Book 2, Chapter 67

The Path Of A Mage

“You want me to capitulate?” Zendrall asked seriously.

Richard shook his head in answer, “Mage tradition ensures that your life has belonged to me ever since you lost the duel of life and death.”

Seeing Zendrall look like he had something to say, Richard preempted him with a wave of his arm, “I know, you can give up on your life whenever. But before that, I want you to think this through seriously. Is there any meaning in that? Are you willing to give up on the most mighty dream of mages, give up on exploring the boundless mysteries of magic, give up on possibly making contact with the gods themselves? What about leaving Faelor and exploring the boundless planes? Those are things mages take pride in, goals they persevere towards!”

The necromancer was completely taken by Richard’s words. He hadn’t ever heard or considered what the young noble in front of him had just mentioned, but once he thought it through he realised that this was the attitude all mages had to have. Touching upon the mysteries of the gods themselves? Even as a necromancer, he didn’t have the guts to dare attempt it. And then, Richard had given him another prospect to think about, exploring the myriad planes. He’d never thought such a thing would be possible, but coming from Richard’s mouth all this seemed like a given. It definitely wasn’t something the youth made up!

At that moment, Richard was an imposing mountain in Zendrall’s mind, one which he could gaze upon but whose peak he would never find.

Richard’s words had been simple, but the things he had spoken of were quite significant for the future of a mage. These were paths that could be walked very far in the future. Indeed, it was so far off that this mere level 9 could not have found out on his own. It showed that his inheritance and knowledge with respect to magic far surpassed the peak of what he himself had learnt from Faelor.

Of course, that was a given. Even in Norland the magic inheritance of the Deepblue was of the highest calibre. The knowledge of anyone from the Deepblue’s streets would likely surpass that of Faelor greatly.

“You… Do you speak the truth?” Zendrall’s voice trembled as he asked a question he himself knew to be foolish.

“What do you think?” Richard asked back with a smile.

Zendrall had grown so emotional his face was completely red, but a moment later he sat down with disappointment, hugging his head, “But… I am a necromancer.”

Richard understood where that dejection came from, “If I did not consider you a true mage, I wouldn’t have agreed to the duel. Nor would I have used a divine tool like the page from the Book of Holding from the beginning.”

Zendrall was stunned by these words. He looked up at Richard before slowly standing up as he finally made up his mind. “What do you need me to do?”

Richard muttered to himself for a while before speaking up, “I search for supreme strength, the sort of power that surpasses the limits of this world. I need you to give your all for its sake, carrying out my every order as I make it without question. I believe all your doubts and questions will be answered, but you will perhaps continue to discover more unknowns. I can release you from the confinements of this plane, I can allow you to explore what is beyond! There is still a long path ahead that even I know nothing of, and the search will be very long. However, is it not this very charm that is worthy of our very lives in an effort to investigate the mysteries of magic?”

The necromancer’s eyes continued to brighten with Richard’s every word, as if a blueprint of the massive and magnificent world of magic had been laid before him. He looked at Richard, done speaking and merely watching him with a smile, and composed himself, “There is one more thing I need to remind you of, my Lord. I am a necromancer, and in the eyes of the gods we are heretics that must be burnt at the stake. We work with the souls of the dead, and that is a domain no god will allow to be violated. If I join your party, you might end up wanted by many of the large churches.”

Richard burst into laughter, “Don’t worry! I have the guts to cooperate with demons, so what do necromancers matter? I’ve never planned to cooperate with the gods of this plane, and I’m not afraid of their pursuit.”

Zendrall nodded sternly, kneeling halfway. “In that case, I am willing to follow by your side as you seek supreme strength. You have my loyalty, my magic, and an army of undead.”

He then followed up with a magic oath, one of the most restrictive at his level. While these weren’t nearly as powerful as slave contracts, going against that oath would lead to a permanent drop of a level. Thus, the higher level the mage was, the more restrictive this oath would be.

Richard smiled slightly, “Then this corpse is yours. I hope a powerful warrior of darkness will join your army in the future.”

“You shall not be disappointed,” Zendrall answered.

“Good. Do give me a list of any magic materials you need for your research. My subordinates still have a batch of many materials.” Having said this, Richard left Zendrall’s room and let the anxious necromancer begin working on resurrecting a warrior of darkness.

Once he was out of the room, Richard saw Flowsand waiting with half a smile on her face. He beckoned to her, and she followed him up to the second floor and entered his room.

She only spoke after closing the door, “It’s such a pity that you aren’t a priest. Whether or not you really have faith, your ability to muster up followers is enough to make you great at the job.”

Richard pulled her into his embrace and gritted out, “If you dare tease me further, I’ll rape you!”

“That’s impossible.” Her slightly hoarse voice was enticing as always.

Richard’s eyebrows shot up, “You think I don’t have the guts to do that?”

Her upper body leant backwards slightly in response, showing off her perfect breasts, “It’s obviously not that. I’ll be doing my best to cooperate with you, so how would you call that rape?”

“You…“ Richard was so frustrated in that moment that he was left tongue-tied.

Flowsand grinned, looking up to plant a light kiss on his lips, “There’s actually no need to wait for the day before we return. If one day you’re truly certain you can bring us back, that’s fine as well. At that point… I’ll do my best to resist!”

The raging inferno within Richard’s body was ignited again with her words. The arm fastened around her grew more tight as he asked, “So what about before I have this absolute confidence then?”

“I just told you,” came the reply, “I’ll do my best to cooperate.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA