Book 3, Chapter 4

The Pillar Crumbles

Gaton looked at the bundle with trepidation. It wasn’t easy to identify that this dusty cloth could actually seal magic. Every square inch was worth a gram of abyssal emerald; so high was the quality of any material that could shield one from an astral beast’s power. He furrowed his brows, “How did you get a hold of this terrifying thing?”

“I happened to see it when I was passing through a semiplane, so I slaughtered it along the way. Thankfully it wasn’t as difficult as the lesser demon lord,” Sharon said nonchalantly. Now that her hands were finally freed, she fixed her dishevelled hair before continuing, “When you come back alive, throw it to that old dragon. That way, we can eradicate the root of the problem.

“If there’s nothing else, I’m leaving. I’ve been very busy lately.”

“Wait!” Gaton called with a frown, “There are countless planes in existence. Without the Eternal Dragon’s help, you won’t just chance upon the plane Richard was sent to. You’re doing this all for naught! It’s extremely dangerous!”

“Who says I’m looking for him?” the mage snorted. “I’m just going through the planes and trying to get some money. You should worry about yourself, little Gaton. You should give up on the Mensas’ plane and focus on the Schumpeter one. The stars are telling me your luck is awful right now.”

It was Gaton’s turn to groan, “If I don’t take out the Mensas’ plane, they’ll continue to cause trouble with me. The old fellow has a lot of family property, who knows how many more sacrifices he can manage. Besides, they’ll only spill details on what they offered after I beat them up. With that, we’ll be able to find the plane Richard went to.”

“Regardless, it’ll be a very challenging journey. Besides, it’s not likely for us to find Richard that way. The Schumpeters sent a team to hunt him down, but they still haven’t followed up on that. You can tell they don’t have the coordinates either,” Sharon commented rudely, coming to a conclusion, “Giving up would be a smart move. Richard was one of my students, this small issue won’t faze him.”

Gaton laughed heartily and retorted, “You still have the cheek to speak about me. What about you?”

A dangerous blue fire flashed subtly in the legendary mage’s eyes. She replied indifferently, “When I was young, I made an agreement with the Sacred Alliance Emperor that I would never lay my hands on the houses of Faust. If not for that, I would’ve burnt the old Mensa lands to the ground already. Hmph! He has such high tolerance. He isn’t responding no matter how much I provoke him, and refuses to let me get a hold of him.”

Gaton stroked his short, steel-like beard, revealing a charming smile that was rife with danger, “Isn’t that exactly what I’m about to do?”

Sharon’s gaze locked deeply into Gaton’s eyes, “If you want to court your own death, it’s up to you. Also, I’ve told Blackgold to deliver a batch of items, keep them well. They’re all little things to throw to the old dragon. If little Richard comes back suddenly, give them to him. Take it as a gift, for my sister’s joy.

“But it’s for Richard, not you Archeron fellows!”

“As long as I’m around, nobody will dare lay their hands on his things,” Gaton answered.

The legendary mage nodded, turning around to step through a portal. Her ponytail jumped around in the air as she disappeared into the light.

Sharon’s visit had been brief, but it left Gaton feeling troubled. He looked at the bundled head of the astral beast, feeling lost for a moment. Even after pondering over it for a long while, he couldn’t think of any method to hide it somewhere safe. Eventually he just issued a death order to guard the tower; as long as he himself wasn’t present, nobody was allowed to enter the highest floor.

As for thieves, no thief could steal from the islands of Faust. And even if one somehow infiltrated the sacred land to try and steal the astral beast’s head, they would likely just disintegrate into stardust that was too small to be seen by the naked eye.

A few days later, the portal to the Mensa plane had finally been constructed. Gaton had invested many years of his savings to build it, even doubling his debt to Sharon for the sake of a gigantic, stable passageway. The other end was located in one of the nine personal planes of the Mensas.

Personal planes were the core of a family’s economy. If one was under attack, they would be hurt greatly.

Even as the construction of the portal was completed, Gaton was waiting before it. Eight of his thirteen were lined up behind him, followed by a troop of thirty grade 2 and sixty grade 1 rune knights. Behind them were 40,000 elite soldiers.

When the dazzling rays of light burst open at the portal, Gaton had Darkmoon Blackflame move forward. He raised the sword that had reaped countless lives, leading the army through the gate.

The ferocious soldiers charged in after him, beginning a journey with their fates unknown. The Mensa family was unlike the Josephs and the Schumpeters. They had accumulated a profound support system over thousands of years. Even Gaton couldn’t predict the outcome of this battle.

As the last team entered, the radiance of the portal started to dim. Although it was a stable passageway, it still took an immense amount of energy to transport the huge army. Left with its last dregs of energy, it could barely maintain contact between the two planes.

When the expedition reached its end, the people on the other side would transmit a special signal. Those appointed to stay behind on this end would then supplement the portal with magic crystals, allowing the troops to return.

The cost of travel was the greatest expense of this expedition. If their profits weren’t abundant enough, they might very well incur losses from this war.

Dozens of mages were busy at work below the portal, trying to stabilise it and lower its mana consumption even as they set up some defensive formations. There were also plenty of arrangements in place to deal with the aftermath.

However, that very moment, sudden waves of strange energy burst forth from the stable portal. Although the light had almost been extinguished, it suddenly burst open and even started to shake violently! The mages were astonished. Before they could even process what had happened, they were assaulted by an unknown force and shoved into the formations. Their mana was sucked away like water, the vibration of the portal growing more and more violent. The rays of light coming from it started to burn!

Eventually, under their horror-stricken gazes, the portal exploded loudly! The severe explosion didn’t just destroy the infrastructure in the plaza, covering the entire wall of the castle facing the plaza in cracks! The Archerons who were watching the troops depart, yet to regain their senses in the face of this magnificent scene, suffered an instant death.

However, there was something much more important than the lives of these branch families: Gaton’s troops had no way back!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: XH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA