Book 2, Chapter 156

Bargaining Chip(2)

When Flowsand heard Richard’s words, her expression grew heavy. If the Church of the Eternal Dragon really did begin to spread through Faelor, Runai would be the one deity that was hurt the most. The very foundation of his faith would be destroyed. The Eternal Dragon did not need faith, but someone like Runai was born of belief. If the foundations of his faith were shaken, he would drop to becoming a lesser god, perhaps even falling entirely.

Richard thought it over a moment, but the dark cloud hanging over his mind seemed to part slowly, “Alright, let’s not worry about that for now. Bevry’s family worships his ancestors, and he’s diametrically opposed to the churches. If we give him hope of an extended life, he’ll definitely keep things secret and prevent the followers of Runai from destroying us. Besides, the churches are incredibly weak in the Sequoia Kingdom anyway. Our first goal should be to have the Duke believe we can extend his lifespan!”

Flowsand nodded before shooing Richard out of the room, flipping the Book of Time open as she started to ponder their problem.

As someone grew in power, their lifespan would only increase. Most people had a relatively long lifespan past level 18, upto 150 years or so. When they reached the legendary realm, this lifespan would extend once more depending on their class and power. Legendary powerhouses lasted a minimum of two to three hundred years, the oldest getting to over a thousand years of age. A longer life was the goal of almost every powerhouse; this was also the reason for the Eternal Dragon being revered more than any other god.

Beyond an extended lifespan was immortality, the ultimate dream of everyone in existence.

……

Early morning the next day. Richard had just finished breakfast when he received news of an appointment with Duke Bevry. He was to immediately follow the envoy towards Deepcliff Castle, which clearly showed how anxious the Duke was.

This caused Richard to relax. He fixed himself up meticulously, before carefully unsealing an enchanted box under the envoy’s watch. It took an entire half hour, the rites were tedious and complicated, but the envoy didn’t urge him on or otherwise display any sign of impatience.

Before the box was completely unsealed, Richard pointed at it and said to the envoy, “This is a must if we want to retain the rune’s power. It will gradually lose power once it’s opened, so I could only open it just before I met the Duke. We couldn’t have His Grace wait that long, could we?”

The envoy completely believed Richard’s words. Even though he was only a titled knight, he came from the famous Nottling Family and had spent decades amongst the upper class. His experience gave him a sharp eye, discerning enough to tell with one look that the enchanted box in Richard’s hand would cost 3000 gold to even make. The final price of a magic item was often tenfold its original cost, and such an expensive item was used merely to hold this so-called rune. Even if Richard was a swindler, he would have had to invest far too much into it.

But that point was moot. Richard was a great mage, what need did he have to swindle others? He only needed to express some interest, and any Duke would open their doors wide open to welcome such a young great mage by their side. Money was nothing in the face of a future grand mage.

Only once he’d made enough of a show did Richard let Olar pick up the enchanted box, taking Flowsand along with the entourage to make his way to the Duke’s castle.

It was in Bevry’s favourite lobby that Richard finally met this man who could be considered one of the true powers of Faelor: the Direwolf Duke. Duke Bevry was 46 years old, in both his physical and mental prime. The man was of lanky build, but a broad frame made him seem formidable. His noble robes weren’t too ornate, with a single jade ring on his left ring finger glistening like a clear spring.

Bevry had a short, neatly trimmed beard, and a brilliant light shone from the depths of his long, narrow eyes. There weren’t any indications of his strength save for his dignified aura, one that came from having possessed high status for a long time. There was no sense of oppression from his aura; a clear indication of his exquisite control over his own power. On the contrary, a single look from him left Richard feeling like he was seen through from head to toe; he couldn’t help but feel deeply alarmed.

The abilities of hiding one’s aura and seeing the power of others were secret techniques that were incredibly useful. In Norland alone, there were almost a hundred different methods for each, passed down through various factions. However, Bevry had completely hidden his strength and could see through Richard with a single glance. Even in Norland, this would be first class.

Richard had lost all contempt for Faelor long ago. The deeper he explored, the more he interacted with the societies and powerhouses of this plane, and especially with this meeting, he was starting to respect it.

After all, this was a plane that housed true legendary beings. If not for his runecrafting, he himself would only be a dazzling genius here. The word genius only indicated that one had a higher chance of becoming a true powerhouse than the rest. It wasn’t a guaranteed promise of that power. All powerhouses were geniuses, but not all geniuses would become powerhouses.

Duke Bevry smiled after that single glance, “A level 11 great mage, and such a young one at that! That isn’t a common sight anywhere in the continent! I hear you’re not even 20, Mr. Richard?” Although Richard was considered his vassal, the Duke still added a customary honorific as respect for his achievements as a mage.

“I turned twenty only a few days ago,” Richard answered. He was really only seventeen this year, but there was no need to give the Duke even more surprises. Even a 20-year-old great mage was a rare genius in Faelor’s history.

“That is still very rare!” The duke settled down on the main sofa, gesturing for Richard to have a seat as well. He then instructed the maids to serve some black tea.

Once the tea was served, the Duke waved the maids and servants away. That left himself, Richard, Flowsand, Olar, and the fallen cleric Kars remaining in the lobby. Richard noted that the Duke didn’t have a single trusted aide by his side.

Although Kars was himself from a prominent family in the Iron Triangle Empire, being so close to the Direwolf Duke left him nervous. However, he could not be blamed for that; power and noble status were closely intertwined on this plane. Dukes of the Sequoia Kingdom and the Iron Triangle Empire were quite close in terms of power, meaning Bevry would be an important character even in his homeland. This was a far cry from his own status.

Richard took the enchanted box from Olar’s hands, placing it on the tea table as he said, “This is the rune I crafted for you, Your Grace.”

The Duke lifted the lid, only glancing within before he set the box aside. He smiled warmly at Richard, “Very rare and valuable indeed. However, it still cannot compare to a divine weapon. Now, how are you going to convince me not to hand you over to a church? Cerces and Neian have always been generous deities.”

Although his tone was as casual as in a conversation about great weather, the content within his words was extremely aggressive.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA