Book 7, Chapter 177

An Unusual Sacrifice

Richard slowly descended down the steps, his surroundings soon plunged into darkness for a moment before the flicker of starlight illuminated his surroundings. He had quickly arrived at a peculiar space— not particularly big at only ten square metres, but completely surrounded by emptiness.

The earth was paved with golden rock and in the centre was a platform made of black crystal that held what looked to be the most flawless woman in existence. Even Richard stopped breathing for a moment as he laid eyes upon her perfect form.

At his level, beauty was a fleeting thing that could be achieved whenever one wanted. However, this sort of subtle absolution was something that never appeared in the mortal realm. It didn’t take powerful senses to realise just why this was; this body was a manifestation of the power of laws!

Richard walked towards the platform and looked over the spare body of the Lady of the Night, something Runai had tried to achieve for hundreds of years. He paused for a moment before reaching forward and touching her face, examining the mysterious aura on her distant expression.

The Lady of the Night wasn’t breathing and her body was cold, but within it was bubbling a torrent of life force that made it feel like she was just asleep. Activating Insight, Richard realised that her body could change infinitely within this space. What he saw was an adapted image of his perfect woman, but a woman coming in could just as well see the lover of her dreams. Someone with the right amount of ability could change what this body looked like through self-control.

Once he noticed that, all Richard could see was a ball of primal divinity, almost equivalent to a lesser deity and worth more than a thousand units. This was easily the most valuable thing in the church, the accumulation of hundreds of years of faith that Runai had desired.

The crystal platform itself was no ordinary object, made entirely of astral crystal. Common ones were normally around the size of a palm; one big enough to form a bed was rare even in Norland. The Lady of the Night had likely crafted this platform with divinity; it in itself was a top-tier offering.

Grinning with delight, Richard returned above ground to take stock of his harvest. He had enough spare weapons and armour for 50,000 men now, albeit it would only be considered elite equipment by Faelor’s standards, as well as a hundred units of divinity outside of the body itself. All the other treasures around made for more than ten million gold as well as one and a half top-tier offerings.

Looking over the list, he immediately contacted the broodmother, “You can get to level 11 now.”

“You found it?” the broodmother asked with excitement.

“Yep, more than a thousand unit. This will be your first level up after you’ve unlocked your truename.”

The broodmother sent a wave of affirmation, “It feels like my true growth has only just begun.”

“Good, send a convoy to take the body. Careful, Runai’s been looking for this thing for centuries; the other gods might interfere if they get wind of it.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be careful. We control the skies of Faelor, nobody challenges us there.” There was a hint of pride in the broodmother’s reply, and Richard had no way to refute either. As she grew more powerful, even demigods and avatars became less and less of a threat to her. From the astral chrysalis to the cloned brains and winged serpents, there were a number of ways for her to make sure the body travelled unhindered.

She suddenly asked, “Aren’t you scared you won’t be able to control me anymore?”

This was an important question. The broodmother had made it clear that she chose to work with him due to his abilities, and their continuing master-servant relationship hinged on him still being somewhat superior. However, Richard just chuckled, “Won’t be a problem yet.”

Her voice immediately turned gentle, “You’ll have the information as soon as I level up.”

Ending his conversation with the broodmother, Richard then contacted Nasia, “I’ve found some offerings, there should be enough to get you to sainthood. Let’s go make the sacrifices once we get back to Norland.”

“Not bad,” her reply came a few moments later, her voice filled with lethargy, “We don’t need to go to Norland, though. Just bring them here, I’ll take care of it.”

Although he had told himself to never be surprised by her anymore, Richard was still stunned for a moment, “You mean the altar in Bluewater? It doesn’t work very well.”

“No, I’ll just build one on my own. It isn’t all that hard, the old dragon’s altars are so shabby,” she replied in a confident tone.

Richard didn’t know how to feel about that. She wanted to build an altar on her own, and was saying it wouldn’t be hard? Even Chosen like Flowsand needed significant effort to build an altar, and that still required the Book of Time as a medium. The so-called shabby altars connected directly to the current of time; such a thing couldn’t be built by mortals.

However, he had already given up ever since the trauma from Prisoner of War. The woman was impossible to read and even more difficult to defeat in battle; she was an anomaly in every sense of the term. He decided not to argue with her, “Then go ahead, just tell me what you need. The offerings will be there tomorrow.”

“You finally got a conscience. Why didn’t you think of giving me any of the ten you got last time?”

He smiled bitterly, “I wanted to, but I was offered some of the things I needed most urgently. I didn’t expect to run out so quickly.”

“Hmph, you just wanted to boost yourself to try and defeat me, didn’t you?” she poked at him. Because of her level, almost all legends could break apart the effects of Prisoner of War immediately. If Richard broke through, he would have an actual chance in battle.

Richard sighed in annoyance, “I’m not going to just become a legend to beat you, you know. I still need to make sure my ability is powerful enough, there really were just some things I really wanted.”

Nasia grunted, “There will always be things you really want as long as the dragon sees potential in you. You better reserve some for me next time; unless that old thing’s consciousness isn’t present, nobody takes offerings out of the church.”

“The dragon’s consciousness? Isn’t it absent most of the time? I’ve only seen it twice.”

“Wrong, he always pays attention to those with potential. You just don’t know about this; in your words, the dragon’s just a voyeur.”

“Umm…” Richard took a few seconds to manage a reply, “Well… that’s hard to imagine.”

“Just hurry up and send the offerings, I’ll start on the altar. You won’t need to spend so much effort on Dragon Valley after this, I’ll teach any legends trying to cause trouble a proper lesson. Do you want to bet whether any legend will want to fight me even at level 16?”

……

It took a few hours for both the Divine Fort and the underground church to be looted clean. Everything was piled up by category, waiting for the astral chrysalis and wasps to transport them away. At this point, the broodmother had focused a majority of her efforts into producing dragonflies, with more than a dozen now flying through the skies of Faelor. Richard’s troop and resource transfers had sped up drastically, but he still felt like there could never be enough.

Once they were sure they had taken everything, Richard planned to have all of his troops leave. Maintaining a city in this barren land was a huge cost, and without any residents left alive he had no plans to do so. Instead, he had a cloned brain pick up the crystal bed he had found before heading to Dragon Valley.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: WQ

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA