Everyone was aware that the fight just then was only a beginning. Endless battles would ensue, and they would be the enemies of all the inhabitants of the plane. Thus, they all went their separate ways once the situation was clarified for now, busying themselves almost as if they were puppets powered by magic crystals.
Flowsand began conducting checks all over the base. The Lighthouse of Time was a magical building, blessed with the supreme power of the Eternal Dragon itself. Although the entirety of the building could be seen on this plane, a part of it was actually connected to a rift in the void. This rift was what allowed it to guide travellers, but even with the flames extinguished this meant the magic arrays still connected this base to the rift. Extra precaution had to be taken, lest a crack in the void tearing the place apart, or worse, swallowing it whole.
Besides, traces of turbulent time flows were still scattered in various corners of the base. This was fatal to a commoner, but as a cleric of the Eternal Dragon Flowsand could use this power to replenish her own, or even gradually strengthen her mana.
She measured it silently in her heart. If she could clear out the power of time from the entire base, she would be able to advance to level 9. Even if she still wouldn’t be able to cast grade 5 spells, her energy pool would increase to an extent. It could count as having profited off a disaster.
On the other hand, the knights grew busy packing up the mess of weapons and armour that Flowsand had already sorted out. These supplies were extremely useful, with the better equipment besting even what they’d brought along on the trip. A lot of the supplies on their trip had been magic resources. After all, their leader was a runemaster. The weapons and armour they could prepare paled in comparison.
As they packed everything up, they also buried their dead comrades right next to the base. If the day came when they could return home, they would take their ashes along back to Norland. Otherwise, they would end up fertilising the same earth.
The enemies were buried or cremated as well. Norland’s code of chivalry espoused respect for deceased enemies, and any mishandling of opponent corpses was considered disgraceful and dishonorable. However, all weapons, armour, and personal belongings left behind by the deceased enemies were considered spoils of war, and would be recovered carefully.
On the other side, Waterflower and Gangdor were exploring the surrounding terrain. Olar had initially wanted to tag along with Waterflower, but for some unknown reason decided to stay behind in the end. As Gangdor left, he looked back at the elf with regret.
Of course, the bard didn’t stay behind for nothing. Richard immediately assigned him to interrogating the surviving captives for more intel. Sir Kojo was merely a sentry, and had a baron backing him up. Who, then, was backing up the baron?
The two trolls ran outside the base, plopping down at a random spot to nap. With their natural vitality, they could recover with mere food and sleep. The two arrows that nearly killed Olar would only be minor injuries to them, ones that would heal in a couple of days.
Flowsand had completed a rough check of the base by the time dusk fell. Thankfully, she didn’t find any rifts in spacetime. As soon as the power of time was cleared out, the base could be put to use once again. The provisions, weapons, arrows, and other supplies stocked within were an immediate solution to Richard’s desperate situation, with enough to equip hundreds of soldiers.
Seeing that everything in the base was in good order, Richard left on his own. He found an empty plot of land, preparing to try and plant the ‘seed’. The area he chose was on high ground, within sight of the base. He would be able to rush over immediately if there was a problem.
At that moment, Richard had the seed in his hands. The azure eggshell trembled continuously, almost as if there was a little life inside waiting to burst through at any moment. Richard believed that the seed was a special life form; its life force was growing increasingly powerful, almost as if it had absorbed some power when they were crossing planes. The closer he held it to himself, the stronger the pulse of the being within grew.
What could possibly be in this egg? A frightening biological weapon? A magical beast? Something that could cause even high priestess Ferlyn to lose a great deal of her blessing to reveal little information about was likely much stronger than a mere lesser dragon.
The eggshell was like an impregnable fort, standing strong in the face of the strikes of the life within. With the egg in hand, Richard was at a loss for what to do. The seed didn’t respond at all to his mana.
It was when he tried to project a strand of his consciousness in an attempt to look within that something changed. Richard’s consciousness was pulled in, flooding frantically into the seed! An excruciating pain hit him, and he felt as though his head was about to split apart. His very soul felt like it was being torn apart with great strength; if not for his tenacity and willpower, he would have fainted then and there. However, the flow of his consciousness continued on uninterrupted, with no way to stop in sight.
Richard was well aware that a failure to stop this would lead to his soul itself being drawn out. However, the pull from the seed was so large that none of his attempts worked. The acute pain tormented him, leaving him paralysed and unable to move. He couldn’t utter a single word, or even throw the seed away.
Although Richard’s consciousness was far stronger than those of his peers, he did not have infinite power. All of his strength was exhausted in the blink of an eye, the tremendous force then pulling his soul itself towards the shell. At this moment, brilliant rays of light erupted from several magic symbols in his sea of consciousness— the imprints of his soul contract and slave contracts! Formidable power suddenly grabbed firmly onto Richard’s drifting soul, going head-on against the force of the seed.
*CRACK!* Richard felt something snap deep in his consciousness. His soul was torn apart by the two great powers, a small bit of it sucked in by the seed with force. His vision blacked out, before he collapsed onto the floor. His taut nerves had relaxed in a flash.
At the same time, Waterflower who’s been prancing around in the trees suddenly fell head-first to the ground. She had lost consciousness.
In yet another direction, a running Gangdor abruptly clutched his head, yelling in pain. His mind was sent into chaos, rendering him unable to distinguish directions as he ran into a large tree. A loud snap sounded, and this tree that was more than ten feet in diameter actually broke in half as Gangdor crashed into it.
Outside the base, the two sleeping trolls awoke with a start. They bolted up at the same time, clutching their heads as they howled in anguish. In the base itself, a certain elven bard spouted a mouthful of blood and fainted at a crucial moment in his interrogation.
Not long after he lost consciousness, Richard was awakened by the feeling of a pinprick. Barely able to raise his head, he saw the seed that was stuck to his cheek fall in front of his eyes. His vision was filled with azure blue, glossy and gentle; it lacked the pores that were present on normal eggs.
An indistinct mind suddenly transmitted a message from within the seedling, a faint voice ringing at the bottom of Richard’s heart, “Blood… Blood…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: SY
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA