Chapter 123: Demon Claw (Part 2/2)
The platform was quiet for a few seconds before An Weng began to shake his head. "Ouyang, Ouyang, your current appearance is far from the appearance you have when you succeed with an experiment. You're lacking persuasive power."
Ouyang Chen maintained eye contact. "An Weng, not a hint of sincerity can be heard in any of your words aside from those involving doctrines."
An Weng's shriveled lips split apart, revealing a slit between his unusually clean and white teeth. A low, hoarse voice bubbled forth, "This amounts to nothing. The world does not move in accordance to our dialog. The decisive element does not lie in truth or lies, but in fixed facts. Ouyang, Xia City no longer revolves around the whims of you and I the moment you erected the Logic World... Do you want to make a bet?"
Ouyang Chen truly considered An Weng's question seriously, but he just sighed silently in the end. "All I've done is section off the channel that gathers elements of chaos, nothing more... I believe your First Oblatums have already abandoned the idea of sacrificing themselves."
An Weng did not react to these words, but the other two First Oblatums atop their respective buildings shrank a bit; it was as if they were hit on the head by a bat.
Zheng Xiao was speechless. He had the premonition long ago; he just suppressed it, that was all. He became more awake and the shock of it all was lessened quite a bit.
An Chengli was the one who had been truly knocked awake. He spoke, losing his voice, "What? Self-sacrifice…?"
As his words hung in the air, An Chengli's thoughts cut through into the Evolution Field. He had never been a fool, but the several setbacks within this short period of time had caused his mind to be not as clear, nothing else. After being ‘warned’ by Ouyang Chen, he looked at the changes with the projection of the Scales of Truth. The key point that he had once neglected manifested itself clearly at last.
"The two worlds are isolated and I am within the spatial rift. There aren't any terrified civilians, so where is the chaos element coming from? How could I have forgotten this simplest logic of all?"
An Chengli's gaze swept to his underlings who had vacant expressions. An Chengli then looked at the structured lines of light outside his body and a cold sweat dripped down him. He wanted to reach out with his hand, but then he discovered that he was restrained by An Weng as a means of punishment. He was not even able to move a single finger an inch.
Yet at the same time, the power he had accumulated within his body linked closely together with the lines of light outside him. His power was being siphoned away layer by layer, flowing into the Evolution Field.
This was a spell, so energy consumption was necessary. In addition, An Chengli had suffered a whiplash earlier on. He felt weaker than normal, so he was not as sensitive to the loss of his body's energy.
It was because of this that he did not realize that energy was being siphoned from him during this period of time. Additionally, the amount of energy far exceeded what was necessary to maintain the spell. More than half of the power that he had accumulated for many years had been siphoned away without his knowledge. It was without a doubt that this power was all transformed into the mass atop the Scales of Truth. It was to correct the Scales of Truth's damned unbalanced state.
An Chengli already had over half of his power drained away, but the siphoning speed was getting worse and worse!
An Chengli could not refrain from cursing, "Old man, You've gone mad!"
As he let loose his curse, light and shadow fluctuated between the three buildings. The Evolution Field field was turning tangible from its previous incorporeal state. It had manifested within the void to declare its existence to all.
The rest of the magical symbols and diagrams did not amount to much as all their gazes were focused on the center of the enormous scales. There existed a black plate and a white plate. One raised, one lowered. The critical unbalanced state was revealed to everyone's eyes.
One could see that the layout of having the white plate lowered and the black plate raised still remained, but there was an opposing trend. The white plate was slowly rising while the black plate was slowly sinking. The difference in mass between the two sides was gradually leveling out.
Of course, the price came from An Chengli, Zheng Xiao, and even An Weng. Their energy was being siphoned away.
"Why did you choose me!? Why did you choose me!?"
An Chengli was unwilling to sacrifice himself for this spell. Though the three certainly would share the cost, the current trend would make him the first to fall. Why?
It must be known that he was An Weng's grandnephew. He was the youngest and he had the highest prospects. Though he was not as strong as An Weng, he must be stronger than Zheng Xiao by a bit, right? It could not be because he had failed as an Inquisitor at disposing Luo Nan, right?
As he struggled with all his might, Zheng Xiao's thought cut into the Evolution Field, "An Weng, just who did you choose as the underlying mass?"
A shiver suddenly ran through An Chengli like he was waking from a dream.
That's right, who was the underlying mass? The underlying mass had yet to reveal itself on the white plate but it determined the upper limit for the element of chaos. If that mass was less than the total power of the three First Oblatums, then he could still be saved...
This thought was released and the Evolution Field switched images. What appeared was a certain location within the building.
The region had been flattened by the shock wave of the clash. Fairchild remained spotless in his white robes, without even a speck of dust. And Baze, who was more muscular than Fairchild, looked like a raging rhino. He charged at high speeds, flinging his body to fly. He crashed through the glass wall to fall to the bottom of the building.
This height was not enough to kill Baze but it would be hard for Baze to get in a tangle with Fairchild anytime soon. As for the other Oblatum Knights, without Baze acting as a meat shield, it was meaningless for them to charge up to Fairchild.
Fairchild lifted his head and looked up. The Evolution Field just so happened to give him a close-up shot.
Fairchild had clearly sensed that the Evolution Field was ‘paying attention’ to him. His gray pupils swiveled to face the dusky void outside the building.
Then his figure suddenly shot up in the next moment. He climbed out of the window, stood on the side of the building, and flew up vertically. The height of several dozen floors would not take him much time at all; it would be easy for him to reach the rooftop.
"The Truth is above me!"
Regardless of the furious An Chengli or the calm Zheng Xiao, after clarifying An Weng's intentions, the two First Oblatum felt like they were suffocating. An uncontrollable despair swept their hearts and souls.
It was Fairchild. The strong who was a hair under the level of Extraordinary. He was the underlying mass that An Weng had found!
An Weng was the most powerful of the three First Oblatums but he was already old and withered. No matter how strong his mental power was, his fleshly body was on the verge of collapse. The remaining two First Oblatums did not even equal one An Weng when added together.
Just purely considering the energy of their essence and blood, even if there were two An Wengs, would that be enough to match the Ears of Truth—Fairchild?
Obviously... It was not.
Since this was the case, it would be impossible to gather enough chaos element from them. The unbalanced state of the Scales of Truth would truly engulf them completely. Moreover, the first one to fall would be An Chengli!
An Chengli's mind was unstable as his energy was being siphoned even faster. He tried calling out to his underlings and there truly were a few loyal believers who wanted to rush over to help when they saw his crazed appearance.
However, they could only make it halfway across before An Weng sighed. His hands extended out from his spacious robes. His thumbs and forefingers touched to form a triangle. His other six fingers clasped each other, forming a seal-art corresponding to the Evolution Field.
"Being stupid doesn't matter. Being exposed completely bare really makes one helpless."
An Chengli's mouth gaped open. His eyeballs were practically bulging out. It happened right when his eyeballs were about to detach from their sockets. The Evolution Field's defensive mechanism—which had been concealed all this time—activated soundlessly. The structured lines of light crossed and intersected through An Chengli's loyal believers.
Flames of deep darkness exploded as it ignited forth. From the outside to the inside. From the inside to the outside. It burned through these people completely. They were not granted a swift death. The shrieked miserably, their hands waving and their feet stomping. All their fear and despair was fused into this flame and shone into the eyes of their peers, penetrating down to the depths of their hearts.
The Evolution Field displayed this scene with great clarity. The glowing flames leaped and soared but it was as if a coldness had frozen everything over. The Order's multitude of cultists, priests, and knights were all frozen in shock on the spot.
An Weng did not say it explicitly, but the meaning behind his actions were extremely clear.
Adding the three First Oblatums would not yield enough chaos element to match Fairchild. But if drastic measures were taken, if more people were burnt as offerings, then there would be enough.
The plates of the projection of the Scales of Truth continued to move in a steady manner as the element of chaos continued to be amassed. But in the end, should they be hoping that the process would go slower? Or faster?
An Chengli was truly at a loss for what to do in this moment.
He followed the instincts of a First Oblatum and prayed toward the Order's holy entity. However, with An Weng in between them like a dark cloud over his head, what he received was just the emptiness of despair.
Who's going to save me? As long as I make it out alive, anyone is fine with me...
An Chengli could no longer move his body and his consciousness gradually froze. There was only a little bit of consciousness that grasped at life; it still existed within the fear and despair. It was like a flickering flame that continued to struggle.
The ice-cold darkness descended upon him slowly and his flame of hope gradually sank, growing fainter and fainter. But when this flame was pressed into the depths of his soul, when this hope let out its final glow, it shone with a bizarre shadow that was seemingly familiar.
Another intense shiver ran through An Chengli. The mental connection had yet to fully surface when arthropod limbs—which were more akin to sharp blades—pierced the depths of his soul. They bent, squeezed tight, and ground against each other.