Book 3, Chapter 5

The Pillar Crumbles(2)

The incident with the portal exploding shocked the entire Sacred Alliance. Although it wouldn’t affect the situation in Norland too greatly, it had definitely given many sensitive people some new ideas.

Gaton’s large army was trapped within the Mensas’ personal plane. Judging from the timing of the explosion it should have passed through the channel, but few were optimistic about the Archeron head’s future. Dire was an understatement to describe the situation of a large army without supplies.

The battle between the Archerons and the Mensa-Joseph-Schumpeter alliance was without a doubt the core of Faust’s recent politics. Gaton had used an unbeatable offence to sweep across the Schumpeter Family’s plane and followed it up by defeating a united army that included the Josephs on Norland’s soil. His fame and power were currently unparalleled in the Sacred Alliance!

The fight against the Mensas had just started, but Gaton had already forced his way into one of their personal planes with great momentum. Nobody had expected such an abrupt change.

Nobody knew why the Archerons’ portal had suddenly exploded. Logically speaking, a portal to a registered plane should have been incredibly stable; the destination and Norland were basically tied together by chains. If not for that, there wouldn’t be nearly as many families who paid exorbitant sums of money for the coordinates of their opponents’ planes.

Few times in history had such an explosion occurred, not more than could be counted on one’s hands. Of course there were many more incidents with unstable passages, portals being destroyed more than half the time.

Earl Goliath received the news only two hours after the explosion. His lands were very close to Blackrose Castle, and as a step-brother that was related to the Azan branch within the past three generations he was basically the first to receive the news.

Hearing about it and calmly verifying the information, the giant had locked himself in his study for a day and night without word or food. Only the next evening did he walk out of his room, returning to managing his territory and his plane as usual like nothing had happened.

……

Evening the next day, Alice received the news as she was going through her army. It was small in scale, but all the soldiers were shockingly powerful and well-equipped. When her right hand passed on the information, the warlord who never lost focus blanked out for a moment. The longsword in her hands fell quietly to the ground without her even noticing.

And yet, she had recovered in the next moment. Her sword flew back to her with a beckon, and she spoke up to her right hand, “No worries, don’t do anything for now. Let’s talk about it after a while, that fellow always creates miracles.”

“As you wish, my Lady,” came the response. However, the right hand thought things over for a moment and reminded Alice softly, “My lady, what about Faust…”

*Smack!* Alice hit her own head heavily, “I completely forgot! Send a few capable men over imme— no, go yourself, and get to island 7-2! Right away!” Alice’s lands were incredibly far from Azan, and she intentionally avoided having intelligence officers in the region, so it was already a little late when she received the news.

The right hand was a young and beautiful woman, but the unconcealable killing intent was a constant reminder that she definitely wasn’t someone to belittle. The Earl herself held her in high regard. Hearing Alice’s instructions, the woman’s murderous aura burst forth as she responded fiercely, “No need to worry, my Lady. I’ll definitely snatch the islands for us!”

Alice was stunned at this response, laughing despite herself, “Why do we need something so flashy? Your only assignment is to monitor Faust for Richard’s return. I’ve had a premonition that he might come back at any time, and if he does appear it’s most likely to be at Faust. If he returns and there is still no news of Gaton’s return, then you should do whatever it takes to bring him back to my lands!”

“Richard? The one who’s rumoured to be a future saint runemaster? But there are many people who want him…” The right-hand was a little worried.

The corners of Alice’s lips curved up slightly in a smile and she said, “There’s nothing to be afraid of, he just needs to reach my territory. Anyone who wants to snatch Richard away can come and try. Don’t forget, I’m the goddess of war!”

The right hand smiled helplessly, quietly reminding her master, “Only a few people recognise that title!”

“Why does the number matter? Anyone who has ever fought me recognises the title, that’s enough!”

The right hand nodded her head, her confidence boosted a little.

……

News of the incident spread explosively, even faster than the ripples of an earthquake.

The day before Faust’s Assembly of Lords met, the city’s central square was filled with luxurious carriages. This definitely wasn’t something seen often, and had only occurred because of the events at Blackrose Castle.

The assembly building was large and white, with twelve huge, pristine pillars that served the purpose of magnificent decoration. The building that could accommodate a thousand people was just like these pillars, originally just a flashy institution. Even though all the powerful families of Faust had seats in the Assembly, they normally never attended these meetings. Any resolutions passed here did not even apply to them. The families occupying the flying islands had paved their path with blood, and blood was the price if one wished to restrict them.

However, this meeting was different. A majority of the seats in the outer amphitheatre were already filled with people, all here to listen to the meeting. Even if not many were eligible to participate in the meeting, many could at least manage to qualify for a visit.

In the exact centre was a round table encircled by luxurious and magnificent seats. Every chair had tall legs with exquisite and intricate carvings, a throne-like backrest and armrests that curved outwards. So spacious were these seats that they bordered on excessive, each at least twice as big as a normal chair.

These were the exclusive seats of the families that occupied the floating islands, the Silver Chairs. Even the royal family could only occupy one.

These chairs that represented supreme power and luxury were normally left empty. However, just as the assembly was about to start wheels sounded on the pavement as a luxurious carriage stopped before the steps. An old man with grizzled hair that was fully clothed in formal attire strode up the steps and into the meeting grounds. The moment he entered, a buzz sounded from the venue as everyone broke into discussion.

“Isn’t that an elder of the Schumpeter Family? Why is he here?”

“That’s right. Weren’t they heavily wounded, desperately trying to intercept the Anan Family that’s advancing towards Faust? How is he still in the mood to appear here?”

“Don’t tell me he still wants to take one of the Silver Chairs…”

“Exactly!”

The Schumpeters had been defeated twice in the battle with Gaton, their fertile personal planes captured and their rune knights annihilated. The family had lost at least half its power, and it was but a foregone conclusion that they would be kicked out from Faust’s families.

Every high noble required a minimum amount of strength of character. Weakened as they were, the Schumpeters definitely couldn’t bend to the normal families of Faust. They either had to defend their status with blood or completely withdraw. However, none here had expected an elder of a family that was on the eve of being driven out of Faust would still appear at the assembly.

However, the representatives of various other powerful families started appearing one after the other as well. Almost all of the Silver Chairs were filled.

A moment later, the crowd went into an uproar once again. The royal family had actually sent a representative! Prince Morden had just arrived, leaving all but two of the seats occupied. Only the Archeron and Mensa seats were empty.

And everyone that was well-informed knew that these families were the stars today.

Footsteps sounded from outside the building once more, and the people immediately cried out in surprise. The Mensa Family hadn’t sent out any normal representative; Duke Mensa himself was here!

The Duke was hale and hearty, his steps powerful as he strode to his seat. He was in no hurry to sit down, his lips curling into a small smile with relish as his gaze passed over the empty Archeron seat.

The Duke raised both hands, quieting the entire venue down before his bold and powerful voice resounded through the area, “Ladies and gentlemen. Before this meeting begins, I have two important pieces of news to tell you.

“The first is very disappointing. The family’s Rosie plane, the one I named after my beautiful granddaughter, faces an abnormal situation. The portal to it blew up, and more importantly, its registration in the Church of the Eternal Dragon disappeared as well.”

He hadn’t finished speaking before an uproar erupted. The registration disappearing meant that the plane had broken away from the Eternal Dragon’s system, once more a drifting plane. Not only would re-establishing the connection require a great expense, the original coordinates weren’t even necessarily valid.

However, Duke Mensa’s expression was very thought-provoking; despite the loss of such a fertile plane, he did not seem upset in the least. Some of the insiders knew that this was precisely the plane that Gaton had attacked. As for those who did not know before, few were too stupid to miss the connection.

Erasing the registration of the plane was equivalent to turning it into a prison that completely trapped Gaton and his large army within. There had been theories on how to accomplish such a thing, but nobody had ever truly tried it or even explored the idea before.

A plane was invaluable, with the more mature ones having no shortage of resources and area even compared to Norland. It normally took hundreds of years to barely establish some footing in one of the larger planes.

Families rose and fell in the endless planar wars, but nobody would completely give up on a plane. Even if it fell into the hands of the opponent, once could still seize it again.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA