Book 8, Chapter 71

King Of Angels

Divine spellcasters were always an annoying enemy for anyone to contend with, especially mages. They had high resistance to all magic attacks, and their natural perception allowed them to sense mana from a distance. They also had access to mana-dispersing spells that could disable a lesser mage. Even Richard’s blue flames of destruction weren’t immune to this. Contending against Michael’s pure divine force, they were no longer as overbearing as in other situations.

Without a way to defeat Michael immediately, Richard knew that this was a losing war. Even Senma was weakened greatly in this kingdom of light, and despite her advantage in equipment she was barely able to stay alive against Saint Thomas. His rune knights were faring even worse, and their formations would soon start to collapse.

“I don’t care who you are. If you don’t want to die, you better scram this instant!” he remarked in an icy voice. The Celestial Plane was more powerful than Norland; he didn’t want to go to war with them just yet.

However, Michael sneered and waved his large sword, “You will all die here today, heretics! Nobody can save you!”

Richard clenched a fist in fury, but as he looked down at the Archeron soldiers that were collapsing one by one, that rage simmered down into calmness. He turned back to Michael, “Then you can die now.”

A low hum filled the battlefield as a crimson pillar of light shot into the skies, making even the divine door seem dim in comparison. It pulsed twice, sending out rings of crimson that spread to every location within ten kilometres; the entire battlefield turned a shade of red. Richard hovered in the centre of the pillar, numerous silver armour pieces gathering around him in mid-air and combining to form a full-body suit.

Richard had Heaven’s Armour? Every worshipper of the Radiant Lord was shocked by this revelation. This was the exact same way Heaven’s Armour was equipped, but that rune set could only be activated by those of strong faith! Saint Martin’s three Midrens made sense; he had as many saint-level paladins serving him. It was obvious that Richard didn’t have any faith in the Radiant Lord.

They could only see the armour clearly when the pillar of light faded away. The armour itself was of exquisite craftsmanship, with a silver base and intricate crimson patterns on top. The helmet was a metallic mask that covered Richard’s face, currently with a sullen expression as its large eyes looked down on everything nearby.

“The King of Angels!” an aged cardinal exclaimed, shuddering as he pointed at Richard. This man had been a grand runemaster in his time and studied Heaven’s Armour all his life; he couldn’t be wrong.  This also explained where Martin had gotten his angels from.

“Does Midren not shine in the gold of purity and noblesse? It shouldn’t be this red we see; did Richard modify it? How could he do that?” a bishop asked in shock.

It was with a complicated gaze that the cardinal muttered his response, “Have you all forgotten? It is rumoured that the Lord declared the King of Angels to have three forms. The first is his initial form, which is what Saint Peter crafted. The second… is the battle form. It is said that this version emits the crimson of its enemies… I’m afraid this rune set is beyond grade 5…”

Those final words weighed down on everyone like a heavy rock. The most powerful runes Norland had crafted to date were grade 5, but the Church of Glory had confidential records and rumours of runes beyond that level. One example was the Deepblue Aria.

However, most runes above grade 5 disappeared after the briefest of showings. Even if some were still around, nobody could activate them. These runes had terrifying requirements on the user, ensuring that even legends would wither into corpses if they activated them.

The battlefield turned deathly silent as the battles in the air and on the ground slowed down. Countless eyes gathered on Richard, watching this mysterious angel that had never appeared before. They could sense unimaginable power within the set of armour, as though anything that dared stand in its way would be destroyed without mercy.

Richard stood quietly. The four slots that this rune set linked to his body through were like four holes in a dam, sucking out all of the energy within him. The full mana pool of an ordinary legendary mage was drawn out in the blink of an eye, but that still wasn’t enough. His three hearts were thumping wildly, but every drop of energy they produced was absorbed in an instant. Small tears were starting to appear on their surface, oozing droplets of blood.

If this continued, he would wither into a corpse before being able to activate this rune; behind the supreme strength lay a terrifying demand on the carrier’s body. However, the abyssal core within him finally awakened, pulsing with strength.

“Which god is this?” The pope’s eyes went wide open as a deafening heartbeat filled the battlefield, the hand holding his staff trembling. He surveyed the battlefield, but his gaze only landed on Richard once more as the armour suddenly came to life. The crimson patterns on the surface were beginning to move.

Midren’s battle edition had finally been activated!

The ancient demon core had pulsed only once before going silent, but that one pulse had produced enough energy to meet the requirements of this rune and even replenish all of Richard’s mana. He raised his left arm somewhat clumsily, examining himself for a moment before he looked back at the six-winged celestial, “I told you, you can die now.”

As he spoke, Richard balled his left hand into a fist and waved it forward. The armour set pulsed once more, six crimson wings of light appearing behind him before cradling him within. As these wings merged into the armour, he opened the fist to send another ring of crimson that instantly destroyed all of Michael’s control!

The golden light that had covered more than a thousand metres was now flickering with less than a tenth of that amount. The lights of the four other angels died out almost completely, reduced to tiny barriers that surrounded their form. Meanwhile, Martin’s three angels experienced an enormous boost in power, their own lighter glows spreading to 500 metres. They also absorbed the crimson energy around them and repaired themselves at a speed visible to the naked eye, returning to full strength almost instantly.

“HERETIC!” Michael roared in fury as he shot forward with his sword, “HOW DARE YOU PROFANE A CITIZEN OF THE HEAVENS?!”

Richard blocked the giant flaming weapon with a casual flick from Moonlight, “Don’t you see? This rune is greater than yours. What right does a traitor to the heavens have to accuse me of profanity?”

“YOU SHALL BE BURNT AT THE STAKE!” the celestial pressed down further, but to no avail. Rings of golden light shot into his surroundings, but the crimson all around quickly gobbled it all up.

The earth and sky were all dyed red, and Richard’s soldiers were being strengthened in this domain. Many of them physically grew larger to various degrees, experiencing a boost to both speed and strength. Some of them even gained improved regeneration. On the other hand, things were entirely different for the opponents. They felt like they were wading in water, and the crimson light burnt their skin. The stinging pain caused many blows to miss, and many parries to come up short.

Even Richard himself hadn’t expected such a thing. After all, there wasn’t a straightforward conduit like the power of worship between him and his soldiers. It became clear that Heaven’s Armour didn’t function on faith in the Radiant Lord, but instead on the user themselves. Perhaps it could be used to identify traitors… 

This rune set wasn’t one meant purely for personal battles. Its greatest advantage came in the form of strengthening one’s army, making it unrivalled in wars of faith. Richard had gotten the design from the Eternal Dragon, and the first opponent he was using it against was the Church of Glory. It felt like there was something deeper to this irony than met the eye.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA