The Record of Unusual Creatures is a web novel completed by 远瞳, Yuan Tong.
This webnovel is currently Ongoing.
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Chapter 178: The Blood Lake and the Orb
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Regardless of the means, they got the pa.s.s and a mercenary tier upgrade, which if done the proper way, would have taken at least one or two months to get. The little-known mercenary group may have had difficulty too in chalking up 20 jobs as the compet.i.tion was high.
That reminded him about Taobao on Earth: the “professional reviewers” who brushed up Taobao’s ratings would have gotten the job done in a much faster and more efficient manner. Look, the mercenaries in the foreign world only had five tiers; most websites on Earth had a minimum of nine-stars and 18 diamond rating before they would even dare claim they were in the rankings.
The main reason his trick worked was due to the careless att.i.tude of the a.s.sociation. It was the rule of man that dominated even in this foreign world. In fact, the difference between Tier Five and Tier Four mercenaries was not significant. Any Tom, d.i.c.k and Harry could have chalked up 20 jobs easily by doing lost pet recovery jobs. There were many mercenaries who did not really know how to fight. Their roles were more like that of the community police. So, the 20-job requirement was just a ritual to differentiate a rookie from the rest. The a.s.sociation would not have cared even if people cheated their way through. What’s more, it was lunch time and the lady at the registration counter was hungry. She did not want to waste time with Hao Ren so, she let him through.
They each carried their badge—a small and rectangular metal plate, like a staff pa.s.s, with an embedded crystal chip for storing data—and walked on the streets. Armed with complete information about Beinz Blood Lake incidents, and what Becky had mentioned, Hao Ren’s knowledge of the mysterious Blood Lake was pretty comprehensive.
Beinz Blood Lake was situated in the middle of a barren land in the west of the Kingdom of Holletta. On a map, the territory of the Kingdom of Holletta looked like a horizontal, irregular trapezoid. Beinz Blood Lake formed part of the shorter western border. Beyond the border were scattered tribes of mountain people and werewolves. The Kingdom of Holletta had a long history. It was well pa.s.sed its expansion and impetuous stages. The ruler of the kingdom was focusing on domestic developments and cosying up with his neighbours. The kingdom was having good relations particularly with a few tribes in the west; so, the border around the Blood Lake remained peaceful, which was a good thing to the countries on both sides of the lake. But, the vast expanse of the lake’s surrounding area was a dangerous place, which was full of hot-tempered, mutated monsters. If a war were to break out, both warring sides would have tried to drive these monsters to the enemy’s side by way of mysticism. It would have been a total disaster.
The wasteland around the Beinz Blood Lake was a natural barrier as well as a ticking time bomb. No one wanted to disturb it.
The lake was about 120km long and 40km wide. There were some scattering swamps on both North and South of the lake. These swamps were like broken pieces dropped off from a ruby, extending dozens of kilometres outwards. That made the overall size of the Blood Lake extremely wide. The most recognisable feature of the lake was the blood-like colour of its water. The water, including those of the smaller satellite lakes, remained red all year round. Interestingly, the Little Chaldan River in the south, which was just a stone’s throw away from the main Beinz Blood Lake was crystal clear. The contrast was astounding and that earned the lake its name.
Just like the story Becky told Hao Ren, about the legend of the G.o.ddess’ banishment of the world, the Blood Lake was in some way a sacred place thought to be related to the G.o.ddess. The established story entailed that the Blood Lake was created by the G.o.ddess when she smashed a gla.s.s of wine down onto this world (it was more of a pit according to Hao Ren’s understanding). The red wine flowed out of the broken gla.s.s polluted the water, signifying the wrath of the G.o.ddess towards the people. In that sense, the b.l.o.o.d.y water of the lake signified the sins of the people; as long as there was sin in the world, the lake would remain blood-red.
There were other legends too. For example, it was the first drop of blood from the G.o.ddess or the first b.l.o.o.d.y tear the G.o.ddess shed when she saw sin on the land. However, these two theories were not popular because they failed to explain what caused the destruction of the ancient civilisation. The largest sect called the Disciples of Glory believed the G.o.ddess of creation to be the highest G.o.d. They subscribed to the first legend to explain the blood-lake phenomenon, and reminded the people that it was the arrogance of their ancestors that caused the destruction.
No matter what the legend, the barren land around the Blood Lake had to have something to do with the blood-red colour of the water. No natural vegetation could survive around the Blood Lake, only magic-like plants of various strange shapes grew. These plants had some magical uses; some of them were large, their leaves dark in colour. They normally had high medicinal properties or precious magical ingredients. The Church deemed these properties blessings from the G.o.ddess. But, when there is wealth, there is risk. The environment where the strange looking vegetation grew was also a cradle of a large number of weird creatures, unseen to the outside world. Most of these creatures were strong, ferocious, highly territorial and magically gifted— the herbivorous rabbit was one of them. People took the risk, looking for ingredients around the Blood Lake but, not many were brave enough to trespa.s.s into the area alone for fear of the rabbit…err, monster.
However, Hao Ren was careless. He did not give a hoot about whether the world-banis.h.i.+ng G.o.ddess had anything to do with him. The one G.o.ddess he knew was a care-free, big la.s.s who had never blinked an eye even if humans wanted to be G.o.d. What he cared most was the incident regarding the missing Orb of the Holy Synod.
The Disciples of Glory rooted themselves in the Kingdom of Holletta, and began almost at the same time as the kingdom itself. Before the sect spread all over the world, it was the state religion of the Kingdom of Holletta. The Orb of the Holy Synod was obtained together by the first pope and first king of the Kingdom of Holletta, from a sacred place. The orb was said to signify the last sign faith the G.o.ddess had in their world thus, it was the common piece of treasure between the Kingdom and the Church. According to the Church, the G.o.ddess used the orb to keep tabs on the world’s post-destruction affairs, and to detect any hint of the return of sin. For that matter, the Church and the royals would hold an annual ritual called Tour of the G.o.ddess; the orb was guarded under heavy security and paraded from the Royal City of Steinne, pa.s.sing through four sacred sanctuaries as well as four historical remains, and finally arriving at the Beinz Blood Lake, where the world-destructing fire was first thought to burn. People in this world believed that the ritual was a way to show their repentance.
The orb would stop at the Beinz Blood Lake for four days before departing back to the Royal City. Once the journey was completed, the pope would announce that the G.o.ddess had learned of the happenings for the past one year, and that she recognised the repentance of the humans there. A celebration would then ensue.
The celebration was the biggest event in the Kingdom of Holletta. The yearly event, which was even grander than the king’s birthday celebration and National Day, was the time when all other countries—including the not so friendly ones, sent in their greetings and tributes simply because the Disciples of Glory was recognised as a religion in that world. Although the Tour of the Orb was held within the Kingdom of Holletta, it was a global event.
But this time, the orb was missing.
According to regulations, the orb would be placed in an old church on an island in the middle of the Beinz Blood Lake during its four-day stay. Knights from the Church as well as the Kingdom would guard the place, forming an almost watertight security blanket. Bloch was responsible for the last leg of escorting the orb; he was brave, a devout holy warrior canonised by the church, and an indisputably capable as well as morally upright person. Despite all that, the orb went missing on the first night.
According to the guarding knights, they heard a m.u.f.fled roar coming from the bottom of the Blood Lake. The roar lasted for more than 10 minutes and it caused a tremble at the camp site. Immediately following the roar, there was a strange glow in the water surrounding the small island. The glow flickered like a fire. An earthquake was reported on the island yet, not on the mainland. During the investigation, Bloch said a large amount of bubbles rose from beneath the lake, and he smelled burnt sulphur. The phenomena subsided after a flash of strong light swept across the entire sky. With the permission of the accompanying pope, the nervous knights pushed open the entrance of the Church and found everything inside was gone.
The benches, the tables, a layer of wall covering, part of the church ceiling, four monks, who were fasting inside the church during the entire four-day stop, plus the orb were all missing.
Hao Ren found the incident looking very similar to the opening of a large warp s.p.a.ce—that gleam of light was a telltale.
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