Book 3, Chapter 110

Rift

Richard reached out and pulled a longsword out from Viscount Zim’s waist, throwing it to Kamy, “How much will you be buying for? Take this sword, for example.”

The old mage reached out and caught the blade, his movements rather agile for his age. Inspecting the weapon, any displeasure caused by Richard’s attitude was swept away. He gently touched the tip with his hands, gaze burning brighter and brighter; this was one of the enchanted longswords Richard had brought back from Norland, casually given to Zim. In Kamy’s eyes, everything from the craftsmanship to the enchantments was top-notch, all ideal choices. The engravings were simple in design, but they were filled with a proud flair. This was not a taste ordinary craftsmen could possess; only a great mage with profound attainments in the arts could produce such a piece.

Richard smirked at the sight. Norland’s magic was far ahead of Faelor’s; of course, even a standard sword from the royal family would be a masterpiece here.

The old Mage finally let out a long breath, “This sword is of excellent quality. If you sell it to the Association, we will buy it at… 2,000 gold.”

“HOW much?” Richard had felt a bad omen, but Kamy’s greed still far exceeded his imagination. If this sword was manufactured in Faelor, 2,000 gold wouldn’t even be enough to cover manufacturing cost.

Kamy seemed to realise he’d gone overboard, “Fret not, I haven’t finished yet. To make up for your contributions, we will immediately make you a distinguished silver robe mage of the Association. This is a very respectable position.”

The smile on Richard’s face had finally disappeared, voice turning cold, “Tell me, who gave you the right to collect taxes on my lands?”

The middle-aged man suddenly stood up, “RICHARD! Don’t forget that you are a mage as well. All mages must abide by the orders of the Association! Are you going to defy us?”

Richard stroked his beard and sneered, “Order? What if I say no?”

The man’s face turned cold. “Then you are a sinner!” he said sinisterly, “Come with us. The elders of the Association will try you for your crimes!”

“The Association?” Richard couldn’t really fully put his ridicule into words, ending up with a simple question, “You want me to obey a bunch of greedy old fuckers like you?”

Richard could feel the hollowness of the Mage Association the moment the insult left his mouth. The inheritance of the Deepblue was extremely profound, a hundred thousand miles apart from whatever this stupid Association was meant to be. Even Rolf rolled his eyes, while Zim burned with resentment. If not for the deep trauma Richard had left in him, the Viscount would have wanted to go and start an argument with the mage opposite them. The resounding reputation of the Highland Unicorn was not gained by sleeping around alone; commanding armies, killing, arguing, Zim felt like he could do everything now. Although it wasn’t a good idea for a Viscount to fall out with a huge body like the Mage Association, Zim had never been someone who acted based on rationality.

“Boss, it’s useless to talk to these guys!” The Viscount was quite euphemistic. He wasn’t stupid enough to tell Richard that he was not their opponent.

The middle-aged man jumped up, his fingers almost poking Richard’s nose as he screamed, “HOW DARE YOU INSULT THE MAGE ASSOCIATION? Do you want to take on the Kingdom’s 300 noble mages? In the name of the Association, I announce that all your enchanted weapons have been confiscated. Your magical bloodline will be cut off, leaving you unable to cast spells for the rest of your life! Someone, come!”

The soldiers in the room answered loudly, drawing their swords in Richard’s direction. The silver robe mages all stood up as well, looking ready to attack. Rolf snorted loudly, emitting his aura as a saint to keep them at bay, but even though they didn’t dare to attack the stares from the mages were not friendly. Clearly, a saint would not be enough to put them off.

Richard seemed to fall into deep thought, stroking his beard for a long time. He suddenly spoke to Kamy, “Oi, do you know why I stood here waiting for an entire ten minutes?”

Kamy sat up straight, his once-turbid eyes growing incomparably sharp. He snorted, waiting for Richard to continue. However, Richard didn’t speak; his left hand waved, a fist landing ruthlessly on the face of the middle-aged mage!

The sound of bones cracking echoed through the room as the mage flew out like a ragdoll. Blood spurted from a crushed nose, leaving a string of crimson beads in the air. The man felt like he had been attacked by an ogre warrior; his body flew into the wall before he slowly slid down to the ground. He crumpled down like a rag sack; he would not be getting up for a long time.

Even a mage from Norland would be left dizzy after a punch like that, forget one from Faelor. Kamy had authority and magic, but his noble status had ensured that he hadn’t been on the battlefield for more than a decade. His reaction was several times slower than in his youth; he only came to his senses a while after Richard’s punch.

Richard’s knuckles were still clenched tightly as he slowly withdrew his fist, letting out a long breath, “Ah, that feels so much better!”

Kamy stared at him blankly, the rest of the silver robes like statues as they couldn’t believe their own eyes. Richard finally answered his earlier question, “Right, the reason why I didn’t mind waiting ten minutes was so my soldiers could get here. ASSEMBLE!”

The moment the order went out, several large holes were smashed open in the wooden wall. Humanoid figures, dressed in heavy armour and armed with shields and axes rushed into the room, clanging their weapons. All of the Mage Association’s soldiers were defeated in an instant, the situation firmly in Richard’s control. The heavy infantrymen showed no mercy to the silver robes either; heavy shields rammed into faces to send any spells back into the mages’ bellies. The humanoids pinned the dizzy old mages to the ground one by one, placing their axes on their necks.

The gold robe mage was the only one who was safe. This was because he maintained his original posture, sitting still without a move. Kamy was old, but he was not senile. He knew that the slightest of actions would meet with a bad end.

The old mage’s expression changed a little and he stood up abruptly, pointing at Richard as he said gloomily, “No one who made an enemy of the Mage Association has met a good end.”

Richard sneered, “As far as I understand it, you’re the ones who came looking for trouble.”

Kamy squinted his eyes like a treacherous snake, “Regardless of your understanding, you have made a powerful enemy today. You will be uprooted, your family and friends burdened! If I were you, I would pay constant attention to my life from now on. You might be buried anywhere in the Sequoia Kingdom. You should know, Finger of Death is a fascinating spell!”

Richard smiled, “So there truly is no way to reason with you. You dare threaten me?” Without waiting for Kamy to respond, he suddenly stepped forward and sent a right hook at the old mage’s chin. The man was sent flying out of the inn, planting down heavily on the ground without the ability to get up. In such a scenario, his level was useless.

The silver robe mages wanted to charge forward, but they wisely gave up all resistance under the threat of shining axes. The hatred in their eyes almost made Richard send out the order to kill them all.

……

The next day, hundreds of soldiers escorted the dozen mages out of Bluewater. None of the mages was held back, but there were still a few differences from their arrival. Firstly, two high-ranked mages were left lying in a carriage. Also, the mages and warriors had all been stripped of their belongings, instruments, and weapons. They would return to the Kingdom as beggars.

Two days later, the Bloodstained Highway army set off once more. Zim was riding alongside Richard, and couldn’t help but ask, “Boss, why did you just let those guys go? The Mage Association will definitely announce that you are a dark mage and will order your arrest.”

Richard was silent for a moment, but then he said indifferently, “If they dare to come, I’ll kill all of them. I don’t believe those old fellows aren’t afraid of death.”

The Viscount immediately grew excited, “You’re amazing, boss! You don’t even care about the Mage Association! Right, let’s uproot them!”

That statement left Richard in a mix of humour and rage. He had done his research on the Mage Association in the past few days, finding out that they were the same as churches in that they were independent of nobility. The Mage Association in the Sequoia Kingdom actually exceeded the churches there in terms of status and resources, but then again outside of the three weak goddesses most other churches were spread across countries and even continents. The Mage Association was not a single entity like a church was, however; there were dozens of them, large and small, throughout the continent. It was possible for a few mages from the lands of several independent mages to form an association, but at the same time there were large empires with multiple associations in them.

The Association, the aristocracy, and the theocracy were always in a race for benefits. With a monopoly on magic equipment and advanced medicine, the Mage Association tended to accumulate astonishing sums of wealth. In turn, this wealth supported the expansion of the Association’s influence. Zim’s hatred was very normal. No powerful aristocrat was fond of competing powers like the churches and the Mage Association.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Mel

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA