Book 4, Chapter 41

Spar

Nyris was moved, starting to ponder over the matter. The main reason for the sheer lack of quality in Faelor’s guns was the fact that they were designed in accordance to Faelor’s standard. It was natural for them to be weak against the powerful shields and armour of Norland. It was similar to how powerhouses of Faelor were nothing in Norland. If these muskets were improved and brought up to match Norland’s other weapon types, they would have great potential.

However, the prince was not an idealist. He immediately started thinking of the details, discovering more and more problems with the idea. Enchantments on such small pellets, the need for craftsmanship, how difficult it would be to enchant the gunpowder… There were hundreds of things to consider when crafting a gun, like casting, polishing, and the design of the individual components. They would need to lower the overall construction cost and overcome many defects. Right now, an alchemist could craft an epic-grade gun, but it would need three years— with that sort of time frame, it lost all purpose.

Richard smiled, as though reading Nyris’ thoughts, “Yes, it can’t be done within a short time. In fact, it would be pretty good if we made progress even in five years. However, we have to start preparing now. I think a troop of 5,000 or even 10,000 gunmen will definitely help you accumulate points quickly.”

Nyris’ eyes lit up, but Richard immediately changed the topic, “Alright, let’s get serious. I need a batch of tomes, here’s the list. Can you help me gather them?”

Nyris took a look and found that most of the books were for fundamentals of magic arrays and runes, all available at the royal library. “This isn’t anything at all, give me a few days. Still, why would a royal runemaster need these things?”

“They’re for Rosie,” Richard said honestly.

“Rosie?!” Nyris was shocked, taking a look at the list once more. His expression grew odd as he glanced at Richard, “Don’t tell me she has the gift for runecrafting…”

Richard nodded, “Sometimes, so-called gifts are just an accumulation of hard work and experience. I’m not sure just how far she can go, but there won’t be a problem getting a runemaster out of her.”

“What?” Nyris shook his head, suddenly sighing, “You got a treasure… Those idiot Mensas!”

Richard laughed, “Guess I’m just lucky.”

“Bah!” Nyris spat, but he was still as charming as ever. He pointed at Richard, “You listen up. Rosie is a friend, for both Ag and me! Be nice to her, okay? Or I’m coming after you!”

“She’s your friend? When did that even happen, I’ve never seen you two interact.”

“When she got discovered as a future runemaster. We’ve known each other for a long time!” Nyris’ conviction left Richard stuck on the edge of laughter and tears.

“So what are you going to do to me if I refuse?” Richard started to provoke the prince.

Nyris was surprised, asking doubtfully, “What, you want a fight?”

“Exactly so!”

Nyris put his hand on his face, a look of empathy covering his features, “I really can’t bear to bully a mage like you. I truly can’t. I can’t do this, it’s too cruel! Come, bring me my equipment! How about this, I’ll only use level 12 energy against you. Alright, let’s go!”

Richard’s mouth was wide open, unable to say anything. This so-called friend had already drawn his sword but was standing only ten metres away.

This was a distance Nyris could cross in but a few moments, leaving Richard unable to use any spells that he couldn’t cast instantly. This went completely against the norm for a battle between a warrior and mage, where they would start at least thirty metres apart. Even with the mage unprepared, Nyris obviously had no intentions of abiding by this unspoken rule. On top of that, this fellow’s skill was far above his level. Although he was level 17 originally, the amount of energy he used didn’t have as much of an impact on his battle strength as it would seem!

“Do you want to take the first strike?” Richard asked, sarcasm oozing through his words.

“Why? Of course you get the first move!” Nyris’ look of righteousness made him want to pinch the prince’s face hard. Well, the feel from pinching that face wouldn’t be any worse than with Rosie…

Richard refused to talk with him anymore, drawing his sword. This time, he’d brought along the nameless elven sword that had been nourished by the Tree of Life. Although there were no new attributes awakened, the blade had grown lighter and more wieldy after the process. The entire sword seemed to have come to life, giving him exceptional control over it.

Richard pointed the sword towards the sky, sparks forming on its edge. An electric flame sprang forth from the blade, but instead of Nyris it headed straight for Richard’s body instead. The flame split into five parts, striking the rune fragments on his body and wrapping him up with sparks. It was as though a god had descended upon the world.

Looking at Richard’s weird smirk and the electric flames that seemed to appear out of thin air, Nyris suddenly felt uneasy. He silently leapt forward, a series of afterimages created behind his body as his sword pierced in Richard’s direction. He was giving it his all from the very first move!

The Prince believed Richard was going to dodge, already plotting a sequence of events that would entrap this opponent. Any mage caught up in a melee with him was destined for regret.

*Trring!* However, things went contrary to his expectations. His attack was parried away, the great power from Richard’s sword shocking him. He knew very well that Richard did not have a gift of strength; although the mages of the Deepblue were known for their vigour, they definitely couldn’t resist the full-power blow of a level 12 warrior head-on! Nyris almost strengthened his energy by instinct. Having expected Richard to dodge, he had lost all momentum and was forced into a standstill.

Richard put both hands on his own sword, lightning flashing on his arms as the long blade swept across the prince’s waist. Taken aback by the speed and brutality, Nyris couldn’t even gather the strength to counter as he barely managed to straighten his longsword and block the blow. Both sides held about equal power, but Richard was attacking with all his might. With a one-handed attempt to deflect the two-handed blow, the prince stumbled and was pushed a few metres away.

Richard made a sign in the air with his left hand, casting a haste spell on himself before chasing after Nyris with ease. The prince had slipped ten metres away to try and steady himself, but was followed relentlessly. The haste spell ensured that he lost his advantage of speed.

Nyris was taken aback once again, forced to engage blade against blade in an attempt to defeat this opponent with skill alone. However, Richard’s sword was vibrating with power. He let out a long whistle and the lightning around him surged, sword flying forth like a thunderstorm. Every blow was quick and heavy, no fancy movements at all as a flurry of blows tried to break the enemy apart.

The prince was starting to sweat profusely, feeling like a single flaw would be the end of him. There would be no tricks here; he had to use his full ability and work off his keen awareness to barely resist Richard’s crazed attack. He didn’t have the time to notice the faint glimmer in Richard’s eyes that left him with nowhere to hide. With Analytic employed, Richard could use the flow of his energy to determine which move he would make.

Still, Nyris was a top-notch fighter. Although he was at the absolute disadvantage, his sword now erratic, his defence was not broken in the slightest. Still, the flow of battle left him wanting to swear. Curses were accumulating on him even as Richard continued to buff himself. By the time the fourth curse struck him, he started to feel like he would collapse. It was only then that he remembered Richard was a mage. A damn mage!

The prince had already forgotten that he was thinking of crushing Richard at the start of the fight.

When Richard cast a spell barrier on himself, Nyris was left wondering why he would waste a grade 5 spell when he couldn’t even use magic. However, the prince was exceptionally smart and his reaction was quick. His hair stood up on end as he shouted, “RICHARD, YOU BASTARD!”

Richard would definitely launch a powerful spell, the barrier meant to protect from his own magic. Indeed, even as the Archeron hacked away crazily with the long sword in his right hand, a dark red fireball started floating in his left. Nyris hadn’t noticed when the spell was prepared, but it was thrown at his feet without further discourse.

The prince let out a weird yell, fleeing with a backflip. That fireball looked extremely strong, experience telling him not to touch it. The explosion gave rise to a viscous wave of fire, the core dark crimson with a hint of grey. The speed of the flames wasn’t exactly great, but the destructive power hidden within left Nyris’ heart trembling. Seeing the flames stick to anything they came into contact with, he couldn’t help but consider himself lucky. Had he treated this as a normal fireball that he could resist, he would definitely be forced to use his full power. That was an ugly loss to bear!

However, even as Nyris escaped shabbily Richard flew straight through the waves of fire. The barrier flickered a few times and broke apart, but he had successfully passed through the inferno to appear before his opponent. When his left hand rose once more, Nyris didn’t even have the energy to swear. He turned around to flee in the time Richard would take to cast the spell.

*Thud!* The prince felt a kick connecting to his rear, sending him to the ground. The elven sword was placed beside his neck for a moment before it was put away.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Mel

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA