Book 7, Chapter 189

Vile Flames

During the battle with Saunder, Richard had veered away from ordinary chants, gestures, and foci to cast spells. Using his three minds as a base, he had managed to cast three entirely different spells with an illusion of fake masks that could enhance their own specific spell with the power of his bloodlines. This was essentially a way of creating tripling himself, an ability no less powerful than Manaforge.

He practically charged to the door of his lab, setting up some warning lines and tossing out a number of stored counterspells to keep from being disturbed before he holed up. All of his followers received orders not to disturb him unless absolutely necessary.

Sitting quietly inside his lab, he combed through his own abilities bit by bit, from his bloodlines to the laws he was studying to his multiple minds. Their activation during the battle against Saunder had been the first time he had tried such a thing, so he closed his eyes and returned to his memories of that time in an attempt to recreate the feeling.

However, something changed as a number of figures appeared in his mind’s field of vision. Gaton. Sharon, Flowsand, Mountainsea. All of his followers and good friends like Nyris, Agamemnon, Fontaine, Bevry. He even remembered Erin the girl who had left him heartbroken as a child.

His memories ran through time until he was back at the huge fire, seeing the smile of a beautiful grand shaman amidst the flames. For the first time ever, he made the connection to his own affinity towards fireballs, realising that experiences were a sort of power in themselves. Consciously or otherwise, he had trained himself in the very same magic that his mother had used to kill herself.

He slowly opened his eyes, now just emerald eyes now a bottomless pit of blue.

……

*BOOM!* Richard’s lab suddenly trembled as a blue pillar of fire shot through the roof, bursting several dozen metres into the sky before going out. Everyone in Dragon Valley felt their hearts skip a beat, turning their attention to the source of the noise and flames.

Finally opening his doors, Richard walked out for the first time in forever, looking a bit of a mess. Right outside, he found Duane just standing around and looking confused.

“Good afternoon!” he said with a smile.

“Er… Hey!” Duane barely managed to return the greeting, then pointing at the traces left behind by the blue pillar, “What happened?”

Richard turned back to check and smiled, “Just a small issue, you should know us mages. Right, I’ll be holding a small banquet tonight; I hope you’ll attend.”

“Of course,” Duane answered, looking at the traces left by the fire.

Richard then waved at the man and left. Duane stared at his back dumbfoundedly, only yelping in surprise when he finally understood just what he had found so strange. Richard’s aura had changed, and he wasn’t yet able to hold back oppressing power. It was definitely a legend’s strength!

Had Richard… already become a legend? The warrior gaped, unable to believe this conclusion. Of course, he had no idea that Richard had also unlocked a powerful ability that had never been recorded before: Apocalyptic Triad.

Duane ruffled his thick, short hair as he watched Richard vanished, rooted to the spot as he muttered in a daze, “He just became legendary like that?”

He suddenly recalled the battle from months ago and shivered, glad that he hadn’t intervened. From the looks of it, Saunder would never have a chance for revenge. Richard had already been terrifying before entering the legendary realm, and now there would be no fighting him. What could his ability be? Was it one of the three legendary mage abilities? He already had one of them.

As he pondered over it and turned to leave, his movements suddenly went stiff and he looked to the side. Nasia was leaning against a large tree around the next corner, staring at the sky in boredom, but he had the impression that this was just a front. Her focus was on him, like a venomous snake targeting her prey. Unwilling to stay for a moment longer, he squeezed out a smile and left in a hurry.

Nasia clearly did notice. A smile appeared on her mask as she turned to look at him, but that only sent more chills down his spine and he flew away quickly. He only sighed in relief after he was out of her sight, unable to tell what was going on. Was she just interested him because he was legendary?

But he could tell that it wasn’t just interest, it was a challenge. It wasn’t impossible for saints to challenge legends, he had personally seen that with people from Beye to Richard, but they were all sky saints while Nasia was fresh. Did she really have the guts to challenge him? And yet, his instincts told him not to provoke her at all costs if he wanted to stay alive.

Duane suddenly felt like the Dragon Plane was much safer than this valley, immediately deciding to rent a random portal the next day and continue exploring.

Under the large tree, Nasia stretched her body and sighed. She really wanted a good fight, but none of Richard’s followers bothered with her and the legends' servants were terrified. Even sky saints would hate being forced to fight as level 16s.

……

Over the next few days, Richard stabilised his mana and arranged for a time to return to Norland. He would finish his deal with Saint Martin before seeing if there was anything else he could take on. Improved versions of Lifesbane and Mana Armament would likely be of interest to many powerhouses.

In the meanwhile, a beautiful little plane called the Orange Crescent welcomed Empress Apeiron for the first time. This was a private plane of the royal family, with vast landscapes, great climate, and a number of lakes like pearls scattered around on a green mat. There were no intelligent life forms here, but all sorts of powerful beasts roamed the land. Thunderbirds lived on the hills and white dragons on the snowy mountains, unicorns frolicking around the forest and demons charging out from the volcanoes in the east.

Very close to multiple primary planes, the Orange Crescent wasn’t very stable and would have rifts open up ever so often, forming passages to other planes. The royal family used it as a hunting and training ground for this reason.  Apeiron hadn’t come here since her ascension; hunting was child’s play in her eyes compared to bloody battles on the edge of life and death. This time, she opened a huge crack in space before forcing it apart with her hands, pulling two enormous bodies out and dropping them in front of the castle below. She then turned around and punched the crack she had just walked out of, shattering it entirely.

The residents of the palace had surged out the moment the rift appeared, and seeing Apeiron walk out they had all fallen to one knee to pay their respects. She nodded slightly, “Not bad. Get someone to take care of these two, and prepare some clothing.”

The guards stared dumbfoundedly at the two dragons that were before them for a while. These were true dragons! They had heard all sorts of horrifying rumours about the Empress in the past, but how could that compare to the shock of seeing two dragons drop out of the sky?

Apeiron flew straight for the castle to shower and change, sending the servants scattering everywhere in panic. Thankfully, they were all well-trained and managed to deal with the matter without many issues. She didn’t wait for long, returning to Faust through a portal when she was done.

That return caused another commotion, with a junior minister running over to attend to her. Walking towards the harem, she asked the man, “Is Julian not back?”

“Lord Julian is scheduled to return tomorrow afternoon, Your Majesty,” the man answered.

Apeiron frowned, that one action causing the man to break out in sweat, but thankfully her brow quickly relaxed, “Have him come see me when he’s back.”

“As you wish, Your Majesty!” the man bowed low.

Back in her quarters, Apeiron sent all of her servants away and sat alone in front of the window, watching the beautiful view of Faust before her. In that moment, she suddenly wondered: just how would things have been if Philip had taken leading seriously? The man was definitely smart and far-sighted; if he had tried, the Sacred Alliance would be as dazzling as during Emperor Charles’s reign.

However, he had just eaten and whiled life away until he seemed to sense something, prompting him to leave the palace and head to the Land of Dusk. He had shocked Norland with his achievements in that battle, but she knew that it was no big deal in his eyes.

She suddenly felt a wave of uneasiness, a fire in her heart that refused to fade.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA