Book 7, Chapter 126

Final Choice

“You have no choice, Raymond,” the broodmother explained calmly, “You can continue working for Master and have children of your own, or I can kill the two of you now. I’ll use your soul to craft a new logistician, while I’ll find some use for her as well.”

“A new me will just be an empty shell,” Raymond snickered, “It won’t possess my knowledge and secret techniques.”

“A shell is adequate. The soul-mending plan was your greatest use, and all we need now is your aptitude for managing supplies.”

Raymond recalled a legend about the soul-mending plan when it was brought up, a confidential secret of Soremburg that even he himself had only heard a few words about. However, he pushed the thought aside and spoke without a change in expression, “You’d best be careful. Every Scholar is a disaster waiting to happen.”

The broodmother just hummed and broke off the connection. In the meanwhile, a few more bees replenished his health before picking up their dead companions and flying away.

“What’s going on?” Reyna asked as he walked over, clutching tightly at his arm.

“Sigh. Come, let me tell you everything,” he flashed a comforting smile.

Raymond prepared some snacks before joining the princess in the drawing hall, speaking at length about everything so far. He hid almost nothing at all, explaining how he was beholden to the broodmother, his grudge against Richard, and even the soul-mending plan. Of course, he didn’t mention the back door the Scholars had left in that plan to control her; it was something he had forced himself to forget just so the broodmother wouldn’t find out by scanning his soul.

He was completely unaware that the broodmother had found the trap within the plan long ago, setting up countermeasures and using it as bait. While the Scholars of Soremburg were beacons of wisdom when compared to most, she was a mysterious war machine with a mind beyond compare. Even Richard himself barely kept up with her, and the Scholars were far from adequate.

This was a very long story that took the entire afternoon to finish. Reyna’s face had warped countless time throughout the process; she had always been rather simple-minded, and the deal with Richard that brought her to Faelor was the most daring conspiracy in her life. She hadn’t even expected such undercurrents to the years of peace she had experienced.

At one point, she trembled and leapt up, “We have to leave, now! You tried to hurt Richard, he definitely won’t leave it alone! We should escape!”

Raymond held onto her and patted her head, “It’s fine, I already came to an agreement that keeps me working for him. We’re safe, at least for now… It looks like there’s still some value to me, and they aren’t ready to throw me away just yet.”

“Oh…” she was a little reassured, but just the thought of Richard left her shivering.

Raymond smiled, “Since we can continue, we should consider having children at some point.”

“What? Really?” her eyes immediately lit up.

Raymond’s own darkened; he didn’t quite know what the point was in continuing his bloodline. However, the woman who loved him wanted children, so she could have them. He reached out and pulled her into his arms, burying his head into her beautiful hair to hide his expression. Tired more in mind than body, the First Princess of the Sacred Alliance soon fell asleep.

Once Reyna was snoring lightly, Raymond returned to his desk and continued planning out the allocation of resources for Richard’s war. Richard was being very flippant with his use of troops, greatly increasing the pressure on logistics. Alongside the information about the new transport units was the plan for the next march that had already begun, with 30,000 elites headed for the Pearl Necklace in the north. Both the route and destination were foreign to him, while the orders were vague; it seemed like the decision had been made in a hurry.

Thankfully, the three new wasps could transport immense amounts of materials wherever needed. They also flew high up and weren’t affected by the terrain; even if they were slow, they covered bird’s eye distance and not established paths.

As he was working, Raymond constantly tapped the table. It looked to be thoughtless, but his movements had a strange rhythm to them that seemed to resonate with the entire room. The rosiness that had returned to his face quickly faded away, as though every tap was draining him of his life.

Far above in the skies, these taps rang out loudly. Their movements even affected the laws that supported the crystal sphere along the plane, causing ripples on the surface as though a pebble had been dropped into a lake. These ripples quickly spread out into the void, shooting into the distance.

This was a secret technique of the Scholars of Soremburg; with years of brutal training, even ordinary people could affect the laws of the world. These ripples could travel vast distances in a mere moment and thus send messages across the void, but accessing the power of laws came with its own costs. The sheer drain on energy couldn’t be sustained by commoners, and most would just die from a single attempt. This method was normally used to send one’s final message while at death’s door.

However, Raymond was currently being kept alive by the broodmother. He didn’t know whether she would notice the abnormal damage to his vitality, but the thought only caused him to smile. Calming down completely, he recalled the entire conversation and focused on the revelation of her truename. In many respects, this truename was like that of a deity; it could not harm her in the slightest. The world truly was strange.

……

An untold distance away in the void was an enormous storm of spatial energy. A single blade of power from this storm could destroy anyone nearby, but at the surprisingly peaceful eye was an entire demiplane! The entire landmass was no more than a few hundred square kilometres in size, but it had an enormous translucent barrier that blocked the threads of berserk energy that occasionally made their way over.

This demiplane seemed to have its own climate, with one of the four seasons in each corner of the rhombus. The north held snowing mountains with a towering old castle, formed of crude black rock and not particularly pleasing to the eye. The square right before the castle had a statue of a tall man holding a book and feathered pen.

Atop the terrace of the castle, and old mage was engrossed in a thick magic tome. He occasionally stretched with fatigue, looking into the distance for a moment before turning back down. This section of the terrace was an outcropping in front of the mountain peak, allowing one to see the entire demiplane if they looked behind. However, the only thing in front was the terrifying energy storm that surrounded the landmass.

The invisible shield was visibly blocking some of the nearest blades of energy, causing beautiful yet violent patterns all across its surface. A good chunk of the energy had been condensed on the outside until it looked like a layer of dark clouds, forming a ring that covered the entire demiplane.

One couldn’t see the top of this ring or even the end when looking down, but given its size it was easy to have the misconception that it could be reached with a simple stretch. However, even dragons couldn’t cover the distance in decades without spatial jumps, nor would they want to. The condensed energy would tear one apart from tens of thousands of kilometres away. Only existences like the Dragon Sovereign would be able to approach without dying.

For this tiny demiplane to exist so peacefully amidst this storm was even grander than a divine miracle, but that term was a disservice to the achievement. One could truly experience the vastness of the world here; no matter how people called themselves saints and legends, this lawless energy was proof of how tiny life was in the void.

In a secret room within the castle below, a young man was reading an enormous tome that was nearly half as tall as himself. On the verge of falling asleep from the tedium, he was suddenly startled by a mirror on the wall before him starting to glow, sparkles rippling across its surface. Not long after, a number of magic symbols took shape that had him jump from his seat.

The youth quickly grabbed a pen and magic paper before jotting down the symbols carefully, checking thrice for mistakes before daring to put the pen down. Once the symbols disappeared and the light in the mirror died down, he suddenly sighed with fatigue and wiped off the sweat lining his brow. Sinking back into his seat, he had to catch his breath for a moment before he could move his limbs.

He was one of four apprentices that were placed on rotational duty in this mirror room, tasked with copying down any symbols that appeared on this mirror. The youth read through the message, but despite being able to understand every one of these symbols it read like a bunch of gibberish. This was the first time he had seen anything in his four years stationed here, but he realised that the message was likely encrypted. Carefully folding the piece of paper and placing it in his robes, he rushed to the top of the castle to report.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA