Path Of Legend
“My… my axe…” Gangdor stuttered, eyes wide open in shock. He didn’t really care about the axe— it had already been dented quite a bit in the previous battle and would be replaced soon anyway— but he just couldn’t understand how it had been broken. Even stuck at level 18 his aura should still have been strong enough to protect the weapon, but a strike without much power behind it had cut the head apart. Even a legendary sword couldn’t just cut apart epic weapons so casually, needing the power of its owner as well.
And yet, it had felt as though he had been holding a piece of wood as Richard cut through it, splitting the metal in two with an average sword. It wasn’t even like there were flaws in the weapon, or he would have found out in all the time he had used it. Even inspecting it now, he couldn’t find anything in the split that suggested a structural problem.
The brute frowned in confusion, believing that he was missing something. Richard looked at him and chuckled, picking up a random shield, “Come, give me a chop.”
Testing out the new balance of his now one-sided axe, Gangdor maintained his frown as he poured his full aura into the weapon, the edge starting to radiate light. Although he didn’t fully believe the shield would hold, he understood that Richard was fast enough to dodge a full-power blow from him in the last second anyway.
Sparks quickly surrounded Richard’s body as a few balls of lightning started to orbit him; a sign that he had already activated Mana Armament. He opened up his stance and dug in, meeting the axe head-on to stop it!
The axe was unable to withstand the impact, its shaft quickly distorted beyond recognition. The head remained stuck into the shield, but it didn’t get all the way through the iron.
“What’s going on?!” the brute finally roared in frustration. The axe that had been faithful to him for half a year suddenly felt so foreign to him.
However, Richard didn’t look interested in answering just yet, instead grabbing a full set of armour and tossing it over. Gangdor was instructed to just hold the armour out in front of him, not wear it. While the bald man did as told with confusion, a green glow suddenly rippled towards him.
Gangdor didn’t feel anything affecting him, but the armour in his hand suddenly creaked and distorted beyond recognition, forming large spikes on the interior. He immediately shuddered in fear, imagining just what would happen to someone wearing it.
By now, even the thick-headed brute understood what was going on. The armour had changed without any warning, and even after the contortion he didn’t realise just what had happened. There was one category of abilities he knew had this affect— anything involving laws!
“So, like I said, Kingsteel,” Richard proclaimed, leaving all of his followers with their breath held. They were all quite sure that this was a saint rune now, even if Richard hadn’t confirmed it himself. Even Nasia listened with rapt attention as he explained its abilities.
The essence of this rune lay in manipulating metals. The first and most direct use was in enhancing equipment: armour grew tougher and lighter, weapons heavier and sharper; effectively, it was a two-grade bump in effectiveness. The second was the exact opposite; it could corrode and decay any metals in a range around him, the effect more powerful the closer it was. With their armour and weapons weakened, opponents would be thrown off guard and use too little power in their strikes or ignore attacks that would end up deadly. Last of all was complete transformation, like when the armour had formed spikes. This effect could be achieved quietly, and although it wasn’t an absolute control it was still extremely useful. Even Gangdor would be injured to some extent, while those below sainthood would be killed in an instant.
Of course, these were only the obvious applications. The ability itself was more abstract and could be used in other ways as appropriate. Richard could feel at home anywhere with metal, with the only potential annoyance being its limited range. Of course, his followers knew that this wasn’t really a limitation at all; he could already cause immense destruction from far away.
The courtyard fell silent after the introduction, with Gangdor only testing after a long time, “Boss, are you a saint runemaster now?”
“Yep,” Richard nodded.
Saint runemaster… It still took a moment for the response to register, but then many of those present suddenly swarmed him and threw him into the air. These earliest followers of his were more childhood friends than subordinates now, people who were close to him that trusted each other with their lives.
Nasia remained silent by the side, pondering about something. Only after the cheers in the courtyard died down did she signal to him and ask for a private conversation. The celebrations continued on until it was only a few hours to dawn before everyone dispersed under his command, going to get some rest. Mountainsea just walked into his room and plopped down.
Once only Richard and Nasia were left in the courtyard, things grew strangely silent. The Faceless Knight seemed to be thinking long and hard about something, eventually asking faintly, “Did the magic soul for the Kingsteel rune come from Lyos?”
“Hmm? Yes. I found a small consciousness in his mind and remains, and I managed to use its spirituality as a foundation to complete the soul.”
Nasia nodded, “You say spirituality. Do you understand the essence of that term?”
“Essence… From what I felt, it was very similar to a full soul. If I were to analyse it deeper, it actually felt like the remains of Lyos’s understanding of laws. Unfortunately, it didn’t have anything.”
“Hehe… That ‘spirituality’ isn’t just similar to a soul. It is a soul, specifically a part of Lyos’s. Even though he died, a fragment of his soul still survived for a few minutes after his passing. I wouldn’t have imagined that you could capture it…” Nasia paused for a moment, “Actually, capturing it isn’t even the astounding part. You even managed to analyse the abilities he had, that’s frightening. Do you already comprehend some laws?”
“Some small parts, but they’re mostly plane-restricted laws like the laws of life from the Forest Plane.”
“Ha, but you’re not a legend yet.”
“And I don’t plan to be anytime soon. I haven’t finalised my full path just yet.”
“But you did. Haven’t you realised it yet?”
“Realised what?” Richard frowned, but then felt a chill down his spine as he understood the implication behind her words, “You mean… that spirituality?”
“Can you make more Kingsteel runes?” she topics.
There was a sense of weight behind this question, so Richard thought hard about it before answering, “Yes. But it will be slightly different from what I have now, weaker. There wouldn’t be too much of a difference, though.”
“Mm. That magic soul wasn’t fortuitous, you refined a legendary being’s soul to make it. Analysing someone’s laws to turn a soul into a magic soul isn’t difficult, most legends get to that point eventually, but the ability to discover and capture fragmented souls is very rare. From now, it’s best you never tell anyone about this ability. People will learn of it soon enough, but the later, the better.”
This time, Richard shifted topics slightly, “You’re saying obtaining the consciousness wasn’t down to chance?”
“It isn’t just a consciousness. If you want the correct term, it should be the fragmented soul of laws. When legendary beings that can manipulate laws die in battle, their understanding survives their deaths for a short period of time. These fragments disappear quickly, and most people are unable to even notice them. Fortunately… Maybe unfortunately… you’re clearly not one of the majority. And you’re also a saint runemaster.”
He smiled bitterly, “So you’re saying I can potentially have a constant stream of grade 5 runes?”
“Every legendary being in existence can theoretically be a material in your crafting. In the Darkness that the Eternal Dragon cannot touch, people like you are called soul hunters.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA