Richard found no problem with crafting an elementary strength rune, even with his mana depleted. The only adverse effect was that the boost would be slightly lower than normal.
The rune he was currently working on was meant for Medium Rare, and would raise the ogre’s might greatly. Runes weren’t limited to humans: elves, dwarves, gnomes… any race with adequate intelligence could use them with only minor adjustments. Even some powerful magic beasts could use runes, an example being the mounts of rune knights.
However, few people in history had crafted runes for ogres and barbarians, even for elementary runes. Most runemasters in history had come from humans and elves, and with the elven empires split apart most current runemasters were human. Every single one was a person of high esteem, and regardless of the quality of their runes demand always outstripped supply. Who would create runes for barbarians and ogres, beings that humans believed were only a step above beasts?
Ogres could indeed equip runes. They were different from orcs in that regard, many even having talent for magic. Tiramisu himself was a prime example of this.
Although the rune Richard was crafting wasn’t customised for ogres, given his strong vitality Medium Rare would only feel slightly uncomfortable when using it. However, his strength would still be boosted to a great extent. Costs would skyrocket if he wanted to make the custom rune, and it would take three months to craft. On top of that, outside of the comfort when using it, the bonus to the strength boost would be a measly 5%.
The elementary strength rune was nearly complete by dawn. It would only take two more days to finish.
A calm day passed in Bluewater. People had many things to discuss, mostly with regards to Richard returning with nearly 8,000 slaves. Although he had kept all the sturdy barbarians and wild elves to himself, the remaining desert warriors were still worth 50,000 gold. And this was only the price in the Bloodstained Lands! 50,000 gold was no small amount to anyone, so everyone was naturally happy to chat about it throughout the day.
However, once night fell the people had one more thing to discuss. That was the sudden appearance of a dozen people at the boundaries of the city.
It was a mixed group of humans and dwarves. The attention-grabbing detail was that all of them had their limbs amputated, but were still healed by divine spells. The stumps were not bleeding profusely, and at the very least they would not die in the next few days. They tossed about, their wails of anguish so agonising that even the hardened residents of the Bloodstained Lands were appalled. Some had recognised that the humans hailed from Red Cossack, but nobody dared relieve them of their pain. They did not even have the courage to end their suffering.
People had already noticed that Richard’s subordinates were the ones who had dumped these fellows here. Now, this handsome young mage was no different from a demon in their eyes.
The same night Richard had plundered the second-class caravan and reached Bluewater with its goods, the Red Cossack agents in the city had silently left to avoid his blade. However, nobody would believe that the ferocious merchant group had conceded to the great mage. The local agent just felt like he did not have the strength to engage Richard in combat, so he retreated for now. Red Cossack had started out as a bandit group, and they were scattered across the vast land. They rarely placed massive military forces in a single city. Their response to this provocation would definitely be fierce.
The conflict between Richard and Red Cossack had reached the point of no return. Given how he had dealt with the entire situation, it was obvious that he had no more mercy than them. Blood did not scare these people, but it definitely stopped anyone who harboured ill intent for him because of his age.
The onlookers naturally had their own opinions of the situation, but they consciously lowered their voice. This was a display of Richard’s power.
Night fell once more. Richard was finishing up on his strength rune, while Flowsand was in the middle of her nightly classes for her apprentices where she taught them how to amass divine power and use it.
Waterflower was still hidden in the darkness; nobody outside of Richard could pinpoint her location. Phaser occasionally hovered nearby, but sometimes she just wandered around in the city. Gangdor and Tiramisu stayed with the army; with a hundred new barbarians and sixty elven archers, training had to be stepped up so they could integrate into the forces as soon as possible. The others had their own matters to attend to; Richard would be staying in Bluewater for some more time.
News had already arrived from Kellac’s side. He had finished absorbing all the divine power, and he was bringing his own army over. 300 warriors of the Demon Hunting Spears had accepted Richard’s recruitment and would hasten over once their current missions came to an end. While they would take a collective 3,000 coins per month, elites that were level 7 at minimum with two powerful level 13 swordsmen meant he was getting his money’s worth.
All that was left was to wait for the saint of the Golden Warflag, Falcao. When he arrived, there would be no need to fear any sudden attack by Red Cossack.
The rune meant for Rolf was already in production. It cost a great deal to make and would last half an hour per activation. Whenever active, it would enhance the user’s strength by 20% and defence by 10%, the combination of two effects signifying its status as a grade 2 rune. Most of the magic arrays would be shaved off after two uses, however, leaving behind very little power. This was the most important part and the reason for the high cost. A self-destructing magic array that had a limit on the number of uses was difficult to draw. A normal grade 2 rune would only cost two-thirds as much.
In a tavern at the side of the city, Medium Rare, Olar, and Phaser were drinking at a table. They were mostly here because of the ogre’s existence: Medium Rare was unwelcome in most taverns because he would scare off the other customers.
Perhaps it was due to his soul contract with Richard, but Olar had been jittery as of late. He’d thus pulled Medium Rare away for a few drinks, and for some reason, Phaser had come along as well. However, the elf had no other thoughts for the night, eager to rinse his throat with alcohol and wash away the restlessness with the ogre.
Phaser was wrapped up in a dark robe, hiding the unique features that would attract attention. Business was slow in the tavern anyway, with only two tables filled, but bottles were already strewn over theirs. Medium Rare alone had the capacity of seven or eight sturdy men, his large body not even fitting into the chair. He had to sit on the floor, bringing him to the same height as the seated Olar. The elven bard himself was used to high society where alcohol tolerance was an essential weapon, while Phaser wasn’t half-bad either. The alcohol seemed to have no effect on her.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA