The shadowspear knight returned with a letter personally penned by Marquess Sauron, detailing some information on the Billius Family and important members. Richard started reading through it, but his attention was quickly caught by a small annotation: suspected Scholar of Soremburg.
It was Soremburg again! Richard’s eyes narrowed with rage. If the Billius Family really had a Scholar, that would explain why Lucian stole the magic soul. Only, were the Scholars so formidable that they could accurately predict when a magic soul would form? That wasn’t likely either. Lucian should have arrived to probe the Archerons, entering the warehouse to see what was stored within. The bard had gotten lucky to chance upon the newly formed soul.
Given that, any possibility of the Scholars themselves being neutral were to be thrown out the window. If Lucian was here on behalf of a scholar, he would have known the implications of the theft.
Richard drew a thick circle around Baron Billius’s name. The man was Lucian’s uncle, and there wasn’t any sign of doting or even particular fondness. Executing Lucian would be easy, but tracing that back to the Baron himself would be impossible.
Looking through the information a few times, he eventually burnt the letter to dust. With his meteoric rise in recent years, even the Archerons who weren’t direct subordinates of his had come around as well. Sauron and Goliath were still independent, but ever since the defence of the Unsetting Sun, they had become uneasy allies. Goliath continued to manage the family’s death training camps, having provided more than a hundred good rune knight candidates to date, while the Marquess leveraged his intelligence network to act as an informer. The two had managed to resist in the face of Gaton’s rise, but Richard himself had just been far too overbearing for them to even think of continuing their aspirations for the throne.
Sauron’s information was quite reliable, especially if it came from him personally. Billius almost certainly was a Scholar, which would make Lucian an enormous threat as well. However, he didn’t understand just why Soremburg held such interest in him, from Raymond, to Billius to whoever had given him that feather back in Klandor.
He didn’t like this one bit. Even though he had still managed to become a saint runemaster, his work on the Crimson Inferno rune had come to a standstill. If not for his own innate talents showing themselves, he didn’t even know when he would have crossed the threshold. The Scholars were an unusual bunch with no obvious sense of purpose or reason to interfere with him. Such variables had to be eliminated.
Even pacing around in his study until the first light of dawn, Richard still couldn’t figure out a reason for this excess attention. Fortunately, not knowing the cause of a problem didn’t necessarily mean he had no solutions to it; he contacted a few elite shadowspears with his mind, “Go to the Resting Orchid Plane and call Senma back to Blackrose, tell her to be on standby. Recall Phaser from Faelor, same orders. Get Alice to return to Faust at once; close the entire western front, the Sacred Tree Empire won’t do anything for the near future.”
After giving out the orders, Richard immersed himself in studying Midren’s fragments. Time flew quickly, and by the time he had collated a list of materials it was already late into the afternoon. Phaser contacted him once she and Senma were at Blackrose, and a shadowspear informed him that Alice wasn’t far either. Once she reached the castle, she could portal over to Faust directly.
He transmitted all the information he had about Baron Billius to Phaser, “Kill this man, make sure you do it cleanly and take the soul too. Take Senma with you.”
“Is it really necessary to send two of us for one man?” she replied, “I’m more than enough myself.”
“That man is a Scholar. You’re to destroy his soul, while Senma takes care of his body. That’s the only way to guarantee he’ll be gone.”
“Aaalriiiight,” Phaser said lazily, before standing up in the castle to nod to Senma, “We have orders, follow me.”
Not kong after the two left, Alice used Blackrose’s long-range portal to return to the floating island. The war goddess had grown more beautiful in recent years, her features now more delicate and charming as a result of her usage of the leaves of youth. In fact, some of her scars had been smoothed out as well.
“You look pretty now,” Richard said with a smile as he saw her, leaving her speechless for a moment as he patted her cheeks, “You still looked better before, though.”
“Eh… Is that so? Why were you looking for me?” she started breathing quickly, her face reddening.
“Nothing much. There’s a bard called Lucian representing the Billius Family in the royal hunting expedition. He stole a magic soul from me once, so you’re to go capture him when the event comes to an end tomorrow. Bring him back and execute him, no need for an interrogation.”
“Lucian? Isn’t your sister in love with him?”
Richard sighed, “I’m going to write the order up in a bit, she’ll be banished from the family come tomorrow. What point is there to having Archeron blood when you’re not burning with passion? She’s always thought too much of herself and squandered around in life, she’ll find out how much of that came from the family name soon enough.”
“But she’s still your sister…”
“Which is why I’m not feeding her body to the broodmother and soul to Zendrall. She’s a traitor.”
“Sigh, alright. If you’ve made your decision, then I’m not going to stop you.” Alice tried to leave, but she suddenly found that Richard had switched positions and blocked her path to the door. She immediately grew flustered, “What… What are you trying to do?”
“We haven’t finished with our obligations yet,” Richard chuckled, reaching to unbutton her dress.
She desperately tried to stand still, but her body refused to listen to her commands and her leg rose up in a silent kick. It was more sinister than Richard had expected, but his eyes went wide and he managed to dodge the attack that would have destroyed his manhood. Just the residual energy caused a shockwave that overturned his desk, clearly showcasing her power.
With all of the resources at his disposal, Richard hadn’t found it difficult to bring Alice to sainthood. She already had ample experience on the battlefield, so even with a short tenure in the realm she was starting to show great power. Despite her attempt to control herself, that kick had been at full power and would be fatal to most.
Thankfully, Richard knew of this problem and had also figured out how to deal with it. Once he got serious, he quickly pinned her to the desk with her face down. A few spells pulled her limbs taut with invisible ropes, tying her to the feet of the table. Before she could even resist, a dozen curses brought her down to the level of a commoner.
Alice certainly was trying her best not to resist, which left her moves a mess. Weakened by the curses, she quickly tired out in a few minutes and started shivering in fear, “What are you trying to do?”
“What I need to,” Richard said as he removed her clothes, entering her instantly.
After a bout of tightening, Alice slowly softened and started to cooperate. However, Richard knew that her problems could flare up at any time and the magic ropes wouldn’t be able to hold her forever. He tried his best not to give in to the pleasure, keeping alert at all times.
Moaning at first, she suddenly let out a yelp and her body suddenly tightened as the ability of the ursa warlord was activated. She started to grow louder and shriller until he had no choice but to stop and put up a barrier, but he himself enjoyed her response and started going faster and harder.
In some ways, he managed to solve some of his own trauma that evening.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA