Book 8, Chapter 44

The Depths Of The Barbarian Plains

Sent to his knees by Richard and Tiramisu’s attacks, the giant finally lost control and was pinned to the ground by the broodmother. A pair of sharp mandibles tore into his chest as she took a few bites out of him. Numerous clacks weaved together with a pained roar, the giant struggling to get up but forced to remain on his back.

Richard took a few deep breaths and flashed forward, blinking seven times around the fallen giant before flying away. Seven different wounds that were each two metres deep exploded on the giant’s body, blood gushing out from within. Exhausted by the effort, Richard himself retreated to the back and downed a few potions while issuing orders to his rune knights and followers.

200 rune knights rushed towards the giant with their halberds, charging in obliquely before stabbing their long weapons in as deep as they would go. Explosions of energy blew apart those sections of the giant’s body, the momentum thus generated allowing them to get away before any retaliation. The earth around the giant was quickly dyed red, endless waves of attack depleting his strength steadily. The broodmother soon started releasing her acid as well, the liquid bubbling all around the giant’s body.

Phaser, Waterflower, and Zangru were returned to fill the spots of the rune knights, continuing to attack the barbarian warriors. Unable to do significant damage to such a huge opponent, they were much better used to eliminate the lesser threats. After all, even Richard with his divine weapons and the terrifying Lifesbane needed great effort to heavily injure such an opponent.

The giant eventually got a hand free and managed to slam down on six rune knights, quashing them instantly, but that was his final struggle. With the limb out of the way, the broodmother tore his throat apart and dug into his spine, killing him in minutes. Surprisingly, his limbs were still twitching after death, continuing on for a long time as she ate into half of his flesh before retreating.

Once the broodmother was done, the giant was almost a skeleton with some bits of flesh on it, parts of the body dissipating into nothingness. He had relied on some strange ability to convert energy into flesh, but with him dead there was no way to keep that conversion active. The trapped energy was quickly released into the air.

Richard landed on the giant’s chest and sliced the last bit of flesh open with Moonlight, revealing a heart that was bigger than his entire body. It was a strange greyish green, but it continued to pulse ever so often with the power to support such a massive body. Looking at this, he let out a relieved sigh; this clearly wasn’t much worse than the heart of a valley lord, making it a top-tier offering that could be used in the completion of Midren’s battle edition.

Looking carefully at a few sections of the heart, Richard managed to confirm that the giant had a titan bloodline. However, such a powerful being shouldn’t have appeared in Faelor; a full-power strike from him could destabilise the entire spatial structure of the plane. The same thing happened when he himself used Dizmason, but he wasn’t from this plane either.

The battle was still raging on the outer edge, the half-undead barbarian warriors not knowing fear nor retreat. However, with the rune knights returning to battle and an additional summoning of blood inquisitors and elven shamans, they were quickly wiped out. Richard himself landed on top of the giant and started working to preserve the heart, while the rest of his mages and priests joined afterwards to start work on the organs and bones. A large number of drones joined in to assist, perfect helpers that could execute every order to the letter.

Almost every part of the giant’s body was an invaluable treasure, especially the skeleton. If he managed to preserve it in one piece, Richard could potentially one day create an enormous homunculus like no other; in comparison, the barbarian corpses were worthless. However, the corpse was just far too large to transport; it had to be taken apart carefully, the bones shrunk down with alchemy until they were at a manageable size. A thousand drones and most of the rune knights would need to help during this process, and it would still take three days.

Richard spent this time inspecting the corpses of the barbarian warriors using his portable laboratory. A number of them had aged rapidly once they died, sometimes tens of years in a single day, but surprisingly enough there wasn’t a single trace of rot. By the end of the second day of cleanup, he had a bottle of translucent yellow liquid in his hands that substituted for their blood. Having analysed it, he found that it was an extremely strong preservative; some of the half-undead barbarians had only been in their forties, but others were close to a thousand years old and still managed to fight.

However, the blood wasn’t what gave these warriors their sheer power. There was a strange energy hidden within their bodies, a power akin to planar origin force that was extremely pure. It gave them unnatural power and physical prowess, but came at the cost of reducing them to barely intelligent creatures. Richard had some guesses as to what this power was, but he still needed to verify things to be sure. If he was right, all the answers would be revealed in the core of the Genesis.

The army of undead barbarians was extremely strong, capable of sweeping through half of Faelor. Had Richard not gathered power equivalent to three lower-level families of Faust and possessed such great destructive potential himself, it would have been extremely difficult to overcome the giant and the undead troops. This force at least confirmed why nobody had managed to sneak in and then return from the depths of the Genesis in all these years.

……

While the giant’s corpse was being handled, the broodmother had used the time to repair her armour. Once the three days had passed, Richard stepped on her back once more and brought this small troop of absolute elites towards the Genesis. They flew for a full day and night, fighting a dozen smaller armies of the half-undead barbarians before finally arriving at the core of the barbarian plains.

This was a flat, shallow valley located right next to a small mountain. The mountain wasn’t even a thousand metres high, but it looked outstanding in the open plains of the Genesis and was filled with greenery unlike its surroundings. There was fertile land in the valley with huge patches of agricultural land, containing dozens of small villages and a sense of vitality that even the Forest Plane couldn’t easily compare to.

Richard’s gaze was immediately drawn to the small mountain of black rock, specifically the puffs of steam being released from its cracks. There were dozens of caves of varying sizes at its foot which had regular traffic from the barbarians, but the entire place felt oddly compelling to him.

He suddenly zoned out, hearing the huge heartbeat once more. However, this time it was clearer and lasted much longer before, prompting his own hearts to beat heavily to the point that he almost spit out some blood. He felt something amissed and forced the sound out of his mind, but despite his confirmation that this was the source he couldn’t understand just why he’d felt that strong sense of resonance. Furthermore, now that it was clearer he also recognised that there were two, much smaller heartbeats ringing out in tandem with the larger base, one so soft that it was nearly impossible to detect.

A commotion rang out in the valley as its residents saw the army in the skies. Many barbarian warriors rushed out into the fields and looked up, waving their weapons uselessly. Some of the more impatient warriors launched their spears, but they couldn’t reach the broodmother who was hundreds of metres high.

Richard’s gaze swept across the barbarians below, discovering many warriors who were above level 10. The leader was actually level 18, but even with such power he still couldn’t fly. He shook his head and sighed, “Prepare to attack, we’re conquering this place.”

Following his order, the broodmother, astral chrysalis, flying chrysalides, and wasps started their descent. The winged serpents rushed down first, blasting spells into the barbarians to break their formation, and the rune knights and winter soldiers quickly followed. Richard’s followers descended last, remaining vigilant of any saints in the valley.

The battle was extremely successful, the first attack by the winter soldiers utterly destroying the barbarian ranks, but as the barbarians were split into dozens of smaller battles and gobbled up thirteen towering warriors rushed out of the mountain. They were all covered in dark red armour, and while ten of them had multiple stumps on their foreheads three were taller than the rest with thick, curved horns. Seeing them appear, the commoners immediately fell to the ground in reverence and started singing praises.

However, this didn’t bring them any luck. When Tiramisu blocked their path with a hundred rune knights and a sneer, the outcome of the battle had already been decided. The entire resistance was crushed in a matter of minutes, all of the warriors disabled or just dead.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: WQ

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA