Book 5, Chapter 15

Archeron Valour

“I said KILL ME!” Sua growled, swaying back and forth.

“Hmm? What for?” Richard asked.

“We’re mortal enemies! In the past—”

“You did a lot of things to me in the past, killing you a couple times over wouldn’t be punishment enough for that. However, today you’ve shown me that there are some Archeron lords who haven’t devolved into cowards yet. Not everyone has the courage to charge into my rune knight platoon with only a hundred men. Instead of killing you, I’d much rather get my followers some pocket money instead.”

Sua froze for a moment and then gritted out, “You’ll definitely regret letting me go!”

“Then it would be a new experience.” Richard signalled for the knights to withdraw.

Sua paused once more, taking some time to realise that Richard was letting him and his warriors go, “What…”

“There’s no need to be surprised, I don’t have the time to take care of slaves. Go back and figure out how much you’re worth, send the ransom to Blackrose. Alright, I’ll be on my way; there are two more ants I need to crush.”

The army thus scattered out, leisurely marching down the road. 

“My Lord, I…” An aide walked over to Sua, head hung down in shame. He hadn't charged in with the rest. 

Sua barely even glanced at the man, “If he can let me go, I can forgive you for not being brave enough. However, this will be the first and last time.”

……

Sat upon his iron throne Marquess Sauron's breaths were growing rougher as a servant reported an unthinkable development— Baron Sua had taken his personal army to go fight Richard.

Just how many soldiers could a measly baron have? Sauron knew the answer to that, and he knew exactly what would befall his son once the battle started. In the end, he just said nothing and waved the servant away. The hall was cold and gloomy, the chill of the iron beneath him seeming to penetrate his very bones. Sauron suddenly wondered about this seat of his; was it so cold that it had quenched the volcanic fires of his heart?

Before long-distance transmissions were a thing, griffins and wyverns had been the most popular method of travel. However, even now griffins were preferred for their convenience and cost; many would rather run to their destinations on foot than have portals set up. Only very important items were transmitted via magic.

Of course, Richard had no such constraints. Two new barracks and training grounds were being constructed in the vicinity of Blackrose Castle, and the castle building itself was being extended to add a teleportation complex. No expenses were saved when it came to security here, and Lina was currently working on portals to Faust, Faelor, and the Forest Plane. Once those were done, Senma’s plane would come next. Every teleportation gate was built in an isolated building of its own.

Richard’s dream was to fill the mountainside with these gates.

The castle itself needed to be renovated as well. The original design had focused purely on defence, so that wouldn’t be a problem, but Richard wanted more utility buildings and more comfort. The griffin and wyvern nests needed to be fleshed out, and a morsehill hawk nest needed to be added in. Lastly, a new city would be built at the harbour that Azan overlooked, adding the potential for trade. Of course, Richard was also using this to warn the old vassals who ruled the lands nearby.

Looking through the reconstruction plan once, Richard nodded in approval and signed the contract. The mage in charge immediately turned excited; a huge project worth nearly a million gold was the dream of every earthcrafter.

Richard didn’t have much of a network outside of Faust; there weren’t any good architects in Azan, and he couldn’t trust strangers with bolstering the defences of his castle. Having been impressed by Alice’s own castle, Richard had borrowed these earthcrafters from her lands. Masons were en route already and would be here in a few days.

Having signed and approved the plan, he and his followers returned to Faust. The city was now bustling with life, many powerhouses having gathered from all over the continent and even other planes with more on the way.

His reclamation of Blackrose and the execution of the traitors wasn’t merely about removing a few hundred branch family members; nobody of import cared about the land he had acquired or the amount he spent on his troops. However, it had been a perfect display of the power of his rune knights, and that was something that caused an uproar throughout the continent. It was already coming to light that his success rate had to be extremely high, a common trait of all budding saint runemasters.

Right now, many believed that he was in the middle stages of his development. His creativity, skill, and theorycrafting were no longer the problems holding him back; it was mana. This also meant that the runes he could craft were already approaching the pinnacle of his craft. Many people thus wanted to snag what they could from him right now; after all, once he did grow more powerful the value of his time would increase several fold.

By the time Richard returned to his island, there was a large basket filled with greetings on his desk. Some were from important families, others from blood relatives of famous powerhouses. It was said that a legendary being had personally come to Faust. Far more people had decided to participate than he had expected, and there were still three more days for the most important of the lot to arrive.

Seeing the sheer number of requests for invitations from high society, Richard immediately sent people over to ask Agamemnon to arrange for a professional host. He also had to add a rune convention to the start— one from a new runemaster called Rosie Archeron.

While Agamemnon was close enough to Richard to have known about Rosie, he was still shocked upon hearing her name. The reticent fellow flashed a rare smile, “The two old fogeys are going to go crazy over this.”

It was no secret anymore that Rosie was a budding runemaster, but many believed she could only craft a small number of elementary runes. This was where most mages who devoted their time to runecrafting stopped. Even the most optimistic of people wouldn’t have guessed she was already a true runemaster, implying she had the potential to become a great runemaster at minimum. If the Mensa Family had known of this, they definitely wouldn’t have sold her off to the Schumpeters.

“It really is Rosie?” Agamemnon still found it difficult to believe.

“Of course it is,” Richard answered matter-of-factly.

Others might think that Rosie was just lucky— the Mensas had passed on making her a runemaster because of her limited talent in runecrafting, but she had the opportunity to learn from a budding saint runemaster so she was brought beyond her limits. However, Richard did not think the same way. He could see with his own eyes just how much effort she put into her studies, living life between the laboratory and the meditation room. Very few people in existence could tolerate such an existence for more than a few days, but she had been doing it for years now. Even he hadn’t been as focused and persistent during his five years in the Deepblue.

Her foundation in magic theory was extremely solid as well. There was some rigidity to her mode of thought, but she was malleable enough still to be guided. He didn’t have to teach her everything; so long as he pointed her in the right path, she would come to the proper conclusions herself. Her becoming a true runemaster was only to be expected.

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OMA's Thoughts

Theo: I'm formally still on break until tomorrow night, but here's a chapter in the meanwhile.

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA