Book 1, Chapter 108

Journey

Flowsand nodded her head, apparently not finding it strange that Richard didn’t just ask his father about the events of that day. She spoke naturally, as if this was a common topic, “Indeed, there are few records on that battle. Marquess Gaton suffered a severe injury in the final moments of that war, but his vice-commander had already finished surrounding the remaining silvermoon elves. The elven royalty would never surrender, so there were no royal prisoners from that war. The only elves they managed to bring back were peasants, which became slaves of the imperial family. Marquess Gaton himself never publicised the results of his campaign, so there wasn’t much recorded about it. Furthermore… If I were to speak the truth, not many people like the Archerons, so they naturally wouldn’t want to chronicle their feats.”

“So that’s what happened… Thank you, Flowsand,” Richard said in earnest.

However, now done with her explanation, Flowsand continued to speak, “If you have the time to browse through history, I suggest you take the time to read the notebooks Teacher Ferlyn gave you. They contain information about the myriad planes, as well as the teachings of the Eternal Dragon. It will benefit our expedition.

“If you don’t have any interest in that, from what I’ve heard you are an amazing runemaster. Think of the battles we will face, and decide on a rune befitting of me. When we arrive safely in the new plane, you can make a set of runes for me.”

“Runes?” Richard was rather surprised. He looked between Flowsand’s brows, “Isn’t that a special rune on your forehead? If I guess correctly, this rune contains some form of powerful ability, does it not? It should be grade 4.”

“But I only have one rune on my body right now,” the cleric countered.

“A grade 4 rune isn't enough?” Richard laughed hoarsely, but when he saw Flowsand’s solemn look, he withdrew his smile. He instead pondered in shock for a while, before asking, “You can withstand more runes?”

Flowsand nodded her head.

A grade 4 rune required ten times the carrying capacity of an elementary rune. Richard was already surprised that Flowsand could bear one; after all, anyone that could even withstand a grade 3 rune below level 10 deserved to be proud of themselves. He’d never have thought that Flowsand could actually bear even more.

“If that’s the case, I’ll have to offend you for a moment.”

“It’s no offence. Don’t tarry, if you can craft a rune for me I will allow you to inscribe it on my body.”

Richard was rather stupefied. The chest was the most likely location on one’s body to place a rune. Of course inscribing a rune directly was much better than using an attachment slot, reducing the capacity requirements and allowing more efficient energy transfer, but the tolerance for modifications was also low at 5% and it would be extremely difficult to change runes in the future. The process of removing a tattooed rune was excruciatingly painful, and with the failure rate of the normal runemaster most knights wouldn’t even consider direct inscription if it wasn’t a high-grade rune.

However, since Flowsand said that she did not mind, Richard would no longer dwell on this matter. But when he cast the detection spell, he received yet another shock.

Flowsand’s arms and legs, as well as her chest and stomach all responded with powerful energy waves. Richard immediately realised that she still had the capacity left to withstand another, albeit weaker, grade 4 rune! This toppled his knowledge on the world of runecrafting.

There were two things that influenced the runic power of a rune knight. One was their carrying capacity, while the other was the number of possible positions on their bodies to attach runes to. More positions with the same capacity would be able to fit in more runes. Although a grade 4 rune took up ten times that capacity of an elementary one, a rune knight with ten elementary runes would easily defeat one with a single grade 4 rune. Many rune knights, including several powerful figures on the continent, were often troubled by the lack of rune positions at higher levels. For example, the illustrious divine set of Saint Peter required at least five slots, and one needed enough capacity on top of that.

Richard himself only had two, but Flowsand showed a whopping six options to choose from!

“How is it?” Flowsand asked.

Richard rubbed his temples and smiled wryly, “This… exceeds my expectations. I’ll need some time to think.”

“That’s no problem. We have enough time, so have at it!” Done with what she wanted to say, Flowsand closed her eyes once more.

After a more than ten hour non-stop journey, the party finally reached Giantwood Village. This was an unassuming town under Earl Goliath’s governance. It was located in a remote area, in the midst of mountains and endless forests. The only specialty of Giantwood Village was their wood, but due to difficulty in transportation that didn’t bring much economic benefit to the villagers. Since there was no trade to speak of, there were very few visitors as well. From any angle, Giantwood Village was an ordinary, poor, and quiet village. There were only a hundred or so families here, and their lives had not changed in many years.

In the depths of the forest behind this village laid the death training camp of the Archerons. This camp was over a hundred years old, having groomed countless assassins, cursemasters, and warriors in its time. This was a place free of race and class— every individual that entered was trained, and the only task they were given was to survive. To survive until their training came to an end.

Most of the participants of this death training camp were orphans, death-row criminals, and slaves. There were also psychopaths and fanatics here, those who found joy in the act of killing. There were also a significant number of Archerons, in order to pursue greater power and strength, that were willing to volunteer and enter this camp. However, all participants were treated equally. In the face of death, an Archeron and orphan had no difference in status. If they wanted to live, they could only rely on their brains or brawns, or perhaps both.

Of course, Richard was not here to receive training, but to choose a soulguard. This was one of the resources that the family would provide for promising talents.

The soulguard would be bound by a soul contract that tied their soul to Richard’s. Any thoughts of betrayal would wipe out their very soul, and they also served to assist Richard in resisting soul attacks. Of course, the reverse was not true. A soul attack directed at the soulguard would not affect Richard at all.

Under the power of the contract, the soulguard and their master would have their destinies intertwined, making for the most loyal of guardians. However, such contracts were extremely rare, with most coming from the blessings of the Eternal Dragon. Legendary clerics and priests could create them as well, but making even one required a large amount of divine power and a small portion of one’s very soul. A new legendary cleric would drop out of the legendary realm with just two, so few would be willing to do such a thing.

As for the contracts coming from the Eternal Dragon, there was a factor of chance involved. Only those who were extremely lucky would be able to obtain such a thing.

Richard took out his soul-binding contract when they arrived at their destination, causing Flowsand to blink her eyes several times in surprise.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translation/TLC By: OMA

Edited By: Theo