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    Chapter 173

    Lahn vanished from the Divine Realm. Thanks to the power of the fifth level, his control over space had reached new heights, allowing him to achieve a similar effect to teleportation. After checking the location provided by the Sphinx, he appeared directly above it.

    It was a tiny village situated on the border between two nations, surrounded by rolling mountains. Due to its rugged terrain, poverty and backwardness plagued the area.

    Lahn's judgment stemmed from the village's visible lack of infrastructure and, strangely, the eerie silence that blanketed the place despite it being daytime.

    Descending from the sky, Lahn scanned the empty streets. Indeed, there was not a single person in sight, but numerous bizarre creatures roamed around the outskirts of the village.

    Are there no survivors left here? Lahn wondered.

    Just as he pondered, the strange creatures surrounding the village, seemingly prompted by an unseen force, lifted their heads and surged towards Lahn frenziedly.

    Unfazed, Lahn waited until the creatures were almost upon him before enormous plants emerged, entwining them tightly. No matter how much they struggled, it was all in vain.

    He was no longer the inexperienced youth who would be terrified by such creatures. Even newly-arrived malevolent gods might not stand a chance against Lahn, let alone these anomalies.

    However, Lahn noticed that these creatures seemed to have been influenced by some power. He analyzed the source and directed his gaze towards the forest outside the village.

    A cultist, crouching in the undergrowth, was suddenly yanked out, landing at Lane's feet before he could regain his senses.

    "Is that a cultist?" Lane looked down at him. The man wore rough hemp clothing; he appeared more like a farmer than a cultist. "What has happened to this village?"

    The cultist gazed blankly at Lane's face, his mind seemingly stunned into silence. He stammered, "H-He... "


    The man failed to finish his sentence. Suddenly, he shuddered and collapsed to the ground, lifeless.

    Lane frowned, then turned to the village with a cold smile. "I've come to your doorstep, yet you still refuse to show yourself?"

    There was no response. Apart from the silence, the village seemed utterly normal. But of course, Lane wasn't fooled by appearances. He pulled out the Ark, and instantly, silver threads appeared before his eyes.

    These threads stretched from the houses of the villagers, converging beneath the village.

    The location of the hidden evil deity was almost revealed. However, Lane didn't rush into battle with this unknown entity. Instead, he followed the threads into the villagers' homes.

    Now, he finally understood why this deity of darkness could linger in reality for so long.

    First and foremost, it must be emphasized that a deity from the dream realm descending into reality either occurs through the 'Gate' itself or through specific rituals, requiring the convergence of 'Anchors,' unique celestial alignments, magical energies, sacrifices, and more. Anchors were essential; the more Anchors, the stronger the deity's existence and the greater their power, akin to the angels previously.

    The reason the deity of darkness wasn't eager to descend before was that its presence would taint human minds, driving them into madness or even death. Once someone fell into permanent madness, the Anchor would naturally sever, meaning that from the moment of descent, the deity would begin counting down to its return.

    However, there were always deities who found loopholes.

    Like now...

    Inside the houses, villagers lay on their beds or the ground. Their bodies had already started transforming under the deity's corruption, sprouting extra eyes and decaying skin, but their expressions were abnormally serene.

    For their minds were deeply immersed in dreams.

    Lane also possessed the old gods' ability to manipulate dreams, allowing him to easily deduce how the deity – or its followers – achieved this. They likely employed a spell similar to dream creation. The villagers were still living out their 'daily lives' within the collective subconscious of the village, oblivious to what was happening in reality.

    In essence, it was akin to what Lane did to all of humanity in the second timeline.

    Damn it, could it be that I inspired these deities? Lane thought with a grimace. That requires royalty payments!

    Leaving a seed within the house as an afterthought, Lane moved on to inspect a few others. True to his suspicion, nearly the entire village was in the same state.

    As he approached the final dwelling, he suddenly caught faint sounds emanating from within. Swiftly, he entered to investigate. In a corner stood a cylindrical container, and it was from this that the noise originated.

    "Save... uh... save me..."

    It seemed that there was still someone alive inside.

    Lane hastily approached the container and, without hesitation, lifted the lid. Indeed, inside lay a child of around five or six, untouched by corruption. It seemed that the container was made from some special material that insulated its contents from the tainted environment. However, the child's condition was pitiful; they appeared to have gone three days without food or drink, having relieved themselves within the container. A pungent odor assailed Lane's nostrils the moment he opened it.

    The only prominent feature was his large eyes, filled with an intense will to survive, fixated unblinkingly on Lane. "Sa... Save... me."

    He reached out to Lane, who looked down, pondered for a moment, then extended his arm to grasp the child's hand. The corners of the five-year-old's mouth twisted into a bizarre curve.

    That bony little arm instantly turned to mud, splattering mid-air and encircling Lane's entire body. Whispers echoed frenziedly in his ear:

    "The door... The door, open it quickly."

    Lane sighed.

    "What makes you think I haven't noticed?"

    Under the incredulous gaze of the malevolent deity, the youth, who was originally encased in mud, transformed into a spirited plant. In turn, it sprayed out corrosive liquid, causing the mud to let out a cry of agony. Simultaneously, the entire village began to tremble.

    It was as if a Category 5 earthquake had struck, toppling all structures in an instant. With a snap of his fingers, Lane activated the Spirit Seeds he had planted earlier. The villagers, trapped inside their homes, were ensnared by the ethereal flora.

    It transpired that the village was built atop the hiding place of that malevolent deity. After the failed assault, It spared no hesitation in abandoning the village and fleeing wildly into the forest.

    But how could Lann let Him depart so easily?

    An idea struck him, and he curved the corners of his lips. Extending his hand in the direction the evil deity had fled, he seemed to have hatched a clever plan.

    A colossal door materialized abruptly on the left side of the deity. True to Its nature, unable to resist the allure, It instinctively veered towards the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. As the deity was about to dash through the portal, a lengthy chain swiftly slammed the door shut and secured it tightly.

    A sharp slap echoed ——

    The malevolent deity crashed headlong into the door. This deity seemed to be a fusion of a slime, a mud monster, and molten lava, with a kaleidoscopic hue of black. As it tumbled down from the door, it desperately tried to squeeze itself through the cracks with unwavering determination.

    "Before I escort you back, would you be willing to answer a few questions for me?"

    Lanen leisurely followed, inquiring, "Did someone guide you to manifest in the real world for so long? You should know who that traitor among the old gods is, right?"

    The evil god remained silent, seemingly realizing it was walking into a trap and ceasing its resistance.

    "Let me make a deal with you. If you share some information with me, I might consider letting you in on my own," Lanen tried to coax.

    At this point, the evil god finally reacted.

    "You... swear it."

    Lanen: ?

    "Swear by the Dream... and the source of your power, the Master of Time and Space and Creator of Genes."

    Lanen narrowed his eyes. "Wait, you know my origin? What is it?"

    The evil god didn't respond further, apparently realizing that Lanen wouldn't be opening the door for it. It began to emit a shrill howl, causing all creatures within a ten-kilometer radius to scream in agony, bleeding from their ears and even slipping into madness.

    Lanen initially didn't understand what was happening until he abruptly turned his head. He saw the strange creatures that had been lurking near the village now attacking the villagers entangled by his plants. The evil god, without looking back, headed straight for a swamp somewhere on the ground.

    Lan turned His gaze upon the deity, neither turning to rescue the villagers nor immediately halting the malevolent god's actions. Instead, He took a more efficient measure.

    Removing the Ark, Lan severed the anchors connecting the evil deity to its body.


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