Book 2, Chapter 125

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“So, it isn’t just one more spell at the highest rank,” Flowsand said with a smile, passing the page of the Book of Holding to Richard.

Richard couldn’t contain his joy as he took the page from her hands. He hadn’t expected to be able to see another page of the Book of Holding so quickly. The one sheet he got from the Church of Valour was already one of the most powerful magic items he had, and with two on hand now he could verify the information about its extraordinary powers. If the Book of Holding really would develop new powers after the two pages were combined, then it would be a priceless artifact.

“Where did you get this?” he asked doubtfully.

“I found it within one of the cracks in spacetime. It might have been floating around aimlessly and met the base when it was being shifted, being swept into this plane.” All of this was said calmly, but Richard was well aware that nobody but her could have retrieved the loose page even if they knew where it was. A crack in spacetime was one of the most dangerous things in existence.

“We must be really lucky!” Richard exclaimed.

Flowsand laughed in response, “I’m a cleric, and you’re blessed by the Eternal Dragon. There’s no way we’ll have bad luck. That’s a part of one’s ability.”

Richard spread the loose page on the table, placing it next to the one he already own. Before he could examine how to piece them together in detail, the two loose pages that were close to each other started glowing with mysterious light. They were pulled towards each other on their own, the light growing brighter as they approached. When they finally made contact, a blinding glare flashed out and forced Richard to close his eyes.

By the time he opened his eyes once again, the two loose pages had already combined to form a thin book. On the cover was a half-missing picture, with vague spiral patterns that couldn’t be deciphered. Two thick pages could be seen within, slightly yellow like aging parchment. The pages were pliable but tough.

Caressing the pages, he started to slowly gather mana to cast a normal detection spell. The usage and new abilities of the Book of Holding quickly appeared in his mind.

With the two loose pages combining, there was an extra spell slot and every spell could be upto grade 6. This meant a total of three grade 6 spells! With the current levels of the enemies they were fighting, that would be enough to completely reverse the situation. This was like the addition of half the power of a level 14 great mage.

The Mensa base still had large amounts of supplies. They were undoubtedly very valuable, but Richard couldn’t use them. Just like the Archeron base, this one was right under the nose of a church and a regional ruler. The Church of Cerces would soon discover that their garrison there wasn’t making the daily reports, and would examine the region. Richard didn’t have dozens of bearguard knights under him; although his army had grown stronger over time, it would be too much of a stretch to fight a group of battle priests.

Having collected all the magical resources, Richard swapped out the equipment of his men for whatever was stored in the base. Sadly, the barbarians were far too large; there was no armour that would fit them. Some simple measures were taken instead, armour plates placed at their chests and backs and bonded together with pelts. He estimated that this change in equipment grew his army’s prowess by at least 15%.

Another surprise was that all the captive soldiers joined Richard’s troops. Kars had used a method similar to Flowsand’s own, having them pray non-stop in a seven day ceremony. However, these prayers weren’t in praise of their god, but to curse Cerces. They would spit at their god’s image repeatedly as well, and the seven days of cursing ended up shrouding them in an unnoticeable dark energy.

These soldiers were now blasphemers. The dark energy surrounding them would be clearly visible to any cleric of Cerces, and would be detected by anyone with powerful magic. If they dared to return and were caught, they would immediately be burnt at the stake. Even if they went forth and sought mercy, confessing everything, they would not escape punishment. It would only be considered their redemption.

As a greater deity, Cerces would not tolerate even the slightest of blasphemy. Repentance alone would never redeem them of their sins.

Richard could only shake his head at this ‘contribution.’ The order had been his, and the fallen cleric had completed his mission perfectly. With the exception of the two paladins, everyone had been tied onto his chariot. The paladins themselves had much stronger faith; they resisted the moment they stirred, ready to perish alongside the heretics. Richard was left with no choice but to have them killed.

Once they packed everything they could take, Richard led his troops away from the Mensa base and back towards the Sequoia Kingdom. It was time to finish his deal with the Direwolf Duke.

In the meanwhile, Richard was also prepared to look for an opportunity to draw the bearguard knights out to the open in the Bloodstained Lands. The Schumpeter troops were extraordinarily special, with no chance of integrating or masking themselves into the hierarchy of the plane. Thus, the endless battles in the Bloodstained Lands would undoubtedly weaken them significantly.

Now, with his identity as a frontier knight, Richard didn’t mind using the influences of his plane to get rid of his enemies. He was well aware of how valuable the bearguard knights were; every one he killed was an additional blow to the Schumpeters. Richard wasn’t afraid that they would not head south; his own presence there eventually would be too tempting for them not to take the bait.

Deep in his heart, Richard felt like there was no meaning to this war with the Schumpeters. However, he had no choice but to fight back. It was as if there was no end to those who wanted to kill him ever since he returned home. Even when on a foreign plane, there were people from Norland sent to take his life. Although he felt helpless about this, a ball of fury silently burned in his heart.

The troops silently marched along the eastern border of the Bloodstained Lands, heading south towards their destination. Along the way, Flowsand completely absorbed the power of time from the base and became a level 10 cleric. Even though that only allowed her to cast more grade 5 spells, the powers of her title had advanced.

The title of ‘Daybreak’ allowed Flowsand to decipher and borrow the divine powers of other gods. At the first level, she had the ability to strip away small amounts of divine power, and now she could both absorb more and use her own power to drive those of other gods. She could basically use the scrolls and divine items of other deities without having to alter them at all. All it would take was a small amount of her own power.

This was a frightening ability, one that caused Richard to reassess the clerics of the Eternal Dragon as a terrifying opponent. Not only could they use the powers of others, they would be able to analyse and dissect the power of their enemy. And he didn’t even know what the title of First Light of Dawn granted high priestess Ferlyn. However, even as he evaluated Flowsand he forgot to consider his own blessings from Alucia, his talent, and the broodmother…

Just as Richard was about to reach his destination, a rare war of great proportions was playing out in the Bloodstained Lands.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: SY

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA