Seeing that his wish of many years might come true, even the powerful Stormhammer could barely contain himself. Hearing Richard’s conditions, he immediately explained, “In the stone forest west of Camp Bloodstone is a powerful beast called the Fleeting Shadow. It is a mutated demonic wolf, possessing power so great that my two strongest sons died at its hand one after the other. Even with my strength, I can only match up to it, unable to kill it at all. I need the power to exterminate it! I am in my prime now, but in a few years my strength will begin to decline. If I don’t kill it now, I never will!”
Pointing to the half-orc warriors on either side of the man, Richard asked, “You have so many warriors here. Why don’t you take an army with you?”
Stormhammer sighed in reply, “The Fleeting Shadow is extremely cunning, as smart as any human. It will accept my lone challenge, but if I bring our warriors it goes into hiding. Even the most experienced adventurers who are adept at tracking cannot find it.
“Besides, the terrain of the stone forest is extremely helpful to its combat style. It appears when you least expect it to, launching a surprise attack. None of my elite warriors can withstand a single full power blow from it, so be it our own operations or with outsider help, no one can get rid of it. It simply treats the place like its property, coming to the camp to hunt in winter or during droughts.”
Richard was taken aback by this. The elites of Camp Bloodstone were warriors on par with his own troops, reaching level 10. Of course it was another matter altogether in actual combat, Norland’s inheritance of training and strategy making them two levels higher than those from secondary planes. Richard’s team knew how to complement each other, all of them professionals with valiance and extraordinary might. They could take on two bloodstone orcs of the same level and emerge victorious. However, both parties weren’t much different in terms of body strength. If the Fleeting Shadow could take out an elite warrior of Camp Bloodstone in one blow, the same would hold with his own men.
He paused in thought for a moment before speaking up, “If it is just to raise your power to make you on par with a level 15 warrior, and it only needs to be activated in combat, I might be able to help.”
Stormhammer’s eyes lit up, “Even if it’s temporary, I want it! As long as it can last ten— no, just five minutes will do! What do you need, Mr. Richard? Not just the materials you need, I can give you anything! This deal… What do you need from me?!”
Richard leaned back into his chair, looking very relaxed, “I need a lot of things. Large numbers of warriors, slaves, horses, and basic equipment. I also need magical materials, rare minerals, and other exclusive materials from the barbarian ancestral spirit plains. I also need a map of the Bloodstained Lands that details the distribution of power, the more detailed the better. This is all I came to the Bloodstained Lands for, how much of it can you offer for this deal?”
Stormhammer thought it over for a moment before declaring, “We have some magical materials, and ore as well. They were left untouched because none of us knew how to use them, so you can take your pick. As for warriors, I can lend you twenty powerful ones. I only have a detailed map of the areas around Bloodstone, with the map of more remote places not as accurate. But before all that, might I know how you plan to raise my power? Is it a set of magical armour, or a formidable scroll?”
“I do not have a set of armour with me, nor do I have an enchanter. As for scrolls, one that can raise your power by an entire level has to be at least at the sixth grade, something I likewise do not have. Even if I did, you would not be able to use it. It is none of the above.
“In fact, I have an even better option for you. Gangdor!” Richard gestured to the brute.
Gangdor took a few steps forward, arriving beside the table, “What can I do, boss?”
“Test your strength with the respected Stormhammer over there. While you’re at it, give your new rune a try as well,” Richard instructed, subtly shooting a meaningful glance at the man.
Gangdor nodded, ripping his shirt apart to reveal the magical patterns on his right chest and shoulder. He took large strides towards Stormhammer, extending his right hand. Stormhammer sternly sized up the man in front of him, secretly assessing his level before he stood up and got into position as well. His hand held Gangdor’s with complete ease.
Letting out a roar, Gangdor began to exert his powers. However, Stormhammer’s body only shook slightly before he was stable once more. Orcs were normally gifted in strength, and Stormhammer was already level 14. Although Gangdor was equivalent to a level 13 human warrior himself, he couldn’t do anything to make the half-orc budge in arm wrestling. After all, this fellow was strong enough to exceed even a level 15 human warrior.
However, Stormhammer was still taken aback by this level of strength. He could already tell that Gangdor was only level 10.
After a few attempts that resulted in complete failure, Gangdor suddenly bellowed loudly. The rune on his body suddenly lit up, and brilliant rays of light spurted out from the magic formation. A surge of tremendous energy rushed forth like a tide, quickly exceeding Stormhammer’s resistance. The half-orc stumbled backwards, bellowing loudly as well. His body ended up flushing red as he brought forth his full power, only then managing to resist the brute’s force with some difficulty.
“Alright!” Richard called for the two to stop, pointing at the rune on Gangdor’s body, “This is called a rune. It is a technique that is known solely to my family. Now, let’s talk about its price.”
Stormhammer nodded, looking at the formation with astonishment. He’d felt the formidable strength that it had brought forth quite clearly, combining with Gangdor’s own strength to form a raging force that almost could not be defied. If he could have such power… The half-orc leader’s gaze began to blaze in anticipation, and he could almost see the next time he battled that wolf.
He led Richard to his warehouse, piling all the valuable resources he had collected over the years for the mage to pick.
When he saw a box of twenty magic crystals, his eyelids twitched a few times without control. However, when he then saw a yellowish-green ore with tiny crystals embedded in it. This was crystalline yellowsteel, and there was at least a kilogram of it!
Just as he reached over to pick up the crystalline yellowsteel from the ground, another material tumbled down from the pile of items. It looked like an ordinary piece of amber, but the interior was covered with veiny patterns. Holding the fist-sized piece of amber in hand, Richard could smell a faint smell of flora. His fingers trembled slightly as he recognised what this was— maple amber!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Hestia
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA