Book 4, Chapter 110

Expanding The Army

When he returned to the floating island and found a new pile of documents to go through, Richard suddenly felt the urge to smash something. Only a few days had passed in Norland’s time, how could there be so many things for him to deal with again? And this was supposed to be AFTER the butler took care of most of it! That old man was still working late into the night and waking up early every morning like he was a twenty-year-old youth!

The walls of the study were still covered in chaotic scars, but Beye’s carved letters were still incredibly eye-catching in the mess. He walked over to the wall and tried to study them for a bit, using the murderous aura to calm himself down.

He took a glance at the small but exquisite crystal goblet on his desk that contained the image diamonds from the shadow creatures he had killed, only raising his eyebrow for a moment before moving on. He hadn’t even bothered to gather them up from the various parts of the room that day, but the attentive old butler would have gathered them even if he didn’t know what they were. Nothing that was outside the wastebasket would be thrown without explicit permission.

But then his gaze suddenly doubled back, a soft gasp of surprise leaving his mouth. Scanning through the diamonds as per habit, he had noticed a few minuscule marks that were certainly not from someone just gathering them up. These marks were quickly restored to a finger and then half a palm, the direction of contact and the fact that they had been examined before being returned to their original position revealed. The diamonds hadn’t been covered in dust yet; it hadn’t been long since the person left.

He sat down beside his desk calmly, pulling on the bell that would summon his attendants. There was a knock on the room door after a moment, and a maid walked in respectfully, “Yes, my Lord?”

Richard raised his head up from the documents for a moment before delving back into them, “Go call Fuschia, tell her I’ve returned.”

“Alright, my Lord,” the maid bowed before walking out the door.

“Wait, bring this to the butler on your way out.” Richard suddenly stopped the maid, standing up from his desk and walking towards her.

The maid bowed slightly, stretching both hands out to take the document in his hand. However, the hand stopped mid-air, followed by a faint voice, “Your fingers are really pretty.”

The hairs on the back of the maid’s neck stood up almost all at once as sparks surged around Richard’s body, the document in his hand turning into dust to reveal a bone dagger within. His hand almost flashed out of existence, only leaving afterimages behind.

The maid didn’t even have the time to fully straighten her body as a dark grey energy shot out from within like a dense fog wrapping around her in the middle of the night. However, the aura only made it so far as her chest before Richard’s hand slammed into her abdomen, the dagger stuffed in to the hilt.

It was as though time froze in that instant, but the dagger did not. It flashed in and out constantly; although Richard didn’t have Beye’s ability to send every strike completely accurately at this speed, the attacks still hit around the same position.

The grey fog continued to spread, but it was not as thick. Richard could see the maid’s silhouette disappear behind it and immediately turned around to continue his attack. Time only seemed to return to normal when his dagger went still once more, and the grey fog disappeared completely as though it had never been present.

The maid was still standing, but their positions had been exchanged. She looked down, stunned as a thick bloody mist burst forth from a terrible hole in her abdomen. Everything within had been ground to a pulp. Her aura faded away in an instant, strength leaving her body. Were it not for the dagger still stabbed into her propping her up, she would not be able to stand.

She struggled to raise her head, looking at Richard with rage as she asked with a different voice, “... How?”

Richard pushed her shoulder away with a finger, making sure she wouldn’t fall onto him before smiling, “Don’t touch the things of a target. Come on, you think a random maid would have recognised the butler? Besides, your knock sounded different.”

“Kn...ock?” The assassin’s eyes widened in shock.

“Yes,” Richard answered indifferently.

The assassin made one final fierce expression before gritting her teeth, “You… won’t be… happy long…”

Richard smiled, “I’d return the same. I’m done with you lot. Don’t worry, I know I can’t get anything out of you, but I can find out who you are. Your friends, family… let’s say their ends won’t be pretty. Aww, no need to look at me like that, you’re just an example. Those who want to try and kill me should know they’ll have to pay the price.”

“Tyrant…” a fear finally showed in the maid’s eyes as the light faded away.

“Pity you won’t be able to say that in the assembly,” Richard said lightly as he took a step back, letting the body fall to the ground. Pulling out a white handkerchief, he began cleaning his hands of the blood.

……

The steward, summoned by another pull of the bell, almost fainted in shock.

“It’s an assassin. The original maid’s body is probably hidden in some corner of the castle right now, have people go find it. Take this body to Agamemnon, he has ways to find the assassin’s identity. Also get someone to clean up the study.”

The old steward accepted the order and left, sending a few guards and servants after him to take the body and clean up the blood on the floor. Richard was just seated behind his desk the entire time, going through the documents as though nothing had happened.

A quiet knock sounded on the study door a short while later, and Fuschia walked in quietly. Richard raised his head and smiled at her, “My memory isn’t all that great recently, I can’t remember some things.”

Fuschia nodded awkwardly, “Forgive me. I… I shouldn’t have avoided you.”

Richard flashed a charming grin, “If they’re sending out such a stupid assassin, it seems like my enemies can’t sit still anymore. Every day I’m alive throws them further into a nightmare that they can’t escape. Still, I hope this sort of thing doesn’t happen too often; it’s too annoying. I think it’s time to teach them a lesson, or they’ll start thinking I just forgot about everything.”

Fuschia suddenly felt that Richard had grown unfamiliar, so unfamiliar that it was a little scary. An incredible discomfort took over her very being as she heightened her senses, finding an unknown killing intent that flooded her entire consciousness. She had already seen the body of the assassin and knew she was level 16, very good at disguise and escape. Given her specialisation, she wouldn’t be less of a threat than a weaker saint. How had Richard seen through her disguise? How had he killed her without suffering any damage himself?

As she grew more and more alert, the source of the murderous aura grew clearer as well. Fuschia felt goosebumps as she turned her head like lightning, finally seeing the scarred wall next to the bookshelf with the word ‘Lifesbane’ overflowing with killing intent.

“Beye?!” She cried out involuntarily.

“No, she just left behind the word. The rest was all me,” Richard said from behind her.

Fuschia looked at all the sword scars on the wall once more, fear bubbling through her body. She could tell that all these sword scars had been formed in only a few moments; even if disorderly, such a storm of attacks would be difficult even for her to deal with.

Fortunately, the power of a single stroke wasn’t all that great. She could certainly parry the blows without paying too large a price. However, she did realise why the assassin had been killed with no traces of resistance.

Richard pulled out a document from the pile on his desk and handed it over to her, “Have a look. A lot of free Archeron warriors responded to the public rune knight enlistment and I won’t be able to take all of them in. I’m going to change the plan a bit; firstly, I want to expand the scope of my recruitment and add in cavalrymen as well. All free Archeron warriors who are above level 10 and under 35 years of age can enlist. Their salary will also be on par with the other families of the seventh level.”

Fuschia was shocked, “Richard, we’ll go bankrupt!”

The average salary from the nobles of the seventh level of islands was at least double what the Archerons originally paid their own cavalrymen. And while they didn’t have great equipment, free Archeron warriors were notoriously powerful compared to their counterparts from most other families. The additional expenses could reach several million gold, a sum the family just could not afford. Even Marquess Sauron with all his inherited wealth would run out in only a few years.

Richard wanted to burn several million gold a year just for cavalrymen?

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA