Book 2, Chapter 165

Principle

“Hmm? Why not?” Richard asked dubiously.

“An offering is a must in any wish to the Eternal Dragon,” Flowsand said slowly.

“Offering…” Richard’s expression changed as well. He had been through the ritual himself, so he knew exactly what level of offering was needed to attract the attention of the Eternal Dragon.

“Yes. That old dragon doesn’t need our faith, only our sacrifices. It follows the eternal principle of equivalent exchange,” Flowsand said viciously. She had grown up in the Church of the Eternal Dragon, so she naturally knew the kind of offerings they would need to make to return to Norland. At minimum they needed the head of a greater demon with the essence of its power still within.

She could exchange such a head for twenty years of life, but some careful consideration would show that it wasn’t much. In the eyes of the Eternal Dragon, that was worth less than a bit of powder off one of its scales.

However, Richard immediately relaxed and released a long breath, fiercely groping Flowsand’s butt as he spoke with a smile, “You’re such a miser! A way to return is already good enough, how could we be concerned with the expenses? Even if we need them, it’s not like we have to take care of that personally. We can definitely just trade runes for them or something. Anyway, isn’t Bevry taking care of that right now? Faelor is only a few millennia behind Norland. You can’t underestimate the power of a Duke.”

“It’s an indirect method!” Flowsand argued, “The initial sacrifice needs to strengthen the Book of Time, only then can we communicate with the Eternal Dragon and have it substitute the role of a church. Even if the Book is a divine weapon, it can’t be compared to a real church. We’ll lose a lot of the blessing, a lot! Only a third will be left!”

“Alright, alright! In any case, we have a method. Don’t worry about the expenses, we’re not taking care of that personally.” Richard’s hand started to trace the curve of Flowsand’s rear as he spoke, and when he reached the bottom he grabbed the hem of her robe and started raising it. He was prepared for ‘business.’

Flowsand sighed helplessly, no longer bothering with the issue. She was just very unaccustomed to such a thing. The same kind of offering back in Faust could be exchanged for almost thirty years of time, but through the Book of Time it was only worth ten. Still, even ten years was incredibly difficult. If they managed it, they could claim to have an incredibly solid foundation in Faelor. With that being the case, why complain? Richard’s mischief had caused her to unwittingly relaxed.

Still, she pressed down on the hand that was up to no good under her robes, “I’m not done talking! I just tested Caesar, he has incredible talent for the divine. Given our current conditions, we should consider quickly raising his level. I need a few capable helpers.

“Also, I’m running out of scrolls. We have to consider getting another batch, should we find and raid another church? Also, your own power is important. You should consider giving yourself another rune.”

Hearing the words ‘raid a church’ coming from the mouth of a cleric so naturally, Richard felt an indescribable incongruity.

He hastily sorted out his thoughts, “Don’t worry about raiding a church yet. It’s not like that’s impossible, but we need to do it in secret. Before we finish the passage back to Norland, we can’t easily reveal our identities. I already have some ideas for my next runes as well. First, I’m preparing one that allows my spells to penetrate magic barriers and the like. After that, I plan to craft something I’m calling Nature’s Domain. It will enhance my nature affinities, empowering my elven blood. That will allow for an increase in the power of Nature’s Beckon.”

Flowsand furrowed her brows, “So you’re saying you’ll get an extra summon? Six direbears at once, isn’t that a little too brutal?”

Richard only chuckled in response, saying nothing. Normally, a grade 6 Nature’s Beckon would only summon one to three direbears depending on the caster’s luck. These bears were all around level 8 or 9, three of them together able to overwhelm a level 10 warrior. His elven blood allowed him to summon five with a single spell, and the addition of a rune would make that six. That was exactly twice as many as even the luckiest of normal mages!

And it wasn’t just that. With the Book of Holding in his hands, he could store three grade 6 spells. At the same time, his own precise control of magic allowed him to cast two grade 6 spells at his current level.

In other words, if some naive fellow wanted to challenge Richard, he would end up surrounded by thirty direbears in less than a minute. This was a complete landslide, much like Sharon’s own ability. Of course, it was too early to claim that he was like the legendary mage. He only had a group of bears, while she could summon groups of dragons. There was still a fundamental difference between the two; even the weakest green dragon could destroy hundreds of direbears.

And as someone who was a student of that legendary mage, Richard would not feel complacent over his achievements, “I can only defeat a normal mage of the same level. It might be useful when adventuring or on small battlefields, but it quickly loses effect as the scale grows until thirty direbears are nothing. Eventually, the bears just end up being equivalent to a cavalry unit…

“I’m actually a little confused right now, unsure of which path to choose. If it was adventuring or small battles, strengthening my summons would not be a bad idea. It could even fundamentally change the direction of any battle. However, a strong fighter like a ranger or an assassin who can attack from afar is best fought with explosive power. And as for war, I should strengthen my group buffs or curses, like slow, haste, bull’s strength, or iron skin…”

Flowsand huffed, muttering something under her breath before she spoke up, “Hey! Stop complaining about imaginary problems. What do you want your normal mages to do? Your choices are pretty good right now. At our level, thirty direbears are definitely nothing to laugh at. As for larger battles, Olar and Zendrall are much more useful than you. And once I advance another level, hehe, even you won’t be able to take me down!”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA