Book 3, Chapter 35

Halted

All the true Archerons, the vicious soldiers who had trained silently on this island ever since Gaton went missing, finally made their appearance. They cut through the chaotic crowd and headed towards Richard, turning around to form a protective barrier in front of the young mage.

They clenched their weapons tightly, silent gazes trained on the monkeys in front. A powerful aura gradually enveloped the opponents, as imposing as a mountain. Although they were greatly outnumbered, nobody doubted their courage to unsheathe their swords!

Richard’s heart started to pulse violently. His Archeron bloodline started to burn bright, just another step from the mob and he would activate Blaze to burn them down without hesitation. His barrage of fireballs would turn this ugly arc of ruffians into ash!

Restricted as they were by the terrain, the thugs were gathered close together. He was confident that a bombardment of ten fireballs would leave the number of people remaining in the single digits. No matter how badly he would be wounded in the process, he would stand his ground!

It was at that moment that the paladins unsheathed their swords and stepped forward, bellowing in a deep voice, “We are paladins of the Eternal Dragon! Any attack on Sir Richard will be considered a transgression against the Church! Not even your families will be spared!”

The declaration caused everyone to gasp in shock. A transgression against the Church of the Eternal Dragon? The consequences of such a thing were worse than attacking the Sacred Alliance itself!

Sua’s expression changed drastically as well. “Impossible!” he cried out, “This is a dispute between secular nobles. How can the Church intervene? Who made this decision?”

One of the paladins turned towards him, “You are…”

Sua stuck out his chest, proclaiming loudly, “I am Baron Sua Archeron, son of Sauron Archeron! I need to know who made this decision.”

However, the paladin’s face filled with derision as he laughed coldly, “A mere second-rate noble. What right do you have to doubt Lord Ferdinand’s decisions?”

Sua was visibly upset, arguing, “But my father is—”

“The decision was taken by Marquess Ferdinand!” the paladin interrupted impatiently, “Who do you think you are? Just a baron from the country that nobody has ever heard of, you don’t even have much status!”

Sua’s face swelled up, so red it seemed to be glistening with blood. However, he said nothing. The true nobles of the Sacred Alliance really didn’t think someone like him qualified to enter Faust. Regardless of how young and impulsive he was, he knew the consequences of offending the Church of the Eternal Dragon. The priestesses wouldn’t even have to lift a finger, a single word would leave many nobles hanging over them to annihilate him on their behalf.

It was just that interventions by the Church of the Eternal Dragon were unheard of in the longest time. The Church hardly participated even in wars between the empires. What was going on today?

Richard was already prepared for battle, but he saw his enemies retreat one by one at the paladins’ words. Even though he had expected it, he still felt unable to vent the fury that overwhelmed his heart.

His gaze landed on Sua once more. The moment the man had introduced himself, Richard keenly sensed that the fellow definitely had a part to play in the island’s current situation.

“Baron Sua.”

“What?” Sua turned and glowered at Richard. Having been belittled by the paladins, this form of address seemed exceptionally sarcastic.

“Get lost,” Richard said calmly, “Leave this island at once.”

“Why?!” Sua squeezed out from gritted teeth. His handsome face was already distorted by his wrath; the more nonchalant Richard was, the more humiliated he felt.

Richard looked into his eyes, saying indifferently, “It’s fine if you don’t leave, just be ready to bear the responsibility. All the consequences will be on your head, now and in the future. Are you sure you want to stay?”

Sua’s eyes were ablaze as his glare met Richard’s gaze, but all he could see was a bottomless sea. It was completely tranquil, without a single ripple.

The two looked at each other face to face for a full ten minutes before Sua snorted, gloomily calling his guards to leave. They were stunned, but all they could do was to follow.

He lowered his voice when he brushed past Richard, saying fiercely, “We still have many days ahead!”

“Send my greetings to Uncle Sauron,” Richard replied indifferently.

Sua felt a chill down his spine. He took large strides towards the portal, not saying another word.

“My Lord, why didn’t you just slaughter that Richard guy?” a young, fierce-looking guard asked on the other side, “The Church’s rules don’t allow it to meddle with the affairs of the nobles.”

Already boiling with rage, Sua couldn’t hold himself back any longer. *Thump!* a resounding slap rang out!

The young guard felt his head spinning, blood spurting into his mouth. He watched as his lord left, feeling wronged and puzzled.

Another guard, this one in the later parts of his life, sighed. “Oh, you fool,” he said in a low voice, “Do you think Richard is the same as Gaton’s other children? Killing them is no big issue, but if you really want to mess with Richard you can’t do it in such a situation. Even if the Church doesn’t intervene, do you now know who his teacher is? It’s fine if we were reasonable, but in this scenario… The moment you harm Richard in public, Her Excellency Sharon won’t take things lying down. Did you forget the millions of dead grey dwarves?”

The young bodyguard was finally enlightened. “So you’re saying that we need to find a reasonable opportunity to make our move? Or at least a situation with no witnesses so Her Excellency won’t have an excuse to attack us?”

“Of course! If Her Excellency takes action, forget the Lord, even Marquess Sauron himself will find it hard to escape!”

The young bodyguard nodded repeatedly, his ferocity fading away.

……

Richard didn’t take the little episode outside the castle to heart. He turned towards the branch family members who didn’t know what do do, “As for all of you, stay if you wish to. You can leave anytime you want.”

Hat said, he headed towards the castle. Those who had originally stood in his way hurriedly moved aside to clear the path. Even Baron Sua had retreated, and their strength and background could not compare. The only advantage they held over Sua was numbers.

But numbers were never the deciding factor in a world where two people could have such a vast difference in power.

The monkeys from the branch families could already feel a sense of foreboding, but it was an impossible task to rid oneself of greed. They were reluctant to leave— after all, Richard was just too young, and his level wasn’t all that high either. In other words, the only thing that could convince them to leave was his status.

When he entered the family castle, Richard felt that the atmosphere was strange. People kept running out of the halls, their faces completely foreign to him. They brushed past him without pause, hurrying away.

Richard’s face was as solemn as still water. He didn’t obstruct or interrogate them, instead silently watching as he committed every single face to memory.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: XH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA