A Pact For The Peak(2)
Sweat started to well up under Richard’s clothing. He had thought of a hundred things before coming here, but he hadn’t expected this at all. The Scholars of Soremburg were truly far too dangerous, whether they had mana or not.
It was hard to tell what the current situation was; having lost his control of her, Richard had no idea what the broodmother would want to do. Was he just a meal in her eyes now?
His eyes shone as he silently surveyed the surroundings, trying to find a way out. Unfortunately, everything for kilometres was under the complete control of the broodmother and the amount of metal nearby was very low. The larval forests were the broodmother’s home ground, and up in the sky were rifts in spacetime that had been guided over as a defensive measure.
However, he didn’t feel particularly threatened as he matched her gaze, his own filled with curiosity. Despite her terrifying appearance, this was someone whom he had raised from her birth. The broodmother herself seemed to sense his thoughts, her enormous body trembling as she spoke, “Every incomplete being hopes to become whole, but once they reach that state they only wish to go back to the days of being incomplete.”
Richard froze, not expecting something so emotional to have come from her mouth. The broodmother he knew was purely a war machine that cared for nothing but power, viewing everything in terms of its base materials. It seemed like a lot of things had changed with her completion.
She continued to wave her tiny pincers, “I didn’t feel any satisfaction from mending my soul, only confusion. I suddenly found that I didn’t know the point to my own existence, that I had no idea what I wanted to do next… It’s such a strange thing to me, wanting for myself and not to fulfil a purpose. My instincts scream for me to devour everything I can to become stronger, but I can see there’s no end to that path. The entire plane will be mine, but then it will just be destroyed. What do I do then? Go to another and repeat the same thing?
“I had my first dream a few days ago, it was a nightmare. I saw what I believe will be the end of this path, with the crystal sphere breaking apart. I only felt darkness, loneliness… It wasn’t fun.” She suddenly stopped and lowered herself, “Do you remember the first time you came over here and drank till you fainted? I tried so many times since then, but I just couldn’t until my soul was complete. That was a few days ago too, and it was such a strange feeling. All sorts of strange thoughts came out of nowhere, but I got a chance to look at another perspective.
“Which brings me to why I’m meeting you today. I’ve realised that a drunk person doesn’t have their guard up, especially when it gets that far. At that point, you had absolute trust in me.”
Richard suddenly felt the weirdness starting to subside. The broodmother was voicing how close they were in the past, and this wasn’t untrue. They shared a soul, depending on each other to survive a million dangers. Intimate couldn’t begin to describe their relationship.
He attempted to reach towards her head, but that only served to send his arm towards her giant mouth. However, she lowered down further and closed the pincers, allowing his palm to caress her. A feeling of comfort immediately spread out from his fingers, a familiar wave of heat.
“This means of communication suits us best, Master,” she said softly in his mind, their connection established once more.
“You’re still calling me master?” he mocked.
“I’m used to it, and it’s still suitable.”
“Huh, then what relationship will we even have in the future?”
“I… couldn’t decide before you came over, but just looking at you gave me the answer. I wish for things to remain the same as in the past; you can plan and direct my growth. I only hope for our relationship to go both ways this time; in human words, I want to be a partner. I hope you’ll remain focused on your path to the peak; if you become too slow to guide me anymore, then our partnership will end. You might even become my prey.”
“That’s not a pleasant image,” he said with a chuckle.
“There already exists a precedent for this type of relationship, and she’s right by your side?”
“Right by my side?” he was puzzled.
“You and Lady Nasia.”
“Nasia?” Richard frowned, “But we’re only working together. It’s not like she’ll destroy me.”
“Master, there are some things you might not understand yet. You possess the ability to see the truth of the world, a priceless ability amongst those with power. Even though the chance is less than one in ten thousand, devouring your soul could pass that ability on. With Lady Nasia’s ability, she would definitely be able to increase that chance as well.”
“Hmm…… How do you know this?”
“I just do; it came as a part of what I learned from unlocking my truename.”
Richard smiled, “Sounds like I don’t have much of a choice.”
“This is the best choice,” she said gently, her voice growing a little distant, “I believe we’ll definitely stand atop the myriad planes, you and I.”
“So what was the point of all this?”
“Sometimes, agency is all that matters. The point was freedom, for my fate to be my choice.”
He softly knocked on her head, “Alright then, I’ll succeed.”
“You have to, or I’ll eat you.”
“Heh. Anyway, one last question. You should have mended your soul by the time you awakened your truename; why did you still tell me? It felt real.”
“And it is. My truename Sillo, in my main language… It literally means millions. If you were to try and restrict me with my truename, you would only affect a single clone or seed, not the main body.”
“Huh, I see. I assume this was part of the plan too? They really thought of everything.”
Surprisingly, the broodmother shook her head, “The original intention wasn’t to set me free. The Scholars of Soremburg had a few traps in the plan that could bring me under their control in the future. Unfortunately for them, I managed to deal with it all accordingly. If any Scholar tries to control me, I can enslave their bodies and souls instead. They will suffer an endless nightmare for the rest of their lives.
“In fact, the plan was meant to sneak a special rune into my soul that only the Scholars can sense. After that, they would realise I had finished the plan and some wouldn’t be able to hold back their greed. I actually left a fake inside that reversed the process; I’ll be able to track all of them, and it will be really difficult for them to hide. Raymond is just far too arrogant and conceited, he doesn’t have the full spirit of learning that the other Scholars do. In their minds, family and friends are only limitations.”
Richard couldn’t hold back a deep sigh and a long laugh. In the short while since the broodmother had obtained an independent soul, she was already starting to scheme against others without much effort. He shook his head, “Since this is settled, I’ll be on my way. I don’t want to be eaten, and there’s still a long way to the peak.”
“Wait, I have some things to show you.” The broodmother summoned a few flying chrysalides to the platform, displaying a few troop types that Richard had never seen. Intrigued by a three-metre-tall warrior in black armour, he activated Insight and couldn’t help but freeze. The warrior was level 17!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA