Infinite Mage (Novel) Chapter 172

 Eps 172 Kerugo Autonomous Region (4)

Fortunately, there was an exit. As the taste of the air changed, they emerged mid-way up a series of terraced altars.

Below them stretched the vast jungle of Mount Toa.

The forest, which overlooked 20 meters above sea level, was vast, and sporadic Kerugian settlements were visible.

Turning to the opposite side of the altar revealed a palace made of gold. It was the residence of the Kerugian chieftain. Entering the palace, they found a long hall with two rows of tables.

Shirone sat at the head table, and to his right, Amy, Rian, Tess, Canis, and Arin took their seats in that order.

On the left sat Chief Kadum and the elders. Hashid, who had blown the trumphet, was not present. The presence of Mahatu at the end of the table suggested his rank was not low.

Music played, and traditional Kerugian cuisine was served. Before they could even taste the food, warriors in pairs entered carrying large chests.

The warriors opened the lid of the chest. There was a huge amount of gold coins and jewels piled up.

"What is this?"

“This is a small gift from Kerugo. Please accept it.”

The value of the chests couldn’t be calculated by count but had to be weighed. Combined, the five chests seemed to weigh at least a ton.

Amy put down her food with a look of displeasure.

This wasn't revenue from the relics. It was money earned from smuggling Loops. And that money was enough to feed the entire tribe.

“Shirone, you’re not considering accepting this, are you?”

“There’s no way we can accept such a huge sum without knowing the reason. Besides, it’s not just being given away.”

When Shirone asked for an explanation, Kadum's expression changed.

When any saint sees a gold coin weighing more than a ton, their breathing will change. However, Shirone seemed as indifferent as if the gold were merely stones.

Shirone was not a person detached from wealth. It's just that he wasn’t foolish enough to obsess over what wasn’t his.

Kadum wasn’t flustered. Instead of explaining, he clapped, and the second tribute was brought in.

He was confident that even those who rejected wealth would not be able to move from this.

People with white tattoos on their faces came in, like the man in the Room of Achievement and Sacrifice. Shirone guessed that it was a priest.

As they moved from side to side, a dozen young and beautiful Kerugo women came in.

The boys, including Shirone, opened their mouths in a daze. It was a scene that was difficult to encounter at their age.

Beautiful women, almost naked, were approaching and danced sensually towards them.

From afar, the dance seemed quite glamorous, but as they approached, it was indecent. The women seemed to be in a trance, as their eyes were blurry.

“How do you find it? These are the most beautiful priestesses of Kerugo. The second tribute offered to the messenger of the gods. We hope it pleases you.”

Shirone felt the seat next to him become warm. Without turning his head, he could tell what Amy's expression all too well.

Kadum's gesture had the opposite effect.

Though the dance of the priestesses was enchanting, to Shirone, it seemed nothing more than the writhing of women intoxicated by Loops.

Unwarranted kindness often feels threatening, and his mind, analyzing Kadum's inner thoughts, only grew colder.

Seeing Shirone’s unyielding response, Kadum finally began to worry.

The mind of an Unlocker transcends that of ordinary beings, but it doesn't make them a saint. This is because Immortal Function is merely a path towards enlightenment, not the attainment of nirvana itself.

If one were truly free from the Five Desires and Seven Emotions, they would not have snooped around the Room of Achievement and Sacrifice in the first place. He couldn't figure out what Shirone wanted.

"I must have misunderstood. I thought you would be pleased. To be honest, this is my first time welcoming the Messenger of God, so I just followed the tradition."

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