Chapter 361: Gavashan’s Curse
(Hydra Star System- Planet Leviathan)
(Temple of The Fallen)
Rachel could see nothing but darkness as she was led for what seemed like hours through an endless labyrinth of tunnels and passageways.
The Temple of the Fallen was built on planet Leviathan and was considered one of the most important holy sites for the Nephilim Church.
It was said that centuries ago, a demonic knight named Igrin Gavashan received a prophecy from an archdemon.
The monstrous entity proclaimed that this planet contained a portal to hell.
Humanity’s sins would be drawn to this planet and infect the population with wanton depravity.
The origins of this story have been debated heavily over the years with many scholars of the church insisting that the man never existed.
However, there is no doubt that there is something strange about this planet.
There are traces of an alien civilisation but no fossils or bodily remains have ever been found.
Instead, all the primitive buildings, gathering places and tombs remain empty as though the entire species simply vanished.
There were reports of psychosis and insanity among the first colonisers to arrive on the planet and all attempts to build a major city have failed.
Over the years, exhaustive testing has been done on the strange nature of this planet using prisoners and political captives.
It was discovered that the psychotic effects would only occur once an individual stayed on the planet for a length of time longer than one month.
The cause or reason for this madness was never found.
Hence, some netizens on the virtual net called this phenomenon ‘Gavashan’s Curse’.
The Nephilim Church was the only organization brave enough to establish a temple on this cursed land.
What methods they used to avoid the effects of long-term exposure remained a mystery to outsiders.
Or perhaps the residents housed inside the temple had gone mad years ago…
“So… am I going to be walking for longer or….am I going to see that oracle something next week?” Rachel asked sarcastically.
The faceless guards escorting the young saintess-in-training refused to answer her questions but the firm grip on her arm tightened.
Rachel smiles lightly and paid no attention to the increased strength that the guard exerted.
Members of the Quafes race had no pain receptors so it was useless to try to intimidate them with violence.
The young saintess was wearing her ceremonial white robes and had tied up her curly hair in a single braid for the occasion.
A heavy linen cloth was wrapped around her deep chocolate brown eyes so that the path to the center of the temple remained hidden.
It was more of a symbolic gesture since Rachel could always just make an eye appear on the surface of her hand or another part of her body but she chose not to.
Bishop Walsh had exhausted all of his connections in order to grant her the opportunity to meet with an oracle.
She owed the bad-tempered old man a favour and Rachel could already predict what he would request.
No more weekend parties. No more Friday night orgies. No more disrespect towards her fellow church members.
“We have arrived,” a cold voice stated.
A low dark growl came from Rachel’s side as she felt the hand on her shoulder disappear.
She curiously extended a tendril of her body liquid outwards to search for her guards but they had long vanished.
“Um… hello?” Rachel cautiously spoke.
“Welcome to my house child,” came the reply from an elderly sounding voice.
Rachel coughed nervously and then tried her best to maintain a polite attitude as she conversed with the mysterious figure,
“Are you the oracle? I have a request that I would like to make.”
There was a brief moment of silence and Rachel felt an immense pressure begin to weigh down on her body.
For what felt like hours, she remained frozen in place and unable to move or speak.
No matter how hard she tried, somehow her ability to shapeshift no longer seemed to work.
Suddenly a pair of warm hands grabbed the linen cloth wrapped around her face and pulled it off with extreme force.
Rachel’s head jerked back and her eyes slowly opened to reveal a spacious hall.
Enormous pillars of salt rose up from the ground and statues of a goat-headed figure could be seen hiding behind the columns.
Demonic symbols were painted on the floor and the entire room was dimly lit by a brazier in the center of the hall.
Purplish-black flames danced merrily in the middle of the brazier and shone with a hypnotic light that captured her attention.
A creature covered by a reddish robe was standing before her. Its body was completely covered by the garment.
Rachel took a few steps backwards in shock and was relieved to discover that the intense pressure had vanished.
The mysterious figure stepped forward with slow purposeful steps until its covered face was mere inches away from Rachel’s own.
“Archangel Raziel chose you?” a frail elderly voice came from the center of the creature.
“Impossible! That boring old angel has not chosen a worthy host in eons!” another more youthful voice argued.
Rachel’s eyes narrowed as she observed that the creature’s body that was hidden behind the red robe kept shifting as different voices added to the conversation.
“She reeks of lust! How could the angel of secrets choose her?”
“Raziel always liked to pick up broken things…”
“Think we can convert her? No.. there is no inner darkness inside her heart.”
The creature continued to argue with itself for several minutes as Rachel kept a steady hand on the hilt of her sword.
At the first sign of aggression, she was prepared to unleash her blade and swing it forward. There was something about the unknown being in front of her that was unnerving.
Rachel’s eyes briefly glowed as a ring of golden flames appeared in the center of her pupils. She decided to use her judgement vision to peek into the oracle’s nature.
The saintess-in-training fell to the ground as the severe mental backlash caused her to experience a temporary loss of bodily control.
Rachel’s avatar flickered briefly as her arms and legs turned back into her liquid state. It took her a few moments to regain a stable form.
Meanwhile the mysterious creature continued to loudly argue with itself as though nothing had happened.
This was getting nowhere.
Rachel mustered up all of her courage and bravely whispered, “Excuse me… my friend Sophie Peterlor is missing and I need your help to find out where she is.”
The voices immediately stopped and Rachel could feel a dark presence staring at her from beyond the void.
Holy light surrounded her body and soon this unpleasant feeling vanished without a trace.
The red robed figure walked forward and placed an object in her right hand.
There was no explanation nor did it say a single word.
Rachel’s vision turned to darkness and when she opened her eyes, she found herself in the medical ward onboard the starship she had used to travel to planet Leviathan.
Held in her palm of her hand was a plain brown envelope.