The answer appeared in their minds, but they simply could not believe it.
The girl had summoned the god of Darkness?
How was that possible?
How was that possible?!
Amidst the darkness, a sliver of blood red light appeared suddenly. The god of Darkness had arrived!
"Can't you give it a rest? Why do I have to appear so many times?" The god of Darkness's icy voice carried a hint of anger. As the god of Darkness, appearing two times to help a human was extremely humiliating, so of course he was extremely displeased.
The pressure was so strong the old man and Xi Shaoqi could not even lift their heads. The words of the god of Darkness left them completely stunned. What did he mean? Who was the god of Darkness talking to?
But what happened next was even more shocking.
The girl was able to move now and she humphed coldly. "You think I want you to? If it weren't for your followers using the power you gave them, would I need to call you out?"
The old man and Xi Shaoqi were utterly dumbfounded. They simply gaped and stared into the sea of darkness, unable to think. The girl was actually talking directly to the god of Darkness!
Who was she?!
Wasn't she a believer of the Temple of Light? How was she able to summon the god of Darkness so easily?
"Tell those pig headed servants of yours not to bother me!" Claire waved offhandedly with annoyance.
Everything was pitch black. Eerie, deathly silence.
The old man and Xi Shaoqi gulped, becoming worried. They now understood the relationship between the girl and the god of Darkness was extraordinary. Judging by her tone of voice, the god of Darkness might even take back the power he had awarded them because of her!
After the long pause, the gloomy voice of the god of Darkness finally sounded from within the heavy darkness.
"My followers, remember, from now on, do not touch her. Do all you can to protect her." There was still a trace of anger.
"You hear that?" Claire humphed scornfully.
"Yes, O' mighty god of Darkness," the old man and Xi Shaoqi answered respectfully and fearfully.
"Use the power I have granted you wisely. Don't disappoint me." The old man had a stifled grunt. The god of Darkness had done something to him.
Before the old man could say anything, the darkness dissipated rapidly.
The god of Darkness had left.
Claire cracked her knuckles and stretched. The god of Darkness was extremely annoyed and didn't want to see her, which was why he had left as fast as he could.
The old man and Xi Shaoqi watched the girl, who was standing relaxedly, a lazy expression on her face. They were unable to say a word.
"Old man, what are you staring for?" Claire walked up to them, humphing. "Where is this place? Speak. Why did you teleport me here? Where are my other companions?"
The old man still couldn't register what had happened. At the same time, something new appeared inside his mind. The god of Darkness had just granted him another power.
"Wh-who are you? Aren't you from the Tmple of Light? How are you able to summon our god of Darkness?" Xi Shaoqi asked hurriedly. He felt like he was dreaming; everything that had happened was simply unbelievable.
"Me?" Claire took a look at the anxious Xi Shaoqi, then humphed and didn't answer his question. "Didn't you hear what your god of Darkness instructed to do? You all have to protect my safety."
Xi Shaoqi was taken aback, then remembered what the god of Darkness had said. He simply stared at Claire, unable to speak.
"Answer my questions. Where is this place? And where are my companions?" Claire snapped. Xi Shaoqi was still in a daze.
"This place is the outskirt of the Temple of Darkness, the Illusion Forest," the old man started to explain. "We're underground. We built the Temple of Darkness under this vast land."
"Oh, so the god of Darkness has his own territory." Claire glanced around. The old, decaying forest actually had just a pretty name.
"The Illusion Forest was built with much time and energy. The trees give off an odorless gas that, once breathed on, conjures illusions. The illusions are specially made for believers of the Light," the old man responded differentially. After seeing Claire's casual interaction with their god, his attitude was markedly different.
"Oh, no wonder I saw that stupid goddess."
"Miss... your other friends are scattered throughout this forest. But whether or not they can break free..." the old man continued hesitantly. But as members of the Temple of Light, they would most likely never make it out.
"Practically no one has ever broken free from the illusions," Xi Shaoqi shrugged, ignoring the old man's warning gaze.
"Specially for believers of the Light?" Claire frowned, recalling the illusion she saw. Did the others see the same kind of illusion? "Will the others see the goddess of Light ordering them to pray and such?"
"Right. Those idiots worship the goddess so blindly, they usually are swallowed into the illusions and never come out," Xi Shaoqi spat scornfully. The old man almost fainted, angered to death by this disciple of his. The girl was definitely special and those people were her companions after all, but Shaoqi had practically condemned them to death.
"Oh, so if they fall for the illusion, they'll never break free? And vice versa?" Claire started the smile. Jean did not believe in the goddess and Leng Lingyun was not stupid either. That Divine Princess... Claire knew she would also make it out. In the depths of her eyes was malice, not the purity and elegance a true Divine Princess of the Temple of Light should have.
"Right." Xi Shaoqi didn't understand why the girl seemed to have stopped worrying.
"Let's go. Bring me away from this place and get me some flower tea, preferably rugosa rose tea. After my companions make their way out, guide them over. Old man, lead the way," Claire ordered without hesitation. Now, Claire felt having the god of Darkness on her side wasn't too bad.
Xi Shaoqi twitched his lip, not understanding where her confidence came from. How was she so sure her companions would break free of the illusions?
"On of my companions is a warrior, brown haired, named Jean. Another has silver hair and violet eyes, Leng Lingyun. When they make their way out, bring them over. Thanks in advance, old man."
"Yes," the elder answered immediately without a second thought.
"Wait, what? Leng Lingyun? Isn't he the Divine Prince of the Temple of Light? Are you sure he can make it out?" Xi Shaoqi asked in shock. He had thought the name sounded familiar.
"He will," Claire replied indifferently, certain.
"He'll start fighting the moment he sees us, how are we supposed to bring him over?" Xi Shaoqi humphed.
"That's true. Then send them out after they break free. I'll wait for them at the exit." Even though Leng Lingyun was no true believer of the goddess of Light, if he met a believer of the god of Darkness, he would definitely fight.
Xi Shaoqi blinked, confused. He couldn't believe what he had just heard, that the Divine Prince of Light would be able to walk out of the Illusion Forest on his own. That meant the Divine Prince was going to profane the goddess of Light? How could that be?
"Uh, Miss, I am a priest of the Temple of Darkness, Bill. May I ask, what is your name, Miss... ?" The elder asked carefully.
"Claire," she replied indifferently. "Flower tea or rose tea, but old man, I want to drink rose tea." The elder started to sweat at her fixation.
"Alright, alright. Miss Claire, please follow me." Bill started to guide her, his tone respectful.
Claire followed and Xi Shaoqi hurried to catch up.
Xi Shaoqi approached Claire and asked quietly, "Hey, hey, Claire, I'm Xi Shaoqi. How are you able to summon our god of Darkness so easily? Why does our god protect you? Aren't you a member of the Temple of Light?" Li Shaoqi asked in a rush, acting very familiarly. Right now, curiosity was about to kill the cath. He desperately wanted to know how such an incredible situation had happened.
"I am a member of the Temple of Light, but I never said I believed in that fake goddess," Claire replied with annoyance.
"What do you mean?" Xi Shaoqi was confused. Could normal people join the Temple of Light whenever they wanted to? Weren't all members completely brainwashed?
"Miss Claire was roped into the Temple of Light later in life, correct?" Bill looked back and said meaningfully. "That fake goddess tries to rope in anyone who has a bit of talent."
"Your master is much smarter than you." Claire's casual words made Xi Shaoqi's lip twitch.
"However, Miss Claire, I too am curious as to how you can summon our god without any offerings." He had even benefited this time, but it was different. The new power came for free. Last time, they had used generous offerings and the power was intended to spread the influence of the god of Darkness too.