Book 8, Chapter 116

Well Wishes

Even with the Field of Truth, Richard spent a long ten minutes examining Coco. He looked at anything that could possibly go wrong, scanning across her countless times before he stretched his back. A smile crawled up his face, “Everything is alright, the preparations should be done by now. She’ll be out in three days.”

Coco looked at him with a twinge of worry, “Three more days? Is is alright for you to rush back so early?”

“It’s fine.”

She bit her bottom lip, saying softly, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you with much.”

“You can help me by resting,” he tidied her hair, taking a look at the time, “Where’s the mage responsible for your life potion?”

The door to the room opened a few seconds later, the steward walking in with a young female mage who had the life potion in hand. Richard glared at her, his aura flaring up slightly, “Five minutes late. If this happens again, you’re free to leave.”

The mage immediately turned white, not daring to say a word. She quickly helped Coco up and fed her the potion, leaving the room immediately. A rosy blush immediately flooded Coco’s cheeks, her body growing ever so slightly. However, this was all temporary; this vitality would all be absorbed by the baby before dusk.

She sighed in relief, “Please don’t be too hard on her, my Lord. Five minutes isn’t a huge mistake.”

However, Richard’s anger didn’t fade, “The potion times are set for when you’ll absorb them the best. Even ten minutes of a difference would have dropped the efficiency. What use is a mage who can’t even read clocks?”

He then turned to the steward, “Why aren’t you managing them properly?”

The old man sighed, “Most of these mages are from the Deepblue. Outside of you and Miss Alice, they aren’t very prompt when executing orders.”

His face immediately soured, “Is that right? I thought I’d made them obedient, looks like I was wrong. Go take control of a hundred knights, give them full authority over internal affairs. If someone isn’t listening to you, have them deal with it.”

The steward nodded, “There are other things that require your attention, Master.”

Glancing at Coco who was falling asleep, Richard stood up, “Let’s go then.”

……

A short while later, Richard was in his study looking at a tall stack of letters with a pained expression on his face. He tore through the letters rapidly, barely glancing at each one before throwing it to the side to join the dozens of others.

Most of these letters were the same, congratulating him on having a descendant. This was quite common in nobility, but what enraged him was the timing and scale. More than two-thirds of them came from individuals at the rank of Marquess or higher, and there was even a duke who wanted to make a personal visit. Six families from Faust were amongst those sending their regards, with Agamemnon being sent as a representative of the Orleans Family.

Outside of their special friendship, Agamemnon had already been confirmed as the successor to the Ironblood Duke, with Beye having refused the throne a long time ago. He had grown steadily in recent years, now already a sky saint at level 19. His personal crest had already been integrated into the family tree, and while his improvements weren’t rapid there seemed to be nothing that could shake his pace. In the letter, Duke Orleans had mentioned that Beye would have wished to come as well, but having crossed into the legendary realm a while ago she was currently in an unknown plane trying to strengthen her laws.

The one duke making a personal visit happened to be from the Sacred Tree Empire, and curiously enough he was also the deputy commander of the southern armies. This was a thought-provoking gesture. However, this representation paled in comparison to the Millennial Empire, from which a large plethora of nobles had rushed down to outnumber even the Sacred Alliance. Even Prince Tumen had sent an envoy. However, this made perfect sense; they were the only ones without a grudge against the Archerons.

Looking through the letters once more, Richard could confirm that the true intent of most people was to look at the child and determine how strong she was. After all, the family had produced Gaton and then himself in successive generations. While his father had died in his prime, limiting his achievements to within the Alliance, Richard’s own glory went well beyond. He was now truly the biggest runemaster in all of Norland, which alone would have been equal to an epic being, but he also had strength that matched.

Everyone knew that one needed true power to set up an independent country in Norland. An epic being would be allowed to set up a dukedom without any interference, and if they were strong enough to suppress their peers they could expand that into a kingdom or empire as well. Those who weren’t at that level would face interference from the older families of the plane, something those clans viewed as a responsibility more than anything else. This was why so many had tried to meddle in the Archeron bid for independence; Richard’s wealth was attractive, and they believed that they had the legal right to intervene.

However, Richard was now on the same footing as epic beings, destroying any excuses that those older nobles had. They would have to find new reasons to attack him if they wanted to. Not that they wanted to anymore. Bloodline often determined class on this plane, from the elven descent of the Millennial Empire to the celestial blood in the Sacred Tree and the titan blood of the Sacred Alliance. A strong bloodline was often important in determining the chance of a family producing a prodigy, so all older nobles were working tirelessly to either enhance or merge their bloodlines with others. Many strong voices now considered the Archerons to be equal to the other royal bloodlines of Norland, which would automatically garner respect from the older families.

Of course, that point needed to be proved. Personally being able to verify the child would be the best way; a newborn baby would exhibit their bloodline abilities quite well. Richard himself wasn’t against this notion, but what angered him was the time.

Most of the nobles sending letters to him would reach Blackrose in a day or two, and there were some who had arrived a couple days before himself. He had never revealed when Coco would deliver; the date was privy only to himself, Coco, and a few other people around them. Where did the news leak from? If the information hadn’t leaked from within, that was a scary thought. It meant that there were opposing mages who could enter and exit Blackrose at will, without him any the wiser.

“What is this about?” he asked the steward.

“I’ve conducted internal investigations on everyone in this castle. So far, it looks like it was leaked by some servants in the castle who overheard the date. I plan to observe the prime suspects for a little more time to narrow them down.”

“Narrow them down? How many are there?”

“A total of nine people.”

Richard grunted and waved, “Then I have no time to wait for your observations. Send all nine to the dungeons and investigate them thoroughly. Have Ginley help, she’ll pull it out of them in no time.”

“That… Alright, Master.” The old man seemed to hesitate, but he didn’t insist.

“They’re showing off, those bastards!” Richard noticed the steward’s disturbed face, slowly restraining his anger, “The Family has grown very large, and we have all sorts of people now. There will be more joining us after today, including those like Ginley. Get used to it, and make sure the rules are established. People should know what my bottom line is; I won’t stop personal endeavours, but betrayal shall not be tolerated!”

“Understood,” the steward nodded, but he had to keep himself from sighing. He knew just how much Richard valued the child and the family’s interests; the fact that the date of birth was leaked meant the entire plane knew there was a traitor amongst the Archerons. Most of those coming over were here to offer congratulations, but he had no dearth of enemies either. What if someone wanted to cut off his bloodline?

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA