Book 7, Chapter 105

Altar

The nightmare creature seemed to sense that it was detected, the black mist just phasing through the wall in an attempt to escape. Richard waited until two-thirds of its body was through before waving a hand, forming a blade of mana that cut off the rest of the body. The creature twitched violently in pain, but the part that had already made it through just disappeared quietly as a mana cage closed off the rest.

Floating the thing upwards, Richard took one glance at it before turning his attention back to the wall. Adding Insight to his Field of Truth, he saw a twisted trajectory left behind by the rest that he had allowed to escape. He had been curious as to what it would do, but now it looked like it had just fled the plane.

“They’re acting up again… Did Master’s seal grow weaker?” he raised his brows, deep in thought. He could still remember the terrifying scene with the Legion of Nightmares in his battle with Ensio, where nightmare creatures had tried to tear the legendary mage apart. His own abilities had improved greatly since then, but he wasn’t certain he would be able to best the Ensio he had fought that day. He had a spell that was no weaker than most legendary magic, but it just required too much time to cast.

Sweeping his gaze across the surroundings to confirm that there was nothing peculiar going on, he sat back down and started reading through another book. The cover of this tome was scarlet with the royal insignia emblazoned upon it, showing that it was a book about the royal family itself. In particular, this was the biography of the three kings.

With all three controlling the laws of metal, their abilities overlapped quite a bit. It was just that their accomplishments were different, leaving the three with different overall strength.

Godfrey was the weakest of the bunch, only able to influence the purity of gold in a small scale. This was quite useful, able to help in the crafting of legendary weapons, but it didn’t have as much utility in battle. The Friend of Silver Cyril could change the properties of silver, making it more refined, while the King of Steel had full control of iron.

Lyos could turn his opponents into iron or steel, even draining the properties of many metallic weapons to destroy them in battle. Everyone within a kilometre would find their blades were extremely brittle, while their armour was as fragile as porcelain. With the power of his laws, the King of Steel could even control all the steel around him; there were details of a fight against a church where he had used their own heavy infantry as wrecking balls against the rest of their army. However, that wasn’t his most powerful ability either; he was capable of animating steel, giving him the ability to summon powerful golems to fight in battle that had hardy bodies capable of defeating assassins and many saint warriors. These abilities only grew more powerful in an area with a large concentration of iron; the records detailed that the Frozen Throne had thus been built atop a frostiron vein.

If the King of Steel returned quietly, just how many powerful golems could he summon out of this city?

……

“Your Majesty, I await your instructions.” As the sky grew brighter, the fat shaman was already waiting outside the study room. From the looks of it, he hadn’t even had the time to get some breakfast before rushing over. The man had been appointed as the head of the elders, tasked with assisting the new emperor in all of his tasks. Those who had been marked out by the Thinker had already been taken away alongside Yorik himself, their fates unknown.

Richard looked at the shaman, “Tell someone to inform all the vassals of the empire to reach the capital by some designated time to swear their oaths again. Calculate the time yourself, give each one just enough time to get here without any rest. If they don’t manage it, it’ll be counted as treason and punished with the deaths of their entire family and confiscation of their lands.”

“Y-Your Majesty…” the shaman was shocked, “I-is that… alright…”

“What’s the problem?” Richard asked softly.

“This is a… very important issue. We should give them a little more time to think, and to come to a… wise decision.”

“Heh, you mean you want to wait until Lyos and Cyril have been summoned?”

“N-No! That…”

Richard patted the man on the shoulder, “Don’t worry. If they do come, they’ll end up like Godfrey.”

“Of course, Your Majesty! Of course!” the shaman nodded repeatedly in flattery.

At midday, dozens of enormous hawks carried messengers to all the vassals of the Iron Triangle Empire. As to whether these feudal lords would make the right decision, that was out of the shaman’s hands.

……

Three days later, the workers had already chiselled through the later of stone wall towards the altar to make it accessible. Richard immediately summoned the shaman and got ready to enter; the fat man clearly didn’t want to head down there, but he had no choice but to follow all the way. Behind Richard were a few dozen shadowspears alongside Phaser, Waterflower, Nasia, and Asiris. The rest of his followers were on standby outside.

Alongside the group were two others, one a black-robed man with a wide hood that covered his face completely. One could tell at first glance that this was someone whose head was much larger than their body, or they weren’t human. Although it hadn’t been for a long time, the shaman had seen this person before.

The other was a beautiful young man with long, silver hair, muscles bulging in all the right places with the pale gold armour looking beautiful on him instead of gaudy. In fact, the lavish armour almost looked like a carapace of natural armour, and one look showcased that this was the perfect fusion of speed and power. A single smile felt like it would bring about spring as well. From top to bottom, this person was virtually flawless.

In the youth’s hands was a very strange weapon, five full metres long with a handle on each end. The mid-section was extremely thick, about half a metre across, but the gold casing pulsed with life. As he paid attention, the shaman saw the weapon open up with dozens of tendrils peering out from within, constantly wriggling around before moving back in.

These two people were quite peculiar, and the shaman couldn’t help but steal a few more glances at them. It wasn’t long before the youth discovered this, flashing a dazzling smile. It truly felt like spring would arrive, but it almost scared the fat shaman to death. He didn’t have much power to speak of, but his intuition and sensitivity were what brought him to his current role. In his eyes, the youth’s smile felt like an ancient beast baring its fangs!

“Don’t look at them,” Richard said nonchalantly as he continued to walk along. The shaman quickly nodded and forced his gaze away, continuing to walk down the long passageway.

The one under the black robe was the Thinker, while the youth was none other than the remodelled Zangru, now also known as Asura. He now felt like an actual whole being instead of a failed husk, which had been a surprise to Richard when they first met after the change. The weapon in his hands was also one of the broodmother’s latest creations.

In fact, the broodmother had been extremely excited when he brought up the altar, asking for the Thinker to be taken along despite his near-uselessness in combat. All three of her special units were thus present here, second only to the broodmother coming herself. In fact, she would likely have come herself if she wasn’t a hulking behemoth that was hundreds of metres wide.

The shaman quickly caught up to Richard who was in the lead, “Your Majesty, there might be danger down there. Should we have someone else go down and look first?”

“Eh, it’s fine,” Richard waved it off, prompting the shaman to retreat in embarrassment. He was still frightened, but recalling how the Son of Gold had died, he couldn’t help but shiver. The Crimson Duke was handsome and graceful, even acting gentle and polite, but that only made it easy to forget just how powerful he really was.

As they reached the end of the long passageway, the shaman found the altar hall just the same as before. The pool of blood in the centre was bubbling, with a dozen other shamans were huddled up in a corner surrounded by hundreds of workers.

Richard looked at the pool of blood for a moment before examining the spell formation of the altar, his gaze quickly locking onto the silver sword and iron spear still embedded in the stone.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA