Book 4, Chapter 120

Return To Dusk(3)

Testing out his left arm, Richard found that he could move it with ease. It still hurt, and he was quite sure that exerting too much force would cause more damage, but this was far better than he had expected it to be. Only after his initial bout of surprise did he remember that hydras were well-known for their regeneration; the egg he’d eaten back in Klandor had likely boosted his own.

Since he had regained motion in his left arm, he decided not to continue hiding. He had no food or water here, and if he didn’t find a way to fill his stomach soon he would faint from the hunger.

However, his luck still wasn’t great. No more than a few kilometres from his starting point he met a three-headed wolf, something quite similar to the Cerberus of the abyss. All nine eyes glowed green with greed and cunning, the heads salivating like he was the greatest of meals.

However, his own green eyes lit aglow. Sacrifice was activated without hesitation once more, blood-coloured lightning tearing through one of the three heads in an instant. Richard then pulled out the elven sword and turned into a million afterimages, cutting down the other two heads until all that remained was a bloody mist.

A short while later, his hunger was finally sated. Wiping the blood traces from the corners of his mouth, he looked at the skin and skeleton left and finally remembered that these wolves were also considered intelligent life. This was a warrior, not a magical creature or wild beast.

But there were only two kinds of beings in the battlefields of despair: the survivors and their prey. Richard felt no sense of disgust, no pity for the enemy that had disappeared down his throat. Those of Daxdus had always seen him as a delicious meal, and outside of the capital of the Unsetting Sun even the Norlanders had no other food. The most popular rations within this land of death were dried skaven meat laced with flakes of black crystal.

Richard stowed the wolf-skin away before continuing onwards towards the city. His strength had grown after the meal, a numb itch in his forearm a constant reminder that it was recovering at a fast pace. Over the next few days, he experienced several difficult battles in a row. There were times he killed powerful opponents, and there were also times he could only flee.

By the time the capital of the Unsetting Sun was within view, he was sprinting at full speed with Mana Armament activated. Behind him were more than ten skaven, flying after him on all four feet. This was a number he definitely couldn’t deal with, even if there were three of himself.

As he ran towards the capital in a straight line, he shot a magical flare into the sky to request help from the city guards. What should have been a simple fireball exploded into a flower of flames, a signal the Norlanders here used to request help.

An indistinct figure suddenly appeared a few kilometres away, that of a tall and sturdy middle-aged man. Seeing Richard running without so much as looking back, he huffed heavily, “Bah, coward!”

However, a more careful look evoked a sound of surprise, “Ooh, the kid is just level 16. That really isn’t easy… Interesting, let me help you a bit.” The silhouette immediately grew clear as the man took huge steps that allowed him to cross hundreds of metres in a flash…

Richard suddenly noticed the unusual quiet behind him, finding that the sharp squeaks of the skaven had completely disappeared. An intense stench of blood assailed his nose, causing him to slow down a little and look back.

He was shocked still.

The skaven in the distance had all turned into corpses, strewn all over the ground with little regard. All he could see was an empty land riddled with scars, not even a shadow of whoever had done this. He opened his mouth to scream a thank you, but suddenly realised that whoever helped him would have shown themselves if they wanted to. In the end, he quieted down and continued running towards the gates of the city.

He could already see the enormous architecture of the city walls in the distance, but this was partly because the horizon of the Land of Dusk was exceptionally far. It still took him half a day to reach his destination, and by the time he did he almost couldn’t believe that he had managed it.

Looking back to see the world of slaughter and madness behind him, he suddenly felt as though he was dreaming. The sheer disparity left him in a momentary daze, but that was soon shaken off by a halberd placed right before his face.

One of the city guards sized him up lazily, “Hey kid, where’d you come from? Where are the adults in your family, what did you bring?”

A cold light immediately filled Richard’s eyes, a faint killing intent appearing on his face. The Unsetting Sun capital was not a normal city; its guards were all meant to guard against those of Daxdus, while Norlanders could come and go as they pleased. The guards weren’t meant to check what the people carried. This one was clearly looking for trouble, and he could already see the man’s gaze hovering over the bundle on his back with a faint greed.

A month of walking on the edge of life and death had already pushed Richard’s temper to the verge of explosion. He didn’t even bother holding back his aura, starting to radiate a gloomy rage.

Richard’s response left the guard extremely unhappy, his expression darkening as he spat hard on the floor, “Oi, you brat. You don’t even have a full beard, what are you looking at? Come over with me, I need to search you and make sure you’re not a Daxdus spy.”

The killing intent instantly dissipated as Richard’s eyes lit aglow. The guard felt goosebumps rise all over his body, feeling as though his existence had been seen through completely. He immediately looked around, but the fact that his comrades weren’t moving at all made him panic even further. Unseen dangers were the most terrifying sort, and anyone who lived in the battlefields of despair would sharpen their intuition over time. This guard instantly felt a threat to his life.

A middle-aged guard who was leaning over the walls on the other side pretending not to hear the conversation suddenly walked over, interrupting the fight that was about to break out. “Are you the person Lady Beye wished to meet?” he asked calmly.

Richard only nodded, turning his glowing eyes towards this new entrant. This guard felt a shiver run down his spine as well, immediately bursting into a flattering smile, “You must be Sir Richard. We don’t mean any harm, this is just our duty. Lady Beye is in the city right now, you can find her in Saint Lawrence’s shop.” Having said so, he pulled the other one away towards the gate.

The belligerent guard wanted to beat Richard up, but knowing that Richard was backed by Beye he clearly didn’t have the guts to fight anymore. However, Richard himself was in no rush to enter as he turned towards the man, “If you have the skill, let’s put away our armour and weapons. Let’s see if you can last a minute against this kid without a full beard, eh? One minute and I’ll change my surname to yours.”

The guard’s face immediately turned purple, but even though he opened his mouth multiple times no words came out. The middle-aged guard quickly blocked Richard’s gaze once more, “Sir Richard, Lady Beye has waited for you for a long time.”

“Don’t let there be a next time,” Richard huffed.

“Of course, of course!” the man continued to smile, even bowing a little.

Originally, he had planned to just kill both of them; they were clearly just looking to exploit a newcomer to the Land of Dusk. However, even if he knew this etiquette was fake it left him with no chance to flare up.

Only after Richard walked away did the middle-aged man let out a sigh of relief, wiping the sweat off his brow. The first guard started to curse, “It’s only a level 16 kid, he’s so fucking arrogant! I’m a saint and I still have to guard these gates! If it weren’t for Beye, I would have killed him!”

The other guard forced a laugh, “Don’t ever say that out loud again. Anybody who can meet Lady Beye is a lunatic.”

“I refuse to believe a level 16 kid can beat me!” the first guard refused to accept it. However, the middle-aged one just sighed. His friend’s words seemed reasonable, but for some reason he was left with a feeling of unease.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA