"You want to attack Malar?" Umberlee's gaze showed that she was pondering the idea, "We're of the same alignment..."
"But not of the same alliance," Leylin countered quickly, "The two of us work in the same domain, we'll never see eye to eye. He sent his avatar to attack me during my ascension..."
"Hehe..." The Goddess of the Ocean smiled, radiating a crazed aura. She'd always been temperamental, "Good! Since I owe you one, I'll help you."
"No, I think you misunderstand me. I don't want you to help me based on the contract. I just hope that, as my ally, you can stall the orc gods in my stead..."
"The orcs?" Umberlee now felt like it was impossible to make sense of this new god.
"Mm! The enemy of an enemy, after all. Don't you feel like I'm a better ally than Malar?" Leylin blinked.
"Haha... Interesting! How interesting..." Umberlee burst into laughter, the terrifying phantom waves sweeping behind her in the dark showing her power. The blue waves formed a passageway, and Leylin and Umberlee slowly faded away.
In the north, within a hidden underground room.
Numerous distorted runes were carved into every corner of the wall. If one took a close look, they could sense the power of blasphemous incantations on it. It was here that Fagus and Anya Bane sat together, discussing matters at ease.
"Father... I just don't understand what we're doing. We might be asking them for help, but we're letting them handle everything that has to do with our family..." Anya's face was slightly flushed. She'd watched her father hand over the business and the secret connections that she herself had laboured over for years, and she could not help but feel her heart bleeding.
In her mind, all of that belonged to her! Now, the Giant Serpent Church and taken everything away without any effort. WIth just one thought, they could easily destroy the Neon Merchant Group and the Bane Family!
"You need to see the facts, Anya. The church would only help us after we handed everything over..." Fagus seemed calm, something glimmering in his eyes, "Besides... attempting to hoodwink a true god's church is an extremely foolish idea. We aren't one of the huge business groups, we don't have the right to be so haughty..."
Fagus' experiences had let him know the terror of a true god's church. Gods never died of age, and very few deities had been killed in the World of Gods, basically not one in thousands of years.
This let the churches live comfortably in the prime material plane. Even if they were exterminated, they could still make a comeback. Compared to the Giant Serpent Church, the Neon Merchant Group was just an ant.
Fagus found his daughter's worries hilarious. The Giant Serpent Church needed his channels and connections in the north, but the wealth gathered by the Bane Family? It probably couldn't even measure up to a palace in the divine kingdom, right?
Besides, the Neon Merchant Group wasn't powerful, they were the party asking for help. Who would dare bargain with the Giant Serpent Church?
"I'm sorry, Father... I was too rash..." Anya now seemed to realise her mistakes. She had acted too conspicuously in front of her father, and ducked her head in shame.
"Mm... it's best if you understand this..." Fagus looked at his most outstanding daughter, feeling that he still needed to guide her along.
The World of Gods was mostly a patriarchy, and the girl child could not compare. However, Anya had just been far too outstanding. If she could find a husband within the family and remain, it would be very helpful for the development of their business.
Fagus hence began to speak, his voice low, "A newly ascended god has vast future prospects. Those who follow a church during its birth will naturally gain great benefits at the end. Look at the top businesses of the mainland, which one of them isn't backed by a true god? It all comes down to the merits they gained when the church was established..."
'Father seems to think highly of this god,' Anya thought. But then she laughed at herself in mockery; which true god wasn't worth the Neon Merchant Group investing their everything?
"The God of Massacre... What kind of god is this Kukulkan?" Anya muttered under her breath, a trace of admiration in her voice. She still revered and worshipped the highest existences of the the World of Gods.
"Be careful with what you say! Even with the protection of the demonic words you shouldn't utter a true god's name without caution. They'll sense it unless you're in a divine kingdom or near other gods..." Fagus immediately looked solemn.
"I understand. My apologies..." Anya covered her red lips as she looked around her, as if afraid that the God of Massacre would suddenly jump out.
"Hehe... A mighty existence like that has millions of tasks to settle everyday. There's a very slim chance of you being noticed... as long as you don't have the worst luck..." Fagus saw how his daughter was acting, and it drew a rare chuckle from him. He finally relaxed, not having noticed the sly look within Anya's eyes.
"I actually do know a little about this existence..." Fagus told Anya, "Do you remember the youngest legendary wizard in the world?"
"Of course!" Anya nodded, "I know all about his achievements... There's also the wealth of the Faulen Family, and the great business opportunity in the southern seas being such hot news. I remembered it all died down suddenly..."
There were too many figurative halos on Leylin's head. Up till this point, he was still the idol and ideal lover of many noble ladies who did not know the inside details.
"He's the current master of the Giant Serpent Church. Leylin Faulen is the God of Massacre!" Fagus stated coldly.
"What?" Anya was now truly shocked.
"He seems to have abandoned his old name when he advanced, coming up with a new one. While this isn't common, it has happened before... The other churches, especially those of the God of Justice and the Goddess of the Weave have sealed up all information regarding him for some reason. That's why many on the continent still can't associate the two..." Fagus chuckled as he revealed an open secret.
"This... this... what great aptitude. Without the remnants from gods of previous generations, he became a god..." Anya now had no schemes in her mind. She felt ridiculously base compared to Leylin.
"The native empire on Debanks Island became a part of the mighty god's divine kingdom, which is why the southern sea fell in trade. It impacted quite a few coastal kingdoms..." Fagus narrated. Even though he was giving her a rough idea, Anya was already shaken to the core.
"The reason I'm telling you all this is to inform you that an existence so mighty and with such talent definitely will have a farsighted goal. Hence, don't try anything and serve him with sincerity. Only then will you gain approval from him!" Fagus finished off.
"Is that why Father handed over all control?" Anya looked like she had understood something.
"Mm. I will also send a few of your younger brothers to the church to study priesthood and learn the ways of the devil hunters..." With a hasty understanding of Leylin's rise, Fagus completely gave up any other thoughts. He knew that any being who could ascend themselves in such a cruel environment was extremely terrifying.
Not only was he more powerful than the others, but his shrewdness was also impeccable! Trying anything with an existence like this was akin to seeking death! Hence, he decided to swear his loyalty. The decision to send hostages basically meant putting everything on the Giant Serpent Church.
Even if their plans failed, the Giant Serpent Church would remain completely safe. At most, they would lose a few external powers. However, the Bane Family would be wiped out completely. On the other hand, the profits coming from success would definitely surpass Fagus' own imagination!
"What should I do, Father" Anya looked at her father, feeling that she still had much to learn. This was especially so in terms of making decisions with the big picture in mind, something impossible for the current her who still worried over the most minor matters.
"Have faith in the God of Massacre and serve him with sincerity!" Fagus answered sternly. "Of course, you'll need some help. I've used my connections to have you stay by a saintess. You'll have to perform well.."
"Saintess... would that be Barbara?" Anya's eyes flashed.
"Yes! She's a saintess that the God of Massacre himself chose, and has a very high position in the Giant Serpent Sect. It's even said that she's more powerful than the other saintesses, and is second only to the pope..." Fagus glanced at Anya, implying something.
"You mean... I have to do anything, regardless of the cost, to gain her favour?" Anya nodded, expressing her understanding of the situation as well as her determination to follow through.