Book 9, Chapter 56

Victory

Richard quickly estimated that he would need about three or four more core-melting explosions to tear open the reaper flagship from within, and he immediately got to work on them. Three more consecutive explosions rocked the ship repeatedly, the third finally stacking enough damage for the ship to be broken into two halves that started plummeting to the ground/

Sparse cheers rang out from the battlefield, but while Richard had been focused on the largest enemy ship his soldiers had suffered heavy casualties. Every Archeron had taken out multiple enemies, but there were simply too many of the reapers to kill them all entirely. He heaved a sigh of relief and moved to reinforce them, but just as he was about to blink a thick beam of light shot straight into his body!

Richard groaned with pain and blinked a hundred metres away, pulsing his mana to shake off the energy coursing through him. The single strike had consumed more than a tenth of his mana pool, and as he turned he found that it had come from the main cannon of the enemy flagship. The two halves had managed to stop their falls, stabilising and starting to attack. The warship’s primary cannon continuously fired at him, but the secondary ones started to sweep through his troops down below. Even the level 16 night elves were destroyed by only a few shots, and there were thousands of these cannons on the ship!

He roared and teleported back to the warship’s surface, cutting apart the main cannon before beginning to make quick work of the secondaries on the surface. He continued to throw a few core-melting explosions along the way, taking a few metres off the entire hull in only a matter of minutes. This was a rather dumb way of dealing with this enemy, depleting a large amount of his mana and energy, but if he left the ship to its own devices his army would be wiped out in less than half an hour. Outside of Nasia and himself, no one could withstand attacks from the primary cannon.

Ten minutes later, the reaper ship was only a number of metal pillars with holes dug all throughout it. However, even without any ability to attack it remained floating in the sky, while Richard blinked away and gasped with pain. It had managed to connect more than a hundred beam attacks while he concentrated on wiping out the cannons, leaving him seriously injured.

However, Richard didn’t even have the time to tend to his wounds before he blinked a few times, arriving in the middle of a group of large warships. Using Kingsteel to delay their movements, he waved the holy sword and destroyed the entire group in one sweeping blow. It took a lot of energy to do so, but if he had been any slower a cluster of elven druids down below would have been destroyed.

He then shot down ten more large warships that were surrounding his rune knights before focusing on one that was attacking a pair of saints. The battle seemed endless as he rescued soldier after soldier everywhere, his blessings starting to fail him as he relied on instinct to simply approach the closest powerful enemy. The wounds all over his body started to grow in number, a scorching sensation spreading throughout his body that left his mind starting to slow. He had resorted to taking on the attacks of the large warships multiple times, being afflicted with their poison that slowed even his recovery greatly.

Richard eventually devolved into a mass of instinct, dodging, blocking, and fighting the strongest enemies he could find. Countless warplanes and ground units met their end at his hands, but a significant number had also hurt him in the process. He eventually ran out of mana to power the holy sword with; while the blade was immeasurably powerful against the reaper warships, he needed to use Midren to power it. At some point he simply threw it away, pulling out Moonlight instead to battle. Unfortunately, the more powerful Judge simply wasn’t useful against these inorganic enemies.

At some point, he started to find it difficult to target the larger warships and had to fight the medium-sized ones until he found his next target. After a while, the number of those started to drop as well. When he eventually cut five of the tiny ones apart and realised there were no more enemies around him, he lost control of his flight in surprise.

Had they won? Richard struggled to stay in the sky, not daring to believe that the battle had truly come to an end. However, he couldn’t find a single moving warship within tens of thousands of metres, his vision completely occupied by burning corpses and wreckage. A dozen people were floating in the sky, but very few down below were still standing. Soldiers eventually started crawling out of the ruins, staggering to their feet as they breathed life into the desolate ground.

He found it hard to believe that nearly a hundred thousand soldiers had been reduced to what seemed like less than two. With a good number of those being drones and rune knights, few of his actual soldiers still survived. He tried to contact the secondary battlefield, but only a few people actually responded to his mental call. It had fallen long ago, with the reaper army there charging to his position right afterwards.

Unfortunately, Richard couldn’t bring himself to actually think critically about anything right now. The moment of relaxation had dropped his final defences against the poison now flooding his body, and his abyssal core was barely keeping him alive. In fact, his three original hearts were all on the verge of failure, with only the core from the lord still functioning. When a response came from both the Frozen Throne and Bluewater, he fainted in relief.

Just as his consciousness faded away, Richard felt someone catching him in the sky. Their presence felt strangely familiar, but it was too late for him to pinpoint the source of that familiarity as he entered a strange darkness where it felt like countless invisible people were talking into his head.

……

“The embers!” Richard suddenly shot up from his sleep, the exertion causing so much pain that he let out a groan. He found himself in a dim room with simple furnishing, his only companion being a young woman lying in another corner. Waterflower was bundled in a blanket as she slept with her sword, but she was evidently so tired that even the combination of his mental shock from awakening and his physical groan couldn’t wake her.

Cold sweat drenching his body, he struggled off his bed and dried himself with some magic. Stretching as he walked to the table, he checked the clock and found that he had only slept for a single day before waking up. His body ached and he felt strangely hollow, but he knew that this was just because the poison hadn’t been dealt with yet. Now that he was awake, he could focus on expelling it and return to normal in two more days.

But not everyone had his physique. Waterflower’s breathing was quite shallow, and although she didn’t look too bad on the surface a simple scan showed a dozen internal injuries of varying severity. Realising she had been stricken with the poison as well, he healed her with the power of the green moon before silently walking out of the room.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA