Book 2, Chapter 151

Spoils Of War

Although the battle had already ended, they still needed to spend some time cleaning up. There was some small conflict with the new Baron’s subordinates over the spoils of war, stemming from Richard’s request for all the dead bearguard knights.

Of course, the dispute was apparently over the thick, sturdy armour and weaponry. However, the equipment wasn’t really Richard’s goal. Just like when his team had come over, transferring magic equipment required a huge price. Thus, the bearguard knights’ armour was merely tough and nothing more. However, he couldn’t make the fact that he needed the corpses more than their equipment known.

Ultimately, this small conflict was resolved by Richard paying the Fontaine Family some gold. He managed to retrieve about 50 runes from the bodies, able to be used again after some slight repairs. This was a huge amount of wealth, and the gold he had paid was nothing in comparison. If not for the conflict, he had originally considered leaving a few runes behind for Fontaine’s family, but the increased hostility before the man’s body was even cold meant he couldn’t arm a potential enemy himself.

This was normal in Faelor; those who worshipped their ancestors and those who worshipped gods were like fire and ice.

Many attempts had told Zendrall that he couldn’t convert the bearguard knights into warriors of darkness. The knights had been bred so thoroughly they didn’t even have complete souls left. More than being sorry for the loss, this information left Richard even more wary of the Schumpeters. Breeding a being with an incomplete soul was extremely time-consuming, requiring at least several hundred years. The Schumpeters likely had many more secrets than they let on.

Ultimately, the corpses of the knights and their mounts were handed over to the broodmother. Even though she hadn’t yet finished digesting Sinclair’s body, she still asked for these corpses all the same. By this point, Richard already knew that any creature with formidable power was beneficial for her evolution and growth.

Under Gangdor’s command, the strong barbarian warriors had carried the corpses over, throwing them one by one into the broodmother’s acidic fog. Nobody could see what was happening within.

By the time the sky was completely bright, the losses had been counted. The combined defense originally had about 1500 people, and now there were less than 400 left. He only had a hundred or so desert warriors and barbarians under him. However, what pained him most was that all the footsoldiers had met their end, and only two of the knights had survived. Over 400 wind wolves had been reduced to 111, more than half of the casualties coming at the manticore’s claws.

The battle was a pyrrhic victory. Had their luck been even slightly worse, he would have lost Waterflower or Gangdor. No amount of gains could make up for such a loss.

Once the aftermath had been analysed, Richard realised that he had suffered very serious losses. If he wanted to replenish his strength quickly, he would need to depend on the broodmother evolving.

Once they finished cleaning up the battlefield, Richard allowed all his soldiers to withdraw from Twilight Castle and settle down at the nearby barracks, even bringing out their injured warriors.

Kars shared much of Flowsand’s burden; although his healing ability as a fallen cleric was greatly limited he could still use divine scrolls. Flowsand seemingly had a premonition of the tragic battle, and she had stored up a batch of lesser heal scrolls. They may seem weak, only able to treat minor injuries, but when used on a large group this was much better than slowly recuperating over time. It was a good method to allow the army to retain as much of its strength as possible.

Only the billows of acidic fog continued to linger in the middle of the battlefield, but by the time darkness fell once more the broodmother had contacted Richard again. She had transmitted a large amount of information, requesting that he go over immediately. There were some details regarding a special unit that required his presence.

Richard felt a little strange at that. The broodmother had never asked him such a thing before; whenever it accumulated enough energy he had been allowed to choose the upgrades through their mental link. Even standing right next to the broodmother he still had to communicate through their souls; after all, she could not speak well.

Richard thus put on his clothes, walking over to the broodmother in the middle of the battlefield. He used the short time he had en route to quickly analyse the information he had received, and couldn’t help but be astonished.

The manticore, Sinclair, the bearguard knights and their mounts, even Sinclair’s dagger that could pierce armour and had destructive energy… It had all contributed greatly to the broodmother’s evolution, allowing her to jump directly to level 4. There were now more than ten options for upgrades!

As expected, the manticore’s lethal toxicity had been assimilated. Now, all of the drones had an element of poison to their attacks, even long distance ones like bone arrows. Besides that, the broodmother’s own acidic properties had been integrated into the drones as well. Even the normally harmless raptors had great combat strength with the toxic acid.

The main use of the bearguard knights had been in giving her the energy to evolve. Only one ability had been gained from them; his drones could now have their defences enhanced by 20%. It was practical, but not exactly outstanding. Still, it greatly increased his options.

At the same time, a type of combat drone called the thrower had been added. It was a small humanoid, similar to a trogg or dwarf. They were short and nimble, suitable for complex terrain like mountains and forests. They used all types of throwing weapons, their primary ammo being bone throwing axes that grew out of their backs. Although the range was less than a hundred metres, these creatures had more powerful attacks than humans with crossbows, and their attacks could be coated with poison that increased their might severalfold. However, each thrower could only grow one axe everyday, with a maximum three total on their bodies at the time. Once the axe was broken off, it would lose its toxicity in a matter of minutes.

Richard’s biggest concern was that these were the first drones in humanoid form, able to use actual weapons. Outside of their own bone axes, they could use all types of throwing axes, spears, and the like; even rocks were no issue, but their power would be greatly reduced.

Once the regiment of throwers reached a large enough scale, their power would be beyond imagination. Richard even thought of several plans on the battlefield that could combine them with long-range magic.

The broodmother herself had gotten a few options as well. Amongst others, he could increase her speed, defence, or the range of her mind flay. However, having experienced the volley of wind blades from the wind wolves Richard decided to strengthen her core-most ability— drone creation.

Of course, it was a must to select the ability to create one additional combat drone every day. Another ability caught Richard’s eye as well: an increase of 20% to eating speed, range, and energy storage. The speed and storage were understandable, but he didn’t understand what a 20% increase in eating range meant.

However, the broodmother herself was unclear on what that was. This information had already been stored in the depths of her soul when she was still an egg, so she only gradually learned these things as she grew.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: XE

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA