Book 2, Chapter 64

Gamble(3)

Richard immediately stood up, his face darkening. A warrior in leather armour was taking out a second spear in preparation to attack once more, but two rays of holy light flashed past the arena to fall on the soldier. One was a greater heal, while the other was a protective spell similar to a magical shield. Another ray of light shone on the man after the first two had passed, augmenting his long range defences, a spell cast by Tiramisu.

The entire arena was shocked by the three consecutive rays of light. All the high-ranked warriors knew exactly what that meant— Richard had a mage and someone of faith under him! And looking at the negligible timespan between the two holy spells, it had to be a priest at minimum!

Even at level 12, priests in Faelor had great position in society, and in battle they were even more useful than the level 14 Stormhammer. As for a mage of the same level? Their status would surpass even the priest’s!

The assailant was intimidated, blanking out for a moment. It was only then that he remembered that his previous blow had not been fatal, and with the greater heal that had just come in the enemy’s combat abilities would not be affected if they recuperated well. He raised his arm in preparation once more, but the slight hesitation had forever lost him the chance. A sharp whistle rang through the arena as Gangdor’s axe whistled through the air. A numbing rip sounded as it crashed into the man, instantly cutting him diagonally in two. Three spectators within range of the axe were killed as well, before it finally dug deep into one of the rock platforms. Even after the axe stopped, the handle was still buzzing.

Richard suddenly turned his head to look at Bowen, asking, “Whose?”

Bowen had wanted to delay as per usual practice, but seeing Richard’s charming smile he nearly jumped out of his chair, as if he’d been drenched by cold water.

“Mark’s!” he answered as fast as he could.

Richard nodded, and a fireball instantly shot towards Mark’s compartment. All of a sudden, the entire arena fell into chaos!

“It’s another mage!”

“Oh no, run! It’s a fireball!”

Fireballs were much more effective in enclosed spaces, and although they weren’t much of a threat to high-ranking warriors they were fatal to commoners. Mark’s face distorted under the onslaught of flames, and surging fire soon engulfed the Blood Scythe and filled every bit of space in the room, even overflowing back outside. A painful groan sounded from within, and the wall at the back exploded to reveal a path outside. Half of the platform crumbled from the wall, crashing into the chaotic crowd below.

Richard snorted, sitting down slowly, “That escape was quick.”

Gangdor had already brought two knights to charge into the arena, carrying their wounded comrade back to Richard’s room where treatment immediately began. None of the guards dared interfere with his actions— the two mages and priest were more than sufficient intimidation.

The ground level had become a mess, with people pushing one another in a fight to rush to the exit. On the other hand, the second level was very quiet. Outside of Mark’s men who had all fled, Howie, Chiron, and Bowen remained calmly in their seats with their gazes fixed on Richard. However, even they had some uneasiness and fear on their faces. Richard hadn’t even displayed his full power, but it already put heavy pressure on them.

Richard took out a white handkerchief and began wiping his hands, seemingly to wipe away the ashes from the fireball. However, the magical flames of the spell left no ash behind at all. The expressions of the three leaders changed slightly after seeing Richard’s actions.

This was in fact a strategy Flowsand had taught Richard, using iconic actions to greatly intensify the other party’s impressions of him and conveying his emotions through physical cues.

Richard spoke indifferently as he was cleaning his hands, "You’re smart, Mr. Bowen, and I like smart people. Maybe we can work together on some matters in the future."

“I look forward to it!” Bowen replied.

By this time, the dwarf managing the arena had rushed into Richard's room, raising his voice as he exclaimed, “You’ve blown up the are—”

However, his words remained unfinished as he was cut off by the ten coins Richard threw over. He frantically picked up all the coins, rubbing his eyes hard and counting them repeatedly. He then spoke cautiously, “Two of my guards died as well, Sir. They were elites, amongst the bravest, most loyal, and most handsome warriors of the bloodstone tribe…”

Richard threw over another twenty gold coins and asked nonchalantly, ”Is this enough?”

“Enough, it’s enough! That’s too much!” the dwarf said, picking it all up frantically.

Richard’s chair turned around and he faced the dwarf, “Really? That’s good. Alright now, my warriors faced a sneak attack by Mark’s man in your arena. How are you going to account for this?”

The dwarf was startled, and his eyes quickly turned a few times. He finally smiled in response, “You see, many people died in this arena because of you. I suggest you just let it go.”

Richard’s gaze remained level as he said indifferently, “Let it go? Are you saying that my elite warriors are the same as these useless guards with no power? I don’t think that’s how the bloodstone tribe sees it. Is it a rule of your arena to allow the defeated to ambush the victors as they wish? Is that the reputation of the half-orcs?”

The dwarf was surprised, not expecting Richard to be so well-versed in the laws of the camp. The last sentence had been quite profound, and his smile grew even more flattering, “You are wise, my Lord. Of course those ordinary people cannot compensate for your loss, but you will obtain the goodwill of the bloodstone tribe. I believe that is far more important than a few gold coins. As for those despicable scum, they should be condemned and punished!”

Seeing the knight’s wound taken care of, Richard stood up, “Punishment… Very well, I believe in the goodwill of the bloodstone tribe. Let’s go!”

After waiting for Richard to make it far away, Bowen, Chiron, and Howie all left after exchanging glances that seemed to speak volumes.

Once he was back at the inn where he lived, Richard immediately changed into clothes that would allow for swift movement. He then issued a quick series of orders, and moments later dozens of warhorses galloped out of the inn and into the darkness. On both sides were wind wolves running at a similar speed as well. Although they’d exhausted their wind blades at the battle at the blockade, Flowsand’s Vigour spell combined with half a day of rest had given them the energy to use the ability once more.

The person at the front of the cavalry, right beside Richard himself, was actually Sam. His hand was pointed ahead, towards the location of Mark’s lair.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Mel

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA