“Wait!” Seeing Nyris walking away, Richard was startled and reached out to stop him. He caught the prince’s hand, but for a moment was distracted by a strange sense of coldness coming from the soft skin. His grip loosened long enough for Nyris to jump up like he had been burnt, forcefully pulling free and bolting for the door.
Even then, Richard just stood in silence as he touched a part of his palm that had been scratched by Nyris’s nails. It hadn’t been enough to draw blood, but even that section was still icy and emitting a delicate fragrance.
Thankfully, he could rest assured that the prince would be safe for now. Marriage engagements were slow and complicated, especially when they involved two individuals of royal bloodline. He only needed five days of time to be able to guarantee the Fourth Prince’s safety himself. With the time approaching dusk, he took the long-range portal below the castle to the Deepblue.
As Richard left, the entirety of Faust went into an uproar.
In his demiplane in the Mage Association headquarters, Chairman Thor reclined into his chair as he opened a letter that had just arrived, “It’s from Richard, and looks rather important. Let’s see what he has to say.”
Sitting across him was a mage who looked to be in her late twenties, but from her robes to the large rings on her hand, she was clearly armed like a legend. One could also see traces of her true age from her eyes as she responded calmly to the Chairman, “The Archeron kid? He’s gotten quite the reputation these days, I always hear people talking about him. Some are even saying that he could be a saint runemaster in thirty years, I hope he’ll manage to craft something good for mages. That damned Lawrence talked about Mana Armament for so many years, but he didn’t manage to make it.”
Thor chuckled, “Thirty years? He won’t even be fifty then, can you imagine a saint runemaster under the age of fifty?”
“I know, but he’s already worked miracles with Lifesbane and the grade 4 Mana Armament. I’ve already heard of a few old guys travelling to the abyss just for the Archeron bloodline; they’re becoming a popular demon to hunt.”
The aged Chairman drank some tea as he started reading through the letter, but after only moments he spat out everything in his mouth until the sheet was soggy! The other mage sat up with shock as well; something that could unsettle a legendary being had to be momentous.
“Impossible! This is damn impossible!” Thor screamed as he tried to dry the paper immediately.
“What happened? Surely, even a declaration of war from the other empires wouldn’t merit this reaction.”
“How else should I react? The Sacred Alliance has another saint runemaster! What else matters?”
“Saint runemaster?” the mage yelped, no longer caring about her own appearance as she tried to snatch the sheet from Thor’s hands, “Who is it? Rufus? Roth? Why would they defect now of all times? Wait… No, impossible!”
“See for yourself!” Thor let her take the sheet.
The mage didn’t even care that the letter was covered in tea and spittle, carefully reading through every word as though it was an illusion. Her own eyes widened before she seemed to deflate entirely, “Kingsteel, Stealthwalker? Isn’t he Lawrence’s student, shouldn’t he be crafting Mana Armament?”
The Chairman groaned loudly, “Have you gone senile? Who cares about the function of the runes, don’t you understand the key point to them? If you can’t understand, someone else will.”
The mage’s eyes twitched as she returned to the letter, reading through it a few more times while muttering the words Kingsteel and Stealthwalker over and over again. It took her a moment to yell, “There’s two!”
“Who announces two saint runes the moment they advance?” the woman shrieked, all of the plants within a hundred metres starting to tremble and collapse.
Thor sighed deeply, “He announced two rune sets for his first official convention. Now he’s announcing two saint runes for his first in this realm. It’s… no big deal.”
The woman knew that this was a huge stretch. A number of saint runemasters in the history of Norland only managed a single grade 5 rune in their lives, just like Saint Lawrence. She took a few deep breaths to calm herself down a little, “This means we have a reliable source of saint runes in the future. If I can get one that works, some of the secret realms I have access to will become explorable. Why is the convention in five days? How on earth am I supposed to gather enough funds to buy them right there if they’re nice?”
She immediately waved her arms, opening up a screen in thin air and pointing it at a constellation of floating islands in the midst of the void, “I am the South Star! Listen up, you old coots, come to Faust right now! Get moving, there’s going to be a rune convention in five days! There will be two new saint runes! Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you about this, and get some of my money. I didn’t bring too much this time!”
The South Star wasn’t as impactful a name as it once was. She hadn’t returned to Norland often in two centuries, and even when she did she didn’t make a public appearance. However, this title still held great power amongst the upper echelons of the Sacred Alliance.
News travelled quickly, and cries of surprise resounded throughout Faust.
“A saint runemaster only in his twenties? Goodness!”
“What is Kingsteel? Such an uncommon name!”
“Stealthwalker? The name is a little bland, but I’m sure it’s very useful. I want one!”
“Want? Do you have the capacity to get it?”
Within the imperial palace, Apeiron was enjoying a massage from a batch of beautiful youths, her body only covered by a small towel. Every one of these youths were trembling with fear; personally attending to the Empress was a task destined for death. This was especially true now, when there were a number of bone-deep wounds across her snow-white skin. Some of the injuries were spewing black smoke, while others sizzled with rotting flesh or had energy worms crawling in and out of them.
A few priests and doctors were standing by her side, healing her to the best of their abilities while covered in sweat. However, the Empress herself acted as though the multitude of injuries were nothing.
Julian walked into the room and bowed with the grace of a true noble, his voice now magnetic and charming, “Your Majesty, the entire Sacred Alliance is in need of your guidance; you cannot take the risks you did before. The Land of Dusk is an issue for all the noble families of Faust, they cannot just push the responsibilities to you.”
“Don’t be annoying,” she said lazily, “I hadn’t been hurt for a long time, it left me itchy. The Daxdians haven’t improved at all; I killed two of their legends, but they didn’t manage to really hurt me. Anyway, why are you here?”
“There has been a major incident in Faust.”
“Richard Archeron has sent you an invitation to his next rune convention.”
“Is he dreaming? The kid should know that I’d have killed him long ago, what’s so special about this convention of his?”
“He plans to announce two new runes, both grade 5.”
It was only now that the Empress’s eyes lit up, “Two saint runes?”
“Yes,” Julian nodded.
She squinted her eyes, retreating into her own mind for a second before saying, “What do you think?”
“If one of them suits you, we could return to the Outlands for an expedition. We can teach those bastards a lesson they will never forget!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA