An Unexpected Requirement
Richard stopped hesitating and swallowed the essence of the grove. The moment the crystal made it to his stomach, he felt a refreshing energy spread throughout his body. His head started to hurt for a few moments, but that feeling quickly vanished and nothing was left behind.
‘Is that it?’ He was rather confused. Outside of feeling a little more clear-headed than before, he couldn’t sense any significant changes within him. He couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, his expression darkening.
‘Wait!’ a smile suddenly crept up on his face as he realised what exactly had changed. His thought speed had definitely increased greatly, even with his second mind. This meant his blessing of wisdom had advanced once more, now at the fourth grade. This would directly impact his ability to command a battle, easily allowing him to be in constant communication with more than a hundred drones. This meant thousands more soldiers that could be controlled perfectly like an extension of himself! It also directly boosted his analysis and runecrafting abilities as well!
The other three had been staring at him all the while, so they obviously noticed the changes in his expression. Nyris asked the question on their minds, “What did you get?”
“Hmm… How do I put it…” Richard hesitated a little, unwilling to reveal his blessings but also not wanting to lie, “It feels like I can think much faster now.”
“Well, it’s something,” Agamemnon said, and Nyris nodded in agreement. Items that boosted the soul depended quite heavily on luck sometimes, so any success was worth it.
The Tree of Life also gave them 11 leaves of youth. These things were more a luxury item than of practical value, but that was still worth a bit so Nyris and Agamemnon split three each. Richard was thus left with five, which was just enough for him to split across Flowsand, Waterflower, Lina, Rosie, and Demi. However, that reminded him of the possibility of Alice joining his ranks and he suddenly realised he didn’t have as many as he’d like.
On the other hand, Nyris and Agamemnon realised they had the exact opposite problem and frowned. It wasn’t worth selling things like these leaves of youth. Although the demand far outstripped the supply, they were only worth five figures at best.
Thankfully, everyone was still young and the rate at which they were fighting battles ensured their strength would rise quickly; none of them really had any worries about their youth fading away. The Tree of Life could only produce ten leaves of youth every year, but that would be enough for themselves and those close to them.
The four relaxed once the formal matters were complete. They still needed to replenish the troops, but the Tree of Life’s influence now extended all the way to Emerald City so they could begin large-scale development freely. Richard had poured 100,000 gold into research on using this stonewood, and the Deepblue’s researchers were on track to completing a firestarter that could set it alight. A small fist-sized clump could burn almost for an entire day and night, giving warmth to everyone within a 100-metre range, so they would be able to start selling this for profit.
The one problem with this development was that moving large amounts of wood through the Church of the Eternal Dragon would be a problem. However, this was easily solved when Agamemnon offered some empty land only a hundred kilometres from a harbour to build a new portal at. The moment the stonewood forests could be cut down for a profit, they would be able to expand the logging operation greatly and weaken the will of the forest further.
Of course, the Forest Plane was currently providing nearly 300,000 gold a month, which was already top-notch. When one considered the profits from the Tree of Life, the woodcutting would only be worth pocket money.
Nyris eventually turned to him with a stern expression, “Richard, Agamemnon and I have about fifteen rune knights combined now. I’ve been getting more and more points lately, so I plan to apply for a new plane from Father. Once it’s developed enough, it will be my personal plane. Would you be interested in joining? I’ll be the owner in name, but we can continue to split according to contribution just like we do here.”
“Umm…” Richard hesitated a bit, “I don’t think I have the ability to expand any more right now. I will support you the best I can, but I have the whole mess in my family to deal with. Tell you what, apply for the plane and start the invasion; I’ll join in and help expand when things have stabilised.”
“Sounds good,” Nyris nodded. He understood Richard’s current plight. After all, Gaton had left behind five whole personal planes in various stages of development, and the rest of the family was going straight for Richard’s throat. There was a lot that needed to be done before Richard could breathe easy.
“Right, Richard! How many laws did you crack during the evolution?” the prince suddenly asked.
“You first,” Richard retaliated.
“Three!” Nyris couldn’t hide the pride on his face, eyes glistening with competitiveness.
“Four,” Richard said with a smile.
A little bit of disappointment flashed across Nyris’ face, but eventually a smile crept up instead. It felt disappointing to be beaten by Richard time and time again, but the difference this time wasn’t too large and it was still an ally growing stronger.
What Nyris didn’t know was just how immense of an advantage Wisdom and Truth were. Not only had Richard mapped out the structure of the plane’s laws, something that would ease his progress in the future, he had also understood an entire thirteen of them!
Agamemnon had comprehended three laws as well. The reticent youth looked to be more brawn than brain, but his perception was comparable to that of Nyris.
“And what about you, chosen?” Nyris didn’t let Flowsand get away either.
“Eleven,” Flowsand said lazily, but it didn’t lessen the blow at all.
Once the discussion ended, Richard distributed his leaves of youth. Everyone who received a leaf was happy, even Waterflower was unable to hide her expression of joy. However, Flowsand’s smile quickly turned mysterious as she stowed the leaf away. However, Richard didn’t bother with that as he rushed to the Tree of Life to meditate for a bit.
A small episode occurred after that event. Io snuck into Flowsand’s room a little after dusk, full of respect and solemness as he asked Flowsand if she could give the leaf to him. However, Flowsand rejected him without any hesitation.
“Why do you need it?” he asked with a forced smile, “As a chosen, you can stay youthful as long as you live. I’m not like that, and I’m not that psychopath Nyra either. I will age. Faelor also moves at ten times the pace of Norland, I will grow old very quickly if I stay there too long.”
Flowsand was baffled by his request, “Aren’t you an untold number of years old? A few decades should be a drop in the bucket for you.”
“Yes, but my body will still age. My glorious image will be damaged by such a thing. Besides,” the battle priest suddenly turned meek, “You don’t have any use for it anyway.” Flowsand’s creation of Nyra had made him realise just how much she controlled him.
“Who told you I don’t have a use for it?” Flowsand smiled mysteriously, waving the leaf of youth before throwing it into her own mouth. Io cleared his throat and stretched his hand subconsciously, but the contract of a heavenly guardian immediately sent him into a daze.
“Tastes pretty good,” Flowsand commented, almost making him cough up blood. His desire for beauty was far greater than his desire for power.
Looking at Io’s depressed face, Flowsand grew a little serious as well, “I obviously won’t give you something Richard gave me as a gift. But he’ll have more in the future anyway, this isn’t a one-time thing. Just ask him for one.”
A complicated mix of emotions flashed past Io’s face, but he eventually gritted his teeth, “I understand.”
The next morning. Richard had just finished his nightly meditation and was looking at Io with confusion, “You want… a leaf of youth?”
“Yes!” Io replied, grinding his teeth.
“Well well well…” Richard muttered under his breath, almost causing the battle priest’s heart to stop. Just as the fellow was starting to lose all hope, he spoke loudly once more, “This isn’t too much of a request, considering your contributions in Faelor. That being said, it never occurred to me that you’d have a use for this so I gave them all out. Most of them even ate it on the spot, but if I had to guess Flowsand would be the only one who doesn’t need it. Why don’t you go to her?”
“What?!” Io fumed, “If you knew she had no use for it, why did you give it to her in the first place?!”
“Well… I gave them to the others first and they said those things tasted nice…”
“How about this. Continue to work just as hard as you have in Faelor for another year, and I’ll give you one from the next batch.” At this point, Richard was looking at Io like he was a fox to be hunted.
“Next year… Alright, I can do that. But who’ll be in charge?”
“There’s someone I want to get, but if they don’t agree it’ll be Gangdor.”
“Gangdor won’t be a problem, but if it’s someone else they have to listen to me when it comes to foreign affairs and war!” Io replied.
Richard flashed a mischievous smile, “If she’s willing to come, you’re certainly no match for her.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Gem
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA