Transaction With A Saint
Don’t you think Hendrick and the Pope have lived too long?
Richard couldn’t stop himself from laughing at that statement, “You want me to get rid of them for you? Don’t even think about it!”
Martin sighed, “What happened to all your valour when you attacked the Sacred Tree Empire all on your own?”
“Valour? That was just an image. The Sacred Alliance had Emperor Philip back then.”
“So it’s true that you and Her Majesty are at odds?” Martin’s eyes gleamed.
“Heh, not really. She just isn’t the same kind of ruler, not to any of the houses.”
“Tch, I knew I couldn’t take advantage of a bastard like you. How about a transaction instead?”
“Depends on the conditions, but why not?”
“Alright. You’ve heard of Midren, haven’t you?”
“The Heaven’s Armour set?”
“Yes. Would you like its design?”
This question nearly caused Richard to jump, but he managed to keep calm. If the design for Midren was going to be the bargaining chip, then the requirements would be just as monumental. He shook his head, “Be more specific.”
Martin turned serious, “I have the broken fragments of Midren, alongside a portion of the original design. If I give them to you, will you be able to make a complete version?”
“Depends,” Richard replied indifferently, “How much of the fragments are left, and how complete is the blueprint? Do you need a carbon copy of the original, or do you need it modified?”
“How much of the blueprint do you need?”
Richard chuckled, “Again, if you have all of it, I can make a perfect copy of the original. If not, I’ll have to fill in the gaps.”
Martin was startled for a moment, staring at him for some time, “Do you realise that your words make me want to kill you on the spot?”
“I do. I also know you couldn’t manage it in a hundred lifetimes,” Richard replied calmly. He had basically said that he was even better than Saint Peter at his peak; every runemaster had a strong personal style, and to be able to copy another saint’s work without modifications required far greater skill than making an equivalent set oneself.
Martin continued to pace around the room, but Richard just leaned back into the sofa and waited patiently. It took a few minutes before he stopped and turned over, slowly extending his right hand, “Do you want to be my friend or my enemy?”
Richard looked at the hand and gently pushed it away, “Business partners only. Your enemies are numerous and powerful, I have no plans of getting myself stuck in with you.”
Martin left his hand out, showing no intention of withdrawing it, “Our problems will only fade away if we work together. I believe our ultimate goal is the same; an alliance would help us both.”
Richard completely ignored the hand, maintaining his tone, “Business. Partners. Only.”
“Sure, but my hand will stay here until you’re ready,” the saint smiled without any hint of displeasure.
“Sure. Now, tell me about the terms.”
“I want three complete Midren sets, but I have no materials. I have 87% of the blueprint left, and 60% of the fragments. I believe that should be enough for a near-exact replica.”
“Doesn’t seem like a good deal to me,” Richard replied dryly.
“Of course, there’s two more conditions. Do you still have the scripture I gave you?”
“Hmm? Yes, one moment.”
When Richard retrieved the Book of Creation and Holding, Martin’s eyes went wide, “You collected so many pages?!”
“I’ve come across a few in my time.”
The saint opened up the book and flipped through a few pages before closing it again. Gently stroking its cover with an expression of uncertainty, he eventually snapped out of his daze, “I can give this to you.”
A milky-white radiance immediately burst forth from his arm, causing Richard to freeze up for a moment. This was pure divine power, and one could see traces of armoured warriors within. These warriors did not wear helmets but instead the high crowns of priests, the signature of a particularly formidable force from the Church of Glory: the blood inquisitors.
“As long as I add this to your book, you will be able to summon blood inquisitors to fight for you regularly. They will be anywhere between level 18 and 20, but you should know that there is a greater significance to them than that.”
Richard had no way to disagree. Blood inquisitors were extremely powerful, capable of empowering their allies greatly while being powerful melee warriors themselves. They only had one form of ranged attack, but that was sacred fire fuelled by divine power that was equivalent to a grade 8 spell. Almost no warrior of equivalent level could compare. The Church of Glory itself didn’t have more than a hundred living blood inquisitors, but a single one effectively boosted a thousand warriors by a level. The Church rarely ever lost when they were deployed.
However, that wasn’t the shocking bit. What really mattered was that these blood inquisitors would be summoned by the divine power of the Radiant Lord; every time he summoned these soldiers, Richard would be able to delve a little into the laws of light.
He looked Martin in the eye, trying to see beyond the standardised smile. Did this man know that he was trying to analyse the laws of light? If he did, was this an expression of goodwill or a trap? Unfortunately, even Insight couldn’t determine anything.
“No acquisition of power comes without a price,” Martin said solemnly, “Don’t you want to risk just a little bit to get this sort of power?”
Richard remained unmoved, “I have many ways of attaining power, there’s no need to take on an unknown risk. This still means nothing to me.”
“Sigh, you really are a handful. Alright, my next condition involves my friendship, that of the future pope. Once, and only once, I will use everything within my means to accomplish a request for nothing at all. How about that?”
“And I’m just supposed to trust that you’ll do that?”
Martin pointed to his heart and smiled calmly, “That’s the only way.”
Richard nodded, “Then trust it is.”
Martin flipped his palm over, pushing the sphere of divine power into the Book of Creation and Holding before handing it to Richard, “You can use the summoning once a day, and it will spawn one or two inquisitors at a time. If you want more, you will need to add to the book.”
Richard flipped through the book to confirm that an imprint had been added before nodding.
Martin smiled, “You’ll receive the fragments and design in a bit; when can you pass the three sets to me? Of course, more would be appreciated, as would soon.”
“Two months, Norland time,” Richard replied calmly, taking a step forward as killing intent flashed across Martin’s eyes. He placed himself right within the saint’s defences, flaring his aura up ever so slightly to make sure the point got across.
“This… Sigh, I really can’t help but want to kill you. Why tell me?”
“Why insist on showing your killing intent?”
“To stop myself from doing something foolish. I have more than enough enemies, I don’t need someone on your level. Anyone who wants to kill you is welcome to, but it won’t be me. No wonder you didn’t accept any orders at the convention, you don’t need them. I thought you were the same as the other saint runemasters, having a lack of materials; that clearly isn’t the case.”
“And how do you know that?” Richard raised a brow.
“Hehe, you didn’t even bother asking what materials Midren required. That means you have reached enough of a pinnacle in your craft that you can find substitutes, or that you have a variety of rare materials at your disposal. The former is a given, but the latter should be true as well.”
“Why so sure?”
“Lifesbane, Mana Armament, Kingsteel, Stealthwalker… I can’t recall a single time you’ve asked for the materials for a rune instead of just selling them outright. Given how much time you’ve spent on your secondary planes, you have to have accumulated an enormous amount of materials. Even if you’re missing some, you can always buy them.”
“You know,” Richard sighed, “I’m starting to want to kill you too.”
“Ooh, that calls for friendship!” Martin beamed, walking over to the Book of Holding and pouring in his divine power. Shortly after, the pages flipped of their own accord until it was showing the images of three blood inquisitors with the crest of the Radiant Lord in the background.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA