Essien’s main weakness was his lack of power. He needed to be the pope of the Church of Valour at minimum to influence history, and even then realising his wishes would only be a mild possibility. Popes were normally level 18, in order to suppress the cardinals who ranged from level 16 to 17. Level 17 high priests could possible become popes, barely containing their cardinals, but that was the limit. Even level 16 would be too far-fetched, and after their fight Richard knew the priest would be lucky to get to even 15.
Even more important was that Essien had secretly conducted research into the taboo of planes and spacetime, so Neian didn’t favour him as much as he would otherwise, stumping his growth. Thus, this priest who had pried open the door to the mysteries of the endless planes would forever disappear into the sands of time as someone insignificant. The real reason for the seal on the diary was that he had foreseen his death, and one day before it he planned to activate the destruction magic so this book that he’d poured blood and sweat into would disappear from the plane alongside him.
However, things didn’t always go according to plan. Essien could never have guessed that Richard would boldly barge into Forza’s lands and attack the Church of Valour. His diary had thus fallen into the invader’s hands, and what’s more this was a runemaster with an extremely strong foundation. Richard easily dismantled the seal which otherwise couldn’t have been broken in Faelor.
Rather surprisingly, Richard discovered the heritage of the indestructible page at the end of the diary. It was something that belonged to a divine being from another plane, found by an adventurer in some ruins. It was from the Book of Holding, of which Essien had recorded there were a total of nine pages. Once all nine pages were found, the book could be reformed and completed, and it was rumoured that a part of the book’s powers could be realised for every two pages assembled. Even Essien did not know what the completed book would grant its wielder— even including the one Richard had found, the Church of Valour only had two pages.
These pages only appeared randomly during rifts in spacetime. Nobody knew who they belonged to or where they came from, nor why the book was damaged or what sort of existence created it.
This single page could store a single spell of grade 6 or below, and only for a month. However, it could be used repeatedly. A single page wasn’t useful for much else, needing two to activate at least part of the book’s powers, but for Richard who was about to advance to level 9 it was an extremely powerful magic tool. It was akin to having an extra instance of his strongest spell, increasing his combat power by a third.
Richard officially broke through to level 9 the day after breaking the seal on Essien’s diary. After some thought, he decided to upgrade Nature’s Beckon to grade 5. The spell could be upgraded all the way to grade 9, summoning a different creature every time.
Richard took less than half a day to master the upgraded spell, after which he took out the page and studied it. This page seemed different from regular magic scrolls— the spell wasn’t written onto it, and the page instead served as a container. Richard’s heart skipped a beat as he thought of the books he had browsed through in the Deepblue. Some intelligent species did not use words to communicate, instead talking through runes or even spiritual force. Perhaps this page he’d found from Essien had been made by one such species.
Having studied it for some time, Richard decided to experiment. He held the page in his hand as he cast Nature’s Beckon once. After a perfect incantation with no mistakes, he felt the elven blood in him come alive and the ivory bracelet radiate a current of warmth. The two powers fused into his body, assisting the formation of the grade 5 spell. It flashed in Richard’s palms, but instead of being cast it entered the page of holding.
An image of several lifelike direwolves appeared on the originally blank page. These creatures were the same as the boars, scale-like armour padding their backs and shoulders. However, their offensive power was greater, leading to a significant increase in battle prowess. Even drawn on the page they seemed awe-inspiring.
However, Richard felt that something was amiss. He picked up the page and observed closer, counting a total of five wolves. Indeed, five!
Nature’s Beckon always summoned anywhere between one and three familiars. With Richard’s gifts, his incantations, hand movements, and mana transfer were perfect to the textbooks. His summons thus normally reached the upper limit of three, and the buffs from his elven bloodline and the ivory bracelet pushed that to four. However, now that he’d grown in level there was one more creature in the summon.
Richard replayed the spellcasting process in his mind once more, and determined that his elven bloodline had strengthened once more. The direwolves were equivalent to enhanced raptors, making Nature’s Beckon the strongest spell for him at grade 5.
However, he did not know if this buff would apply to other types of summons as well. If such a thing was possible, then the higher grades of summoning spells would be overpowered. The summoning of demons, wyverns, and golems were all powerful spells. However, as powerful as those summons were the success rate of those spells were low. Even when cast only one familiar would be summoned at most. If the buff worked on these spells, it would make for an absolute increase in strength. However, he would only know that after he advanced to level 13 or 14.
However, he could attempt Summon Undead at his current level. Richard suppressed his excitement, immediately casting the spell. Sadly, only three skeletons were left dancing around the room after the flash of light, indicating that the buffs did not apply to undead.
He calmed down and eventually snapped his fingers, dispelling the spell. Even just a buff for Nature’s Beckon was more than enough. He sat down again, looking at the five wolves on the torn page as he finally allowed himself to feel a little proud. Ever since Gaton had mentioned that Sharon had a summoner’s bloodline, he was eager to show her these spells.
Even the legendary mage wouldn’t be able to do better than five wolves at the same level, could she? Even with the addition of her bloodline, she would be able to summon six at most. Richard wondered: if his master saw his achievements today, would he earn a lot of Sharon’s Delight? For some reason or the other, the Night of Destiny surfaced in his mind once more. That beautiful yet realistic dreamscape of the Deepblue Aria once again waltzed in the void, carrying his master’s expectations.
There were still many things he had to do. The promises he made to the two most important women in his life still required a great deal of work.
Once he regained his calm, Richard stowed the page away and opened up his map, pondering about his next step. In fact, most of his theories about the buffs to his summoning were right, except that he got one thing wrong. In the scenario he’d imagined, Sharon’s spell would be much more powerful than he thought.
It would only be in the distant future, when he would see his teacher cast a legendary Red Dragon Summon, that he would realise Sharon’s gift had three unique properties. The first was an increase in familiars, the second was an increase of one to three grades of the creatures she summoned, and a mana reduction when casting summoning spells. Hence, if a level 9 Sharon were to face off against Richard and both of them were limited to Nature’s Beckon, Richard’s five wolves would be facing over a dozen direbears.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translation/TLC By: OMA
Edited By: Theo