After Pride said those words, Su Jin felt his body shake violently. A bright white light around Pride flickered and ate up everything around Su Jin.
A few seconds later, everything had disappeared. Su Jin’s surroundings had turned completely white, as if he lived on a piece of paper. There was only one other person on this piece of paper, and that was Pride.
Pride had a pair of white wings, which were a hallmark of an angel. It also had a head that kept changing face, and that was part of its original body.
“The seven deadly sins are Pride, Greed, Wrath, Gluttony, Lust, Jealousy and Sloth. They’re tied to catholic philosophy and represent the seven unforgivable types of Original Sin. But besides these seven deadly sins, there are seven other famous names – the seven archangels.”
Pride looked at Su Jin a little curiously and didn’t do anything, as if he was waiting to hear Su Jin finish talking about the archangels.
“Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raguel, Sariel and Remiel. These were the seven angel leaders and represented holiness. I didn’t expect the seven Original Sins to be connected to the seven archangels like this. So, which archangel are you?” Su Jin had a wavering look in his eye. This Challenge had been unpredictable right from the beginning and nothing had been within his control, so he wasn’t surprised anymore.
Pride nodded and said, “Not bad, not bad. Not many people still know about such things, not even those who profess to believe in this faith. All they do is to pray and ask to be protected, but they don’t even know who’s the one protecting them, which is a joke in itself. But the bigger joke is how they think that they can keep this attitude and still receive protection.”
“Pride, greed, wrath, gluttony, lust, jealousy and sloth form what your God calls original sin, doesn’t it? As God’s creation, it’s only normal for humans to have these sins. Since your God has already ordained all this, then you should have known all this beforehand. Why are you complaining now?” Su Jin spoke nastily to Pride. He had no intention of buttering up to Pride since that wouldn’t do anything for him.
Pride laughed and nodded. “You’re right. I’m not God and I cannot understand his ways. All I can do is to follow what he tells me to do.”
“You still haven’t told me which archangel you are.” Su Jin wanted to know Pride’s other identity. Not knowing enough information made him very uneasy because he felt that with more information, he might stand a chance of winning this battle.
“I didn’t say I was an archangel. Just like God, the archangels are the pinnacle of light and I can only look toward them!” Pride sighed, then looked at Su Jin and laughed. “I know what you’re thinking about. I have to say that you’re really different from everyone else. You’ve refused to acknowledge the existence of all the Original Sins and brought all your companions here. I have to compliment you on that.”
“Are you mocking me? Actually…wait. Right from the beginning, all of you already planned for seven people to get to this point, right?” Su Jin’s expression fell. He got it now. The 14 owners were actually sacrifices. Sacrifices meant for the seven Original Sins to evolve.
“If my guess is correct, you started with using the Original Sins to kill off seven owners, so that you could absorb the power from their souls that you needed, since that’s something you need for a revival ritual. Then you pushed us into this place so that we would put the items in the introduction to this Challenge into the right slots and activate the golden compass, which all contributed to your metamorphosis.” Su Jin had finally understood where all of this was leading to. In short, all the owners were here in order to aid the seven Original Sins in their metamorphosis.
“That’s right. But this is not the end,” said Pride with a nod.
Su Jin nodded as well and said in a grim voice, “Of course this isn’t the end. The remaining seven of us are also going to become food for all of you, since it’s obvious that your metamorphosis is not complete and you need another source of power. If you consider the first seven who died as negative energy, then those of us who have struggled to survive till now and are still holding out hope for the end represent positive energy… We’re actually your food for the final transformation!”
Pride fell silent for a moment, then burst out laughing. “HAHA! You’re really clever, really, really clever. If you were around during my God’s most glorious era, you would have been chosen to have your ignorance put aside and to become one of us.”
Su Jin’s lips twitched as he sneered, “I’m not interested.”
“Well, since you’ve been so clever, let me give you a chance to guess who on earth we really are,” said Pride with a big grin on its face. It was as if Pride were playing a cat and mouse game with Su Jin, like a cat playing with its food before finally eating it.
Su Jin tried to recall everything he knew about this religion. He had taken a theology course back in university. But at that time, he had taken it purely because he was curious and wanted to learn about everything. Back then, he was a youth who had grown up in a mountain village, so even though this course would probably not prove useful for work, he had absorbed all the information like a sponge.
However, it had been a number of years since he graduated, so he had forgotten many of the things he had learned.
As Su Jin tried to recall, his psychokinesis worked like a librarian that sorted out all the information inside his brain into categories and picked out the information that he needed at that moment.
His eyes suddenly lit up as he seemed to have hit something useful. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for him to make a guess.
“Sariel! According to legend, Sariel was the angel in charge of the moon and considered to be one of the fallen angels. But according to the book of War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Sariel was on the side of the Sons of Light, so Sariel was considered to be an angel with two identities – he could be darkness, and he could also be light!” The last phrase that Su Jin uttered meant the same thing as what Pride said when it had walked out from the door of light earlier.
Su Jin was just guessing, but towards the end, he was sure that he was right. Sariel was an archangel, and even though there wasn’t much written about him, his situation was so similar to Pride’s.
Pride bowed slightly towards Su Jin and said, “My goodness! I can’t believe you managed to come up with so much just based on what I’ve said. You’re really clever, but all intelligent people are…”
“…are prideful,” Su Jin finished Pride’s sentence before it could. Then he said, “But it can’t be that all the Original Sins are Sariel. That…doesn’t make sense. Besides, you said that you’re not an archangel.”
“That’s right! But…we can become the seven archangels,” said Pride as he started walking briskly towards Su Jin.
“Become the archangels?!” Su Jin finally understood what was going on. “The seven archangels have fallen and they no longer exist…”
Pride stopped walking and looked at Su Jin in surprise, while Su Jin continued, “But for some reason, you have a way to revive these archangels, and all seven of you are vessels for the archangels to be reborn into. This so-called metamorphosis is actually to allow the archangels to take on your bodies!”
Su Jin had finally found one end of the messy ball of yarn, so he was able to unravel the entire mystery. This whole thing seemed very complicated at first, but once he had grasped a key point in the story, he could piece the rest together.
Pride was even more surprised now. He complimented Su Jin, “That’s right! That’s exactly what we’re trying to do. You should feel honored that you’re going to become part of seven archangels!”
But Su Jin didn’t want any part of this. By this same logic, pork could become part of him too, but he never thought the pig should thank him for eating it.
“Pride – its fault is haughtiness, the punishment is a heavy weight,” Su Jin repeated the correct latter half of the poem that Ning Meng recited to him earlier. He felt that this latter half was going to help him out of this dead end.
“Do I have to hold him down with something heavy?” Su Jin could see Pride coming closer and closer to him and cold sweat trickled down his forehead. Perhaps he had guessed it right, but he didn’t have anything on hand right now that could do that.
“Pride, I do not acknowledge your existence! I’m banishing you right now!” Su Jin’s eyes lit up. He had a theory in mind and it might prove to be his chance at surviving this.
“How dare you do that! Argh!” Immediately after Su Jin said those words, part of Pride’s body was forced out and was now a floating ball of milky white light.
Su Jin retrieved his Demon Lord’s Longbow and took aim at it. The milky white ball of light could not escape the sparkles from the arrow and was vaporized instantly.
But the rest of Pride’s body was still around. It was now a headless angel’s body and it was still walking towards Su Jin.
“That’s not going to work! I am light and darkness combined, so unless you can destroy both elements, I will not die and I will eventually be revived!” Its voice now came from the angel’s chest, which made it seem even creepier.
“Then I’ll kill the light!” Su Jin sent out another Roar of the Demon Lord attack without hesitation. He was determined to destroy this angel’s body.
But to his horror, the sparkles fell apart once it got near the angel’s body. A white glow broke the Demon Lord’s Spirit Power down completely and it wasn’t able to hurt the angel’s body at all.
Su Jin was too stunned for words. The only thing he had that could kill something as powerful as this creature was the Demon Lord’s Longbow. Now that the Demon Lord’s Longbow was no match for his opponent, there was nothing he could do.
“What do I do now?” thought Su Jin. He was really panicking now because he knew that if he couldn’t get rid of this angel’s body, he was going to die.
The angel swung a fist at Su Jin and sent a flash of white light towards Su Jin. But Su Jin reacted quickly enough and escaped before the white light could engulf him.
“Is this it? Is this how it ends?” Su Jin gritted his teeth. He really didn’t know what else to do. He had used everything he had and was still unable to defeat his enemy. Death was only a matter of time now.
“You shall become part of the archangels and live forever!” The angel lifted its arm again and the white light in its fist seemed even more dazzling than before.
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