Chapter 196: Entering the Palace
Inside the temple, a large group of Ravagers were still bickering with one another as they crowded around the rooster.
Some said that they needed to dissect it, but to dissect something in the Origin Energy Temple? Is that a joke? And what could even be gained from dissecting the rooster?
Some said that they should baptize it again just to see what would happen. Okay, so then a large group of Ravagers gathered all just to watch a rooster take a bath.
Some said that since the rooster could endure a baptism, then it might be possible for other small animals as well, so they should try it out on other lifeforms.
This suggestion was a bit more scientific. At the very least, many of them were excited to see the results of that experiment.
The problem was that Su Chen had just undergone a baptism. They had to wait at least two more hours before the Origin Temple was recharged and ready to perform another baptism.
Since they were all standing around and didn’t have much to do, it was only natural for them to continue arguing about how this rooster had managed to survive the baptism.
All kinds of inconceivable ideas were thrown out. Some claimed that this was a divine rooster that had come from the Heavens, others that it had simply been at the right place at the right time, that its ancestors had blessed it, or that it was actually a demonic beast in disguise. All these ideas and more surfaced during the ensuing discussion. There were even some who said that the Origin Energy Temple had been damaged and should be torn down and rebuilt — and that idea was only narrowly beat down.
Only people who didn’t understand science could spout such amusing nonsense.
Su Chen couldn’t endure it any longer. He stood up and said, “This rooster didn’t go through an Origin Energy baptism. It went through a similar process that was a thousand times less intense.
All of the Ravagers turned to look at Su Chen.
Even though the Ravagers didn’t have many rules, if a common warrior from a lowly tribe interrupted the discussion of important figures such as these, it was possible for them to lose their tongue if not their head altogether.
However, the Crazed Monarch indeed lived up to his title. Traditions and rules had no effect on him. All he desired was pursuing a life free of restrictions and burdens, where he could do as he pleased.
For this reason, he wasn’t enraged by Su Chen’s interruption. Instead, he excitedly said, “That’s quite the interesting statement. Why do you think that?”
Why would I think that? Because I was the one who did it!
But the words that came out of his mouth were, “Your Majesty, take a look. The crown of this rooster’s head has some white feathers scattered amongst all the red, which is a direct result of being in direct contact with Origin Energy. This is probably one of the side effects that came with its Origin Energy baptism. But from the color and luster it is immediately obvious that the power behind that Origin Energy baptism was relatively weak and not even close to the power the Origin Energy Temple can unleash. Also, its feathers have begun to recede, so you can clearly see the ripple pattern left behind by the baptism on its skin. The form of those patterns is quite crude and rough, not nearly as refined as those left by the Origin Energy Temple’s inscriptions, but it does share some similarities in terms of fundamental character. As such, it can be easily concluded that this rooster underwent an imitation of the Origin Temple’s baptism, but one of much weaker strength and intensity.”
Anubi discovered that everything was exactly as Su Chen had said. He nodded repeatedly and said, “That makes a lot of sense. But who could possibly replicate the Origin Energy Temple’s inscriptions? And why would they do something like that?”
Su Chen kept his mouth shut. There was no need for him to answer this question personally.
Indeed, some Ravagers hypothesized, “Your Majesty, it might be the foreign races.”
“Perhaps it’s the humans.”
“How could there possibly be humans here?”
“Of course they can be here if they use camouflage techniques. There are a few Demonic Beast bloodlines that can give them that ability.”
“Or it might be the Astrals.”
“The Astrals don’t care about Origin Energy nearly as badly as the humans.”
“Those damned humans!”
“Search the entire city. We must find that bastard. Activate all the Clairvoyants!” Anubi commanded.
Then, he looked at Su Chen. “Start with him!”
In a fashion befitting the Crazed Monarch, the first thing he did to repay Su Chen for his contributions was to investigate him through a Clairvoyant’s Eagle Eye.
This time, however, the Clairvoyant was doomed to fail.
While he was undergoing the baptism in the temple, Su Chen had altered his physique to be more similar to that of the Ravagers on a fundamental level. The current him was filled with vitality, and the sturdiness of his external layer was in no way inferior to most Ravagers. He had managed to acquire some of the characteristics unique to the Ravager race.
These characteristics were genuine, not fake, but they were all concentrated towards the outer levels of his body. The internal organs and viscera of his body were still human, allowing him to maintain the deftness and nimbleness of a human body while gaining the overbearing strength of the Ravagers.
The Clairvoyants could only see through disguises, not peer deep into Su Chen’s body. They would obviously be able to tell if he had disguised himself as a different race, but in some sense his Ravager physique was not just for show. As such, Su Chen appeared as a normal Ravager to the eyes of those Clairvoyants. The only issue was that the Origin Energy in his body almost seemed to be overflowing — it was far too much, more than any Ravager should have.
However, the Clairvoyant inspecting Su Chen quickly rationalized his discovery: the other party had just gone through a baptism, and the Origin Energy in his body probably had not yet completely calmed down and distributed itself through his body. As such, having some traces remaining on the surface was totally normal.
As such, he nodded to Anubi and said, “Your Majesty, he’s one of us.”
Anubi had merely issued the command on a whim and wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it, so he didn’t seem surprised. He waved his hand and said, “It’s rare for another intelligent individual to emerge from the ranks of my people. Your name is Lontu, is it not? Are you willing to follow me?”
Su Chen acted as if he were extremely grateful and knelt down on one knee. “I am willing to serve His Majesty.”
Ravagers valued loyalty above all else. Many of the Ravagers present immediately despised Su Chen for betraying his tribe and pledging his loyalty to Anubi without any hesitation.
But just as Su Chen had expected, this did not pose a problem to Anubi in the slightest.
He tilted his head back and laughed loudly. “Very good, very good. I never expected to net a profit like this. I appreciate smart people, because they always come up with crazy, fantastic ideas that amuse me very much. So what about you? What will you show me, child?”
So you want to surround yourself with intelligent Ravagers just to amuse yourself?
Su Chen was rendered completely speechless.
However, he could not just stay silent.
He thought for a moment, then replied, “That depends on what Your Majesty’s needs and desires. I believe that every form of entertainment is built upon the foundation of something that is hard to normally obtain. Only things that you have not yet obtained or have yet to do are amusing. If it’s something that you can obtain through some external aid, the amusement it brings is sure to be limited and short-lasting.”
When he heard this, Anubi was momentarily taken aback before he tilted his head back and howled with laughter. “Hear that? My subjects, this Lontu understands the principle of amusement. Bring him back to the palace and show him all the good things we have to offer, so that he can fill in for what I lack. If he cannot come up with something that entertains me after three days, then execute him.”
Anubi strode away as he spoke.
Just before leaving, he tossed the rooster over to his subordinates. “Make this chicken into a stew for me!”
Danba and Su Chen glanced at each other.
Then, Danba gave Su Chen a thumbs up.
You’re truly a smart one!
Eketela Palace was filled with traces of Ravager primitiveness and wildness.
Even though it was designed by a master Harpy architect to be extremely beautiful, the savage, vicious aura deep in its bones could not be washed out so easily.
Eketela Palace was primarily constructed out of pure white stone. The governmental affairs were handled in the center of the palace, and from there it separated into six other regions off to the side: the Emperor’s residence, the Imperial Concubine Chambers, the Servant Quarters, the Emperor’s Entertainment Area, a tool and property storage area, and the Guard’s Quarters.
Su Chen immediately headed for Anubi’s entertainment area as soon as he entered the palace.
In terms of entertainment, however, the Crazed Monarch had quite a limited selection to choose from: drink wine, eat meat, or play with women.
Apart from these three things, the only other source of entertainment Anubi could come up with was fighting.
There were special gladiator arenas within the Crazed Monarch’s residence. Every day, large numbers of Demonic Beasts and slaves would be sent here to wrestle with one another. Sometimes, it was Demonic Beast against Demonic Beast; other times, it was Ravager against Ravager; still other times., it could be Ravager against Demonic Beast. It all depended on the Crazed Monarch’s whims at that moment in time.
When Sachar had still been alive, the main fighters had primarily been composed of criminal Ravagers who had committed grave crimes.
After Sachar’s deaths, the identities of the Ravager gladiators became dependent on the Crazed Monarch’s mood.
Apart from this, there were also flower gardens and fountains placed throughout the palace.
However, the Crazed Monarch had no eye for beauty and gazing at scenery was boring for him. The only beauty he could appreciate were the naked bodies of women.
As such, Su Chen was warned by one of the Crazed Monarch’s guards as soon as he arrived at the palace. If he tried to entertain His Majesty by creating some kind of aesthetically pleasing display, he might as well forget about that idea now, because His Majesty did not enjoy those kinds of things.
And anything His Majesty didn’t like wasn’t entertainment but a request to die.
Eketela Palace had never really produced anything to satisfy Anubi’s thirst for entertainment for the past few decades, and now Su Chen had to create something in just three days.
This was probably the price of being promoted so rapidly. If you wanted to reach the Heavens in a single step, you had better be prepared to steal it.
Su Chen, however, leisurely wandered around the palace, as if he were in no hurry.
Eketela Palace had quite an imposing aura to it, and the scenery was pretty good. Even if the Crazed Monarch didn’t appreciate it, Su Chen did.
That was especially true given the combination of Ravager and Harpy aesthetics, which embodied a dualism between the raw strength and delicate beauty.
Eketela Palace was also heavily guarded, but it was obvious that the guards were relatively undisciplined and sloppy. There were innumerable holes one could sneak in through if they wanted to carry out an assassination attempt. What really kept the Emperor alive was not these guards but rather the Emperor himself.
For instance, even if he managed to sneak close to Anubi without alerting him, he would only be able to wound Anubi if he tried to assassinate him, followed by the fate of being smashed into a meat paste right then and there.
This was because Anubi was a peak-tier warrior who had undergone six Origin Energy Temple baptisms.
Even though his addiction to women and wine had caused his strength to decrease, Su Chen was still far from being able to really harm him.
After wandering around the palace once, Su Chen arrived at the gladiator arena.
This gladiator arena was round in shape and was located relatively close to the rear of Eketela Palace. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t actually a part of the palace, as it was a separate building of its own.
Anubi himself had issued the command to build it.
The guard responsible for leading Su Chen around said, “There is at least one battle every day at the gladiator arena; the exact number of battles depends on His Majesty’s mood. This is His Majesty’s favorite place to come, and to satisfy his needs, everyone is always racking their brains hard to think up of all kinds of different ways to amuse him. If Sir Lontu wants to obtain His Majesty’s favor, doing something at the gladiator ring would be quite wise, but honestly I don’t think that this is an easy task either.”
He was obviously a Ravager that had been handling imperial affairs for a long time. His words were quite tactful. Even if he didn’t view Su Chen in a good light, he was not so dumb as to offend Su Chen with his words for such a pitiful reason.
Su Chen chuckled. “Many thanks for your pointers. Right, when will the next gladiator match be? I want to take a look.”
“Tomorrow. I’ll arrange a court-side seat for you.”