Book 2, Chapter 211

Desires(3)

The dwarves had actually played along in the beginning, talking about their battles with Red Cossack. However, when it came to matters of principle like their gunpowder recipes or the location of their tribe, they turned into rocks that would not open their mouths. Olar tried every method he knew over the entire day, but there was no progress. This was something he had never encountered before; even Norland’s dwarves weren’t this unyielding. Any decently sized group, regardless of race, was bound to have some people who were timid and greedy. However, every prisoner they had taken from the caravan was extremely stubborn. It could only be chalked up to bad luck.

“I don’t have the time!” Richard coldly interrupted, pointing at the middle-aged Red Cossack captain, “Drag him out!”

A few men opened the door of the cage, pulling the man out and placing him in front of Richard. The mage did not speak a word, merely closing his eyes as his breathing grew more ragged and his face ashen. It only lasted a short while, though— his breaths were back to normal by the time he opened his eyes again. However, in the depths of those pupils was something nobody here could see clearly.

Richard’s gaze bored into the middle-aged man’s eyes, “I’ve run out of patience. Tell me right now, where is the Anvil of Lightning?”

The middle-aged man groaned, not answering the question. However, Richard did not frown this time, only taking the sword from Olar’s waist.

*Schlick!* The blade cut off the man’s right hand. Blood spurted out like a fountain, turning the fellow’s face white. He let out a stifled groan, but still remained unyielding as he tried to stay upright without shouting.

Richard looked him in the eyes, saying solemnly, “I do not have any more time. The more you delay me, the lower the chances that these other two survive. And they’re very important to me!”

“Then let them die!” came the response.

*Schlick!* The left arm fell to the floor.

“Where is the Anvil of Lightning?” Richard asked twice more, the lack of response robbing the man of both his legs.

“Caesar!” Richard called. The youth could not keep his hands from trembling, but still managed to complete a lesser healing spell. This would only slow down the bleeding, causing the man to die a slower death. A simple healing spell could not fix such deep wounds.

Richard passed the sword back to Olar. The bard noticed that the fingers gripping the blade had turned pale, an indication that the mage had overexerted his energy. The mage wasn’t actually feeling as calm as he looked; his heart was boiling with a volcanic rage that could erupt at any time.

Richard took out a handkerchief, wiping his hands that were stained with blood as he spoke to Olar, “You can go and rest now. Come back tomorrow morning. If they are still unwilling to yield, cut all their limbs off in the evening and throw them outside the city!”

“Yes, Master!” Olar replied with his head lowered. For some reason, even though some past orders had been crueller, this one felt especially bone-chilling. It was as if his master had completely transformed into someone else over the past few days.

Only after Richard left the interrogation room could the bard manage to relax. He let out a deep breath, thick beads of sweat pouring down his face to drench his entire outfit. Feeling uncomfortable, the elf cast an angry gaze at the captives and hurled expletives their way, having the guards keep a close eye on them as he left the interrogation room.

That night he felt especially depressed, as though something was stuck in his chest. He needed to find a place to have a drink and relax.

……

When he returned to his room, Richard closed the door and forced himself to calm down as he tried to start meditating. The Archeron blood in the depths of his body was roaring without end, giving him a strong urge to rip apart everything in his way!

He sat down and tried to quiet the restless blood, his consciousness slowly becoming still.

His inner mind was initially black everywhere, but a starry blue light slowly lit up in a corner. A spectre of himself revolved around that blue sea, a translucent silhouette of his own body that was covered in faint mist.

The dull lights were a representation of his current magical abilities. Given his blessing of wisdom, it did not take any time to accurately calculate the depth of his mana pool. As a level 11 mage, he currently had a total of 800 points of mana. He wasn’t far from level 12.

The colour of the magic lights represented the distribution of the different elements. His own mana pool was a mix of different colours, a balanced chaos with no specific affinity. This was the most common type of mana.

Numerous dark-red lines roamed all over his body, each as slender as a spiderweb. If he concentrated on them and magnified the image, he could see that these traces resembled blood vessels. However, the blood flowing within them was close to boiling temperature.

This was not the first time he had come across this scene during meditation. He knew that they were not his real veins, merely a vestige of his Archeron bloodline’s strength.

The Archeron bloodline was unbelievably powerful. Even a mere grade 2 ability like Blaze was extremely strong. It could speed up his spellcasting by over 20%, only limited by the fact that his immature bloodline would not allow him to use Eruption at the same time. Using Blaze was equivalent to forfeiting his own survival skills.

In the deepest part of his body was a large, fuzzy tree, with lush branches that spread out everywhere. They reached the extremes of his body, intertwining with that crimson web. One could not trace the branches back to the root, nor could they find the end.

A vast array of roots encircled five trunks, with most of the branches and leaves growing out of one. This tree was a manifestation of his elven blood, the five trunks representing the affinities granted by his bloodline: nature, the elements, recovery, illusion, and moonforce. The most developed of the lot was the trunk of nature, the origin of the boost to his Nature’s Beckon spell. The moonforce trunk had grown a little as well, but the other three were mostly stems without much growth.

A cloud of mana pervaded the tree and the spiderwebs, constantly pumping into both bloodlines and spilling out once more. However, the mana was being worn down a little in this process; the effect was so minute that Richard only sensed it because of his sharpness and care.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA