I'm Really Not The Demon God's Lackey - novelonlinefull.com
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Chapter 448: Deeper
Lin Jie carried Red back in silence, and it wasn't until the next morning did she wake up. But every time she thought about her grandmother, Red would burst into tears.
Lin Jie was at a loss for words. He made a small stool for himself and sat outside the tent reading. There wasn't any sunlight in the Lower District, and the only street lights within these tunnels were made of luminous spinal stones that only shone for two hours per day, which were used by the administrators to find their way around.
Due to the long time spent living underground, night vision was one of the more important mutations Lower District denizens gained.
It wasn't till about five o'clock the next day that Red came out of the tent with swollen eyes and stared at Lin Jie in surprise. "Why are you still here?"
Lin Jie clapped his book shut and chuckled. "I'm your hostage, remember?"
He needed a guide to explore the Lower District as a human, and not the G.o.d that had caused all of it.
"I want to mine," Red said with a choked voice. "I haven't eaten in days."
"I'll go with you."
Red frowned as he scrutinized Lin Jie. Although this person was much weaker than Lower District denizens, he at least was a man and could still help in some way.
Red's grief for her grandmother was much more exaggerated than that of all the Lower District's denizens because death was always present in this place.
The air here either smelled of rocks or was filled with the endless stench of corpses. Behind where Red lived was practically a ma.s.s grave. She didn't know where her grandmother was buried, but the body was probably just thrown somewhere by the administrators.
"Come mine with me, and find my grandma," Red said, taking out a shovel and pointing it at Lin Jie.
Lin Jie nodded, adjusted his cloak, and followed behind Red.
In the Lower District, anyone over the age of eight was considered an adult. The average age here was only 25, and most were crushed by the cycle of pollution, hunger, and repet.i.tive overwork.
For children at the age of eight, like Red, having to hand in three precious-grade ore every day was rather distressing. After turning nine, girls needed to hand in four pieces, while boys needed to submit six. Upon turning 15, this number only doubled.
Lin Jie and Red walked along the tunnels, where he casually used his ability of 'Enchanted Heart Alteration' to easily a.s.similate with the people around him.
Red intended to get more ore but was squeezed out by others. She looked like a little frog with her cheeks puffed up and her tentacles flailing angrily as she tried pushing her way back in, but Lin Jie picked her up.
"Don't do such a foolish thing unless you want to die the same way as your grandmother did," Lin Jie said with a smile.
At the mention of her grandmother, Red pursed her lips as tears welled up in her eyes. "Why are you so indifferent? You're so bad," Red bemoaned bitterly.
Hearing this, Lin Jie raised an eyebrow and let go of Red's hand. The young girl fell to the ground as Lin Jie watched her silently before saying, "That's true, I'm much more indifferent than before.
"Maybe it's because I can easily resurrect your grandmother, and I also know what sort of world people go to after they die." Lin Jie muttered to himself, "So it's like that, sigh..."
"You can resurrect Grandma? ...If you joke about Grandma one more time, I'll kill you!" Red knew that it was impossible for the dead to come back to life and raised her shovel at Lin Jie, her eyes glistening with tears.
Lin Jie raised his hands out of habit to indicate he meant no harm, then said, "I heard someone say today that there are lots of ores deeper underground. We can mine there."
Red's face paled when she heard this. "We are now on the sixth level, and there's indeed more ores underground. But Grandma said that the deeper you go, the pollution is more severe and many monsters hibernate there."
"That may be so, but I've seen the administrators give these so-called 'monsters' food while they give ores to the administrators in return." Lin Jie rubbed his chin and egged Red on. "So, they are able to communicate. If they eat people, those administrators would be the first to be eaten."
"The reason they don't eat people is because of the Witch!" Red corrected, "The Witch of Trees will punish them if they kill the sacred administrators."
Lin Jie mused for a bit. The Witch of Trees, who had long been in deep slumber and cared about nothing, had actually been silently ruling the entire underground with her majestic authority. They had been using so-called 'religion' to control everyone here.
Lin Jie glanced at the adults mining around him, and his gaze fell on a few that were bunched up and whispering to each other.
Even if that was the case, there were still a large number of dissidents, and the Church of Pestilence had probably been born from this.
"Then, if you also believe in the Witch of Trees, those monsters won't kill you," Lin Jie continued. "Or, do you not believe in the Witch of Trees?"
"You are speaking nonsense!" Red hurriedly refuted. Lin Jie's simple provocation was way too easy when used on a kid like Red who was barely nine.
He followed Red through the maze of tunnels and continued downward. The rock stratum around them gradually became softer, and there was a greater danger of spontaneous tunnel collapses. However, the administrators didn't care about this. All Lower District denizens were sinners.
As for what sins they were, it was mostly something from the stuff of legends and myths. Ancestors of Lower District denizens had once been in cahoots with the evil G.o.d and had stolen and consumed the fruit from the Primordial Tree belonging to the Witch of Trees.
These claims were way too weak, but in a place like Norzin, full of transcendent beings, such matters seemed rather credible.
However, Lin Jie knew better than anyone where these people came from and why they became like this—
Even before Norzin was built, cla.s.s division was already prevalent. The arrival of the wandering traveler from the vast cosmos affected Azir, and the ancient Elven Kingdom collapsed. At that time, the place of rest for the traveler possessed rich resources and treasures.
To prevent the wandering traveler from destroying her anointed, Silver locked up her world of higher magic within the dream realm.
The Witch of Life's power was weak, yet she thought she could protect humankind, and thus she created a human camp.
That was Norzin's initial beginnings. After the Witch of Life fell, humans no longer had protection and required more resources. Hence, the underground, where the evil G.o.d slumbered, was their foundation for survival.
Plainly put, humankind was just too weak.
At that time, 'cla.s.s division' was also beginning to take shape. The poor, lacking in power and status, were driven from the surface and started to mine for minerals underground.
The Witch of Life desperately tried to prevent humans from going near the evil G.o.d, but humans rushed toward it without hesitation.
Mutation came quickly. The impoverished miners in the underground began to exhibit b.e.s.t.i.a.l features, such as the green crocodile-like skin, clawed tentacles, forked tongues, and strong limbs which they had now...
However, opposing voices were suppressed. The people in the Upper District were fortunate enough to completely separate themselves from the mutated humans in the Lower District, no longer seeing them as human beings but like livestock such as cattle and horses. They even blocked the pa.s.sage between the Upper and Lower District, demanding ores in exchange for resources for survival.
Humans have always been good at this sort of thing... Lin Jie mocked inwardly, but then he glanced at the tiny Red, suddenly recalling her reproachful voice.
Lin Jie had indeed become very indifferent... He clenched his fists and told himself not to be like this.
The Upper District's method of using force to block the pa.s.sage to the Lower District wasn't one that would remain effective. Such a thing couldn't last for long, and lies became the best means. Via the name of the Witch of Trees, the 'Law of Sinners' that ruled over the wills of Lower District denizens soon spread throughout the underground.
That was also the only time the Witch of Trees’ power was used—to subjugate the people of the Lower District. And because of this suppression, the judgment of being 'sinners' took root in the hearts of every Lower District denizen and, at the same time, castrated their thoughts and ideas.
Lin Jie followed Red in silence, and they came before a well in a spa.r.s.ely populated area.
"From here, we can go down to the fifth layer, the fourth, the third..." Red said, over the well's opening, but there wasn't an echo, perhaps because the well was too deep.
However, an overwhelming stench, like the rancid odor of a monster's mouth, wafted from the well's opening.
Red stared at the huge well with a complicated look on her face. Even with his omniscience and omnipotence, Lin Jie felt that he couldn't fully understand this child.
"The deeper we go, the more minerals there are, but the pollution gets worse..." Red frowned.
But... it's closer to myself... Lin Jie thought to himself.