Chapter 72 “The Information From The Meeting”
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To be fair, these cultists are actually quite cautious.
They didn’t believe the strange “compatriot” just because Duncan took out the sun talisman, nor did they easily believe him because he explained what happened on the sacrifice grounds.
Instead, they observed Duncan’s words and deeds along the way and even conducted an additional verification procedure to confirm the stranger’s identity after arriving at the assembly hall – they had done their best in terms of being cultists in hiding.
But all of their screening measures assumed Duncan was a “normal human being”.
That’s a mistake and likely a serious one.
The tall, skinny little leader retrieved the inconspicuous strip of cloth from Duncan, seemingly completely unaware of the change in the power of this sacred object.
Then, pointing to the corner of the assembly hall: “Compatriot, rest over there first.
You are not the only new face here.”
Duncan nodded and walked to that inconspicuous corner while paying attention to every face in the basement.
Unlike what he had seen in the sewer grounds before, he was surprised to find that none of the Sun worshippers wore the iconic black robes that were unique to their religion but dressed like ordinary citizens despite some still wearing black clothes.
He asked the cultist beside him curiously: “Don’t we need to hide our face”
The cultists he questioned looked surprised: “… Do you native believers in Pland hide your faces when you meet”
Duncan immediately frowned slightly: “You are not from Pland…”
“We came from Lunsa,” another believer next to him said calmly.
After confirming that the stranger in front of him was really a member of the sun faith, the followers here were obviously letting their guard down.
“Everyone here only managed to settle down last week, but before we could contact the local branch, the attack happened…”
“Everyone here is from Lunsa” Duncan was a little surprised as he realized why there were so many suntists in the city despite the big event several days ago.
“Mhmm, most of us are compatriots from Lunsa, but there are also other members from other city-states that gathered at the calling.” Another believer next to him joined the conversation, “Alas, you have more or less heard about the situation here, so I won’t repeat it.
For the past four years, those damn hounds from the Storm Church have been fighting our cause….
It must’ve been hard on you all who stayed behind in Pland.
Thankfully that’s in the past now.”
Duncan nodded noncommittally and then heard the believer he questioned before speak again: “This dove on your shoulder is real… unusual.”
Twitching out of his eye, he knew Ai’s presence would draw a lot of attention, but the ghost captain didn’t expect this level of a draw.
Acting casually: “This is my pet.
It can help me do a lot of things.”
Despite the bland appearance, the thoughts in his mind were already running wild at what he had gathered: a large number of Sun followers were pouring into the city-state of Pland and they’re planning something big!
To think my little scheme of fishing in troubled waters is actually paying off!
At the same time, he also understood why the cultists attending the rally here did not hide their faces.
Unlike the local natives, these outsiders didn’t need such an arrangement.
They already knew each other from the start and mostly came from the same city-state.
Moreover, they lacked the experience and discipline that came about in Pland due to the constant purging from the Storm Church.
In retrospect, dressing casually also had its benefits.
If the meeting did get bombed by the authorities, these folks could just make a run for it through the crowds and blend in.
By then, who could tell who’s who
Then suddenly, Duncan detected a gaze shooting his way.
Immediately looking over, he locked onto the owner according to his intuition – a petite girl with short black hair standing more than ten meters away.
The girl wore a black dress embellished with white lace, her face was beautiful and calm, and she looked about the same age as Nina.
However, the most striking thing was not any of the details mentioned, but the dark red ring with a delicate silver bell hanging from the neck.
This trinket gave the girl a cute but particularly strange appearance.
The girl naturally turned her gaze elsewhere once the man looked over—she shifted silently to avoid eye contact, but it was obvious the girl knew she’s been caught!
Why is there such a young kid in this gang of cultists
Duncan couldn’t help but wonder in his heart.
He got this strange inkling sensation that, unlike the cultists here, the girl didn’t belong in this environment.
While thinking about it, the sound of the door shaft turning suddenly interrupted the noise, followed by the thin, tall cult leader ordering the exit to be closed and for them to gather at the center.
Duncan collected his thoughts and paid close attention to the changes on the scene.
Eventually, the man at the center spread his arms to showcase a familiar item in his hand.
It was a pale golden sun mask—precisely the same mask worn on the face of the cult priest who presided over the sacrifice ritual during Duncan’s first spirit walk.
“Honor to the glory of the Lord, we shall now silently recite the mantra under the Lord’s gaze,” said the tall, thin man in a reverent tone.
“Bow down to this blessed mask, and may the shelter of the heirs of the sun support me and guide my brothers and sisters.”
The surrounding worshippers immediately chanted the name of the real sun god in unison while making a fist-praying gesture to the forehead.
This was their way of worshipping the golden mask, not the wearer.
After the recital, the tall, thin man solemnly puts the mask on as expected.
Of which, Duncan immediately noticed the change in the air and the person’s temperament….
He couldn’t say what this feeling was as if another character had descended upon the mask and its wearer.
Regardless, a powerful consciousness was projecting its power through the golden mask, similar to what Duncan was doing with this specific shell.
“May the glory of the Lord endure forever! May the ways of the Lord come to the world!” The surrounding believers exclaimed in unison over the new arrival.
This strange heavy atmosphere wasn’t that new to Duncan.
He had seen the priest wear this mask in the sewer before, but unlike this time, that shell he used was dead and already deceased.
On top of that, he had missed the summoning ritual, which might explain why he didn’t get the same pressure as now.
Perhaps there’s a reason for calling these priests the “Emissary” instead of mere formality and rank.
Maybe a communication device
After connecting the dots on this interesting item, Duncan’s eyes changed from curiosity to a glowing desire to own it.
Maybe that mask and I are fated….