Back in Faelor, the Genesis had its peace broken entirely. Formations of soldiers advanced deep into the barbarian plains, subduing or even exterminating any who dared oppose them. Richard hadn’t broken the magic array sapping the plane’s origin, so the barbarians were still held down by their fetters. They could easily grow to level 13 or 14 if they were freed, but the same race that had appreciated his kindness decades ago was now a staunch enemy that would only rebel. He had no plans to add to his troubles.
Several giant wasps were slowly moving goods through the sky, but the worker drones were still the main task force. Thousands of them supported a hundred-odd mages bustling around in the underground depths, supporting the attempts to unravel the giant array constructed by the abyssal lord. The river of origin energy had already been diverted to a nearby tank, the hill once blocking it now replaced by a huge castle that was under construction. Defensive structures were being built all around the ancient battlefield, preparing for the inevitable day when the demons would attack.
One day, the calm surface of the planar passage to the abyss suddenly rippled, flames shooting out from within as huge black hooves made their way out and landed on the floor. The hooves crushed a worker drone that was scurrying across the ground, but the four-metre-tall figure that was their owner barely noticed as it stepped through.
The newcomer looked around for a moment, taking in a deep breath before speaking in abyssal, “A little cold, but not bad. The Lord’s aura is gone, too.”
The demon was just about to explore the surroundings when he heard the sound of metal striking earth, turning around to find twenty humans charging towards him on horseback. He snorted in contempt, taking huge steps forward to charge them down, but as the two sides approached within a hundred metres of each other the knights suddenly started glowing with energy. Fortified javelins shot into the sky, barely giving the alerted demon enough time to block his head and chest before they struck.
*BOOM!* The fist javelin exploded into the arm, taking almost half of the limb off even as others pierced deep into the body. A sequence of explosions quickly rang out, scattering the body into pulp. The greater demon evidently had no idea what rune knights were, having tried to fend off the volley of two full squadrons. Even with power approaching that of a sky saint, this resulted in instant death.
What the demon didn’t know was that the workers scurried around the place as sentries. When he had crushed what he thought was a bee to death, he had alerted the cloned brain that immediately dispatched troops to the area.
Even with the demon down, the rune knights slowly circled around it. With their cunning and vitality, one could never take too many precautions. It was only after one of the knights jabbed the corpse half a dozen times with his spear that they calmed down, sending the safety signal. A few mages quickly rode over and started to examine the carcass.
“Fairly matured, but it’s used to fighting barehanded. Looks like this level of the abyss is rather poorly equipped,” one of them commented. These mages were all experienced in demonology.
Another diligently cut open the demon’s skull, fetching a blazing hot crystal from within and examining it for a moment. He eventually sighed, “Bad news. This one managed to send a message back to the abyss; it won’t be long before we’re facing a demon army.”
“No need to worry. We need to report this right away, but there are enough people who want to earn points. I believe their only worry will be that there will be too few.”
“Tch. It’s a pity we can’t get any points ourselves.”
“Actually, we just might. I’ve heard that His Grace is considering restructuring our pay. A part of our wages might be paid in points.”
“That would be great!”
The mages finished their examination of the corpse as they chatted, allowing the rune knights to carry it back to the castle. Just like dragons, demons were treasure troves of materials that made up many important parts of their bodies. Even broken and mangled, they were worth something.
Not long after, a few strong saints ran to the abyssal portal and passed through it. Shocked to see a number of demons gathered on the other side, with more arriving by the minute, they killed the closest ones before retreating.
Thankfully, Richard was already prepared. There were multiple fortresses in the ancient battlefield, with troops deployed to each. The main castle was even powered by the liquefied origin energy of Faelor, possessing boundless might. Even though it was still under construction— the defensive structures and spell formations were on the level of a mage tower— it could still provide protection.
Just as quickly as the demons started appearing in the Genesis, news of the demon army converging was placed on Richard’s desk. He knitted his brows when he got the report— it had come earlier than expected. Even worse was the scale of activity; it looked like some lesser lords would be involved.
He now had to prioritise strengthening the defences of the Genesis, for which the first act would be simple. The portal to the abyss would become the second battlefield where one could participate in the reward point system, and the target was obviously the demons.
This news stirred up many powerful figures, some of whom were particularly unsuited to fighting dragons or well-versed against demons. The happiest amongst them were ordinary saints, who were too weak individually to deal with a small number of powerful individuals. Only sky saints could even contend against adult dragons, but even normal saints could fight greater demons without much issue. The chance to accumulate points here was massive, leaving them extremely thrilled.
However, a new battlefield for points wasn’t as simple as it looked. Richard would now have to deal with a massive influx of participants, which meant he had to expand his production sites to handle the new load. Converting draconic and demonic materials into supplies, offerings, equipment, and runes was a complicated task, and even with the thousand mages currently serving him across the Deepblue and Faelor he was short on manpower for it. He had to increase the remuneration of all mages, smiths, and alchemists under him, sending the rewards up by 30% to bring Archeron mages to earning 1.5 times their peers in other powerful families.
More than fifty mages signed up the very day that this new reward scheme was announced, but even so this was a trickle compared to what he needed. It would take time to get everything up to speed, and he would have to personally fill the gaps until then. Thankfully, he wasn’t really worried about some of his weaker runes being mimicked any longer, which allowed him to recruit more apprentice runemasters to meet demand..
Once the expansion plans were taken care of, Richard took a few of his followers and teleported to the Millennial Empire to make some more offerings. With their own production capabilities unable to keep up, it would be best to get some equipment from offerings to tide things over. He also had a few other plans he wanted to execute.
Just like before, Prince Tumen sent Macy to receive him, with the woman accompanying him to the Church of the Eternal Dragon. A few priestesses welcomed him warmly this time, hovering around him like flies, but thinking back to what Nasia had told him he laughed and pointed to the most beautiful at them all, “You’ll be the hostess. Where’s the high priestess? Why isn’t she coming to meet me?”
Awkward expressions immediately appeared on the faces of the priestesses. The high priestess shared a complex relationship with the grand priestess that Richard had chased out, so she wasn’t exactly happy with his return. If not for the fact that she knew she couldn’t do much to him, she would have tried to use her timeforce to kill him directly.
Nobody expected Richard to call her out when she was avoiding him, and it wasn’t as simple as it seemed. He had already shown them last time that there was a limit to their status, and that his own was far beyond theirs. Even just giving up divine grace to the Eternal Dragon for free, he had more than enough to chase out one of their strongest members. Now, he was targeting the legendary high priestess instead.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA