Book 2, Chapter 46

History

The diary pages after the incident recorded Essien’s interest in the planes. He’d pored through many tomes and books, even abusing his position to study taboo scriptures. He pinned down his inspirations in the diary, and his research indicated there was more than just one planar invasion. The effects of these invaders varied, as did their forms. Not many were human, but human invaders weren’t particularly rare, either.

The oracles from the God of Valour and other gods did not have much information about planar invasions, but there were still some traces. Two important factors were sent down with these oracles— their strength, and their numbers.

Insignificant invasions like Richard’s, where the aggressors were level 10 or below, were extremely rare. Only one such incident had occurred before. Those under level 13 were classified as a mild threat, while those who reached level 15 were considerably dangerous. As for those past that point, they were considered extremely dangerous.

The numbers didn’t matter as much, as their levels often defined their power. Even the largest group of invaders had only numbered close to a hundred, so the numbers of the invaders were rarely mentioned.

Throughout history, none of these invaders could compare to the gods of the plane. Any of the experts within the plane could exterminate all of them single-handedly, but they often left it for the lower strata to deal with.

However, there was one exception. Three astral beasts had invaded from a foreign plane, and after a devastating battle almost all the experts of the plane had perished. Even one of the deities themselves had fallen, and the northwest of the continent had been separated from the rest, drifting towards the seas and turning into a lone island. It took great sacrifice to slay the three beasts and destroy the portal connecting to the other plane.

The gods had kept mum about the truth of the matter, and no further probes could be made. Even the most secret of holy tomes only mentioned it in passing. At the end of it all, Essien had written down a simple line— Are planar wars inescapable?

That doubt had come twelve years after he’d begun his research into other planes.

Level 16 offered an intrinsic change in this plane, regardless of class— mages turned into grand mages, warriors became saint warriors, and priests became high priests. Essien was only above-average as a priest, and it was unknown whether he could cross level 16 in his lifetime. But this short, succinct diary proved to Richard that he was no ordinary person. He was a genius, his intelligence far surpassing his faith.

The diary entries from the past year noted that the priest had begun a search for relics of ancient times. That was why he’d come to manage a church at the edges of the Whiterock Duchy— the Land of Turmoil was nearby, in the mountains that Richard’s base had wound up in.

The Land of Turmoil spanned great swathes of land, more than 10,000 square kilometres in area with only the edges settled. The place was extremely dangerous, with tall mountains, steep cliffs, deep ravines and ridges being common sights. There were few humans nearby, with mostly powerful beasts roaming the lands.

The Land of Turmoil was wedged between the fertile plains and the Redrock Highlands, capped off by the Bloodstained Lands to the north. Spacetime ripples weren’t uncommon here, and foreign creatures regularly drifted in from the rifts. It was unknown how many foreign species had made this place their home, and Essien wanted to find vestiges of the tear in the void caused by the rifts they’d come here through. He wanted to use those traces to unravel the mystery of the planes.

The priest had vast ambitions— he wanted to discover the essence of planes and time, finding a method to link to other planes. He’d realised that the plane’s overall might had dwindled from invasion to invasion, and also guessed that this signified that the gods were growing weaker as well.

The deities would send out oracles for every batch of invaders, and the stronger the enemies the more information was provided. They had to consume a great amount of energy to even make these prophecies, and for them to be clear required inordinate amounts.

The withering powers in this plane was proof of his assumptions. The plane had yet to recover to its peak from before the battle with those astral beasts, and even to this day was a third away from its former heights. What’s worse, no new god had replaced the one that had fallen. No churches had been formed in recent years, and even the Chosen, saints, and petitioners of the old ones had not recuperated.

In the thirteenth year of his search, Essien had finally come up with a new conjecture: this was not the only plane with gods in it. Such thinking was extremely taboo under the teachings of the gods— if his diary was leaked, he would definitely be burnt at the stake.

He believed that since war was inevitable between the myriad planes, then resources and power were paramount. One had to think of a way to open portals to another plane if they wished to break this deadlock, invading them successfully. Stealing the wealth, resources, and talents of those planes would be the only way to strengthen their own. It was also the only way to ensure that their power would not regress further.

All this information left Richard speechless. According to the gods, this plane was known as Faelor. Richard gathered from the diary’s information that, more often than not, these ‘invaders’ were people who’d accidentally wound up here through the rifts in spacetime; they didn’t originally intend to conquer it. As for the astral beasts, they were likely powerful beings that could open portals in spacetime and travel the myriad planes themselves, like his own master, Sharon.

Interplanar wars were already deep-rooted within the psyche of Norland’s inhabitant. Any family that had stood the tests of time had at least one plane’s resources backing them. Because of this, wars in Norland far exceeded those in these secondary planes in scale.

The first time Richard met Gaton, this marquess had been allocating tasks to nibble away at a certain plane. Due to the importance of interplanar war, those matters were extremely complicated. They needed a standard battle plan from the moment of infiltration, inclusive of their setup and expansion all the way to total conquest.

Thus, even in Norland only the upper echelons of society were involved with interplanar wars. Theory and tactics on such conquest only spread through the inner circles of nobility, and commoners would never be privy to such information. Richard’s own knowledge came from Gaton’s study, and all his actions had been an attempt to adapt the theory he’d learnt to practice. Put bluntly, he was far from devising his own unique methodology to conquer planes.

Essien had discovered the pressing importance of interplanar war without even experiencing a proper war in Faelor himself; to call him a genius would be a shame. His foresight was acute, and he managed to derive great visions of the future from small details. If time permitted, he could very well have become an influential figure that brought forth a revolution.

However, he was just a priest. Every time Richard thought of this point, he could only lament in pity.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translation/TLC By: OMA

Edited By: Theo