Sacrifice was an ability that could activate a power far beyond that of regular magic. It would amplify whatever spell Richard cast greatly, but the price was that the mana used to cast the spell would permanently vanish from his body. In other words, three grade 6 spells under the ability’s effect would push him back down to level 11.
This ability could not be used lightly outside of a life and death situation. However, it truly was befitting of the Archeron bloodline— insane, determined, and with no way back. However, Richard stared at the symbol on his wrist with a crazy thought in mind. With the elven bloodline and the meditation technique form the Deepblue, his mana growth was several times faster than that of an ordinary mage. Even if he used Sacrifice once a week, he could continue to advance at the same rate as a regular mage.
The path of magic was long and boundless. The further along Richard went, the more he felt like the existences ahead of him were full of surprises. Sharon, Mordred, Beye, even Gaton… Richard’s perception of the distance between them only continued to increase.
He couldn’t close the gap by being a jack of all trades. He had to choose one path and walk it to the end, and Sacrifice was just perfect. It continued with his emphasis on killing power.
Today was the day for the sacrificial ceremony. Richard was mostly fine by the end of breakfast, so he brought Gangdor and a few guards along as he set off for the Church of the Eternal Dragon. Flowsand had finished the preparations long ago, and it wasn’t his first time either. The ceremony began very quickly, and thankfully the options this time were finally back to normal.
There were only three choices for the blessings. Outside of the planar passage strengthening that he hoped for, he could choose eight years of extra life or a legendary item called the Lava Ring that would greatly enhance his spell damage especially for the fire element. The Lava Ring was quite tempting, but Richard chose to strengthen the passage instead. Right now, he was shuttling between Norland and Faelor quite frequently; the more he strengthened the passageway, the more he would save.
Besides, he had another thing to consider. Basically everyone purely loyal to him was in Faelor right now, and the broodmother was there as well. If he wanted to raise his influence, he would need to bring a large army out from Faelor. These little offerings would add up, greatly reducing the cost of moving said army. This blessing was one that was more useful the earlier he obtained it.
The ceremony thus ended quite quickly, the price of teleportation dropping down to 15,000 coins’ worth. However, during the entire duration timeforce kept hovering around his beast-tooth bracelet. The largest tooth kept emitting a searing heat that rejected the power of time, once more reminding him of its extraordinary nature. Mountainsea came to mind. He sighed once the ceremony came to an end.
“What’s wrong?” Flowsand asked from beside him, amber eyes full of concern.
“Hmm, alright.” Seeing as Richard was unwilling to answer, she didn’t push him either. She instead supported her necklace with her palm, showing it off, “Look, my Waterdrop Necklace has been strengthened. It’s the Springwater Necklace now.”
Richard knew that the Waterdrop Necklace had been part of the Reincarnation set. Now that it had been strengthened to form the full Springwater Necklace, Flowsand’s divine spells were amplified twofold. Ceremonies always gave the officiator some amount of divine grace, and it seemed like she had used hers to strengthen the necklace. The item was now near the legendary grade, but as someone who already had the Book of Time Flowsand had no problems bringing out its full potential.
However, Richard did not closely examine the properties of the Springwater Necklace, instead taking a step back and looking the priestess up and down for a while. He then smiled, “It suits you well.”
This was not an answer Flowsand had expected. She paused without a smile, leaning into his embrace and closing her eyes. She could hear his strong heartbeat through his chest. They shared a quiet moment within the shrine.
It didn’t take long for a whisper to break the silence, “When are we leaving?”
“Probably tomorrow afternoon.”
“Alright.” In that moment, the girl didn’t feel like thinking at all.
A while later, Richard left the Church of the Eternal Dragon. Every stay at Norland was for a very short duration, and he was always extremely busy. Not long after they got back to the floating island, a servant hastily entered Richard’s study and exclaimed, “Young Master Richard! There’s a problem! Young Master Wennington got into a fight with someone in Faust and has already been caught!”
“What?” Richard’s first reaction was to think that the servant must have gotten something wrong.
No matter how much the Archerons had declined, they were still one of Faust’s fourteen. He had just risen to the status of royal runemaster as well, so how could they be bullied to this extent? Who had so much courage? Besides, Richard knew Wennington’s personality. The youth was of the same age as him, but he was too mature to take things too far.
The servant grew anxious, “Young Master Wennington had a conflict with the young master from the Mensa Family. They took him away, saying he would be brought to the duelling arena. Young Master Richard, his injuries are grave. You cannot delay!”
“Mensa?” Richard calmed down the moment he heard this name, “Tell me what happened, in detail.”
This servant had been following Wennington for seven or eight years now and had always been loyal to the youth. No matter how anxious he was, he knew this was a serious matter. Thus, he held back his anxiety as he recounted the day’s events.
It was actually quite straightforward. Wennington was out buying some materials he needed in Faust, and had met Duke Mensa’s youngest son along the way. The two families were already in a feud that could not be resolved, so they inevitably exchanged some words. However, the young Mensa had said something in Wennington’s ear that enraged the normally-calm youth, who instantly punched the boy’s face.
The Mensa youth’s nose had been smashed, but that wasn’t all. Most importantly, many had seen Wennington launch the blow; the strength in that attack could definitely be considered a challenge to a duel. In the end, Wennington who had only brought along a few ordinary servants and had been seriously injured by the Mensa Family’s men had been captured and brought to an inn near the duelling arena.
The young Mensa had threatened the Archerons to find a way to bring him back, or he would fight a duel in the arena. Once they started the fight, interference would be impossible. Running from a duel was the biggest blot on a noble’s honour. To many, honour and reputation were more important than their very lives.
Richard was in no hurry to make a move, instead thinking it over for a while, “So their target isn’t Wennington. For now, at least, he won’t be in trouble. Young Mensa wants to use him as a lure to bait someone else out. And from the looks of it, that can only be me.”
The servant did not dare interrupt. While he was very worried about Wennington, he knew that speaking now could bring about unexpected results.
Richard knocked on the table lightly, asking after a moment, “What did he tell Wennington?”
The servant had never dared to hide anything, “I only heard a little, and it seemed to have something to do with Miss Venica.”
The servant was thus immediately sent to bring Venica to the study. Richard then waved him away and closed the door before turning to look at his younger half-sister. Under his gaze, the girl grew slightly awkward.
Richard looked calm, but his left hand was repeatedly balled into a fist before spreading out, “Wennington was seriously injured by the Mensas and is in an inn next to the duelling arena. The servant says the fellow said something about you into his ear, which is why he lost his calm and threw the first blow. Is there anything you want to tell me?”
“I…” Venica immediately turned pale, unable to speak for a moment. However, her actions were enough to give Richard a rough idea of what had transpired. He grew more serious, “The Mensas should be aiming for me, so Wennington will be fine for now. But anything could happen as time passes; you’d best treasure this.”
“It happened a week ago…” Venica began.
This event had occurred in Faust as well. A young and energetic Venica had been angered by Duke Mensa’s eldest grandson, secretly duelling him. Both were level 9 warriors while Venica had already unlocked a bloodline ability, so she had been certain she would win. However, the opponent had come with two pieces of epic-grade equipment, while all she had was a superior-grade weapon. The results were as expected.
The corner of Richard’s eye twitched slightly, “What was at stake?”
Venica paled, obviously left traumatized by the day’s events, “If he lost, he would have to kneel in public in Faust’s plaza and apologise for humiliating Father. If I lost, I… I had to strip for him.”
“And then? Nothing else happened, right?”
“I see. So the Mensa boy probably said something about your body that infuriated Wennington.”
“I’m sorry… I… I didn’t mean to hide it!” Tears were welling up in the girl’s eyes.
Richard smiled slightly and patted her shoulder, “It’s fine. We Archerons aren’t known for enduring humiliation. The Mensas have succeeded in infuriating me.”
“Servant!” he suddenly raised his volume.
A servant entered the study room, and Richard immediately instructed him to call Gangdor and Fuschia over, as well as inform Flowsand, Nyris, and Agamemnon to get to the duelling arena within half an hour.
“Oh, tell them there’s going to be a show. They’ll miss it if they’re late,” he added. The servant ran out like lightning.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA