Book 3, Chapter 108

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Flowsand muttered to herself for a bit before responding to the Direwolf Duke, “Richard has an orcish idol that can be used as an offering. It might not be as good as the one you have, but there won’t be much difference in a sacrifice. However, it is my duty to inform you that a blessing of time might not appear even with two offerings. Hmm… the chances of failure are more than half.”

Bevry turned pale, “Is there no way to guarantee it? Once the existing Dewdrop of Life is exhausted, Perrin might… no, he definitely won’t be able to live another year.”

Flowsand sighed, some hesitation in her reply, “I’m a titled priestess of the Eternal Dragon. There truly is a way to increase the chances of Perrin obtaining a blessing of time, but it will come with a price. If he draws the blessing by luck, he can obtain at least ten years. However, if I ensure he gets it that will fall to only three.”

This was a difficult question to answer. The Direwolf Duke’s expression fluctuated constantly for a while, but eventually he grew resolute. “I want the guaranteed three,” he said with a deep voice.

Flowsand nodded.

“I will be able to obtain more offerings in the three years I get.” Bevry’s voice held an unshakeable determination. He wasn’t saying these words to Richard or Flowsand, but to himself.

Richard sighed gently, “Your Grace, I brought you some items. Come, let’s have a look.”

He took the Duke to the warehouse where the enchanted swords, shields, and armour sets were placed. Every item was of superior quality, surpassing that of Bevry’s most elite knights. The Duke only had about a hundred personal guards; it wasn’t that there were no others qualified for such a lofty position, but he just didn’t have the means to arm them befittingly.

Bevry couldn’t help but take a deep breath at the sight. The quality of this equipment wasn’t heaven-defying, but in these numbers… Such a large amount of enchanted equipment in one place was a rare sight in Faelor. If an entire troop could be equipped with this, it would become invincible!

The mages of Faelor were a lazy bunch. Even if one had the money, it was difficult to find so many enchanted items.

“What do you want for these items?” the Duke asked bluntly.

"3,500 for the swords, 2,000 for the shields, and 5,000 for an armour set. All one hundred sets combined will cost 1,050,000 gold. You can pay any way you like; gold, ore, whatever.” Richard was quite straightforward, quoting the same price he had to Devon. Of course, the prices in the Bloodstained Lands were at least 30% cheaper than in the human countries.

“Alright, I’ll give you some soldiers, a novice knight and cloudiron ingots for the exchange. If this isn’t everything you have, I’ll take it all!” the Direwolf Duke immediately showed his true character.

“Deal!” Richard said with a smile.

Three days later, a secret sacrifice was held in the Lighthouse of Time. Perrin gained three more years of life, and Bevry left quietly the very next day. Before they parted, Richard and Perrin talked for an entire night. Richard asked the youth a lot of questions regarding planar geometry, and was deeply impressed by his talent. The topic naturally shifted to magic halfway through, and after a lot of hesitation Richard eventually handed him a tome from Norland. The tome had a lot of content; the meditation technique was top-notch by Faelor’s standards, but on top of that it also described a lot of spells. In there were a few spells Faelor did not possess at all.

Noticing Perrin’s shock as he read the book, Richard said profoundly that the world of magic was boundless. Since he no longer had to worry about living, he could finally embark on a path to power. Perrin was obviously tempted; mortals had no ability to resist powers that could destroy mountains.

The night the Duke left, Richard sat down in front of his window and stared out quietly at the crimson moon. He didn’t think nor act, just enjoying the peace as though he was an old man. Flowsand was in his arms, twirling her long hair.

“Why give Perrin the tome?” the priestess asked lazily, voice as tired as a cat craving sleep.

Richard responded with a question of his own, “Do you think there will be any change to Faelor if another grand mage comes up?”

"This plane has had legendary mages before, what’s so strange with a grand mage?” Flowsand was becoming lazier and lazier in his arms.

A short beard, Flowsand in his arms, no need to think too much. Just sleeping and eating, this was a simple happiness. It felt like true happiness. Richard smiled, explaining in detail, “Forget one, even ten grand mages won’t affect Faelor at all. But magical mathematics is different, especially planar geometry. It’s a source of fire; once it starts burning, it can ignite the entire plane and push Faelor into a new golden era.

“Perrin isn’t far from lighting that match. I just hope he can become a grand mage in the future, instead of a great prophet who could change the course of the entire plane.”

“Perrin is a genius, aren’t you afraid that he will surpass you in the future?”

Richard laughed, “I’m not afraid of a level 14 battle priest as I am now. Why would I be scared of a future grand mage?”

Flowsand went silent, but she stretched her hand into Richard’s robes and pinched a soft piece of flesh.

A painful scream rang out under the moon.

A distance away, Waterflower’s ears twitched. The young lady was sitting in a warm hall where almost all of Richard’s followers had gathered. Everyone smiled at the sound of their master’s scream, and Olar spoke with envy, “Master has such a great relationship with Miss Flowsand!”

Zim nodded hard, echoing the opinion. He’d already forgotten about when he had attempted to snatch Flowsand from Richard, now regarding her as an idol.

Waterflower was the only one whose face darkened slightly, while Phaser subconsciously started polishing the blade that was her left hand. Extinction did not require polishing, however; the blade would always remain sharp.

……

Time flies. In the blink of an eye, a month and a half had passed in silence. Richard had finally finished organising the Bloodstained Highway army. He retained 6,000 slave soldiers; these men didn’t have much in the way of equipment, but they were second to none in valour. The three churches sent another group of clerics as well, almost turning out in full strength. Before they set off, a mysterious team of knights joined Richard’s side. Each was level 10, covered head to toe in the finest of magical equipment. The most shocking part was that there were actually 150 of them!

Even Duke Bevry himself only had a hundred elite guards, but Richard had half a fold more. More importantly, each elite was armed with magic equipment!

With the full support of the Sequoia Kingdom’s nobles, he gathered a mixed force of 20,000 men. The only issue was that the number of men exceeded the limit at which he could freely control them, but this was a good problem to have.

Just as the Bloodstained Highway project was about to recommence, a number of uninvited guests came to Bluewater. A few hundred guards escorted more than a dozen mages, one of whom was level 15. Richard knew there weren’t many mages in Faelor, so he had no choice to pay attention to this troop even though almost every small town in Norland had the same number.

The moment the group entered the city, they headed directly for the most luxurious inn. One of the younger mages arrogantly told the guards to have Richard go and meet them immediately.

Richard was quite surprised when he received the message. He truly couldn’t recall just when he had gotten to know so many mages who were all so arrogant. However, it was still only a dozen or so of them alongside a few hundred soldiers. He brought along his followers and battle drones, knowing full well that he could kill them all within an hour. He wouldn’t even have any qualms fighting the opposing level 15 directly; with the Twin of Destiny in hand coupled with his own bloodlines and runes, he wasn’t afraid of any mage below level 17 in Faelor. At minimum, he was certain that he could escape.

Still, he decided to go meet them. After all, this was the first time he was formally coming into contact with Faelor’s local mages.

The inn had been booked completely. By the time he arrived, Richard saw many nobles he was well-acquainted with leaving the place with luggage in hand. He was taken aback at the sight, having to stop one that he knew, “Baron Senton, you’re leaving?”

The middle-aged noble shook his head, “How could I? The Bloodstained Highway project is about to resume. Just a change of accommodation; the inn was booked by the mages, and I don’t want to offend them. They hail from the Mage Association.”

"Alright!" Richard laughed, seeing the man off before he walked to the inn with a face full of disappointment. This was one of the first buildings to be restored after Salwyn’s raid, and it had been specially given to the nobles who participated in the Bloodstained Highway project. It was also the most luxurious place in the entire city. To evict all the nobles within reeked of arrogance.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Mel

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA