Book 4, Chapter 54

Undercurrent(2)

Rosie was currently leaning over a table, drawing a portion of a rune while completely engrossed. Next to her left hand was a pile of completed rune intermediates, while on the right was a bunch of inks and runic base papers. Her fingers were smooth and stable as she drew strokes with his magic pen, some coarse and others delicate. This piece of divine equipment allowed the user to adjust the thickness of the lines as required with one’s mind, and was extremely stable in one’s hand. In addition to her mental fortitude that allowed her to focus on the same thing day in and day out, the work desk before her was her entire world.

Although the girl didn’t have sufficient training and her level wasn’t high enough to become a complete runemaster yet, she was already capable of helping Richard with some simpler parts of his rune sets. Although her rate of success couldn’t compare with Richard’s, the help of the divine pen ensured that she could at least go toe to toe with a true runemaster. One could not overstate the importance of her help— it saved an entire day of Richard’s work per set, something he was definitely willing to give up some material efficiency for.

The sight of Rosie working on her runecrafting was normally quite beautiful, but things were different now. There was one more person in the lab— Flowsand.

The priestess was leant against the window, flipping through the Book of Time that she could never finish. Her posture showed off the moderate yet striking curves of her breast as well as her long, straight legs. The uninhibited girl had already kicked her shoes and socks aside, the supple look of her bare feet lit up by the sunlight streaming in awakening some primal desires.

With Flowsand present, Rosie’s posture was something of concern too. Her upper body was leant forward over the table but her two legs were still completely straight, displaying their astonishing length and pushing out her pert buttocks as well. When Richard pushed the door and entered, the two girls adjusted their postures slightly to show off their best sides and defeat the opponent. Evidently, they were not as focused as they appeared to be.

The invisible pressure in the air suddenly made breathing difficult. Richard realised he had many important things to attend to outside, turning around to leave the way he came.

“Richard!” However, he was stopped by the call of a sweet voice that hid murderous intent.

He braced himself and headed in, “Flowsand! Why are you here? Is your body fully recovered?”

“I’m here to watch your runecrafting. Now that I’ve seen it, it truly is a complicated and tiring job.” The girl stared at him without blinking, and the only options for him to respond with were a smile, a smile, and a smile. Thankfully, she seemed surprisingly conversational today. She just snorted at his lack of response before pouting, “If I’d known, I wouldn’t have used the Lens of Time then!”

Richard immediately recalled how she had nearly paid the price of her eyes to save his life, his heart growing tender as he reached out and pulled her into his embrace. He then started stroking her hair with considerable force, at which Flowsand purred in satisfaction, asking, “Have you checked on Lina?”

He grunted an affirmative, but a look of worry clouded his face, “I’m not sure how she’ll react after she wakes up. The worst thing would be if she just acted calm and collected.”

“That’s right, Lina’s best when she acts delicate. Well, we’ll see once she wakes up.” Flowsand found this to be a headache as well. She was extremely intelligent, but her eccentricities left her rather lacking at times when it came to the subtler details. Outside of her appearance, there was no part of her that could be termed ‘delicate.’

“Rosie,” Richard suddenly called out, “Nyris told me to ask you if you have any solutions.”

The other girl immediately looked up from her work, saying indifferently, “There is a simple method. As long as someone pursues Miss Lina and makes her believe that her charm has not faded, things should be fine.”

““Pursue her?”” Flowsand and Richard exchanged glances. The former immediately started to search for suitable targets in his mind, while the latter found the suggestion quite strange. Still, the priestess eventually had to admit that this was a feasible method.

However, Lina was a grand mage who could summon a red dragon. The only one who could even match her status outside of Richard’s trio was Pamir, and the old man was certainly not a good candidate. As for Nyris and Agamemnon, both of them were quite a bit younger than her.

It seemed like they would have to look for someone back in Norland. Still, even there they would face the same problem. Although Gaton’s thirteen weren’t the strongest powerhouses of the Alliance, they were rather famous. Taking into account the aspects of family and other circumstances, the list of valid suitors grew quite small. If not for that, Lina wouldn’t have been single for so many years.

Rosie took a look at the frowning Richard and added, “It doesn’t have to be pursuing her, necessarily. Even seduction will have a similar effect. Either thing can boost one’s confidence based on the other party’s status and power.”

Richard was suddenly enlightened, “Alright, then, it seems like Nyr and Ag can do this. They’ll just have to sacrifice themselves for the cause!” Sometimes a good relationship could have negative effects. He had no problem offloading this issue to his friends.

However, Rosie shook her head, “They might not be suitable. Actually, the most suitable person,” She paused, carefully putting down the pen and placing another completed rune intermediate by the side before straightening her back and looking towards Richard, “is you.”

“Me?” Richard immediately grew confused, and Flowsand’s expression became marvellous to behold.

“I’ve heard Miss Lina has always had… unusual feelings for Marquess Gaton, but there hasn’t been any news of her getting an answer. You share many traits with your father, including your… Umm, volcanic temper. It would be best if you did it. I’ve already noticed her looking at you a certain way on occasion.”

Rosie’s words had an earth-shattering effect. Richard began to pale in speechlessness, feeling a powerful aura of death ready to erupt behind him. Still, she didn’t even seem to notice as she continued calmly, “Since you only wish to let Miss Lina regain her confidence, you don’t necessarily have to succeed either. Just teasing her once in a while will be good as well.

“Honestly, this is nothing much. Considering her personality, she shouldn’t change much on the outside regardless. However, it’s your choice whether inside her is sunshine or a storm.”

These last words truly left him between a rock and a hard place. Richard scratched his head as though wanting to tear his skin off, saying “I still think we should give Nyris a go. He’s extremely bored anyway.”

Rosie just grinned slightly, not commenting on the plan of throwing a friend in the line of fire.

“What if the seduction is successful?” Flowsand suddenly hummed.

“Nothing. Miss Lina is exceptional in her own right, and there will always be a way for her to regain her looks. In the worst case, she can just create a mask,” Rosie played it down.

“But…” Flowsand felt like she was crazy. Wouldn’t that put another person on Richard’s bed? How big would it have to be to hold so many people? Something like this was hard to bring up, but seeing the glint in Rosie’s eyes the priestess suddenly understood. She turned grim, sneering, “I guess you wouldn’t mind another addition, would you?”

“Not at all.”

“How would we go about it?” Flowsand mocked, “Are we doing this together?”

“That’s a possibility. I’m in no position to make any requests or objections, so I’ll accept everything. However…” Rosie suddenly glanced at her, revealing a radiant smile, “If it’s with you, Miss Flowsand, I’d look forward to it!”

At this point, Flowsand retreated in defeat.

Seeing the situation going south, Richard hastily broke them up. Ordering Rosie to continue with the runecrafting, he pulled Flowsand out of the laboratory without wasting a second to send her back. Allowing these two to stay together for even a moment too long would spell disaster for him.

However, Flowsand still didn’t let it go. “Richard, do you have any opinions on all of us coming at you together?” she asked along the way.

Opinions? How could he have opinions? Just like Rosie had said, he’d look forward to it! Of course, this was something Richard would never willingly say. Deep in his mind, however, a little demon had silently peeked out from some corner with a suggestion. If Rosie was just left to do what she wanted, she might give him a good surprise.

A few days later, Lina finally came to. A low cry of shock rang out from her room before it went silent, and the Dragon Mage had the maids find her a full-face helmet before locking herself inside without letting anyone in. Everyone who had rushed over to visit her upon hearing the news were left outside. Only in the evening did she leave on her own, her face now permanently frosted over.

……

After the huge battle, things had grown peaceful in the Forest Plane once more. The elves had completely vanished from the vicinity of Emerald City, and with a near guarantee that both trees of life had moved away Richard didn’t want to send his own troops out into the area covered by the forest’s will. Somehow, even Nyris’ twitchiness had completely vanished.

Now, the only thing the soldiers did was cutting trees every day to gradually stretch out the limits of the city. For the first time in all the years they had owned this plane, they were cutting the jungle down faster than it could grow. The lumber that was felled was piled high as a mountain.

Nyris had already started on wood processing factories outside the city, trying to build five all at once. They would greatly increase the ease of transport back to Norland, and increase the value of their goods as well.

A group of mages worked on analysing whether something useful could be grown on the emptied soil. The climate and nature energy here made it the best environment for some rare vegetation even in Norland, but these botanists would have to find out whether the accelerated growth would cause any variations.

In the meanwhile, Richard just focused on restoring his mana pool.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA