Book 2, Chapter 79

Breath Of Darkness(2)

Waterflower may have had an hour to rest, but Richard did not. He busied himself preparing the inks for the next phase the moment he returned to his room. His pen pricked her knee once again after the hour passed, and time passed in silence.

By the time the rune was completed, another night had passed. The young lady’s legs were completely covered with complex magical patterns, giving off a mysterious aura.

Richard stretched his weary body, looking at the rune he’d completed himself with a smile. “Move around and try it out; don’t use Wind Walk.”

The girl was a little puzzled, but she complied and leapt off the bed. Her speed picked up after a gentle landing, and she bolted towards a chair as quick as lightning. Without Wind Walk she was supposed to slow down and change directions to avoid the obstacle. However, this time something activated in her mind as the rune on her legs twinkled slightly. She automatically stepped over the chair, striding over it with ease. Her movements were fluid and natural despite her speed, and she showed no signs of slowing down at all.

The room was only so big. The frenzied dash at full speed brought her to the wall in an instant, but even then she kept going. She gracefully dashed up the opposing surface, keeping her momentum going as she even took several quick steps on the ceiling before jumping down to land in front of Richard.

It was only then that she showed a look of surprise, lowering her gaze to her legs. The radiance of the rune there was slowly fading.

She moved suddenly once more, erupting into a chaos of swift movement around the room as she constantly brushed past the runemaster at the centre. It was as though she was a ghost, the obstacles in the room not slowing her down in the slightest. This speed was only slightly inferior to Wind Walk itself! Back in front of Richard again, the surprise in her eyes had transformed into amazement.

“This is Call of the Wild. It can allow you to move easily through most complex landscapes with a minimal loss in speed. It also enhances your acceleration, allowing you to keep your speed up even over sand, stones, or marshes. It also lets you move uphill faster than you used to.”

To the young lady who was adept at moving in forested areas, using darkness to land a single lethal blow, this enhancement to her mobility was a straight boost to her combat power.

“Thank… you…” Despite remaining expressionless, Waterflower finally managed to force the two words through her teeth.

Richard laughed in reply, “There’s no need to thank me, we’re two parts of a whole. Besides, this is only the first. There’s still four more to come. You’ll have to bear with me for the next two weeks.

“Alright, I’ll go get some rest. I haven’t slept properly for a few days in a row now.”

Four more runes?

Waterflower’s body jolted slightly, her lowered eyelids slightly trembling. Watching as Richard left the room, she clenched her teeth and began in the most unnatural and stiff manner, “Umm… Your injury… Does it hurt?”

Richard’s laughter ground to a halt, and he threw a glare the girl’s way. She grew uneasy, understanding that she’d said something wrong.

“This matter… Don’t ever mention it again!” Richard huffed angrily, slamming the door to leave the room. However, his gait still didn’t look natural.

Things rarely went according to one’s wish. Even back at his room to rest, Richard didn’t get any peace. The source of his distress was naturally Flowsand, the only one in his party with the right to enter and leave his room at will.

Flowsand stared intently at Richard as he was about to go sleep, “You don’t look too good.”

“I’m just tired,” Richard replied casually.

“Nope, that’s not it. You’re injured?” Flowsand clearly wasn’t that easy to dupe.

“No!” Richard’s voice grew in pitch. 

“Where’s the injury?” she insisted, reaching out to undo his clothes, “Let me see.”

“There’s really no injury!” Richard grew furious.

“You can think of bluffing a cleric of the Eternal Dragon after you have ten more levels on you!” Flowsand shot back sharply. She absolutely wouldn’t give in when it came to the matter of his injuries.

However, something else suddenly occurred to Flowsand. Richard hadn’t headed out in the past few days, so how did he get injured? He was clearly crafting a rune for Waterflower all this while—

As his process came to mind, she blurted out without thinking, “How did you get injured? Did you not explain clearly what you were doing, so she instinctively retaliated…”

She stopped abruptly after bringing up the matter. Her unintentional words were infinitely close to the truth, and the memory of Waterflower’s usual target instantly sealed her mouth shut. Her gaze towards Richard changed, as a smile curled up at the corner of her lips.

Richard grew livid, grabbing Flowsand and throwing her out. He then closed the door with a thud.

However, gentle and even knocking rang out only a moment later.

Richard begrudgingly opened the door, yelling, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

Sure enough, Flowsand was still at the door. Her smile made it seem like flowers were blooming everywhere, “I can treat minor injuries! I need to cast a lesser heal!”

Richard looked up at the ceiling for a bit, before gritting his teeth and dragging her into the room with a tug. He then slammed the door shut with a heavy thud.

……

Ten hours later, Richard made his way over to Waterflower’s room in large strides, prepared to continue his runecrafting. The rest seemed to have a rather positive effect; at least Waterflower couldn’t spot anything amiss from the way he walked.

What followed were two more days without rest. An expanse of silver patterns was added to Waterflower’s chest and abdomen, covering her vital parts and enhancing the defence of her body. This was another custom rune from Richard, Truesilver Ornament. It would provide just as much protection as a suit of refined armour. Outside of that, this new rune also strengthened her magic resistance, especially towards nature magic.

Waterflower did not like to wear armour, her skills brought out to the fullest when she was clad in light clothing. Some advanced magic could track its target, while some other spells affected an entire area. The ability to resist magic was of utmost importance to her.

Resting for another ten hours, Richard then started on his third rune. This one was at her head, behind the ears. Two matchlessly fine and elaborate runes decorated either side of her head, each only the size of a fingertip.

The Dark Sight rune had one simple function, affording Waterflower upto 30 metres of vision in the dark. Since the young lady could already see in the dark to some extent, her range went up to a total of 50 metres. As she advanced in levels, the range would continue to grow.

It had taken Richard about a day and a half to complete Dark Sight. He then rested once more, beginning the next rune when he was ready. This one would be drawn on her right forearm.

This rune was a dull, dark grey, looking like a bunch of curled-up petals. Passively it boosted Waterflower’s ability to hide her breathing, and when she launched attacks it also imbued some properties of shadowforce into the attack. This was an additional boost to her power.

Shadow Seal… The inspiration for the rune had come from his near-death battle with the nightmare panther, thus the origin of the name.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA