The moment his fingertips touched the demon lord’s heart, Richard suddenly felt his Archeron bloodline erupt violently. His temperature skyrocketed even as he completely lost control, a searing pain from every corner of his body almost numbing his mind.
Countless black tendrils suddenly shot forth from the demon lord’s heart, wrapping around his wrist and then crawling up his whole body. Richard was shocked and tried to summon his followers and the broodmother, but the heart had actually caged his consciousness and cut off all communication. He couldn’t even scream as the heart turned into a multitude of black threads wrapping around him, and his heart sank as he realised that there would be no help. His followers were explicitly trained not to disturb him if he was in a lab, so unless new enemies showed up outside they would just assume he had cut himself off to focus.
No one could save him.
A black cocoon pulsed rhythmically in Richard’s laboratory, lasting one day, then three, then seven… Half a month had passed quickly, but even though the followers felt like the experiment was taking a particularly long time they weren’t worried. They continued to train and sleep doing whatever they wanted with the short break.
After a month passed in quiet, the huge cocoon finally started moving. A crack appeared on its surface before a hand shot out from within, the perfectly formed fingers grabbing the edge and ripping it apart with force. A body then dropped out of the shell, falling to the ground.
The moment he emerged from the cocoon, Richard started coughing violently and vomited mouthfuls of clear water, the fit lasting a good few minutes and covering the floor all around him. When he finally found the strength to get back onto his feet, he almost collapsed again.
His looks hadn’t changed significantly in this time, but he had gotten significantly thinner. A closer look would reveal that his already elven features had grown even more delicate, now bordering on those of a true-blooded elf or even a celestial.
As he struggled to stand, Richard was suddenly overcome by an indescribable hunger. The feeling was so great that it easily overcame his rationality, his eyes drawn to the black cocoon before his vision focused on that and that alone. He let out a bestial growl and pounced onto the threads, biting down strongly.
By the time Richard’s eyes regained their clarity, there wasn’t a single trace of the cocoon on the ground. Pain, hesitation, confusion, and panic flashed across his face, but eventually he found it in himself to calm down and sigh. For the most part, he still felt like himself; he hadn’t thought he would act like a drone and eat the shell that nurtured him, but that cocoon had been formed by the demon lord’s heart. In effect, he had eaten the demon lord.
He laughed bitterly at the realisation; he had just swallowed an offering that was higher than rank 2! From another angle, he had basically eaten away the repaired Deepblue Aria or a complete version of Midren. If one called this a meal, it truly was a luxury that even Emperor Philip or Empress Gelan couldn’t afford.
He moved back towards his table and leaned against it, but the ironwood desk that was stronger than steel immediately creaked and splintered apart, sending him falling to the floor. The hand that tried to block the fall went right into the dense floor that was made to resist any sort of corrosion, and by the time he managed to stop his fall half the arm was buried.
Carefully standing up, Richard looked at his hands in disbelief, pulling a legendary warhammer from his spatial ring and exerting his strength on that. With the hammer in one hand and the handle in another, he actually managed to twist the weapon out of shape! He hadn’t even used his laws of metal or buffed himself with any strength spells; this was pure physical power!
After struggling for some time, he finally managed to find a way to stay on his feet. A shelf had shattered in the process, only because he had tried to hold it to balance himself.
After his month-long disappearance, Richard finally reconnected to the broodmother and his various followers. A few minutes later, Asiris walked into his laboratory with a fresh set of clothes; his original sub-legendary robes had disappeared in the growth process.
“What’s happened in this past month?” Richard asked, and Asiris gave him a rundown of everything that had happened during his hiatus.
Faelor, Norland, and all of his other planes were right on track, everything going just as scheduled with no hiccups at all. However, Richard stayed extremely still despite the reassurance, listening attentively without moving at all. Asiris was a little confused by this, but he soon got the answer to his doubts. Richard’s body moved ever so slightly, but the chair immediately shattered.
Thankfully, he was prepared this time and didn’t fall right to the ground. Smiling in embarrassment, he stood up, “It’s fine, I just can’t control my power yet. Continue.”
Half an hour later, Asiris left the laboratory while Richard moved around carefully, slowly adjusting himself to his new strength. He felt like a drunk man with no control of his own power, having to put far too much effort into reeling himself in. It already felt like he was no weaker than an ogre warlord.
All of the demon lord’s essence had been poured into his body in the past month, completely transforming his internals from head to toe. Even some of his internal structure had changed, forming a fourth heart right in the centre of his chest that was now ringed by the other three. The vessels coming from his heart stretched out in all directions, fully resembling the heart of a demon.
Even if he couldn’t figure out just how humans infused with the lord’s bloodline had made it to Norland, it was basically confirmed that this was the source of the Archerons. The bloodline resonance was just too strong for it to be otherwise.
Wait, bloodline resonance! Richard suddenly remembered that he had heard multiple sounds when he felt the resonance earlier, one of them extremely weak and feeling like a newborn. With this experience, he now knew that it hadn’t been an illusion, which left a possibility that caused his jaw to drop, “I have a child?”
As he stood up in shock at that judgement, his legs put in so much force that he barrelled straight through the roof and a hundred metres into the sky. Shrugging it off and unable to wait any longer, he summoned a messenger and flew towards Bluewater as fast as he could. After hours upon hours of non-stop flight, he finally reached the portal and flew straight in.
Blackrose Castle was just as orderly as always, the old steward managing the estate well. Thousands of knights were currently gathered in the square, all decked out for a march as Alice would momentarily lead them into an attack on some old enemies in the Sacred Tree Empire.
Heavy footsteps rang through the halls of the castle as a fully-armoured Alice walked downstairs. Behind her was a troop of ferocious rune knights, and despite her steady gait her stormy expression showed that she was in a bad mood.
Coincidentally, the old steward and Coco were walking down the corridor on the other end. The young girl was carrying some of her clothes with the steward advising her on some things, while two servants carried the rest of her belongings behind her.
Alice’s expression worsened at the sight, and she stopped and snorted loudly. The energy behind the snort shocked Coco into dropping her clothes, but the steward stepped forward in protection and bowed, “My Lady, are you going to war again?”
The Earl levelled a sword-like gaze at Coco’s abdomen, “Yes, I’m earning a few territories for the family. There seem to be a lot of people in line to inherit them. What are you doing, changing rooms?”
The steward bowed humbly, “Yes. The upper levels of the castle have more sunlight and space, that would benefit Miss Coco’s body. I made the decision to switch her room up there.”
The old man’s tone was respectful, but there was no room for discussion either. He perfectly hid that he didn’t need to get her permission, but that only made Alice feel worse.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: WQ
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA