Book 3, Chapter 3

Once Lazy And Luxurious(3)

Alice didn’t wait for Sua’s reply, walking straight out of the hall. His response was well within her expectations; although if he really did have the ability to provide twenty grade 2 rune knights, she wouldn’t mind honouring her commitment. She knew clearly of her own worth and standing.

Blood Paladin Senma was waiting outside the door. When she saw Alice approaching, she immediately jumped up to welcome her, “Earl Alice! My Lord would like me to accompany you to select rune knights. You can choose five grade 2 rune knights from his personal guard.”

“The Marquess is very generous!” Gaton’s personal guard comprised of his most powerful elites.

“It’s just a part of the deal,” Senma said without expression. She didn’t care much for Alice, and made no attempt to hide her disdain. With a big war approaching, five grade 2 rune knights were a powerful force. Outside of that, Alice was beautiful enough for even her to be jealous, which only added to the hate.

The Earl took large strides out of the ancient castle, her servants already waiting at the door with a bunch of draconic horses. She got up on her mount, towering over everyone else as she spoke to Senma who was behind her, “Tell him we have a deal. However, he can give me the knights another day, after the war ends.”

Without waiting for the surprised Senma’s response, Alice left abruptly alongside her personal guards and servants. She was getting busier with every passing day, and she had no interest in staying at Azan and watching Gaton’s soldiers prepare for war. She immediately returned to her own territory. Looking at the shrinking back of the young earl, Senma couldn’t help but soften her gaze.

Over the following days, several branch families left one after the other. Only a minority remained in Blackrose Castle.

At the back of the castle, a huge portal was almost complete. In but a few days, Gaton and his army would set out. A majority of the Archerons who stayed had a good relationship with the Marquess, or were at least on neutral terms. They were here to learn more about the construction of the portal, its protection, and the army.

A majority of families, even the more famous and powerful ones, did not have their own personal planes. That was a privilege of the most powerful bloodlines.

The Archerons had a total of eight planes under them combined. Three were controlled by Gaton, two by Marquess Sauron, and one by Earl Goliath. Alice had just obtained control of a lesser plane, and was in the process of constructing her forward base there. As for the last plane, that was held in tandem by five relatively small branches who all shared control. The rest of the branches did not have any to their name.

However, there was no shortage of ambitious families amongst the Archeron branches. Many of them were quite weak and would be completely destroyed even in a plane limited to level 18, but they never missed a chance to learn about planar warfare. As the family head, Gaton was willing to provide them that knowledge.

There were quarrels amongst the various branches of the family, and as they gradually expanded many scumbags had started to emerge from their ranks. However, an increase in the family’s overall power was still a good thing.

Take Gaton for example. He had only come from an ordinary family himself, but he had fought his way to his current status. Who was to say that there weren’t more like him amongst the family’s youths?

While the portal was being finished, Gaton returned to Faust for a while. His first task was to visit the Church of the Eternal Dragon. Nobody knew what he had discussed with high priestess Ferlyn, but when he returned to the Archeron island he seemed downcast. He locked himself in the highest tower of his castle.

This was Gaton’s personal territory. Outside of him, nobody in the entire family was permitted entry. However, this tower was designed in a simple manner with nothing inside. There wasn’t any decoration, leaving it bare apart from the rocks littered all over the place. The only thing beautiful about the place was the scenery of Faust through the full-height windows.

Gaton was sat upright at the centre of the empty hall, his two-handed sword laid by his feet. He shut his eyes, bringing himself to a strange realm of calmness. This was something he did before every major war. Such was his true self, being calm when necessary and exploding forth when it was time to fight.

The impending war was started in dangerous circumstances, completely unlike anything he had faced before. He had never been afraid of necessary risk, but that did not mean he was willing to shoulder unneeded dangers. In fact, it was quite the opposite; he had to make better preparations for this war, minimising his chances of failure.

However, this plan failed completely and utterly. The empty space in his surroundings suddenly shook violently, a shudder that was all too familiar stopping any thoughts of attacking. He had just opened his eyes when a huge package fell from up high with a resounding thud, landing right in front of him.

Looking at Sharon who had just jumped out of a portal, he forced a smile, “Do you really have to appear like this? Someone with a weaker heart would have been scared to death.”

“Someone with a weak heart isn’t worth a spacetime beacon on them,” the legendary mage responded dully.

Gaton found it difficult to get used to the lack of the hearty smile and the boasts. It felt like the person in front of him was a stranger who had only put on Sharon’s face. However, even though the legendary mage’s mood had changed so greatly there was still a faint aura of power that constantly reminded him of her identity.

“You really are Sharon,” he said strangely.

“Haven’t you changed as well?” The legendary mage replied.

“Only for the time being. I’ll be back to normal once the war is over,” Gaton answered.

“My change is only for now as well.”

Gaton stared at the legendary mage for a while before shifting his gaze towards the large bundle, “What is this?”

“DON’T TOUCH IT!” Sharon launched an ice arrow, freezing half of Gaton’s body to stop him from loosening the parcel. “Don’t open it, that is antimagic cloth. Inside is the skull of an astral beast; once it fixes its gaze on anyone, even you, they’ll immediately turn to stardust.”

Even though Gaton was experienced and knowledgeable, he was still shocked upon hearing this. If the astral beast’s gaze was that strong even when dead, not even a legendary being would dare to gaze upon it directly. If he had been quicker just now, his luck slightly worse, he would have disappeared from existence.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC By: OMA