Book 3, Chapter 49

To Cherish

“Wait,” Richard stopped Flowsand from leaving, “I found something strange in the family castle. I feel like it’s an offering, but I can’t be sure. Call a few priestesses over to appraise it; we can just use it directly.”

“Taking advantage of me again?” Flowsand asked with an indistinct smile.

“We always take advantage of our people, go quickly!” If not for the priestesses around them looking on, Richard would have slapped her rear.

When Flowsand returned to the side hall again, Noelene and Ferdinand were following behind her. The group followed Richard back to the Archeron island, all the way up to the top floor.

The heavily wrapped astral beast head still lay calmly in the place where Gaton normally contemplated things in silence. Everyone couldn’t help but shiver the moment they saw it. Richard had prior experience, but even Noelene and Ferdinand couldn’t help but take half a step back. This thing was definitely unordinary.

Noelene carefully appraised the wrapping material, crying out in surprise, “This is antimagic cloth! A legendary item that can isolate space completely! What could even be inside that requires this cloth to hold it?”

“Let me see.” Ferdinand took a step forward, gathering all his energy to protect his body before cautiously lifting up a corner of the cloth. His energy was a blazing red; when gathered completely, it seemed to condense and float around him in the form of bright red crystals.

When the cloth was lifted to show a small crack, it exposed a piece of azure skin covered in sheets of crystalline scales. The images of broken planes flashed past the translucent sclerite. Noelene’s entire body jolted with a single glance. She suddenly thought of something, immediately shrieking with all her might, “Don’t open it!”

However, she was already too late. The antimagic cloth was pulled up a little too far, revealing a thin line on a cyan eyeball.

Ferdinand’s reaction speed was incomparable. He immediately let go of the cloth when he heard the warning, backing away in an instant. However, it was still too late. The energy around him was suddenly smeared with blue light, disappearing instantly. His left arm was dyed the same colour.

The paladin screamed, withdrawing ten metres in a single moment. But even though he fell back, his arm did not follow. Be it the vambrace, the clothes, or the arm itself, everything was soaked in an azure radiance from the inside out.

Right before Richard and the rest, the arm suddenly exploded into shiny stardust that fell slowly. It was like an illusion, an illusion that brought a sudden chill to the bottom of every heart in the room. All of them lost their voices for a moment.

“Astral beast’s head!” Noelene’s voice was trembling with the terror of the brush with death. Although she was a priestess herself— or perhaps because of it— she cherished her life greatly.

Fortunately, Ferdinand had controlled his energy when he drew back, safely dropping the antimagic cloth back on the astral beast’s eye. If not for that, perhaps it would not have been just an arm. There was an incomparable glossy section left on his shoulder, the wound covered in a layer of light blue crystal.

“How did this thing appear here?” Priestess Noelene asked with lingering fear, her face pale.

Astral beasts were extremely powerful even by Norland’s standards. If an invasion was handled inappropriately, it could lead to a small disaster. Even after dying, as long as their eyes were still intact, the beasts’ gazes would hold boundless power. And it just so happened that their eyeballs were the toughest part of their bodies.

Richard’s expression was ghastly as well, “Master sent it some time ago.”

“Her Excellency Sharon? No wonder.” Noelene showed an expression of admiration at the mention of the legendary mage. This astral beast’s head was enough to prove just how powerful she was.

A peculiar layer of pale gold emerged on Ferdinand’s face, but his tone was still relatively stable, “Forgive me, I think I have to rush back to the Church immediately. The wound needs to be treated right away.” Saying that, he quickly flew out of the open window and disappeared in a flash.

Noelene took another look at the astral beast’s head, saying with a complicated expression, “Richard, I’m afraid we’ll need Priestess Ferlyn to appraise this offering personally. I can only take it back to the Church for now, but I can be certain that it already surpasses the standard of a greater offering.”

Richard thought things over for a while, “Alright, I only have one request. Flowsand is to conduct the ceremony.”

This caused even the stoic Noelene to display an envious expression. “Understood, I will definitely pass on this request to the high priestess.”

Flowsand smiled faintly, directly kissing Richard on the lips without a care that Noelene was beside them. She then followed the priestess to leave. Noelene picked up the astral beast’s head and left from the window, also taking Flowsand as well. It as a subconscious display of the strength of the Church’s priestesses.

Once Flowsand and Noelene had left, Richard was basically done with handling everything. All that was left was to wait, to wait until the new supplies and transacted goods got to their intended locations. Normally he would make use of such time to craft runes— the process also helped him grow his magic— or alternatively, he would meditate. Having just become a level 12 mage, he had a lot of room for improvement. There was no limit to the effort he could put in. However, just before he left for one of the two, a question suddenly popped into his mind. What was this floor used for?

As he looked around, all Richard saw was an absolutely empty space without anything, not even the most fundamental of decoration. The entirety of the wall facing him was an open-air window— no, more accurately speaking the entirety of the wall facing him had been torn down. That was how the massive astral beast head had managed to get in.

There were no dividing walls on the entire floor, no rooms. It was simply a huge, barren space that was incomparably empty. The astral beast head had taken up all his focus whenever he had come here before, but now that it was taken away he was left with a full, clear view of this place.

Every inch of land on the floating island was worth its weight in gold. Gaton wasn’t in the habit of indulging in a luxurious lifestyle, why would he leave the entire floor empty?

Richard wandered around with purpose, carefully looking through every corner. He eventually found a slightly glossy area, a seeming trace of being sat on often.

He sat down in the location after some thought. Looking around, he discovered that Faust and all of its floating islands were blocked by the remaining floors. All he could see was the endless sky. In the daytime, it would be a pure, clear blue. At night, it would be the Rainbow of the Moons.

However, did he even want to see anything? Or perhaps, was that what he wanted to see?

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: XE

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA