It took four hours for Richard’s second consciousness to wake him up from his deep sleep. He tried to rub away the sleepiness as he rose, but his head was heavy and throbbing with pain. However, he had already grown used to this feeling and just tried to shake it off, conjuring a bowl of ice-water and pouring it over himself to bring him back to alertness.
“Good morning, Master,” the broodmother’s voice rang out in his mind.
“Ugh… Morning. Have the cloned brain send me home, will you?.”
“The astral chrysalis will be more comfortable, Master.”
A few moments later, the astral chrysalis carried him back to the Crimson Dukedom.
He had planned to spend some time on runecrafting when he returned to Bluewater, but something constantly bothered him despite the release of last night. He couldn’t quite put a finger on it, but he was still jittery despite reaffirming the presence of the destiny crystal in his pocket.
He pondered over it for a bit and alerted his followers subconsciously before walking towards the Lighthouse of Time, stepping into the portal back to Norland to check on things himself. Although the family would send messengers to alert him immediately in case of any major events, he couldn’t shake off the ominous feeling he had.
Dark clouds loomed over Floe Bay, looking like clumps of lead so low that they almost grazed the sea’s surface. Raging winds roared above the boundless ocean, waves rushing forth and crashing into the cliffside one after the other.
The glaciers in the water constantly scraped against each other, intermittently causing an annoying screech that could be heard for kilometres. This was the most dangerous time of the year in the Bay, and even the sturdiest of enchanted boats wouldn’t dare to enter this part of the ocean at this time. Only once the heat of spring started thawing off the ice would the shipping routes open up once more.
Lightning suddenly flashed amongst the leaden clouds. That in itself was already a rare sight, but this lightning was constantly changing colours as it gathered towards one point. A portal was being formed here from a space outside of Norland.
A short while later, the grey clouds were suddenly lit up by countless emerald rays. A curled figure slowly stretched out as it fell into the waters of Floe Bay. It seemed to pause in mid-air moments before it reached the surface of the ocean, raising its head to reveal a handsome masculine face. However, there seemed to be no life in this green-skinned humanoid’s expression, lightning flashing across his long, narrow eyes. The temperature of the surrounding sea suddenly dropped as he looked at it, turning the water into a platform of solid ice for him to step on.
This person with azure flames for hair looked to be about thirty years old, but his features were unlike those of any race known to Norland. He relaxed and stretched his body above the sea’s surface, looking around and mumbling, “Hmm… the error was still more than ten kilometres, I haven’t improved at all…”
The humanoid then turned around and fixed his gaze on the lofty and majestic Deepblue which seemed to merge into the mountains behind, gradually squinting his eyes before muttering under his breath as a sinister smile crept up on his face, “It’s been so long since I’ve been here. How are you, Master? Why did you suddenly fight against a bunch of gods and let yourself fall asleep? Anyway, I’ve returned. I’ll certainly take care of your home.”
He looked towards the top of the Deepblue and raised both arms, drawing out a number of complicated runes in the air as lightning coalesced into another portal in front of him. He took a step forward and vanished into the screen of raging light.
The upper half of the Deepblue’s tower was drowned out in dense grey clouds. The platform for flying beasts at the central terrace was almost completely obscured, with only two or three griffins stationed there at all.
A burst of emerald lightning suddenly ripped the clouds apart as it struck the platform, booming loudly and shocking all of the drowsy guards awake. They hastily drew their weapons, but to their utter shock the lightning zipped in all directions before gathering into a portal that revealed a green-skinned man with azure flames for hair.
This time, his entire body seemed to be covered in those same azure flames. However, this fire exuded cold instead of warmth, causing the temperature of the surroundings to drop rapidly.
“W-Who are you?” the guards fearfully obstructed the man’s path. Although they were guards of the Deepblue with powerful backgrounds of their own, it seemed like any warrior would cower in front of this man’s soul-piercing gaze.
The man seemed to ignore them at first and walk forward, but the guard captain suddenly stepped forward and held his sword out to block him. His sword was trembling, but the very fact that he stepped forward despite knowing what it would likely end in spoke volumes of his courage.
The green-skinned man nodded, speaking in a strange yet indifferent voice, “Not bad, it seems like the Deepblue didn’t hire a bunch of rubbish guards while I was gone. But you don’t even know who I am, do you? Nevermind, have you ever heard of the name Voidbones?”
A few of the guards were quite recent to the job, so they couldn’t recall the name. However, the captain immediately yelped, “V-Voidbones? You’re Voidbones?”
His sword immediately fell to the ground.
Voidbones flashed a meaningful smile, “Looks like you’re an old man. No need to be afraid, I don’t like killing as much as I used to. Tell those pieces of trash Fayr and Blackgold that I’m back. From now until Master wakes up, the Deepblue will be under my command. Now scram!”
Finishing his sentence, Voidbones completely ignored the guards and headed straight inside.
A short while later, Voidbones was occupying Sharon’s normal place in her meeting room as he looked down at the more than ten grand mages who had just gathered. The atmosphere in the room was extremely cold, tense expressions present on all of the grand mages as they held onto some kind of weaponry or other tools subconsciously.
There were only two exceptions to this. One was Theodore, who was calmer than ever with both his hands atop the table. However, anyone assuming this was weakness would regret it. As a holy spellcaster, he could call upon the power of divinity far more quickly than any equivalent mage, and nobody could know just which god he would draw his powers from.
The other was Blackgold. The grey dwarf placed a polished gun on the table before glaring aggressively at Voidbones. Voidbones sneered at first, laughing at the idea of a mere gun being used to threaten him, but then his eyes slowly narrowed. This gun was different from the ones he had seen before; it was the length of a one-handed shotgun, but the grip had been designed for two hands. The muzzle was the size of a fist, but the barrel was much thicker and engraved with a complicated magic array. As a former student of the Deepblue himself, he quickly realised that this gun was so exquisite that it could harm even himself if he didn’t resist.
Still, the surprise quickly vanished from his face. Even if the gun possessed great might, it was only a rather exquisite toy in the face of a saint or grand mage. Combat strength had never been Blackgold’s forte, so even hitting him with a shot would be near impossible if he wanted to dodge.
Voidbones scanned the faces of the grand mages present, and every one that was looked at shuddered in fear; even Fayr was no different, the only exception being Theodore. He then leaned forward slightly, “Can anyone tell my why Master fell deep asleep? Why did she step into an unknown plane and fight the gods there? The goddamn place only got registered to the Church a few months ago!”
The group of grand mages stayed silent, not daring to answer Voidbones’ question. Even if someone wished to reply, they would not know where to start; outside of a select few, nobody understood the gravity of the relationship between Richard and Sharon.
Voidbones waited patiently for a long time before laughing deeply, “As expected. Do you not want to speak or do you lot really know nothing? Nevermind, it’s not that important. I’m going to go see Master in a bit; until she wakes up, I’m taking control.”
“Never!” Blackgold was the first to jump up.
Voidbones laughed grimly, “Never? What, you old bastards who only know numbers and labs are going to resist the counterattack from the grey dwarves? Those fellows are already growing restless; once they learn that Master is asleep, what will you do? Ask Philip for help?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Karen
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA