Book 3, Chapter 42

Glory(4)

Guardian of Life was an exceptionally powerful rune, a unique hybrid with multiple effects. A little bit of enhancement and it would be grade 3! Even in its current state, it surpassed many standard runes of that level!

The crowd had been holding their breaths all this while, but they couldn’t do so anymore. Every breath of theirs grew increasingly rough, many beginning to think of tactics that could use Guardian of Life.

And yet, Richard didn’t give them much time to think before he unveiled his fifth rune of the day.

There was another rune! Everyone below the stage was about to go mad. The third rune was Vitality, and the fourth was Guardian of Life. What could the fifth one be?

“Traverse the Wilderness. A custom grade 2 rune with average carrying requirements. It grants the user a small bonus to defence and movement speed. It also improves one’s ability to pass through complicated terrain, and can be used on both rune knights and mounts…” Richard’s voice was still as calm as ever.

The number of spectators in the eastern hall had already risen greatly. People were streaming in from the west ever since Richard had unveiled Vitality. Some of the nobles who didn’t have any interest in weaker runes had already begun to dispatch their servants. Still, the crowd in the eastern hall was only a fifth of that in the western one. Lunor had yet to release his own new rune.

Traverse the Wilderness was a peculiar rune; its power wasn’t very obvious on the surface. Still, just like the first four, the image still remained after Richard was done with it. This way, there were five holograms on each side.

Expectations began to rise. Many anticipated the sixth rune, wondering what other surprises this young runemaster had in store.

However, a shout suddenly rang out in the hall.

“These five runes… Could they… Could they be…”

All the eyes immediately focused on the five runes. The image of a mounted knight formed in the hologram, the first four runes landing on his body and the fifth on his warhorse. However, this was just the start. Dazzling lines of magic began to appear one after the other, linking all five runes together!

At that very moment, Foster was expending all his strength and passion in the western hall. “Now, Grandmaster Lunor Leyfar will be revealing the pinnacle of his craft!” he shouted, “Runecrafting has become an art in my master’s hands!”

Lunor entered the stage amidst all the applause, looking down with a steady, arrogant smile. The crowd had been focused at the start, numerous gazes of anticipation centred on him, but now the numbers had somewhat reduced. Many were whispering to each other about something, evidently distracted. Even more annoying was the fact that many people were leaving the western hall as time passed, heading east!

Now was the crucial moment when he, Grandmaster Lunor of the Sacred Alliance, displayed his works! The royal runemaster almost lost control of his temper, wanting to shout in anger for those who weren’t concentrating to scram, but thankfully his rationality stopped him from being so foolish. Still, he was determined to use his newest work to give people a loud slap!

‘Nobody can underestimate a grand runemaster!’ he roared in his mind, ‘Richard was a joke in front of him!’

Taking a deep breath, Lunor gave up on the lengthy speech he had prepared and cut to the chase at two times the normal volume, “Everyone, I will now be showing the results of my research over the past three years. This rune’s power exceeds grade 3 in all aspects, only a step away from grade 4. Let me show you a worldly work of art! Its name is—”

“A SET!” a shriek from the crowd overpowered his voice, “Richard is announcing a set in the east hall!”

The crowd instantly went crazy!

“A set?!”

“How’s that possible?”

“Quick, take a look! Damn it, is it really a set?”

A tide of people rushed over to the eastern hall, like moths heading for a flame. The western hall was deserted in an instant, Lunor’s voice still echoing within, “Strike and Guard… The rune has two aspects…”

His mouth opened and closed a few times, but he did not make any sounds. Nobody could know the function of Strike and Guard— although the hologram on stage was projecting its image, no one was left to see.

Only a few dozens remained underneath the stage, all subordinates of Lunor and Foster. The royal runemaster felt his vision blank as he spat out a mouthful of blood, eyes rolling up before he collapsed backwards.

“Master… MASTER!” Foster was alarmed, quickly helping the man up. He was absolutely terrified at that moment, able to feel waves of cold enveloping him.

Lunor’s fall was the fall of the glory that Foster had expected, of the huge amounts of wealth and privilege that would let him do as he pleased. From this moment on, even without the two of them, the Sacred Alliance would still have rune knights. Their assertions during the start of the convention had turned them into the laughing stock of Faust.

The eastern hall was already packed, but many people were still attempting to squeeze in. Many in Faust had gotten word of Richard’s rune set, hastening over at full speed.

The virtual rune knight was slowly rotating on both sides of the stage, fusing with the five runes to finally show the purpose of those tiny formations. They were the key to connecting the runes! The clamour in the crowd instantly grew manifold, becoming so loud that there was a threat of the heavy roof being sent flying!

Numerous questions were directed at Richard, mostly concerning the capabilities of the rune set as well as its name. However, in the midst the thundering crowd, Richard would not be audible even at ten times the volume. He raised his hands and the noise quickly dropped; within a mere ten seconds, the booming sounds had faded away into deathly silence.

Richard did not speak immediately, instead surveying the entire hall. The platform he stood on was only a metre tall; with the many people of various races here, many were taller than him despite that difference. At this moment, however, practically everyone felt like Richard was looking down at them.

Indeed, looking down.

In that moment of absolute silence, all eyes, all attention, all the focus was on Richard and Richard alone.

In the past three centuries, only the dazzling saint runemaster Lugatti had announced a full rune set in his first convention. The Scarlet Knight series that he announced grew popular all over the continent!

It was only a few seconds of silence, but many people felt like an entire century had passed.

“This set is called Savage Barrier,” Richard’s voice finally rang out, “The set ability can form a defensive shield whose grade is based on the user’s level. The shield can normally weather a full power attack from an opponent three levels higher than the user.”

This meant a level 12 rune knight with Savage Barrier could take on the all-out attack of a level 15 knight without dying! This was basically another life on the battlefield. Although it wasn’t the most startling of effects, it was very functional.

“This is… a set knight!” a hoarse voice suddenly shouted out.

Set knights were a special type of rune knight. These rune knights were designed around rune sets, and could be produced rather easily. A set like Savage Barrier with a mix of grade 1 and grade 2 runes was likely stronger than a rune knight with all grade 2 runes. Many were still immersed in the splendour of Richard declaring a set for his first convention, neglecting the production of rune knights that could follow.

Richard raised his arm once more, and the hall fell silent once more until only his voice could be heard. A wave of his rune caused a sixth rune to appear.

“This is Explosive Power. Outside of a fixed boost to strength, it can greatly increase one’s strength when activated, similar to the Eruption ability… If you replace Guardian of Life with it in Savage Barrier, it turns into another set that I call Savage Strike. Both sets belong to the Savagery of Darkness series…”

As his voice was echoing through the large hall, nobody noticed a slender figure stood by the entrance. A hooded cloak covered all of her body, identity only revealed by an unwitting flash of amber eyes. Looking at Richard’s words secure numerous hearts from up on the stage, a slight smile appeared on her face before she turned and silently left.

Flowsand had known about Richard’s sets all along. The only reason she was here was to personally witness the moment… The moment when Richard officially entered the stage of the entire continent.

The hologram on Richard’s left warped as he spoke, turning into the Savage Strike set. The moment he finished speaking, a middle-aged noble yelled from within the crowd, “Are these the first two sets of the Savagery of Darkness Series?”

“No, they’re the second and third,” Richard stated peacefully, “The first is called Breath of Darkness, but it isn’t suitable for most knights.”

This sent the crowd into an uproar once more. Nobody would have guessed that Richard had already created three different sets! And based on Richard’s tone, Breath of Darkness was not a set to be mass produced, instead custom-made for someone with specific abilities. This was a higher standard of rune set that left all the powerhouses in the audience with drumming hearts! Breath of Darkness might not suit them, but its existence meant Richard could tailor make rune sets for their use as well!

The true big shots and powerful nobles saw the military significance of Savage Barrier and Savage Strike. The cost of production of the two sets that were a mix of grade 1 and grade 2 runes was at most two-thirds the cost of producing a full grade 2 rune knight, but their power far surpassed a regular grade 2 rune knight. Even if the runemaster collected fees for a full set of grade 2 runes, the set effects alone were worth it. There was no way to overstate its value. The only limit of these sets was the production speed.

Comments, evaluations, praise… All sorts of sounds rang out once more, causing the eastern hall to sound like an ocean. This moment in the Temple of Glory was fated to go down in history.

Richard was only seventeen this year, but he had already achieved glory.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA