Book 4, Chapter 19

Damn Your Gentleness

“Thankfully, they weren’t able to develop this place!” Richard said in trepidation.

Lina nodded; she seemed to have the same thought, “There’s some news. Good first or bad?”

“Anything’s fine.”

The Dragon Mage, who’d been hoping to use his answer to figure out a bit of his personality, was left disappointed, “Alright, the good news is that most of the mages and alchemists from the Schumpeter base surrendered to us as well. As long as we have enough time, we should be able to complete the Schumpeters’ research. The bad news is that we won’t have any product for the next three years plane-time; this cabinet is all we have. There are three portions of the emerald solution, two of the crystallising toxin, and enough element extraction to use once.

“I think the emerald solution and crystallising toxin are the reason we haven’t seen any saints or treants appearing amongst the native armies. The Schumpeters likely dealt with those. If not for that, it would have been impossible for me to defend this city on my own.”

Richard pondered over it for a while, “Tell me about the natives’ power system.”

Lina nodded, taking him another floor below where dozens of live specimens had been set up in a cold hall most of which were saplings. The Schumpeters had built this room to store any species that could have posed a threat to them.

Lina pointed towards an adult native elf, “This is the enemy we see the most often, the mainstay of their armies. Because of the environment and their traditions, we call all of them rangers. However, their paths and bloodlines are a little more varied than that…”

Outside the archers of varying levels, the forest elves also had druids, mages, fighters, and other classes as well. There were shamans as well, but they seemed to share clerical duties with the druids. As far as they knew, the locals were still in a tribal era without any kingdoms, forget advanced empires like Norland’s ancient elves.

These elves also paid much more attention to battle plants than Norland elves, cultivating many treants. Because of the special environment here, their druids were much more powerful than those of Norland. There were also many other strange beings in the forest, possessing many distinctive qualities. Some looked unique, while others were fatally poisonous.

A lot of the creatures here were bugs. The few birds had small bodies and were extremely quick, possessing negligible battle strength. This was related to the environment as well; in front of the adept archers of the elves, larger birds of prey were destined for tragedy.

Richard thought over Lina’s explanation for a while, “Let the soldiers get used to the environment first. I have a few troops to bring over myself, so we can work on strategy once they get here. The first order of business is to clear the trees surrounding the city and give those natives a bit of pain.”

“Pain?” Lina laughed rather flirtatiously, taking a little crystal bottle out of her pocket, “This is a little something I made when I was bored. It’s a sort of neurotoxin; if we smear it onto our soldiers’ blades or arrowheads, the elves will feel violent pain the moment the weapons break skin. However, it has no use outside of that.”

Richard took the bottle and gave her a long look, “How much more do you have?”

“This is all for now, but I can make more in a few days. However, it only works on the normal fighters; the saints and higher can suppress the pain.”

Richard weighed the bottle in his hand, “If you have the time, make a few more bottles. This will be very useful!” Having said that, Richard left the underground sections of the castle. He didn’t even bother asking how she had made this potion of pain.

When they walked out of the castle, they could hear cries of awe coming from the distant barracks. This was the local army receiving their new equipment. Richard wandered over and saw the soldiers queuing up for their equipment in an empty field, the open chests on the sides revealing enchanted weapons and armour. These were all only superior-grade, but to these soldiers who had been defending the Forest Plane all this while they were quality goods only officers could get a chance to use.

Lina’s expression grew complicated, but she seemed to have no intentions of reprimanding the soldiers for the noise. She took a few steps forward, quietly questioning in Richard’s ear, “Did you bring all of this?”

“Yes. But the levels of the soldiers here are a little low, they can’t use the equipment to the fullest extent.”

Lina stared at the pile of chests on the sides of the field, “How many sets did you bring in all?”

“2,000 with 500 crossbows and 50,000 bolts on top. Pity there aren’t enough soldiers, it looks like you’ve suffered massive casualties,” Richard said with a sigh.

Hearing his words, Lina suddenly felt like she was going insane. Whenever Gaton fought powerful enemies, the opponents had equipment and supplies that far surpassed their own. Most of the time, they were using wooden shields, iron knives, and leather armour against enemies with full sets of chainmail and steel swords. The archers always had to carefully calculate their shots; they sometimes had less than ten arrows each.

In the eyes of the big families of Faust, Gaton’s equipment was only slightly more powerful than what they would give slaves. Even the thirteen knights who were brimming with talent were rather impoverished, all their bonuses and savings used on their runes. Those runes too they wouldn’t be able to afford without Gaton paying for a part of it.

Gaton’s own money came from Sharon’s loans, his debt ballooned to an unimaginable level. Just the interest one had to pay every year left Lina feeling suffocated, but the lunatic thought nothing of it and continued to spend money generously that he earned back from his stormy wars. He brought his men everywhere, invincible in combat. Taking a few years to do what many families accomplished in two or three generations, he was building up an astounding foundation for the Archeron Family.

Gaton could always defeat enemies much more powerful than him with lesser numbers and poorer equipment. One of the most important factors in this was that he was always at the frontlines of the battle, leading the charge.

“There aren’t enough soldiers to use!” Richard suddenly interrupted Lina’s thoughts. He looked at the soldiers who were trying on their new equipment for a long while, eventually sighing, “There’s still so much left, but I guess I can only leave it in the warehouse for now. Alas!”

She suddenly felt the urge to strangle him. Forget regular soldiers, even she herself didn’t have equipment that was worthy of her level. The two pieces of epic-grade equipment that were dear to her heart had already been sold off in secret, how else was she to maintain the stalemate in the Forest Plane? Right now, she was penniless, depending purely on her own ability and runes for battle. Had she known that Richard was saying this ruefully while thinking about the 300 epic-grade weapons about to enter his possession, she might actually have followed through on the urge.

Richard’s mind shifted to something else. The Blessing of Unhurriedness. He felt the name was rather suitable; now that the timescale here was 8:1, he didn’t feel rushed at all as he kept to his routine. Reorganising troops, allocating weapons, training the soldiers… everything was conducted methodically, and as long as the plans were made beforehand and proper supervisors were employed, he didn’t need to take care of most of the issues himself.

There were actually many things he had scheduled for himself, runecrafting in particular being a job he never had enough time for. Norland was a bottomless hole; no matter how many runes he produced, they were devoured in an instant. And yet, he had no choice but to slow down his progress in his primary profession as he trained his martial arts, mana pool, and spell control. There wasn’t any inherent difference between level 13 and 14, so at least he didn’t have to hurry his mana pool growth; it was fine as long as he had enough to use Sacrifice without losing a level. His primary focus now was on forming a fourth branch for his astral affinity bloodline.

……

Richard had a lot of patience, but the others did not. It was already their fifth day on the Forest Plane, and Nyris just could not tolerate the terrible weather any longer. His bed was completely wet at night, feeling like a swamp. His joints were beginning to ache from all the discomfort, making him feel like he would just rot away if he didn’t regularly move them and burn some energy. He had come to this plane to accomplish his goals, campaign, and kill, not to sleep all day with nothing to do.

He headed to Richard’s lab on a whim, and was surprised to see a familiar figure at the entrance. “Miss Rosie?” he couldn’t help but exclaim.

The girl turned, confirming his conjecture. She was dressed like a regular mage now, her long hair casually tied into a ponytail at the back of her head. Just her presence was refreshing, her aura and appearance making him brighten up.

“Your Highness,” the young lady bowed in greeting.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA