Raymond was a little stunned by Richard’s proclamation, smiling slightly in response, “That… would be difficult. Even the Eternal Dragon cannot help”
Richard laughed coldly, “I hear the Josephs have been very poor lately. Not being able to afford the blessing isn’t the same as it not existing.”
“The blessings of time cannot change this,” Raymond voiced indifferently, “It has nothing to do with a lack of offerings, the grace of the Eternal Dragon isn’t as omnipotent as you think it is. To rely too much on the gods isn’t a good thing.”
“Right, the majority of people are just fools. Oh sage who stands beyond most of Norland, why should I believe your wisdom? Aren’t the pathetic remains of your army currently in my hands? Aren’t you just a slave?”
“Mages of Solomon carry the responsibility to discover the truths of the world. It is the very purpose of our existence. Yes, I am more likely to be right than the majority of Norland.”
Richard just snorted, talking to the broodmother for a moment. A mosquito the size of a bee quickly flew in from the direction of the battlefield, landing directly on Raymond’s arm and stabbing its needle-like proboscis into his flesh. Raymond immediately paled, fighting to hold back a scream as excruciating pain wracked his body. However, the agony didn’t last too long; the mosquito sucked out a lot of fresh blood before injecting an unknown liquid into his body and flying away.
A short while later, Raymond felt a burst of warmth surging through his body. His dulling mind quickened as he felt significantly lighter, the dying organs regaining vitality. However, his mana pool also dissipated until he was only level 10. The moment he tried to mobilise his power the mana scattered, refusing to form even the simplest of spells.
“How magical! I have to admit, you can always accomplish miracles.”
“I told you it wouldn’t be so easy to die in my hands,” Richard said while waving for his soldiers to lock Raymond away.
As he was being dragged back to the tent, Raymond turned back and yelled, “Richard, you’ll regret this sooner or later!”
“Heh, I wasn’t scared of you when you had the full power of your family. Do you really think that’ll change now?”
Thousands of Richard’s personal soldiers worked to clean up the battlefield, all his allies forced outside the area and barred from entering. Although some of the nobles were irked by this arrangement, most had suffered significant losses in this war and many others were awaiting recovery in their tents. Seeing the broodmother’s fearsome form, they wisely swallowed any complaints they had.
Word had already spread that the broodmother was the Beetle Queen Aquila, an ancient behemoth that hadn’t shown itself for hundreds of years. With her helping, Richard’s remaining humanoids and rune knights could easily wipe out every other survivor.
Another thing these aristocrats feared was the masked mage beside Richard. Nobody had been able to see through her, but mages who could summon dragons only existed in folklore here in Faelor. When Duke Grasberg admitted that her powers were superior to his, everyone had started to guess that this was the legendary mage backing Richard.
Seeing the mage respect Richard like a subordinate would, such guesses quickly died out. However, that only increased the fear these nobles had towards Richard. Even if that mage was only a sub-legendary expert, Richard already had the power to establish a dukedom of his own.
Those that thought beyond these two factors found that Richard himself was much scarier than he first seemed. There seemed to have been nothing particularly outstanding about him during the war, but he had kept to his vow of not falling behind the warflag. Squad after squad of Raymond’s soldiers had struck the tower one after the other, but they had ended up a pile of corpses around the stronghold.
As the setting sun painted the world in scarlet, Richard’s soldiers continued to rummage through the corpses of the Norlanders before placing them in the vicinity of the broodmother. She had laid down silently to conserve her energy, enormous body cloaked in a dense fog that barely revealed the outline of her figure. The fog was completely harmless, but none of the soldiers dared to approach it in the slightest. A large ring of bodies formed around this forbidden zone of sorts even as the dead officers on Richard’s side were taken away for a proper funeral. The rank and file could only be buried on the spot.
Richard led the nobles involved in the war to the top of the stone tower with the warflag planted on it. “We will all feel the weight of this day for a long time to come. I only hope you remember this scene, remember the fact that we fought and bled together, gave up our lives for the cause! Hopefully today cements us as eternal allies that refuse to be led astray for temporary benefits, allies that will stand together in the face of any overwhelming enemy.”
The nobles remained quiet and solemn. They understood that these words weren’t empty; there was an offer in them, a chance.
And also a threat.
The great war thus came to an end, concluding with the complete defeat of the invaders. Songs would be sung for centuries about how the master general Richard of the Sequoia Kingdom smashed apart an invincible army of invaders in a heartrending battle. Legends would speak of the warflag that he had planted behind his back and refused to cross, tales already spreading that made him a hero to every commoner of the continent. Several generals had been gathering their armies from all corners of the continent to push back the fearsome force that had destroyed the Baruch Kingdom which was the home of Wargod Lutheris, but a relatively unknown viscount from the Sequoia Kingdom had crushed these invaders in their path.
The new spotlight also unearthed Richard’s other exploits as well, including the crushing defeat of Sinclair at Twilight Castle. The prior stories of Baron Fontaine’s astonishing achievements were now updated, the main credit falling to Richard instead. The realisation that Richard had eliminated not one but two powerful invaders shocked the populace, fully qualifying him to become a chosen of any deity he chose. However, tradition dictated that he could only be the chosen of the gods of one single domain, and his affiliation to the three goddesses shut the doors to any other deity.
The mysterious report that had been shown to the popes of various churches had been thrown into the trash or burned, those who had offered it punished accordingly. Rumours of Richard being an invader himself vanished into thin air, his elite knights and the reappearance of the ancient warbeast adding to the halo of his legend. Because they could only track Richard back to the Land of Turmoil, the people assumed that this mysterious land filled with spacetime rifts hid a land of powerhouses behind it.
The reason for Richard’s appointment as a chosen of the three goddesses was widely disputed. Some said he was a child of one of the three, while others said his master had to be related to them. There was even some speculation that Richard had fallen in love with priestess Faylen of the Goddess of Spring Water. However, none of the speculations even came close to being the truth.
Richard was extremely satisfied with this. It was one of the fundamental parts of conquering another plane; truth and lies had to be wound together inextricably to protect his identity and status.
Those of the other churches of Faelor greatly envied the worshippers of the three goddesses. This one war had greatly changed their fates, saving the Goddess of the Hunt and the Goddess of the Forest from falling while the Goddess of Spring Water leapt up to become an intermediate god.
The Goddess of Spring Water even called down a miracle, allowing most worshippers who attended the coronation to listen to her oracle appointing Faylen as the pope. She also announced the creation of a central church at Bluewater.
Faylen instantly leapt up to level 15, while Fermi and Shea achieved level 13 and status second only to their popes. This was a huge improvement that reflected the difficult position of the three goddesses. Most popes in Faelor were level 18, some even approaching level 20 as well. And yet, the pope of the Goddess of Spring Water was only level 15 and those of the other two were only level 14.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Karen
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA