Book 2, Chapter 124

Purification

Although the burning of Kars’ divine power was painful, it was quite brief. A wisp of gold flew out of the Book of Time and entered the young cleric’s forehead, brimming with the power of the divine that strengthened him until he hit level 6. A faint golden radiance rushed out of his body, lingering on his person.

This result made Flowsand shake her head, while Richard was taken a little aback as well. Marvin had managed to go from level 3 to level 6, but Kars who was already level 5 couldn’t do any better.

However, the aforementioned cleric did not know that the two people in front of him were quite dissatisfied with his advancement. He was rather surprised, not expecting at all that he could still advance to level 6. This new god had to be quite formidable, at least on par with Cerces!

However, there were only three greater gods on all of Faelor. If Kars had been dilligent in his studies, he would have discovered instantly that this divine power belonged to no known god. However, that didn’t matter; Flowsand would inform him of it all the same. Hearing the title of the Dragon of Eternity and Light, the fellow was clearly dumbfounded. He tried his best to recall, but the name didn’t ring any bells.

Flowsand gave him a simple explanation that covered two basic points. Firstly, the Eternal Dragon was matchlessly formidable. As the name suggested, its powers transcended spacetime. Secondly, were Kars to betray the burning of his divine power would accelerate his aging. Every level would cost him ten years of his life. This damped the newly fallen cleric’s excitement, warping it into astonishment instead.

However, at least he managed to stay alive. That was the only way the youth managed to console himself. He didn’t really feel any conflict against this new religion that claimed to pursue mysticism. It was quite common for clerics to secretly propagate their god’s doctrine, and this divine power he felt was real. The aura of this new god was vast and dignified; it definitely wasn’t some evil spirit.

What Kars cared more about was Richard’s identity as an aristocrat of the Sequoia Kingdom. His own father was a baron from a historied family, but now his own status in that family was in shambles. The Sequoia Kingdom and Iron Triangle Empire weren’t exactly at odds with each other, but they weren’t steadfast allies either. Although there wasn’t any war on a national level, armed conflicts were common at the borders. Besides, both countries were interested in the chaotic Bloodstained Lands; it was an open secret that powerful nobles on both ends had representatives there.

Nevertheless, the fallen cleric was rather optimistic. Having come to terms with reality, he didn’t feel too dejected; his future prospects in the Church of Cerces had come to an end anyway. Richard questioned him about that, and he admitted that he’d seduced an earl’s mistress.

Richard had nothing to say to that. His subordinates came from all sorts of backgrounds, being a mix of slaves, murderers, and heretics. As he walked out of the tent with Flowsand, he looked at the captive soldiers and realised that they were a thorny problem. “How should we deal with these people?” he asked her.

She thought over it for a moment before answering, “Let Kars handle it, he should know what to do.”

Richard nodded, calling the fallen cleric out, “Kars!”

The youth immediately ran over to his side, asking if there were any orders. Richard pointed to the captive soldiers, “Think of a way to deal with them, you’re not allowed to kill them all. You can’t let them divulge my secrets either.”

Kars looked reluctant, but he nodded his head and took the task upon himself. As such, Richard left some soldiers in the camp as he brought his party back to the Mensa base.

Flowsand walked into the base, reaching out to gently touch the gate. A wisp of golden light flew out, drifting in the air without any pattern. This stream of light was extremely beautiful, occasionally refracting at certain angles to form a rainbow of colour. However, Richard understood this was the power of time, an extremely dangerous thing that not even a grand mage or saint level powerhouse would willingly approach.

Flowsand lifted the Book of Time in the air, bringing it close to this light. The stream brightened for a moment, before dissolving into a puff of golden sand that sprinkled onto the book. They then seeped in like raindrops being absorbed by soil, the book itself growing a little brighter in the process.

Flowsand absorbed three scattered belts of time energy in a row, before proceeding to walk in. Every graceful step she took revealed one or more of these streams in the lifeless town, before dissolving them into golden grains. The entire base was lit up in a strange yet beautiful light.

The Mensa base was very large, and it took Flowsand an entire week to absorb all the power of time within. This also meant the death trap had been purified.

In the meanwhile, Richard had gone to camp to craft a rune. This one was a mana boost, prepared for himself. With the understanding he had of his own body, substantial changes had been made over a standard rune. The boost wasn’t affected at all, but the demand for capacity was greatly reduced. The final product was an exquisite rune slot that was only the size of a palm.

When done, he took off his clothes and activated the rune by transferring some mana into the slot. He then placed the slot in front of his chest, smoke rising from his skin the moment it came into contact as a thin layer was quickly burned away. The rune then fused into his skin, merging at a speed visible to the naked eye.

The entire process was extremely agonising. The skin the rune was attaching itself to experienced scorching pain, as though a red-hot iron had been placed upon it. By the time it finally finished fusing, he had to let out a deep breath as he wiped the cold sweat off his forehead.

A few gentle knocks sounded from the door at that moment, as Flowsand pushed the door open and walked in. Her gaze landed on the fresh hide on Richard’s chest, and she stared at it blankly for a while before asking, “New rune?”

Richard nodded, “Mana boost, same as yours. This will be equivalent to another powerful spell in battle.”

The cleric smiled gently, “I like that we’re using the same rune. Also, guess what I found?”

She opened the Book of Time as she spoke, retrieving a torn page. The page stretched out the moment it left the book, growing to twice its initial size.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA