Book 8, Chapter 18

The Distance Between Mortal And Divine

As the most pious of her worshippers stared at the drops of blood flowing down her finger, Runai made it all disappear with a stroke of her thumb. In only a moment the cut was gone, as though nothing had happened at all.

However, the calmness of her face was only a facade. Her heaving chest betrayed the chaos in her mind, the deep breaths she was taking to calm herself an obvious sign of unrest. She had just borrowed the body of a valiant soul to test Richard’s strength, but the warrior had still been decapitated instantly while the damage from the green blade had cut her through the connection. She was the only one who knew how deep and painful that thin cut was, but above all it caused her to feel fear.

This was a weapon that could hurt a divine body!

She stirred in her seat before returning to a stable position. The passages around her divine kingdom weren’t personal territory any longer, her control weakened by the alliance she was battling. If she entered the battlefield, the three opponents would join hands to attack her. Now weaker than even the Goddess of Spring Water, she would stand no chance.

Her goblet cracked and was crushed into a ball as her eyes started spewing sacred flames, her rage starting to affect those around her. This anger was directed towards the gods of Faelor; she would never have come to this state if the rest of the pantheon hadn’t refused to interfere. How could an invader be allowed to suppress the Goddess of Time? With so many legends appearing in Dragon Valley alongside the frighteningly powerful Sharon and Ruben, and the person who had warped the very laws of the plane currently present within the valley as well, all of the gods had gone quiet. No one responded to her requests for assistance, not even when she started cursing them. Her lone voice echoed in the skies like she was the only god left in Faelor.

Her anger was quickly focused on Richard once more. This was the first time a mortal had come so close to her since she lit her godfire, and it felt like the remaining distance was one to her upcoming fall.

When she first heard about opposition in the mortal world, she had paid it no mind; even after repeated engagements, she hadn’t even bothered to memorise his face. Now, his face was burned into her mind and she couldn’t get rid of his shadow haunting her. Richard was like a moving black hole, swallowing up all of the knights and valiant souls that charged towards him. His jagged blade was like a demon’s fang, mercilessly swallowing all of the souls that came its way.

The fearsome sword was even gaining power quickly; it had already reached the point that the edge didn’t even have to strike a soul for it to be absorbed. The number of warriors who’d died to his hands had grown unbearable, and the battle lines that had remained unmoving for many days were slowly being pushed back. This allowed more soldiers from the three goddesses to occupy the field at any given time, making it even worse.

*BOOM! Bang!* Another explosion resounded through the kingdom as a large boulder descended into the void. Runai slammed a fist into her throne and bellowed, “Richard! You can’t be perfect!”

Hearing her growl, five of her strongest valiant souls finally made their way into the battlefield. The ones she was sending were powerful heroes skilled in ranged attacks, all stopping about a kilometre away from Richard and staring straight at him. The moment he showed a weakness, they would shower him with attacks. In the divine kingdom, their spirit arrows could cover the distance in mere seconds.

Runai snorted as she leant back into her throne, visibly more relaxed. She could tell that Richard was almost at his limit, barely avoiding the melee attacks from the opponents he had chosen. Risky battles like these seemed extravagant, but they couldn’t be sustained for very long. A single mistake would quickly bring him to death.

Richard would soon pay for the transgression, and all she needed to do was wait patiently. For deities who measured time in years, patience was rarely a resource in short supply.

……

One hour, two hours… Five hours he had stepped into the frontlines, Richard silently returned to the divine kingdom of the Goddess of the Forest. When he left, Runai shot up in disbelief. All this while, he hadn’t made a single mistake! How could a mortal be so perfect?

Runai’s soldiers had fallen back ten metres that day. This distance was inconsequential compared to the entire divine kingdom which was thousands of square kilometres in area, but in context the three goddesses hadn’t managed that distance even in the past few months!

Back in the shrine of the Forest Goddess, Richard was busy digging into a meal set before him. The three goddesses were seated all around, but he paid no attention to them at all as he wolfed everything down. It was a pathetic amount— a large bowl of fruits, a pot of clean water, and some roasted meat— but having been prepared by the goddesses personally it was much more useful than it seemed. The fruits could raise one’s affinity to all elements ever so slightly, improving mana control in a way that mages almost never came across. The water contained a shocking amount of life force that was visible to the naked eye, capable of healing most injuries and enhancing the potency of nature-based spells while also improving one’s lifespan. The two chicken-like animals were a rare species of beast that could greatly improve a human’s physique, a limited boost for someone at Richard’s level but useful nonetheless.

This meal consisted of some of the most valuable treasures that the three goddesses had to offer. Its worth couldn’t be measured in mere gold; the goddesses themselves could only provide two or three more before they ran out. In a way, this was them investing their life savings in his success.

After sweeping through the dishes without a trace of humility, Richard let out a burp of satisfaction. His breath smelled of fruits, emitting such thick energy that even he was a little shocked. His body was saturated with energy, his blood slowly spreading it to all of his extremities so he could absorb it bit by bit.

His cheeks blushed and body swayed from side to side, vision starting to blur from the excess energy within him. Letting out a huge yawn, he mumbled something about being sleepy before falling to the ground.

The three goddesses looked at him quietly, communicating in their minds.

“He really is tired.”

“How could he not be, battling with his life on the line?”

“Yes, even we couldn’t fight so perfectly for such a long time. Even with our support, how could he sustain himself for so long?”

“Do either of you get the feeling that he’s anxious?”

“About what?”

“I’m not certain, but he seems to be in crisis.”

......

For the first time in a long time, Richard slept soundly until his body woke up naturally. He was a little surprised by the three goddesses still being by his side, but even with the illusion that he had only taken a nap he quickly placed himself in time. His face twitched at the number he had come up with; he had slept for a full seven days!

He felt rather stiff all over, as though his joints were rusted. An attempt to stand up left him feeling strangely light, as though there was no earth below him and he could fall at any time. It didn’t take long for him to recognise the source of his discomfort; his body had been strengthened significantly enough that he had lost his sense of balance.

“Finally awake?” the Goddess of Spring Water asked.

“Mm, it’s time to fight.” Richard had no plans to converse any further, standing up and walking towards the divine passage once more.

……

Runai had felt a great drop in pressure once Richard left, having taken command herself to push the frontline back to its original location. However, those days were short-lived; on the eighth day, she saw the human that she despised so much back in her kingdom.

However, this time things were different. He had obviously grown more powerful, but his actions seemed rather clumsy while his combat ability had dropped significantly. This had left her hopeful, but that only lasted a short time as he started employing magic in his fights to remind her that the mortal was actually a mage.

Divine spells had a suppressive effect on magic, especially if they came from a pure force. Most spells were weakened by two or more levels in Runai’s divine kingdom, which was also true for the divine kingdoms of her peers as well. This was why so many gods were warriors despite legendary warriors generally being weaker than their mage counterparts; a powerful physique wasn’t suppressed nearly as easily.

However, Richard’s display of magic served as a rude awakening from that dismissal. The suppression being minimised was frightening in and of itself, but his magic was just far more powerful than she could ever have expected. Masses of her knights fell to his magic flames, and even her valiant souls were maimed if they were close to an explosion. He quickly covered the battlefield in fire, ice, and lightning, a lord of death raining murder down on her subjects.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Gem

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA