Book 7, Chapter 104

Surrounded

Exploring the myriad planes was extremely difficult and dangerous, something the first wave of legends from any plane would never know. Nearly all of Faelor’s first batch had gone out to the void, but many of them died or got lost in the following decades. With their number starting to dwindle, the gods of Faelor had taken the chance to launch an assault on the ones remaining.

This was the first war of man and god. The three kings of the Iron Triangle Empire displayed profound might, killing the avatars and children of numerous gods in succession to put a stop to their plans. Each one of them had might comparable to a god’s true form, but the gods couldn’t muster up the courage to face the remaining legends in that way. Once out of their divine kingdoms, their deaths were permanent. Even worse, their divine spark could be stolen and used by the legends to strengthen themselves.

Eventually, only one of the nine other legends that managed to return to Faelor survived. However, alongside the three kings of the Iron Triangle, they went on a rampage and killed every single demigod and avatar they could find. Only a greater god could form avatars with legendary might, but the trio had strength beyond that. Every death also warped the laws of Faelor further. The situation eventually reached a stalemate. The legends could not attack the gods in their divine kingdoms, but the gods couldn’t catch them in the mortal realm.

In an incredibly petty act of vengeance, the pantheon gathered their secular churches to eradicate the Iron Triangle Empire in one go and kill all descendants of the three kings; while the legends could flee, the rest of their families could not. However, just as this dark purge was about to begin, the three astral beasts had followed the traces of the returning legends and broke through the crystal sphere into Faelor.

Then came the single most terrifying incident in Faelorian history, the invasion of the astral beasts. The sheer destruction had buried the rest of the past within the annals of time. These beasts ate through all energy and caused a rain of blood where they passed, leaving no life behind in their wake. In the face of this unprecedentedly huge enemy, the three kings and Faelor’s gods had no choice but to band together and begin an earth-shattering battle that killed these invaders. The gods ended up paying the painful price of many of their kind falling.

After this war, the three kings and the gods finally settled their dispute and signed the Treaty of the Gods. It stated that all legends who began exploring the myriad planes were blocked from returning to Faelor as they wished, and barred from spreading information about the outside world. Only new legends were allowed the right to this knowledge. Having been weakened and also at fault for the invasion, the kings agreed. Ever since then, Faelor had been closed off.

It wasn’t as though the kings had left no backups, keeping some of their powers in Faelor to ingeniously evade the treaty entirely. However, the gods were no fools either; such blatant rulebreaking would have been punished had they been awake.

Reading through those records for a full night, Richard found that few legends popped up in Faelor after the legends departed. One would come about maybe every few decades, quickly leaving and heading outside into the void. This frequency was astonishingly low, making it obvious that the gods were doing something behind the scenes.

And thus, the situation today. Richard had found a sealed-off world that knew nothing about the rest of existence. The people here just assumed they were all there was, thinking their gods were the highest existences with most having the final goal of igniting their own godfires. To explorers and invaders, they were weak and ignorant, worthy of not worship but testing and harvesting. Having gotten to level 10, the broodmother even just saw them as food.

By first light, Richard closed the records and sighed softly. This was a vast and fertile world, the plane in which he had begun his own career as a conqueror. It was a place that once had the opportunity to be like Norland, perhaps one day becoming a primary plane. However, that had been destroyed by stupidity and short-sightedness.

It hearkened back to a different answer he had found for questions earlier in his life. Why do we war with the other planes? He had realised that trade was fundamentally impossible between two different factions when one of them had the power to plunder the other. Now? He realised that a plane couldn’t even hide itself from its eventual fate. Then again, was Norland missing something that other, higher planes possessed? Were they the same as Faelor, not knowing of the consequences of their ignorance?

He started pacing around, quite shaken by what he had read. Without the care of the Eternal Dragon and thrust right into exploration, most of Faelor’s legends were destined to die before it even mattered. Even Norlanders would go through years or even decades of preparation before beginning their journey.

Looking around the room, he started surveying the various antique articles within. This was a study that Yorik liked, so it had a fair number of precious and meaningful items within alongside paintings of varying sizes on the walls. A magic lamp projected his shadow as he walked around, the flickering flames making him look like a dancing elf.

As he walked on, his shadow crossed an oil painting that depicted the infamous Rainbow War of years past. At a point outside his field of view, a general in the painting suddenly came to life and stared at him, his blade silently cutting off a part of the shadow. The soundless call prompted the other soldiers to scramble over as well, swarming the tiny piece of shadow that had been cut off and splitting it into hundreds of pieces!

Richard suddenly stopped and turned back, but all he saw was an ancient painting. It wasn’t even the best of the lot, and there wasn’t any difference from what he had seen before. He frowned and looked around, but found nothing strange; his shadow had already been repaired. There was this constant feeling that he had lost something, but he couldn’t tell what it was.

Brushing off the strangeness, he started walking around again. However, the moment he turned the eyes of the general moved once more, gaze landing on his back. Richard felt his heart skip a beat and turned around, but things looked as normal as ever.

This time, he carefully examined the area. Grand mages didn’t just feel things for no reason, it was a reaction to changes in the ambient energy. Something had to have happened, and he needed to find out. Muttering to himself for a while as he looked away, he suddenly flipped around in an instant.

The generals and soldiers of the war rushed back to their original positions, the portrait of a lady in the corner quickly turning her head away. Their movements were incredibly quick, finishing even before his flip, but he just sneered as his eyes started radiating light. The world seemed to turn grey as the room warped, and with an increase in strength he could look through everything nearby.

This was Field of Truth, an upgraded ability from his newly-advanced blessing. It could reveal most illusions and stealth spells, showing him the true state of the world. The colours in his vision constantly changed until he caught a large shadow squirming across the wall.

It was a nightmare creature!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA