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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 175

    Amos had indeed been behaving obediently in the Divine Realm, doing nothing but seemingly turning over a new leaf overnight.

    While observing the onlookers, Len occasionally cast a glance at him. It seemed that the warning from last time had taken effect. Amos spent his days watering and fertilizing plants in the Divine Realm's botanical garden, acting like an ordinary gardener, or he would go chat with Kris, attempting to extract information about the other two timelines from him. However, Kris would usually brush him off.

    Len initially thought that Amos was interested in the intelligence of the other two timelines. But according to Kris, the guy just seemed to enjoy hearing more about becoming Len's priest.

    Len: ...What kind of substitute is this?

    In short, due to Amos's recent well-behaved demeanor, Lane hesitated for quite some time before he finally decided to bring him into the fold.

    Amos was tending to Lane's spiritual plants in the botanical garden when the scenery around him suddenly shifted. Startled, his eyes lit up with joy upon seeing Lane appear before him.

    "Lord Lane, you've finally…"

    "I have something to discuss with you, Amos," Lane said coldly from his throne, surrounded by the plants, looking down on him.

    It wasn't that he intended to maintain this lofty attitude, but with a wilful dog like Amos who wouldn't be easily tamed, friendliness and approachability would be ineffective. They might even give the impression that there was an opportunity to be seized.

    Yet, as Amos gazed at Lane's indifferent expression, a flush subtly crept onto his cheeks and the back of his ears. Kneeling on one knee, he placed his right hand over his heart and said, "Please speak."

    Lane didn't disclose the predicament he was in to Amos; he only stated his request for an exponential increase in the number of True Believers within a short period.

    Amos pondered, "A short period, you say... May I ask how short we're talking about here?"

    "The sooner, the better," Lane replied.

    "I see," Amos nodded, looking up with a smile. "The augmentation of True Believers... That's an age-old dilemma for all faiths. After all, it's easy to gain superficial believers, merely by offering a loaf of bread to a hungry beggar. But for True Believers, one demands that same beggar offer their life and soul in gratitude for that single piece of bread."

    "Would it be easy if it were, do you think?" Lane said harshly.

    What he meant was that he wouldn’t have thawed Amos at all if none of his followers were suitable for the task.

    Regrettably, the gods were not NPCs in this world; they didn't reveal all their secrets to players. Otherwise, Lane might have preferred the presence of gods— at least this mighty figure seemed to have some moral boundaries.

    Amos, however, misinterpreted Lane's words, or perhaps deliberately interpreted them to suit his own fancy. His eyes gleamed. "Are you saying that because of such a challenging problem, only I can solve it? It would be my greatest honor."

    Lan: "...\Well, never mind. You can go back to being a gardener in the botanical gardens."

    As he raised his hand, Amos no longer dared to test Lane's patience and hastily said, "Please wait a moment, Lord Lane. I've just come up with a solution to this problem!"

    "Oh? So quickly?" Lane was skeptical. "This involves gathering at least 300,000 True Believers in a short period of time."

    "Indeed," Amos curved his lips. "While beggars won't sacrifice their lives for a piece of bread, I believe there will still be people willing to offer all their faith to any entity if it means avoiding starvation."

    Lane narrowed his eyes.

    "Correct. Creating a need and then fulfilling it is a method employed by all religions. Only by offering hope in the most desperate situations can one cultivate the purest flower of faith from the abyss." The curvature of Amos's lips deepened. Noticing that Lane's expression had changed, he hurriedly added, "These ideas aren't mine. They're age-old wisdom. People truly believe in a savior only when they're saved from ignorance, despair, and suffering. That's why faith is so scarce in modern times. When there's no worry about food or losing one's life, who would genuinely believe in the existence of gods?"

    "… I've changed my mind," Lane closed his eyes and extended his hand to Amos. "You don't have to be a gardener anymore. You'll make better fertilizer."

    The enormous, snake-like body of the spiritual plant coiled around Amos, ready to crush him.

    "Of course, I won't harm any more innocent humans," Amos said, his face flushed red under the immense pressure, but he didn't resist. He hurriedly added, "I have a way to fulfill your wish within five minutes without harming a single innocent person!"

    "Five minutes?" Lane scoffed. "Even bragging should follow some basic rules. How do you plan to conjure so many True Believers in just five minutes?"

    Even brainwashing or turning humans into trees wouldn't be that swift, let alone in the Second Timeline, where it took at least three months.

    "If you trust me, you could shorten this world to a second after your plan begins," Amos pleaded pitifully.

    He didn't seem to be lying, nor was he foolish enough to tell an easily disproven lie.

    Lane frowned at Amos. After a moment of hesitation, he snapped his fingers, and the plants released Amos. "Speak. You have one minute."

    "Actually, it's very simple," Amos said with relief after freeing himself from the vines. "All you need is to use the power you employed to alter Mewton's ending."

    Alter Mewton's ending?

    Lane was taken aback for a moment, and then his enthusiasm waned. "You still know about that... Unfortunately, if what you're suggesting is changing their dreams to alter reality, that won't work."

    "Why?" Amos asked, puzzled.

    To explain why...

    After Lane had altered Mewton's ending, he'd been startled by his own power and had conducted similar experiments, but the results indicated that duplicating the Mewton incident was almost impossible.

    The University of Michigan's relocation was successful back then due to two primary factors.

    Firstly, Albert was the only one connected to Michigan at that time. In reality, almost no one remembered its existence. The only fact anchored in reality was that Michigan had vanished, with no records of where it disappeared to. This meant that all information regarding Michigan was a blank slate. Thus, Lane could play a trick, shifting the university from the depths of the Dream World into his Divine Realm without causing any butterfly effects.

    Secondly, Albert had become Lane's believer then, offering everything he had. That allowed Lane to have complete control over Albert's dreams.

    Of course, Lane was stronger now. By utilizing the Ark, he could forcibly meet the second condition—invading anyone's subconscious and manipulating their dreams freely. However, even so, he couldn't alter a person's past. Or rather, if he could, it would only be insignificant aspects.

    For example, if Person A's life trajectory involved divorced parents and dropping out of school, Lane could change the reason for the divorce but not the outcome. He could modify the cause of dropping out but not the result.

    There were too many variables involved. Humans weren't isolated islands living in the world; they were a conglomerate of social relationships. People were interconnected, forming different anchor points.

    Forcibly changing things wasn't impossible, but the conditions would be stricter. For instance, he'd need to make everyone around the target lose their memories. Without the anchor points from others, the person would be akin to a disconnected Michigan, allowing Lane to do as he pleased.

    Changing one person's past was already troublesome, let alone 300,000 people. The chain reaction it would trigger was terrifying just to contemplate.

    After explaining the pros and cons to Amos, the latter blinked. "Your meaning is that it's not impossible but would require excessive time and effort?"

    "Exactly. Changing them one by one would take too much time, and it might not even succeed," Lane complained. "Some people might not believe in religion at all. If an originally non-religious person suddenly converts, their life trajectory will greatly change, triggering a series of butterfly effects."

    "No need to worry about that," Amos said. "They're all heretics. It's enough to change their beliefs at the right time. Their life paths won't deviate too much, and there's no need to worry about harming the innocent, for they themselves are the epitome of evil. Didn't you deal with them before?"

    "Are you talking about the cultists in New Port?" Lane raised an eyebrow. "Hmm... Still not possible. Who knows when they became believers? Can I really alter their past one by one?"

    In the end, it was still a matter of the butterfly effect. A single move could trigger a chain reaction, so Lane had refrained from using this ability after the incident at MU.

    "No, just one operation would suffice," Amos said. "I recall that you can enter the subconscious of everyone in a city, like during the Stranger's incident, when everyone shared the same dream."

    Lane pondered for a moment and replied, "If it's a specific, memorable event that everyone participated in, then it's doable. But if it's fragmented and I simply pull the city's residents into a dream, no memories will surface."

    Amos said, "Then there's no issue. I happen to know of an event that no one will forget."

    "Hmm?"

    "It happened fifty years ago."

    Amos lifted his face, his mask-like gentle smile unchanged. "You don't have to worry about correcting their beliefs one by one. The cults in New Port split off from a major cult fifty years ago. Their beliefs were shattered and reshaped. After three days of chaos, they formed the current state of affairs."

    "I can assure you that those chaotic three days remain the nightmare of all the cultists who still linger in New Port, a haunting terror. If you eliminate the source of the turmoil, the demonic child that instigated the chaos, during those three days, you'll gain the faith of all the cults in New Port."

    Son of the Demon?

    Lane had indeed heard this title before, but only from player forums. Occasionally, some enthusiasts would dig into NPCs' pasts, and among the old cultists in Newport, there was one name they all avoided, a figure that struck fear into their hearts whenever mentioned: The Day of Chaos and the Son of the Demon.

    However, no NPC would provide concrete information about that fateful Day of Chaos, no matter how much players probed. They could only express their uncontainable fear and despair, as if the shadows of the past still haunted them vividly.

    "Did you know who the Son of the Demon is?" asked Lane.

    "I happen to know," Amos said with a crooked smile. He lifted his hand, playfully twirling his arm under Lane's gaze, then pointed at himself:

    "Because that person is me."

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