Book 4, Chapter 4

The Burden Of The Powerful

The elementary agility rune had been a stroke of genius, but Richard’s standards were steadily rising. If he was willing to spend the time on it, it wouldn’t be impossible to reproduce. However, he didn’t just create runes for money anymore; his goal was to create better rune knights and tailor-make runes for himself and his followers, constantly producing new rune sets. He didn’t have the time to make numerous elementary runes for the low probability that one of them would sell for millions.

Many runemasters in Norland just created specialised workshops and built up stable trade channels, concentrating completely on research and improving their skills. However, this was not the path he had chosen for himself.

It wasn’t as if nobody could make that elementary agility rune. Any saint runemaster or even a rather skilled great runemaster could create it, but they wouldn’t waste their time doing so. The reasoning was the same as his; it wasn’t worth it to make an entire pile of agility runes for the off chance that one of them was extraordinary. Although such a rune could be sold for millions, it was not so easily made. At the very least, Lunor would not be able to make them no matter how many years it took.

“He has something to ask you,” Agamemnon couldn’t watch Nyris’ enthusiasm any longer, “That’s why he’s acting differently.”

“Agamemnon, you! You!” Nyris was about to jump up, but when he turned around and saw Richard’s expression he sat down in disappointment, “Alright, I do have something to ask of you. I want… I want—”

“He wants to join you in conquering planes.”

Richard immediately frowned when Agamemnon completed the sentence, falling silent as he thought things over repeatedly to figure out Nyris’ true motives. There were too many secrets in Faelor that could not be shared, and Nyris was a prince of the Alliance. Who knew if he was also competing to become the crown prince?

Nyris glared at Agamemnon angrily, as if wanting to slice him into millions of pieces. However, the powerful youth wouldn’t care about such a painless threat, “His real intention is to earn some money warring alongside you to increase his influence and points.”

“Points?” Richard was immediately confused. This sounded very much like something Sharon would do.

Explaining the system was too much of a waste of saliva for Agamemnon, so Nyris ended up having to explain the new point system of the royal family in detail. This included how achievements were graded, the time decay, the moving average, and even the distribution of benefits. This system was extremely complicated, evidently to get rid of the dumber children. It was also quite in the style of the Deepblue.

Nyris actually showed his own ability in being able to explain the system in a clear and concise manner, even adding his own thoughts on how to best make use of the rules. His conclusion was simple: participating in planar wars and improving his army would be the quickest methods to grow.

However, these were the most difficult methods as well. Even ignoring the uncertainty of profits from planar battle, he wasn’t the only one competing for the throne. Becoming an outstanding commander or leader in planar battles was not enough; if one used too much energy there, they would lose the initiative in Faust. Thus, unless one could find a reliable and powerful agent, they normally wouldn’t run off to develop a new plane.

In other words, the Emperor was training their ability to play chess, not to fight as pieces on the board.

After explaining the point system, Nyris stared solemnly at Richard, “You must know, if you agree to this request the others will consider you to be in my camp. Their organisations will discriminate against you, and you could even be attacked. If you’re unwilling to involve yourself in the internal conflicts of the royal family, I completely understand.”

Richard remained still, his brows locked tightly as he thought through the pros and cons. He had no experience whatsoever in dealing with such high-level politics. Perhaps that man would have been able to give him some guidance if he was around.

“Only the weaker families avoid these sorts of struggles,” Agamemnon suddenly chimed in, revealing a sunny and calm smile, “Also, you’re only going to be representing your own branch of the family.”

The meaning behind these words was rather offensive. Agamemnon was saying he wasn’t yet the head of the Archeron Family. However, this was an undeniable truth. Although Richard was the one supporting the family right now, he didn’t have control over Gaton’s subordinates. The Orleans youth was reminding him that his support to Nyris right now would be on an individual basis, not affecting the entire family. The losses wouldn’t be as great as he was imagining. The same was true of Agamemnon himself; his siding with Nyris did not mean the Ironblood Duke supported the Fourth Prince.

In simpler terms, there wasn’t much to lose but a lot to gain. It had to be said that Agamemnon had his way with words despite his reticence; every statement had a point.

Fuschia interrupted as well, “I agree. Choosing a prince to support is the right and obligation of every powerful family. It is our duty to help the Alliance acquire the most suitable ruler.”

Richard made up his mind. While Agamemnon talked about branches and Fuschia brought up responsibility, their meaning was the same. It all boiled down to power. Even if he supported the wrong person, the new emperor would still have to rethink his options as long as the Archerons were powerful enough. On top of that, it wasn’t rare for different branches of a noble family to have conflicting opinions. The emperor was only the highest of the nobles, and the royal family wasn’t even the oldest of the lot.

“Alright. What can I get from this?”

Nyris was immediately delighted, “You need to provide a plane that has value in being developed, and we’ll fight together on it. In return, I’ll provide the blessing of Unhurriedness for the plane and give you half of all the profit it ever makes.”

“Deal,” Richard didn’t overthink the gains and losses, “I’ll give you the Forest Plane, the one we went to last time.”

“Hmm? Isn’t Faelor your main plane? But then again, the Forest Plane is very valuable too. Pity, the Schumpeters spent more than a decade but didn’t obtain much profit. It’s said that the natives there are very troublesome.”

“The situation in Faelor is stable right now, and I need some time to digest its profits. Starting another war there isn’t the best idea.”

Nyris exchanged glances with Agamemnon before asking, “Will you come with us?”

“Of course!” Richard smiled in answer.

After coming to a decision on the most important matters, the three grew more relaxed and began to chat idly. Of course, it was Nyris talking 80% of the time while Richard could only add a few sentences where he could. Agamemnon was taciturn as usual as well, letting the prince have his spotlight.

The two figured out that Richard was slightly off and asked about it, but he just smiled wryly and explained that he was always feeling on the edge as of late. They seemed to fall deep into thought, looking at each other before Agamemnon nodded slightly. Nyris told Richard that he had a way to solve his problems, but that would only come after some time.

……

By the end of the lunch, Richard had ordered another batch of weapons and equipment. Preparing for planar wars took time, So Nyris went off to gather his army in ten days. The Prince also needed to host an offering ceremony for the Unhurriedness blessing as well.

After dinner that night, Richard received a letter from Beye. There was only one sentence within, “Tomorrow at noon, I’ll bring you to the Battlefield of Despair for a look.”

Battlefield of Despair! This was a furnace that trained saints, the best way to become a legendary being. Almost all of Norland’s powerhouses in the past century had been trained there, the only exception being Sharon. Of course, the legendary mage had abruptly put herself on the map with the construction of the Deepblue, seemingly never needing to train. She quickly suppressed the duergar with great power, after which she naturally became a legend. She still retained a showy manner, possessing a terrifying power that surpassed her peers greatly. There was no lack of other legendary beings that had been traumatised by her.

While Beye didn’t mention it, Richard knew she was likely here at Agamemnon’s request to help solve the issues with his psyche. Although he didn’t understand what his problems had to do with the Battlefield of Despair, that was a trip he could not miss. He called the old steward to his study and passed him a list of extremely potent items, asking him to purchase them all by noon the next day. The Archeron Family had no ability to produce these potions that were easily 10,000 gold each, and with the family scrounging for money right now they didn’t have any in storage either.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA