Book 8, Chapter 25

The Final Battle

Loud explosions rumbled throughout Runai’s divine kingdom as the distant mountains and plains broke away, tumbling out of the crystal walls. Her power was rapidly depleting, and the damage from the feeding worms was similarly fatal as they rummaged through the earth and extracted all of its divine force.

Richard was quietly giving out orders, watching as the worms went through the piles of corpses that he had directed the three goddesses to form. Slowly but surely, the fifth generation of worms entered maturity and died.

The horrifying rate of reproduction finally slowed as well. The majority of the fifth generation only left behind divine crystals, while a few dozen managed to produce sixth-generation eggs. The new eggs were gathered and drenched in the divine blood of valiant souls, activating their minds and prompting some of them to hatch and start foraging for their own food.

The sixth-generation worms were extremely slender, with their abdomens forming a major part of their bodies that were covered in a pitch-black carapace. In many ways, they were like tiny versions of the broodmother, except much, much faster. In an environment with divine force, it almost looked like they were fish swimming around in water.

One worm was smashed under the earth by a valiant soul’s hammer, but it just burrowed out the moment the knight withdrew her weapon and leapt on her body, cutting through with a loud snap. At this point, even the heavy weapons were largely ineffective; Runai was doomed.

One thing he paid attention to was a sixth-generation worm whose abdomen had been rumbling for a while now. It had received special treatment, having been brought its food so it didn’t have to move, so it had entered maturity very early. He was quite eager to know just what the next evolution was.

After several minutes of gestation, the worm crawled forward with its abdomen split apart before coming to a halt. Just like the others, it left behind a handful of eggs and a divine force crystal. The eggs didn’t seem to be any different, but unlike the pale white ones from the rest this was golden and contained extremely pure divine force. Richard immediately guessed that the broodmother would have even more formidable variants she could create with this, and found himself eager to find out just how formidable a combat drone like that could get.

After achieving their complete forms, the feeding worms didn’t evolve further and the reproduction rate slowed down. However, this wasn’t particularly regressive; it was just that there was no longer a necessity for a swarm. The sixth-generation worms could swallow almost a thousand divine warriors and dozen valiant souls before entering maturity.

One worm suddenly soared into the sky, releasing its amber light dozens of metres in all directions. The divine warriors and valiant souls caught within the area immediately turned sluggish, their speed halved. This was something that left even Richard a little surprised. The light itself didn’t discriminate between friend or foe, slowing down all bodies constructed of divinity, but the worm took care to only attack Runai’s soldiers.

It was clear that Richard’s drones were disciplined soldiers, not ferocious creatures just following their instincts. However, the goddesses couldn’t understand just who had designed such dreadful creatures, who had created it. Was it the broodmother?

Richard suddenly jolted from meditation, standing up and drawing his swords. The divine kingdom started shaking more violently than ever before, the valiant souls and divine warriors out in full force while being lead by Runai’s two remaining servitors who caused mountains to crack with every step. Her wrath was clear to everyone.

The Goddess of Time herself was walking in the centre, golden sceptre in hand while she was covered in divine armour she hadn’t used for centuries. The figure that originally stood hundreds of metres tall was now shrunk down to thirty, no taller than the two servitors flanking her. Countless golden runes danced around her body, a physical manifestation of her laws that gave rise to golden stairs under her that led directly to the battlefield.

“I might fall, mortal, but you shall perish with me!”

“With you? Impossible,” Richard replied indifferently.

“I will show you humility before the divine!” she shouted.

“The mortal is humbled by the divine, the divine is humbled by the law,” Richard replied, a popular saying amongst powerhouses in Norland. He added on a moment later, “Any law can be controlled by mortals, so there’s no need for humility. Our pursuit of strength has no end, yours does. It’s deities who need to be humble.”

He had paraphrased this from one of Theodore’s works, a quote that was a motto for many legendary beings. Runai was shocked by his words, never having heard of such an argument or even thought of its implied meaning. She knew that divinity had a limit, but to her that limit was the limit of all power. If Richard’s words were true, then that would shatter everything she had ever believed.

And that thought brought about wrath that she had never felt before. How could a mere mortal be so arrogant?

She rushed forward, entering the battlefield without hesitation and leaving behind the protection of her divine kingdom. The servitors blocked by the army of feeding worms and the soldiers of the three goddesses, she had nobody protecting her sides. Tides of divine force surged out from the divine passage and crashed into her figure, forming a field of protection around Richard that sprouted young trees, a clear spring, and the phantoms of hunters all around. The laws of the three goddesses were being used to the utmost, not an iota of strength being preserved.

However, an enormous hourglass formed behind Runai and the sands of time within started burning up, turning it into a torch as her power suddenly spiked. The divinity of the three goddesses was immediately dispersed, returning control of the area to the Goddess of Time. She glared at Richard, “It is your time, mortal. WITHER!”

For a moment, it was like her voice was the only one in the world. As she waved her sceptre, divine power flooded towards Richard and threatened to devour him. Decades of time being compressed into an instant was even more effective than direct attacks, especially because it was difficult to ward off. Even most legendary beings were unlikely to be able to sustain such an attack. Runai didn’t just want to kill him, but she wanted to strip him of all his might and have him crumble to the ground with a head of white hair! This shameless heretic would have to kneel before her might!

As the golden divine force poured down, all life nearby began to age rapidly. Even the feeding worms quickly broke under the pressure, their resistance to divinity clearly not strong enough to offset Runai’s might. However, Richard himself remained upright and looked just as imposing as his opponent, an hourglass of his own revolving atop his head to block the rain of power. This was the power of his own laws of time; even though he was inferior to Runai in terms of overall might, the laws he was trying to control were at least the true fundamental laws of time instead of her approximation. Even with his limited comprehension, he managed to last quite a while.

Runai’s eyes filled with hatred; she just couldn’t imagine a mere mortal grasping laws stronger than her own. However, his accumulated timeforce was clearly minimal compared to her own; as she brandished her sceptre, she continued to push out all she could to bury him with her divine force. This was a crazy tactic to use, but it was the correct one. The hourglass atop Richard’s head quickly dimmed and began to crack before finally shattering into pieces.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA