Book 1, Chapter 101

Ceremony

Richard stood up and stretched his hands out to reach the three divine marks floating in the air. When his fingers came into contact with them, the mysterious power of the Eternal Dragon would take form as an appropriate blessing.

He first touched the hourglass formed by the devil skull. It cracked open, and the fine golden sand entered his body to form a complicated golden scripture that disappeared into him.

Richard felt a new mysterious force in his body, which filled his muscles with vigour. The meaning of the scripture surfaced in his consciousness: Divine blessing, Torrent of Life. In the next fifteen years, his body would not age.

This blessing was akin to prolonging one’s life by fifteen years. Humans in Norland only naturally experienced this at two stages in their lives— when they entered the saint realm, and once they entered the legendary realm. Apart from these, the only other way to prolong one’s life was through the blessings of the Eternal Dragon.

To prolong one’s life was the desire of all intelligent creatures, so the blessings of the sands of time were the most valuable of all. It was needless to emphasize the importance of life. Even during struggles for power, in eras of dazzling stars and brilliant heroes, many a time the easiest victory was outliving your opponents.

Richard had never expected to receive such a blessing in his first ceremony. He suppressed his elation, and reached for the second divine mark.

The second hourglass broke as well, the beads of golden sand becoming a ray of light that entered his body in the form of a scripture. Once again, he was given knowledge of the blessing: Divine Blessing, Unhurriedness. When he entered a lesser plane in the future that did not possess a Church of the Eternal Dragon, the timeflow there would jump to ten times Norland’s time. This effect would last for thirty years, but would not affect Norland or a higher plane.

Thinking about it, this was truly a divine gift. With it, he could enter another plane and war for ten years, but only a single year would pass in Norland. Although the flow of time varied in the myriad of planes, the differences were normally quite small. Unhurriedness actually gave him tenfold the time! Of course, one would still spend their life force in that lesser plane. Staying there for thirty years would age their body correspondingly. Only in tandem with Torrent of Life could one proceed ceaselessly with planar wars.

Although the first two blessings did not provide him with any battle prowess, life and time were the greatest blessings for humans.

Richard could barely control his excitement and glee as he once again reaching for that ball of light. He was extremely curious as to this mysterious blessing, but he did not harbour much hope. Mathematics told him that his good luck so far would not affect the third try.

However, even if this ball of light did not reveal any precious blessings, Richard would not be disappointed. Because his luck had already been good enough until now. However, the ball of light had completely absorbed most of the demon’s heart, so to claim that there were no expectations at all was impossible.

However, before Richard’s left hand could touch the ball of light, a ray of light suddenly flitted past the string of beast ivory on his hand. The largest piece in the centre suddenly flashed, absorbing that ray of light. It seemed to be set ablaze immediately, radiating golden flames of time that burned Richard’s hand in the process.

“ARGH!” Richard screamed, stumbling backwards as he waved his left hand continuously. Fortunately, while the timeflames were violent they were extinguished in the very next moment.

He took the ivory bracelet off his hand, discovering a deep scar in the shape of that ivory upon it. The pain the timeflames inflicted upon him was different from that of regular fire. Although it hurt terribly in that moment and he’d been scarred by it, the pain disappeared almost immediately. Richard moved his left hand, but could not feel anything amiss. He looked at the bracelet again, and it seemed to be as good as new with no traces of being damaged. Richard heaved a sigh of relief, not knowing why he had favoured this bracelet so heavily. It might have been because of Mountainsea’s barbaric farewell hug, or the words that she had said.

He put on the bracelet once again, wanting to continue on with the ceremony, but was interrupted. The almighty aura descended upon the altar once more, this time even more dominating than before. When the ancient and distant aura flashed past Richard, he felt the birth and destruction of the endless planes through the eons of time.

This overpowered existence filled Richard’s soul immediately, and his body no longer heeded his own will as he slowly knelt before the altar.

“Mortal…” Once again, the mighty voice rang in Richard’s consciousness. However, this time it wasn’t a robotic cold voice, but an ancient one that commanded utmost reverence.

Richard suddenly trembled and understood that this was no longer a thread of divine power which would illicit automatic responses, but the direct conscient of the Dragon of Eternity and Light itself!

He was momentarily stunned. It was simply indescribable to have a direct audience with the Dragon of Eternity and Light, that was sovereign even of the higher planes.

At this moment, outside of the light pillar, Gaton stared at a golden hourglass in his hands, his face filled with disbelief. This small hourglass was made of translucent crystal, the fine golden sand within it trickling down continuously regardless of the angle it was held at. There was a total of ten such hourglasses, and when put together they weren’t larger than Gaton’s palms. The important thing was that they weren’t simple decorative ornaments, but formed from the divine energy of the Eternal Dragon. Anyone who broke them would obtain blessings.

Just one minute ago, ten streaks of light were shot out from within the pillar, forming these miniature hourglasses that fell freely to the ground. This incident happened too suddenly, and even with Gaton’s physical prowess he was caught unprepared, almost allowing two of the hourglasses to fall to the ground. Fortunately, high priestess Ferlyn had waved her hands and two rays of light caught them before sending them to his hands.

“This is…” Gaton stared at the hourglasses in his hand, stupefied.

Ferlyn looked at the hourglasses and understood the situation. She said, “This is the blessings that the Eternal Dragon has given to the Archerons, with each hourglass blessed with Torrent of Life. Whichever Archeron opens these hourglasses will be given three to five years of life force.”

Ferlyn smiled, “You have a good son, Marquess Gaton.” She had heard Gaton’s instructions to Richard before the ceremony. There was nothing secret to her within the church’s bounds.

It was simply unfathomable to be willing to allocate such a massive blessing to his family. Ferlyn had presided over many ceremonies, and it was extremely rare for a family to allocate them to one individual. On the other hand, it was unheard of for an individual to allocate the blessings to their family.

Gaton raised his head and looked at the light pillar. He could not see anything within, and only smiled wryly, not saying anything.

Ferlyn noted the expression that Gaton put on, seemingly in thought. Her eyelashes suddenly fluttered, which gave this revered high priestess a tinge of humanity. She then reminded Gaton, “Marquess, the blessings that were granted to the Archeron Family far exceeded these ten hourglasses. You had better look at the situation of your floating island.”

Gaton received another shock, as he raised his hand in a gesture. Senma left the church grounds immediately, and returned within a minute. Although her voice was suppressed, the slight trembling was still evident. “Master! Our floating island is absorbing the elemental energy of the void! The perimeter has grown by fifty metres, and it’s still expanding. Furthermore, the trajectory of the islands is shifting. As per my judgement, we’ll soon swap places with the second island!”

After hearing this shocking news, Gaton did not seem happy. Instead, he squinted and muttered, “This smelly brat!”

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OMA's Thoughts

Theo: To everyone who applied to be an editor, thanks for the application! I'll send the test over this weekend.

Translated/TLC'ed By: OMA

Edited By: Theo