Book 7, Chapter 101

Aftermath

The world slowly awakened, the earth starting to shake violently until its rumbling was the only sound in the world. Shockwaves spread from the point of impact, like powerful invisible hands flattening the rubble wherever they went. Even the distant soldiers of the Dukedom retreated in fear, with the imperial soldiers within the castle itself scattering in fright.

However, the shockwaves only travelled a mere hundred metres before some invisible force pulled them all in, condensing them into berserk energy that shot into the clouds. A pillar of light shot up a hundred metres before disappearing entirely, not because it lacked the energy but because it had broken through space and disappeared into the void.

Even after the pillar dissipated, everyone held their breaths for a minute in anticipation of more damage. Zendrall was the only one who broke the silence, the mage unable to hold himself back from asking, “What’s the name of that spell?”

“Fireball, I guess…” Richard shrugged it off. No matter how much he had added, this thing was still a fireball at its core.

However, the necromancer grew agitated at the nonchalance, “How can it be a fireball? This is a mighty legendary spell, it needs a name!”

“Alright, alright. Let’s call it Core-Melting Explosion, how about that?”

Richard had said that in jest, but Zendrall sank into deep thought before nodding seriously, “That isn’t a bad name. We now have another epic spell in the world.”

“Heh, epic? This is… nowhere close,” Richard shook his head. Sharon’s exploding portals immediately came to mind; a single one of those could level the entirety of the Frozen Throne, but he had only affected a third of the palace. Overall, this fireball had maybe a tenth of the power. The only problem with Sharon’s portal bombs was that they were difficult to control, and she didn’t show any signs of being able to add tracking effects to them…

He had to shake this thought away. Would a terrifying ability that even Empress Apeiron couldn’t dodge completely need to be controlled? Just how powerful would those portals get if one could change them like normal spells?

Although Richard’s interest in the subject was waning, Zendrall and the others from Faelor didn’t think the same. They had already seen Godfrey’s power, and this spell was certainly beyond that. The necromancer believed this was definitely an epic spell, a miracle of magic. Even those from Norland appreciated the spell’s might, even if they knew it wasn’t epic-grade yet. Even Norland saints would almost certainly die within thirty metres of impact, being maimed within a hundred. Any soldiers at level 10 or below within 300 metres would be unable to survive. The only flaw was the minutes it took to cast.

However, that was because Richard had built this spell up academically. He had started from a fundamental fireball, adding layer upon layer of changes that made it so terrifying. No matter how dissatisfied he was, this attack destroyed any will the Empire had to resist.

A line of people slowly walked out from amidst the ruins, their figures distorted by the rising heat. At their centre was an old man in extravagant clothing, his garb making it clear that he was the Iron Triangle Emperor. He looked far too frail to survive the heat, but a sub-legend nearby was constantly pouring freezing cold energy into the area to resist the high temperature.

The visible exhaustion on the man’s face showed how powerful even this aftermath was. The earth all around had turned to glass from the sheer heat, the sub-legends once on the walls now only ash floating around. The ground was almost slippery to walk on, its blinding gleam thankfully reduced with the dark clouds up above.

The Emperor looked like he was walking to the edge of the world as he reached Richard, puffing out his chest, “I am the thirty-fifth Emperor of the Iron Triangle, Yorik. I will order my soldiers and citizens to stop the resistance, so I hope you can have your soldiers refrain from murdering commoners.”

“There won’t be any more deaths if they put down their weapons,” Richard said dismissively.

The old Emperor grew solemn, “I take it this is your promise as a monarch?”

Richard was startled for a moment. He just had no desire to kill those who weren’t even resisting, but hearing Yorik’s words he realised just how high his status was in Faelor now. The Crimson Dukedom would soon be christened an empire with this victory, which made him important to everyone across the plane.

It was only when Richard nodded that the Emperor relaxed, speaking to the people behind him. The aide who had kept him comfortable took out a horn and blew hard, its desolate tone ringing throughout the city. Hearing this sound, most of the imperial soldiers just stopped in a daze, some tearing up as though their very souls had been stolen away. Some even continued to fight, throwing themselves at the Crimson Army like madmen, but they were quickly dealt with.

The Frozen Throne had been a tiny city at the beginning, but its walls had never been breached in a thousand years. They had slowly turned from a vassal state to an independent dukedom, and then a kingdom and finally empire. The city itself grew with the lands surrounding it, what had once been the outer limits now only the castle walls. The imperial buildings went higher and higher up the mountain, while the commoners went further down. The mountain itself had been hollowed out to allow them to build further.

However, that desolate horn announcing surrender blew away all of that pride. None of the imperial soldiers had ever expected to hear that sound in their lives, but now it filled their ears with its mournful cry.

Richard didn’t move, but his army continued to kill those who kept up the resistance. Those that put down their weapons were herded together into the open sections of the city, monitored by rune knights and shadowspears. The sounds of battle gradually faded away, only a small number of troops still trying to use guerilla warfare. However, the humanoids would quickly wipe out that minor annoyance.

Yorik seemed unable to stomach the scene, turning his head upwards and closing his eyes as tears started to flow down his face. It took him some time to regain his calm and continue the conversation, “Your Grace… No, Your Majesty, I believe it is time to discuss the conditions of surrender. First, the family bloodline…”

At this point, the Emperor couldn’t suppress his fear any longer. It was tradition in Faelor to completely eliminate the kin of any defeated ruler. They normally had powerful bloodlines, and leaving them alive could come back to hurt in the future. Even a benevolent conqueror would kill off the male line and use the women for his harem, getting an opportunity to merge the royal bloodline with his own.

Richard muttered to himself for a while, his eyes glowing blue as he looked the Emperor up and down, “I am to see the entire imperial family. Not all of you will live, but not all will die either. Salwyn will be the next Emperor, so your empire will continue to exist; he’ll be the one dealing with it all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns them into minor nobles that still have the same rights as the rest.”

Yorik’s eyes widened, those around him staring with disbelief as well. This was unexpectedly generous, something not even the most optimistic of the lot had imagined after this thorough defeat.

Before they could even respond, Zendrall stepped forward and asked uneasily, “Is that alright, my Lord? What if they try something behind the scenes? It’s tradition for everyone to be killed.”

“I spent an entire decade getting Salwyn, you know. I still need to leave him with some relatives,” Richard chuckled, but his expression quickly turned cold, “Of course, they can try if they want; it’s not like the ants can do anything. Anyway, Salwyn should know how to deal with them; I don’t think he’s the type to leave possible rebels alive.”

The Emperor shivered in fear, knowing that Richard was just speaking the truth. He didn’t care about the royal family, and would wipe them out if they acted up.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA