Book 7, Chapter 66

Eve Of The Execution

It had been a year since Zendrall had led a large amount of undead alongside the regular army to bring down the second shrine to the Highland Wargod, but he had also been ambushed by a demigod in the process. An enormous amount of divine energy had burrowed into his system, dropping him by two levels directly. This was also with the fortune of his practice of Norlandic magic having changed him somewhat; otherwise, there would have been a real possibility of all his mana being destroyed. Had that happened, he would have been forced to become a lich entirely and give his phylactery to Richard for safekeeping.

Zendrall had become a grand mage a few years ago, but after this injury he relied on extensive battle to slowly recover the death energy he had lost. Still, he had only regained one level in all this time and had found a new bottleneck in getting to level 18 that hadn’t existed before. Richard noticed from Insight that the necromancer still had an enormous amount of divine energy tearing him apart from within; he hadn’t properly recovered at all.

Still, this didn’t seem to bother the man himself, who said calmly, “I only need time, my Lord; you needn’t worry. Now, where is the prisoner I need to deal with, and by when do you need it done?”

Richard fell into thought for a moment. Link was a level 16 great mage, and with Zendrall’s condition imprisoning his soul would incur a huge cost without even a guarantee of success. The Highland Wargod’s divine energy could also use the moment of weakness to launch an extended attack that would be devastating. Considering all these factors, he firmly shook his head, “No need for now. Whatever, let’s see just who will try to stop me from killing that bastard; I’ll return to Norland tomorrow, get some rest.”

……

By the time Richard returned to Faust, news of a Link Myron being marked for execution by Richard as a result of attempted assault on Rosie Archeron had already spread. With the turbulence already existing within the City of Miracles, this news had been blown up by the minor nobles who didn’t have an island of their own. Many still hated Richard for killing their saints not long ago, and yet here he was starting a new issue.

The Myrons were a ducal family that had accelerated their development in recent years. Many believed that they would earn themselves a place amongst the fourteen in ten years, which spoke volumes of how powerful they were. Link hadn’t been sent to study in Rosie’s workshop for money; as someone who had formerly studied under Lunor, he was an olive branch to the Archeron Family to test whether an alliance was possible. Rumours were abound even then of altercations between him and runemaster Lunor’s direct disciples.

Ever since he had become a true runemaster, Link had grown from a talented youth to a core inheritor of the family. The current Duke was Link’s uncle, and he wouldn’t sit by as the hope of the younger generation was snuffed out. Everyone was eager to see just what would happen on the day of sentencing.

The Archerons had already booked the execution grounds for Faust in advance; it was to occur the next day. When Richard arrived at his study, the old butler knocked and entered to pass him some news, “Duke Myron sent an envoy a short while before you returned, my Lord. There was a public declaration that Link had to be put on trial in a court overseen by the assembly, and that the conviction could not be determined by the Archerons alone.”

“Where’s the envoy?” Richard asked.

“He… already left, my Lord. Forgive me.”

“Sigh,” he patted the old man’s shoulder, “It’s not your fault; it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to detain him without me present. But it isn’t too late yet. Go spread the news that I’m back; Myron will rush over once he hears about it.”

The Archerons were currently the talk of the city, so all news regarding them would spread quickly. The envoy was back on the island within two hours, arrogantly bringing the same message. However, this time a few rune knights burst forth from the darkness and killed all of his guards, breaking both his legs before throwing him straight through the portal. The shrieks of excruciating pain when he landed resounded through the common lobby, a slap in the face of Duke Myron.

A short while later, the furious Duke was outfitted for battle as he led hundreds of heavily armed warriors towards the Archeron portal. Every one of these soldiers was at least level 12, and from the looks of it this wasn’t a mere threat. These men moved as one with a frightening killing intent radiating from them; this was a troop that had killed thousands upon thousands of enemies.

Myron’s expression was cold as frost as he took big steps towards the teleportation temple, pointing his heavy sword at the ground the moment he was inside. His gaze was now as sharp as a sword, half-white beard covered in a layer of frost as he waved his soldiers to file into the alcove that led to the Archeron island.

However, the portal suddenly lit up and an enormous figure walked through, aura alone frightening half the people in the shrine with a significant number of them falling to the floor. “Ogre lord!” someone screamed.

The Duke’s eyes twitched as he glared at Tiramisu. He had heard long ago that Richard Archeron had a terrifying ogre lord following him, and seeing the man in person that description couldn’t be more accurate. Just the weight of the hammer and armour would render anyone speechless with awe, while the ogre’s aura seemed as frightening as a dragon’s.

The Medium Rare head sneered, his lone eye glaring at the soldiers, “These runts are here to die? I’ve seen the crest before!”

“Not yet!” Tiramisu scolded him, “Wait until Master arrives, or he’ll be unhappy.”

Medium Rare groaned, “It’s so annoying to wait for Boss!”

At this point, the ogre lord swung Tenton around, the air parting with a whistle as everyone at or near the saint realm shivered with fear. That whistle was so high-pitched ordinary people couldn’t even hear it, but even so the threat was obvious. Myron himself paled, realising immediately that he himself was no match. He could perhaps kill the ogre using all of his troops, but that would still entail huge losses.

However, the portal continued to glow as a row of rune knights walked out, getting into a dense box formation right behind the ogre. While the onlookers stared with interest, the Duke’s face only grew more ashen.

The number of rune knights that had just walked out came close to the number of heavily armoured soldiers he had with him. In comparison, even the disciplined and ferocious troop he commanded was a joke. Without a significant superiority in numbers, no elite army could match rune knights. These 200-odd rune knights alone could crush Myron and his troops to dust!

However, the Duke’s expression suddenly changed and he started laughing, “The Archerons really are interesting, gathering so many of their rune knights in Faust!”

“I might not have many other skills to speak of, but I do know how to use my superior forces to get my way,” a clear voice chimed in.

Myron’s eyes narrowed, “Lord Richard!”

“Duke,” Richard smiled from ten metres away.

“Rune knights aren’t everything,” Myron sneered.

“My experiences are to the contrary. When the number’s high enough, I’ve found they are,” Richard flashed a dazzling smile.

“Heh, but why do I hear that there still aren’t any legends in your family?”

It was at this point that a tall figure entered the teleportation temple, “Lord Richard! I haven’t seen you for a few days!”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA