IWOL Chapter 324: Meeting the Sage

The atmosphere suddenly cooled.

Cui Zuojing hastened to improve the atmosphere, but Dong Zheng didn’t say anything. The reason his attitude was so cold was because he didn’t want to be asked any more questions. He wouldn’t be able to give them the truth anyway.

There was a spell engraved on the gemstone. Dong Zheng had seen it before and so he helped explain it to the group. After a short break, the group continued to explore, but this time Dong Zheng was no longer at the forefront and did not express any other thoughts about the box.

He knew so much that it was like having a cheat sheet or a walkthrough. Therefore, the more he talks and the more he does, the more mistakes he might make.

The underground cave passage extended in all directions. Cui Zuojing was very annoyed, and so he yawned and muttered softly, “When is this going to end?”

Dong Zheng replied without thinking, “Almost there. Just two more intersections.”

As soon as his voice fell, several pairs of eyes looked at him with surprise and uncertainty. Dong Zheng realized that he had said the wrong thing. His answer to Cui Zuojing’s words had revealed a certain foreknowledge. His footsteps paused and he said in a deep voice‌, “I have no reason to hurt you, and everyone wants to clear the box as soon as possible, right?”

“I’ll believe you for the time being.” Cui Zuojing shrugged. Holding the sword, he continued to walk forward. Just as Dong Zheng had said, after passing two junctions, a door appeared, blocking them.

The two halves of the door were carved with an image of the god Bes. On its naval was an octagonal void that appeared to be created just for the gemstone.

“If I put it in, something will happen. Let me know when you’re mentally prepared and I’ll put it in then.” Cui Zuojing turned away from the door and waved everyone back.

Dong Linhai stood next to Wang Que, Allen picked up Victor, and Lin Hangzhi moved to the corner. Dong Zheng didn’t move. Two years ago, he and his past self were standing next to Cui Zuojing. Back then, he must be competing with himself, right?

“Put it in.”

Cui Zuojing pressed the gemstone into the spot. Then, he immediately took two steps back and watched as Bes’ eyes lit up. The slowly flowing liquid in the magic gemstone suddenly swirled, forming a small vortex.

The muffled sounds of gears moving rose up from underground, and everything around them began to shake unsteadily. Dong Zheng’s body tensed as he prepared for the door to open.

In ten minutes, the rumbling gradually stopped. The light in Bes’ eyes went out, and the two sides of the heavy door opened, revealing such a deep and dense darkness that even their flashlight could not penetrate it.

Dong Zheng already knew that something horrible was brewing in that darkness, but he didn’t say anything.

A few seconds later, a powerful suction erupted from the door without warning. It twisted over them like a hurricane and tried to pull them into the door.

With a shout, Cui Zuojing thrust his sword into the ground, tightened his grip on the sword handle, and grabbed the past Dong Zheng’s hand just as he was about to be completely swallowed by the door.

The white cat’s figure swished past his side and was barely blocked by a stalactite pillar. Dong Zheng raised his hand to protect his head and face. Knowing that this was just a portal, he didn’t put much resistance and allowed himself to be sucked in through the door.

The moment his sight went dark, the wind stopped.

Dong Zheng fell to the ground and rolled twice to minimize the impact. He stood up, patted the dust off his body, and looked around. He seemed to have been directly transported outside. The dense woods obscured the light of the stars and the moon above his head, and a wolf was in the bushes, staring at him. A greedy light flashed in its scarlet eyes, and it made ready to pounce.

Dong Zheng didn’t even look at it. He raised his hand. The arrow shot out and directly penetrated the wolf’s head. The wolf only made a dying scream before it convulsed and fell silent.

Dong Zheng was about to recover the arrow, when he suddenly saw something flashed past a tree not far away,

The darkness in the forest made it hard to see, but this strangeness didn’t escape Dong Zheng’s eyes. The kernel unfolded and began scanning every inch of the ground and sky. There was a figure walking through the bushes and escaping in a certain distance. Finally, it squatted in the lushest place and curled up into a ball to hide.

Dong Zheng walked straight over and used the crossbow in his hand to move aside the branches and leaves, which made the other person tremble in terror.

“Don’t kill me!” With a fish head and a short stature, the other person raised his fin-like hands to cover his head, begging desperately. He trembled and said, “I won’t hurt you! Please don’t hurt me!”

Dong Zheng was a little surprised. He recognized this fish-head monster dressed in a long robe in front of him. He recalled the bones of the fish-head with human bodies on the beach.

“Don’t be afraid.” Dong Zheng took the crossbow away from the fish’s head and said, “Get up and talk.”

The fish-headed person stood up, his trembling figure unable to hide the fact that he was still very uneasy.

Dong Zheng said, “You are a fish-form sage?”

The fish-form sage was surprised. “Yes, I didn’t expect someone to recognize me. The people before me took me as a strange monster.”

Dong Zheng didn’t say useless nonsense, and said directly, “I saw many bones on the southeast coast. They are of your kind.”

“It’s that group of villains!” The fish-form sage immediately became excited, and the gills beside his angry cheeks violently opened and closed. “Those savage villains don’t want to listen to us telling the truth. They killed so many of my compatriots!”

Dong Zheng suddenly understood. “Are you talking about that British expedition from four hundred years ago? After you told them about the blood of the demon god?”

“How did you know?” The fish-form sage met Dong Zheng’s gaze by accident and began to tremble again as it shrunk its neck back with vigilance.

“I found the note the British expedition team left behind in the cave. They said that a creature with a fish head once told them that the blood of the demon god has an unparalleled power. Afterward, many people in the team wanted to break the seal and release the Demon God. As a result, the team officials executed those people.”

“He almost killed our entire race! We just told them some of the secrets of the island out of friendship, but he treated us like this! He thought we were demons spreading evil thoughts!” The fish-formed sage waved its fin-like hands. “We are the gods who came from the flood and are in charge of the order of heaven and earth! How can we be demons if we bring knowledge to uncivilized and ignorant mankind! ‌The demons are obviously those who despise life!”

Dong Zheng had personally witnessed those piles of bones. He didn’t agree with the expedition team’s practice in the past, but he could understand it a little. They didn’t want the demon god to have any possibilities of coming to the world. As a result, they rushed to kill the sages so that no one could listen to the fish-form sages and release the demon god.

“You’re the only one of your kind left?” Dong Zheng asked.

“There are other sages here. When I noticed that new people have come to the island, we all went into hiding,” the fish-form sage said. “We are afraid that what happened back then will happen again.”

Dong Zheng said, “You don’t have to worry, I won’t hurt you. On the contrary, I want to know more about the secrets of this island.”

The fish-form sage didn’t feel malicious intent from Dong Zheng, which allowed him to relax a little. He said, “Then let’s go to a safer place and talk.”

Led by a fish-form sage, Dong Zheng walked through the bushes for half an hour before he saw a temple standing in the moonlight from afar.

The fish-form sage climbed the stairs and said to Dong Zheng as introduction, “Each four corners of the island have a temple, where the blessings of the gods or demons are sealed. This is the West Temple.”

Dong Zheng recalled that Cui Zuojing had said that his seal was lifted in the western temple, and he asked, “Which god sealed his blessing here?”

“The God of Time, Ion.” The fish-form sage walked inside the temple. “Now few people know his name and only remember Cronus. But it is Ion who can control eternal time. Thousands of years ago, he and the other gods sealed the Demon God here, laid down their blessings, and left us behind to guard this place.”

The temple was empty, with many idols on both sides. It was very old, and in the middle was a high platform. The fish-form sage took Dong Zheng to a narrow door on the side. The small room contained a bed, table and chairs, all of which obviously indicated that the fish-form sage lived here.

Fish-form sage sat on the bed, and at his invitation, Dong Zheng sat in the opposite. He silently looked around and asked, “Do you know everything about the island?”

“When a sage dies, all the knowledge he holds will be passed on to those who are still alive. This allows everyone in our race to have a wealth of knowledge since ancient times. I dare not say that I know all the secrets of the island, but I know that other sages cannot know more than I do.”

“I want to know about the blood of the Demon God.” Dong Zheng said. “I have encountered a very difficult problem, and I need to recover as much power as possible.”

“I can sense that there are elements in your body that do not belong to you, and these elements are very powerful.” The fish-form sage raised his fin-shaped hand and gently placed it on Dong Zheng’s forehead, adding, “You can only hold on to them as a container for the time being, like a bottle that is overfilled. But there is always the risk of exploding, because they have not selected you.”

When Dong Zheng answered him with silence, the fish-form sage smiled and said, “The Demon God who was sealed under the ground is extremely powerful, and indeed, that is why a few gods were required to seal him. His blood contains an unimaginable amount of demon energy. But if you release him, the entire island will be destroyed, and the world will fall apart. Even so, you still want to do it?”

“Yes,” Dong Zheng whispered. “I have no other choice.”

Fish-form sage shook his head. “I do not agree with your choice. But if you insist on doing it, I won’t stop you, because no matter whether the demon god is sealed or not, this world will not exist for long. This is the fate of the world. When an outsider breaks in, everything will come to an end.”

Dong Zheng’s breath caught in his throat. Could it be that the fish-form sage was also an awakened NPC like Ficks in “Good Neighbors”?

“How do you know?”

The fish-form sage held his hands to his chest and looked up at the ceiling. His eyes seemed to penetrate the building itself and looked into the sky. “I can feel it. Maybe this is the will of the Creator. Every world has a beginning and an end. This world is destined to end with the coming of the demon god, but this is only the beginning of a new cycle.”

It seemed that the fish-form sage hadn’t awakened. Dong Zheng felt a little disappointed. He’d hoped to learn about the secrets of the Pure White Realm through the fish-form sage. For example, the meaning of the phrase “The world’s time has grown unchecked, but you and I are believers of entropy.”

This was fine. After all, there were still more important things for him to do at present. Dong Zheng said, “Can I ask you one thing?”

“Please tell.”

“I have a friend whose elemental power has been sealed off. ‌I would like to ask you to help him unlock the seal.”

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