Book 8, Chapter 59

Lost Goods

When the supervisor in charge of the warehouse entered Richard’s study, he felt his legs turning to jelly in an instant. Richard was tapping his table ever so softly, but every tap just felt like a punch to the heart. Without any attempt to conceal the rage, his aura was frightening. It took a lot of effort from the level 16 mage to just not collapse.

“There’s a batch of divine gold that should be in my warehouse right now. Where is it?”

“Your Grace, that delivery was being made by the paladins of the Church of Glory. They were to send it directly to Azan, but they were ambushed near the border and completely annihilated. All their goods were taken away as well.”

“You’re saying someone in the Sacred Tree Empire decided that they could kill a full group of paladins? Who did it?”

“It’s supposedly a group of mercenaries that call themselves the Crimson Hawks. They were merciless; not one of the paladins managed to flee.”

Richard’s rage simmered down into an elegant yet chilling smile, “So what did you do? No need to talk about how these Crimson Hawks managed to discover the divine gold, we’ll talk about that later.”

“I reported it to Earl Alice immediately, Your Grace. I also sent my men to the lord of that territory to have him investigate. The man is called Marquess Brahms. I also sent men to the Church of Glory; technically, the men were still lost on their side, so the goods haven’t been handed over yet. They should either give us a new batch or some compensation.”

“A new batch?” Richard snickered, “It’ll be a whole year before they’ll send me another batch. I can’t wait that long; what did they say?”

“They said they would send word soon,” the supervisor answered carefully, wiping the sweat off his forehead.

“Alright, and what about Brahms? I’ve heard he’s difficult to deal with, is the investigation done?”

“I believe a letter has already been sent our way, Your Grace. Could I be excused for a moment to go retrieve it?”

With a wave of Richard’s hand, the mage ran to the door and looked out. One of his subordinates was sent to fetch the letter, and a few minutes later the supervisor entered the study once more with a confused look on his face, “Marquess Brahms said he found the base of the Crimson Hawks… He supposedly killed them all, and found the equipment that was taken, but there wasn’t even a single gram of the divine gold.”

*BAM!* Richard’s finger tapped the desk just as gently as before, but this time the entire desk turned to powder. He calmly reached out, and the supervisor passed over the letter in his hands. It was all very polite and to the point, even having a list of items obtained from the raid.

Not one of the weapons had been lost, but there wasn’t a single gram of the divine gold? And none of the Hawks had been left alive either? The supervisor immediately started feeling uneasy, as though a huge boulder was weighing down on his chest. The letter’s wording was polite and elegant, sure, but it would take a fool not to see the sheer arrogance within.

Richard placed the letter down every so gently, as though it was from a lover. While the desk itself had turned to dust, the letter and all of the other documents there continued to hover in mid-air as though there was still a sturdy table beneath them. This required a terrifying amount of control, and from the looks of it was being accomplished with pure mana. From the perspective of the great mage, it was practically a divine miracle.

Richard continued to tap the table, producing clear thunks as he asked, “The news that the Crimson Hawks attacked our shipment came from Brahms?”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“Alright, you may leave.”

The supervisor sighed in relief and retreated from the room. The moment before the door closed, he saw blue flames silently burning the letter and shrapnel to dust; in the meanwhile, the unread documents remained intact. He couldn’t help but shudder, quickly closing the door to the study before leaving.

……

“Richard! What’s so urgent that you needed to contact me this way? It takes a hundred thousand gold per minute; you can’t just use it as you like because I’m the one paying! I don’t have much money…”

Richard felt a slight headache coming on and interrupted the ever-smiling Martin, who for all his whining felt quite comfortable rattling on for minutes on end while using this expensive formation, “How much divine gold do you have?”

“How much do I have?” the Saint showed an exaggerated expression of shock, “Dear Richard, this is not your frostiron we’re talking about here. I already gave you everything I had from the past five years; there isn’t a single gram left. If you want more, you’ll have to wait until next year.”

“This batch got stolen,” Richard said coldly.

“What?” Martin’s joking expression faded away instantly. He knew just what divine gold menat to a saint runemaster, especially a mage. “I’ve been taking care of some heretics in the Desolate Highlands recently, so I haven’t had much contact with politics. Did you find out who did it?”

“It happened on Marquess Brahms’s land. Somehow, I’m to believe that a bunch of mercenaries killed all the paladins, stole the divine gold, then shipped it to an unknown location before they themselves were completely annihilated by Brahms.”

“That’s just…”

“Yeah, way too obvious. It’s almost like he’s afraid I wouldn’t know who did it?”

“Hmm… But there really isn’t a loophole in what he did. At least on the surface, he’s acting by the law and shows a good attitude.”

“Do you have any suggestions?”

“You’re asking for my opinion?” Martin smiled wryly, “You’ll have thought of something by now already, so what’s the point? I can only say that Brahms is someone of high status, the nephew of Archbishop Ruford. He’s second only to Hendrick, and the difference in their power isn’t particularly great. At the very least, he’s much stronger than me.”

“So it’s someone important,” Richard smiled softly.

Martin just maintained his own expression, “Who’s important in the face of a genius saint runemaster like you? Nobody outside of the epic realm matches, they’re targeting me this time.”

Richard looked up and sighed, “Doesn’t matter, they’ve involved me now. Are they trying to stop me from crafting saint runes this year? Is it a warning?”

The Saint could tell that Richard’s tone was different than usual, and he suddenly felt an itch on the tip of his nose, “This shouldn’t affect you too much, should it? It’s just a few million; they still know their place, they just don’t want you to keep helping me.”

Richard’s lips quirked up in an odd smile, “It’s not money, it’s time. I need to get something to ensure the survival of my unborn child, but for that I’ll be doing something dangerous. I need a rune to increase my chances beyond the flip of a coin; if I wait a year, the child and mother will be dead. Is that considered affecting me enough?”

Martin’s expression changed immediately, “Oh. Give me a few days, I’ll return to the pope and get him to spit some out from his personal collection. I’ll also send men to Brahms and see what I can pull out of him, but that might take time.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA