Spoils of War(2)
In the end, Richard chose the increased drone production as well as the boost to its eating speed, range, and capacity. As long as there was sufficient time and the broodmother was adequately fed, she would grant him an endless supply of soldiers. At the moment there was no rush to strengthen the combat drones; he planned to give his options some serious thought before he came to a conclusion.
The acidic fog in the middle of the battlefield had faded greatly. When Richard approached the broodmother, she breathed in strongly and sucked it all into her majestic body that was like a small hill.
At that moment, standing in front of the broodmother, Richard felt an invisible pressure wrap over him. The creature’s small, strange head contrasted starkly with the rest of its shell, one new and the other old. The scars of the battle with the manticore were still all over her body.
Richard raised his head to meet her eyes, asking, “You were so eager to have me come here, what’s the matter?”
“It concerns the construction of a special unit, Master,” the broodmother replied.
“A special unit?”
“Yes. Building one is a matter of chance, and requires the use of divinity. The demonic assassin you gave me had the power of death; I can use the divinity I absorbed from all those idols to turn her into a special unit. However, the process cannot be seen by anyone, not even Miss Flowsand.”
“Not even Flowsand? Why?” Richard was very surprised. Both Flowsand and the broodmother had come from the Church of the Eternal Dragon; to the best of his understanding, they were on the same side.
“I do not know either, it comes from instinct. Nobody outside of you can know, absolutely nobody!”
“Alright,” Richard nodded, waving his hand to cast a darkness spell that enveloped the two of them, “We can start now.”
The broodmother sent large amounts of information to Richard, giving him three choices for the type of the drone. He could create a humanoid, a beast, or a mount.
Richard didn’t need to think the question over, immediately choosing the humanoid. He needed more strong guards by his side.
She then gave him three more choices. He could use all, two-thirds, or a third of the divinity to create this special unit.
The broodmother had completely absorbed the divinity of the idols of fifteen orc tribes in total. The weakest special unit needed five idols’ worth; from her information, this was a basic unit of divinity.
Richard quickly familiarised himself with the measurement system, asking a different question, “What’s the difference between using all three units of divinity and just one?”
“The battle might, capacity, and special abilities increase with the amount of divinity I pour in. Using a single unit of divinity each will allow you to create three units.”
“Use everything you have,” he decided immediately. Right now, he had no shortage of cannon fodder. His deficiencies were at the top end of the power spectrum; without the broodmother herself and the combined might of 400 wind wolves, he could not have killed the manticore. Even during the battle against Sinclair, although his tactics had been executed near-perfectly they had still lost almost all their resources to pull off a close victory. If the battle had been in the open instead, their chances of victory would have been slim.
“As you wish,” the broodmother replied, going silent for a brief moment before continuing, “You have a few last choices. You can spawn it with its maximum battle capacity, but in exchange you will lose some of the drone’s potential. If you choose the reverse, the drone’s capacity will be greater in the future but it will be weak as a newborn. Also, you can choose from a few affinities as well. Since the drone will be based on Sinclair, you can choose any of invisibility, sudden attacks, and assassination. The more of these traits you choose, the lower the level and potential.”
This was the toughest choice. Richard pondered over it intensely, using the full extent of his abilities, but it still took a while to come to a decision. Images of Sinclair disappearing in mid-air and reappearing among his troops crossed his mind. The effectiveness of her abilities was still fresh in his mind.
“Maximise the potential,” he eventually said with determination, “and give it all three abilities!”
“Are you sure?” the broodmother started to hesitate. Her own calculations told her that this route would greatly minimise the maximum level of the unit. However, Richard was very certain; his own life had been at stake when he witnessed the horror of Sinclair’s powers. There were many circumstances where such a specialised character like Sinclair gave people more headaches and instilled more fear than balanced fighters.
“Just do it!”
“As you wish, please wait five minutes,” the broodmother replied. Her stomach started to churn violently, and it wasn’t long before a gigantic egg that was larger than the average person was pushed out. The egg started to hum when it hit the floor, and to Richard’s surprise a blade pierced through the walls. A few cuts later, the egg was cut open and a humanoid creature emerged.
This was a strange being, looking like a female human with a well-proportioned body. There was a layer of armour on the outer body, but this armour covered very little and left large parts of jade-like skin visible. The half of its face that was exposed was extremely allured, but the rest seemed to be covered by a helmet of sorts. The being’s eyes looked like crimson crystals. The right hand was long and slim, delicate like a lady’s, while the left was a metal blade.
The blade seemed familiar to Richard, and it wasn’t long before he realised that it was one of Sinclair’s daggers. It had been swallowed by the broodmother when she absorbed the corpse, and she had used it in the construction of this creature. The blade had no sheen to it, but focusing on it would cause one to grow nervous. Richard cast a detection spell and was astonished to find that it still retained all its properties from before. This included the ability to pierce armour, and the power of destruction within. This was nothing short of a miracle.
Richard’s gaze returned to the unit’s face. The finer details seemed a little lifeless, but the appearance was immensely familiar to him. He had already understood when he looked at the blade; if one didn’t look close enough, they might even mistake this drone for Sinclair herself! However, that similarity was only partial. Richard spent a long time looking at it before he realised the true root of the familiarity he felt.
“Broodmother, who did you base the special unit’s face on?” Richard asked, and the answer confirmed his suspicions.
“Sinclair, Flowsand, and Waterflower.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA