Book 4, Chapter 121

The Edge of Life And Death

Richard followed along the main street of the outer city, admiring the majestic architecture along the way. The fact that he was about to meet Beye melted away the displeasure of the incident at the gates. After all, two saints without legendary equipment were no more difficult to deal with than the two enclave centaurs he had killed. The first guard had clearly risen to his level only recently, and would certainly die to one boosted lightning bolt.

He quickly entered Lawrence’s shop once more. This dilapidated building was the only open place in the long street, and as he walked in the formerly empty racks had a few items placed on them. He thought of these items as nothing but baubles at first, but a habitual scan caused him to stop in his tracks and look over them carefully once more. Each of these things was epic-grade at minimum!

“Who it it?” a hoarse voice rang from within, “Do you want to sell something? Wait for a while, I’m busy. Tch, such long legs…”

Richard recognised the perverted old man immediately, “Saint Lawrence, I’m Richard Archeron. Is Beye around?”

“Richard!” the old man ran out like a gust of wind, scanning Richard from head to toe as his eyes lit up in happiness, “You actually made it all the way here by yourself. Level 16 already,  not bad! You’re on par with me back than, only that lass Sharon was faster… Wait, did you bring me what I want?”

As he finished the last sentence, Lawrence placed his hand out. However, Richard just flashed a bitter smile and shook his head, “I don’t have the ability to defeat a sksar ursa warlord right now, I’m just looking for Beye to give her something.”

“Give her something, eh?” Lawrence looked at Richard mysteriously before nodding and calling out, “Beye, your lover is here to see you!”

“Richard?” a weak voice came from within, “Come… in.”

The old man patted him on the back, “Come, let’s go in. She isn’t in the best of conditions right now.”

This shop wasn’t very big, with only three rooms in total. The rooms themselves were fairly large, but a twenty-metre corridor was all it took to enter the last room. As they approached, Richard noticed a small hut made of wood and stone sitting in the centre of the room, clearly a crude construction. However, the detection abilities he was so proud of seemed incapable of piercing through this structure at all. It was only when they got closer that he spotted the infusion of rare magic materials that prevented scrying of any sort.

Lawrence pulled open the door to the hut and motioned for him to enter. Inside was Beye, but right now she was just laid on a metal bed with many obvious wounds on greening skin.

And her chest was completely cut open! Richard could feel bile rising up his throat for a moment as he saw Beye’s stomach and intestines slowly squirming. She had three triangular hearts within, but only one of them seemed to be beating normally. The other two only squirmed every once in a while, gushing crimson.

“What happened to you?!” he almost screamed.

Beye turned her head slightly, revealing a slight smile, “Well, I’m still alive.”

Lawrence, walking in from behind, snorted in response, “You’re still alive because I keep saving your beautiful ass, girl. Lad, get out of the way!” He pushed Richard to the side as he made his way to a basin of cold water, washing his hands and taking out a sharp silver dagger that he used to start carving through Beye’s chest.

He could see the vestiges of a saint runemaster within the old man. Even though his hands weren’t as stable as before, the movements were still nearly flawless. The dagger started to peel off the surface of her organs, sending purplish-black flesh into a bin nearby.

“What exactly happened?” Richard couldn’t help but ask.

“What else? This crazy lass went and fought a legendary warrior and came back like this. I haven’t slept for the past few days just trying to save her! You see how she is, I need to exhaust myself for another four days to completely save her life!”

“He’s dead though,” Beye commented slightly.

“SURE! YOU’RE INCREDIBLE!” Lawrence seemed to explode, “SO WHAT? If it wasn’t for me, would you even be able to survive? Can’t you wait for another two years to become a legendary being yourself? Then you’ll be too embarrassed to look for me if you’re dying, right? I haven’t even done anything to you, what happens to your promise if you die?”

Beye ignored the old man’s words, turning towards Richard instead, “You completed the Lifesbanes?” Her voice carried a hint of anxiety and expectation.

“Four pieces in total,” Richard said with a nod.

“Four! That’s great!” She tried to lift herself up in her excitement, but Lawrence raged and knocked her on the head to keep her down. He then brought out some unknown liquid that was clear at water, pouring it into her chest. Beye’s body immediately started convulsing in immense pain as a thick fog spewed out of her chest.

Lawrence couldn’t help but rage further, “See! If you were willing to wait a little longer, would you have ended up like… Wait. Lifesbane? Richard, where did you get this from?”

“Hmm? I made them.”

“You made them? You can craft Lifesbane? You’re just a kid, damn!”  Lawrence growled and jumped, uncaring of the bottle and dagger in his hands. Richard was startled and immediately moved over to keep him down, afraid that the dagger would cut into Beye by accident.

Beye sighed, “I’m sorry, old man. When I saw him, I couldn’t control myself. I knew I had to kill him.”

Lawrence nodded, “I know. Sigh, at least now you won’t end up so bad even if you act stupid. This lover of yours is incredible, he can already craft Lifesbane at this age. He even made four of them, and it doesn’t seem like he took too long either. Back then, I… Hmph, I was definitely much more talented than him.”

The old man then turned back to Richard, “Hey lad, since you can already craft Lifesbane, did you craft the first stage of the Mana Armament?”

Richard simply opened up a bit of his clothing to expose the rune. Lawrence silently nodded as well.

“Richard, I only gave you three offerings. Let me think about it… Old ma—” Beye suddenly froze up, fighting the pain for a few moments before she could speak again, “Ugh, old man, lend me something from your chest. I want to repay little Richard.”

“Lend? Do you even qualify for that? How much do you owe me over all these years? How many times have I saved your life?” Although Lawrence’s words were harsh, he still turned around towards Richard, “Hey kid, there’s a chest in the room. Take something from within. Whenever you manage to craft the grade 5 Mana Armament, I’ll give you everything inside it. The thing was supposed to go to Beye after I die, but it doesn’t matter if I give it to her lover. Go on, now. I give you three minutes.”

“I’ve already taken a lot,” Richard rejected the offer with a frown. Beye had already given him three top-tier offerings in exchange for these Lifesbane runes. This was cheap in terms of market price, but he was still making a 200% profit off it because of his ability. 20 million gold was already more revenue than he expected, and looking at her right now he knew exactly how each of those offerings was acquired.

“I don’t care, I’m paying you what I think they’re worth,” Beye said lightly, “These Lifesbane runes are priceless, using one offering each is already a deal. Go on, don’t waste time. I have something to tell you once you’re back.”

Richard hesitated a little before walking out of the hut. There was a rusty chest on the edge that nobody would be interested in, not even a lock on the box while the buckle was already deformed.

His first response upon opening the chest was to grimace. A strong rotting stench flowed out immediately that almost made him throw up, but after taking a breath of fresh air and holding it he started to look over its contents. There were only eight things in the box in total: a bone, two pieces of rotting meat, two small idols with rough handiwork, and three dusty stones. A rotting liquid had covered the bottom of the box.

He wondered what these things were at first, but as Analytic was activated his eyes went wide.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: ML

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA