Book 2, Chapter 68

Inspiration

Richard’s smile faded as he shook his head, letting go of the priestess. He moved over to his table, attentively examining a piece of hide placed upon it. This hide had a complete magic formation etched into it.

“Oh? Getting ready for work?” Flowsand did not seem to let Richard go.

Richard brushed the hide lightly with his left hand. The sensitive touch of his fingers could reveal even the smallest flaws on this rune. This would be its final inspection.

“Mm. This is the rune I prepared for Gangdor, an elementary strength rune. Even if it’s only grade 1, it’s quite suited to him. It’ll complement his gaia bloodline quite well, giving his enemies a big surprise in battle.”

“This doesn’t seem to be a normal elementary strength,” Flowsand said suddenly.

Richard was slightly surprised, but at this point he was already used to her vast knowledge. He explained, “There’s some variation to the structure of this rune. It only activates when needed, and the amplification goes up to 50% instead of the standard 30. The disadvantage is that stimulating this requires strong intent, and it consumes energy at twice the normal rate. Even with Gangdor’s stamina, he can only sustain five minutes in this berserk state. However, when fused with Gaia’s Force the instantaneous boost in battle will be heavy. Even enemies who were originally equal to him will fall at his hands in that period.”

“That sounds similar to your bloodline ability.”

Richard nodded, “Yes, it was inspired by Eruption. However, my bloodline shouldn’t be limited to that, and even Eruption itself continued to grow stronger as I grow.”

“This rune…” Flowsand touched this hide like it was a work of art. She seemed to think of something, looking more and more surprised, “I’ve never heard of a rune like this that can boost one’s natural abilities. Richard… You’ve created something amazing!”

"Isn’t that a little bit of an exaggeration?” Richard asked with a smile, “This isn’t all that much better than an elementary strength rune, but the energy consumption is substantially higher. The passive boost to strength has become active and triggered, but there isn’t too much significance to that."

“No, it’s not that simple,” Flowsand shook her head, “What if you consider this rune an ability? There’s almost no difference from Eruption, outside of the degree of amplification. How many people in the myriad planes have bloodline abilities? It pales in comparison to the number of people who can bear runes. Runes that can simulate bloodline abilities are considered to be grade 3 at minimum, but you’ve used a grade 1 rune to accomplish the same! Have you thought of using a similar method to simulate other grade 3 runes? If you can achieve that…”

Richard was shaken by those words. Flowsand had opened an unprecedented path before him, and all the grade 3 runes instantly flowed through his mind. His strong foundation from five years of study at the Deepblue was put to use, as he solved many problems one after the other. He discovered he could simulate more than half the grade 3 runes he knew with grade 1’s, if he could give up enough efficiency. Even some grade 4 runes weren’t impossible to simulate!

And at that moment, another vague idea passed through his mind like lightning. He seemed to grab hold of something important, but it also seemed like nothing at all.

"Richard…" Flowsand called out, but he immediately quieted her with a wave of his hand. He was staring out the window, but his gaze was fixed on nothing. His brain worked at great speed, trying hard to capture the inspiration he’d just gotten a flash of. However, this information was so complex to handle that even with his blessing of wisdom he started experiencing a severe headache.

But even as the splitting headache seemed to take over, he suddenly understood!

Why were standard runes even designed? Most runemasters started off by creating standard runes, using them as a basis to design rune sets according to the physical requirements and restrictions of the user. Standard runes existed because these were old, matured designs that had undergone hundreds and even thousands of years of improvement. A considerable level of balance between stability, performance, capacity, and usage had been found, and they thus became a foundation for the mass production of rune knights.

However, it was impossible for standard runes to completely suit everyone’s requirements, and powerful high-levelled people wouldn’t be able to exhibit their full powers with standard runes. Thus, true runemasters customised rune sets based on the user’s characteristics.

Runecrafting was a mixture of both art and science. Standard runes were utilitarian, scientific, while custom-designed runes were an expression of art. The grade of a runemaster also depended on their artistic ability.

It was only then that Richard understood why so many art subjects had been added into his course at the Deepblue. Rigorous and open artistic training had ended up showing him a new path— no, a brand new world!

Art has soul. A rune set could consist of one rune or quite a few, but regardless of that count the entire set had to become one with the person that used it. They needed to make a complete package, with the same theme and the same soul!

Richard quickly raised his head to look at Flowsand, “Thank you!”

Flowsand looked seriously into Richard’s eyes, a smile slowly forming on her face. It wasn’t a slight grin like normal, but a full, brilliant and beautiful beam. It was only then that Richard realised how charming this priestess was when she was smiling merrily. The current Flowsand was gorgeous beyond recognition.

“You should,” she tapped lightly on his chest with her fingertips, “You’re quite gifted, with many valuable qualities, but your character is such a problem. You’re introverted, persistent but proud. Sadly, you’re extremely sensitive and fragile. At times you even seem like a poet, always hiding yourself as you drown in depression and grief, as if everything from the myriad planes has hurt you.”

Richard blushed and exclaimed angrily, “Flowsand!”

Flowsand stuck out her tongue and said quickly, “Alright, alright, I won’t say anymore. Actually, you always lack confidence!”

Richard quickly pinched her face and laughed, “But I seem to have confidence now. So thank you, for giving me most of that confidence!”

Flowsand snorted, straightening up, “Of course! Conquering women is the fastest way for a man to gain confidence. And whoever conquers me will have a lot…”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Mel

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA