Book 8, Chapter 17

Attacking A Divine Kingdom

“DAMN YOU THREE! I’M GOING TO BURN DOWN YOUR KINGDOMS AND TEAR YOUR BODIES APART! YOUR SOULS WILL BURN IN HELLFIRE FOR A MILLION YEARS!” Runai’s growl caused the entire divine kingdom to tremble.

The petitioners and valiant souls under the Goddess of Time all felt her wrath, fighting even fiercer than before to push back the troops of the tripartite alliance. Richard’s own vision started to blur again as the pressure on him increased, but another mountain split open and half of it fell away from the kingdom and into the void. The wrath immediately subsided, the weight on him lifted.

This immediately confirmed that Runai was doing her best just to keep the fight going and sustain her kingdom. This place was on the brink of destruction, and once it was damaged beyond a limit the laws it controlled would disappear. At that point, the goddess would lose her protection. Theodore had written that damage to the divine kingdom was the sign of a deity’s fall. Once this symptom surfaced, the fall could occur in as little as a few years or as many as centuries.

At this point, Richard was already fighting on the frontlines against a knight from Runai’s kingdom. The man was over two metres tall, wielding simple armour, a tower shield, and a one-handed axe. His thick beard and general build and weapon choice were in line with the northern knights of Faelor from hundreds of years ago, something Richard had already analysed casually. He had level 13 power, but fighting in Runai’s kingdom his abilities went up three levels to equal a Faelorian saint. There was a bizarre golden sheen in his eyes, signifying that he was powering himself with divine power instead of internal energy.

The man’s gaze was filled with arrogance and wrath, not a single speck of fear, doubt, or hesitation to be seen. Glaring at Richard, he growled and hacked down with his axe. The bladed edge cut Richard’s body open before falling heavily to the ground. The knight was just about to growl in victory before he realised the opponent’s body was dissolving into nothing; he jumped in anxiety, but his attempts to trace Richard’s location only revealed a wound under his ribs that was starting to spew out divine power.

The knight staggered before falling face-down, his body dissolving into a golden mist that floated towards the shrine in the distance. A phantom was just about to do the same, but before it could turn into divine force the Judge swept past it soundlessly. The phantom screamed before disappearing into countless specks of light that were absorbed into the blade.

Richard touched the edge of the Judge in awe, rather surprised that the Judge could actually devour a soul like that. Once it returned to Runai’s shrine, the soul would have been fused with divine force to give the knight a new body to enter battle with. The three goddesses worked in the same way, making it a competition to see who could outlast the other.

The soul of a petitioner normally only expired after six or seven reincarnations, but given enough time to recuperate and enough divine force, they could quickly be returned to their peak state. As long as Runai didn’t run out of divine force, she would effectively have an endless supply of divine force. However, the Judge would clearly break that balance, dealing a huge blow.

After some consideration, Richard retreated several metres in an instant, almost knocking into a knight that the Judge had already stabbed. He turned quickly and came to position behind her, his blade splitting the chests of two others open. As the souls of the three tried to escape, he promptly absorbed all three of them.

A few dozen knights wasn’t a big loss to Runai, but now that Richard was harvesting souls every one of his kills counted for half a dozen or more. This was a foundational threat.

“Mortal! It’s that mortal, he’s infringing on the divine domain. Kill him, my knights! Bring his heart and head to my throne!” Runai shouted furiously, the suppression of the divine kingdom increasing once more.

Three beams of light immediately shone down on Richard, halving Runai’s suppression in an instant. Richard himself used what little he knew about the laws of time, melting away the rest in a split second. As a Lord of Space with some rudimentary analysis of time himself, the timeforce he could mobilise was leagues better than anything Runai could ever come up with. Despite having much less at hand, he could push back just fine.

An hourglass appeared before Richard, the laws of time pulsing out and covering everything within ten metres. Runai’s soldiers immediately lost all their support in this radius, unable to even see him as his silhouette flashed behind them one by one. They all started slowly falling to the ground, slaughtered and having their souls absorbed.

The Judge seemed to be slow, but in only minutes hundreds of souls had been destroyed and absorbed by its jagged blade. Richard felt the sword growing lighter and lighter with time, much easier to wield than when he first started.

Eventually, he met a valiant soul that was three metres tall, in the form of a female knight wielding a two-handed longsword. The crest on her brows was much larger than those of a normal knight, with a flower wreath wound around it indicating her status and power.

The knight’s steps were extremely heavy, the earth trembling as she quickly dispatched of those in her way, “Lowly mortal, how dare you step foot in my Lady’s divine kingdom! Your head and heart will be proof of my victory!”

As the valiant soul yelled in rage and brandished her sword with surprising speed, Richard’s figure was cut into a thousand pieces. As the illusion dissolved once more, confusion crawled onto the woman’s face before she went stiff; he had already appeared behind her, the Judge driven so deep that even the hilt couldn’t be seen. Waving Moonlight softly, he cut her head right off.

The massive body fell to the ground while the head rolled for a while, the confusion still etched onto her face. A gleaming soul floated above her body, but before she could escape the Judge drove right through her.

The blade trembled slightly, and this time Richard clearly felt the pure power being absorbed. Most of it was stored for later use, but a part of it was actively changing the structure of the blade and strengthening it, making it even lighter to wield. The edge slowly acquired a soft glow. He immediately flashed over to another knight and cut him into, feeling the attack to be much easier to execute than before. The sword was obviously growing with the souls it absorbed.

With the support of the divine kingdom, the strongest of the valiant souls possessed saintly strength. However, their fighting styles were outdated and simple while relying heavily on that support. The knight had lost the battle the very moment she stepped into Richard’s small domain, becoming an easy target instead of a powerful opponent.

Eventually, Richard had to stop using the law of time. Its principles were still beyond his control, and maintaining the control field required an enormous amount of energy and soul force that his kills couldn’t completely replenish. Just like his greater laws of time were an antithesis to Runai, her own laws, although inferior, were detrimental to his.

Back in her shrine, Runai’s eyes widened in fear for the first time. This was the first time a mortal had stepped into her divine kingdom in centuries, but she could feel his power of time was far beyond her own. This was the law she had once chased after, but she had soon realised that it was beyond the scope of Faelor even with both the domains of day and night under her control. In the end, she was only a false deity of time. The laws she desired so much were in the hands of a mere mortal!

The mortal was travelling through the battlefield like a phantom, leaving a heap of bodies in his wake including the strongest of her valiant souls. The blade in his hands could destroy those souls as well, and was only growing stronger with time. Its power almost seemed endless. There was another divine blade in the human’s hand that he rarely used unless he was facing a particularly powerful opponent, not one of her knights able to block or evade its strikes regardless of how much divine force had been poured into them.

Seeing the faint glow on the tip of that blade, Runai’s grip on her goblet of wine trembled ever so slightly. She looked towards her left hand and saw a thin cut on her index finger, oozing out sacred blood. All of the worshippers in the shrine seemed to notice something as well, looking towards her.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Gem

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA