Richard raised his head and gazed at the night sky before replying, “But there are a lot of 15 year-old Archerons who behave like me, aren’t there?”
Mordred did not keep his laughter in this time round, as he carried Richard off the horse and gave him a pat on his back almost strong enough to swat him into the mud before roaring, “You’re overthinking things! There really are a lot of intelligent fifteen-year-old Archerons, but that’s all there is to them. When master was 15 he was rather silly himself, and there were tons of kids smarter than him. Look where they are now, the clever ones are nowhere to be seen!”
Richard’s eyes lit up, “You’re talking about Gaton Archeron?”
“Yes, your father!” Mordred corrected.
“It’s Gaton Archeron, right?” Richard repeated his question.
“Alright, alright, it’s him.” Mordred shrugged before saying, “You Archerons are really weird beings.”
“So, you meant?” Richard continued to probe.
“It’s simple. You’re already quite outstanding amongst the fifteen-year-olds of the family, but the tables might turn when you reach sixteen. The one who laughs last will always be the best, so first you’ve gotta make sure to stay alive till you’re sixteen, kid! That’s also why Master wanted me to lead you into a few battles along the way. Faust isn’t known only for its wealth, prosperity, and women!”
Before Richard could say anything, Mordred took the chance to continue, “Alright kid, you have to seize the time now to eat and sleep. Since you have that strange ‘Vitality’ rune now, we have to make some changes to the plan. Tomorrow’s journey will be 700 kilometres!”
Cloudy skies, rainy skies, and clear skies. The weather continued to cycle around as time elapsed. A month had passed within the blink of an eye, and Richard’s party was close to reaching Faust.
The world is complicated, and accidents happen to the smartest of people. Neither Gaton nor Mordred expected the old enemies of the family to be so… restrained. None of them had picked a fight or provoked Mordred, smiling and gritting their way through it when he took his fully equipped rune knights through their territories or even stepped foot in their castles. They didn’t respond to any of his provocations for a fight, and that left him speechless.
Although Mordred was blood-thirsty and adored killing, he wasn’t a rascal without morals. How could he initiate any form of attack when all people did was smile at him and some even offered to let their personal demon blacksmiths to check the hooves of Lava when he accidentally knocked over their important monuments? He could only leave and give them a bag of gold coins as compensation for the monuments he destroyed.
So Richard did not actually engage in any fights throughout their journey to Faust. The only things he did kill were passing beasts.
Richard did not take part in any anticipated battle all the way until Lava stepped foot onto the ground of the Eternal Plains. It seemed like the reputation—no, the infamy— of the Archerons had already spread throughout the Sacred Alliance. Nobody wanted to face these madmen alone, without sufficient benefits and a steady ally.
The Eternal Plains were the territory of the legendary city. This meant there were no more chances for them to face danger now— immediate danger, at least. The plains were gentle and smooth, the horizon stretching farther into the sky than Richard had ever seen before. The plateau was decorated with mahogany rocks, and shy grasses peeked through the cracks with innumerable colourful flowers adorning them. The explosion of colour was a feast to the eyes.
Richard stopped his horse and raised his head. The strong winds blowing strongly in his direction made him feel a little suffocated, but another thing that took his breath was the exceptional scenery before him. Looking at it, Richard felt as if he could see almost the entire plain at once.
The total area of the Eternal Plain wasn’t actually big, its circumference a mere hundred kilometres, but it was more like a giant platform that rose within Norland. As small as it was, it wasn’t something that could be viewed completely in one shot. Anyone who did get a full view of it would immediately feel suffocated!
There is power within space. Even Richard, who was used to seeing indoor spaces thousands of square metres in area was awestruck by the current view in front of him. He felt a sudden compulsion to stop himself from getting lost, holding his breath and furthering his line of sight bit by bit before he saw a mountain peak resembling a fiery red pillar at the very end of his vision. This disrupted his sense of space and distance, and because of that the numbers describing the scarlet peak in his mind didn’t correspond to what he was seeing. It was an error that was driving him insane!
It was said that blessings would be given to first-time visitors of the miracle-filled Eternal Plains, and they would gain the ability to be able to look at every corner of the plains. Richard finally knew for himself now that the legend was true. The feeling of receiving the blessing wasn’t as good as he thought, but it was still exciting.
This fiery red peak was the Miracle Peak that sustained Faust. The mountain was surrounded by an extremely thin line— almost not distinguishable to the eye— that led upwards. That was the path to the peak, and the peak was actually hidden in the clouds! There was a mass of clouds covering the peak, pure and white, moving slowly and gracefully as if with a life of their own. They were never swayed even by the strongest of winds.
However, Richard saw something looming within those divine clouds. He was shocked beyond words as he rubbed his eyes and tried to look as far as he could and he finally realised that it was a floating island! There were mountains and streams and vegetation on the island, and he even saw buildings, each unique to their own.
“Is— Is that…” Richard pointed at the island within the clouds, and was rendered speechless.
“That is the Floating Island, where all fourteen acknowledged families of Faust live. When I first saw it, I couldn’t believe my eyes either. But at the time when I was fighting alongside your father in Faust, and we didn’t sleep for around 6 months. I can’t remember how many battles I’ve been in or how many people I’ve killed. When we finally arrived at the Eternal Plains, I was dead beat and only wanted to find a place to sleep, so how could I have any strength left to appreciate things like this? I was thinking that since we were already here, it’s only a matter of time that we make it up there.” Mordred watered down their epic advance to Faust to a few dull and ordinary sentences, but his natural arrogance and dominance still seeped through his words.Previous Chapter Next Chapter