Book 7, Chapter 181

Provocation

With the month of effort, Richard had managed to decode more than 300 base units of Saint Peter’s Midren design and completely understood the principles behind designing something for a bloodline. It needed a certain degree of familiarity with the bloodline’s properties, but one could use the blood energy as a substitute focus to reduce the requirements. In a way, one needed to design the runes around the bloodline energy.

It was undeniable that Saint Peter was extremely creative. A rune set that had been restricted to legendary powerhouses could thus be opened up to saints, and even those below sainthood could use it if their bloodline was powerful enough. It immediately gave him many ways to improve his existing runes. With Lifesbane, for example, someone who could originally use five would now be able to hold seven.

At the level of sky saints and legends, many powerhouses found it difficult to grow even a little stronger. The price they had to pay for improving their runes started to skyrocket, making it difficult to justify them. Many legends didn’t really care for Lifesbane; its real power only showed with many stacks, and losing the carrying capacity for their other personalised runes would cripple them. Attack speed and power weren’t the only things determining one’s combat effectiveness; even Richard himself wouldn’t mind losing his Lifesbanes but would have to change his entire combat style without Mana Armament.

However, if the capacity requirements on Lifesbane could be dropped, the situation would be vastly different. It was easy to reject three stacks, but few could ignore the pure boost to power from five or more. Of course, he would have to be willing to craft the rune for them in the first place.

Considering speed and cost, Lifesbane was still his most profitable rune. However, he had already sold a large number and pushed the market close to saturation; in order to maintain his price, he’d been left with no choice but to space things out. With this improvement, however, the market would open up once again. Those who didn’t want Lifesbane before would want to get it, and those who already had bought the rune before would look to him for upgrades. He already knew that it would cost one sixth of the original cost of the rune to upgrade it, but he could ask for a third or even half the price. If the demand was high enough, he could even go to two-thirds; that was still better than buying a brand new one.

It was almost like a path of gold had been paved before his eyes, a thought that prompted a chuckle and shake of the head. He currently needed as much battle power as he could muster; it was useless to just earn money. Pushing open the door to his laboratory, he walked out for the first time in a month.

Dragon Valley was surprisingly lively, with many unfamiliar faces bustling about. A wasp was flying through the sky, and he could see the completed estates on the horizon. The lake in the centre was crystal clear and surrounded by lush greenery, some of the trees not even native to the north. The entire place was encased by a huge magic array to control the climate, a cost much higher than the antique oil paintings and other such decorations within the manors themselves, but it was still negligible to the powerhouses who could explore the Dragon Plane.

The Thinker sent him the details about the estates with a single thought, informing him that all of them had been sold out and three that were still undergoing construction were reserved as well. The Celestial Sage had come back and moved into his manor, but no one else had arrived yet. Some of the legends hadn’t even heard about these estates, but their followers or kin had decided to buy them in advance anyway. There weren’t many chances one could find to be neighbours with the Celestial Sage.

With the long-distance portal complete, followers were still streaming into the valley. News about the Dragon Plane had spread far and wide through Norland, bringing a number of new customers as well. Outside of the legends and sky saints, ten regular saints had already paid the fees and gone through, a number that exceeded Richard’s expectations. Although there were many legends currently taking up the dragons’ attention, these saints were still facing mortal danger venturing in so early. Most of them wouldn’t be able to earn enough in their ventures to pay for the fee of entry, and some were destined to die, but a handful could get lucky and become rich overnight. If they managed to raid a nest without the adult present, they could find more than one top-tier offering.

Of course, everyone always thought they would be the lucky one.

The valley was still in good order. Many small conflicts had bubbled up, but his followers had dealt with them promptly and made sure that the newcomers were behaving well. The 200 rune knights stationed all around could be a part of the reason for that as well.

Stretching his body as he floated into the sky, Richard took the moment to relax. He took a few rounds around his house before heading back towards his laboratory; he wanted to try and craft Midren in his peak state. He had constantly felt on the verge of a breakthrough to the legendary realm these days, and was seriously considering using Sacrifice once to push himself back down. Thankfully, the process of runecrafting also trained his mana control and allowed him to stay on the edge a little longer before he got to that point.

The distant portal started flickering, indicating someone’s return from the Dragon Plane. Noticing it, he immediately contacted the Thinker again and found out that a number of legends had actually started to return in recent days. They were all pleased with the changes to Dragon Valley, being especially satisfied with the services he provided that saved weeks of time shuttling between Norland and Faelor. Not just anyone had the spatial equipment to store dragons or even the brute power to drag them through portals.

Having experienced the tumultuous journey to drag a single dragon back— even the Celestial Sage couldn’t really pull many more— they were delighted at the presence of the processing centre. Depositing their dragons and pointing out what they wanted and what they didn’t, they returned to the Dragon Plane immediately.

Smiling, he returned to his workbench. However, before he could activate the noise-cancelling array, an enormous pressure descended on his laboratory and a thunderous voice bellowed, “RICHARD! COME OUT!”

This was the pressure of a legendary being! Richard was stunned a little, having to stop his followers from rushing out to beat back the offender before he grabbed the Judge and Moonlight and left his desk. Walking out of the laboratory, he slowly rose into the sky.

An imposing legendary mage was floating a hundred metres in the air, robes glimmering and dragonbone staff even larger than his body. Richard recognised the man as Saunder, someone in the first batch of customers to enter the Dragon Plane. A corpse was still lying right outside the portal; he was clearly the one that had just returned.

“Your Excellency, what makes you so angry?” Richard smiled as he flew towards the man.

Saunder glared, “One of your followers beat my son up, do you think I shouldn’t?”

Richard frowned, “What?”

“You heard me. Would I lie?”

“The bitch was called Nasia!” a young man on the ground screamed, “She’s always wearing a mask! Ask her to come out, I want to teach her a lesson!”

Richard looked down and glanced at the young man, eyes filled with suspicion. The youth was clearly quite alert, noticing the expression and jumping up as he shouted, “You have the balls to suspect me?”

‘And could a whelp like you actually jump around after Nasia beat you?’ Richard had to suppress a smirk.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA