Book 4, Chapter 15

Professional

Richard was unwilling to admit that, regardless of what happened that fateful night, he found it comfortable to have Rosie by his side. However, that wasn’t the only reason. He had to admit that she was very good at taking care of him, and the most decisive turn came from her decent knowledge of mathematics. This was an extremely rare quality, one that would turn her into a capable assistant in the future.

“Who did you learn mathematics from?” he asked her.

“My teacher taught me the basics, while I learnt the rest myself. Level 8 was just right as a bargaining chip and I wasn’t allowed to grow beyond that, but the Mensa library was still open to me so I learnt quite a bit. Any advanced mathematics I learnt came from those books.”

Richard nodded. This explained why Rosie’s fundamentals were strong but her usage was quite inflexible. His tone grew more tender, “Tell the steward to make preparations, we leave tomorrow. Oh right, there isn’t much time left so you get ready as well. Our destination is the Forest Plane.”

The girl nodded and suddenly pounced on him, leaving a feather-light kiss on his cheek before leaving like the wind.

Birdsong was already beginning to sound outside the window, and morning light shone into the study. Another new day had begun. Rosie left the study and quickly headed for her room, coincidentally meeting the old steward who had gotten up to make his rounds. She immediately informed him of Richard’s decision and he called for two maids to help her pack.

Just as she bid farewell to him and turned the corner, she suddenly came to a stop. Coco was crouched nearby, trying to withdraw. She looked obviously terrified at the sight of Rosie, but there was also an unconcealable hatred in her eyes.

Rosie waved for the two maids to go ahead before walking up to Coco, “Ah, Coco, isn’t it? I heard you’re Richard’s partner.”

The weak illusionist, for whatever reason, suddenly gathered her courage in this battle with no smoke. She stuck her chest out and raised her head, “That’s right, I’m Richard’s partner. And you’re a Mensa!”

Rosie suddenly laughed. It was like a sun shining upon a glacier, the cold yet striking magnificence leaving Coco dazzled, “You want to say that I’m just a slave and even if I get into Richard’s bed, I’m just a prostitute. So, my status can’t be compared to yours? Is that it? You’re quite tactful with your words.”

This really had been Coco’s intention, but with Rosie laying it out the meaning had completely changed. She was supposed to be imposing, but now just felt like a defeated little chick.

Rosie did not stop there, “I also heard that despite being his partner, you haven’t even made your way to his bed. You even had an affair with a knight-in-training outsi— hmm, let’s not bring that up for now. I don’t like exposing people’s scars. However, don’t you find it strange being a partner who’s never been in bed with him before?”

Coco gritted her teeth, “That’s none of your business!”

Watching the weak girl who was like a kitten baring her fangs, Rosie retracted her own claws and regained her calm, whispering, “You’ve been doing your best to approach him but to no avail. I’ve only seen him a few times and already got into his bed. Do you know what the difference between us is?”

Coco clenched her little fists, entire body shaking. However, she greatly desired to know the answer to the question, her mouth flapping open and closed a few times. Eventually, she decided to endure the humiliation, “What?”

“You’re not professional,” Rosie said softly before turning towards her room, leaving a dumbstruck Coco behind.

……

Richard met up with Nyris and Agamemnon at noon, preparing to enter the Forest Plane. When the three looked at each others’ troops as they arrived at the Church, all of them were inwardly startled.

Nyris had actually brought a saint and a grand mage with him, and 500 imperial footsoldiers! The teleportation costs made this a huge investment of over a million gold coins! It was apparent that these 500 would not return from the Forest Plane if there weren’t enough profits.

Behind Richard were only twenty soldiers and knights, which was quite quaint, but as their gazes swept past Richard’s followers, Nyris and Agamemnon grew increasingly grave.

Agamemnon’s gaze lingered on Phaser in particular, his brows furrowing. In the meanwhile, Nyris saw the five rune knights standing behind Richard and the corner of his eye subconsciously twitched. The grand mage focused on Waterflower, especially the runic patterns on her exposed neck and wrist. He stared at her for a long while before suddenly asking, “Lord Richard, the runes on this lady are from a set, aren’t they?”

Richard was a little startled but he easily admitted to it, “A custom design of mine called the Guide of Secrets, a grade 2 rune set from the Savagery of Darkness series.”

“Grade 2 rune set!” the mage exclaimed in a low voice, his eyes filled with passion.

Agamemnon’s gaze landed on Waterflower as well, asking, “How many runes?”

Richard had to appreciate the youth’s astuteness, “Seven.”

“Seven!” Nyris immediately sucked in a breath. His face immediately overtaken by shock and surprise, he charged over to her and shouted, “Quick, show me!”

The Prince seemed like he wanted to take off Waterflower’s clothes right then and there to look at the runes on her body. His movements were very quick, and Richard was unable to stop him in time.

This situation was bad! None of Richard’s men could stop Waterflower, and he knew exactly how painful her instinctual counterattack would be. He only barely managed to order her not to attack mentally, but he didn’t know whether that would be of any use compared to her instincts.

Halfway through his charge, Nyris suddenly felt an icy killing intent locking onto his buttocks. He was immediately startled, but a heavy blade suddenly appeared in front of him to block him from Waterflower. Unable to control his charge in time, he forced his hands out to push at the blade and was sent retreating two steps by a mountainous strength.

“Nyris, that’s one of Richard’s!” Agamemnon shouted.

“I know!” the Prince answered, immediately turning to sweep his eyes around to find the source of the bloodlust. One of his bloodline abilities allowed him to predict attacks,  but the target of the enemy this time left him feeling a mix of embarrassment and anger that left him on the verge of going out of control.

However, he only found his trusted subordinates behind his back. Had one of them changed their loyalties? This definitely wasn’t good news. Facing the idea that one of his men had betrayed him, he immediately calmed down.

With some time left before the portal was activated, Nyris pulled Richard aside and asked about the Guide of Secrets in detail. Richard didn’t hold back, giving him an explanation about the rune set and its abilities. The Prince’s expression kept changing, but he eventually just sighed deeply and looked depressed.

Richard was startled. The Guide of Secrets was his pinnacle work, custom-made specifically for Waterflower. It was so powerful that it raised her battle might by three whole levels, even bringing her close to a Norland saint if she activated both Breath of Darkness and Guide of Secrets in suitable dark environments. This set was far more powerful than a bunch of random runes.

Was the design not good enough? Ever eager to learn about runes, Richard questioned Nyris further and the prince admitted with great regret that he himself had seven rune slots. He had been stirred up at the mention of a seven-rune set, wanting to get one for himself regardless of the cost, but when he found out it was meant for an assassin he was disappointed. The prince looked delicate and graceful, but he was a lightning destroyer who fought head-on. This set wasn’t of much use to him.

Still, Nyris suddenly remembered something in the midst of his sadness and exclaimed, “Wait, you could hold another rune convention!”

“A convention? This is a seven-rune set!” Richard did not understand the need for a convention. This was a powerful set, but with seven runes and a high requirement with regards to capacity there weren’t many who could equip it. He himself didn’t have seven rune slots yet, but on top of that, this was an unconventional path.

All the inspiration for this set had come from Waterflower’s fighting style, based around fluid movements, stealth, and evasion that combined into fatal ambushes. He had never thought of selling this set, something reserved for his more commercial sets like Savage Barrier and Savage Strike which were more flexible.

“Why not?” Nyris retorted, “Yes, people with seven rune slots are rare, but how many powerhouses and geniuses exist on this plane? There are definitely enough. Instead of looking for them, why not have them look for you?”

Richard was still hesitant, “But the Guide of Secrets is still much more expensive to craft than the Savagery series. Even if I do my best, it needs more than a million in resources.”

“It can be sold for at least five million!”

This was a price that Richard could not reject, and he eventually had to nod in agreement.

Nyris immediately called for a trusted aide to take care of things, setting the convention for a month in the future. He also ordered that the name list for the invitations had to be verified carefully; every powerful noble family that could rush to Faust within a month had to be notified.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA