Book 8, Chapter 63

Dignity

*Ting!* Brahms unsheathed his sword and placed it on the captain’s neck, “The gall! Do you really think I wouldn’t kill you?”

“Marquess Brahms, we Archerons aren’t afraid of death. However, His Grace did mention that all the soldiers at the checkpoints are true-blooded Archerons, his kin by birth. If anyone kills us, their only fate is total annihilation.” The captain was only level 10, but he seemed completely unafraid as he slowly pushed the blade away from his neck, “If you have no plans to follow through, it’s best you don’t tire yourself out.”

The Marquess turned bright red, the vessels on his neck pulsing in his rage as his eyeballs almost popped out of their sockets, but his trembling hand refused to go forward. Despite his bloodlust pushing for him to mince the arrogant peasant, he abruptly turned around and returned to his castle without a word. The surprised guard platoon could only follow behind, having to bear the arrogant smirks of the Archeron soldiers.

A short while later, a group of griffins took off from Dragonwing Castle, quickly moving towards Sunset City. Richard might have set up checkpoints down below, but as far as Brahms knew he had no control of the skies. The Marquess didn’t want to face any of the Archerons down below; if they egged him on enough, he knew that he would lose control and kill some of them. His scouts had already reported that 63 Archeron soldiers had been injured or killed in similar scenarios so far, and Richard’s retaliation had killed over 4,000 soldiers and fifteen high nobles. If he actually bit, Richard would have the excuse to storm Dragonwing Castle in less than a day.

……

Even though he now lived in Dragonwing Castle, Richard left both the defences and administration of the city up to its original mayor and forces. 30,000 fully armed soldiers seemed massive compared to his 3,000 men, but they had already been cowed into submission and all of the nobles in the city knew they would die if a legendary mage was forced to fight within the walls.

He had stayed in the city for the past two days, continuing to work on Midren’s battle edition as planned. All of the materials had been gathered, so the only thing left to do was meticulously create every part one by one. The armour pieces had already been prepared a while ago, as had a number of the individual section; he was actually on the verge of completion.

This rune set was draining far more mana from him than anything before. Even with his current mana levels, he was normally exhausted by the longer curves he had to draw despite his control. For most other runemasters, they would need to be level 24 at minimum to attempt something like this.

Richard sensed Brahms’s arrival from kilometres away, but he just sent a few knights to guide the Marquess to the castle’s study. The atmosphere was frigid when the two met, but after a tense minute Brahms slammed his palm into the desk, “What is the meaning of this?!”

Still seated calmly, Richard answered, “It’s obvious. I lost something, and I’m here to find it.”

“Are you trying to wage a war against the Sacred Tree Empire?!”

“No, but I wouldn’t mind if it came to it. Then again, why are you so eager to have your family thrown out of nobility?”

“You…” Brahms was shocked and furious, not having expected Richard to be so unyielding. Were he to start a war, he was definitely in for some trouble. It was rare for such wars to result in total annihilation, with treaties being reached far earlier that involved funds, planes, and land, but it was clear that this wouldn’t be such a case.

The Marquess took a deep breath and sneered, “Fine. I hope you won’t regret making an enemy of every noble in the Empire, Richard!”

Richard finally closed the book in his hands, “I see you haven’t learned your lesson yet. In that case, there is nothing for us to discuss. Get out, and take care of your attitude next time. You won’t be getting any leniency from me.”

Brahms immediately turned furious, raising his hand up high to slam the desk again, but Richard’s gaze landed on him and he immediately felt a strange sense of fear. His hand trembled, unable to move down at all; it felt as though he would lose his arm for that transgression. Gulping with difficulty, the man hurried away with his tail tucked between his legs.

As she walked over, Senma stared at Brahms’s figure with disdain, “What a coward. Why are you letting him leave? Shouldn’t you have taken a few limbs?”

“People will get scared if I’m too brutal,” Richard smiled, “I’m still waiting for them to come after me.”

“What… I don’t get you at all…. Wait, you still can’t control yourself?”

His smile immediately turned to one of embarrassment, “I’ll need some more time.”

Outside of runecrafting, Richard barely ever moved in recent days. His motions were still a little awkward owing to his newfound strength, but thankfully his control of his hands was still perfect as always. It would take more training just to ensure he wouldn’t randomly crush objects.

He opened his book once more, “Since he isn’t willing to give up, you should take care of things.”

“Fine,” Senma shrugged, “But I’m telling you now I’d rather have smashed his face!”

……

Just as Marquess Brahms dismounted from his griffin back at Dragonwing Castle, a senior mage rushed over and handed him a report. Taking a single look at it, he couldn’t help but shout, “Richard’s army is in my planes?!”

Most of Brahms’s planes had been conquered long ago, so they were managed with very little military power. Given the power of Richard’s army, those troops wouldn’t last more than a few days. All of his wealth in those planes would become Richard’s!

Shivering at the Marquess’s expression, the mage continued, “That isn’t all, my Lord. Measurements show that the coordinates of the four planes have been altered.”

“What?”

“The portals aren’t in Sunset City any longer. They’re in Azan.”

Brahms nearly fainted in that moment. This was four fully-developed planes, combining for millions of gold every planar year! Even if they could create a new passage in the future, the Archerons would be waiting there!

It was a testament to the man’s will that he even managed to remain standing, “Go, prepare the communication circle. I need to speak to Archbishop Ruford, right now!”

……

“Uncle, Richard just stole four planes! Is the Empire still hesitating to send their forces?!” Brahms exclaimed the moment he saw a slender old man appear on the screen. Even through the transmission, one could feel a sense of dignity from the figure, and the splendid robes and sparkling sceptre revealed his status.

Archbishop Ruford stared Brahms in the eye, “This incident has caused a huge commotion in both the Empire and the Church. I’m afraid there won’t be a decision anytime soon.”

“A commotion? Richard is raking the reputation of the entire Empire through the mud! Have they gone senile?!”

Ruford smiled helplessly, “Heh, you don’t understand why Richard is doing this, do you. It’s true that he won’t be able to craft a saint rune for the next year, but that isn’t the core of the issue. The rune he’s working on right now is said to be for himself, and it’s very important.

“It has to do with the survival of his unborn child.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA