Book 4, Chapter 84

Arrangement

“Why so many horses?” Richard couldn’t help but ask.

“I created them for your rune knights. These ones have stronger physiques and longer lives, and were granted more intelligence than an ordinary horse. I believe they will be good accessories to your soldiers.”

By this point he had come to accept that the broodmother was a separate entity from him, capable of making her own decisions. Although he hated the lack of control, objectively this situation was even better for him; it would be cumbersome to regularly visit Faelor in the future just to give her instructions.

However, even with the month’s buffer of time there were simply too many horses. He laughed uneasily, “Okay, but there are just so many. I needed twenty.”

“It isn’t, Master. You can take the excess horses back to Norland and sell them there. Based on the information you gave me about your rune knights, these should be even more powerful than the ones normal grade 2 rune knights use. Every one of them will sell at a good price, so you can portion out some of the magic crystals you get and help me unlock more abilities.”

“... Alright.” Shocked by the excessive business acumen of this creature that was supposedly a few years old, Richard felt himself under pressure.

“Five of them were built for sale. They look bigger and more beautiful, more agile and fierce than the rest, but their ability isn’t any higher. They also look like they’ll live longer lives, but in four to six years a variety of illnesses will take them. The horses I made for your use will last ten years.

“I also used my analysis of the unicorn to modify those five horses a little. If you come across rune knights who use them in battle, your unicorn can kill them off instantly.”

At this point he was rendered speechless. This was far past the level of being smart. She could lay traps and make devious plans even when it came to a bunch of horses; this was nothing short of cunning and sinister!

“... Alright. Send me your levels of analysis for everything.”

A short while later, a flood of information rushed into Richard’s head. He carefully skimmed through to find that many more races were complete now: humans, dwarves, goblins, cavemen… a total of twelve different species which were divided into hundreds of smaller partitions.

The ones he paid the closest attention to, the barbarians, dwarves, and elves, had all reached 100%. Elves were even at 115%, meaning the broodmother’s drones of this race were 1.15 times as strong as the ordinary elf.

As he looked through the data on the elves, he discovered that this race was surprisingly weak. Ordinary elves only had a potential of level 7, something barely better than humans. If the broodmother wanted to create level 11 archers, the drastic difference in quality would leave her able to make only two a day with her current abilities.

Richard was quite disappointed, but as he finished and looked further down he noticed the information about forest elves nearby. Recalling that he had sent forest elf corpses back to Faelor for the broodmother to analyse, he was surprised to find that they were a completely different race.

The analysis of the forest elves was at a paltry 2%, but that was enough to know that their racial potential was far higher than the Faelor elves. The broodmother’s initial assessment put the forest elves somewhere around level 12 on average, far superior to many elves even in Norland. Only the silvermoon elves were noticeably better.

Under the cover of the night, several winged serpents suddenly took to the sky from Bluewater’s barracks as they carried the corpses of woodpecking crows and forest elves to the Land of Turmoil. Richard spent an entire hour reading through all the new information before heaving a long sigh, pondering over things for a while before speaking to the broodmother, “Use up all your stored divinity to strengthen your defences and recovery. We have a difficult battle coming up, and you might need to participate.”

“Ordinary saints are no match for me,” she said with confidence.

Richard relaxed a little letting out an uneasy laugh, “There will be an entire group of saints this time, all of Norland’s standards. Alright, enough of that. I want you to create winged serpents for the rest of the month. They should have the ability to emit poisonous mist.”

“Master, that will weaken the serpents greatly. They won’t be able to kill enemies immediately, and the stronger ones will be able to survive for an entire week. If there are any clerics healing them, they’ll survive.”

Richard laughed at her words, “Our opponents might have everything else, but they certainly won’t have clerics.”

Grand priestess Noelene had assured him that only the coordinates of Faelor had been leaked, not those of the Lighthouse of Time itself. This meant the attackers could not access the permanent passageway that would be able to keep a cleric safe. No priest or cleric would dare to move to a new plane without the protection of a Lighthouse of Time. The brand of their worship would become a beacon of light for the defending gods, and even a pope would be lucky to escape retribution. Those who worshipped the Eternal Dragon were partly an exception to this, but even then the plane they were entering would have to be touched by the Eternal Dragon’s power first.

Richard had originally planned to gather all his troops to fight the enemies at the Lighthouse of Time, but now Faylen had brought the good news that the portal had been shifted. The entire city came alive as it churned out soldiers towards the border with the Land of Turmoil.

The nobility of the Sequoia Kingdom was mobilised as well. Under orders from the royal family, they had organised an army that would pass through the Whiterock Dukedom and safe passageways from three other countries to join the war in the Baruch Kingdom. Even though the army didn’t have many men, their formations were lavish and the Mage Association had sent five out of their ten remaining grand mages to the cause.

However, when word got out that Richard had received an oracle from the three goddesses and was getting ready to do battle with the invaders, many of the nobles in the Sequoia Kingdom immediately changed their minds. The troops going with the royal expedition were recalled, directed to him instead.

This was not the first time that they had worked with Richard, and they were more than aware that his strict requirements for troops and his commanding style could serve them victory after victory even while reducing casualties. Many of them had witnessed first hand the awing power during the Bloodstained Highway Project.

As such, the 15,000 strong army that had set off shrunk to 7,000 in the blink of an eye. The King had no choice but to add 3,000 more soldiers from his personal guard to join the expedition, bringing it up to an acceptable number. The commander was a famous and experienced general, but his deep understanding of military affairs only left him with great reverence for Richard’s abilities. The Archeron youth pulled out miracle after miracle; he would go so far as to risk disrespecting the gods and call them divine.

Thus, when the old general spread out his map to look at where Richard’s army was gathering, he knitted his brows and the wrinkles on his forehead started to rise like mountains.

If Richard was accurate as before, this meant the invaders would completely wipe out the more than 100,000 soldiers gathered in the Baruch Kingdom. At the same time, they would annihilate three more strongholds as they carved around the Land of Turmoil, finally wiping out four countries before reaching the designated battlefield.

This seemed completely impossible. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers would have to be killed, and the enemy would have to rush through an arduous journey towards the Bloodstained Lands before they could reach the designated battlefield. Try as he might, the general could not think of a reason for the invaders to give up the fertile Pampas plains and the vast tracts of ore in the southwest of the Baruch Kingdom to fight head-on against an army in the Bloodstained Lands.

What was hidden in the Bloodstained Lands? Were the rumours that Richard had a secret relationship with the invaders true?

This thought barely brushed past the general’s mind before he wiped it out. Even though the three goddesses were called trash, they were still true gods of this plane. How could they approve someone as a title priest if he was an ambassador of the foreign demons? To blaspheme any true god, regardless of how weak they were, was an unforgivable sin. There could be no violation of the dignity of the divine.

Or was there a demigod supporting Richard from behind? The seasoned general dropped this thought even faster than the first one. He did not wish to doubt Richard; the various blasphemous rumours and other methods used to try and curb the rise of a new god was always met with one of two responses: a war of the gods or divine punishment.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA