Book 4, Chapter 143

A Little Bit Of Blood

Richard felt his heartbeat speed up. He still remembered the sheer amount of resources it took for the analysis to reach this stage, but it was a milestone in the broodmother’s progress.

He looked over the additional abilities he could add to his drones and quickly found the section he wanted: magic abilities. However, the effects were a little disappointing. His drones would be enhanced with magic, but they wouldn’t be true mages. There was a small set of abilities he could choose from, and more than half were related to fire.

On the other hand, the number of abilities that special units could possess had grown tremendously. What was once a dozen-odd options now ranged to nearly a hundred after the number of grand mages and saints that the broodmother had swallowed. More than half of these abilities were still locked, but he would get access to them as she levelled up.

At the top of the list of locked abilities was a type of power called Perpetual Rot. The name came from the broodmother, but he instantly linked it to its source. This was the vicious energy used by that grey-robed saint that had killed Bevry. There was practically no way to control it; even Duke Grasberg who had been relatively far away almost lost a leg and dropped to the level of a normal saint in Faelor.

It took Richard an entire afternoon to explore the various options he had for combat drones. The newer types of units now took up a large number of resources, with the stronger ones even needing divinity. The broodmother had offered tens of species templates herself, so the number of combinations was astronomical.

After painstakingly poring through everything, Richard decided on his first magic drone: the Flamewing Serpent. This was a variation of the winged serpents he already had, but instead of using natural means it could use true magic. Each drone would be able to cast six grade 4 fireballs a day at short ranges, or four a day if the target was more than a hundred metres away. On top of that, they could create two walls of fire. They had the third generation carapace added on, boosting their defences to the point that ordinary human archers posed no threat to them. Even elven archers would only be able to deal significant damage when less than fifty metres away.

The flamewing serpents were still countered by magic archers like the ones in Raymond’s army, but the elites had actually been strengthened to the point that they would be able to take a direct full-power shot from a level 15 archer without dying.

With the support units taken care of, Richard chose three types of drones to form the backbone of his army. The frontlines would be populated by barbarians enhanced with heavy carapace, tuned for sheer strength.

The humanoids were modified as well; they were now created with orcs as the base and reached level 12 even without their mounts. The infantry were given heavy armour just like the barbarians, while the knights were given lighter armour so they could wear the chainmail he had purchased. In terms of defences, they now surpassed grade 1 rune knights. Richard planned to equip them all with level 12 mounts, putting them on par with the bearguard knights of the Schumpeter Family. He already planned to name them the shadowspear knights to differentiate them from the beetle knights and his standard humanoids. The elites who were level 13 could even compare to a level 14 grade 1 rune knight in battle due to the advantages of their structure.

His choice for ranged offence had changed as well. Since the analysis of the elves still hadn’t met his requirements, he chose towering barbarians with long limbs and armed them with steel javelins. These level 10 javelineers had been enhanced for strength as well, able to throw their steel weapons a formidable 150 metres away and still pierce knights in heavy armour. Of course, they had their own weaknesses as well. Since their javelins had to be specially manufactured, they didn’t last as long in battle before they ran out.

However, he was now stuck in a dilemma. The broodmother could only create three flamewing serpents or shadowspear knights in a day, or fifty elites in a month with the support of the worm nest. On the other hand, she could make eight humanoid knights even without the support of the worm nest, and ten with. Three shadowspear knights were no match for ten humanoid knights.

He started evaluating his current situation in Faelor. He had about 4,000 elites right now and 6,000 local soldiers under his command. He could mobilise another 5,000 men from his allies, making for an army 15,000 strong. This was adequate to keep a hold on what he already had, but it wasn’t enough to continue expanding. His first priority right now was to stabilise the situation and grow his strength; his target of attack had even shifted from the Iron Triangle Empire to the Sequoia Kingdom.

Considering all that, he decided to have the broodmother replace his elite bats before pumping out the weaker drones to replenish his numbers.

With the future path thus set, Richard was about to end their communication when the broodmother suddenly spoke up, “Master, I sense your bloodline powers have grown again. Our soul bond is not powerful enough to transmit all of this growth, can I have a little bit of blood for analysis?”

“Sure,” Richard agreed.

“Also, can you give me a few drops every time you unlock another ability? That way, I will be able to grow and evolve even more quickly.”

Just as he transmitted an affirmative, a giant mosquito flew through the window. Richard quickly recognised it to be the same one that fed Raymond every day and grumbled about the broodmother’s eagerness before begrudgingly rolling up his sleeve. Thankfully the thing knew its boundaries; it only drained three or four drops of blood before letting go and hovering in the air once more.

However, the giant mosquito didn’t fly away immediately after collecting the sample, instead continuing to hover around in the room. The broodmother’s voice sounded in his head once more, “Master, I sense something formidable that possessed the power of space nearby.”

Richard stared blankly for a moment before retrieving an image diamond from his pocket, “This?”

“Yes! I can use the— the more the bet—!” This time she seemed to ignore the cloned brain and transmit the message directly; the voice he heard was intermittent.

“Why?” Richard’s brows creased. Image diamonds were core materials for spatial equipment, something he was looking at right now with all the weapons on hand.

The broodmother didn’t answer directly, instead transmitting information on a specific special unit. It was called the astral chrysalis; looking like a giant pupa, it had little combat power but could grow without limits. It also had the ability to float through the air, and with the addition of image diamonds it would be able to open up a space in its own body that allowed it to replace ordinary spatial equipment. The more image diamonds it ingested, the larger its internal space became.

The astral chrysalis was only about two metres long in its initial stage, but it could accommodate nearly ten cubic metres within. It could also carry about ten tonnes without issue. Creating it required at least three image diamonds and ten units of divinity, and at the same time there was a precondition that left Richard speechless: Analyse Zangru.

This astral chrysalis could certainly serve all of his equipment storage needs. There would be a significant advantage when it came to transporting supplies across planes as well.

“So… Zangru…” Richard started.

“As I said before, I just need a little bit of his blood.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA