Book 3, Chapter 107

Conspiracy(2)

“The bat won’t kill him, but it’ll scare him to death!” Richard said on the edge between laughter and tears, “You think a noble brat like him can endure scares like that?”

“Aren’t you also a noble, Master?” Phaser asked.

“I’m not counted. I spent my childhood in a small mountain village.” A faint melancholy tinted Richard’s voice, memories of his childhood surging to his mind. He didn’t notice that Phaser had managed to divert the topic.

However, he was somewhat astonished that Phaser managed to command an elite bat. He suddenly discovered a bat rapidly flying into the distance, heading for the Land of Turmoil at full speed. ‘Weird, why would the bat suddenly leave without my command?’ It seemed to be returning to the broodmother’s side, but no matter how many commands Richard gave it did not respond at all.

The drone was out of control? Richard’s expression instantly grew gloomy, ‘Broodmother, what’s going on? Why is this bat not obeying orders?’

The broodmother’s consciousness connected to his in a moment, its response neither too fast nor too slow, “Just a defective unit. I already discovered the problem with it, so I forced it to return so I can repair it.”

Richard felt like the matter wasn’t as simple as it seemed. This was likely the bat that had bitten Zim. However, the broodmother’s next words caused him to throw it all aside, “Master, I’ve finished my evolution to level 6. I need you to decide on my direction.”

In the next instant, a veritable deluge of information flooded his mind. However, a quick scan revealed that there wasn’t much of a difference from when she had advanced to level 5. Her personal evolutionary options were still the same, the most special of the lot being a second mind. One addition was in the drone list; outside of normal battle drones, she could now create mounts.

There were many types of mounts she could create as well, ranging from common creatures like horses, lions, tigers, and wolves to enormous scorpions, ants, and spiders. On top of this hierarchy was a special option— the manticore! Of course, the broodmother could only spawn level 10 creatures at best now; this manticore was about the same size as an ordinary lion.

Despite the minimal change in the number of options, every option was now described with ten times the detail. It was to the extent that Richard almost felt like the broodmother needed more details to advance.

Even though the manticore was powerful, Richard immediately vetoed the idea after reading up on the details. It cost far too much to spawn: she could only build one every two days.

Simulating many combinations over and over again, he eventually settled on humanoid knights mounted on warhorses. The broodmother could create three in a day, with each one around level 10. If they were given the enchanted equipment that he’d brought back from Norland, they could each go toe to toe with a level 11 knight.

“Master, I have a better proposal. You should consider it,” the broodmother responded to the idea instantly. However, Richard didn’t know what to do with her idea at all; it was nothing creative, just a bunch of centaurs!

Still, this was a superior proposal. Without any difference in power, the broodmother could create four centaurs in a day. “How did you think of this?” he asked.

“I discovered a centaur tribe in the depths of the Land of Turmoil and wiped them out. Afterwards, I analysed them and came up with these drones.”

“Oh,” Richard pondered over it for a moment, “Alright, but still just follow my original proposal. It’s difficult to integrate centaurs into a human kingdom; I don’t want to waste the time explaining things to nobles and priests again and again. The throwers are already getting troublesome.”

“Yes, Master.”

“Right, can you recreate any species of creature you eat?”

“Not entirely. Some races are more difficult to analyse than others; in fact, I can only build a very small section of creatures right now. The more advanced the race, the more difficult it is to perform the analysis.”

“Okay then, humanoids it is. As for your individual evolution, you can use the remaining divinity for a second consciousness,” Richard decided very quickly.

The broodmother had finally reached level 6! This meant he would be supplied with a hundred powerful soldiers every month that could each become a titled knight in Faelor. Time was absolutely on his side! However, in the midst of all this excitement, Richard forgot about the elite bat that had ‘gone out of control’.

……

That bat flew to the Land of Turmoil in just half a day’s time, circling in the air once before identifying its target and diving down.

In an open space in the forest, the broodmother was lying on the ground. Her abdomen pulsed at regular intervals, constantly spurting out a dense acidic mist from her spiracles. Her figure didn’t continue to grow with this evolution, instead shrinking down slightly. The skin grew increasingly dark, but it still remained translucent enough to show a pale gold radiance deep within.

The elite bat swooped down from the sky, hovering before her and dripping some crimson blood from its hollow fangs. The blood was drawn in by an invisible force, floating into the broodmother’s mouthpiece. The bat fell head-first to the ground after it was drained of blood, twitching for a while before it stopped moving completely. The pulses of the broodmother’s abdomen clearly sped up, her dozens of compound eyes flickering as she analysed something at full speed. A spiritual aura surged around her, the absorbed divinity powering this analysis.

It took days for the flickering of her eyes to stop. The broodmother’s entire body suddenly flashed the colours of the rainbow, only dimming after a few hours. She eventually propped up her huge body with much difficulty, crawling ahead a few steps before falling back to the ground.

She was clearly extremely weak, behind her a white egg that was twice the normal size. When the shell cracked open, what made its way out was actually a pony! This silver pony was incomparably magnificent, its splendour enhanced by the milky-white horn growing on its forehead.

The pony made a long neigh, making a few rounds on the spot before suddenly jumping up and galloping in the direction of the Bloodstained Lands. It was gone in a flash.

……

It was early in the morning. Having just completed a rune, Richard stretched his back and glanced outside the window; the rosy colour of dawn was slowly spreading across the sky. He smiled involuntarily; this was an exhausting night, but it had a great harvest.

A clear neigh suddenly echoed in the courtyard, a magical sound that caused even Richard’s heart to tense. He bent over the window, looking down to see a magnificent silver horse in his courtyard. His eyes immediately fell onto the horse’s forehead.

“Unicorn!”

The broodmother’s voice rang out in his consciousness once more, “Master, I used the remaining divinity from the evolution to create another special unit. However, there were no choices except this. It is an infant unicorn; although young, it has the potential to grow. However, its bloodline isn’t very pure so it cannot match up to a true sacred unicorn.”

“It’s really a unicorn?” Richard was still in shock.

“I’m certain.”

His heart suddenly stirred and he asked coldly, “Where did you get the unicorn bloodline?”

“There are no rules to the birth of a special unit, Master. I cannot understand why the orcish divinity would condense into a unicorn either, it is the Dragon’s will.” With these words, the broodmother completely pushed the responsibility off herself.

Richard snorted in disbelief. Still, this was an unexpected reward. To possess the mythical unicorn as his mount… the natural ability to both break and enhance spells made unicorns the best mounts for mages. However, few such creatures existed in the myriad planes; they were even rarer than dragons.

Several days later, the fact that Richard now had a unicorn as his mount spread throughout Bluewater. Everyone found it to be inconceivable at first, but thinking of the legendary mage and new god standing behind the runemaster things started to make sense. However, Zim’s expression when he saw the mount was peculiar and interesting.

While the army was still being reorganised, a mysterious group of soldiers entered the oasis city. The Direwolf Duke and Perrin appeared in Richard’s home at night, the Dule personally carrying a magic chest that he unsealed in front of Richard and Flowsand. Inside the chest was a black jade idol; although it wasn’t too big, a faint divine radiance was streaming out. The moment the chest was open, Richard felt like he had heard an enraged roar.

“This is an ancestral statue of the Juno Family. Earl Juno was once a legendary powerhouse, but it has already been a millennium since his death. I feel like this statue should be able to satisfy Miss Flowsand’s requirements.”

Although Bevry’s voice was rather dull, Richard knew just how powerful families with legendary beings in their history were. Even if they were only earls now, they would still be amongst the top class. The powerful aura radiated by this statue guaranteed that Juno had left a fragment of his soul in it.

Flowsand looked at Richard for a moment and said, “This is enough to hold a sacrifice that can attract the blessings of the Eternal Dragon. However…”

Bevry’s happy face froze, and Flowsand sighed before continuing, “I know you need a blessing of time, but that might not come up during the ceremony. You should understand that randomness is an inherent characteristic of worshipping the Eternal Dragon.”

The Direwolf Duke frowned, “What do we do if that is not the case? Perrin cannot hold on much longer.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: XE

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA