The Judge Of Destiny
After taking over the valley, Richard set up a new array at the teleportation gate and stationed ten rune knights and fifty shadowspears at it. His followers were also placed their in rotation, at least one guarding the portal at all times.
It was in the afternoon of the next day that the first prey walked into their trap. A female draconian walked out of the gate and was immediately inundated with javelins, leaving the saint critically injured. The shadowspears rushed over to take her alive, but the moment the dizziness of travel and the shock from the attack wore off she used a technique that blew up her body and soul.
Once he heard about this, Richard sent a shadowspear through the portal to investigate the other side. It was ordered to make a quick visual scan of the area and return immediately, with an additional drone being sent every two hours. However, an entire day passed with not one of the knights managing to return.
Richard himself wasn’t in a particular hurry, arranging for the Crimson Army to attack the Pearl Necklace as he continued to study Shattler’s abilities. While there wasn’t much to comprehend in terms of laws, the illusions were still very valuable in actual battle and would greatly increase his survivability.
The second day passed, but none of the shadowspears managed to make it back through the portal. It was on the afternoon of the third that Richard sent Zangru through, telling him to turn tail the moment he got out the other end and return.
Zangru returned in only half an hour, chuckling as he walked out of the portal. He headed straight to Richard’s lab and placed his strange weapon on the ground, laughing the entire time, “There were so many draconians in there, even three dragons! It felt good to kill that much! This guy got its fill of dragonblood too, one of them was half dead before I had to leave. It’ll probably evolve a bit after a month; it better be legendary by then.”
Richard glanced at Zangru and frowned, walking up to him and tearing apart the undamaged clothing with a single thought. The former demigod’s once-supple skin was riddled with wounds that were centimetres long, with a few claw marks that cut from his shoulder to abdomen. There were even a couple of puncture wounds at his waist, and the fact that they still looked fresh showed just how grievously he’d been injured. The battle definitely wasn’t as easy as he made it out to be; even just returning was likely because of some luck.
“Didn’t I ask you to just check out the situation and return immediately?” Richard grunted.
“You told me I could kill a few of them if I saw the chance,” Zangru said casually.
“I wanted you to ambush them, not enter a fight with three dragons!”
“Well, I did… I just got caught up a little and let it devolve into a full battle. And this thing!” he kicked his rod-like weapon on the floor, “It’s so difficult to find chances to fill it up. How could I give up on that? Future fights will be much easier.”
Richard stared at him for a while before sighing, “I know the broodmother can just create a new Asura with your memories and data if you die. But that won’t be you, do you understand? That Asura will be a pure special unit.”
“Eh, is there a difference? It will still be my memories, my soul.”
“But not you,” Richard emphasised once more, his expression now stern.
Zangru finally stopped acting like everything was a joke, growing serious for a moment, “Aren’t I Asura now?”
“You’re Zangru, one of my followers. Asura is a special drone the broodmother can create, and you just so happen to have its powers. Now, a follower is actually worthy of my time and care, a drone is not.”
Feeling strangely emotional, Zangru couldn’t help but look away, “It isn’t worth it. I’m a cursed demigod, my mere existence is a blight on this world. It isn’t wor—”
“Enough! Don’t make me repeat myself, just… go get yourself treated or something. You really will die if you bleed out any longer!”
“Alright, Master,” Zangru suddenly bowed, picking up his living weapon before heading out.
Richard shook his head with a wry smile, traces of fatigue showing on his face. His followers were all powerful beings in their own right now, perhaps even close to Gaton’s thirteen, but each of them had a strong will that matched their power. They weren’t content with the boundaries he set for them, but that was partly his own fault as well. Even Zangru had been with him for years and years now, while the rest of his followers had started out with him when he was a nobody. It was difficult to see them getting hurt, but he couldn’t keep them caged up either.
Ordering another shadowspear to enter the portal, he returned to his room.
On the floor next to his bed was a rock that flickered with silver light, the cocoon that Carnage had formed when it absorbed the Friend of Silver’s sword. The weapon was taking much longer to absorb the energy than expected, not reacting at all, but through Insight he had been able to see slow, constant changes within.
It had been a few days since he had checked on the weapon, and when he put his hand on it to sense the interior his eyes widened with delight. He made quick work of the rocky cocoon, even tearing at some of it with his mana to reveal a jagged longsword within.
A desolate growl rang through the room the moment that Carnage’s new self was revealed, an aura of savagery radiating from the blade. The sword itself jumped a little before the aura faded, the bloodlust now bottled up within. Richard reached out and grabbed the hilt, but it jumped up once more and grew extremely aggressive. It struggled to break free of his hold for an entire minute before calming down.
Richard was startled by the development; the pull had been so great that he’d actually felt his muscles starting to stretch from the effort. It was only because of a quick activation of Mana Armament that he’d managed to reign it in, and it still took some of his martial arts techniques to make sure the force didn’t damage him. Others would clearly need legendary might to control this weapon.
Thankfully, it didn’t try to escape again once it calmed down. Richard placed the sword on the floor and examined it, connecting to it mentally to learn what it could do. Just like when he had first acquired it from the Eternal Dragon, the weapon readily revealed its abilities.
The original ability of Carnage was still preserved, with the sword growing more powerful against those he hated the most. It had grown significantly sharper as well; while not as powerful as Moonlight, its edge was still legendary grade. However, it was the last ability that caused him to tremble with shock: Judge of Destiny.
Judge of Destiny was a marking ability just like Carnage, but it was far more powerful. Those with the mark would essentially be rejected by the laws of the world, greatly dropping their defensive abilities to the point that even dragons would be injured easily. The weapon was tied to his own understanding of laws; the more laws he grasped in a battlefield, the more acclimatised he was, the more powerful the effect.
Of course, such a powerful ability came with a high cost. Calling on the power of laws was taxing, and after a minute of calculations Richard estimated that it would be equivalent to casting two grade 9 spells or using up some of his soul strength. Normally, he would only be able to use it thrice in a day.
However, even a single use of such a powerful ability was enough. At the same time, with his own understanding of laws beginning to grow rapidly, it would scale with him. This ability had great potential.
Having understood the ability in its entirety, Richard decided that Carnage was no longer a suitable name for this sword. Sighing with a mix of delight and slight horror, he changed it to the Judge. With this on hand, he thought things through for a while before deciding to change his tactics. Quickly leaving the room, he stopped a shadowspear that was about to enter the portal and went in himself.
The moment he stepped into the portal, he saw the same dazzling lights that he had grown familiar with over the years as his sight started to fail him for a few moments. This was a flood of raw spacetime that could contain any number of planes in any stages of their life. Most people lost control of their senses as they entered a portal, feeling like only a moment had passed when they came through the other side, but as one grew more powerful they could vaguely sense the minutes, hours, and sometimes even days passing by.
Richard himself was no longer the wide-eyed youth of the past, now able to sense the powerful yet chaotic energy all around him as the portal dragged him across the void. At times like these, his respect for the Eternal Dragon only grew. A spacetime flood was far more dangerous than an energy storm; it was chaotic and lawless, able to destroy entire planes without any way to stop it. However, the Eternal Dragon could construct stable passageways through such power that was unlikely to ever harm the traveller; its power was unthinkable.
As ever, the feeling faded as quickly as it arrived. The scenery before his eyes changed to the dry forest of what he now just called the Dragon Plane, and he was met with a flurry of spells and arrows targeted at him. However, as someone valuable to the Eternal Dragon his Planewalker title wasn’t just for show; it also allowed him to avoid the dizziness of teleportation, with his senses only blurring for a moment because of the change in environment. Before any of the attacks could land, he blinked several hundred metres away to appear behind the draconians attacking him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA