Cradle of the Heavenly God - Chapter 1
“The Tree of Life is dead. And without the Hang Ah too, the barrier that protects the Heaven and the transcendentals will soon no longer be able to stop us.”
Unlike the outside that was full of the transcendentals’ cries and chaos, the Dragon Palace of Heaven was silent.
But an atmosphere way heavier than the outside filled the room.
There were two men in the room, staring at each other.
One was the current Emperor of the Dragon Palace of the Heavenly World and was the Heavenly God, Kashin.
The other was a monster who was known for eating over 200 transcendentals and was the leader of the demons. A serpent who disguised himself as a human, Aryun.
No one knew his real face because of the mask that covers half of his face.
“Did you do this to take my place?”
“Yes. Isn’t the Emperor of the Heavenly World the summit of power?”
“Did you kill the Hang Ah?”
Aryun licked his lips, reminiscing the flavor.
“She was delicious. Very delicious.”
“You transcendentals are premium meat to us demons. You thought I would just walk past such a sumptuous feast?”
Many demons tried to attack the transcendentals and tried to contaminate the Tree of Life. However, the altar of the Tree of LIfe protected the transcendentals and humans from such dangers.
Long-standing peace brought idleness. Most of the transcendentals blindly trusted the Tree of Life.
Hang-Ah was a position that guarded and purified the Tree of Life and was revered by the transcendentals as the guardian deity.
“She was the best among the other transcendentals I’ve tasted. It was truly the best.”
The Tree of Life was contaminated, and the defense barrier of the Heavenly World was destroyed. By now, the demons must have reached the world of mortals.
Without a Hang-Ah, there was no way to revitalize the Tree of LIfe.
“I wonder how delicious you would be, Kashin.”
“Then I’m sorry to say that I have no intention to be eaten by you.”
“I have no intention to eat you right now either.”
Aryun smirked and gestured for someone. Then a person came forward from the dark.
It was the shaman of prophecy that guarded the shrine of the Heavenly World.
“Now, tell him what you told me.””
“Come on now, hurry. I have no patience so I could just eat you right here. Then you won’t be able to tell Kashin your prophecy right?”
“…..Leave the Heavenly World, and find the vassals of the Four Guardian Gods….Only then can the Tree of Life….”
However, she could not finish.
Aryun impatiently bit into her neck with his sharp fangs. She couldn’t even scream for help.
“You heard that right? Find the Four Guardian Gods.”
“That’s the only reason I won’t eat you right now. I will wait until you find all the other vassals of the Four Guardian Gods. And then I will eat you all.”
Kashin turned to Aryun. Kashin was not in despair or fury, instead, he laughed.
Aryun’s face froze abruptly. He did not expect Kashin to react this way after all the silence.
“I will make you regret letting me go.”
After Kashin left the room, Aryun burst into laughter.
Was he skilled in hiding his emotions or did he just lack empathy?
Any normal person would have been devastated or enraged, but Kashin did not even show a tiny bit of anger.
Was this not enough to provoke him?
“But no matter how strong you are, without the Tree of Life, your body will not survive.”
The transcendentals’ bodies were sensitive. Even a tiny amount of evil contaminated them, and without the Tree of Life, they couldn’t purify themselves.
That’s why Aryun was thrilled.
He anticipated if Kashin could find the Four Guardian Gods and revive the Tree of Life, or if he would die before that.
“Either way, I’ll eat you.”
So come back as soon as possible to kill me, Kashin.
-ˋˏ *.·:·.✱.·:·.* ˎˊ-
Its red eyes flared with hunger but the man who was its target was at ease.
Its sharp fangs and growls were threatening but instead of trembling in fear, the man calmly stared back at the demonic beast.
“Hey! You! Move away!”
“That thing is a demonic beast! If humans like us tried to fight it, we would die!”
A small town was in chaos because of the demonic beast that had appeared. Three strong men were already killed by it.
“Someone stop him! He’s going to die!”
No one dared to move forward at the old man’s cries.
However, the man did not budge.
The growling demonic beast then dashed towards the man.
A loud crashing sound reverberated throughout the small town and the swarming dust particles veiled the area. It was an extremely loud explosion and everyone believed the man had died.
As they were about to run for their lives, “Screech!”
A sharp scream pierced through the air. It was too bizarre to be that of a human’s, so everyone looked back to the scene.
It was unbelievable. Everyone was lost in words and could only absentmindedly stare at the man’s silhouette.
The dust cleared away and it was now apparent.
Against what everyone predicted, it was the demonic beast that was collapsed on the ground, its body slashed into two.
The man covered in the demonic beast’s blood stood firmly and stared back at the people.
His lips moved like he was about to say something but he pursed them back and turned around and disappeared.
“Oh my, was the man perhaps a transcendental of the Heavenly World?”
“No way. The transcendentals are not real.”
“Hey! If demons exist, transcendentals could exist too.”
“Transcendental or not, we owe him our lives.”
The only human that can win against demons.
A human that uses the energy of nature and the Tree of Life, the ‘Transcendentals’.
They only existed in legends but the town people were certain that the man just now was the legendary transcendental.
-ˋˏ *.·:·.✱.·:·.* ˎˊ-
Daran was waiting for an opportunity to escape from the demonic beast in the inn. Then she came out, curious about the suddenly peaceful town.
There was a crowd surrounding something.
Daran made her way through the crowd and jumped back when she saw the demonic beast’s corpse.
“We don’t know either. A man did this and just disappeared.”
“He fought this massive thing alone?”
“Pff, No way.”
“We can’t believe what we just saw either.”
It has been about 3 years since demons first appeared in this world.
They were only passed on as legends too, like the transcendentals and the Tree of Life, so chaos erupted when they appeared.
There were increasing cases of death and loss of property by demons, but the capital could not find any clear resolutions.
“You mean, a human… alone… killed that thing?”
“Perhaps he is not a human.”
“Then, what is he?”
“Probably a transcendental.”
“Pff. Are you serious?”
“Is it nonsensical to believe that transcendentals exist when we know now that demons exist?”
That made sense. There was a possibility that transcendentals existed since demons existed, but there were no reports or news about their appearance.
“It was incredible. That thing was cut into two in a blink of an eye.”
The demonic beast’s corpse was slashed into two and, moreover, the cut was very clean.
It meant that it was slashed in a single, strong strike.
Demons’ flesh were at least a hundred times stronger than that of a human.
Even with a hundred people fighting, it was close to impossible to kill a single demonic beast. So, it was unbelievable that a single man did this.
“So where did that man go?”
“He suddenly disappeared.”
“That’s a shame. I wanted to see how he looks.”
Daran slowly looked around. The first thing that caught her eyes were the destroyed buildings, and the wounded people surrounding it. There were also families of the dead that were wailing beside the corpses.
“There’s a lot of damage.”
“Are there no doctors here?
“It’s a small town in the outskirts. There are no doctors here.”
That was terrible. The wounded people needed medicine but the people here had no medical knowledge, nor knew anything about medicinal herb remedies.
Except in the major cities, everyone else was exposed to such poor environments.
Daran saw countless situations like these over the three years she traveled but she still could not get used to it. It still enraged her.
Regions as remote as this town were exposed to hunger, poverty, and diseases. And even worse, there were no Demon Annihilators here, so they were also exposed to the danger of demons.
If the authorities cared even a little, such damages and casualties could be minimized. But they didn’t care and that was what angered Daran.
“There are many medicinal herbs in the woods nearby.”
“You…. you know well about medicinal herbs?”
“I earn my living from it, so I know them well….I’ll go get some.”
“Thank you….Thank you so much!”
Some would say she was needlessly involving herself in trouble but she couldn’t just walk away from people who needed help.
Daran’s only expertise and talent were desperately needed here, and how could she just ignore that?
“Are you planning to go right now?”
“But it will be dark soon….”
“That’s alright. I’ll come back tomorrow as soon as the sun rises.”
The old man stared at Daran. He was grateful and worried for the fragile-looking young man.
“If so, good luck.”
Daran smiled instead of replying to the old man’s concerned words, then walked towards the woods.
She could see the sun setting.
It would definitely be dangerous if it gets darker but she couldn’t wait until tomorrow. It would be too late then.
She needed to gather as many medicinal herbs as she could find.
Daran walked faster, her hands clenched.
-ˋˏ *.·:·.✱.·:·.* ˎˊ-
It was late at night. Kashin walked through the thick woods, only relying on the soft streaks of moonlight. Then he abruptly stopped. Because of that Yoon, who was following behind Kashin, crashed on Kashin’s back.
“Ouch, my nose!”
Yoon made a fuss about the pain and turned to follow Kashin’s eyes.
Soft ripples reflected the moonlight and shined through the thick woods. There was a pond not so far from here.
“It’s impossible to keep going. There’s a pond here so I think it’s best for you to bathe here for now.”
“You know you are already in your limits to tolerate all that with just self-purifying right?”
As the Emperor of the Dragon Palace of the Heavenly World and the Heavenly God, Kashin, had the ability to purify himself.
But without the Tree of Life, he had limits to how long he could sustain his contaminated body.
“I know that.”
“So, why did you even unnecessarily interfere?”
Yoon clicked his tongue and scolded him but Kashin just silently took off his clothes.
Half of his body was turned black from the contamination. It was because of the demonic beast’s blood he was covered in.
Yoon was appalled at the contaminated flesh that made up almost all of Kashin’s body.
“Why did you hurry when your body is in this state?”
“There’s no need to fuss about it. It’s nothing.”
“The Tree of Life died and the Hang-Ah is also vacant. If you continue contaminating your body like this, you will die soon.”
“Well, that’s not so bad.”
Yoon sighed at Kashin’s words and sat on a tree. He seemed serious.
Meanwhile, Kashin took off all his clothes and immersed himself in the pond.
His body was already in its worst state from multiple contaminations.
His true powers were most effective when he maintained clean and pure energy but Kashin never listened.
“If I die from just this, then that means I’m not strong enough to fight Aryun in the first place.”
“It’s already admirable that you survived in that state for 3 years. A normal transcendental would have died in less than a month.”
“It’s definitely going to be harder to tolerate it now.”
“Is it painful?”
His words said he was suffering, but his face was so calm.
People often described the pain of contamination as a limb-tearing pain.
Kashin was contaminated for quite a long time now, so his pain must have multiplied.
“I should go get some medicine from the town. In this state, you won’t last any further.”
“There’s no need to.”
“It’s obviously impossible to heal your body with it. But right now, you are very weakened. It would help if you vitalize your body even a little bit.”
Yoon knew that Kashin wanted to be alone and did not like to be interrupted while he was purifying his body and mind.
Yoon packed up and decided to go to a nearby town for medicine and food.
“I’ll come back tomorrow when the sun rises.”
Yoon left. Alone now, Kashin closed his eyes and focused.
This forest was known for its frequent appearances of demons. Kashin cast a defense barrier around the pond, so no demon or human could enter.
In the meanwhile, if he completely focused and purified himself, it would alleviate the pain.
Silence desolated the area.
-ˋˏ *.·:·.✱.·:·.* ˎˊ-
“People don’t come here as I expected.”
Daran’s face flushed with pride, a basket full of medicinal herbs in her arms.
The demand for medicinal herbs skyrocketed as the number of attacks from demons increased. So, it was harder to find medicinal herbs nowadays.
But there were all kinds of rare medicinal herbs here.
“Is it because of the rumors of this forest?”
There were rumors that the forest she was in right now swarmed with demons. So, there was probably no one that dared to even step into this forest.
“Even excluding the ones for the wounded people, this amount would keep me afloat for a week.”
Her income nowadays was too little for her to even afford food. If she brought these and sold them in Hamadan, she would make good money.
“Woah? Isn’t this the Golden Orchid?” An unfamiliar medicinal herb caught Daran’s eyes.
A flower with a red speckle on the edge of the yellow bud. It was the Golden Orchid. She couldn’t believe she would see a medicinal herb she only saw in books.
The price of the Golden Orchid depended on how much the person selling it wanted. Since it was one of the ingredients of the restorative herb medicine that was dedicated to the Emperor, it was very expensive.
“Oh my! Is my destiny doing me some good now?”
Daran gave up being a woman and disguised herself as a man to survive in this harsh world. She had to go through hardships and wandered around with no destination.
There were multiple times in which she endured a whole week only with water, because it was so hard to earn day by day.
And yet some people were born into wealthy families and lived without any hardships in their life.
Finally, something good was happening to Daran, after suffering the cruel fate of being an orphan and a poor wanderer.
“Hehe, with this I can eat as much meat as I want for two weeks straight!”
Daran felt like she owned the world at the moment. Something was telling her that everything will be well today.
She smiled contentedly at the Golden Orchid in her basket. She was so happy that she could only jump in joy.
Then, a disquieting sound reverberated throughout the forest.
Daran stood still. Was it just her mind playing tricks that she felt like the air was colder?
At this point, unless one was an idiot, one should have realized that the origin of the sound was something dangerous.
If the sound were loud enough to reverberate through the whole forest…
Daran suddenly got chills.
Daran laughed out like a crazy person, then made a tearful face.
She went through situations like this many times. She remembered the things she never wanted to think of again.
Daran carefully hugged the basket then slowly turned around.
A snake as big as a house was coiled up in front of her.
Thick venomous fluid flowed out from its jaw. Just a glimpse and she could tell it was very hungry.
Whether it is humans or beasts, , they lost their temper when they were starving. Even a docile person became fractious when he or she was starving.
That demonic beast must also be so hungry that its ferociousness was domineering it.
It was dangerous. Daran could picture what would happen in the next few seconds.
She was about to die at only 19!
“Of course, there’s nothing good for me in my destiny. hahaha…”
Daran took a deep breath.
She clenched on her hand that was holding the basket and grabbed a stone with the other.
The snake hissed and coiled. Then, Daran’s eyes met the snake’s.
Daran gulped and threw the rock to the other side.
As soon as that sound was made, the snake turned towards the stone.
The snake growled loudly, expanding its jaw.
And started chasing after Daran.
It was an unbelievable speed. The trees made the snake slower but at this rate, it was only a matter of time until Daran was caught up.
‘I should find a place to hide first. Where can I hide? Where should I go?”
Daran looked around quickly for a place to hide.
“Uaaah, a place to hide! Place to hide!”
She breathed heavily as her heart beat faster. Her legs also weakened.
If I stop here, I will die!
Something caught Daran’s eyes as she ran for her life.
A sparkling blue pond.
‘Yes, let’s hide there!’
She couldn’t swim but that was not her main concern at the moment.
Coldwater surrounded her body. Her body grew heavy and started to drown.
There was heavy pressure on her chest like cotton sucking up water.
Daran struggled, trying to keep herself from drowning.
Then she felt something hard that had a soft texture. There was even warmth in it.
The hard thing she felt twitched and Daran held on to it stronger.
Choking in water, the first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was a handsome man’s face.
‘Please save me….’
She couldn’t speak. She felt her conscience drifting away.
Her body weakened. Daran let go of the thing she was holding. Her body began to drown.
It’s the end.
Then something surrounded her body and lifted her up.
Daran felt the warmth embracing her and lost her conscience.
Hiya readers! Just to make some things clear:
demons/demonic beasts: Just think the demons are the higher levels of demonic beasts. The demonic beasts look like beasts/non-human and act like one but demons disguise themselves as humans most of the time and act like humans. They eat humans and are enemies with transcendentals.
there are illustrations to each chapter but the image gets really pixelated… I’ll try to come up with a solution to it.. If you want the high-quality image I can send it to you via discord (kimmy#4775)