Book 2, Chapter 22

The Fall

Night fell, and Flowsand returned to the base. She checked on the physical condition of the prisoners, and met up with Richard at an arranged time.

Richard’s room was in a small courtyard at the north side of the base. It was the residence of the leader of the reconnaissance troops, so it was quiet, spacious, and comfortable.

When Flowsand entered Richard’s bedroom, she saw tens of ingredients on a table, divided neatly with the precision and discipline of a true runemaster. He had her sit on the bed, saying, “I’ve made some small alterations to the mana amplification rune. Based on the materials I have on hand, it should be around 20%. We don’t have three important materials, so I can’t reach the theoretical maximum of 30, even 25% will be difficult.”

“That’s already quite good, I’ll be able to use another greater heal.” Flowsand smiled as she asked, “Where will it be drawn?”

“On your right arm. It might hurt a little, take your clothes off first.” Richard lowered his head as he focused on preparing the materials, not watching Flowsand remove her clothes. By the time he looked up again, he couldn’t help but stare blankly, bewildered.

Flowsand had actually taken everything off save her underwear, leaving her beautiful upper body completely bare before Richard. She was slightly thin, but even if her full breasts weren’t as large as Venica’s, their arc was perfect. Her nipples were amazingly not pink, instead the same light amber of her eyebrows and pupils. They were slightly translucent, making them look like the most refined of carvings.

“You don’t have to take so much off.” Richard’s voice was so small at that point that even he couldn’t hear himself properly.

“It’s not all that much. Anyway, you’ll be able to see clearly like this,” Flowsand stated indifferently. What she’d said was the truth; although the rune was to be tattooed on her upper right arm, Richard would need to strip her entire right side to ascertain the directions of mana flow. There wasn’t much difference between revealing one breast and and both, but to Richard’s ears it sounded very strange.

Seeing Richard slightly distressed, Flowsand added, “This is all for the sake of survival.”

Richard picked up his magic pen and steeled himself, “Fine then, I shall begin.”

The tip of the pen used to tattoo the rune was actually an extremely fine, hollow needle. All the materials flowed down through the pinhole, allowing him to draw the lines on the subject with designated magical properties. This was why any pen used to create runes was a top-grade alchemic item.

Richard grabbed Flowsand’s arm with his left hand, while his right held the pen. Calm as ever, he drew a light stroke on the arm. His breathing grew more level, the pen so stable it was unnatural. The tip touched her skin gently, leaving a fine, shallow trace. The magic ink dripped from the tip, leaving an exceedingly meticulous line on her arm. Despite the natural curve of the human arm, this line’s arc was so precise it was unimaginable.

As the pen touched her skin again and again, a beautiful and complicated magic formation began to emerge on Flowsand’s arm. Tiny beads of sweat had already begun to show on Richard’s forehead, but his gaze was still focused, his breathing calm and drawn out. Those who heard him would feel a sense of peace and quiet.

The priestess’ free left hand held the interrogation notes Richard had prepared, and she was currently looking through them intently. There were two main parts to the material: one was about the political structure, social customs, and the power hierarchy of the Whiterock Duchy, while the other was a topological map of Baron Forza’s land and its surroundings. This map was much more detailed than the one they’d drawn up earlier, with signs indicating all the larger towns, Osfa included.

Flowsand finished going through all the material quite quickly, later turning to look at Richard silently. The youth in question himself didn’t notice her gaze.

Another complicated line was on the verge of reaching its end, one of the most crucial and longest lines in the formation that extended to the interior of her arm. At the last moment, when he was just about to draw his pen back, a sparkling amber nipple entered his line of sight.

His breathing instantly grew rough, the power he’d controlled meticulously in his hand fluctuating. The tip of the pen lowered, stinging Flowsand’s skin and creating a drop of blood.

“Crap!” Richard was vexed. Even a small mistake like this would lower the final amplification by half a percent. He rarely made such errors, so how could he explain this? Could he say that Flowsand’s breast was so beautiful he’d been moved by the sight? That he lost control because of that?

Richard looked up to see Flowsand looking at him. Her eyes were sparkling like gems, while she had a slight smile that made it seem like she was well aware of anything.

Before Richard could say anything, her uniquely hoarse and slightly rough voice that was like a grain of time sounded indifferently, “I believe even a grand runemaster would definitely have made three to five mistakes by now.”

Richard immediately felt relaxed, heaving a long sigh. He was about to explain that this was the first time he was drawing a rune on someone else’s body, but to his surprise Flowsand continued, “But you really shouldn’t have made a mistake like this.”

All explanations were forced back in his throat.

Flowsand then continued, “Actually, you can look as you wish. You can touch if you want to as well.”

If these words could be considered powerful blows, her last ones were the ultimate, “Any time you want.”

“I… um, that’s not what I meant…” Richard suddenly felt his gift of wisdom leaving him.

She smiled, “It’s fine even if you did mean it. You’ll look and touch in the future anyway. Once you’re more used to it, you won’t mind much.”

Richard found himself speechless once more, and decided to just not explain as he continued his work. However, since he could he stole a few more glances at Flowsand’s breasts before he continued.

As expected, that was effective. He reached a third of the way through the rune as planned, making no more mistakes. Richard looked up after finishing the last line, his gaze naturally landing on Flowsand’s chest as he praised, “Very beautiful.”

Flowsand straightened her back as she answered, “They’re also springy. Want to give it a try?”

And thus, Richard suffered a complete defeat.

By the time he was done stowing away his materials and tools, Flowsand had put on her clothes. He immediately sighed in relief, feeling that the priestess exerted much less pressure when she was dressed.

Flowsand waved the notes in her hand, “All these notes, are you planning on taking on some of the people of this plane?”

Richard nodded, “That’s essential. It’s impossible for us to take over an entire plane with such small numbers.”

Flowsand looked at one of the pages, “Three knights and nine warriors… Why isn’t that priest in here?”

Richard froze, “He’s a priest of Neian. There’s faith in the equation now, how could we bring him over?”

Flowsand smiled, “Already 25 or 26, but still only level 3. His devotion is obvious, and it makes him the best person to take in. Someone of faith cannot go back once they give up on their god. Once the time comes, his head will be a bigger priority than ours to Neian’s worshippers.”

“But what’s the point? Without any favour from his god, won’t it be impossible for him to rise in rank?” Richard frowned.

“That’s the second step, one you don’t need to worry about. Leave it to me, the faith of the Eternal Dragon is far greater than of the gods of a secondary plane.”

Richard nodded and questioned, “What next, then?”

“Use the methods you used on those two warriors on him.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA