Michael took a step forward and the two-meter tall, busty and naked fox-woman reluctantly moved out of his way. She had max-level ‘Identification’ and was obviously a much higher level than him, so she could easily verify that they truly did kill a great many members of the Long Dong Sect; however, when Sarah arrived, she breathed out a long sigh of relief.
Meihui suddenly let loose a deafeningly loud howl, which spread throughout the entire crater, and was returned by thousands of similar dog-like noises. Then she solemnly asked “When you were there… did you happen to find any of my kin? For centuries, we have been stealthily hunted by those monsters, but we were unable to truly retaliate… We tried several times, though we never succeeded in slaying their Patriarch.”
The Nephilim looked around at his Companions, then gazed back into the fox-woman’s beautiful green eyes, telling her “Well, I didn’t see any foxes, but considering that you guys can shapeshift… Hopefully~, they weren’t being held prisoner in that giant tower that blew up and burned down? If they were killed, it’s also possible that their souls might have been stored in that ominous Spirit Sealing Tomb. Hmm, if you wanna check and see, then just come with us through the portal.”
She frowned, “If our Goddess truly did bestow this temple upon you, then you shall prove it to me by opening the-” As she was speaking, Michael grabbed the handle and jiggled it for a few seconds before using ‘Telekinesis’ to unlock it from the inside.
Ignoring the gasping vixen, the five of them walked into the wide-open first floor of the pagoda, and noticing that it was completely hollow inside. There were no stairs leading upwards, but considering that most people at their level were able to fly, it wasn’t as if the space was simply decorative. In fact, along the walls were a myriad of book-shelves, filled with scrolls, novels, and other ancient texts; aside from that, there were also a great multitude of stained-glass windows, depicting all sorts of events which occurred long before the Grand Matriarch was born.
Elina grinned as she gracefully ascended upwards, ‘Scanning’ everything and noticing that there were very few items below Rare Quality, and even a handful of Epic tomes. The angelic cat-girl skimmed through a few of them, but they were all unreadable for anyone who wasn’t of the Nature Affinity. She complained “Ow-ow-ow~! My head~ feels like it’s going to explode! For some reason, most of these scriptures are protected by some sort of curse… which converts the words into weird animal noises within your mind.”
Meihui stared up at the thousands of books, frowning deeply, and turning her pleading expression towards the Nephilim. Michael sighed, “Okay, so technically, I don’t own the tower, just that little tree over there. Everything else belongs to your people, so ya don’t have ta beg me or anything. Anyway, you can fuck around for a few minutes, since Talia and Inari are still a few miles away.”
The fox-woman immediately started grinning, as she leaped off the ground and latched onto a random shelf. Many of the oldest, Epic books, were actually written with magical ink that could only be ‘read’ by sniffing the pages with extremely profound olfactory senses.
Michael sat down on a red-jade bench, near the southeastern wall and was joined by a naked cat-girl who sat on his lap, a veil-wearing but seductive Dark-Goblin was to his right, and a beautiful angel nuzzled against his left side. Alice was examining the tiny Golden Bonsai of Chu Xu, which was planted in a small vase, in the center of the floor.
“Welp, since we’re waiting anyway… Sarah, turn your Legendary weapon into a pair of scissors and cut my hair. I only vaguely remember it, but I’m pretty sure that we tried it out inside the Battleground Sanctuary and it worked.” Unfortunately, only the Nephilim seemed to possess those particular memories.
Elina started playing with her extremely long, silver, wavy locks and murmured “JJ and I should probably have ours cut as well…”
The little girl unequipped her mantle and veil, asking “Why don’t I just use a razor and shave it all off? Is there even a point ta havin all this fuckin hair? Not like it actually does anything useful.”
Jasmine suddenly pounced onto Sarah and straddled her lap, running her fingers through the elf-like, completely straight, silverish-blue hair. “Nyah~, JJ likes it better long though~! Looks way~ prettier! Meow~, my coochie is all itchy~ inside… can I use your tail to scratch it?”
However, before they had time to fornicate or have anything cut and shaved, the two stragglers finally arrived. Michael and the others quickly got up and gathered around the Golden Bonsai of Chu Xu, along with a small, bright-red, six-tailed fox; after a few seconds, the Nephilim yelled “Go~! Teleport~! Bonsai~! Grah~! Bark-bark motherfucker! Damn it, maybe we all have to do some kinda blood and semen ritual?”
Alice looked down at the tree, muttering “Luxiana, Michelle’s Prairie… Michael’s Waterfall Sanctuary?” and the potted plant began emitting a blinding radiance. In an instant, they had been transported nearly two-thousand miles to the northeast.
It was the middle of the night, so the Citizens of Luxiana would typically have been sleeping in their hovels, laying on beds made out of fur or leather. However, it had been less than two days since they received their new homes; considering that there was a three-hundred foot tall demonic-beast of Darkness pacing around nervously and screaming every time she saw a giant cockroach or rat, most people were terrified and wide-awake.
Thus, Arnold, Daniel and Laura had finally decided to hold a very important ceremony. Most of the villagers were devout Luxians and the pilgrims who had come from other towns, were even more fanatical in their faith, so it wasn’t very difficult to find ten candidates to test Alice’s magical pills.
Since there were too many volunteers, Luxiana had chosen one maiden who was born with the Light Affinity, from each Clan that was living in the town. Each of them were wearing pure-white robes and not much else, as they sat cross-legged in a circle; the location was the center of the elevated platform on the eastern side of the colossal room.
The giant statue was sitting on her bench, smiling, while gazing down at her daughter, Laura, and nephew Arnold. Both of them were sitting in the pews, and Daniel was kneeling on the bench next to her, praying for the success and safety of those young women.
Finally, the Monk stood-up and announced “The time is nigh, brave and righteous children of Lux! Fear not failure, for the Goddess of Light has already chosen each of you from birth! Now, commence the divine sacrament!” Each of the girls was holding a wine-glass, borrowed from Michael’s kitchen, which was filled with a mixture of different ‘exotic’ fruit-juices. They placed the tablet on their tongues and then swiftly drank down the ‘holy’ beverage.
Fortunately, Elina had warned of various ‘unpleasant’ side-effects from the angelic transformation; she suggested that it was best for them to fast for a few days and make sure that their bladders and bowels were completely empty beforehand. Otherwise, it would have been a very disturbing ceremony for everyone.
However, what she didn’t know, was that evolution through Alchemical means was much more stable and safe than simply swallowing a mana-core. In fact, she would have bled to death or died from shock, if she hadn’t been protected by the Player-Home.
After taking those pills, each of the girls entered into a hallucinatory trance, where they were completely unaware of their surroundings. Some of them imagined that they were flying through the skies, while others were having conversations with dead relatives, and it was all fairly pleasant. They felt ‘happier’ than they ever had before, but that was mostly because Alice had ‘improvised’ a bit. She had added in some of Michael’s dried blood to the mix; thus, allowing them to temporarily gain the ability to speak with literal ghosts or astral project, and having the ‘side-effect’ of extreme euphoria.
The moment that they began their transformations, something strange happened. An overpowering Arcane aura enveloped the whole cathedral, and then a small green fern sprouted from the marble floor, right in front of the platform. However, only those with fairly high Perception were even able to notice, and the majority of people were completely unaware.
On the ‘stage’, each of those ten girls started changing slowly. Previously, some of them had dark skin, or were extremely tan from working in the fields, but their complexions were becoming lighter by the second.
Freckles, scars, birthmarks, moles, pimples, and even burns were completely cleared away. Eventually, their flesh seemed as if it were made out of a milky, flexible and elastic plastic material. Nearly all of their body-hair fell-out, along with the fur on their ears and tails, but the remaining hair had turned to a metallic silvery color.
Similar to what happened with Elina, their tails and ears were then covered by feathery white fur. Those that had excess fat or bulky muscles, were swiftly thinned down and became much leaner. Each of them had become significantly taller, while their bones lost a lot of density, but maintained the same durability and strength.
Finally, their irises, lips, genitals, and tongues gained a bright golden luster, making them seem ethereal and ‘angelic’. Yet, there were no fluffy wings erupting from their backs, even after the evolutions had technically ended.
As the girls came out of their trances, they gazed around at each-other in shock and some of them even started crying silver tears. Daniel announced “Congratulations, children of Lux! You have all taken the first step towards your dreams of becoming closer to our Goddess! Now, let us begin the Mass of Holy Light!” Then he began singing “Nyah~, nya-nya-nyah~! Meow~, mew meow~…”
Arnold sighed, muttering “Thankfully, no one died or worse… ow~!”
Laura pinched his left arm and pouted, whispering “How could you have such negative thoughts in this kind of situation?”
After a few seconds, a blinding green light enveloped the whole room, causing everyone to become deathly silent. The fern suddenly grew until it was five meters tall and extremely wide, even hanging over the ‘angelic’ maidens who were still sitting on the stage.
As the radiance dimmed, eight of those huge leafy branches fell off and landed on the ground. They each liquified and created mysterious puddles on the marble floor, from which six ‘people’ and two foxes abruptly erupted out of.