Book 3, Chapter 46

Sentence(2)

A miserable cry rang out as Erwin spat out blood. However, as shaky as his hands were, he didn’t manage to finish the job in one go. He had no choice but to grit his teeth, cutting down a second and third time before a mass of flesh and blood fell off. Coco cried out and fell backwards, fainting.

The bloody scene left Wennington and Venica deathly pale, seemingly ready to vomit. Demi was much better, but her face still warped as well. Even Fuschia frowned, but she didn’t say anything. Only Gaton’s knights looked on calmly, as if they had merely seen a chicken being killed.

Richard waved his hands and had the guards take Coco and Erwin away, getting some people to clear up the blood in the study. Only then did he sit at his desk, picking up a second sheet of information he had prepared.

Fuschia couldn’t hold herself back. “Why not just eliminate his family?” she asked, “Wouldn’t that be much faster? You could just kill his family in front of his face. It would make him feel just as miserable.”

Richard shook his head, “Family is only one of his weaknesses, but it isn’t his biggest. People like him only care about themselves in the key moment. The only reason he accepted the sentence was for the sake of survival. If he truly did care for his family, he would never have betrayed Gaton. Even in the most chaotic moments of the riots, only a third of the soldiers from the branches actually took part in the rebellion.”

Fuschia sighed, going silent.

Richard handed the sheet in his hands to the three knights. It was a list of names, the soldiers and knights who had participated in the rebellion. “These are considered the main offenders and need to be executed. The situation isn’t stable right now, so you need to do it cleanly without giving those watching a chance. I can only ask you three to do it.”

Asiris quickly browsed through the list, “56 people. Hmm, we need five minutes.”

“Alright, I’ll be waiting.”

The three knights pushed the door open and left. A moment later, a long, miserable cry echoed through the island. It was quickly followed by a second and a third, before the island devolved into a cacophony of screams. Some lasted a long time, like the first one, while others only lasted a second or two.

Close to dusk, the sunset glow bathed the sky over the island crimson. Murderous auras and hints of blood flashed all over the island, indistinctly merging with the evening clouds.

Blood finally washed away the chaos on the island.

……

Even as things were set in motion on island 7-2, the Josephs’ island had a clear view of it all. Duke Joseph and Raymond were standing in front of a french window, one sitting and one standing as the gazed upon the volcano on the island. They felt like they were seeing pillars of bloody light soaring into the sky.

The old duke felt rather helpless, “Who would have thought that Richard would return soon after Gaton was gone? This little fellow is decisive and vicious, not much different from his father.”

The temperature in the room was pleasant. Raymond was sitting in a large armchair, but a thick blanket still covered him from his knees up. There wasn’t a trace of red in his face as he stared with rapt attention at the Archeron island, sighing, “Richard is far more difficult to deal with than I expected. Now that he’s a royal runemaster, there will be many families who want to enter into trade with him. I don’t know what methods he used, but the Church is also sheltering him openly… Even though it’s only for a year, that’s already long enough. Right now, we have no way to deal with him in Faust.”

“But the internal strife will still hurt the Archeron Family greatly,” Duke Joseph said slowly, “A fair amount of the offerings that streamed out of their island landed in our possession. We already have enough for three lesser sacrifices, and I’m preparing to use them all.”

“What are you going to use the grace on?” Raymond asked.

The old man sighed deeply, “That… I’ll use it on the family plane.”

This signalled that he was giving up on contending with Richard using offerings. The wars in the future would grow long and tedious, filled with unpredictable changes.

A peculiar flush rose on Raymond’s face and he sighed, “I really hope to battle him on another plane.”

“There will be opportunities,” the old Joseph said.

However, they both knew that the future was uncertain.

……

Within the royal palace, Emperor Philip’s evening tea was reaching its end. It would be time for supper in another half hour. The Emperor’s time was scarce: breakfast, morning tea, lunch, evening tea, supper, dinner, snacks… these events crammed up his entire schedule, making many lament the tiresome event that was eating.

All sorts of foods filled the table that was a good five metres long, with Prince Nyris accompanying him for the meal. The Prince chatted with his father even as he ate, showing off his talent very thoroughly. However, the Emperor’s stomach was like a bottomless pit; large pieces of food just disappeared down his throat.

Even at his fastest, Nyris was only a third of Philip’s speed. If Richard was around, he would finally understand how the youth could eat without compromising on his ability to talk; it was just tempered in a terrible environment. Even so, Nyris couldn’t compare to his father at all.

When one was eating with the Emperor, consuming too little would result in a scolding. This was especially true for the princes and princesses.

Philip looked outside the window, the Archeron island gently slipping past his vision. The volcano was far too eye-catching, making the island completely different from the rest.

“That kid already acted? He really is a little impatient!”

“He should be in a hurry to return to Faelor,” Nyris responded, “There’s a lot of easy divine grace there. Rumours are that the time-flow is one-tenth that of Norland.”

“Too much of a hurry and he might miss out on some important things by his side,” Philip said deeply.

Nyris pondered over the meaning of his father’s words, but nothing came up. He still felt like the phrase ‘wasting time is wasting divine grace’ was far more meaningful.

Nyris then brought up the information about Richard’s pay as a royal runemaster. When it came to Richard’s agreement for one rune set for every five sets’ worth of materials, he couldn’t contain his excitement, “Hmph, Lunor’s been getting more and more haughty in the past few years. Now that we have Richard, we don’t need to pay more than the others to grow our rune knight legions. However, he seems to be on the losing end of this exchange… Father, do you not mean to nurture him as quickly as possible?”

“On the losing end?” Philip chuckled, swallowing a large piece of meat. Nyris frowned, thinking long and hard, but just couldn’t understand what was wrong.

“I heard there was an armed rebellion in the Forest Plane the Archerons just took over,” the Emperor shifted the topic, “Richard will probably have to deal with it before returning to Faelor. If possible, go over with him and fight some battles to gain experience. Young people have to walk around the different planes.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.” Nyris always spoke formally when accepting orders.

“By the way, what kind of preparations did Richard make for his return to Faelor?”

Nyris rapidly shifted through the information in his mind, “He brought back some enchanted cloudiron that was worth a million coins. He gave it all to the Church as a substitute for divine grace. He also brought back six runes, and he agreed to give all of them to us. However, outside of a small number of precious magic materials he wanted his payment in quality magic equipment.”

Quality magic equipment generally meant something with two enchantments. Emperor Philip thought over the information he had just received, ‘Seems like Faelor has a lot of resources, but the magic culture is far behind ours. The kid is smart! He actually knows that the most fundamental use of a planar passage is trade and not war; that war is only a method of guaranteeing trade…’

The evening tea had come to an end. In another ten minutes, it would be time for dinner. Philip waved for Nyris to leave, “Make your preparations. Also, take Agamemnon with you, you three might become friends in the future.”

……

On island 7-2, the knights went on a massacre at the speed of lightning. They completed the first mission from Richard in a mere four minutes, most of their time spent moving around instead of actually killing. The last minute was used just to check whether they had missed out on anyone.

While the island was being bathed in a rain of blood, Richard was still in the study, lightly kneading his forehead. He had a painful headache, a side effect of using his brain a little too much. Even with the support of Wisdom and Truth, it wasn’t easy to find a clue in the midst of all this mystery. His mind had been working at full speed almost the entirety of the time since he had entered Norland, every seemingly easy decision backed by a lot of thought.

He was still young and inexperienced. Any important decision he took needed to be thought over repeatedly, considered from multiple angles. Only after thinking of everything he could would he make an official decision. Every word of his currently had extensive implications, able to affect the life and death of groups or involving millions. A wrong decision would take enormous amounts of effort to fix.

Despite having experienced planar war, it was only once he was seated on the throne that Richard found out how difficult things were for Gaton.

While waiting for the knights to return, he turned and asked Fuschia, “What does the Earl want?”

“What do you want to gain from the Earl?” Fuschia countered.

Richard frowned, slowly nodding, “It’s true that I need her support right now. It’s best if we can become close allies or something similar.”

Fuschia was completely willing to answer the probe, “The Earl told me that she will reciprocate as long as one pays a sufficient price. Specifically, two rune knights for dinner, five for a kiss, seven to touch her breasts, ten to get her in bed, and twenty to become her partner. Don’t think of using grade 1 rune knights to swindle her!”

Richard’s mouth opened and closed, but he couldn’t say a word.

Fuschia looked at him, “Right, you can get 30% off if it’s set knights. 60% if they’re full grade 2. What do you think?”

This time it wasn’t just Richard. Even Demi and the others were completely stupefied.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA