Book 7, Chapter 184

Small Victory

Saunder tried to recast the random teleportation the moment he failed, but before his figure could disappear he felt his existence yanked back into the material realm. Richard had used the moment of failure to cast a spatial lock to hold him down.

The three faces continued their chanting, sending three enormous fireballs towards the legendary mage. However, these ones were different from the ones before them; one was pure lava, the other almost completely life energy with barely any hint of fire, while the last was flaming blue liquid that felt like it could burn up an entire world.

Richard paled the moment these fireballs were cast, growing so weak he could barely even move while the three faces started to fade away. However, Saunder couldn’t find any solace as he realised the sheer power that had just targeted him. If the three faces had been equivalent to a legendary spell when working together, now each one held near-legendary might. It would take his full effort to deal with a single one, leave alone three at the same time that had vastly different properties.

Unable to care about the consequences, he quickly burnt into his mana pool to send a barrage of low-level spells to chip away at the fireballs. Most were concentrated on the blue orb in the centre, and once that as broken he chose to advance instead of retreating. Barrelling straight into the magma fireball, he forced it to explode before the life energy could amplify its might.

Red covered a sector of the sky for a moment, but a multitude of barriers kept Saunder alive. Only a small number came from himself, the various artefacts on his body and his legendary robe providing the rest. Over half of them had faded away by the time the magma had dispersed, which was exactly when the flames of life attacked him instead.

The milky white energy was so thick that it almost felt like it should heal someone instead of harming them, but it trapped Saunder in an orb of transparent flames. Fortunately, the attack was so mild that his cracked barrier didn’t break immediately, only flickering on the verge of collapse. This gave him time to replenish it before heaving a sigh of relief. It looked like two more barriers’ worth would be enough for him to power through this.

However, his face suddenly warped as the life energy powering the flames suddenly pulsed, strengthening them greatly. It quickly became apparent that they wouldn’t fade for a long time. No matter how weak they were, hours of burning would definitely leave an impact; moreover, Richard’s flames of life were only weak compared to his other fireballs.

While Saunder was glaring viciously at him, Richard himself could barely stay airborne. The molten lava within him seemed to come to a halt, the elven trees stopping all signs of life. What little was left of his mana was now going haywire, constantly wounding him from within as a result of using Sacrifice. Overall, the price he paid was much greater than what Saunder did burning his mana pool.

Still, Saunder could only grunt in resignation as the last of his barriers exploded, the mana extinguishing some of the flames of life while causing some backlash that injured him severely. With the remaining flames still burning on his body and causing him to cry out in pain, he just fled at top speed. There was a clear winner in this battle, even if that winner wasn’t much better off than the loser. Of course, the disparity in subordinates was much greater; Richard’s men could abolish Saunder’s few subordinates without even breaking a sweat. If the rune knights went all out, they possessed the power to kill the legendary mage twice over.

This was mostly due to the power of the flame potion. Its primary purpose was in strengthening its drinker’s soul and exposing them to the laws of fire, giving Richard the same sort of opportunity as when Nasia had cast War Fanatic on him with the laws of metal, but that wasn’t all. The potion also upgraded the power of one’s pyromancy by about a level; this wasn’t much on the lower end, but it meant that an all-out Richard could have legendary-level spells on hand. When also using Sacrifice’s boost, he could overpower even true legendary magic.

Watching Saunder run away, Richard sent a mental command that caused Zangru to flash behind the legendary mage’s son, placing his polearm on the youth’s shoulder. Phaser turned her gaze to those people who had initially been guarding the young man, ensuring that they didn’t move a single muscle. Zangru’s weapon shot out a dozen sticky tentacles that licked at the boy’s face repeatedly, causing him to shriek.

Far away, Saunder shook and came to a halt, slowly turning around, “Richard, what are you doing?”

“Is it not clear?” Richard said calmly, “You can escape, but what about him?”

The mage’s expression turned frosty, “Do you really want to make a mortal enemy of me? You will not be lucky enough to stop me next time, and I can always have another son. Remember this day, Richard; you and your people better watch out even in your sleep.”

Richard laughed, ”You think a weakling like you threatens me? Did you forget I’m not legendary yet? Let’s see how you fare when I come over.”

“If the legendary realm was so easy to get into, there would be legends walking around on the streets!”

“It isn’t any of my concern how difficult it is for wimps to enter the legendary realm. I can do it whenever I want,” Richard said flatly, showing absolute confidence in himself.

Saunder wanted to sneer, saying he had gone through hell and high water to become a legendary figure, but the words suddenly caught in his throat. He thought of a terrifying possibility; Richard was currently restraining himself from the advancement! If someone dared to do such a thing, their power once they entered the legendary realm would far surpass that of their peers.

Many people longed dearly to enter the legendary realm, trying their best throughout their lives only to never attain it. How could they just suppress themselves? Saunder himself was a classic example of someone who had needed luck to cross into that realm, being extremely blessed and lucky.

His expression only grew worse at the realisation; now, he didn’t know whether to advance or retreat. In the world of the powerful, followers and subordinates weren’t nearly as important as kin. A saint runemaster was worthy of respect even from a legend, but that didn’t extend to their followers.

He didn’t really feel like his demands had overstepped bounds, and in fact he knew very well that taking on the Archerons was a death-wish even if they didn’t have a legend. It was just that he believed he was worth far more in this world than others, but Richard had somehow stacked a number of sky saints and an enormous troop of rune knights in the valley. Richard himself was also the strongest sky saint of them all!

Duane suddenly laughed, flying over from the side. However, he only went forward a few metres before stopping and smiling bitterly, “I only plan to say a few words, I have no other intentions.”

However, Nasia continued to stare at him expressionlessly with her sword hilt not leaving her hands. All of the rune knights locked onto him as well; a single movement would prompt a hundred javelins. Seeing that she had no intentions to relax, he could only shrug helplessly and just increase his volume, “This is only a misunderstanding, why does there have to be a fight to the death? This issue stemmed from an error from Saunder’s son, and he also suffered a small defeat in this battle. Conventionally, he has to be the one to pay off any resulting damages. With such an exciting duel, I believe it is worth a greater offering. As for the boy, his words might have been inappropriate but they didn’t cause any real damage. Your Grace, I hope you can be magnanimous and let this issue rest. What do the two of you think?”

Saunder’s expression quickly relaxed, “I have no objections. I will pay him a dragon as compensation.”

“And you, Your Grace?”

Richard looked at the two and grunted, “Whatever.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA