Chapter 317: Worthy Prey
What is the difference between a servant and a slave?
Many cultivators would say that there seems to be truly little separating the two concepts.
Most scoff at the very notion of ever being either.
Both positions involve working for a master or mistress by faithfully carrying out their orders with some even having to devote a lifetime to service.
It is not an easy task nor is it necessarily a rewarding one.
All creatures no matter how big or small are inherently selfish with wants, thoughts and desires of their own.
Being a servant or a slave means that your desires are inherently less important than the ones of your masters.
Perhaps the only difference… was free will.
Slaves do not have a choice in choosing their masters, but a servant chooses to serve.
The servant picks the master just as much as the master picks the servant.
And I have made that choice.
“You are the strongest to enter this place,” a cold voice whispered softly into the ears of the figure kneeling down on the ground.
The air shimmered slightly due to the intense heat produced by the volcano in the middle of this small world.
Captain Dawn knelt and continued to chant piously seemingly without any concern about the droplets of sweat that ran down the sides of his face.
Unlike the frail, elderly man Sophie had seen inside the pit…
Captain Dawn’s appearance inside the trial was identical to his former self.
A physically imposing build with rippling muscles that were barely contained by the thin tribal shirt he wore.
Long flowing locks of golden hair drooped softly on his shoulders and two deep chocolate brown eyes stared at the faceless guardian.
“Do you wish to undergo the trial?” the guardian chuckled darkly.
A cacophony of boisterous laughs and mocking jeers could be heard coming from the void beyond the small world.
Captain Dawn could feel the auras of several powerful presences locking on to his location from somewhere beyond his senses.
One wrong move and…
The guardian clapped its hands twice which caused thousands of magma creatures to erupt from the slow-moving lava inside the pit of the volcano.
Each of these molten beings were from different species and races with various styles of clothing and weaponry.
The guardian was also composed of molten rock and Captain Dawn watched expressionlessly as it transformed into a mirror image of himself.
“Would you join me for eternity?” the guardian reached out a hand and playfully spoke.
Captain Dawn rose up from the ground and replied to the guardian with no fear in his tone,
“I will undergo the trial and succeed. Please do not delay my time any further.”
There was a brief moment of silence as the guardian tilted its head in an almost puzzled motion.
This was truly an odd challenger.
He was only the second to reach the last stage of the trial since that adorable cutie who had left a few days earlier.
What was her name again?
Sally? Selena? Soos?
Well…it didn’t really matter.
The guardian stopped reminiscing and used its mental force to sweep through the challenger’s body and enter inside his mind.
No prohibited items were detected, and it appeared that the challenger had successfully fused with the god of creation from the last stage.
Huh… that’s a rare one.
The guardian couldn’t remember the last time that a challenger had decided to kill Khul rather than the god of destruction.
“Well then…” the guardian muttered thoughtfully.
“Your trial will begin…”
An endless surge of qi energy formed in the middle of the small world and begun to rotate slowly like a whirlpool.
The force was so intense that Captain Dawn struggled to stand upright under the immense pressure.
Small cuts and wounds were sliced into the captain’s flesh, but the fanatical Hyperion knight appeared to be unfazed.
The speed of the whirlpool got faster and faster until a fiery tornado of hot wind appeared in the center of the volcano.
The guardian made a series of complicated hand gestures and yelled,
“Ne’re secrete oom shantie raspetr!”
Five enormous pillars of dark obsidian appeared, and the whirlpool of qi energy vanished instantly.
The guardian stared at the pillars for a few minutes, it was impossible to see an expression on its featureless face and yet… there was a palpable sense of grief.
Would today be the day that one of its precious seedlings would find a new master?
Captain Dawn could sense an ancient and fearsome power barely contained inside of the obsidian pillars that was both familiar and strange.
“Pick one,” the guardian suddenly spoke.
“What do you mean?” Captain Dawn replied in confusion.
“You heard me challenger… I’m not going to repeat myself,” the guardian spoke emotionlessly.
The five identical pillars hovered in midair as if frozen in time.
The army of magma creatures were oddly silent as the Hyperion knight struggled to come to a decision.
Captain Dawn was not a reckless man and did not rush to make a hasty judgment.
The problem was that there was too little information.
This wretched molten abomination and just said to select one pillar and then refused to say anything more.
Time slowed down to a crawl as Captain Dawn used a qi movement technique to float towards the pillars.
He circled each obsidian pillar desperately trying to find the slightest clue or difference between them.
Nothing could be found as each pillar was completely identical.
Like all of the other times in his life, Captain Dawn turned to prayer to find the answer he sought and to experience the bond between master and servant.
Captain Dawn closed his eyes and begun to chant religiously,
“Oh Father. The lord of light and the stars above. The holy one for whom the flames of heaven will always burn.”
“The sinners will be baptised in your righteous flames as I your humble servant seek to rid the universe of evil.”
“May your faith spread through this world and beyond with all life kneeling beneath your feet.”
“For there is mercy in death.”
A warm current of power flowed into the captain’s chest that resonated with the divine power he had gained from the second stage of the trial.
There were no doubts in the mind of the captain.
There was only faith and devotion.
Faith in the god who had taken everything from the man who had once been called Jason but was now reborn and remolded as Captain Dawn.
The guardian clenched its molten fist in displeasure as it saw clearly how a stream of divinity was being injected inside the challenger’s dantian from beyond the universal barrier.
This could only mean one thing….
A new vessel was about to be born.