Book 4, Chapter 8

Born For Battle

Beye had unparalleled explosive strength and speed, her skill so great it made one’s hair stand up in rage. Even analysing her actions using Precision, Richard could find no room for improvement at all. Although she was only level 18, just having entered sainthood, her true might could not be explained by her level. A single strike of hers could be extraordinarily powerful.

This was just like how he himself could use Blaze to decimate a mage of the same level as himself, or how Outburst allowed him to kill those who were a level or two higher.

Now he learnt why she was so obsessed to Lifesbane. The rune was simply tailor-made for her talent, boosting her fierce strength and speed until she became a storm of death on the battlefield.

Thinking of these things, Richard’s gaze towards Beye somewhat changed. However, his eyelids suddenly twitched; she had already begun to dismember the centaur captain’s corpse. With the enclave centaurs being much larger than the skaven, she had to spend more time to extract all the useful bits from it. However, looking at the valiant opponent being dismembered under the force of her daggers, he felt like puking.

It didn’t seem like there were many areas on the centaur captain’s body that could be used, Beye only took out his heart. However, just to collect the black crystals, she had turned this elephant of a creature into a pile of meat. “Enclave centaurs are two levels higher than skaven,” she exclaimed mechanically, “They are one of the main forces of Daxdus and a core strength in the Land of Dusk. Captains like this one are amongst the upper-middle echelons of their forces, so we’ll get many more opportunities to fight them. Actually, this body would have many uses. The skin is a good material to make high-quality leather armour from, and their spines can be refined into epic-grade pikes. The heart, which is the source of an enclave centaur’s strength, can even be used as an offering. However, the skin and spine take up far too much space. With you here, I can only give up on them.”

Offering! Richard hadn’t expected the centaur captain to have such great value. Were the other Daxdus powerhouses of a similar level also able to produce offerings?

Beye read him like a book, “As long as they achieve a certain level, most inhabitants of Daxdus have their power gather in one of their organs. These organs can be used as offerings to the Church of the Eternal Dragon.

“Normally, the only way for an independent saint to acquire an offering is the Battlefield of Despair. Otherwise, it might take an entire lifetime to gather enough for a single low-level ceremony. Take this heart, for example. You only need two to conduct a lesser ceremony once. This is why a saint that has survived the Battlefield of Despair is generally much stronger than one who has never entered it.”

Richard immediately understood that this was the main attraction of the Battlefield of Despair. Having seen that incredible list of blessings before, he knew just how wide of a range they could cover. Even a peasant without any talent whatsoever could be turned into a saint as long as one had enough divine grace.

The centaur’s body also had dozens of times the number of crystals the skaven did. It wasn’t a small harvest, but the reward was directly proportional to the difficulty. The centaur captain had been completely deserving of his level.

Beye and Richard continued to advance, and it didn’t take long before they encountered another battle. This time, it was a sksar ursa warlord, a character not much weaker than the centaur.

Richard entered the battle this time as well, but it was not as a mage. He buffed himself up with several spells before prowling around the edge of the battlefield with his dagger, looking for an opportunity to deal a fatal blow.

This enemy was close to three metres tall, cracks all over his hard skin that was similar to plate armour. He had an astonishingly large head covered in stiff black fur, the long mouth full of fangs some of which protruded out of the corner of his lips. It was said that these humanoids could break down obsidian weapons with a single bite, their name coming from the fact that their heads looked similar to those of bears.

Everyone in the Battlefield of Despair normally moved independently, something especially true for someone as fierce as Beye. Richard was the first person to see exactly how hard the ursa warlord got in front of her, and with his memory not being inferior to her battle might the scene was burned into his mind. Once they arrived at the capital of the Unsetting Sun, he would find out that an ursa warlord’s member would grow to the maximum length their target could accommodate. This was equivalent to knowing some intimate details about her, but it would only leave him breaking out in a cold sweat. Were she to catch wind of it, he wouldn’t even know how he died.

He made some progress in the battle, using the Greenflame Sword spell to enhance his own weapon before stabbing it into the root of the ursa warlord’s tail where its defences were weak. He left behind a small wound that was only two finger-widths broad, no worse for the ursa than a mosquito bite, but to him it was a marked improvement. Beye had said before that killing did not distinguish between magic and martial arts, and this was the first step on that road.

The rest of the journey was equally exciting. After the ursa warlord they fought a wanga black sorcerer, a five-metre-tall creature that was slender as a rod covered in strips of black cloth from head to toe. Then came a manos lizard, a kind of draconic reptilian that was similar to draconians but much taller and more powerful. There was also a lightning drake, tens of metres long and floating a hundred metres up in the air. These were only the more fierce of the lot; there were dozens of weaker ones like the skaven that were completely destroyed.

The two had met an enemy almost every hour or two. Beye didn’t disappoint Richard at all, showing him the fierceness of someone born for battle. Every weakness, every vital point was exploited to the fullest; given that the genitalia of many creatures were relatively weak, she focused a lot of her attacks on that region as well. Richard had seen her destroy reproductive organs far more than once.

The harvesting post the battle was also an essential procedure. Some of the enemies were extremely similar to humans, like the tomiller devils who were basically the same except for glowing eyes and curved horns on their foreheads. Beye dismembered them all the same. The power core in their abdomens could be turned into part of an offering, and their flesh and blood were rich in the black crystals.

By the time he had seen her do this, Richard had been numbed to the fact. The only thing he saw was Beye’s bag growing in size even as she abandoned more and more of the loot. She had only brought one spatial ring that she used to store the most expensive crystals and offerings. While he himself one that could hold half a cubic metre’s worth of materials, its level was too low. With the latent power in all these things, it wouldn’t serve its function of reducing their weight at all. In a place like this where danger lurked around every corner, any excess baggage could be the difference between life and death.

The enchanted case with image diamonds embedded within would actually have worked for the job, but it was just too cumbersome for the Battlefield of Despair. Beye naturally hadn’t allowed him to bring it along on their journey.

Of course, he had his own harvests as well. He was starting to leave a mark on the enemies by the later battles, but that was all he could do given the difference in level. His attack power and reaction speed could not compare to those of the enemy; if not for the crushing advantage of Beye on his side, even a skaven could have killed him.

Battle, rest, advance, battle… This was the cycle that continued throughout their ten days together.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA