Book 4, Chapter 141

Beneath The Divine Throne

Cardiff’s plan was to destroy Richard! A shattered hand would be the end of any runemaster, and with the amount of energy he was putting in even a grand priestess of the Church wouldn’t be able to heal him completely. There was a chance if he used a sacrifice, but that chance was minuscule!

Many of the nobles in the hall had already figured out Cardiff’s little scheme, but they smiled and observed silently. Only Nyris was concerned enough to speak up, “Richard, careful of his face.”

Cardiff looked towards the prince and smiled, “Your Highness, even someone of your status cannot interfere in a bet between two nobles. Please be careful not to harm your image.”

Nyris scoffed, “And I’m to learn about my image from a rat who’s trying to rig a bet in public?”

Cardiff’s expression warped at that ruthless response, but before he could defend himself Richard burst out in laughter, “It’s not my problem if you give up your face so openly. As for image…”

The nobles watched on as Richard buffed himself a number of times, even using some divine scrolls that he had brought along. Everyone was stunned, but nobody actually argued against it. Since Cardiff was using his internal energy to defend, Richard could obviously use mana to boost his strength. The only restriction was that he couldn’t directly attack with magic.

By the time Richard stepped forward, sparks were flying all across his body. His right hand seemed to flash out of existence as it crashed down on Cardiff’s left cheek, and before anyone could react a backhand crashed into the earl’s face. Cardiff’s internal energy rushed forth to fight back, but the seemingly foregone conclusion was turned around as the sparks around Richard’s hand defended him completely.

The slaps had been quick, so much so that Cardiff hadn’t been able to react when he felt the weight of the danger. Two bursts of energy had slammed into his face and erupted violently, sending him flying away with his entire head a bloody mess. When he finally landed on his back and screamed in pain, a number of teeth shot into the air.

The hall went dead silent. Richard’s two slaps had been extremely powerful, equivalent to full-strength blows from a level 17 warrior. Nobody had imagined that he would be so physically powerful as a mere mage. Those of the Deepblue were known for powerful physiques, but it was unheard of for a mage to be able to physically wound a warrior who was of a higher level.

While Cardiff rolled around on the ground in agony, Richard ignored him completely and turned towards Lina instead. “Here,” he said as he handed her a promissory note for a million gold.

The Dragon Mage was shocked and dazed; she had never handled such a large sum of money in her life. However, Richard just leaned in towards her and said softly, “You deserve this. Not just anyone is willing to sell their own equipment for the family’s sake.”

Lina trembled a little before accepting the note quietly.

Those present burst into whispers once more, shocked that Richard could give her a million gold like it was nothing right after spending so much on the auction. Lina definitely deserved such a high salary with her sheer power, but in the past she would have been lucky to earn a few hundred thousand at most. This was a thing that most nobles had envied about Gaton; they would willingly pay millions to acquire any one of his thirteen, but all of them willingly served under him for almost no charge. Many families had tried poaching them, but it had all been to no avail.

This difference in expenditure was one of the reasons the Archerons had been able to grow quickly, alongside the fearsome Mordred being amongst Gaton’s ranks. Nobody knew where the Devil King had come from, but he inspired terror in all of Gaton’s enemies.

And now, they didn’t even have a year to enjoy Gaton’s absence before Richard came along! The son was completely different from the father. Gaton was known for being able to gather a group of powerful lunatics despite his poverty, waging wars on all sides to expand. On the other hand, Richard could just dump insane amounts of money at any problem. Although his own followers still paled in comparison to the thirteen, he was publicly recruiting a frightening number of rune knights and was purchasing powerful equipment in great volumes. It almost felt like he would just destroy his enemies by pouring rune knights on top of them.

The nobles here weren’t sure which enemy they would rather go ahead. They were only thankful that the Mensas had made the sacrifice that ensured these lunatics weren’t together.

There was one major result of this auction. There would still be people who called the Archeron Family a bunch of upstarts, but so long as Richard was at the helm nobody could call them poor.

Richard bade farewell to Nyris and made his way towards the Church of the Eternal Dragon to fetch the soul contract. He had with him a total of eight pieces of epic-grade equipment from the auction that suited his followers, as well as millions of gold in materials and the enchanted chainmail that would boost the strength of his elites.

His main aim in this return to Norland had been to sell the two Lifesbanes to the royal family in exchange for a top-tier offering and gold. They had offered 13 million gold each for the runes, and with the hundred mounts added on top it was another 12 million.

The Emperor himself had met him personally, unable to stop praising the quality of the horses and even offering to buy 500 more of them. Richard had been hesitant— that would tie up the broodmother for half a year— but eventually agreed to deliver these horses batch by batch over the next year after which he would sell no more. Philip had laughed and accepted the result, paying him 6 million as a deposit.

Thus, he had promissory notes worth a colossal 34 million gold and a top-tier offering when he left the royal palace! Cardiff was far beyond most of the youths in Faust when it came to wealth, but what he had thought to be Richard’s greatest weakness had turned around to crush him instead.

……

Richard found the Church of the Eternal Dragon in a complete mess. Priestesses and paladins were walking around to sort out all the donations, clearly frustrated with most. Although Cardiff had tried to make sure he bought things that could be useful to the Church, there wasn’t much they wanted outside of offerings.

Noelene stopped him the moment he stepped in, asking him with a forced smile, “Have you gone mad? Why did you donate so many things at once? This is ten million gold!”

“Use it to fight our enemies,” Richard laughed it off.

“Most of this is just junk!” Noelene argued.

“Just take what you find useful and sell the rest,” Richard said innocently, “Isn’t gold going to come of use one way or the other?”

“But… But…” Noelene eventually just sighed.

……

Flowsand, who was currently in the Temple of the Sands, had her brows knitted in annoyance as she looked at the chest before her. In it was the first item Richard had won from the auction, the ursa warlord’s seminal vesicles. She hadn’t known what this thing was when it first came in, but the Book of Time had quickly provided an answer. However, the Church almost never appointed male priests. Why had he sent it over?

She couldn’t understand Richard’s intentions no matter how much she thought it through, so she eventually just gave up.

……

Having spent two days in Norland, Richard took all of his followers and travelled back to Faelor once more. The stars shone brightly in the sky as though to welcome their arrival.

He immediately met Zangru in a small building in Bluewater. The black-haired youth was sitting in front of the window when Richard entered, staring blankly into the night. Nyra who was beside him acknowledged Richard’s entrance, but Zangru himself didn’t even turn.

Richard scanned him as he walked over, finding the youth still riddled with injuries. The familiar creepy process immediately brought Zangru back to reality, and seeing the soul contract placed in front of him he didn’t so much as look at it before tearing it apart and letting the magic wash over him.

“Not scared of me messing with it?” Richard raised a brow.

“Wouldn’t be the first time I was cheated,” Zangru shrugged, but then a smile crawled onto his face, “Then again, I don’t think you’re that boring.”

“Sure,” Richard laughed before putting a thick tome on the table.

“Hmm… Beneath the Divine Throne by Theodore… What is this?”

“I mentioned if before, no? This is a guide to stealing a god’s divinity,” Richard explained.

“Oh…” Zangru’s eyes went wide. Despite his special circumstances, he was still a Faelorian and didn’t have the guts to think of killing a god. In fact, his identity as a cursed child made his fear much worse than for most others. He knew just how much power the gods held.

“What kind of place is this Norland…” he muttered as he flipped open the book, immediately losing himself in its contents.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Karen

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA