The jester chuckled a bit. “You know, that’s what I like about you. There were plenty of ways you could have developed back when I brought you to this world, but I think I like the current iteration of you the most.”
“You sacrificed everything else in your life. Only power is left.”
“But because of that, you can’t possibly sacrifice that as well. You already went all-in on power. So, if you lose now, you lose everything.”
“Tell me, if you knew for absolute certain that it would be an absolute impossibility for you to ever reach the Ninth Realm, much less the Tenth Realm, what would you do?”
Shang didn’t answer, but he didn’t need to.
Both of them knew the answer.
However, Shang’s mind wasn’t thinking about such hypothetical scenarios.
The path forward might be extremely perilous and difficult, but it wasn’t impassable.
As long as there was a chance, Shang would push forward with his entire existence.
“Alright, the rewards then,” the jester said after a bit.
Shang didn’t answer, but his head finally turned to face the jester.
“To be honest with you,” the jester said with his trademarked smirk, “your power reached levels where there’s only one reward left that would fit your score. It’s basically the ultimate prize.”
“However, I think that would be too restrictive for you. Accepting that reward would essentially lock you into one specific Path to Godhood, and I think it’s better to give you more options.”
“So, I’ve prepared three different rewards in total, but two of these rewards consist of two separate things, while the last one is effectively the thing I designed as the ultimate prize.”
The jester’s smirk widened. “And one more thing.”
“I saw how hard you are trying to find a way forward, and I have taken a look at some of the potential Paths you have found.”
“Many of them don’t lead to Godhood, but it’s impossible for you to know.”
“But it would also be a bit boring to see you choose a Path that makes it impossible to reach Godhood. A game needs genuine danger to be exciting. What fun would this little game be if you never had a chance of actually coming for my head?”
Shang didn’t answer.
“So, I’ve designed the three rewards with one of your theoretical Paths in mind each. You may choose which one you want.”
“Let’s start with the first one,” the jester said as he lifted his right arm.
At that moment, a pedestal broke out of the ground, and Shang could see two things on it.
He knew what one of the things did, but he wasn’t sure what the other thing was for.
“The first object of the first reward,” the jester said as he walked forward to lift one of the objects.
The object the jester was lifting was a small wheel with some symbols on it.
It looked exactly like the Affinity wheel of the trial but smaller.
The jester held the wheel up and showed it to Shang.
“Your inner world will now have Mana from the outside world in it, making training in here just as good as training outside your inner world.”
“And even more,” the jester added with a chuckle. “You get free access to the Affinity wheel.”
“That means you can spin it whenever you want, fight whatever you want, and you don’t need to be afraid of dying since you will automatically resurrect.”
Shang took a deep breath.
He knew exactly why the God was offering this as a reward.
Shang had already been worried about training his Fire and Ice Affinities.
He could train his Light and Darkness Affinities without any issues in the Training Rooms, but he couldn’t possibly show the Keeper his Fire and Ice Affinities as well.
Additionally, Shang would be able to always summon perfect training partners.
The God had offered this reward to solve Shang’s current problem.
With this, he could train whatever he wanted.
“The second object of the first reward,” the jester said as he put the small wheel down and lifted something else.
Shang knew what that was.
It was a black cube.
Shang’s grip on Sword tightened.
“A second weapon of your choice,” the God said. “It will start at the same level as your current one.”
“What does this mean for Sword?” Shang asked, this being the first time he had spoken up in a long while.
The black cube spun on the jester’s finger, as he only smirked.
“You will have a second sword, but you will always only have one Sword,” he said.
Shang only nodded.
He knew what the God meant.
After seeing the black cube, Shang could think of two of the possible Paths he had theorized.
This reward fit both of these Paths.
Then, a second pedestal appeared with two objects on it.
Just like before, Shang could see what one of them was.
The jester lifted up one of the two things.
It was a small suit of armor.
“You already know this one,” the jester said. “I offered you the same thing last trial.”
The jester put the small piece of armor down and lifted up the other object.
It was the skin of a face.
It was like someone had skinned a face and had made a mask out of it.
“The Mask of Way Too Many Faces,” the jester said with a chuckle. “You put it on, and your appearance and aura will change.”
“Only very powerful Mage Lords can see through the disguise, and no, your superior doesn’t belong to the Mage Lords I consider very powerful.”
Shang also knew why the God had offered this reward to him.
With this reward, he could leave the Temple of Blood and go wherever he wanted.
Additionally, the suit of armor also fit perfectly to one of the Paths Shang had theorized.
“Now, as for the last reward.”
A third pedestal rose from the ground, and this time, there was only one item on it.
“The ultimate prize,” the jester said as he lifted it with just two fingers.
It was a small pill.
“This pill will get rid of your warrior body, and you gain full access to your mind, like any other Mage,” the jester said.
Then, he chuckled a bit and looked at Shang.
“And you get to keep your regenerative powers.”
“The advantages of both worlds without the disadvantages.”
“Isn’t that great?”
The jester put the pill down and stepped away from the pedestals.
“So, what will it be?”