Book 5, Chapter 26

Visit

All the grand mages went silent at Voidbones’ question. For a long time now they had held majestic positions in the Deepblue, keeping it operational, but they knew just as well as anyone else that they were researchers and not fighters. Even if some of them had followed by Sharon’s side from before the Deepblue was even built, combat wasn’t their forte. With the legendary mage’s meteoric rise to power, it was exceptionally rare for them to ever have to fight themselves. Her draconic summons normally destroyed all of her enemies, be they in the light or dark.

This didn’t mean they couldn’t fight at all. As grand mages, they could easily suppress hordes of lower-levelled opponents. It was just that they were no match for powerhouses who forged a path on the razor’s edge of life and death.

And all of Sharon’s students were such powerhouses. Once they had learnt enough, every one of them went on to journey the myriad planes without exception. They toured and explored the depths of the universe, surviving countless bloodbaths to hone themselves in combat. Even at the same level, Voidbones could easily dispatch of two ordinary grand mages based purely on tactics and experience. This was even excluding the powerful innate bloodline abilities he possessed.

In the eyes of the grand mages, the azure flames blazing on Voidbones’ body were a thick layer of gauze that prevented all scrying. It was impossible to tell if he had even advanced to the legendary realm.

“And what, you think you’ll resist the duergar?” Blackgold called out sharply, “We’d rather ask that fat pig for help than give you control of the Deepblue!” Legendary beings existed this far north as well, and there were more than one amongst the enemy races.

Voidbones laughed loudly, the sound unbearably harsh like two stones rubbing against each other, “If the Deepblue cooperates, anyone who dares to appear will die!”

This boast caused the grand mages to tense up further. Voidbones was extremely talented, always ranking top three amongst all of Sharon’s apprentices. He was also an absolute madman, an unrepentant bloodthirsty maniac who loved to kill. Before, he had been allowed to do as he wished, killing the warriors of the north, but that was only because of Sharon’s protection. Now, however, the only familiar thing about him was the gloomy aura that seemed to freeze the world; his power was unfathomable.

Everyone who ever met Voidbones detested him, and with Sharon in hibernation, he could now run rampant as he wished. The mere thought of it sent a shiver down their spines.

“Right,” Voidbones suddenly spoke up, “Since Master is asleep now, I don’t think the Deepblue can sustain itself. You lot don’t have to worry about that; since I’m taking charge in her place, I will naturally take care of it. Here, this should be enough for the next three years.”

*Clang!* A sparkling clear crystal was tossed onto the table, drawing beautiful threads of dazzling silk behind it in all its radiant glory.

It was a beyslace spider crystal! No matter where and when, even across different planes, the beyslace spider crystal was truly a king of currencies. And one that could draw such gorgeous silk in the air was easily worth around ten million.

Blackgold’s eyes almost crossed as an odd expression crawled up his face. He started murmuring to himself.

Voidbones immediately welled up with pride. Although the grey dwarf looked disgusting to others, in Sharon’s absence he was the leader of the grand mages. If he was moved, it would be easy to obtain the Deepblue.

“Think over it slowly, I’ll go visit Master for now,” Voidbones said as he stood up.

“Stop right there!” “Don’t you dare disturb Her Excellency!” “What do you plan to do?”

The grand mages immediately went into a clamour of fright and anger, shouting fiercely at him one after the other. Sharon was currently deep asleep, and outside of Richard who had seen her before nobody knew whether she could still defend herself if her homunculi were breached. Richard’s relationship with Sharon clearly surpassed that of master and student— both Fayr and Blackgold supported him, and she herself had set up the defences to ignore him— but that absolutely could not be true for Voidbones. It was obvious that he would fight his way into her room.

“Wait, this isn’t close to enough!” Blackgold’s voice suddenly pierced through the din. They were particularly harsh as well, causing Voidbones to stop in his tracks.

“What?”

“Even in the worst case, we need five million a year just to survive,” Blackgold shrugged innocently, leaving Voidbones feeling dizzy. That spider crystal was almost all of the money he had earned over many, many years; he was born to fight, not earn.

However, Blackgold wasn’t done, “You don’t have to worry, though. You can keep this, Richard is taking care of the money.”

“Richard?!” Voidbones narrowed his eyes, “You mean that kid Master took in at the end? The one who got the largest amount of her Delight?”

Blackgold’s expression froze as he realised he had made a mistake. Voidbones’ voice was cold, the same kind he used before unleashing hell all those years ago.

However, the grey dwarf didn’t get much time to consider just how much danger he had put Richard in. Voidbones flashed between joy and gloom for a few moments before suddenly pressing his hands down on the table, laughing loudly as azure flames raged in the room to form a crystal barrier that enveloped all the grand mages, “You can take your time here, professors…”

Seeing Voidbones turn and leave, the grand mages knew he was heading for Sharon. However, nobody knew just what this madman’s true motives were, and they didn’t know whether the sleeping Sharon would be able to fend him off if they weren’t pure.

*Crack! Bzzt! Fsssh!* All sorts of spells were launched at the crystal barrier, but the magic was just absorbed like it was nothing more than a mirage. The barrier remained in place, the mysterious light it was emitting growing even brighter.

*ZOOOOOM!* The grand mages grew even more anxious, throwing away all fear of consequences as they united their mana in one extremely powerful blow. However, even this attack just vanished into thin air before it hit the barrier.

“The crystal barrier?” Fayr suddenly cried out in shock, causing all the other grand mages to pale. The crystal barrier was the cornerstone that maintained the existence of a place; attacks launched from within the plane had absolutely no effect on it because it was an embodiment of the laws that governed those attacks.

If this barrier was truly similar to Norland’s, it meant Voidbones had already started to touch upon the laws of the plane. Even the slightest of contact would make him an absolutely terrifying character.

*BOOM!* Just as everyone started to feel despondent, a frightening explosion left their ears ringing in pain. The part of the barrier in front of Blackgold was left filled with cracks that constantly spread out. The grey dwarf was overflowing with a murderous aura as he stowed his shotgun away, running out of the meeting room.

“He’s only simulating the barrier! He hasn’t actually touched upon the laws yet!” he shouted. The roar almost seemed magical, the barrier breaking apart completely right as he ran out.

“Her Excellency!” One of the grand mages suddenly exclaimed, causing all of them to rush out behind him. They hadn’t been delayed for any significant length of time, but it was still enough for someone of Voidbones’ ability to accomplish many things. A strong sense of unease bubbled up at the bottom of their hearts.

……

The waves rolled and winds howled outside the Deepblue, blocks of ice creeping along the freezing waters as they looked for their next victim.

Voidbones was taking heavy strides towards Sharon’s residence, every step leaving behind a deep footprint on the nearly indestructible floor. The walls shook as parts of the ceiling fell down, almost as though the entire Deepblue would collapse the very next moment. With his azure flames retracted into himself, he looked no different from a green-skinned human that was slightly taller than average. However, his bald head occasionally shone brilliantly like a piece of clear jade. Every movement felt like one from a beast that had just emerged from the wilderness.

The two drow warriors guarding the gates didn’t say a word at the sight, not even moving to question him as they immediately charged forward with longswords in hand. The blades were aimed straight for his abdomen and throat, intended to take his life. Outside of the grand mages and Richard, any living being who approached within fifty metres of the gate would be killed without mercy.

However, Voidbones just scoffed in annoyance, not even avoiding their attacks. Just as it seemed like they were about to stab into him, however, his face distorted in what seemed to be great pain as azure flames suddenly shot out of his body. He yelled in what seemed to be a pained rage, causing the longswords to completely vanish into thin air!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Karen

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA