Having repressed himself for a long time, Raymond finally grabbed the opportunity before him to break the chains binding the broodmother. If she went out of control, it would be an unmitigated disaster that Richard had no way to deal with; he himself had gotten her to strengthen her survivability with her level 10 advancement, simply making things much more dangerous.
He laughed repeatedly, but that loss of control only lasted a few moments. Even the smile quickly faded away as he returned to his seat, returning to his usual, gentle self. Even pent-up emotions over years could be vented quickly by someone of his calibre.
The Scholars of Soremburg were notorious for their objective views of the world. After years spent in the organisation, they had no grasp of the difference between impartiality and cold blood. Raymond pulled open the window out of habit, looking at the crimson sky and the heavy carts outside.
All of these carriages were exquisitely designed, remaining stable even in rugged terrain. They alone showed that Richard’s investment in his troops went past what was required for battle, extending to things like tents, supplies, maintenance, and food. The Crimson Army was a holistic upgrade over any other force in all of Faelor, not allowing any holes for others to exploit.
A group of light cavalry charged past the street, youths from Faelor equipped with stellar equipment who had undergone rigorous training. Any single one of them could contend with an elite of the Iron Triangle Empire, but they were second-class troops in the Crimson Army that Richard didn’t even bother mobilising.
Raymond suddenly felt a sense of envy for the youths. There was no shortage of battles in the Crimson Dukedom, but Richard was guaranteed to triumph in every one while the most dangerous missions were undertaken almost solely by the drones. They got to chase down routed troops and clean up the battlefield while travelling in luxury that even many merchants could not afford. Their equipment reduced the chance of injury or death, while the pay was amongst the best in Faelor. There was no better country for a soldier to serve than the Crimson Dukedom.
The sense of being stifled was unexpected, almost confusing. Raymond felt as though he couldn’t breathe as he started thinking deeply about Richard’s actions so far. Rare minerals were being drained from Faelor constantly, the astral chrysalis ferrying 3,000 tonnes of resources to Norland on a weekly basis, but equipment and resources from Norland were also being poured into this plane as well. It was almost an equal exchange, but as the middleman Richard’s lands had grown prosperous everywhere; many would even say he was conjuring his wealth out of thin air.
However, Richard was actually looking at the long term. Instead of burning through Faelor, he was building sustainable trade that would last centuries or even millennia. Even just ten years of development had turned the Crimson Dukedom into a centre of power in the west of Faelor, with countless people flocking to the country in the hopes of fulfilling their dreams of wealth and luxury. Many of them even succeeded, only lighting the fire of hope in those watching on.
Raymond himself had his profits in the past decade. He couldn’t deny that he enjoyed the life he now led, working busily each day only to return to his home and work with Reyna to tend to the garden or renovate small sections. Even the mundane task of preparing dinner was a daily bliss. Nobody even knew that the beautiful, gentle lady willing to lend a hand to anyone was in fact a saint.
Perhaps the only sore point was that she was still without child. Raymond was suddenly startled by his own thoughts, shaking his head with a bitter smile. He, a Scholar of Soremburg was hoping for a child? Was he really longing for such a dull, ordinary life?
The carriage had entered the Iron Triangle Empire’s soil, although perhaps it would be called the Crimson Empire’s soil in the days to come. Wealth and prosperity would spread to this land as well, the dreams of the locals ignited as they reached for their own little stars. However, if the broodmother really lost control, what would it look like?
The depths of Raymond’s knowledge immediately showed him a vision of a dark sky with the earth cracked all over, the rivers dry and oceans muddy. The entire plane would turn into a place unfit for anyone but the broodmother and her drones, a mountain of a body constantly pumping out creatures into the land, sea, and sky. Once all of the plane’s energy had been sucked dry, she would then feed on the core. The core’s destruction would wipe out the crystal sphere protecting the plane, leaving the world bare to the energy storms of the void that would destroy everything. Even the broodmother herself would not survive.
All this for what? For vengeance, or to study the origin of this plane? The answer should have been clear; both. All Scholars of Soremburg wished to be spectators that got a front-row seat in witnessing the broodmother destroy a plane; this was a chance they would die for. The many secrets of Soremburg were not employed only against others; there were techniques that they applied to potential scholars to ensure that exploring the world was the biggest goal of their lives. For a Scholar, there was a lot to learn about the supreme existence from the death of a plane.
And yet, for some reason, Raymond suddenly felt like he would choke at that thought. The so-called supreme existence started to lose its worth.
Whatever the case, the worst had already been done. All Raymond could do now was to observe from the sidelines. Quietly closing the window, he returned to the map and started planning out logistics for what came after. For some reason, he made a million mistakes.
By this time, Richard was done with a surface scan of the information from the broodmother, having gone through the most important parts in detail. He contacted the broodmother, “Getting a thousand units of divinity will be a pain, but the war with Runai should give you half of what you need. She should only be a lesser god now from the damage done to her, so you can consume a few of her avatars and children.”
The broodmother was silent for a while, seemingly deep in thought. It took a minute for her to respond, “I can participate as well. I can deal with lesser deity avatars or demigods on my own now.”
“Oh? You managed to get your truename, then?”
“What is it?”
“Feikenbolo Sillo…” she quickly transmitted a huge name that was much longer than his own. Richard’s blessing of truth reacted slightly when he heard the name Sillo, feeling a connection with her new World of Millions ability. Confirming that it was supposed to be her real truename, a smile crept up his face; there was no reason to fear betrayal. He had now noticed the difference in how she addressed him, but that wasn’t something he had an issue with.
“Alright, build a plan for a new type of troop. I need long-range troops that are fast and can move unassisted for long distances. Average defences are enough, and… toxicity should be the theme.”
“Any requirements for appearance?” she asked.
“Nope. Maximise their offensive capabilities, but keep my logistics in consideration.”
“Mm…” the broodmother agreed, falling silent.
Richard then walked out of his tent, surveying his surroundings. Bonfires were burning throughout the camp to combat the cold, wet breeze, with a line of wood being pulled from the nearby forest. If the Empire hoped to lower his troops’ morale, that plan was destined to fail.
Half the Frozen Throne was buried in fog, but the majestic construction felt a little overbearing even to him. It had to be said that the humans of Faelor were good at construction; even in Norland with its abundant earth mages, building such a city was rather difficult. The generations of walls had been paired effortlessly with the other additions to the city, making it clear that there were genius architects involved. With their limited planar teleportation on top, one could consider it a miracle.
He couldn’t help but think back to all of the planes he had visited so far. Even those that seemed to have no value at all, like the Resting Orchid Plane that was surrounded by endless ocean, still turned out to hide deep secrets. It felt like there was no plane in existence that didn’t have a miracle or mystery to unravel.
He puffed out a misty breath; whenever he thought of such things, he could feel the pressure of his potential destiny weighing down on him. A single step missed along the way would have crushed him under the torrential waves of time, but he had constantly kept moving forward to avoid it all.
Still some time away from finishing his exploration of the city, he turned around and walked towards the barracks. However, he had only taken a few steps before he turned around, gaze growing extremely sharp.
The gates of the Frozen Throne were opened, a young warrior in golden armour stepping out. In one hand was an enormous two-handed sword that was larger than his body, and everything within a hundred metres was bathed in his light.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA