As Han Shuo headed for the Cardinals’ Hall, Wolf described everything about the eldest cardinal to Han Shuo in great detail. Han Shuo felt sick to the stomach just hearing about the cardinal, having not even met him.
This cardinal named Kironlo had not just helped establish the Calamity Church. In fact, the whole reason that the entire Profound Continent joined forces in cracking down on the Calamity Church several hundred years ago was entirely thanks to this very person!
Why? Because back then, he had indiscriminately released the ‘Plague’ all over the Profound Continent, turning commoners of many countries into undead creatures overnight. The Plague was a type of infectious necromancy disease. Those who were infected by the plague would turn into zombies, and they would subsequently spread the disease further by biting other people.
Thanks to that nutjob Kironlo, who released the plague in each country, turning a great number of the populace into creatures of the undead, every single nation on the Continent was outraged. Before that deranged act of Kironlo’s, although the Calamity Church’s reputation on Profound Continent wasn’t as great as that of the Church of Light, it was still highly respected. Members of the Calamity Church back then could stand with much pride among the rest of the continent.
However, after the plague went viral, every country was panic-stricken and their attitudes towards the Calamity Church turned hostile. Consequently, the Calamity Church became the public enemy of the whole of Profound Continent.
During the battle against the plague, the Church of Light mobilized all of their white priests and toured each and every country. They exhausted a great amount of energy in purifying the masses of undead creatures infected with the plague.
It was also during that period that the Church of Light, which was then just a small religious organization, seized the once in a blue moon opportunity and climbed to the top spot as the number one religion on Profound Continent. Meanwhile, the Calamity Church became loathed and despised by all countries and had to flee into constant hiding. It was also around that period that this underground headquarters of the Calamity Church was established.
Kironlo, the main culprit of the catastrophe, was very lucky not to lose his life. Although some of those in the Church held grievances about his actions, as Kironlo was one of the eldest seniors of the Church and the Church’s existence was critically threatened at that time, they decided to exercise patience. In the aftermath, Kironlo, too, had recognized the detrimental effects his unspeakable actions alone had brought on the Calamity Church. In the following hundreds of years, he lived a reclusive life and stayed far away from affairs about the Church.
Kironlo was incredibly mighty to begin with. His painstaking cultivation during his hundreds of years of seclusion had allowed him to progress even further. He became one of the mightiest ancient existences of the Church. Kironlo’s current influence within the Church was second only to the Pope as many core members of the Church had previously received coaching from Kironlo. The lengthy passing of time had effectively pushed any memory of his grave mistake into the deep, dark annals of history. After keeping low-profile for many years, when he saw that the Church of Light was on the brink of destruction, he decided to emerge and stir up havoc yet again.
The Cardinals’ Hall was located at the center of Calamity Church headquarters. The hall had a solemn and heavy atmosphere. There was a bright magical lamp hanging from the ceiling made of dark stone and patterns of various evil gods carved onto every inch of the walls around them. Comfortable hides of some magical beasts were laid over the hard stone seats. White bones arranged into bizarre shapes were placed at the four corners of the Cardinals’ Hall.
When Han Shuo entered the hall, the dozen or so cardinals and that big fatty Pope had their gazes focused on Han Shuo. They were all of varying strengths. The mightiest was a basegod, while the weakest were sacred grades. They all looked extremely old and gave off an intense aura of wickedness while their eyes glittered either cruel, sinister, or unfeeling radiances.
Apart from the big fat Pope, there were altogether thirteen cardinals. Among them, one was a basegod, three were demigods, and the rest were all sacred-grade experts. Most of them cultivated in the energy of death, darkness, destruction, and summoning.
Wolf had described Kironlo’s appearance to Han Shuo beforehand. But without even deliberately sensing using his consciousness, at first glance, Han Shuo could tell that the tall and thin Kironlo with devilish green light radiating off his eyes was the guy. His body gave off so much aura of death that almost no presence of life could be felt from him. He had more similarities with an undead than a human.
While Han Shuo was scanning the crowd gathered in the hall, the crowd too were sizing Han Shuo up - especially Kironlo. Not only did he not care to conceal the hostility in his eyes, he would not stop examining Han Shuo with a gaze that would make an ordinary person feel their blood run cold.
Suddenly, a pulse of soul-probing energy from Kironlo came wrapping at Han Shuo. The corners of Kironlo’s mouth had even curved to make an eerie sneer when that soul energy was launched. It appeared that he wanted to humiliate Han Shuo.
Han Shuo, who came in with a stratagem, wore a genial smile all along and sized Kironlo up with a big smile on his face. Then, his consciousness struck. A soul energy much more powerful than that of Kironlo’s suddenly pulsated and fiercely pounded on Kironlo.
“Oww… “ Kironlo cried out in pain and held his head sorely. That inhuman appearance of his became even more malevolent and horrifying.
“How, how dare you attack me!” Kironlo who was smitten, after the pain in his head slightly eased, shouted and glared at Han Shuo with his gloomy and cold eyes.
Han Shuo did not respond. Instead, he looked at the big fatty in all smiles and said in an innocent manner, “Your Holiness, who is this person? I have just entered and haven’t even taken a seat. Why is he trying to slander me?”
All those present there were of decent strength. Although most of them were incapable of knowing what actually happened, they could faintly sense with their souls that the two had a confrontation. That innocent face of Han Shuo’s appeared very genuine. He had obviously gotten the better of Kironlo and yet he could pretend as though he was wrongly accused, and appeared so genuine at that. He immediately won the unanimous approval of everyone present for his skills in deception.
Truly a terribly despicable and malicious one. Indeed one of our own. No wonder the Church of Light couldn’t prevail over him! many of the cardinals in the hall inwardly lamented.
As sinister, cunning, and wicked people themselves, these people found Han Shuo’s practice to be admirable.
The plump Pope was left between laughter and tears when Han Shuo had obviously pained Kironlo and yet pretended to be innocent. The Pope forced two hollow laughs and tried to mediate, “This is just a misunderstanding…” But before either of the two could say a thing, he hastily raised his voice and announced, “Hey Hey! Let me introduce you to everyone. This handsome young man is the most outstanding member of our Church - Bryan! Haha, I believe I don’t have to narrate his past achievements to you all!”
“Courageous one. I could tell that you are one of us at the very sight!”
“Although you haven’t been at the Church all these years, we have never considered you as an outsider!”
Some of those in the room started praising Han Shuo in seemingly sincere and cordial lights.
It was at this moment that yet another party entered the hall. When Han Shuo turned around, he discovered that the new attendees were actually the six-horned tribal king of the Soul Race and his two penta-horned subordinates. Han Shuo was rather astonished as he didn’t understand why these aliens would be invited to such a high-level meeting of the Calamity Church.
“Bryan, let me introduce you. These are people on the same side as us. In that great war five thousand years ago, one of the leaders that lead our fight originated from their race!” the fat man quickly explained as though he knew of the grudges between the two.
Meanwhile, for some reason, that Kironlo suddenly turned silent. He was looking at Han Shuo and the six-horned tribal king as if he was waiting to see a joke unfold. He seemed to be waiting for the six-horned tribal king to attack Han Shuo.
It appeared that all the cardinals sitting inside this room were aware of the grudges between Han Shuo and the six-horned tribal king. These people had only heard of Han Shuo’s strength from hearsay and had never truly witnessed his power. Some were even skeptical of those reports. However, when it came to this six-horned tribal king of the Soul Race, a great majority of them had ingrained, first-hand impressions of his extremely terrifying strength. When they saw the two cross paths, they had amused looks in their eyes.
So it turns out that those of the Soul Race had participated in that great war involving the whole of Profound Continent five thousand years ago. No wonder! Han Shuo was greatly enlightened by the Pope’s words.
Han Shuo only took one glance around the hall before he realized what was in those cardinals’ minds from the emotions showing in their eyes. He sneered. But after carefully observing, Han Shuo noticed that only the big fat Pope had an unperturbed and calm look.
From this observation, Han Shuo inferred that Edwin and Belinda ought to have been so loyal to the Pope to report about what had happened between him and the six-horned tribal king on the day before. The Pope wouldn’t have handled it so calmly otherwise.
The rest of the cardinals had their gazes going back and forth between Han Shuo and the six-horned tribal king as though anticipating some form of drama. Kironlo was somewhat anxious when the two did not get into conflict. Then, as though suddenly recalling something, he put on an evil smile and said, “Aren’t the two of you acquainted? From our understanding, the two of you had previously met each other inside Tarrag Canyon. There had even been some misunderstandings between you two. Am I right?”
Kironlo also thought that the six-horned tribal king wasn’t good at distinguishing human appearances and therefore spoke his malignant reminder. He couldn’t wait to see Han Shuo be humiliated.
However, how was it possible Han Shuo wasn’t aware of this?
“Haha, that's right. Back at Tarrag Canyon, we did indeed run into some misunderstandings,” Han Shuo plainly acknowledged the fact.
Everyone in the room tensed up as though they were all expecting something to happen at the next instance. Their gazes were completely concentrated on the six-horned tribal king, waiting for him to strike. They knew that people of their race were cruel, ruthless, and did not have as much misgivings as a human would. It was only natural that they would expect that the tribal king would attack Han Shuo at once.
Kironlo was sneering in his heart. As he had previously personally fought with the six-horned tribal king along with the Pope, he knew better than anyone just how formidable the six-horned tribal king was. Seeing that a showdown was about to play out before them, the excitement in his heart had ballooned so much that he nearly couldn’t contain himself!
However, contrary to what the crowd had anticipated, the six-horned tribal king did not strike. The whole room was completely puzzled and they couldn’t understand what the six-horned tribal king was waiting for.
“It was Bryan who took your belongings, wasn’t it? Back then you even told me that you would kill him instantly if you saw him. What’s wrong?” Kironlo couldn’t wait any longer and explicitly reminded.