Book 7, Chapter 185

Laws Of The Night

Despite Richard’s clear disgruntlement, Duane sighed in relief, “Alright. How about this? I’ll treat the two of you, let us get a drink together. One doesn’t get very many opportunities for a good drink in the legendary realm.”

Richard agreed, but Saunder just flew to his son’s side and picked him up before heading away. The subordinates who hadn’t managed to protect their quarry were naturally ignored. Not too long after, word got out that he had returned to Norland; the humiliation of having lost to a grand mage in a duel was too much for him to endure.

Richard shared the drink with Duane before returning to his room to meditate. The proposed solution had been a decent one, and a greater offering would more than make up for the damage to Dragon Valley from the battle. While he had dropped to the bottom of level 20 due to Sacrifice, with the Deepblue Dream he would only take a few weeks to get back to where he was.

After this duel, the kin and followers of the legendary powerhouses started to act more careful in and around Dragon Valley. Nobody dared to challenge Richard’s authority anymore, while the other legends would take care to treat him just like any long-time legend like Duane. The biggest problem the Archerons faced in the world was their lack of legends, and his status as a saint runemaster would only stop others when it was obvious that they were in the wrong. To most people, he was primarily the head of the Archeron Family, which meant there were weaknesses to be exploited. Regardless of whether someone had manipulated things behind the scenes or Duane really thought that a legend just had the right to take a saint and a true runemaster from him, this duel showed anyone with ill intentions that messing with him was a mistake regardless.

……

Over the next month, Richard slowly recuperated from the duel while attempting to craft Midren. A number of legends returned from the Dragon Plane during this period, most of them having good harvests while one lucky person even managed to steal three intact eggs. Dragon Valley started to grow more and more crowded as the saints who wanted to try their luck trickled in, with the first batch of manors being snatched up quickly.

Rosie came up with a plan to build another group of manors not too far away from the first. These would be smaller and with a lower rent, unfit for legends but just the right size for saints. While legends didn’t really care about hundreds of thousands of gold coins, many saints still lived on a shoestring budget while pouring all their resources into equipment.

Even as the drones started on the second set, she had already begun planning the third and fourth group as well. These were even smaller than the rest, eventually only tiny villas that weren’t much larger than courtyards. These would be meant for those who came much later; those people would have very little wealth and all the easy harvests would have been snatched away by then. The tiny homes would be cheap, but they would number ten times the first group and overall even earn much more than the manors for the legends.

Such was the economics of scale. Large margins on limited projects almost never compared to making a decent margin from the general public. Of course, bringing in that public would also require publicity that the large projects could provide.

……

All this while, the Crimson Army had embarked on their campaign east. Gangdor had gone through great hardships to bring his army through the wasted north, only to come across the allied forces of the coast that had gotten word long ago. There were even some stragglers from the Iron Triangle Empire that had once served under Rislant. Altogether, he had to face about 200,000 enemies.

He had led his soldiers straight in, engaging in battle on the bank of the Somme river. A violent fight had ended in a rout, with the brute giving chase for thirty kilometres before letting the remnants escaped. Less than 20,000 opponents survived, but he still wasn’t satisfied and continued all the way towards the beach. Five massacres and seven days later, he was finally upon the bay.

As time passed, the astral chrysalis and flying wasps reinforced them with large batches of winter soldiers and arrowbeasts directly from the Land of Turmoil. While they were still level 14, each one was far more powerful than the shadowspear knights. The arrowbeasts especially had greatly improved the ranged power of the army, allowing them to tear holes into the enemy formations and allow them to rip in.

Whenever he had the time to rest, Gangdor regularly flipped through records of the Empire’s campaign towards the seas. Rislant had led an army of 150,000 back then, but by the time he had crossed towards the coast he only had a third of that number left. On the other hand, the coastal alliance had an army of 500,000, ten times his number. He had been patient and careful over the many years, slowly picking them apart until the numbers dropped by more than half. Eventually, he had fought a decisive battle of 40,000 against 120,000 and destroyed them completely, forcing them to give up a good harbour.

In terms of commandership alone, Gangdor knew he couldn’t match up. He had achieved a similar result, but that came from a powerful supply chain and soldiers that were anywhere between three and five levels above what Rislant had access to. The man had only died because he couldn’t comprehend the sheer gap between the two planes and prepare for it, a difference that couldn’t be made up for with experience alone.

……

In the distant Land of Turmoil, the broodmother had just finished assimilating the divine body of the Lady of the night. She had swallowed the corpse and all the other divine items the moment they had been brought to her, but it had taken time to strip away the divinity bit by bit and absorb it into her own pool. It was a rather silly method, but also one that gave her a better opportunity to understand the Lady’s religion and divinity. With the process complete, she even transmitted a base framework to help with understanding the divinity to Richard.

When he received the model, Richard estimated it would take at least a decade to fully grasp the laws of the night. This was clearly someone who stood above Runai; if not for the assault from the astral beasts leaving her injured, Runai wouldn’t have had a chance to do anything.

Unfortunately, he had no idea where her soul had escaped. Seizing a god’s soul was the fastest way to analyse their divinity, shortening the time taken to mere months. While the night and darkness weren’t particularly important to him— her worshippers were strengthened during the night— the underlying laws behind her divinity came from the stars and moonforce. This was the first time he had come even close to a model that could help him analyse moonforce, and that had piqued his interest.

The Goddess of the Moon in Norland was very mysterious. Most of Alucia’s worshippers were pure-blooded elves that had almost all moved to Lithgalen. There weren’t any divine items that still had Alucia’s divinity still on Norland itself, and the single codex he had seen when young had burnt down with his mother. Ever since, he hadn’t found anything related to Alucia anywhere, while the seven moons of Norland were near impossible to study on their own. Even with the blue moon within him, he couldn’t even begin with setting up a model to analyse it.

It was accepted theory, at least in the Deepblue, that all power was a manifestation of laws at varying degrees. From this point of view, the laws of moonforce had to be even more complicated than those of the Godnest in the Resting Orchid Plane, on the same level as Destiny’s Balance or the Doomsday Imprint. If analysing the laws of the night could give him direction towards that greater goal, it was a tempting proposition. Unfortunately, a decade was just too long; he would be able to complete his analysis of the laws of life from the Forest Plane in only a year. He simply needed to grow quickly, and a full system in a year was easily more justifiable than a possibility in ten.

Thinking over it for a moment, Richard shook his head. After committing the framework to memory, he prepared to continue crafting Midren. However, a different thought suddenly struck his mind and he picked up a piece of magic paper, jotting down everything he could about the model.

He then sent for Perrin.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA