Chapter 144: Terrifying

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"Vincent's adverse reaction to Holy Moon Essence is because he's rather attuned to the moon, so his inspiration was elevated after continuous usage, causing him to see the true image of the Moon. This is actually quite normal.

"Since he's come forward to report it, it's less likely for him to have doubts. But something this big has to be dealt with caution and make sure no one has realized the anomalies he has experienced."

Vanessa muttered as she took the white wax candle and dismissed the attendant.

With a touch of her slender hand, the candle wick was lit. Wisps of white smoke rose over the flickering flame, twisting and turning to form a curtain of white smoke.

Unbeknownst to lower ranked clergy members, the holy emblem which incorporated a part of their soul wasn't just the best sorcery tool but also a monitoring device for the upper hierarchy.

Once baptized and issued with a holy emblem meant falling under surveillance, where every word and action wouldn't escape the upper echelon's monitoring.

The white wax candle in Vanessa's hand was made with the mold used to cast the holy emblem. It was made of a special material and had a mystical resonance with the holy emblem. As long as the candle was lit, Vanessa could see all that was experienced by the one monitored... Just from the view of the holy emblem.

Therefore, holy emblems were required to be worn on the chest or held most of the time.

Vanessa chanted the incantation, and a faint, wavering scene appeared on the smoke curtain.

In contrast to the finely decorated church and the masses of worshipers, the current view only showed a man's hand resting on a single worshiper. Vincent's gentle voice could be heard reciting a prayer.

Then, there were scenes of Vincent traveling a long dusty path to visit the Dark Moon Apostle Vanessa at this church, followed by scenes of various exorcisms.

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These were all scenes of daily business Vincent usually undertook at his small parish chapel and weren't of much use.

Vanessa's heart suddenly skipped a beat as the scene changed to the last text message sent by audio-visual store boss Colin, requesting an exorcism.

Then came a scene of a long journey before Father Vincent arrived at the audio-visual store. After a night of mediation and doubting his own state, he eventually headed to the bookstore to complete the task.

A few snippets of a rundown bookstore had appeared at this point, but everything was still perfectly normal.

Moreover, this bookstore couldn't be any more ordinary.It was just a simple and unassuming bookstore.

Vanessa frowned, then loosened her brows as she thought to herself, Perhaps I'm overthinking it. It's possibly just a physical reaction from Vincent absorbing too much Holy Moon Essence too quickly, causing his inspiration to overflow and resulting in the current situation.

Letting him use it a few more times over a long period of time should balance it out...

As she mused, the scene changed into the inside of the bookstore.

The first thing she saw was the bookstore's old wooden floor. As the vision panned up, the scene revealed a counter with stools as well as the bookstore owner seated behind the counter.

Vanessa gasped.

She blinked several times to make sure she wasn't seeing things.

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The person seated behind the counter... No, that's no person!

The one in the seated posture was clearly an unidentified black silhouette with the outline of a human!

A chill went down Vanessa's spine as she recoiled backwards. Her heart pounded frantically and her temples throbbed as she stared fixedly at the scene.

What exactly... is going on?! 

Vincent appeared to not sense anything amiss and went over to that dark shadow to start a conversation. In just a moment, his identity as a priest was seen through and he was forcefully made to interact with the stone gargoyle and Seed of Desire as a warning.

Indeed, this seemingly ordinary bookstore was more like a demon's nest, with such powerful and monstrous objects and species lying in plain sight.     

Vincent could clearly determine what these things were and had cried out from fear. However, he still wasn't able to realize that the most terrifying thing was actually right in front of him.

Vanessa's heart was in her mouth when the shadowy figure grabbed Vincent's wrist and got closer.

As the image of the shadowy being got closer in her field of vision, Vanessa could see that this darkness was like an endless abyss, stirring restly for all eternity. She was vaguely able to see millions of eyes flickering within, like the stars in the night sky. There were also squirming tentacles huddled together, coiling and ready to rush out from that humanoid vessel at any moment.

No, no!

I will die!

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I can't just sit here and die!

Must resist!

Vanessa screamed in her heart, convinced that it was some sort of illusion spell as she struggled to activate 'Silent Domain' in a bid to freeze all aether in the surroundings.

However, as soon as she activated her power, all eyes were fixed on her. Formless tentacles that were both slippery and sticky, tightened around her ankles and neck, making her feel suffocated.

Vanessa's body felt cold and she stiffened up, not daring to move.

The stone gargoyle and Seed of Desire on the countertop were nothing in comparison, but just those two items had nearly scared Vincent to death.

In the vision, Vincent was still talking with that humanoid silhouette.

The words they exchanged were distorted by an invisible force and accompanied by a shrill cacophony of voices, but it seemed as if Vincent had become visibly agitated after learning something.

Eventually, a book was handed to Vincent.

Vanessa's eyes were drawn to the book. But just as she was about to get a glimpse of the title, the shackles around her body suddenly disappeared as her power activated, extinguishing the candle and immediately cutting off the vision.

'Silent Domain' had expanded, causing the stimulated aether in the surroundings to calm down and everything became quiet.

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Only the ragged breathing of Vanessa could be heard.

Face ashen, Vanessa wondered, What was that? A dream beast, monster, or.... heresy in the form of an evil god?! 

After a long while, Vanessa's conviction towards the moon took hold once again. She closed her eyes for a moment to calm her wavering mind down.

Regardless of what it is, this Vincent fellow must surely be on to something. He was specially tasked to come over and sound me out. And that book makes me uneasy. I have to do something...

A cold glint flashed across Vanessa's eyes as she summoned the attendant.

The attendant knelt to the ground respectfully.

She reached out and stroked the attendant's hair with a smile so warm and infectious. "Go, Hyman, kill him and bring me the book. Make sure there are no flaws and don't leave any traces. Just like last time."

Vanessa's beautiful face reflected in the attendant's mesmerized eyes as he bent down slowly and kissed Vanessa's instep.

"I will do as you wish. It is my honor and life's mission to serve you well," said the attendant with a look of rapt fervor.

Vanessa nodded and watched the attendant leave. She then went to the basin of water in the corner of the confessional. Dipping her fingers inside, she drew a circle and in the midst of the ripples, an image of an elderly man in lavish gold robes praying appeared.

The elderly man opened his eyes. "What's the matter, Seventh Apostle?"

"Your Holiness, I have an unusual report..."

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