Book 7, Chapter 92

Untamed

Getting to level 10 greatly improved the broodmother’s dronemaking ability as well. So long as she had enough resources, she could now make eight level 14 or two elite level 15 units in a day, with the possibility of a level 16 that took two days of time. This meant she could mass-produce what Faelor normally called saints; unless all of the gods somehow awoke and destroyed her, Richard would take over Faelor sooner or later.

She could even combine the worm nests and the energy forest, forming a single unified structure that both absorbed the latent energy of the world and helped produce drones. The new forest would even release a fog with all sorts of toxins and hallucinogens, greatly weakening any hostile forces that charged in while simultaneously strengthening her drones; in that respect, it was almost like a domain that required no energy to maintain.

With enough materials and energy, these larval forests could create an endless supply of level 5 creatures. That didn’t seem like much at face value, but Richard quickly realised that this was the same level as normal mounts. In other words, every single soldier under him could be equipped with a drone mount that drastically increased mobility.

The ascension requirements for level 11 were rather simple as well. The broodmother would only require divinity, even if the total amount was absurd. The thousand units she needed was equivalent to what any of the three goddesses had before they started cooperating; in other words, the broodmother needed a lesser god’s worth to advance. She had finally reached the point where she would have to eat gods to advance.

Defence, speed, recovery… Everything was greatly enhanced as a result of this ascension. Her mind flay was already comparable to the attacks of a grand soul mage, and her personal strength in battle exceeded that of a Norland saint. She could even hold against most legends, even outlasting some on stamina alone. This strength made Richard much more confident in his decision to start an all-out war.

……

Even as Richard was reading through the information from the broodmother, Raymond suddenly opened his eyes inside a caravan meant for transporting supplies. Almost moaning with delight, he rolled up his left sleeve to reveal a faint red mark that looked like a fresh scar, pulsing up and down regularly as though it had a life of its own. He pressed softly on the scar, the pulses growing much faster before the broodmother’s voice rang in his mind, “You’re looking for me?”

“Yes. Congratulations! Since you’ve awoken from your slumber, you should have gotten to level 10 already.”

“I have, yes.”

“And your truename?”

“I have it.”

“Hahaha… Even for a seed of war and destruction, awakening one’s truename at level 10 is rather rare. This means you managed to heal your soul without reaching level 10, doesn’t it?”

“Not for you to know,” the broodmother answered coldly.

However, Raymond didn’t seem to care, “Alright, I’ll stop asking. My life is still in your hands anyway, isn’t it?”

She didn’t respond, the worm in his arm burrowing deeper into his flesh once more and returning to the form of a faint scar. This was a drone sent by the broodmother that allowed her to communicate with him directly, the exchange invisible to Richard.

Raymond glanced outside the window of the carriage before returning his gaze to the magical map before him. Richard had passed on all logistical duties, which was an enormous responsibility. The Crimson Army was known for its exquisite equipment and supplies, to the point that he had 50,000 soldiers under him just to protect the thousands of tonnes of material he was sending over. With the battle lines having been pushed in, he himself had to leave Bluewater to better coordinate the process.

Logistics was an extremely complicated thing; providing supplies for 300,000 soldiers over a thousand kilometres away was unimaginably difficult, but to him it was still a simple puzzle to solve. Less than an hour after the conversation, he had finished up the plans for the entire next week and left himself with nothing to do.

Staring outside the window again, he suddenly chuckled and muttered to himself, “So you already have a complete soul… Hehe, what’s going to happen next? I anticipate the surprise.”

Closing the window, he took out some magic paper that scrolls were normally made of and began writing on it:

“Across all of the Soremburg tomes, there is little information on the seeds of war and destruction. Generations of Scholars have been interested in this topic, but there have been far too few opportunities to study them. Luckily enough, I have managed to obtain such an opportunity.

“Most records state that the seed of war and destruction, otherwise known as the broodmother, is a wondrous weapon of war. They have one master that they imprint upon, and they are completely subservient to this person unto their deaths. The broodmothers possess high intelligence, but all of that intelligence is purposed towards one single goal: to better complete their master’s orders. In this sense, they are still tools of war. One of the smartest, but tools nevertheless.

“Some suspect that the broodmothers aren’t as simple as they appear; that we just assume their attributes based on limited research. The secrets of their origin are so well guarded that nobody knows where they come from or how they are created. Magister Quill’s notes on this are quite interesting; he persisted that the depths of their incomplete souls hid a world that nobody knows about. I am considering the merit of his judgement as of late; while he did not provide any evidence or even much reasoning, a master of divination does not always need such a thing. Many of his predictions are instinctual.

“There is no doubt that I am luckier than most Scholars; not only have I personally seen a broodmother, but I can also communicate with it through our souls. This is a curious situation, and it has allowed me to verify many assumptions. Many believe the broodmothers always take the form of giant larvae or other insectoid creatures because insects are one of the best suited to survive, but that might not be all. From our interactions, I am beginning to believe that this one’s reason to mend its soul was not for freedom but so it could be untamed. This is a sudden change in my reasoning, and the cause behind it is worth studying as well. I’m not quite sure myself; is it because I’ve seen her true form, or is it because of Richard? However, I am certain that she does not know the soul mending method also has the effect of creating a personality.

“As of now, I anticipate more surprises, even if the price to observe them is my body and soul.”

By the time he put the pen down, the paper was completely filled up. He read what he’d written twice over before sending a wisp of transparent flames from his index finger, watching as it burnt to ashes. The ashes themselves seemed to be caught at a boundary where space was frozen, winking out of existence alongside the flames.

A short while later, this journal would be wiped from his conscious mind as well. It was a secret technique that allowed him to bury the words deep within his memories, such that even a legendary soul mage would be unlikely to find it. If he ever needed this information in the future, he had a way to bring it to the surface.

Built in the style Faelor’s natives used for their mages, the carriage Raymond was travelling in was spacious and comfortable, so large that he could pace around. His face flushing with excitement, he had to walk around a few dozen times to calm himself down.

“I want to see your expression when you realise the truth, Richard!” he muttered to himself, unable to hold in a wide grin. This was the terrifying thing about the Scholars of Soremburg; their vast reserves of knowledge and many secret techniques passed down across millennia made mana dispensable in many situations. Even after losing all of their power, they could still cause immense destruction.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA