Flowsand sat down beside Richard, looking at the map as well. She then pointed at the north, “Once we reach this point, we’ll have left the Bloodstained Lands and set foot on the borders of the Iron Triangle Empire. They have great power, but many of the nobles there have conflicts with each other; even the imperial family itself isn’t harmonious. On top of that, their territory is so extensive that the control at the borders is extremely lax.
“And look here. This is a mountain region full of forests, stretching into the distance without any sign of human habitation. The Schumpeters’ base probably ended up somewhere in this place.”
“Very likely,” Richard nodded, “But the chances of us finding a Lighthouse of Time that’s still lit there are rather slim. I feel like the Schumpeters were lost just like us, or they would’ve sent proper rune knights instead of the bearguard knights. Bearguard knights are only suitable to clean up inferior planes that cap at level 16 or 18.”
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s still lit. If the base was lost in spacetime like ours, that’s even better. There’s bound to be a large amount of the power of time remaining there, what I need most at this moment. Once we find the base, I’m sure I can advance to level 10. At that moment, my title will be boosted as well.”
“Your title? Daybreak? I didn’t know a title from the Eternal Dragon had special abilities.” Richard was very surprised. He’d originally thought that the title was simply to impress others, like those given to emperors or other monarchs throughout history.
“Of course not, the Dragon of Eternity and Light is not that senseless,” Flowsand said with a smile.
Richard creased his brows and replied, “A while ago someone told me it was just an unreliable greedy dragon.”
“Indeed, but the old dragon isn’t senseless.”
“Old dragon… Flowsand, I really doubt your devotion towards your religion. How did you even become a cleric?” Even if they’d already shared a bed, Richard discovered he was only starting to get to know this girl.
“It’s not like the Eternal Dragon cares about your faith, all it wants are offerings.”
“And your title?”
“A title is nothing great, just an acknowledgement of talent and capability. If the person with the title can’t present enough offerings to satisfy the thing, it will void the title. So you need to work hard, Richard! I’m depending on you!”
“Really?” Richard was astonished.
“Of course not!” Flowsand smiled lightly.
“Flowsand!” Richard growled in frustration. Intentionally or not she was leading him on, and the only way to vent his frustration was to pin this young lady down. She took every single opportunity to frustrate him.
After an intense ‘battle’, Richard lay down on the blanket as his gasps slowed down to regular breathing once more. On the other hand, Flowsand curled up in his arms like a feline. He wasn’t just venting his frustration; he’d accumulated a lot of fatigue and stress over the past several days. Right now his body felt hollow and drained, as if his marrow had been extracted, but his mind was now calm. As his stress dissipated, his thoughts grew clearer.
He huffed as he spoke, “To think they sent more than seventy bearguard knights over. The Schumpeters really have gone to all lengths with their capital.”
“It doesn’t seem like one family could afford to come up with this capital alone. No, I’m not saying that the Schumpeters don’t have the resources to do it, but it would be meaningless to spend this much on a potential threat instead of using it to expand their own power. However, if it was a collaboration between a few families it would be another matter altogether. Each family wouldn’t take out much alone, so it wouldn’t have any serious impact.”
“Just to deal with me? Is that necessary?” Richard creased his brows and asked.
“If it could eliminate a future saint runemaster, then it would definitely be necessary.”
Richard creased his brows once again, falling silent. He was already certain that he would become a grand runemaster once he reached level 12. As for becoming a saint runemaster, if he could finish the second set of the Savagery of Darkness series he could be considered to have met the basic requirements to start on the path. If one thought of it that way, he really was worth a lot.
Every plane was structured like a pyramid. The people at the top had the most resources, and the number of positions at every level was set in stone. A person’s status was only relative to others; if one wished to advance, they could only trample others as they climbed up the ladder. Although the methods were different for different people, the net effect was the same.
Richard sighed; he understood this truth as well. Although he hoped to empower himself instead of just trample over others, the positions at every level were fixed just like the floating islands of Faust. Every step he took forward was sure to trample over someone else, whether that was his intention or not.
He felt a wave of fatigue wash over him, so he closed his eyes and fell into slumber…
The next morning, Richard led his troops and set off to continue their journey. He found traces of the bearguard knights in the marked areas, but he wasn’t in a hurry to go north. Several kilometres east was a supply camp of the Golden Warflag.
Richard handed a few letters to the person in charge of the camp, asking for a caravan to bring them back to Bluewater Oasis.
One of the letters was written to Marvin, requesting him to urge the churches on the border of the Sequoia Kingdom to send troops into the Bloodstained Lands to suppress the foreign invaders. The rest of the letters were written to the agents of the forces he was familiar with in Bluewater, including Devon and Amon. He mentioned that he found traces of invaders in the middle-north of the Bloodstained Lands, and that these violent and diabolical intruders were heading south. It was possible they would rush all the way to Bluewater, so he wanted these old friends to step up their preventive measures to avoid losses. He also described in detail some of the distinctive traits of the bearguard knights.
He believed the news would spread quickly once his recipients read their letters. Then, the bearguard knights wouldn’t just be facing scattered resistance and hurried attacks, but elite troops and well-trained warriors. The gazes of the powerhouses of this plane would be drawn to them, having them overlook a small and weak invading army like Richard’s.
As for Baron Forza, people like him would just think they became a meal in the belly of a magical beast if he didn’t show himself for a while. After all, the oracle from the God of Valour only assessed them to be an insignificant force. It wasn’t even worth dispatching the central church’s forces to deal with someone of such capability.
The only thing Richard needed at the moment was time. At the Bloodstained Lands, the two troops from Norland practically brushed past each other before they slowly grew further apart.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Hestia
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA