Book 7, Chapter 111

First

As the night grew deeper, Richard didn’t even realise when the first few minutes of his research dragged into hours before he got results. Even so, this was especially fast due to one factor; when War Fanatic wore off after his fights with Godfrey and Lyos, he still managed to retain a good chunk of the understanding of the laws of metal he had gained. It should have dissipated completely, but his blessing of wisdom had managed to retain a good section of the state he had entered.

It was around midnight that he discovered the consciousness from Lyos’s statue was akin to a soul. It could only act upon instinct and lacked true sentience, but with a suitable stimulus it could do anything he wanted it to. The thing possessed great control over metal, able to give life to any that it was put into.

He soon found that this consciousness was a combination of the laws of several metals, changing the law it used according to its environment. With many possible combinations, there would be a variety of uses for it. However, it would take only a year of passive analysis to come to a full understanding of it; compared to his laws that would take centuries or millennia, this was a tiny investment.

Hesitating for a while, Richard decided to focus all of his minds on this one task. Delving deeper into his research, he quickly found the inspiration to craft a new rune. Pulling out whatever materials he had at hand, he immediately set to task bringing his new ideas to reality.

Preliminary tests showed that this consciousness would meld best with a nature affinity rune, so he chose a grade 3 version that he could craft easily. Spending hours immersed in pure simulation, eyes occasionally glowing, he started to draw the first lines of the rune.

The sky lit up and grew dark once more. Many had come looking for him in this time, but they were blocked by a barrier and told by his followers to leave. The day was followed by a week, and before he knew it more than ten days had passed without a single moment of rest. At some point, the consciousness had already seeped into the new rune.

It was midnight on the eleventh day that Richard finally finished up the last section of his rune, the arrays finally linking together to form one whole. Sending some mana coursing within, he watched with glee as the arrays began to light up one after the other with dull yellow light.

The consciousness in the rune suddenly realised it had a vast world to play with, starting to dance around in joy. Its movements brought the entire rune to life, green light shooting out from within and piercing through the ceiling towards the skies!

The pillar of green radiance wasn’t all that dazzling, but it ignored everything in its path and didn’t dissipate even after minutes passed. The laws of the world responded to its power, an invisible message being transmitted to every corner of Faelor. As someone who was fairly well-integrated into the plane by now, Richard felt it as well.

He immediately slapped his own forehead, realising that the rune had developed a magic soul. While such things weren’t born naturally, they possessed all the fundamental characteristics of a true soul and would stir up the laws of the world when created. Their very existence went against the fundamental laws of the plane, and gods thus saw them as heresy. Even necromancers weren’t looked upon with such levels of hatred.

The soul was the only domain that gods retained full control over. Even manipulating them was considered taboo, forget creating them. The birthing of magic souls would be an issue for the entire plane, and even Norland had suffered from such an incident in the past. An enormous battle had arisen between the gods and the saint runemaster, known as the infamous Saint War. The newly-born magic soul had been destroyed, but when they tried to wipe out the memories from the runemaster’s mind they were thwarted by the legends of the plane. After a protracted battle, they were forced to back down and give up on their monopoly.

Ever since then, magic souls were a regular occurrence in Norland. The gods could only pretend to be blind to it; they simply did not have the power to match the ire of the epic beings if they objected.

Given this history, it would be obvious that Faelor would have an enormous reaction to its first magic soul. Richard immediately realised that he had been too careless, not considering the implications of such a development.

……

“WHO IS IT?” Neian’s roars resounded through the Domain of Valour, “WHO DARES PROFANE THE SOUL?”

Sitting on her high throne, Cerces looked down on her servants calmly, “An enormous evil is budding in the mortal world.”

Troops were already marching out in the divine kingdom of the God of War, millions of valiant souls setting up in formation for assault.  His voice thundered through his mountain, “All who sully the domain of the gods must be destroyed! Use your swords, blood, and unyielding souls to decimate this enemy!”

In another corner of the void up above, the three goddesses had gathered together to discuss. After a decade of development, the Goddess of the Hunt and the Goddess of the Forest were already peak lesser gods while the Goddess of Spring Water was intermediate-grade. For beings like them who measured time in centuries, this development was unimaginably fast.

The Goddess of the Forest was the first to speak, “I believe this evil is related to Richard.”

The Goddess of the Hunt nodded, “I agree, but we must think it over before we take this up with him. Don’t forget that all of our central churches are now in Bluewater Oasis, and our clergies are fighting under him. Anything that happens to him will involve us as well.”

“Are we going to give up our duty as gods? Are we going to desert Faelor?” the former asked unwillingly.

The Goddess of Spring Water spoke up, “Have we not done so already?”

“Ugh… But…” there was no retort. Over these years, the three goddesses had been bound closely to Richard. They had started to learn a few of his secrets, sometimes even possessing their worshippers to witness his country up close, and the shadowspears, rune knights, and followers left them in deep shock. It was an open secret that Richard was an invader, but this was the person who had given them the worship to avoid falling when they were on the brink of destruction. Having struggled on the verge of destruction for many years, nobody thirsted for faith more than them.

After a short period of silence, the Goddess of the Hunt spoke up, “Even if Richard conquers all of Faelor in the future, it will still be our plane; we will still be its gods. We haven’t really deserted it; as long as our worshippers are still around, we will… have distanced ourselves from its past.”

This time, there was no retort. The Goddess of the Forest knew that these words were forced, but she could understand the need for followers just as much as any of them. Most of their worship was currently based in the Crimson Dukedom.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA