Book 3, Chapter 77

Nightmares

Richard’s life seemed to return to normal once he sent Rolf away, the sky a dreary grey. There was no wind within his laboratory, the temperature perfectly constant.

He spread out the incomplete Guardian of Life rune, picking up his pen and slowly filling it with mana. The tip lit up slightly, but at the sight of the unstable lustre he shook his head and continued to increase his output. The light eventually stopped fluctuating, but he stared blankly at the incomplete arrays without starting a stroke for a long time.

An entire morning silently slipped through his fingers. Richard had only drawn two strokes, of which one had nearly been a mistake.

*Thud!* he slammed the pen on the table and walked over to the basin, casting a cooling spell on the water within. His control over the magic was exquisite, chilling it to just under the point where it would completely freeze over. He then poured the ice water over his head. Richard couldn’t help but shiver. He stood there quietly, knowing he could not go on like this.

However, he had no idea of what to do. He raised his arm, looking at his long, slender fingers. The blessing of truth began to draw numbers on his digits, giving him a summary of their characteristics. He always felt calmed in this world of numbers.

……

In that same moment, Flowsand was seated in her own room as she silently flipped through the Book of Time.

The pages were blank. She could see whatever she wanted with a single thought, but every page she flipped through was empty.

Io was leaning over the window, taking in the sunlight. His spotless white robes seemed eternally unsullied, the golden patterns shining in the sun’s rays to glisten with a sacred radiance.

He suddenly laughed, “Why do you do this to yourselves?”

“What do you know?!” Flowsand answered coldly.

His smile was as full of charm as always, “If I were you, I’d maintain some distance from myself.”

Flowsand just flipped through a page audibly.

“Richard seems to be affected by this,” Io said once more.

More flips sounded out.

“I can bet you he’ll be fine tomorrow. However, he will eventually abandon you if you keep this up.”

The book went silent for a moment before resuming.

Io did not say any more. He had conveyed what he needed to, and repeating his words would not do any good. Oh no, there was something else he had to tell Richard. He leant by the window, the corner of his lips revealing a confident smile.

Seventeen. An age where many wanted to walk side by side, but would eventually be forced onto separate paths. The blessing of wisdom could speed up many things, but there were some that could only be settled with time. Even clerics and great mages were no exception to this rule. The cleric had their own problems, but just couldn’t say them out loud. Io knew this, but he couldn’t say much either. He wasn’t a newborn soul that had only been recently given life; his wisdom was broad and far-reaching.

Every heavenly guardian was an old soul who was given a mortal body through divine grace.

……

Richard walked out of his room at dusk, a magic sealing box in his hands. His face was expressionless, the grade 2 rune completed and with much better effects than he had originally anticipated. Had Lunor seen the entire process, he might have suspected that Richard was a homunculus created specifically to craft runes.

This rune was meant for Tiramisu. With it, the ogre mage who liked to crush enemies in the frontlines with his two-handed hammer would have a much higher chance of survival. Every rune he gave his followers was a tremendous boost to their power. He may not be able to create miracles himself, but he could build up miracle makers with his hands.

However, just as he was about to close the door to his room, his movements suddenly stiffened. He turned back to see a bundle of darkness gradually taking shape within the building.

A nightmare creature!

Richard had basically forgotten all about this. Right at the moment he had lost his focus, a nightmare creature had appeared before him once more! The nightmare panther had already left him in such dire straits, what would appear this time? Nightmare creatures were bound to grow stronger and stronger once they appeared.

The shadow in the room split into two, a slightly smaller one forming a two-handed axe that mysteriously floated in the air. The larger turned into a shadow warrior who reached out and grasped the large axe. The shadow warrior surveyed his surroundings and then stared at Richard, crossing the axe horizontally in front of his chest as he started radiating bloodlust!

This nightmare warrior was evidently unlike the panther that relied purely on instinct to battle; he was equipped with considerable intelligence and knew how to use weapons. That giant axe in his hands was glimmering like a black diamond; it didn’t just look real, it had become real. Black smoke surged as armour condensed on the warrior’s body, glowing with a similar lustre.

Richard’s thoughts at this time were unknown. He suddenly tossed the magic box to the floor, his eyes revealing a crazed expression as he silently grabbed Extinction from the door and strode towards the warrior. The scabbard flew off with a simple shake, smashing through the window to make it a great distance away!

He raised his right hand, holding the blade less than two metres away from the shadow warrior.

This wasn’t just bravado. Richard had put himself in a position where he could use over a dozen of the battle techniques he had learnt in an instant. While Flowsand’s techniques were taught for bare-handed fighting, there were many different ways to adapt them for swordplay.

A darkness flowed in the eyes of the nightmare warrior, his expression seeming complicated. He was in no hurry to attack, staring at Richard with those ethereal eyes as he took large strides towards him. This warrior seemed to be looking for weaknesses, showing an intelligence far beyond the level of the nightmare panther.

However, Richard was unwilling to wait. A blazing snort sounded as the hand on his weapon tightened, Extinction whistling sharply as he swept at the nightmare warrior. The giant axe in the warrior’s hands immediately went vertical, blocking Richard’s ferocious attack. The long dagger and axe collided, creating a rain of sparks!

Richard wielded the blade with both hands, footsteps constantly changing as he showered slashes at his opponent. His breath was like fire in that moment, the close combat techniques, Silvermoon’s secret swords, and his bloodline ability linking under the blessing of wisdom to turn every slash into a lightning bolt!

His mind had blanked out. All he could feel was the blaze of his blood and an intense desire to just cut down this enemy more quickly, more viciously! Extinction carved out a hundred slashes in but a few moments, finally living up to the greatness of its name.

The room’s window shattered completely, wooden splinters flying dozens of metres away. Extinction flew out alongside those shards, but one could see the tendrils of darkness wound around it with the naked eye.

A large portion of the nightmare warrior was gone, a terrifying hole in the location of his heart; the dangerous aura had faded away. Richard’s hands were empty, a thin line on the right side of his abdomen leaking blood. The line suddenly erupted, revealing red and white flesh around a few pale ribs. Blood started to flow like a mountain.

“You’re done for,” Richard said calmly, his voice like a sleeping volcano. He took a step backwards and grabbed behind him, the nameless elven sword landing in his hands. A step forward and he practically fell into the warrior’s embrace!

Surging moonforce drowned everything out once more, unleashing a calamity on the room. The battle ended amidst light and fire.

Waterflower was the first to appear at Richard’s door, but all she could see in the room was chaos. Richard was knelt on one knee in the centre, using the elven blade to barely hold himself up. He had his back to the door, but she could already hear the sound of a liquid dripping onto the floor.

She trembled, immediately flipping through the air to land in front of him. She saw that Richard had a tight grasp on his lower abdomen, blood seeping out between his fingers to form a puddle on the floor.

The young girl was flustered, wanting to pull his hand to see his injury, but she was too afraid to do so. For the first time in her life, the young wolf hated herself for not knowing any healing methods. Richard was still firmly pressing on the wound, not daring to slacken his hold, but even so blood surged out from between his fingers.

An all-drowning bloodlust suddenly enveloped the room as the door shattered, Gangdor’s voice ringing out, “BOSS! What happened to you?!”

Olar rushed in ahead of the brute. His response was very quick, immediately casting a lesser healing spell on Richard the moment he saw the situation. This was the most powerful healing spell he could cast; due to the limits of his class, he could only learn a standard healing spell at level 14.

The spell was right on time. Richard immediately huffed, his stiff body beginning to tremble. A dense holy lustre landed on him not long after, the light from Flowsand’s Restoration.

Waterflower almost jumped at the sight. The appearance of Restoration meant Richard would be able to keep his life. Flowsand was waving her hands, her necklace flickering from the spell that had just landed on him. Having instantly cast the spell with the accessory, she quickly started a chant for a second spell of her own.

It was at this time that a pillar of divine light even more powerful than Restoration landed on Richard, this one coming from Io. While he was a battle priest, he was still high-level enough for his spells to be quite powerful. This Sacred Rite spell also had the effect of dispelling the residual effects.

Richard’s body trembled as the holy radiance flowed into him. A few tendrils of darkness were visibly expelled from his body, taking out the divine lustre with them. He groaned in pain, but he was obviously much better now.

Kellac had rushed over by the time Flowsand’s second restoration spell was cast, the two fallen clerics in tow. Experienced as he was, he cast his own healing spells after one look. The two fallen clerics weren’t high-levelled, but they cast their own spells on Richard one after the other.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA