Book 7, Chapter 161

The Dragon’s Fairness

Seeing Richard grind his sole against Ryan’s face, Jacqueline picked up her staff and gripped it tightly, “Richard! You dare beat up a future Chosen of the Eternal Dragon? This is heresy!”

Richard looked up at her before lifting his foot and stomping down once more, causing the youth to lose consciousness, “Oh? I just hit your Chosen again. And again. And… again. Why don’t I see any divine punishment here? Tch, you’d be best served rethinking the meaning of Blessing Redirection.”

“Guards! Kill this heretic!”

The paladins surrounded Richard at her orders, but having seen what happened none of them acted upon her orders. Their confusion was especially exacerbated when Noelene stepped forward, “Withdraw. Nobody is to point their weapons at Duke Richard; that will only be disrespect to the Eternal Dragon.”

Jacqueline paled, looking at the other two grand priestesses, “What do you think?”

However, those two only retreated silently to open up some distance.

Watching this farce, Richard chuckled, “Grand Priestess, have you not managed to remember what Blessing Redirection is? Should I jog your memory?”

Hearing these words, Jacqueline’s eyes suddenly went wide as she remembered the full effects of Blessing Redirection. One could choose the target of the divine grace from their ceremonies, but they could also affect the blessings others gained as well. Even she didn’t have such a right.

She then realised she had overlooked another important point; the amount of divine grace from the ceremony was only enough for her to go up by one level, not two. Noelene had gone straight to level 20, and that sent a chill down her spine. Be it due to favour towards Richard or Noelene herself, this signified the Eternal Dragon’s stand. The two were much more important here than she was.

Richard was in no hurry, waiting for Jacqueline to process everything before he pointed at her. An hourglass suddenly appeared above her head and cracked, most of the sand within it trickling away. Jacqueline went white as a sheet, her voice trembling, “W-What did you do to me?”

“You know very well,” Richard chuckled like a devil.

Jacqueline’s entire body shook as she bit her lower lip, understanding just what had happened. Richard had used Blessing Redirection on her, which would mean she would get almost no grace from future ceremonies she hosted. With Noelene now positioned to become the next high priestess, which would certainly come with a drop in the number of ceremonies she was allowed to host in the first place, she would certainly take ages to level up.

Her eyes filled up with despair and hatred, but she didn’t say anything at all; she knew there was no point in doing so anymore. She hadn’t ever imagined that Richard would upgrade his title so quickly, with the Eternal Dragon favouring him to the point that Blessing Redirection had worked on a grand priestess. Even amongst the Chosen, she had never heard of anyone possessing such authority that made them almost a speaker for the dragon itself.

Richard had just offered way too many sacrifices in the past few years, nearly half of the church’s entire throughput. Flowsand and Noelene had gobbled it all up, and with Ferlyn and Flowsand now gone she and her peers were unwilling to watch as Noelene just took all of his divine grace. She had weighed the danger of offending Richard and decided it was worth it, but she most certainly hadn’t expected this.

Richard walked towards her and raised his hand, intentionally leaving it only a few inches from her breasts. She gritted her teeth in humiliation, but she remained rooted in place and silently acquiesced to him doing whatever he wished. He touched her breasts for a moment and praised them, “They’re pretty big! How about this— you forced my hand just now, but I’m very generous and will give you a chance. Come over for a night, and I’ll pretend none of this ever happened and undo the redirection. Of course, you can just stay at level 18 forever. Careful, though, you might just get chased out if you keep being stupid. I’ve already warned you.”

He didn’t even wait for her answer and headed out of the church with his knights. Seeing a glimmer in Jacqueline’s eyes, Noelene started and immediately chased him down to the gates, “Were you serious just now?”

Richard shrugged, “Fuck no, but I can’t kill her, can I? Best alternative, humiliate her until she can’t keep her head up; it’s not like she’d actually have sex with me.”

“You never know,” she said solemnly, “I saw some hope in her, she was about to agree. She’ll come looking for you soon enough.”

“Wait, what?” Richard grew dazed, “She’s a grand priestess, though.”

Noelene shook her head, “She’ll come.”

Richard wanted to retort, but he couldn’t find any words. He ended up smiling wryly, suppressing a long sigh. Blessing Redirection’s extra effect had no way to undo it. He had just hoped to eliminate the threat from Jacqueline, but if she really found him he had no idea what to do.

Perhaps another offering? However, that was extremely wasteful. Others might think the chance for intercourse with a priestess of Jacqueline’s calibre was worth a lot, but he certainly didn’t put it at even a lesser offering. If she really lowered herself to the level of accepting his offer, he would have shot an arrow into his own knee.

“It’s best for me to return to Faelor as soon as possible,” he commented.

“What about Ryan and the other two?”

“The priestesses know their place, they won’t try anything. As for Ryan, he’s a nobody. Let him ruin himself.”

Noelene frowned, “But Ryan really did show signs of becoming Chosen. That’s why Jacqueline paid so much attention to him. She might also have others on her side.”

“Heh, he might have shown signs before he had the gall to attack me. Let’s see how happy the dragon is with a priest attacking his biggest offerer.”

Noelene went silent at that comment, shaking her head, “Congratulations, and thank you!”

These words came from the bottom of her heart. The conflict today made it clear that Richard was above grand priestesses like her in the eyes of the Eternal Dragon, second perhaps only to true Chosen like Flowsand and Ferlyn. A young priest with potential had been crushed and lost his future. Without Richard’s full support, she would have had a difficult life.

However, Richard didn’t look all that happy, “It’s nothing much, just shows that I’m more important in the dragon’s eyes for now.”

……

This important ceremony and all of the events within would end up becoming a secret only a small circle of people knew about. When Richard returned to his island, a young mage from the Deepblue was already waiting for him with a black pack whose expense showed through in the material and handiwork alone. Within was a spatial enchantment that could hold two cubic metres of materials, possessing excellent sealing enchantments.

Within the bag were all sorts of high-quality magic apparatus and tools, the focus being placed on precision and economising space. This bag and its interiors were all the signature work of the dragonblood gnome Tion, called the legendary mage’s pocket lab. It was a nearly fully-fleshed laboratory available on the go, each of these bags costing over three million gold and requiring years of advance booking. Even with some connections through Professor Fayr, Richard had only gotten one after a year’s wait.

The pocket lab only had half a cubic metre’s worth of space left. Dismissing the courier, Richard filled it up with the materials he had acquired from the ceremony before passing on a list to the old steward for material purchases. Also writing a letter to NYris, he rushed for Faelor.

Not long after he’d left, a mysterious guest arrived at the floating island, a woman whose appearance was hidden under a large hood. Producing a recommendation letter from a Marquess, she requested to meet Richard. Finding out that he had already left Faust, however, she froze and silently left.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA