Book 8, Chapter 22

Predator Of The Divine

The Forest Goddess’s shrine swayed around, sending everyone within it scrawling as three loud shrieks rang through the sky. Richard was startled and immediately blinked outside, looking up to find an enormous crack in the crystal walls of the divine kingdom. A terrifying energy storm surged in and cracked apart the sky, the resulting lightning bolts so powerful that even he was left a little powerful

How did the walls crack? He didn’t have much time to ponder this question as the three goddesses charged towards the crack that was at least a kilometre long, their divine force dispersing the energy storms as they slowly mended the rift. All three of them were nearby and managed to fix the issue quickly, but even so the energy storms had reduced a huge section of the forest to burning cinders and eliminated tens of thousands of divine warriors and even their souls.

“Master, I heard your summons but something was blocking you. I am coming over immediately!” the broodmother’s voice rang in his mind.

“What? No, stay put!” he barely managed a reply before the rift was mended once more, the three goddesses shrinking down to arrive before him

The Goddess of the Forest was the first to speak, “Your Grace, my kingdom was just attacked by an unknown force. The source seems to be from Dragon Valley.”

Richard could only flash a wry smile, “That… was an accident. A certain follower of mine was trying to contact me after an upgrade, and she found that our soul chains were being blocked. So she might have tried to clear any obstacles between us…”

“And so she broke my kingdom’s walls,” the Forest Goddess couldn’t help but smile wistfully.

“Umm… Yeah, something like that.”

“This… follower of yours is truly special,” the Goddess of Spring Water said with a little tremble in her voice, “I’d never imagined a divine kingdom’s walls could be so fragile.”

Richard sighed, “That she is.”

How could a crystal wall be fragile? Even with the broodmother’s power, a single soul strike from her shouldn’t have had that power. Even a greater god couldn’t do such a thing. This only made one thing clear; the divine defences of the gods were exceptionally weak in front of the broodmother. She was a natural predator.

Excusing himself, he returned to Dragon Valley to continue his conversation. A slightly embarrassed voice rang out the moment he stepped out of the portal, “I didn’t know you were in a divine kingdom. I thought it was an emergency…”

“That attack pierced through her divine kingdom!” Richard chuckled with exasperation, “You’ve really helped Runai out.”

“Sorry… But…” she seemed to hesitate for a moment, but eventually couldn’t resist the temptation, “Her defences were just so weak. A single hard knock could collapse them, and those fragments also smelled delicious. They would be an amazing meal.”

“You mean the divine force? Like this?” he modulated his aura to resemble a few kinds of divine force.

“Yes, that’s what I’m talking about!” she couldn’t contain her excitement, “It smells so much better than the divinity inside those idols.”

“Of course it does; this is so much purer!” Richard said in annoyance. How was he supposed to feed this glutton if she got used to pure divine force? Shaking his head, he switched topics, “Hmm, you made Zangru a weapon that can absorb the power of his opponents. Can you do something like that for divine force?”

“You mean…”

“I’m in the middle of a divine war right now, but I have no way to stop Runai from recovering her divine force when I kill her soldiers. I could try to burn it, but that’s so much of a waste.”

“Hmm… Give me a minute…” She went silent for some time, sending over random yelps and mutterings as she went through everything she had to come up with something. Having reached level 11, her calculations were even faster than him with his grade 8 Wisdom. In fact, she could advance even further so long as she had the resources while he needed to find another way to push his mind to its limits. There just wasn’t a way to compete with her enormous body with multiple brains.

Eventually, she sent over a brand new drone design that she just called a feeding worm. It was an odd creature with eight tendrils and a large belly, its appetite endless and capable of absorbing all sorts of energy to survive. They were particularly efficient with divine force, and once they absorbed enough they could form high-quality crystals with a corresponding amount of divinity.

This was exactly what he had wanted: a cleanup unit that could gather the scattered divine force and deal Runai a heavy blow at the same time.

“So what can you do with this? It isn’t the same as a normal divinity crystal,” he asked.

“It’s still a powerful source of energy, especially since it can be enchanted with the power of laws. Sustenance aside, it can power the larval forest and all my other constructs easily, while helping to create some special battle units.”

As always, she sent a mass of information for him to evaluate. Divine force crystals would give her the leeway to build what she called battle elites, an entirely new paradigm of creature where the digestive system was replaced by a much smaller organ that could absorb energy from the fluids produced by the larval forest and worker drones; a single cup of fluid would be enough for an elite shadowspear to remain active for three days. This meant a lot of space was opened up in the internal body for muscles, bones, and combat-specific organs; this was a huge boost to combat ability.

This new model was effectively a full level’s boost in combat ability. Currently able to create level 15 drones normally, they would all be upgraded to level 16 and be no weaker than an elite. However, there would be no increase in the time they took to create.

“How many can you support?” he asked.

“Ten thousand right now, but as long as I grow the number of workers it’s actually limitless.”

“Good. You know what to do, 10:1 of these battle elites to ordinary elites.” Having sent this command, he returned to his study to deal with any issues in his territories.

……

Now with quite a few territories under him, Richard had a number of things to deal with. Authorising everything took up an entire day, and on the morning of the next a strange wyvern-like creature smaller than an ordinary griffon landed on his roof. Just like the chrysalides, it had organs meant to reduce its weight on its sides, and tied to its back was a satchel containing a row of small boxes. The moment Richard detached the satchel, the strange beast took to the skies and flew away like lightning.

This was something the broodmother called the messenger, a new unit that used mana and energy to fly at blazing speeds of five hundred kilometres an hour. The creature could last ten full hours at a time before needing to stop, allowing to cross a majority of the vast territory of the Crimson Dukedom in one flight. It had been created specifically to send messages and small items very quickly.

The satchel contained a total of a few dozen boxes, each containing a greenish-white egg the size of one’s fist. With these feeding worms on hand, Richard felt like he would be giving Runai a huge surprise soon. Packing them all up again, he returned to the Forest Goddess’s kingdom through the portal.

……

When Richard reappeared, the Goddess of the Forest who had the most affinity with nature suddenly shivered. The other two had slower reactions, but they soon turned deathly pale as well. The strongest of them even started trembling from the indescribable feeling of icy destruction.

For a moment, the three goddesses lost all ability to communicate. They pulled back all of their divine force and focused on a scan into the surroundings, their conscients as timid as squirrels out of fear of attracting a terrifying existence.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA