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    Chapter 136

    In that instant the angel moved, its head and wings were fully restored, just as described in the myths. Behind it stood six pairs of wings, with one set used to shield its body, revealing skin that was fair and delicate. Its features were a blend of both masculinity and femininity, creating an impeccable harmony.

    It unfurled its third pair of wings, completely obscuring the sun in the sky, transforming itself into a new solar orb with its perfect posture.

    The praise from the crowd below grew even louder, their faces flushed with fervor as they lauded the angel's divine presence. Under this chorus of adoration, players found it difficult to remain composed.

    A barrage of Sanity checks rang in Black Cat's and the Druid's ears.

    "Sanity Check: Failed"

    "Sanity Points -5"

    "Sanity Check: Succeeded"

    "Sanity Points -0"

    Black Cat vigorously shook its head, turning away from the angel. It summoned the secretly saved image of Lord Lane in its mind, barely managing to regain composure. At the same time, it tugged on the dazed Druid beside it, exclaiming, "Dzi, calm down!"

    "…I'm calm," the Druid said, his gaze distant. "But they…"

    The black cat fluttered its eyelids, barely managing to open them. Through this narrow slit, it saw fighter jets plummeting from the sky and the troops on the ground lowering their weapons, marching zombie-like towards the center, becoming part of them.

    "Success!" the Doctor cackled. "See, my dear Lord, Your plan was correct. From this moment on, Gabriel has been reborn!"

    Before the angel, a horn materialized. It lifted the instrument and blew, its sound waves turning invisible as they spread throughout all of Orlanda in an instant.

    The world before the black cat's eyes swirled. The scene of blood, disaster, and ruins suddenly transformed. Everything became fresh and new. Buildings turned pure white, symbolizing sanctity. Little angels descended from the heavens, while the great angel unfurled its six wings, blowing the horn and proclaiming the Lord's imminent return.

    In one of Orlanda's skyscrapers.

    The silver-haired man who had vanished deep within the Inspectorate sat atop the roof, overlooking the city.

    "I've been looking for you," a voice came from behind him. "Instead of overseeing the situation at the Inspectorate, you're here watching the spectacle?"

    Fate turned slightly, looking at the approaching Prophet with surprise in his eyes.

    The Prophet's smile was inscrutable. "Why? Surprised that I didn't fall victim to your trap?"

    Fate: "It won't kill you, and you still have some use to It."

    "Ah, here it is, the aspect of you I despise the most," the Prophet said. "You always assume that you see all, therefore believing you can predict everything. You expect the world around you to unfold as you anticipate, and if it doesn't, you feel compelled to correct it yourself."

    "Exactly for this reason, I have decided to part ways with you."

    Fate fell silent, then turned its gaze toward the angel in motion. "You are right."

    The Prophet scratched his ear. "Pardon me, did you say something?"

    "Because this power has entrapped me," Fate explained. "When all the bad and superfluous branches are pruned away, it means humanity's fate is bound to a single path. And when that path itself begins to falter, it's too late."

    The Prophet fell silent, but there was no joy in his eyes at his old companion finally showing vulnerability. Instead, a subtle sadness permeated his expression. "For you to speak thus means that you truly have no solution."

    Fate's lids drooped slightly.

    "In truth, I can no longer see the fate of humanity."

    The Prophet was surprised but, upon seeing the Oracle's silver-white, almost translucent eyes, he wasn't too astonished. "We've both grown old."

    "Yes, we've lived for so long that we no longer have the strength to bring about change," Destiny replied. "Perhaps you were right back then. Because of my indulgence, the Auditors have become accustomed to following my lead, and thus they've lost hope in 'change'."

    "So when you sought out Pan earlier, it was to test whether he stood on humanity's side?"

    Destiny nodded, then shook his head. "I had already confirmed his allegiance to humanity. Ever since the predetermined fate changed, I've been observing that city."

    "Humanity is approaching its end. No matter how I observe, I can find no means of altering the outcome this time. Thus, I must place my hope in the unseen."

    "Dreamworld," the Prophet exclaimed. "No wonder you've been so attentive to that organization of foreigners, even sending Kurt to assist them."

    "Sauron is the world's sole, and last, perfect being," Destiny explained. "He arrived on Earth in an accident thousands of years ago and has been slumbering in the glacier ever since. I found him and foresaw that one day he would open the gateway to Dreamworld. All I needed was to hasten that moment while I still could 'see' it."

    "You've placed your hope in that world, no wonder you allowedMitakihara to fall," the Prophet observed with an odd expression.

    "It's merely to leave a spark of hope for humanity," Destiny said nonchalantly. "Anyway, this world is doomed to destruction sooner or later. Over there, they might have a chance to survive. And haven't they been researching Dreamworld all along?"

    "From that fleeting glimpse through the portal, it seems that place isn't the 'Ark' you were hoping for," the Prophet taunted, but noticed Destiny's expression wasn't one of surprise. "Huh? Did you anticipate this situation as well?"

    "No, someone... an existence informed me," Fate said. "Prophet, do you recall 'God'?"

    "Of course, how could I forget?" The Prophet frowned, his heartbeat accelerating. "God contacted you?"

    Fate glanced at the Prophet's expression and shook his head. "Not the one you're thinking of. Another one. Unfortunately, it was Judas."

    "But Judas made a promise to me. Even if Earth is contaminated, humanity will still have a place to survive. In exchange, he hopes I assist him."

    The Prophet froze, a hint of tension appearing on his face. "You didn't agree to that, did you?"

    Fate remained silent. The Prophet grew anxious, almost reaching out, before Fate spoke. "If I had agreed, the Ark would be in his hands by now."

    The Prophet sighed in relief. Then Fate added, "But I didn't outright refuse either."

    He nearly choked on his breath, staring at Fate, who remained calm. "If destruction is truly inevitable, you know our mission."

    Yes, the original Three Wise Men were granted abilities by God, but they also bore a heavy burden – ensuring the survival of the human race.

    For this purpose, they were willing to make sacrifices, to abandon their human form, to allow other races to enslave or exploit them –

    Yet as long as the ember of humanity still flickers, there is hope.

    Be it foreigners, MIT, the Bureau, or now Orland, they were all dispensable in the eyes of Fate. He had made such decisions countless times, especially during the ancient era when humans struggled to survive.

    For a moment, the Prophet seemed to be drawn back into the darkness of the past by Fate's gaze. But he quickly regained his composure. "So, you went to Arkham to deliberately provoke Panthea, luring Her here?"

    Fate didn't deny it, his gaze turning to the angel blowing the horn.

    For him, this was a collision between the unknown and the unknown.

    Lan had upended his predetermined fate, something that had never happened before in his observations. As for 'Judas', being extraterrestrial, it was also an existence beyond his scope of perception.

    He aimed to discover in their first encounter a future where humanity could persist.

    ...

    Soothing celestial hymns filled the air, enchanting the listener. The black cat was captivated by the scene before him, a faint smile tugging at the corners of his mouth as he took a step forward—

    Suddenly, a sharp pain shot through his palm, jerking him out of the illusion. Looking around, he saw countless people had already spontaneously become believers of the angel, who was flying through the sky with wings spread wide. Wherever She went, hordes of fervent followers gathered on the ground to adore Her.

    The military was no exception. Black Cat gazed at the screen in the square where the host, with a beaming smile, announced that due to the devout faith of the nation's people, the angel Gabriel had descended from heaven to bring the Lord's gospel.

    ...What on earth is this?

    Black Cat felt a chill run down his spine. He instinctively looked down at his palm, where there was the pattern Lan had given them back when they were still in the Divine Realm – a compass leading to him.

    Originally, Black Cat and the Druid had hoped to attempt a player-led strategy. Well, now it seemed that if they didn't summon help soon, they would lose outright!

    He had already spotted quite a few veteran players among the ranks of those fervent believers.

    "Overturner of destinies,

    Mystery unspeakable,

    New ruler of nature and woods..."

    Black Cat immediately whispered the prayer, instinctively choosing the sacrifice he could afford: "I offer my body, beseeching you to descend!"

    No sooner had he spoken these words than Black Cat sensed a transformation within himself. He lowered his head and saw that he was melting.

    Oh, my.

    It turned out that "offering one's body" really referred to tearing the card.

    Black Cat's vision gradually became obscured by black spots, but strangely, the process of his body dissolving stopped once it reached a certain point.

    A seed sprouted from his chest, supporting the muscles that had already melted halfway and reviving his heart, which had lost its function due to half its melting, turning it into wood and making it beat again.

    "Black Cat?"

    "Black Cat, you're acting so strangely now."

    "I-I'm transforming into Lahn's shape—"

    Black Cat had no time to care about the comments or his new body.

    Perceiving something, he turned around expectantly and saw strange-colored plants sprouting from the concrete ground, as mist spread, enveloping the area.

    The Masked Pan, with a white cloth covering its face, emerged from the fog.

    Indeed, after Lann sensed the imminent onset of a significant crisis, his consciousness did not return to the embodiment of the red-haired youth but instead intended to hurry there directly in his true form. However, fearing the potential for mental contamination, he chose to traverse the mist directly.

    Sadly, there were no signposts in the foggy landscape, and though he set off in the direction of Orland, he had no idea where he actually was.

    Fortunately, just as Lane was on the verge of despair, he heard the black cat's prayer. It burned its own body as a beacon to guide him.

    Touched by this, Lane also knew that if he backed out now, Blackie wouldn't receive much of a reward. Therefore, he decided to give him a boost.

    "So..." Lane looked up at the sky. In his view, that creature with a human face and serpentine body was flying while emitting cacophony, its body glowing red as if covered in tumors, its wings densely dotted with eyes, and its face bearing the semblance of an ancient deity—yet the humans below were still captivated by it with fanatical fervor.

    What's going on here?

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