reason for this decision was the fact that he had a reliable bodyguard now.
Lukas thought about Sedi for a moment before resuming his search.
Few of the people there appeared to be hunters. Instead, most of them wore priestly robes like Kim Min-chul. Of course, there were some differences from the robes worn by Catholic priests.
What concerned him was the heavy atmosphere that seemed to cover the entire branch. Instead of going underground, Lukas headed up. To the very top of this large skyscraper.
That was where the thing that ‘concerned him’ was.
At the very top of the building was a large room from which one could overlook the entirety of Busan. In this room, which was so bright that one could forget the darkness of the city, stood a single figure.
This figure suddenly turned around.
This figure had a strangely neutral appearance. There were no traits or indicators of gender among this figure’s neat facial features.
Above all, it was their white eyes that truly drew Lukas’ attention. These eyes, with no pupil or iris, shined brightly, even in the brightly lit room. In fact, it felt like the brightness in the room was actually light that was ‘pouring’ from their eyes.
They looked towards Lukas.
At first, Lukas thought it was a coincidence. After all, it was impossible for even a Great Wizard who had reached 9 stars to see Lukas when he was in his Ghost state. But after this person’s gaze turned to Lukas, it didn’t turn away.
Instead, as more time passed, the certainty that they were looking at him increased.
Finally, they smiled softly, their expression a mixture of purity and naivety.
“How can I help you, soul?”