Book 2, Chapter 5

Annihilation(2)

All of this was no longer justifiable by common spells. A banshee’s scream would have left bodies behind, while disjunction would have affected the clothes as well. Either would leave greyish-white dust behind as well, something that was quite difficult to clear. Even a legendary spell like Vampire’s Embrace would leave its victims as dry, nearly mummified corpses.

Flowsand walked towards the Lighthouse of Time, touching the patterns carved onto the tower’s body. She extended her senses carefully for a moment, before saying, “All of the power of time is gone, and with my current level of power it’s impossible to restore. The flames of time are extinguished as well… They were crucial, containing Norland’s coordinates. Without them, we can’t return to Norland for now. Those in Norland won’t be able to track our location either.”

“WE’RE LOST?” Olar exclaimed. If they were lost in the streams of time, death was their only fate.

“It’s not that serious, you sissy! We’ve at least come to a plane, and are all gathered together!” Gangdor bellowed.

Gangdor was right, but the circumstances were not optimistic either. Losing the coordinates of their plane meant that they did not know how long they had to stay on this foreign plane. This was no different from being sent into exile.

The only silver lining was that the terrain and life forms were quite similar to Norland’s own. It would be relatively easy to gather resources for their survival. Had they been thrown into an elemental plane, or some place like the abyss or hell, they would have trouble even surviving. It also seemed like the base had a complete set of basic supplies, including enough weapons and armour to equip hundreds of men alongside months of rations.

Tiramisu’s voice suddenly sounded from the tavern, “This steak is a little strange. It looks delicious, but it’s as if it was here for a few hundred years. I wouldn’t dare eat it!”

“Then give it to me, I’m starving! I can tell it’s grilled to perfection!” Medium Rare bellowed.

“Let’s just bring it to that young lady Flowsand, and have her take a look first. Something’s odd about this!” Tiramisu insisted.

The quarrelling ogres squeezed their way out of the tavern. The thick flesh on their large bodies strained against the door a few times before they were able to pass through, gods know how they entered before.

Tiramisu carried a whole steak of lamb over. It seemed like it was just taken off the pan, and Medium Rare’s eyes were fixed on it as he constantly swallowed saliva. He really could be called a master of etiquette for an ogre, able to restrain himself from drooling even when he was hungry.

Flowsand’s slim figure seemed delicate as a reed in the wind in front of the two ogres who were more than 2.5 metres tall. However, the ogres were extremely respectful to her, second only to Richard himself. Tiramisu squatted down on the ground, bending over with much difficulty to present the steak so Flowsand could check more easily.

She gently chanted the spell, the first time she’d ever done so aloud in front of Richard. A ray of golden light was produced from her fingertips, transforming into grains of sand that landed on the steak. The surface shone with a golden radiance immediately, the intensity varying depending on the part of the meat. Some of the areas were completely dim, while on others it was so strong that these grains directly solidified into sands of time. Even then they couldn’t hold the energy in, eventually charging towards the sky in a golden fountain.

Flowsand had a grave look on her face. She ordered Tiramisu to place the lamb steak on the floor, “There’s some disordered remnants of the power of time on this. It was likely eroded in the streams of time, but I’m not sure why it’s still intact. Some of the parts are new, while others are thousands of years old. If anyone eats this steak, some of their internals will likely age and degrade a thousand years instantly. You should know the outcome of that.”

Tiramisu immediately broke out in a sweat. He looked at his own hands, and finding that they weren’t showing any strange signs he let out a breath of relief. On the other hand, Rare’s legs had given in as he collapsed to the floor. It had never occurred to him that such a delicious steak could contain hidden dangers as well.

Richard had been watching quietly from the side all this while, only speaking after Flowsand stated her conclusion, “Don’t you think this is strange? There are many abnormalities at the base. Those soldiers who ambushed us earlier were around level 4 or 5, which was not bad even for Norland’s standards. Knight Kojo himself was a level 12 warrior. If this was really a low level plane, how could a robust level 12 warrior only lead less than a hundred soldiers over to battle?”

Flowsand raised her head, waiting for Richard to continue.

Richard went on calmly, “If I’m not mistaken, we are currently in a secondary plane. The greatest powers here might already have reached legendary might if we guess based on Kojo’s power. This surely isn’t our original destination.”

Flowsand said indifferently, “I don’t know what has happened, but we clearly deviated from our target destination during the teleportation. The reconnaissance base that originally linked to us was shifted here, so we were led here as well. Without the proper defences, the base did not manage to survive the shift, so all life forms disappeared. That matches with the current situation: everyone in the base ought to have disappeared when it was displaced. That is why there’s armour strewn everywhere, with half-cooked food and half-eaten steak. It explains everything we’ve seen.”

“Why?” Richard creased his brows. They had stable coordinates, and he was accompanied by a cleric of the Eternal Dragon itself. How could something like this still happen?

“Anything can happen in the myriad planes,” Flowsand replied. This was an answer based on common sense, but in this situation, it was an answer of extreme helplessness as well.

Flowsand thought for a while, “Someone could deliberately have disrupted the streams of time. From what I know, the Eternal Dragon’s blessings have some hidden rules to them. A certain type of offering can be exchanged in turn for a certain type of blessing, and some ancient families have the methods to choose what they get. Although doing so will give them a weakened blessing, they might deem that appropriate under special circumstances. Richard, you have to consider whether there are people who would pay such a heavy price just to kill you.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA