Book 3, Chapter 24

Dedication(2)

Flowsand’s bodily strength was no weaker than Richard’s, despite him being fed the special food of the Deepblue. That wasn’t all; she also possessed exceptional close combat skills, could use any sort of weapon, and knew how to take advantage of all types of terrain. Richard had experienced this first hand.

Although he himself had learnt the techniques of the underworld from Naya, most were focused around defence. Flowsand, with her added magical capabilities, was actually superior to him in hand to hand combat.

It was just like when he himself had used Sinclair’s long dagger, Eruption, two powerful divine spells, and the secret swords of Silvermoon to overwhelm the assassin who was of a similar level. If anyone thought defeating Flowsand would be easy if they closed the distance, they would find themselves in deep trouble.

Flowsand possessed the ability to fend off attacks from any angle, her body unimaginably lithe. The ability she showed on the bed was equally effective on the battlefield, if not even better. As long as she was willing, she could send any man to heaven before dropping them into a deep abyss of eternal despair.

It was only this past night that she had shown her true capabilities. It was the first time that he had been overwhelmed by intercourse, completely dominated near the end. It verified the old saying that magic was like the water in a sponge. The more one squeezed, the more water would come out. The last night had squeezed out all of his essence.

He also discovered something else. If Flowsand was unwilling, he could not force anything upon her. If he tried, she would be able to destroy him in an instant.

When Richard got out of bed, he did not care that the water in the basin was extremely cold. He washed his face before pulling a window open, letting the comfortable cool breeze blow into the room. Flowsand was indeed in the courtyard, only just making her way back to her own room. All he could see was her back, but she seemed to be full of vigour.

When his gaze landed on the three carriages, satisfaction flooded his heart. These supply vehicles represented his hope of returning home. He wanted to go back and see his teacher, to grow stronger and visit Klandor to tell the pony-tailed Mountainsea not to do anything foolish.

Truth be told, he still had a couple of small doubts in his mind. Firstly, judging from his experience with sacrifices the skeletal remains were only worth an intermediate sacrifice at most. Could an intermediate ritual that wasn’t even supported by a physical church actually give them the coordinates of Norland?

And the second doubt was with respect to Flowsand’s request. She had asked him to explain what he’d seen that turned him so gloomy. He wanted to slowly describe the visions in detail, even thinking to draw them out by hand. However, even though he had promised to tell her she did not bring the matter up at all. Since that was so, he wouldn’t mention it himself. Intuition told him it wasn’t a good time to share those details with her…

Flowsand wasn’t around at breakfast either, locked in her room in the midst of research. This was not uncommon either, so he didn’t think much of it. Dressing up after breakfast, he went out to meet Rolf and Falcao for a discussion about two more runes.

The coordinates would not be enough for him to return to Norland. Building a stable passage between planes required a lot of magic, meaning he had to get a lot of magic crystals. Thinking back to the teleportation gate that Lina had created, he estimated that he would need a minimum of 300 crystals to construct a portal that could be used twice. This didn’t even include the resources needed to transport the broodmother’s creatures; he hadn’t seen any records about such a thing in Norland and the broodmother didn’t have it in her own genetic memories either. It was still a mystery whether the drones would be treated as beings or weapons.

300 magic crystals alongside the materials required to build the portal. Even with the prices in the Bloodstained Lands, this was worth more than 300,000 gold. In Norland or a human kingdom here in Faelor, it would be worth anywhere between 800,000 and 1,200,000! He was thus in dire need of money, now able to see that planar wars were in no way golden geese. One needed to throw in an enormous initial deposit, and even so, there were unforeseeable risks and the threat of enemies coming from all directions.

The only good news was that such a passage would bring the two planes closer to each other. Further portals would require less materials to create, and would also allow for more people and items to pass through. A hundred years of planning and investment would even allow him to send through an army more than a hundred thousand strong.

……

Flowsand had buried herself in countless stacks of papers, all scribbled with numerous words, figures, and formulae as well as several cryptic texts. She would often bite the pen in her mouth, tugging hard at her short amber hair before burying herself once more in the data. If Richard could look upon this scene, he would definitely be shocked.

Already quite familiar with planar geometry, she was currently calculating the coordinates back to Norland. This was a field in which even Richard could not compare to her.

After writing down a huge chunk of calculations, she suddenly crushed all the paper in front of her into a ball and threw it against the wall. She then grabbed her hair once more, beginning to cry.

An entire afternoon of hard work had yielded no results, at least not the results she wanted. Without any divine grace, her own ability was not enough to calculate a route back to Norland. She had originally wished to rely on a small amount of divine grace as a foundation to calculate their bearings; after all, she didn’t need any precise coordinates on Norland. However, the entire afternoon of work proved it to be an impossible task.

This was not her first time attempting this calculation, and the result was no different either.

The girl was dazed, hot tears flowing uncontrollably down her cheeks to her neck, eventually soaking her robe. It was only after a long time that she rubbed her eyes hard, wiping the tears away before walking to a mirror to see her own reflection. She then cleaned her face up and left the room, the swollen red eyes the only vestige of her frustration.

Once again, she stepped into the courtyard where the bones were kept. Richard had ensured that she was the only one other than himself who could enter; even Moonbear’s knights could only patrol outside the walls. She had heard when he opened the windows and when he left from the back door, but she hadn’t wanted to be disturbed from her world of calculations.

Hourglasses appeared in her eyes once more, a light gold light landing on the bones. The Book of Time in her hands started glowing, becoming one with her field of vision. The bones seemed to have turned transparent in her sight, endless data converging into fine sacred texts that returned to her eyes.

This was one of two abilities her title granter her, Divine Appraisal. It allowed her to examine and analyse offerings, roughly gauging the amount of divine grace that the Eternal Dragon would grant. The higher the level of the executor of the ceremony, the more accurate the gauge was. With the Book of Time, Flowsand’s variance was about half of a Dewdrop of Life.

A menu then appeared in her mind, a number of options flashing through like lightning. It was so fast she couldn’t adequately understand it, so she didn’t bother spending any energy trying. ‘I need the coordinates of Norland, to ignite the Lighthouse of Time,’ she quietly chanted in her heart.

The menu suddenly turned fuzzy before clearing up again, only one option left remaining. It was a strange talisman; if closely examined one would notice it was made up of countless sacred texts that filled it with a ton of information. It held records of Norland’s coordinates.

However, Flowsand could not obtain these valuable coordinates yet. She could only do so with the divine grace granted after an offering. This skill was the second ability of the Daybreak Title, Whisper of Time. It allowed the user to select a required blessing from countless others, also finding out what they needed to sacrifice to obtain it.

When used together, Divine Appraisal and Whisper of Time were undoubtedly great for sacrificial ceremonies. The randomness of the gifts was a hallmark of the Eternal Dragon, and it wasn’t uncommon for someone to perform three to five sacrifices to obtain what they desired. Luck was a good measure of strength when it came to such random ceremonies, but the constant chance of obtaining something meant one would eventually acquire it.

On the other hand, these two skills combined gave the executor of the ceremony a much better chance to get the sacrificer what they wished for. Simply put, it was a given.

Of course, such blatant cheating naturally came with great limitations. A selected few people could acquire the title, with less than ten in possession of it all over Norland. In addition, the title was strengthened every time it was used. For Flowsand this meant her connection to the Eternal Dragon only grew stronger, and the old thing never gave things away for free. The repayment, in this case, was to host more sacrifices.

Once she used her abilities to find how much it cost to get Norland’s coordinates, Flowsand’s complexion grew increasingly bleak. If she wanted to use these dragon bones to obtain the coordinates of Norland, then they would need at least three more sets!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA