Book 1, Chapter 100

Ceremony

Ferlyn’s sceptre stopped moving, and she disappeared from her position to reappear beside Gaton. She smiled, “Marquess Gaton, I’d never thought you would have brought such great offerings this time. The blessings I receive will increase significantly as well. However, while this child will undoubtedly become a runemaster in the future. That level of offerings… it seems to be a waste. I hear the enemies of the Archerons are still aplenty, and equally strong.”

Gaton inhaled deeply before saying, “This is what he deserves, and very soon he will be sent to a different plane. If he can get more blessings, then so it shall be. As for our enemies, ha! They can come if they want to, I’ll teach them regret.”

The high priestess Ferlyn nodded her head and spoke elegantly, “Then we shall see the results of this child’s blessings, and pray that the gifts will be related to the sands of time…”

An inconceivably massive conscient had already enveloped Richard in that pillar of light, pulling his consciousness back from the void. Back to his senses, the boy was shocked to find that he was now a regular human, just like any other. His mana was sealed, and so was his bloodline. Realising the ceremony had already begun, he immediately lifted the devil skull from the larger chest and painstakingly placed it on the altar.

Brilliant light was formed as soon as the skull made contact with the altar, turning into another pillar that charged up into the skies. The skull gradually turned transparent in the light, before innumerable runic scriptures appeared from within. They then converged, disappearing into the void. It seemed as if the altar was set ablaze, as the countless scriptures turned into golden butterflies that fluttered towards the distant stars. As for the skull itself, it had disintegrated into nothingness.

A ray of light appeared from the void, shining directly onto Richard. It soon turned into a cocoon of light, manifesting those countless runes within. Richard heaved a sigh of relief. The appearance of the light cocoon indicated that the Eternal Dragon was satisfied with the offering. At the very least, he would not receive any divine punishment. However, there were no need for worries right from the start. Under usual circumstances, a greater devil’s skull was enough to conduct the highest grade of sacrificial ceremony.

Although it was extremely difficult to grasp the different forms of the light cocoon, Richard still tried to observe it. All of his knowledge before this came from books or libraries, and to witness something like this up front gave him a greater understanding that would benefit him greatly as he tried to learn the laws of the worlds in the future.

Every scene, every rune, represented a certain type of divine blessing. For example, a rune shaped like armour would indicate a chance to get more powerful equipment. Crystals and gems would yield rare resources. What these runes manifested into now would be determined by the degree of the blessing received.

Of course, the most precious of all was the emblem of the Church of the Eternal Dragon, the hourglass. Any blessing which touched upon the sands of time would be incomparably powerful. The time the blessing took to manifest determined its power, and from what the numbers in Richard’s vision told him, the blessings were random with no set rules.

The light cocoon abruptly split open and formed an hourglass, and a large one at that! Richard’s breathing halted for a moment, before he was overtaken by glee. Golden beads of sand flowed within the hourglass, the sands of time itself.

The gargantuan will enveloped him once again— the first stage of the ceremony had ended. Richard suppressed his glee, before using copious amounts of effort to place the demon’s heart on the altar. Without any of his powers, it was no easy feat to lift this thing that weighed over a hundred kilograms. If not for him being force-fed his way into a strong, healthy, body, he wouldn’t even have been able to move this heart.

Very soon, Richard looked at the altar with anticipation. The offerings made to the Dragon of Eternity and Light all possessed mighty power. They could be fragments of divine weapons, or even whole gems. Items that came from foreign planes would receive even more blessings than those from Norland. The more powerful the offering, the more the blessings. Thus, just based on the ranks of power, the demon lord’s heart was much more precious than the devil skull.

The altar trembled as the heart was placed upon it, before coming to a stop. Once more, Richard unknowingly held his breath.

A low sigh suddenly rang out, in the raspy voice of a dragon. Blinding golden light seeped out from every corner of the altar, forming several dozen torrents of gold before piercing the demon heart. The heart writhed violently, and an ear-piercing wail actually came from within. Very soon, it floated in midair together with the torrents of golden light. More light appeared above the altar from the void, once again boring into the heart from all directions. The heart gradually turned transparent, and the light gold of runic scriptures appeared and rose into the skies once again.

However, this scripture still had strands of golden light connecting to the heart, causing it to beat ten times faster than it was. Each pulse pulled some of the runes back, but with the passage of time more left than returned. Eventually the runes began to break apart, forming golden butterflies that soared into the void.

The process of digesting the demon’s heart was evidently much slower than that for the devil’s head. A little under half remained even after ten minutes, and by then the light of blessing appeared once again in the void.

This time, the light cocoon did not transform much before adopting the form of an hourglass. However, the glow did not cease. This cocoon was much brighter and more powerful than the one before, causing Richard to divert his gaze after a while as he was left unable to look on. As the pillar of light continued to shine, the ball of light turned even brighter.

The demon heart finally disintegrated, leaving two hourglasses floating atop the altar. The piercing brilliance of the powerful light subsided, revealing a ball of pure gold light.

Richard was shocked. That ball of light was not very rare in such a ceremony. It was an egg, one that could be opened to reveal powerful divine weapons or rare resources, which while valuable wasn’t of much use.

At this moment, a bizarre, almighty, and emotionless voice rang in Richard’s ears. “Mortal, how do you want to allocate the blessings amongst your family and yourself?”

Richard immediately recalled Gaton’s words, but the happenings that occurred on his way here surfaced once again in heart.

Gaton and his rune knights had relied on their extraordinary might to repel their enemies in the darkness. Perhaps their enemies could have annihilated them, but the price to pay would be excruciatingly high. At the very least, the enemies at the forefront would accompany them in the afterlife. The Sacred Alliance was but a pile of scattered sand. They could not work together, fingers forming a palm to crush the enemies before them. Although the parties spying on the Archerons could not wait for their death, they did not want to sacrifice themselves to elevate the status of others. Back then, if the knights of the Archerons had not displayed such an impressive show of might, the wolves in the darkness would have lunged forward and devoured them.

Richard had read traces of the silvermoon elves’ history from the books in the family library and had some glimpses of the truth. He acknowledged that Gaton had his own considerations for the conquest of Evernight Forest. Regardless of what the actual truth of that expedition was, he had a sudden impulse.

It was now time to return some favours to the Archerons.

The almighty voice rang out again in his consciousness, “Mortal, how do you want to allocate the blessings amongst your family and yourself?”

Richard’s expression grew resolute, “Split them evenly.”

As soon as he made his reply, the two hourglasses shrank immediately to half their size, with no further changes to the ball of light. The voice rang out again, “Mortal, you may now receive your blessings.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated/TLC'ed By: OMA

Edited By: Theo