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As Michael stepped into the dark hall, his eyes scanned the dimly lit surroundings, trying to locate the source of the voice. The room was shrouded in darkness, with only a faint, eerie blue light emanating from an unknown source. There were no portraits adorning the walls, no furnishings, just an unsettling emptiness.

In the center of the room, he noticed a solitary table. Upon the table sat a secure-looking safe, adorned with intricate runes that glowed softly in the dim light.

Before he could react, the heavy door behind him abruptly closed, the sound echoing ominously through the empty chamber. Ayag's growling voice pierced the silence, "This had better not be another trap."

To Michael's surprise, an ethereal figure began to materialize from swirling smoke, gradually taking on the familiar form of none other than his demon butler, Azazel himself. However, the Azazel before him appeared different, bearing an air of power and wisdon.

He was adorned in his customary butler uniform, the black coat and pants neatly pressed, a crisp white shirt, and a neatly tied scarf. His hair was neatly combed to the side, and his imposing red wings added an extra layer of grandeur to his presence.

"Azazel?" Michael and Vedora exclaimed in astonishment. A smile tugged at the corner of Michael's lips upon seeing his loyal demon butler, even if it was an ethereal version of the Azazel who served the previous Dark Lord.

Before he could utter a word, Azazel spoke, his voice carrying a tone of regret, "Before you ask anything, my lord, understand that this is a recording. As much as I wish to see you again, I must settle for this spectral projection."

"It goes without saying, my lord, that if you are listening to this, you have entered the realm of the gods and are likely acquainting yourself with the intricacies of this world. To my knowledge, none of your subordinates have ascended to the realm of gods, including myself," Azazel's ethereal figure continued to speak, and Michael attentively absorbed his words.

"My Lord, by now, you would have a basic understanding of how perilous this realm can be. To successfully navigate this realm and avoid repeating the mistakes we made, it is crucial that you harness your skills and further enhance your existing spells. I am aware that your choices must have altered the timeline. However, the one constant across all timelines is your war against the Pantheon," Azazel's recording conveyed, prompting a growl from Sarba.

"War with the Pantheon. Damn it," Sarba muttered under his breath.

"My Lord, if you have yet to cultivate, I implore you to do so without delay. While it is true that the gods possess immense power, even a level one god can kill a Divine Ascendancy Realm cultivator. Nevertheless, this should not deter you from pursuing cultivation. Reaching higher cultivation stages will allow you to confront angels and fanatics without relying solely on your godly abilities. I trust you are already aware of this," Azazel advised, his voice carrying the weight of the grave matters at hand.

"But that isn't the primary reason I left this recording for you, despite the Dark Lord's wishes. I wanted to inform you that all my subordinates were sent to the mortal realm before the timeline reset. So, please refrain from wasting your valuable time searching for your angels. Speaking of angels, your angels were known as the Reapers in my timeline," Azazel declared proudly.

The name 'Reapers' alone hinted at the incredible power his subordinates possessed.

"During my time with the Dark Lord, I seldom witnessed him making mistakes, except for one," Azazel paused, and the difficulty of what he was about to reveal was evident in his demeanor.

"What is it?" Ayag couldn't contain her curiosity.

"He failed to amass worshippers. Despite his formidable power, he had only a handful of temples and true worshippers. Most people feared him, but they did not genuinely worship him. This vulnerability will be exploited by the Pantheon if you failed to amass worshippers," Azazel cautioned Michael, underlining the importance of gathering worshippers.

Listening to Azazel's counsel, Michael had to admit that expanding his base of worshippers hadn't been a priority for him. In fact, if he were to make a list of his plans, amassing followers would likely have been at the bottom.

"Dark Queen Gaya had numerous temples and more worshippers than the Dark Lord, but the Pantheon ensured her followers were hunted down, one way or another," Azazel stated, and Michael could sense the anger and thirst for vengeance in his voice.

"You must cultivate your worshippers and elevate your subordinates to the status of angels. However, do not bring them into the realm of gods until you have attained at least Level 4 Godhood," Azazel advised.

Michael attentively absorbed Azazel's wisdom, although he refrained from posing any questions. After all, Azazel was merely a recording. Yet, he couldn't deny that the demon butler's advice would be invaluable to him in the future.

"And now, for the most crucial piece of information: you must discover how to kill a god," Azazel continued, prompting Ayag to roll her eyes in annoyance.

"Why can't you just tell us, you jerk? You lived here five thousand years ago, and you must know the way," Ayag growled.

"I can almost hear your question, but the Dark Lord strictly ordered me not to provide any information that could disrupt your timeline beyond his predictions. However, we have taken measures to ensure you will discover a way," Azazel explained cryptically.

Michael had a hunch that Azazel was alluding to the book written by Seshat's angel.

"Find the way no matter the cost," Azazel urged Michael. The recording fell silent for a few moments, allowing Michael to absorb the gravity of his words.

However, Azazel's ethereal gaze seemed to settle on the safe resting on the table before Michael.

"As my final act of assistance, my lord, I have left something for you. Inside this safe, you will find a portable portal device. It will enable you to travel between the domains within the realm of gods without the need for divine gateways," Azazel's revelation surprised Michael and brought a wave of relief.

"I hope this aids you, and please, save everyone, my lord. My dark lord has sacrificed much to grant you this chance. Only you can set things right," Azazel took a deep breath and concluded with a sense of finality.

"Goodbye, my lord," Azazel's ethereal form flickered and transformed into a wisp of smoke. It floated directly into the safe, disappearing into its depths with a soft click.

"Portable portal? I guess the previous Dark Lord didn't have someone who could come up with better names," Ayag chuckled, breaking the tension.

Finally, the safe clicked open, revealing a hexagonal device forged from gleaming silver metal. At its center was a luminous diamond, and its surface was adorned with countless intricate runes. Michael gently picked up the device, feeling its warmth radiating through his hand.

"How does it work? Is there a manual inside?" Sarba inquired, leaping onto the table and inspecting the safe's contents. He searched for a manual but found none.

Michael carefully examined the portal device, searching for any clues on how to activate it. His gaze fell upon a tiny button, and he pressed it. A compartment opened within the device, revealing an inscription inside that read 'Celestial Crystal.'

"It seems to operate using Celestial crystal," Michael explained.

With a flick of his wrist, he retrieved a low-grade celestial crystal and broke off a small piece, placing it into the compartment. As soon as the crystal piece was inserted, the device vibrated in Michael's grasp, and he felt a connection forming with his mind.

Suddenly, a list of domain names appeared before him, floating in mid-air.

"What is it?" Ayag asked, unable to see the display. The device had linked with Michael's system and was presenting a list of domains and cities he had previously visited.

In the list, he saw the names of Godspire, Marli's Forest, and Nimbosia.

While Michael studied the floating list of domains, the system's voice echoed in his head, providing additional information.

[More domains can be unlocked by obtaining travel runes]

Upon hearing this, Michael recalled a conversation with Gilrut, who had mentioned that the divine portals utilized travel runes to connect various domains within the realm of gods. These runes were essential for traversing the divine landscape.

Michael also remembered Gilrut's warning about the costliness of these runes. They were precious and could only be obtained from the runemasters' guild, typically found within a god's domain. This revelation emphasized the value of the portable portal device Azazel had provided and the convenience it offered in terms of inter-domain travel.

As Michael continued to explore the device's functions, the system provided more information.

[To travel to domains over longer distances, the host must use higher-grade Celestial crystals]

Michael nodded, recognizing the significance of having access to different domains and the varying demands it might impose on his resources. "This is a great help," he mused, appreciating the versatility of the device.

With his mind focused on Goldspire, the portable portal device began to vibrate in his hand. A dark vortex materialized before him, swirling with energy. Michael was impressed by the device's efficiency.

"This is going to make life so much easier," Michael remarked with a grin as he reached out and picked up Vedora.

Taking a last look at the room around him, Michael picked up the device, put it inside his armor, and walked into the portal.

To Michael's surprise, when he emerged from the portal, he found himself in a dimly lit, narrow alley. The dark, cobbled stones beneath his feet were slightly damp, and the air was filled with a musty odor.

He glanced around and quickly realized where he was—the same dark alley next to the Screaming Booklet Tavern. This was the very place where he had met the young elf who had ventured into the ruin with his friends and returned as the sole survivor.

( will have time skip and begin the Divine Tower auctions)