Book 4, Chapter 126

The Knight’s Stage?

The twenty rune knights silently stepped out of their ranks, forming a single file behind Gangdor to oppose the enemies thirty metres away. Bard couldn’t help his fury at the humiliation, but knowing of Richard’s past exploits he didn’t dare to let his guard down. “Mages! Clerics!”

A grand mage and three clerics that had followed along started to cast spells to increase the might of the royal soldiers. However, none of them were particularly proficient in group buffs. There was a raise in morale, but the difference in combat strength wasn’t much at all. Only those who were level 15 or higher were given actual boosts, while Bard was granted a total of four.

Richard looked over at the three clerics, “You serve Neian, is it? Do you wish to start a war between gods?”

One of them was greatly offended, “Why would the great God of Valour be afraid of the three use— a war against the three Goddesses?”

He thanked the heavens he had managed to catch himself in time. To call the three goddesses useless in front of a pope and two cardinals was no small humiliation. Even Neian himself would not support such blasphemy and would leave him to whatever punishment was decided fit.

To everyone’s surprise, Richard only laughed drily, “Well, a nobody like you isn’t worth a divine war anyway.”

The cleric on the other side turned red with anger, but he kept his mouth firmly shut. There was nothing he could say right now that wouldn’t land him in further trouble.

Richard no longer bothered with him, waving to his entourage with a cheeky smile, “Buff my knights a bit. Keep it simple, no need to scare them away.”

Faylen acted first. Now that she was the pope of the Goddess of Spring Water, she could cast grade 8 spells that boosted the entire squad’s strength and speed greatly. Fermi and Shea had no chance to act, so all they could do was cast their spells on individual warriors. Just these three left the opposing clerics with looks of worry on their faces. All three following the royal knights were only level 10, so there was a great disparity in strength. However weak the three goddesses were, they were still true deities that had been strengthened greatly in the aftermath of the recent invasion. If the cardinals and pope could not suppress a mere few clerics, Neian would be the Overgod instead of an intermediate deity.

However, the crushing blow was still to come. Richard’s followers finally began to act, with Lina going first. She just waved her hand and the weapons of the rune knights lit up with draconic flames. This was a grade 8 spell cast in an instant, something even a grand mage could not accomplish!

Mito went second, casting a group barrier spell on the rune knights. After that, a phantom image spell turned the 21 soldiers into more than a hundred, all of them flickering in and out of existence.

Kellac’s damage reduction spell wasn’t particularly awe-inspiring, but when Nyra acted the opposing clerics screamed in fear, “Damage reflection!” The spell turned the rune knights into iron porcupines!

Then the battle priest finally acted. Io cast four or five spells with each wave of his staff, the swords and halberds of the rune knights growing larger and being tinted with a divine glow. All of them had been boosted with War Construct!

Flowsand was the very last to act. The priestess had grown extremely lazy recently, reluctant to do anything at all. This time was no different. She didn’t even bother with a chant, just flipping open the Book of Time. Specks of gold light flew over to the rune knights to form pillars of divine power that faded away after a moment, immediately making them feel lighter and stronger. This was a grade 7 spell unique to her: Metal Storm.

By the time the spells were done, the rune knights had turned into a splendid ball of light. It seemed almost impossible to catch a glimpse of their actual bodies in the midst of all the magic.

Gangdor raised his axe high into the sky, “KILL!”

The twenty rune knights immediately formed up together and defied all logic as they reached top speed in a mere ten metres, piercing a hole through the royal knights instantly. The brute’s eyes had turned blood-red as his axe wrought destruction where it went, clearing up a path directly towards Bard. Under the effects of a dozen buffs, this epic-grade axe sliced through enemies like they were butter.

Bard was scared witless. He barely managed to put up both hands, a deafening thud echoing through the square as his large tooth-studded club was bent out of shape. He spat out fresh blood, feeling his internals vibrating, but he had barely managed to block the nightmarish blow.

However, there was no time for him to be happy. Two rune knights flanked in from both of Gangdor’s sides, a halberd and a two-handed sword thrusting into the knight captain’s body in an instant. All of his organs were turned to slush.

“What are you doing?!” Gangdor shouted in shock and rage. His dreams of crushing this Faelor saint in three moves had been destroyed.

However, the two rune knights had already disappeared far away. Both of them were amongst the defectors from Raymond’s army, and at level 17 they had experienced countless battles. They definitely wouldn’t engage in lone battles, instead trying to be as efficient as possible to end the massacre quickly.

Gangdor finally realised something after his cry. If he didn’t act fast, he wouldn’t get the chance to kill anyone. He immediately urged his horse forward and continued with the rest of his bloodthirsty squad, breaking countless holes into the royal knights as they weaved in and out of the formation.

The Sequoia soldiers mustered all their courage to try and fight head-on, but by the third round of attacks most of them were left dead. Every rune knight present far surpassed a saint of Faelor in ability, and the countless buffs had turned them into terrifying killing machines. There wasn’t even a chance for the opposing knights to band together before their formations were cut apart again and again.

…… 

“Let’s go,” Richard said indifferently, leaving behind a capital filled with flowing blood. His followers and rune knights followed right behind, and the barbarian infantry drones and elite humanoids got into formation as well. Nearly a thousand garrison soldiers just watched on like statues, frozen in fear as though they had seen demons entering the human realm. The few clerics and mages were the same; Richard’s twenty devilish soldiers had barely been injured as they decimated more than ten times their number of the Kingdom’s most powerful elites.

The brazen act had been a slap to the face, but the royal family went absolutely silent. 200 of their own men had actively sought battle and were decimated by only 20 of his. It curbed all ambitions in an instant.

The king had a total of 20,000 warriors under him, while Richard had brought only 500. All logic dictated that going out in full force would squash the impudent viscount, but the reports that Richard had a swarm of saints all at the sub-legendary realm kept ringing in his ears. There eventually came a point at which numbers didn’t matter. A powerful mobile troop would be able to eat away at his entire army until they were nothing more than dust. He had no precedent to fall back on either; there had been no instance of so many powerful warriors fighting on the same side in a war and losing.

There wasn’t even a whisper denouncing Richard’s actions. Everyone knew that any complaints made against him would be a direct challenge to both him and the goddesses he represented. This day had made it abundantly clear that he would not bow to their politics, and any further attempts would only bring war.

It was only now that these nobles realised the true effect of trying to divide the Direwolf Duke’s estate. Richard had lost his title, but that only turned him into a free beast that could not be controlled. He wasn’t a subordinate of the royal family in the first place, and now there was no guarantee he would even serve the future Direwolf Duke. For all intents and purposes, he was now an independent noble who controlled all of the Bloodstained Lands. In effect, he had both the territory and the power to establish a kingdom of his own.

His name was silently added to the list of nobles of the Sequoia Kingdom.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA