Book 4, Chapter 65

Recalling The Wild Years(3)

Richard’s expression turned colder the more he heard from Gulzaba. The warnings from old Pipin had given him a sense that this would be a restless journey, but he hadn’t expected for a simple agreement to meet each other to carry such serious consequences.

He couldn’t begin to imagine what Mountainsea’s feelings were when she left him all those years ago. Till date, his most vivid memory of her was that radiant smile and forceful hug, a hand that waved without its owner looking back. The memory floated up into consciousness, the silent image frozen in his brain. But now, the entire world seemed to stand still in those two pupils, an indescribable sense of longing and despair in the pits of her eyes. However, within that deep gloomy abyss was a remnant flicker of hope.

‘I could die here,’ he suddenly realised. He was no longer the child who only knew magic and runes, instead a seasoned general who knew to use politics just as well as his army. Even with the threat of Mountainsea’s rage, some people would still aim for his life. The tooth he held was far too alluring, bringing out the deepest of yearning in these barbarians.

Not everyone was fixated on honour and glory. The youths who had the capability to fight for Mountainsea didn’t need to do it on their own; having someone else do the job would work just as well. Those of Klandor might be more simplistic than in Norland, but politics was a given in any large population.

He pulled his two blades out of the earth, lifting up the staff that had been laid next to the tree as he carefully adjusted his equipment to wartime standards. However, just as he was looking over himself, a dark omen popped into his head. His vision shifted to a temple building where Mountainsea’s body was flat on the floor, a strange barbarian man forcefully ravaging her without end. The girl’s face was expressionless, her alluring beauty now distant and helpless.

*FWOOOSH!* Balls of flame were shot out of Richard’s eyes, forcefully shattering the vision. However, his damned memory ensured that he captured each detail he had seen. Everything was so real, so vivid… There was no way this was fake.

His heart sank immediately. Although he hadn’t used any abilities to call upon that image, his blessings alerted him of a sliver of timeforce in the air. Timeforce was ethereal and omnipresent, but he didn’t have the ability to detect any that he hadn’t absorbed. Were these visions just like the ones earlier, a premonition of what was to come?

His Archeron bloodline started boiling, the golden characters of his truename turning into a crimson ray of light that merged into his soul for a moment. He felt an indescribable malevolence overcome him, an irrefutable desire to turn this entire continent into ash!

It took all of his willpower to control the burning rage, forcing the boiling lava back to the depths of his blood. The red light in the depths of his eyes slowly faded back to black. Rock-steady hands arranged his equipment in neat order as he took off, not so much as turning back as he delivered a warning, “You can leave, but remember to tell everyone else to stay away. The next ones who come will be courting death, I will not restrain myself.”

Gulzaba was filled with both shame and anger, but having suffered a thorough defeat he did not have the right to retort. He hopped on his tyrannosaur in depression, whistling for his group to leave.

Richard raised his left hand and looked at the ivory bracelet wrapped around his wrist, gathering his courage as he resumed his brisk pace. He was still quite the distance away, and there would be constant attacks from barbarian youths meaning to kill him, but he was determined to continue on this path until he saw her face.

His only wish now was to let her know that he could already make it to her. When the date they had arranged for arrived, he would be strong enough. Four years was a very long time. To live with confidence and without were two different worlds.

He would head back to Norland the moment he saw her, only returning after he became a grand mage. These barbarians would not be given a chance to hatch any plans. As long as he stayed alive over the next four years, he would be a thorn in the hearts of anyone with evil designs on Mountainsea.

……

When Richard was setting off once more, a young lady was running barefoot across the land thousands of kilometres away.  Every step she took shook the earth beneath her feet.

A rhinoceros-like beast the size of a small hill was making its way forward at full speed beside her with a stone rod on its back, nostrils constantly spewing out a white mist. It was quite clear the creature was almost completely exhausted, but whenever it strayed off course or slowed down a powerful kick would teach it the error of its ways.

It wasn’t long before the creature was sprawled across the ground, mouth spewing out a white foam as it could no longer stand up again. Seeing this, the young lady took her stone rod off its back and surged ahead, finding a new beast in a flash.

Many such beasts roamed this vast plain, so large even dinosaurs didn’t dare provoke them. They were known for their fiery tempers as well; even though the girl used her gifts to send instructions directly to their minds, they were still unyielding at the start.

Of course, three or four blows and they would naturally become her mules.

……

Richard didn’t get many moments of peace and quiet. More Windstep Tribe barbarians were chasing him from behind, the so-called ‘top-ten warrior’ obviously holding little sway over their decisions.

Right after Gulzaba came one of the top three warriors of the generation. However, his charge brought him face to face with a Richard who had meticulously maintained his energy reserves and state of mind for the impending battles. Richard didn’t play nice this time, leaving the level 16 warrior with more than ten of his teeth broken as he left quietly with his tail tucked between his legs. A nice thing about the Twin of Destiny was that the material used to make it was extremely tough.

However, it wasn’t even half an hour before the best warrior of the tribe caught up. The top ten of the tribe had apparently gotten the news all around the same time, setting off from different places to pursue. Judging from this, the road ahead would be very rocky.

Having seen the top-three warrior on his way, the top warrior confidently proclaimed that Richard could rest for an hour. He also offered to provide water and jerky as well. However, Richard didn’t have the time to waste. He started the battle immediately, cutting off the fellow’s arms within a minute.

That finally put a stop to the Windstep Tribe, but it wasn’t long before a new enemy took their place. This was the Windchaser Tribe. It took 300 kilometres and until evening to stave them off, toppling seven of their top twenty warriors.

When the darkness fell, he didn’t even have time to rest. He had only sat and gulped down some water before being met with the Nightwind Tribe. If those who met him in the day were warriors, this was a tribe of rogues. They grouped up under the cover of the night, using the terrain to hide while coating their arrows, javelins, and daggers with lethal poison. They surrounded him silently, no one person stepping forward to challenge. The only greeting Richard received was an arrow flying towards him.

Richard had been sitting on the floor trying to get some rest, but the moment they approached his eyes suddenly opened. The depths of his black pupils were suddenly overtaken by a deep red as a few concise gestures from his left hand prepared his barriers to block the attack. He stood up and drew Extinction which had been pierced into the ground, expression stone cold as mana coursed through his runes.

An electric light glimmered at the tip of the sword, entering his body in a slew of sparks before vanishing entirely. In the next moment, he was completely covered in darkness.

A cluster of javelins rushed through the air to pierce into his original location. Blood started gushing out from the darkness, and a few Nightwind warriors jumped out of the grasses they had hidden themselves in. A short while later, they collapsed into a pool of crimson that was swiftly absorbed by the cracked earth.

A spectre started darting through the darkness, blade gracefully slicing through warrior after warrior with no obstacle. The youths who were attacked went rigid, trembling as their vision turned red.

The night was silent outside of the occasional muted screams, but whenever the wind brushed past the scent of blood in the air grew thicker. Various animals roamed the plains at night, especially the wasteland coyotes who were very sensitive to the smell of blood. However, the stench was so strong that it turned away even these scavengers.

Richard kept shifting between fast and slow, venting the murderous thoughts in his heart as his mana constantly poured into his runes. The long blade of Extinction had become one with his body, an extension of his arms that could let him feel the warm blood of the barbarians he cut through.

The Nightwind warriors fell at an alarming pace, realising all too late that their target was more adept in the darkness than them.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA