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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 163

    Despite the quest to find a water source, would God Amongst Men allow Gloomy Guy's smartphone camera to slip out of the players' control? Of course not.

    Thus, as they journeyed on, Gloomy Guy held his phone high to record, while God Amongst Men periodically warned him of rustling sounds over there or fleeting shadows here, causing them both to hastily flee in panic. Forced by circumstance, Gloomy Guy continued to follow the script written by the players and made his way towards the library.

    "Bang!"

    With the library door slammed shut, the two of them finally breathed a sigh of relief.

    "Good gracious, this is enormous," the gloomy man exclaimed, holding his phone up to capture the vastness of the library and its countless books.

    "Be cautious. Perhaps we should leave promptly to avoid being discovered," his companion advised.

    "Oh no, I think we should at least wait until those footsteps you heard earlier have left," the gloomy man replied, engrossed by the books. Fortunately, the library seemed deserted at this hour. "And don't you think this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about them? The depth of knowledge reveals an organization's foundation. I mean, I haven't seen so many ancient texts even in our church."

    This was precisely why we brought you here, God Among Men thought to himself.

    "Absolutely, let's split up and explore."

    "Alright, gather at the entrance in ten minutes, regardless of what you find."

    The two temporarily parted ways. The gloomy man was oblivious to the fact that God Among Men had casually taken a seat at a table after passing a bookshelf, quietly livestreaming his movements.

    "There seem to be countless books here," the gloomy man commented to his audience, secretly admiring his foresight to turn on the camera before God Among Men. This way, he could not only document the library's contents perfectly but also earn recognition from the higher-ups in New Port City – an impeccable strategy.

    "However, we all know that the most ancient and mysterious items won't be displayed openly. Perhaps these are just general education materials. Let's see what kind of books the students usually read."

    Approaching the bookshelf nearest to the entrance, he found no specific categorization. He randomly pulled out a book and examined its cover.

    At that moment, a silent observer in the livestream suddenly sent a message.

    "Well, I recall that you guys did organize the library, didn't you?"

    "Yes, it's necessary to maintain the mystique of Miskatonic University, so we brought out some of the rare books."

    "Oh, come on, don't let him steal knowledge!"

    "Don't worry, we've checked the content. They're mostly things that wouldn't matter if seen, but would give an air of sophistication, and some that might even shake one's sanity if read."

    "Hahaha, seems like a history book. Let me take a look." The gloomy man casually opened the cover, then his eyes widened in astonishment as he read the first line of the table of contents.

    Antiquity Year 10 · The Covenant with the Gods

    It recorded the dawn of time when the first humans emerged, but it had nothing to do with evolution. The origins of humanity were said to stem from a species called the Perfect Beings who entered a pact with the deities. They shed their various abilities and gradually evolved into the ancestors of contemporary humans.

    Moreover, the book depicted the ancient geography, climate, and other races coexisting in that world with vivid detail, as if the author had lived through that era themselves.

    "This is utter fabrication. How could this person uncover such ancient history? All existing human civilizations combined don't stretch back that far," the gloomy man muttered to the camera, flipping straight to the last page.

    Compiled by Dr. Lewis Coward, Professor of History at Miskatonic University, with profound gratitude to the visionary, Archibald Hayes, for his monumental contributions to the field of history.

    None of these names were familiar to him, so he still dismissed it as fiction. He closed the book and picked up the second one.

    The moment he drew out this book, his gaze froze on its title.

    The Book of the Dead

    It was unclear if he was fortunate or unfortunate, but the infamous "Necronomicon" was well-known in the Cthulhu universe. Michigan University held an ancient copy in its collection, and players had recently discovered it in the library. Of course, this was likely just an Easter egg from the game developers, as reading the book would only drive the player mad without any other consequences. Consequently, some players had placed it here.

    As a wizard and cultist, Malevolent Man's sensitivity to the supernatural was considerable. Upon seeing the book, his sanity howled in his mind, giving rise to an intense urge that urged him to flip through its pages relentlessly...

    Almost immediately, Malevolent Man succumbed to his desire, turning to the first page. In that instant, he seemed to hear whispers in his ear and saw a sky filled with stars and fireworks exploding before his eyes.

    "Hey, buddy, you alright?" God Among Men had already stepped forward when he noticed the chat alert, appearing just in time to prevent Malevolent Man from losing control, snatching the book away and closing it.

    Without hesitation, he slapped Malevolent Man across the face.

    Malevolent Man barely managed to regain his composure. Beads of cold sweat had formed on his forehead, and his eyes were bloodshot, filled with madness as he fixated on the "Necronomicon" in God Among Men's hand. "Give it to me—"

    "Mr. Mallon, you'd better calm down," said God Among Men, holding up his phone and aiming the camera at him. "Everyone's watching, you know? Do you want your bishop and followers to see this? Calm down. You only took a glance, just a few seconds. You can overcome it, your madness, your cravings, and desires. Don't let us down."

    "Psychological Analysis: Success"

    Malevolent Man, still known as Mallon, stared intently at the camera in God Among Men's hand, struggling to free himself from the book's influence. "Oh, yes, I... Now isn't the time for this. But I have to take it back. This is the Necronomicon! Do you understand? It could be one of the original copies!"

    The Necronomicon was a legendary artifact in the realm of the mysterious.

    According to legend, the tome contained myriad ancient secrets and incantations for summoning malevolent deities, spells, and forbidden rituals - it could be considered the origin of dark magic, the ultimate pursuit of all wizards.

    Of course, there were many versions of the Book of the Dead. The older ones were truer to the original source. Malon swore that this edition, which had so instantly captivated him, must be one of the closest to the initial texts.

    "The Book of the Dead? You're sure? It was just by the library entrance, accessible to anyone?"

    "How am I supposed to know what those madmen were thinking?" Malon found it perplexing. Even a scrap containing a fragment of its text would be treated as an invaluable treasure in any church, guarded with utmost vigilance.

    "In any case, we have to take it with us."

    "No, no way." The God on Earth shook his head vigorously. "Carry that thick book around? Are you insane? Can you resist reading it on the way? I certainly can't!"

    Malon couldn't resist either. His eyes were practically glued to the book; he struggled to control his urge to open it and immerse himself in its madness.

    No, no, they were in the middle of a critical mission—

    "At the very least, we should jot down its contents…" Malon stepped back reluctantly. "You don't understand its worth, you—"

    "You mentioned," The God on Earth interrupted, "that if a book displayed out front is so precious, what level of rarity might the books in the innermost depths hold?"

    Before Malon could recover his wits, God on Earth strode inward with the phone in hand, and the gloomy Malon had no choice but to follow, watching helplessly as he pulled out a book with an unassuming cover from the innermost shelf.

    The cover bore the title: "Passing Through the Silver Key."

    "We've hit the jackpot," said God on Earth, flipping through the pages dramatically before eagerly capturing the content with his camera lens. Malon leaned over to look, his mouth gradually falling agape.

    The book was an autobiography of a legendary investigator named Randolph Carter, detailing his journeys through time and space, his adventures in the dream world, forging alliances with countless ancient races, and ultimately standing before a mighty entity, where he encountered an all-knowing deity, gaining knowledge of countless worlds and escaping unscathed.

    "F*ck, this can't be real! This...," Malon stammered, overwhelmed by the enormity of the information. He found it hard to believe that someone could achieve such a feat.

    Oh no, this wasn't even human anymore. In the end, this enigmatic investigator seemed to have transcended humanity, based on the account.

    "But look, the Book of the Dead is right before us," said God on Earth. "And the Dream World is real too. If what's written here is true, this is priceless!"

    Malon was left dumbfounded, yet with the Book of the Dead as evidence, he couldn't outright dismiss it as fake... Wait, could that ancient history book also...?

    If this were true, then Michigan University's heritage... exceeded their wildest imagination.

    "Holy sh*t, hahahaha who put Lovecraft's book here?!"

    "Modestly speaking, it was indeed my handwriting! I thought it might come in handy!"

    "Others find Easter eggs left by the game's developers, but you lot create your own to deceive NPCs! You've outdone yourselves!"

    "In enhancing the prestige of Miskatonic, how could we neglect the place of its greatest investigator and distinguished alumnus, Randolph Carter?"

    "Add them all, let me through! I want to copy Lovecraft's works and include them all in the game, hahaha!"

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