Book 3, Chapter 21

Power(2)

The Archeron and silvermoon bloodlines were both very high class, leaving Richard with hundreds of abilities from which his next would awaken. It was something beyond control, but at least with the ability to influence the strengthening of his bloodline he could influence things. Sadly his Archeron bloodline was a single network spanning his entire body, unlike the distinctly partitioned elven bloodline.

The results of the night’s meditation were exceptionally obvious. He’d been able to capture three or four astral rays every hour, giving him the conditions to test his hypothesis. Indeed, the direction of the astral rays could be influenced slightly, pushing them towards or away from his bloodlines. The bloodlines would capture the rays whenever they drew close enough, strengthening slightly. Although his success rate wasn’t great, this was still much better than a complete lack of control. On top of all that this increased capture rate of astral rays would greatly speed up his mana growth.

At dawn, Richard was pleasantly surprised to find that his mana pool had grown by three units. Although this was a drop in the pool when compared to his over 800 points of mana, it meant he could become a grade 12 mage in a month. At that point, he would be a proper true runemaster.

He went looking for Amon and Devon after breakfast, selling all the cloudiron ore in exchange for 80 sets of half-body plate armour, refined tower shields, one-handed axes, and corresponding shield enchantment scrolls.

All added together, these items cost close to 100,000 gold, slightly exceeding what he would get normally. However, considering that Richard was in a crucial period where he was expanding his army, the two didn’t care too much about a 20,000 difference.

Still, they were a little curious. These custom sets were sufficient to equip a normal knight with, and the slaves Devon sold wouldn’t be able to use such good items well. Of course, they wouldn’t openly inquire; such things as the source of one’s soldiers were top secret. It only confirmed in their minds that Richard was backed by a powerful family.

Unfortunately, the Bloodstained Lands were in a period of chaos after Sinclair had blown through. And despite the dark world’s territory being minuscule compared to the human kingdoms, their power was still unpredictable. The two did not have the strength to investigate further.

Of course, they didn’t know that this equipment was created for the army of level 5 humanoid warriors of the broodmother. Those drones were individually equivalent to level 9 warriors, and with the addition of this superior equipment, they would each surpass the common knight. On top of that, they were much more powerful than the same number of knights in combat. After all, few living beings were unafraid of pain and death, being absolutely compliant to their commander’s orders.

The equipment had been designed with more emphasis on power than value. Only after finding out how expensive these sets would become did Richard abandon the idea of an entire army of humanoids, at least for now.

The level of the broodmother’s drones was still quite limited, so he had no choice but to use equipment to compensate for the lack of power.

It was already late at night when the transaction was completed. Richard had also agreed to join Falcao for dinner. Devon was the only other one present, and the spellsword made known his desire to buy a rune that would substantially improve his abilities for a short period of time. He didn’t mind even if it was single use.

Richard had finally figured out the mindsets of saints like Falcao who had no hope of advancing in a short period of time. They had taken runes to be consumable, similar to magic scrolls and the like. They just assumed a rune could save one’s life at a critical time, turning the tides of a battle. Of course, everyone knew what was more important between gold and chances of survival.

Richard himself was quite fond of the idea. Ever since the first rune he had sold in Faelor, he had planned to turn the permanent runes into consumables that would wear out after use.

The transaction was very successful. Richard agreed to give the man a rune identical to Rolf’s, also gifting him a War Construct scroll as well. In exchange, he was compensated with the materials to make three runes and an additional 200 magic crystals.

Summed up, the transaction was 50,000 gold’s worth of materials for something that would save one’s life or kill an enemy. Both parties were satisfied with the price.

The only hiccup came with the scroll. Both Falcao and Devon had truly wonderful expressions after learning about the usage of the scroll. Just like Rolf, they could tell that it was a great opportunity and a terrible trap. Still, Falcao accepted. Richard had even said innocently that it could be given away if the saint did not want to use it.

Unlike Rolf, or even Falcao who was standing right in front of him, Devon had flashed an undisguised bitter smile. Seeing his objective met, Richard smiled in return and parted ways.

The moment he left the room, the eyes of the Falcao and Devon bounced to the magic sealing box at the centre of the table. The lid was open, revealing an exquisite divine scroll as well as an explanation of the faith. The looming divine power was proof enough of its great value. Illuminated by a magic lamp, the circulating energy was full of deadly temptation that left their throats dry.

On his way back, Richard couldn’t help but marvel at Flowsand’s genius. The War Construct scroll was an irresistible trap that few people had the willpower to avoid, even if they knew there was an abyss ahead. It was especially so when they were in life or death situations.

Of course, it also had its price. Kellac needed to sacrifice a week’s worth of divine power, while even Flowsand wouldn’t be able to attack for three days.

But how exactly did she design it? This was something not even a genius could describe. Richard still knew nothing about the working of divine power. If not for Flowsand, this trip to Faelor would definitely have ended in disaster…

Once he was back at camp, Richard went around the place once with a few of his followers. Soon after, he started meditating again. The efficiency was still high, but this time he finally found the reason. Every use of Outburst roused all of his mana. Every cast of the spell by Flowsand left a remnant of divine power in him that slowly grew permanent and fused within.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Mel

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA