Book 7, Chapter 98

Siege(2)

The outermost walls of the Frozen Throne were a full fifty metres tall; this wasn’t just a fortress in name; it truly deserved to be the capital of an empire. Still, a city without a powerful guardian would not be able to hold up against Richard’s army.

Surprisingly, there were no signs of chaos even in the face of impending disaster. Groups of warriors were marching out from various parts of the city, gathering at a plaza before being assigned to the walls and gates. Dozens of alarm bells seemed to announce the impending destruction, but the citizens didn’t seem too scared. Richard’s scouting drones had already shown him that most of the buildings were closed and barricaded, the men converging into dozens of gathering points to pick up weapons and shields.

Those handing out the weapons were almost boys, but a good number of them were armed with shortswords and bows themselves. This was a city whose commoners were willing and determined to protect it.

Richard had his cloned brain fly up, giving him a good view of the entire city. Many considered such a thing foolish and arrogant, but the death of Godfrey served as a powerful reminder of how dangerous the Crimson Duke was. It added even more pressure to the soldiers.

The cloned brain was flying so low that the stronger bowmen could easily cover the distance, but nobody made a move. Ordinary soldiers couldn’t harm someone capable of killing the Son of Gold.

After a period of silence, an old grand mage suddenly took to the skies. Richard watched on with surprise as a dozen others joined him; at this point it was clear that anyone below the legendary realm would just die picking a fight with him, but basically every sub-legend of the Empire had been gathered here. Outside of the handful that were stuck defending the Empire from the Dragon Church in the east, even the most reclusive warriors were gathered.

Even facing so many opponents, Richard retained his composure. He didn’t even bother to open up any distance, just raising a brow, “A battle of powerhouses is foolish, you know. Rislant would have told you to hide amongst the common soldiers and only reveal yourself during the most crucial point in the battle; that would have given you a chance against my followers.”

Faced with the mockery, the warriors held their ground. Only the mage inched forward ever so slightly, his robes starting to glow with magical light. Any magical goods were considered extraordinary in Faelor, and despite looking so old he could die at any moment this grand mage seemed to be someone renowned for his power. However, Richard’s expression didn’t change in the slightest at the provocation, as he spent his time sizing up the warriors instead.

The mage stopped when he was thirty metres away, “Your Grace… No, I suppose it will be Your Majesty soon… We witnessed the fall of the Son of Gold, who had strength to rival the gods. We are well aware of how this battle will turn out as well, but we hope to fight fairly even if we all die in battle. As a favour for us not causing you much trouble, I hope you can extend mercy to the people of the city instead of massacring them.”

“You are?” Richard looked bored.

“Grand Mage Harold, the Emperor’s uncle.”

“Well, Harold, this city isn’t surviving the night and I have no need to agree to your conditions. If you think being sneaky will help you do damage, you’re welcome to disperse and do what you want. Now if you want my troops to stop, you lot have to surrender.”

Harold’s eyes opened wide, but before he could even respond Richard had already started flying away. The mage felt a strong urge to attack, feeling no magical ripples on Richard at all, but his palms filled with sweat and he didn’t dare make the first move. Even when he was inching forward earlier, his probes had been met with a brazen lack of defences that belied absolute confidence.

Richard suddenly spun around, chuckling as the grand mage went stiff, “This is a war, you dimwit, not a silly game played between strong warriors. Besides, you don’t even have the full support of your own men, not everyone is willing to be buried with your fallen empire.”

Done speaking, he started tapping out in empty space to summon black clouds in the sky. Lightning quickly started flashing between the clouds, resembling the grade 7 Thundercloud spell that Harold was familiar with. A single thundercloud wasn’t hard to conjure up, but seeing how easily Richard was coming up with dozens of these grade 7 spells, those of the Iron Triangle Empire shivered in fear. This alone proved that any ambushes would only have resulted in their deaths.

With the clouds taking position atop the city gates, Harold had no plans to let them bombard the guards below. He took out a scroll and cast a grade 8 Tornado spell, but the winds horrifyingly just melded into the clouds. In fact, the lightning only seemed to grow more potent right after, starting to draw upon the surroundings to strengthen itself. Not long after, a huge black spiral had formed right above the Frozen Throne.

“Don’t let them converge!” Harold cried out, throwing all of the spells he could towards the clouds. However, they had simply grown far too big already and were starting to become a funnel aimed at the gates. His attacks only managed to disperse the slightest bit each time, and the latent energy absorption was enough to offset it all.

In only a minute all of Harold’s mana had been used up, with no more scroll in his robes. The royal mage was left staring blankly at the dark clouds before slowly turning his head around. Only one other grand mage was attacking the clouds with him, the other five making a move. In fact, one of them was already sneaking away.

Most of the sub-legends were focused on Richard, worried that these clouds could soon target them. However, Richard himself didn’t bother as he smiled at his creation, nodding before flying back to his camp.

Not everyone is willing to be buried with your fallen empire. These words echoed in Harold’s ears as the old grand mage felt his body burning from exhaustion, control slipping away. He eventually groaned in pain, losing his flight magic entirely; mana and vitality exhausted, only a corpse hit the ground.

The black thunderclouds in the sky were now rumbling loudly, the atmosphere growing so thick and gloomy that even some of Richard’s men started to feel down. A bolt of lightning crashed down and attacked the upper level of the city, setting the imperial flag aflame. Not long after, the second and third bolts turned any soldiers who couldn’t escape to ash.

A lightning storm quickly descended on the city, occasional at first but growing more frequent and dense until it was everywhere. The clouds in the sky seemed to stretch out for a dozen kilometres and they were still expanding, with starlight shimmering from amidst the pitch-black clouds. Powering this all was Schloan, the well of stars. Before that energy dissipated, the clouds could multiply without end.

“Interesting,” Nasia nodded in a rare moment of praise, “This spell has legendary elements to it.”

Richard didn’t reply, not even smiling as he fixed his gaze upon the imperial capital. It quickly started to rain amidst the lightning, the water flowing down the mountainside and starting to clog up the city streets until the water was ankle-deep. The torrential rain increased the damage from the lightning tenfold, every bolt downing everyone within a dozen metres. Blue light flashed amidst it all, each strike now reaching a grade 5 spell in might. Even sub-legendary beings would be turned to ash if they took it on thoughtlessly.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA