Book 2, Chapter 24

Preparation

The next three days, the base was bustling with activity. Olar, Gangdor, and Waterflower took turns to guard against surprise attacks by the baron’s troops, while Tiramisu spent day and night transcribing language proficiency scrolls, or just directly casting it on some. Ogres were an impatient race, and even his side job as a chef didn’t help increase the mage’s restraint.

In fact, the ogre felt like the dull work was torturing him to the verge of insanity. However, he was smart, and wouldn’t let his dislikes affect things of true import. With these scrolls, everyone would be able to learn basics of this plane’s common tongue, including the seven knights. Although it would take time to grow fluent in it, speaking it at all would be a significant first step in gaining a foothold in this plane. Their return route long broken off, their best case scenario upon failure was currently death.

Tiramisu wasn’t really fond of work. However, if the alternative was death then he considered being able to work a blessing. As for the tedium of it all, the clever ogre knew to compensate himself with delicacies. Every day, all he did was copy the scrolls, sleep and eat. The most unique gift of ogre mages and priests was that they did not need to meditate; sleep was the best way for them to recover mana. In fact, rest for them was even more efficient than meditation was for a human mage.

Medium Rare was preoccupied with an entirely different matter. He took on as much of the intense labour as he could, using his free time to repair the steel armours and weapons in the forge. The ogres left their human comrades in shock once more— Rare was as skilled at the craft as a dwarven smith.

Although his job was just as dull as his brother’s, Rare considered this to be a chance to hone his strength. That was the most important attribute of a ogre, the one thing they were most proud of. An increase in sheer strength translated into both offence and defence. Their striking power would grow, while they would be able to wear heavier, more powerful armour. Moreover, increasing their strength was a direct way to increase their level.

Ogres also had great energy reserves, although they didn’t rely on that as much as human knights did. Their strength always made battles easier anyway. Medium Rare felt like he wasn’t far from getting to level 11, something that would allow him to add twenty kilograms to the 100-kilo hammers of his. If he accomplished that, he could send even the strongest of knights flying with a single swing, with even titled knights having trouble. Someone like Sir Menta may be able to block a few blows at that point, but even so he wouldn’t be willing to fight Rare head on— that would be like digging his own grave.

Everyone was busy in their own ways. Waterflower was working on new clothes— she’d been stubbornly attached to her white trousers, but she didn’t like how restricted she felt in them. She thus tore the corners apart, making them more like a skirt. She still remained barefoot all the time, but that hardly stained her snow white soles. Another thing she was working on was the Shepherd of Eternal Rest. Whenever Waterflower held the dull longsword in her hands, one was left feeling nervous and uneasy.

Olar, on the other hand, continued trying to get close to Waterflower and win her heart. The bard came up with a new poem everyday, presenting it to the girl who never smiled. It was rare to see him practising anything at all— it was like chattering non-stop was the route to him levelling up. Otherwise, it would be really hard to explain how he was level 9 at this point.

Having been caught between the two beauties of Flowsand and Waterflower for a brief period of time, he’d instinctively ended up distancing himself from Flowsand and choosing Waterflower instead. He was captivated by her wild personality, and the way she never directly rejected his flattery, tests, and even subtle pursuit egged him on both directly and indirectly.

As for her new fashion, he never held his praises back, always gasping in admiration. As long as her clothes were light, thin, small, and revealing, nothing could go wrong. The same couldn’t be said for her sword, however, which was always met with astonished sighs.

Anyone who wasn’t blind would be able to see that the power of the Shepherd of Eternal Rest was beyond comparison. Even Gangdor, who was far more powerful than Waterflower, wouldn’t want to provoke the girl when she had the sword in hand.

However, the bard didn’t approve all of her actions with it. Perhaps it would be better to say that some things he just couldn’t comprehend. For example, nothing was more important in his opinion than using such a rare enchanted weapon as the Shepherd of Eternal Rest, but Waterflower spent a lot of time fiddling with a crude chisel and grinding the sword down.

However, she wasn’t sharpening the Shepherd. No, she was working to make it even rougher. She said this would increase its power, but no matter how hard Olar tried he still couldn’t see how that would increase its power. When he saw a look of understanding on Gangdor’s face, however, he grew angry without reason.

What a barbarian,’ the graceful and knowledgeable bard thought to himself, ‘He’s pretending to understand something he doesn’t!’

If Olar were asked to talk about the eyesores in the base, Gangdor would absolutely be on that list. This brute spent a great deal of time around Waterflower, and she didn’t seem to mind him by her side as well. Another thing that dissatisfied him was the way Gangdor looked at him, which always seemed exceptionally strange. In fact, his gaze constantly centred on his rear!

That type of gaze made the elven bard especially alert against the barbarian’s likes, and it also reminded him of some unpleasant memories.

As for Gangdor, every time he saw Waterflower fiddle with that chisel he always felt chills going down his spine. He felt like taking the time to polish his own axe, sharpening it. The battleaxe had grown almost as rough as a chisel by this point. He was also anticipating the time when the bard couldn’t help himself from grabbing Waterflower’s butt: that would definitely end wonderfully.

Such things had happened more than once in the Archeron death camp, and every time it was a topic of idle conversation for quite a stretch of time.

Life in the death training camp was actually very dull and tedious, so everyone would always hope to leave that ghost-like place as soon as possible. To be able to see an ignorant fellow suffer heavily, both physically and mentally, was most definitely a delightful pleasure. Since such incidents were not uncommon, and there were different categories. Those who didn’t touch would be left able to walk, albeit barely, but they were afraid to sit and could only lay on their stomachs. Those who’d actually made contact? They were all dead.

……

Richard was spending large amounts of time perfecting Flowsand’s rune. He didn’t make a single mistake over the three days, finally completing the mana amplification rune successfully. As Flowsand had said, once he saw more he got used to it.

The amplification rate was 21%, about as much as Richard had expected. With their current materials, it would be too much to ask for anything more. Flowsand estimated that this rune could grant her an extra greater heal, three more normal heals, and seven lesser heals. That was equivalent to the life of one of the infantry knights.

This increase in Flowsand’s ability directly translated to an increase in the power of their party. Richard was now quite confident in dealing with Forza. Ultimately, however, Forza was only a small lord in the borders of the duchy.

Over these three days, plenty of food, rest, and healing magic had left everyone cured of their injuries, returned to optimal fighting strength. In addition, with Medium Rare’s unexpected craftsmanship, the warriors were all dressed in new shiny armor.

It was time to take action.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: SY

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA