Book 8, Chapter 15

Path Of Laws

Seeing Richard so down, Nasia suddenly got up and sighed happily, patting him hard, “It’s alright, losing to Apeiron is normal. You’d have no chance against her even when she first returned. How about this, keep buttering me up and get me a few more offerings. I’ll teach you properly, and within the next year—”

“I’ll be able to beat her?” his eyes lit up.

“Impossible!” she immediately destroyed his dreams, adding on, “But you should be able to beat anyone below the epic realm.”

Richard’s brows furrowed, but she leant over until the nose of her mask was almost touching his own, “You’re already a legend at such a young age, and not the useless kind either. Isn’t that enough? Apeiron wasn’t this strong in her thirties, and she was famous for her combat ability even back then.”

“Hmm… Wait, how do you know so much? Even I never heard about this,” Richard asked with surprise.

“Never underestimate a woman’s ability at gossip,” Nasia smiled proudly.

“It’s just… something’s wrong,” he explained, “I feel like there’s a loophole in Apeiron’s laws.”

The brows on Nasia’s metallic mask jumped, “You certainly do leave a huge impression.”

He went silent for a while before standing up and waving his hands to project Faelor’s map onto his table, gazing at it silently.

“There’s something else on your mind?”

“Mm. I keep having this feeling that I don’t have enough time.”

With a flick of her finger, Nasia dissipated the map that Richard had formed, “Before this plane, you should think about getting yourself a demiplane first. That isn’t just a resource, it’s also power. It will allow you to see the very origins of existence, the source of power that allows a legendary mage to slowly outshine warriors on their way to the top.”

He waved his hand and restored the map, “A demiplane is important, but there are still many valuable things here. Things I can do right now.”

“You mean…”

He pointed straight up.

“You… you really have gone insane.”

“Mm-hmm, fight fire with fire and all that.”

……

Not long after Nasia left, three priestesses and two priests arrived at Richard’s lobby. Since he himself hadn’t come down from his study yet, they all sat down and conversed silently.

Each of these clerics was quite powerful, the weakest already level 16. When it came to the three goddesses, they were second only to the popes and paladin captains.

Richard had gotten these clerics transferred to Dragon Valley long ago to service those who went out to the Dragon Plane. Without Flowsand present anymore, there wasn’t any cleric from the Eternal Dragon whose healing could match up to that from the local gods. At the same time, they acted as eyes and ears for the three goddesses and allowed them to know everything seen and heard here. The three goddesses were currently going all out in their divine battle with Runai, mainly because of the sheer number of legends and even two epic beings in Dragon Valley.

The young clerics muttered secretively amongst each other until the doors opened, at which point they all stood up and bowed reverently, “Your Grace.”

From Faelor’s point of view, Richard had already reached the pinnacle of strength. Even the gods could not send avatars of equivalent strength down to the mortal world.

Richard’s gaze swept past the clerics and he suddenly understood what they were thinking. Their priestesses had always been trying to tempt him, but he’d shown no inclination towards them whatsoever. They had likely thought his tastes were rather eclectic, sending out two men who were no less beautiful than the women.

As always, he just couldn’t comprehend their obsession with sex. However, he brushed it off and asked, “Which of you can talk to your goddesses right now? I have things to discuss with them?”

Talk to the goddesses? The five clerics exchanged glances. Before coming to Dragon Valley, they would have thought he was crazy. However, their days here had shown that he truly did have the right to talk to the three as equals. In the end, the three women started praying silently.

In the meanwhile, he gently started stroking the blade of Moonlight as he thought back to the battle with Apeiron. Her aura had attacked like a gentle wind, but before he could realise it wasn’t a breeze against his cheeks it had become a storm that could tear through anything. The laws of chaos within were unpredictable; even having fought Julian before, he had never seen something similar. It felt like the entire world was being warped into one where chaos was the norm, his body an anomaly that was suppressed by existence itself. In only a moment, he had been defeated.

This was a duel of laws, completely different from normal battles. Just like Nasia had said, he couldn’t even come close to competing with Apeiron in that regard yet; be it in depth of understanding or ability to control them, he was far from capable. He certainly had performed some very rudimentary analysis of laws with equivalent power, but he was far from done and he still had much to do. He hadn’t even gotten a demiplane yet, and he still had to master the Deepblue Aria and so many other things.

If he took it step by step, it would take over a century to truly mature. Richard recalled the moment Apeiron’s aura had been thrown at him once more, but this time slowed to a thousandth of the speed. In the Field of Truth, that invisible aura had been composed of countless shimmering fragments that held the power of chaos. Each was a sharp weapon that could cut through near anything, as dangerous as a spatial rift. His instant barrier had barely lasted a moment before being destroyed, and the sea of chaos fragments had rushed towards him like a wave.

He needed to find a way to break through the limitations of laws themselves. He quickly opened his eyes, wiping off the sweat from his pale forehead. The thought left him stumped.

Two dull thuds suddenly rang out as the two male clerics fell to their knees, quickly drenched in sweat and looking ready to collapse. They had already damaged the coffee table in their bid to hold on. Richard was startled, but he quickly understood what was going on and slowly retracted his aura, “My apologies, I lost control for a moment there.”

The pressure quickly disappeared, but the two clerics still felt incredibly tired. Only one of them even managed to speak, “Your Grace, your power truly is—”

“Alarming,” a tender and pleasant voice interjected, bringing Richard’s attention to the three women who had now straightened up. Their bodies were emitting faint golden light, eyes having turned into pure gold as well while their auras had climbed significantly. The three goddesses currently occupied their minds.

“Spring Water.” “Forest.” “Hunt,” they conveniently introduced themselves.

Richard didn’t beat around the bush, asking directly, “How are things going with the war?”

“We’ve successfully entered Runai’s divine kingdom and formed a stable base.”

“The war is at a standstill right now. Her divine force is still more powerful and her soldiers are in her own domain.”

“But she’s already lost the source of her faith, so she is bound to lose. The millennium of saved divine force just needs to be exhausted, but that will take three decades, give or take.”

“I can’t wait three decades,” Richard shook his head, “Give me the coordinates, I’ll have a look myself.”

“What? No, that’s too dangerous!”

“Runai was almost a greater god. You’ll lose a huge chunk of your power in her divine kingdom!”

“Even we don’t dare to use our true forms there yet!”

Richard ignored their warnings, flashing a dazzling smile full of confidence as he sent a piece of magic parchment floating towards them, “This is a spatial formation that needs to be set up in one of your kingdoms. I need it as a transfer point.”

“Richard, you truly are powerful, but your body is still…” the Goddess of the Forest tried once more, but Richard’s gaze forced her to retract the last word, mortal. Eventually, the Goddess of Spring Water took the array and nodded, “Fine, I’ll have my strongest valiant soul protect you.”

There was nothing gods couldn’t do in their divine kingdoms; setting up a portal like this would only need a thought. It was Richard himself who would need some time to set up his end, a few grand mages already hurrying over to help.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA