Book 4, Chapter 5

Entering The Battlefield Of Despair

Anything could happen on the Battlefield of Despair, and there was no harm in preparing more. As a royal runemaster, Richard didn’t really mind a small investment of a few hundred thousand gold.

It was late into the night, but his study was still lit. Now facing the map of the Forest Plane, he marked out a few new spots on it. Next to the map was another request for help from Lina. The tone of this letter was quite different from the last. She mentioned several vigorous attacks from the natives over the past month, leading to massive casualties. She had only kept the defensive line intact with the power of the three towers, and if the situation continued she wasn’t certain that the plane would still be in their hands within two months.

On the second page of the letter was the latest chart of the enemy troops and her own. One could tell with a single glance that Emerald City was completely surrounded; there weren’t too many natives, but their attacks were unrelenting and unpredictable.

Updating the map of the Forest Plane, Richard silently simulated the situation in his mind. A while later, he shook his head, “No, it isn’t yet time. Hmph, does she still want to trick me? She’s nowhere near such dire straits and can probably hold on for another half year. Three magic towers with her in charge… How would the natives break through without giving up their lives?”

Now that he could set aside his worries, he cleaned up the table and headed to the highest tower of the castle. He began to meditate in the spacious room, trying to ensure he was in his best state before going to the Battlefield of Despair.

He remained silent through the night.

……

Eleven the next day, a small squad from the Ironblood Duke’s family came to escort Richard. Two of the three teleportation gates to the Battlefield of Despair from Faust were on the imperial islands, while the other was controlled by the Orleans family. The only other options were having a spatial mage build a temporary portal or looking elsewhere.

Half an hour later, Richard was stood outside the door to a little shrine on island 5-5. The shrine was constructed from black rock, and he could smell a heavy scent of blood within.

“You’re early,” Beye’s voice rang out from afar.

“Your men came to get me.”

Beye’s response to this held a strange tinge of bloodlust, “That’s wrong. You knew the destination, so you should be able to figure out how long it would take to get here. I clearly sent my people half an hour early; you should have corrected them, not accommodated them. In the Battlefield of Despair, you should make good use of every resource if you want to survive. Time is one of the greatest.”

Richard’s heart trembled. This woman was already guiding him.

“Since there’s still time, show me the equipment you’ve prepared.” Beye had Richard show her all his equipment, including the Twin of Destiny and Extinction. Glancing through them, she started berating him, “No, you can’t bring these! Ag, take these things and return them to Richard when we’re back.”

She then pointed to the Book of Holding, “This is the only thing you can bring.”

However, Richard was shocked. Losing his staff and best sword would drop his battle might by at least 40%. Wasn’t the Battlefield of Despair a land of death? Why couldn’t he bring his equipment?

Beye seemed to know what he was thinking about, suddenly pulling down her collar to reveal a complicated grade 4 rune that covered most of her shoulder, “If you wish to go further in the Battlefield of Despair, if you wish to live forever, you can only rely on yourself. The most you can have is your runes, but even those you cannot depend on at all times. Only when you forget about your equipment and learn to fight without it will you truly walk the path of the strong. That’s when you’ll have the qualifications to wield these things again. This is the equipment I plan to use.”

She tossed a pair of daggers towards him, and a cursory examination revealed that there was nothing to them outside of being made from lafite. Although they were durable and wouldn’t rust easily, they held no other merit. When he returned them to her, astonished, she casually sheathed them and continued, “Secondly, forget your identity as a mage. As long as you can kill your opponent, anything goes.”

Having said this, she headed into the shrine without caring whether Richard actually understood her words. Some mages had already placed magic crystals in the centre of the teleportation formation within.

“Let’s go!” She stepped into the formation right away, not taking anything outside of the two daggers. Richard hesitated for a moment before following.

……

As the light of the teleportation faded, Richard found himself deep inside a cave. Seeing him step out of the portal, Beye quickly gestured him over with her back bent slightly, walking soundlessly to one corner of the cave. He looked back in shock, unable to believe that the formation on the other side was just a messy array of rocks piled on the ground.

But then he realised it was just a pile of rocks. The last vestiges of mana within the stones rapidly dissipated, leaving them no different from the rest of the hill. There was no formation here at all.

Beye didn’t need to turn back to guess what he was doing, “There’s no need to look anymore, the place we teleport to changes every time. This time I had us sent directly to the edge of the battlefield, so we don’t have to rush. We’ll need to head to the Capital of the Unsetting Sun to return, they have a gate back to Norland there. Be careful, we could meet enemies at any point.

“Where do these enemies come from?” Richard inquired.

“I’ll explain it to you along the way. First, check your current condition. This is a place where you could easily lose your meagre life. Pay attention to every detail. I’m helping you with your first time, so learn to take care in the future.

“Stand straight!” Beye walked up to his side, her slender and powerful hands starting to wander over his body as they squeezed and checked every inch of his body. Her movements were steady as she adjusted everything, from the buttons on his shirt to the items in his pocket. She didn’t even let his member off, casually squeezing it.

Still at an age where he was very hot-blooded, Richard sucked in a breath. He naturally had a reaction down under as well, one that caused Beye to pause as she teased, “Not many can get hard in front of me. Should I praise you for being courageous or call you insane?”

He turned slightly red, not making a sound, but she patted his erect penis, “Take care of it. Its current condition will affect your balance during battles.”

Richard had to admit that her adjustments immediately left him more comfortable. Although she hadn’t put much pressure into it, all of his tense muscles had been relaxed. He had never felt so good in his life. He didn’t forget to record everything with his blessings, making a note to analyse it in the future.

At this moment, the only equipment he had on himself was the Book of Holding and an ordinary steel dagger. Beye quickly organised her own simple equipment before leading him deeper into the cave.

The cave was quite large, feeling like a natural maze. The walls and ground were made of malm, and the terrain was quite complicated. There were forks in the path everywhere as well as multiple levels. It was sometimes dry and sometimes damp, giving rise to different flora as well. Moss glowed in some parts of the place, giving it some light, while many paths were pitch-black without any light at all. However, the air was not stifling or musky. A breeze blew in from time to time.

Be it bright or dark, Beye continued to move noiselessly at the same speed. The terrain and lighting seemed to have no effect on her, the changing speeds of the wind no matter at all. Richard was beginning to feel strained as he followed, but observing her movements from behind he felt increasingly surprised and gained more insight.

Her movements were relaxed, elegant yet powerful. It was as though she had merged into her surroundings, advancing in a natural, flowing manner like a spider moving along its web. She adjusted her condition and path constantly, the bursts of movements leaving him feeling enlightened. He started trying to imitate her.

“Have you never learnt martial arts? Walking like this is quite basic.”

“I learnt some techniques from the underworld before, but that’s it. My teacher just gave me financial aid and let me develop freely.”

Beye went silent for a while, “Right, you’re her student. That’s normal; she only needs to put in a bit of effort to kill someone. She’s not like us, who have to train in various techniques and hatch infinitely many schemes to do so.”

Richard hadn’t expected even Beye to be so convinced by Sharon’s methods. He suddenly remembered that the last time he’d seen her, he’d had the guts to touch her and even play around with a strand of her hair. Although she was deep asleep, how could she not have any methods to protect herself? That weak and adorable appearance was just a facade, her true might comparable to a dragon’s. In that case, wouldn’t so much as a pat from her hand have broken his bones and torn his muscles apart?

He suddenly broke out in cold sweat.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA