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“Abyss…”

Evé murmured.

Although she still hadn’t personally come into contact with the Abyss, and most of what she knew about it only came from the inheritance of the World Tree, she instantly grasped its true origin the moment Evé sensed the malevolent and frenzied aura emitting from the artifact.

Indeed, this skeletal necklace was a divine artifact that was corrupted by the Abyss.

The Abyss serves as the collective term for the chaotic planes at the bottom of the realm of Seigües. It also acts as the in-between boundary that separates the Netherworld from the mortal realm—a dreadful place wherein the natural laws are in constant disarray.

The Abyss also serves as the homeland for demons and evil gods.

No one knows when the Abyss actually first appeared.

However, it is confirmed that the Abyss plane lie at the bottom of the entire realm of Seigües, possessing a powerful attraction that continuously draws upon the upper planes toward its depths.

In the realm of Seigües, new planes sprout forth each year, yet, ancient planes also succumb to the allure of the Abyss, falling into its depths before becoming another stratum of the Abyss.

This cycle has repeated on for countless of years, and so far, no one still knows exactly how many planes the Abyss has actually consumed, forming an endless stratum hence its name—

The Abyss.

Creatures can also be born within the abyss, but the abyssal nature of this plane completely distorts their souls. Creatures born from the Abyss tend to be insane, paranoid, corrupted, and hostile towards the material realm.

Hence, the inhabitants of Seigües simply refer to these creatures as demons.

Moreover, the Abyss is also a breeding ground for evil gods, wherein a large number of them are either hiding or procreating.

And these malevolent entities often entice mortals from the material realm to sacrifice themselves to them, hereby introducing evil and chaos into the upper planes.

Eventually, the power of the Abyss corrodes the upper planes and drags them into its depths.

In essence, the Abyss is a natural adversary of the upper planes.

The corruption of the Abyss is nearly insurmountable, even causing unease amongst the gods.

If a deity’s soul is somehow tainted by Abyssal power, then even a true god will suffer severe consequences, ranging from mild confusion to madness or even direct corruption into a fallen Abyssal deity, depending on the severity of the corruption.

This is why Uller didn’t leave his divine imprint on this artifact and instead used his believers, sacrificing them to indirectly utilize its malevolent power.

Uller’s wariness regarding this artifact heightened Evé’s caution upon acquiring the Withering Heart.

She had noticed that Hela’s Soul Orb was only sealed for a brief moment by this artifact, yet in that short span, the orb was already tainted with so much layer of malevolent and chaotic essence.

Had Evé not swiftly extracted her own divine soul from the Orb, then she might have faced a similar fate.

“It would be great if there was some way to efficiently purify the power of the abyss.”

Evé sighed internally.

Divine power of the Gods can suppress the abyssal power up to a certain extent. For instance, if the Abyssal contamination is weaker, then they can remove it directly.

However, when the Abyssal contamination is potent enough, then purifying it becomes a more challenging endeavor.

The Withering Heart which was even feared by Uller has become heavily contaminated by the Abyss. As a result, purifying this artifact would be exceedingly difficult, even with the intervention of a true god like herself.

There might be a possibility of her becoming contaminated herself if she were to carelessly purify this artifact.

“There must be a feasible method to purify the abyssal contamination… If I remember correctly, the Netherworld was once a stratum of the Abyss that was purified by a Primordial Death God. The question is, how was it accomplished?”

This… is indeed quite challenging to explain.

The Primordial Death God was a divine entity just a step away from being a Great Old One, far beyond what Evé could compare to currently.

It is said that even the previous World Tree, even at its peak, still couldn’t surpass this great old being.

The Primordial Death God was an existence far more older than the World Tree. He was an ancient deity with a history far more older than even the Dragons and Titans!

Of course, whether the previous World Tree reached its limit is still a mystery…

Even now, Evé vividly remembers the description of her [Absorption] ability within the World Tree’s inheritance:

“The inherent ability of the World Tree in its primary form, is capable of absorbing void energy, the power of the origin, and life force from the void, dimensional worlds, and living beings, converting them into its own divine power…”

The keyword is the World Tree’s ‘primary form.’

If there’s a primary form, then does that mean there are intermediate and advanced forms?

Based on her current performance, aside from the strength of her divine power, Evé doesn’t really feel much of a gap between herself and the true gods of faith.

So that begs the question…what form was her predecessor at, the previous World Tree?

After her revival, as her divine power gradually increased, Evé became more and more skeptical about whether the previous World Tree had even surpassed the primary form.

After all… the name “World Tree” carries the words “world” within it!

And now, even though her real body is already quite large, it’s still only a kilometer tall, not that large compared to the grand concept of a “world” that inherently lies within their given name.

Even back a thousand ago at its prime, when the old World Tree had not yet withered, its height was still less than ten kilometers.

It might be considered the tallest entity in the world, but it still feels lacking compared to the term “world.”

Or perhaps… is the term “World Tree” simply an exaggeration to describe an individual tree that is as big as a world tree?

No… that would still be too low, wouldn’t it?

If that is the case, then they would be better called the Tree of Eternity, the Tree of Life, or something along those lines.

Evé shook her head inwardly.

Setting aside these messy thoughts, she focused once again on the withering heart before her.

However, this time, she was wholly astonished at what she found.

“Huh?…The essence of the Abyss somehow… disappeared?!”

Evé observed with shocked eyes as the withering heart hovered peacefully in mid-air within her divine mental domain, as its color changed from black-red to pure white.

Although it still had a skeletal appearance, it no longer exuded that chaotic and malevolent aura.

The Abyssal power on the withering heart had been purged?!

In an instant, Eve’s expression showed quite a dramatic look as she stared dumbfoundedly at the floating artifact for a couple of seconds.

She then waved her hand, guiding the withering heart into her palm.

As the withering heart touched her hand, Evé distinctly felt that the weight of this artifact seemed to have increased.

She sensed it carefully once again.

“Hmmm, how peculiar…indeed the abyssal contamination within it has been purified! There’s not a trace of chaotic and evil aura within it anymore. Although it’s still an incomplete divine artifact, I can now claim it and manipulate it with my own divine power.”

Evé felt delighted.

However, after her onset of joy, she also felt a sense of confusion.

Even the powerful God of War found it difficult to remove the aura of the abyss within Withering Heart.

So how could it had been removed?

Could it be because of her divine power that was rich with the essence of life that she had just infused?

If so, then could her divine power… purify Abyssal energy?!

Although the divine power of ancient gods can inherently suppresses Abyssal energy, isn’t her own power seemed too strong?

Could it be… because she is the World Tree?

Moreover, her divine power of life and the Abyssal energy within the artifact disappeared altogether…

Could it be that it was both neutralized?

“My divine power can actually purify Abyssal energy?!”

“If that’s the case, then… does it mean I can absorb the power of creatures in the Abyss? After all, although they are either eroded by the abyss or born directly from the abyss, technically, these creatures still have a ‘life,’ which is a natural law that my divinity governs!”

Evé was greatly moved.

However, after discovering the secret of her divine power, suddenly, a question that confused her even more emerged:

Wait a moment…

The Abyss is the natural enemy of the gods.

If the World Tree can purify the power of the abyss, then no matter what angle one look at it, the gods should be supporting the World Tree instead.

So then, why would they besiege it?

There may be more hidden secrets that I don’t know about…

Thinking of this, Eve’s initially joyful expression gradually faded, and a sense of solemnity settled within her heart.

Just at that moment, the casket of the dead placed beside her throne suddenly radiated a profound light.

The Goddess of Death, Hela, had finally replied.

The speed for which she responded was much faster than Evé had imagined…

She raised her hand slightly, directly bringing the casket into her grasp and opened it.

260

【 SECRETS OF THE WORLD TREE

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