Book 5, Chapter 20

The Undercurrents Burst Forth

Once Neil left, another guest arrived to meet Richard in secret. This was a tall, sturdy saint warrior who radiated an aura of blood and steel forged by battle. The man stiffly performed a military salute before handing over a thick stack of documents and taking his seat.

Richard browsed through the information in his hands as he asked, “And you are?”

“Dupont, Lord Richard.”

Richard was somewhat surprised and looked up, “The brother of the family head? I hear you’re an excellent general.”

“Just someone who’s fearless on the battlefield,” Dupont replied.

Richard nodded, “It looks like your family is very sincere.”

“Of course, this is something that benefits us greatly.”

“Haha, yes. Looks like I didn’t choose the wrong partners.”

“You’ll know that choosing us wasn’t a mistake when the Anan flag is mounted on the Schumpeter island!” Dupont declared solemnly.

“Quite confident of you, but my conditions are harsh. Do you not need to think things through more carefully?”

“No need! My brother and I have discussed this; we’ll just treat it as though there were no profits from our first few years on the island.”

Richard stowed the documents away, “Great! It’s decided then, you can handle the Schumpeters and other normal obstructions, I’ll take care of the interference from the Mensas.”

“About that…” Dupont hesitated for a moment, “Lord Richard, what if the Mensas send all their troops?”

“Then there will be a war between the Archerons and Mensas,” Richard said casually.

“Alright, then. If Lord Richard can fight off the Mensa troops, we Anans are confident in defeating the rest. We might even have the residual forces to support you!”

“Then things couldn’t be better,” Richard said with a smile.

“Our preparations are already complete. I’ll return immediately and dispatch our troops!”

Dupont turned to leave, but Richard tapped his shoulder, “Wait. To prevent any accidents, I can lend a hundred elite knights to you. Just in case.”

“The shadowspear knights?” Dupont asked in shock and delight. News of Richard’s shadowspear knights having defeated Earl Goliath’s rune knights had already spread throughout the land. A hundred of these powerful warriors were definitely a valuable resource for a capable general like Dupont.

“Yes. So long as the Anan Family can pay the price, I will support you completely.”

Richard finalised some more details with Dupont before sending off this famous general who had just returned from another plane. He barely had any rest afterwards before a servant walked in and notified him that a mysterious visitor had shown up at the castle doors.

“Mysterious visitor?” he frowned in annoyance, “I don’t have any other appointments for today.”

The servant’s face immediately paled a little, “My Lord, she bears the crest of the royal family. It is of the highest rank.”

“She? Right… Send her over.”

A few minutes later, Reyna walked through the door in tight leather armour.

Richard had her sit down, “You’re using your identity here, that puts me in a difficult position.”

“We aren’t kids, Richard,” Reyna said indifferently, “Why resort to such tricks? I came to find you today because I admit complete defeat. Tell me, what do you want me to do.”

“Hmm…” Richard thought over it for a while, “Nothing.”

Reyna’s composure immediately vanished and she jumped up in agitation, “I’m a saint!”

Richard smiled, “You’re also beautiful.”

“You!” The princess turned red with anger, about to pounce on him to attack. However, she quickly realised what he meant and deflated completely. She had expected this situation to occur but had also been hoping against it. “Okay, you want my body,” she said coldly, “When, and how long?”

Richard sighed and shook his head, “Your Highness, if you don’t have any constructive suggestions, please return. I’m a busy man.”

For a moment, Reyna was lost for words, “You… You don’t want my body?”

“Not at all!”

At that point, Reyna had every intention to fight it out with Richard. However, she could only stand up and turn to leave. Before she pushed the door open, however, she looked back at him and asked, “What in the world do I need to do to make you happy?”

“I really have no ideas, Your Highness,” Richard replied, “But if you’re truly sincere about it, I believe you’ll find a way eventually.”

Reyna heaved a long sigh, “This visit should show how sincere I am. Could you please let Raymond live a little more easily?”

“He is getting by rather well at the moment,” Richard eased her worries.

Reyna thus asked him about the next time he would return to Norland before leaving without another word. She was perhaps more confused now than when she had arrived, but more determined as well. Richard knew she would eventually find a way; he didn’t understand why exactly, but he was a little sentimental today.

He looked at the time, finding that there were still two hours before he needed to return to Faelor. There were some documents to look through, but that would only take him a few minutes. However, he couldn’t leave earlier since some materials he’d ordered hadn’t arrived yet. Normally he would go over his income, but most of the 30 million he had earned recently had been spent on materials, construction, and equipment.

He thus took a book about the abyss off the shelf and started reading through it. Time flew by as he flipped through the pages, and two hours later his second consciousness alerted him that it was time to return. He picked up the materials along the way, quietly heading to the Church of the Eternal Dragon.

He hadn’t realised just how much he liked peace and quiet now. In front of others he was a bold, unconstrained Archeron, but when not around people he would much rather think about things quietly on his own. He always felt like he didn’t have enough time, and no matter how tired he got he just had to trudge along as he bore the accumulating burden of his responsibilities.

……

The Sacred Alliance settled down once Richard’s auction came to an end. However, it wasn’t long before high society found another interesting topic to speak about; the Anan Family had grown active once more. They were mobilising their troops without regard for Duke Mensa’s threats, and within a week they officially declared that they were advancing into Faust!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA