Chapter 4: The Prophet


A prophet held a revered position as the conduit through which divine will was conveyed.
And by this definition, the enigmatic pixel devote who chanced upon the coveted [Sylvan Staff of Rejuvenation] unquestionably embodied the role of faithful servitude.


Within the pixelated realm of the game, Lu Yao yearned for someone who could fathom his intentions, even if only to a limited extent.
It far surpassed the haphazard conjectures of a multitude of villains.
The notion of further hapless newborns filling the dreaded “sacrifice” void was a fate he ardently wished to avoid.


Without a moment's hesitation, Lu Yao decisively clicked the “Yes” button.


In an explosion of vibrant radiance, the screen unveiled the proclamation:


“The first prophet has emerged within the Garlic Tribe.
Under the prophet's guidance and influence, the collective intelligence of the tribe experienced a subtle enhancement.”


Following Lu Yao's resolute action, a resplendent white light enshrouded the pixilated fanatic, transmuting the question mark above their head into a luminescent light bulb.


Adorned upon the fanatics form, the word “Prophet” now blazed with ethereal brilliance.


The Prophet bowed in reverence before the idol and gracefully departed the temple.


As soon as they emerged, a throng of pixelated fanatics congregated around the Prophet, their actions seemingly attuned to their newfound awareness of divine favor.


With unwavering conviction, the Prophet declared, “God demand sacrifices in the form of mystical artifacts beyond our mortal comprehension.
Henceforth, be vigilant and heed my words.
If you chance upon such relics, offer them to God, and in return, his blessings shall be bestowed upon you.”


“I wholeheartedly concur with the Prophet's wisdom!”


“Let us unwaveringly follow the Prophet's guidance!”


“Seek out these marvelous objects, the mysterious and extraordinary!”


“Once, I caught a glimpse of a miraculous white boar, as elusive as a specter.
It remains ungrasped, a truly magical creature that God will undoubtedly favor!”


“And in the aquatic realm, I beheld an extraordinary fish, capable of devouring flesh and bone alike.
Its unearthly appetite renders it a divine delicacy, destined to please God!”


Lu Yao keenly observed the last two worshipers who spoke, a mix of amusement and recognition dancing in his eyes.
Undoubtedly, they were the Zhu brothers, still clad in their distinctive leather waistcoats.
Though devoid of any visible marks or names, their attire rendered them unmistakable.


These two fervently advocated for pigs and fish, akin to ethereal fireflies amidst the darkest of nights, blending seamlessly into the tapestry of the tribe.


While the Prophet illuminated others regarding the desirable qualities of the sacrifices, the ensuing three hours yielded no similar discoveries from the worshipers.
Most resumed their ordinary routines, tending to the cultivation of garlic and berries, their primary sustenance.


Within this span of time, two newborns were brought into existence within the tribe.
The pixel populace promptly embraced the responsibility of caring for these precious additions.


Amongst all the inhabitants, the Prophet stood as the sole figure Lu Yao could manipulate and guide.
However, the extent of the Prophet's comprehension and potential discoveries rested solely upon their own capacity.


After intently observing their actions for a while, Lu Yao realized it was already 6:30 in the evening, and his hunger demanded attention.


He descended the stairs to the modest restaurant, swiftly ordering a delectable dish of fried rice, its tender shreds of pork intermingling with vibrant green peppers.
With voracious appetite, he devoured his meal before hastening back upstairs.


Upon returning to the computer screen, Lu Yao was greeted by a cascade of new developments within the Garlic Tribe.


An unknown black bear had infiltrated the tribe, wreaking havoc by decimating two fields and a dwelling.


Tragically, two pixel individuals lay lifeless on the ground.


The majority of the trembling inhabitants sought refuge behind the temple, gripped by fear.
Meanwhile, the Prophet stood at the temple's side, cradling two tribal infants in their arms.


To the diminutive pixel beings, the black bear appeared as a monstrous entity, towering two or three times their size.
Currently, it savored the lifeless body of one of their brethren.


Lu Yao's fury surged within him.


After patiently awaiting the birth of two newborns, a crucial step in bolstering the tribe's population and solidifying their faith, fate had mercilessly snatched away two invaluable lives.
Did the bear harbor a death wish?


Divine justice would surely befall the transgressor!


However, as he prepared to conjure a bolt of lightning, something seized his discerning gaze.


Two devout followers, accompanied by the formidable black bear, stood locked in an unconventional confrontation.
Clad in leather vests and wielding wooden clubs, they circled the bear in a choreographed fashion, alternately striking its head and hindquarters.


They moved with calculated precision, their every action accompanied by resounding battle cries that reverberated through the air.


“Extraordinary Might!”


“With the agility of a fish, I strike!”


Their voices resonated distinctly, unmistakably belonging to the valiant duo known as Brother Pigfish.


Caught in a precarious dilemma, Lu Yao found himself ensnared by the threads of uncertainty.
Unleashing lightning in their current proximity would undoubtedly spell the doom of these two courageous villains, much like the ill-fated destiny that befell the horned helmet before them.
It was imperative to create a safe distance between the relentless combatants, for the tribe's population could ill afford any further losses.


Determined to gain a deeper understanding of the situation, Lu Yao resolved to reassess the unfolding events.


The two devotees exhibited astonishing flexibility in their movements, their synergy serving as a testament to their unwavering cooperation.
In perfect tandem, they alternated between luring the black bear with a single stick and launching relentless attacks, targeting its vulnerable back and belly.
Although the wooden weapon inflicted minimal damage, it managed to incite a sense of frustration within the bear, igniting a fierce surge of rage.
Abandoning its lifeless prey on the ground, the bear pursued the two men with unbridled fury.
However, this time the cunning duo refrained from further provocation and swiftly retreated toward the safety of the forest.


Lu Yao's comprehension deepened.


Their motive became apparent—the two villains sought to divert the bear's attention away from the tribe, minimizing the harm inflicted upon their fellow pixel tribmen.


Though the pig and fish brothers often projected an air of unreliability, their true mettle shone through in the face of grave adversity.
Such circumstances seemed to unearth their hidden potential, revealing a bravery that surpassed all expectations.


With keen foresight, Lu Yao promptly engaged the miracle of [Lightning], harnessing its power to forecast the black bear's trajectory as it fervently pursued the fleeing villains.
His objective was clear—to maintain a substantial distance between the impending electrical discharge and the valiant brothers, safeguarding them from certain destruction.


In a dazzling display, a radiant silver lightning bolt descended from the heavens, striking the bear with lethal precision.
For a fleeting moment, the majestic creature crumpled to the ground, its scorched body billowing with tendrils of smoke.
Brother Zhuyu, too, succumbed to the ferocity of the lightning strike, collapsing in a heap.
Yet, after a few tense seconds, he miraculously rose, his resilience a testament to their unyielding spirit.


A sigh of relief escaped Lu Yao's lips as the formidable bear lay vanquished by the mighty forces of nature.
In response, a jubilant uproar erupted among the pair, their arms raised in triumph, and radiant smiley faces illuminated above their heads.
However, above the wise prophet's brow, a veil of uncertainty remained, manifesting in perplexing question marks.


Eager to uncover the prophet's thoughts, Lu Yao intently clicked on the enigmatic symbol.


Within the prophet's mind, a myriad of questions swirled in a tempestuous dance.
“Why did this colossal bear emerge from the depths of the mountain? Never before have I laid eyes upon such a magnificent creature in our vicinity.
From whence did it come, and what prompted its sudden assault upon the Garlic Tribe?”


Resolutely entrusting the child into the waiting arms of a nearby villagers, the prophet embarked on a solemn pilgrimage toward the charred remains of the fallen bear.
As the prophet drew near, an exclamation mark materialized above their head, its brilliance illuminating the gravity of their discovery.


“Not a bear!” the prophet exclaimed, eyes widening in profound revelation.
The char


red carcass of the bear dissolved into the lifeless form of a human —a sinister convert to the cult of demons.
A wave of panic surged through the ranks of the diminutive tribespeople, their previously united front now riddled with fear and uncertainty.


“A follower of the devil!”


“These are the twisted minions who have succumbed to the allure of demonic worship! They assume the form of bears to launch their nefarious attacks, aiming to annihilate our temple and lay siege upon us!”


“A ravenous, man-eating demon—such horror!”


“Demons! Ghastly demons! They lurk among us! We must escape this malevolent presence!”


In the midst of this chaos, three pixel villains hastily scattered in disparate directions, driven by sheer terror.
In an instant, the population count displayed in the upper right corner dwindled to 25, a stark reminder of the perils that besieged the tribe.
Concurrently, the precious reservoir of Faith Points diminished by three, accounting for the expenditure of 20 Faith Points during the utilization of [Lightning] and the replenishment of the [Sylvan Staff of Rejuvenation].
Merely seven Faith Points remained, stored within the hallowed walls of the temple.


In a moment of contemplation, Lu Yao found himself bewildered by the challenges that persistently beleaguered their burgeoning tribe.
Their struggle for survival seemed to intertwine inexorably with the emergence of the demonic presence, pitting gods against their unholy adversaries.
Shortly after the inception of their humble tribe, the cultists of demons had set their sights upon the Garlic Tribe, leaving Lu Yao to ponder whether this was a mere misfortune or a targeted assault.


One thing remained certain—days fraught with daunting confrontations against the forces of darkness lay ahead.


Amidst the tumultuous aftermath, the prophet chanced upon a letter nestled within the folds of the demon cultist's lifeless body.
As the prophet perused its contents, the truth began to unravel.


“The letter reads: The Forest Tribe is our target.
Strike swiftly and mercilessly, capitalizing on the absence of their hunters.”


The question mark that once adorned the prophet's brow now transformed into the radiant glow of a light bulb, signifying a revelation of profound significance.


“I understand now.
This misguided cultist, who assumed the form of a black bear, had gravely erred in their target selection.
Mistaking our tribe for the Forest Tribe, they launched their assault upon us.
Their true aim lies with the forest-dwelling brethren, and thus, we remain secure.”


With the reassurance of the prophet's words, a semblance of calm washed over the terrified tribespeople, allowing them to find solace amid the wreckage.
Commencing their arduous task of rebuilding, the pixel populace diligently toiled, mending the shattered homes and tending to the ravaged farmlands.


Curiosity piqued, Lu Yao directed his attention to the temple's interface, discovering that the [Garlic] within the [Gift] slot remained, rendering remote assistance unattainable for the time being.


Beneath it, the [sacrifice] slot lay vacant, devoid of any new offerings from the tribe's devoted followers.


To his astonishment, two additional devotees materialized within the temple's sacred confines.


“Great god,” they addressed Lu Yao humbly, their presence an embodiment of extraordinary feats that surpassed the achievements of their peers, “we present to you two believers who have achieved remarkable prowess.
Shall we bestow upon them the honor of becoming heroes?”


As Lu Yao stood at the precipice of decision, the future of the Garlic Tribe hung suspended in the delicate balance between mortal heroes and godly intervention.

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