The old housekeeper shot a glance at Coco as Richard left the room, before closing the door and following him out. He asked along the way, “Master Richard, should I have Coco move to your residence, now that she’s your partner?”
Just as he was about to nod, Richard saw a handsome youth standing in the corner not far away, the same one who’d run up the stairs yesterday. He looked slightly older than himself, about twenty years or so of age, but had good proportions and looked rather fit. He didn’t have bulging muscles, but his body still radiated life energy. On top of everything, he was handsome and had distinct features with a pair of clear eyes.
Richard noticed that he was a novice knight— backup for true rune knights— the moment he’d seen him last night. If he grew more powerful within the next few years, to the extent that he could bear four runes, he would truly become a rune knight. If he didn’t, he would be sent to Archeron territory as a low-ranked officer.
Amongst the novice knights were children of far-out branch families, and external elites who’d been selected and trained from their youth. Richard hadn’t seen this young man on the night of the banquet, signifying that he was either not an Archeron or was only the offspring of a distant branch with no status to speak of. In other words, he didn’t possess the right to have a partner.
Richard halted in his steps as he strained his eyes, trying to look at the lad who was pacing back and forth. The young man quickly took his leave as soon as he made eye contact with Richard’s cold and indifferent gaze.
Richard watched the diminishing back view of the man and his expression fell slightly. After a moment of uncomfortable silence, he told the housekeeper in an unsympathetic tone, “Forget it, let her stay here”.
The housekeeper nodded in response, not uttering a word. It was as if he did not see the young man at all.
A small team was already waiting for Richard at the plaza. He didn’t carry much baggage, only a case of clothes and daily essentials, along with another that stored his runecrafting materials. It wasn’t Mordred escorting him this time around, instead Dragon Mage Lina. There were also four rune knights, and ten light cavalry.
The team set off towards the teleportation temple, where Richard saw the first comrade that would accompany him through his planar wars— cleric Flowsand of the Church of the Eternal Dragon, title Daybreak. He got off his horse at high priestess Ferlyn’s indication, entering Flowsand’s carriage.
Lina scoffed at the carriage at first, but once she got closer her opinion changed. The carriage was for more than just comfort; although it looked like any common noble carriage, there was a spell formation imprinted on the outside that would keep anything happening within completely concealed.
It would be a long but urgent journey, and this would be the only chance for Flowsand and Richard to talk alone. It was clear that the cleric had something to tell him.
Along with the carriage were two coachmen, but both would return to Faust as soon as they arrived at Mokoff Port. The interiors were plain but sophisticated, its base colour a light gold similar to that of the church. Richard felt a sense of majesty as he stepped foot on the carriage, as if he was in the Church of the Eternal Dragon itself.
Flowsand was seated opposite him, looking about the same age as himself. The girl had long, light-gold hair and eyebrows, the colour making the brows barely visible if one didn’t look close. However, that gave the already-beautiful lady an air of mystery— vaguely reminiscent of the ruins at the centre of the Church of the Eternal Dragon. There were complicated veined lines between her brows, with it being another mystery whether that was the effect of certain divine spells or she was just born that way.
“I am Flowsand, level 8 cleric of the Church of the Eternal Dragon.” Flowsand introduced herself the moment Richard got on. “Ignore the unusual name, it was something Teacher Ferlyn gave me. I do not know what my true name is, I was abandoned before the entrance of the Church when I was still an infant.
“Outside of the more common divine spells, I specialise in the divine spells of the Eternal Dragon. This is my weapon, the Book of Time.” Flowsand took out a thick, gold leather book, showing it to Richard before she took out a map and revealed it to the boy. It was a hand-drawn map of Mokoff Port and the surrounding sea area, detailing the hundreds of islands scattered nearby.
Flowsand pointed to one of the further islands and said, “I know Marquess Gaton set up a military base for you in the plane we’re going to, but he’s yet to pick a teleportation point. Teacher Ferlyn chose this place for us, no one knows about it as of now. This island has enough plains, forests and essential deepwater ports. The continent isn’t far away, and it’s especially close to Mokoff Port and Port Rose of the Archerons so we can set up the portal there.
Richard nodded, making a mental note of the position of the island. Flowsand then stowed the map away, passing Richard an emerald gem before saying, “This life crystal will be able to stabilise the seed for a while, so you won’t have to carry it everywhere. You can just leave it in this carriage during our journey.”
The girl didn’t speak further after Richard stowed the crystal away, closing her eyes. All signs of life seemed to dissipate the moment her eyelids closed completely, leaving Richard unable to feel her aura at all. It was like she’d disappeared into thin air.
This shocked him beyond words. He opened his own eyes again, seeing the girl sitting there deathly still. It wasn’t that she had no aura, no— she’d already become one with the archaic aura within the carriage.
It seemed like Flowsand had her own unique way of meditation and practice, and Richard didn’t want to disturb her. He took out a book himself, reading it to pass the time. The journey was long, but the inside and outside of the carriage were worlds apart. He felt almost no jolts, and could hear nothing from the outside world.
Richard took his time with the book, even repeating a few pages. He was so focused on reading that he didn’t even realise when Flowsand woke up to observe him silently.
“You’re studying history?” Flowsand asked out of the blue, seeming a little surprised.
“Hm,” Richard raised his head as he answered, closing the book and passing it over. He was particularly willing to interact with Flowsand, since she would be an important companion in the dangerous planar wars. Trust and chemistry between comrades was a factor that could decide life and death on the battlefield.
Flowsand received the book without any hesitation and asked, “You’re interested in the history of the silvermoon elves? They are the descendants of the ancient elven empire, but today there only a handful of tribes left on Norland. With your father’s assault on Evernight Forest, there aren’t any big groups left in human territory, a mere few tribes scattered here and there.
“If you’re interested in the elves and elven culture, you should visit the Evergreen continent. It lies to the west of Norland, across the vast oceans. The continent is still ruled by an elven monarch. Or you could come to the church once we return from the planes and look through some art pieces Teacher Ferlyn collected from the time of the elven empire.”
Richard gave her a simple smile, “My primary interest is in the attack Marquess Gaton led on Silvermoon Palace. It’s a classic example of a major victory with a numeric disadvantage. But I realised there’s rather few records about it, so I can only read up more and learn about it indirectly.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Theo: To all who've applied to be editors, sorry we'll send you the test soon. We're unable to check tests right now, so we'll get back to you guys in a couple days.
Translated By: Gem
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA