Book 5, Chapter 27

Crashing Through

The drow warriors seemed to be grabbed by an invisible hand and suspended in mid-air, pain visible on their faces as they started to just melt away. In a scant few moments, they were no more than indistinguishable puddles on the floor!

Voidbones continued walking towards the gate. A buzzing noise akin to a swarm of bees rang out from the gates as they tried to prevent his entry, but they soon gave in to the invisible force and the enchantments on them shattered one after the other. A low screech sounded as they fell from their hinges, falling down to the floor.

A sinister smile appeared on Voidbones’ face as he walked forward, his long eyelashes quivering with glee, but the step he was about to take never landed on the floor.

“Who’s there?” he asked coldly. Although he wasn’t the type to ask such questions, he was still close to Sharon and hadn’t ascertained her condition yet.

“Who are you?” a similarly cold voice rang out behind him, causing him to knit his brows.

Voidbones knew that whoever was behind him was not a homunculus like the rest of Sharon’s guardians. Killing these puppets was one thing, but killing a person in the legendary mage’s residence would not end well.

This new entrant wasn’t particularly strong, but there was a pure killing intent wafting off his body that reeked of blood. The aura seemed to be seething with rage, as though it would bury him whole!

How did a weakling have such a strong aura? Voidbones felt confused, just how many had he killed? Even some of the terrifying demons he had fought who left many corpses in their wake did not emanate such a pungent aura of death!

However, killing intent was not power. Voidbones calmly turned around, scanning the peculiar youth who was standing quite close by. This boy was obviously young, his face and frame still carrying a sense of tender immaturity, but his eyes were resolute. The short, dense beard seemed mismatched from his handsome, even graceful face, but on the whole it gave him the look of someone who had more than enough experience in life. It was a perfect blend of rugged and delicate.

This was Richard.

Richard looked at Voidbones expressionlessly as he placed a long rectangular box onto the floor. One tap on top and three longswords popped out from within, landing on the floor in quick succession. He threw the Twin of Destiny to the ground, looking over his three blades and eventually choosing the nameless sword.

Voidbones’ eyes narrowed as he stared at the elven sword in Richard’s hands. It didn’t look special, even seeming to be the weakest of the three, but for some unknown reason it left him in a state of fear. The fact that this new opponent had chosen this over three legendary weapons made it clear that he could not underestimate it.

“Richard Archeron,” Voidbones said slowly.

Richard didn’t reply, merely tightening his grip on his sword. He had the vague feeling that responding to the call of his name would cause something terrible to happen.

Voidbones flashed an absolutely bone-chilling smile, “You must be him. I don’t understand why Master would like a talentless brat like you.”

“You’re a student of Master’s?” Richard finally responded emotionlessly.

“Yes, but I’m different from you. I’m her best… one of her best students.”

Richard started to slow his breathing as he constantly adjusted his grip on the sword, “What are you doing here?”

“I just wanted to pay her a visit, do you have a problem?”

“You are not allowed entry,” Richard replied resolutely.

“And if I insist?”

“Feel free to try.”

“Wow, kid. Pretty arrogant for a piece of shit. Alright, let me ‘try’ then.” Voidbones immediately turned back around, heading towards the gate.

Even though the enemy’s back was turned, Richard felt as though innumerable eyes were looking at him from all directions. Even the slightest of movements would be noticed and met with a lethal response.

The very real prospect of death started to resound in his thoughts once more, and one of the most painful choices of his life so far was presented to him.

Attacking would mean almost certain death, and it wouldn’t even be able to contain this enemy. Doing nothing would allow him to live on, giving him a chance for vengeance in the future. Advance and die, retreat and live.

Voidbones took his first step forward, a loud thud ringing out as his foot made contact with the floor. Blood immediately rushed to Richard’s head; was he going to let him walk towards Sharon just like that?

His eyes turned a blood-like crimson, death suddenly seeming like a paltry problem in the grand scheme of things. He would rather fall in his advance than admit defeat!

The sword immediately floated up, making its way towards Voidbones. However, this time there was no moonglow appearing atop it. Voidbones maintained his smile as the blade approached him, not stopping at all. The azure flames were still withdrawn into himself, not moving an inch either. This sword attack wasn’t particularly fast nor powerful, with the blade even shaking.

However, when a mild gust of wind passed by his ear, Voidbones’ calm smile suddenly transformed into a look of surprise. His body shook violently as he dodged for the first time since he had entered the Deepblue.

The elven sword disappeared from a region less than a hand’s width away just like the spells of the grand mages, but only a moment later it appeared once more. This time, the tip of the sword was bathed in a rich green glow.

He had evaded at the right time, causing Richard’s attack to hit air. However, there was no hint of arrogance in Voidbones’ expression anymore as he stared daggers at Richard. He side-stepped once more, dodging another sudden blow, and then time seemed to stand still. Both he and Richard turned into what seemed like lifeless statues, staring at each other for a long time.

Eventually, the corner of Richard’s mouth started to twitch as a helpless smile crawled up his face. His skin flushed red as he exhaled a pink mist; the sword was still in his hands, but regardless of how much he tried he could not move them. The fingers slowly loosened their grip, causing the blade to slip and clang on the floor.

Richard started to lean forward, eventually falling down. However, his gaze did not blur; a look of indescribable pain flashed across his face as azure flames entered every part of his body, furiously burning within him. However, he felt oddly relaxed; he had fallen down blocking the path.

It was only moments before sinking into darkness that Richard suddenly remembered the destiny crystal in his pocket…

Voidbones finally moved as Richard closed his eyes, shuffling his posture to reveal a long line across the left side of his face. The wound immediately split open, oozing fluorescent green blood. The injury was quite deep, but one couldn’t see any bones within.

He stretched out a hand to touch the wound before placing the fingers in his mouth, a complicated expression rising up on his face as he looked at Richard on the floor, “You actually managed to hurt me… You should’ve run the moment I came here, you fool… Still, I’ll decide whether or not to kill you after I see Master. I can’t make rash decisions without knowing for sure.”

Voidbones no longer cared about Richard, walking over his body as he walked into the residence. A strange smell started to waft out within, the stench of melted homunculi.

It was at this point that a clamour sounded at the bottom of the stairs; the grand mages had finally made their way to this floor. Voidbones had left several barriers up along the way, but none had been as powerful as the one in the meeting room so they had blown through.

When they saw the two puppets that had been melted down to the floor and Richard lying motionless on the floor, all of them gasped in astonishment. The broken gates caused them to panic even further; Voidbones had gotten in!

The grand mages stood helplessly at the deformed gates, not knowing whether to rush in or run away. Sharon had issued strict orders that they were not to enter her residence, regardless of circumstance. However, they couldn’t just stand by idly and watch either.

In the middle of their own confusion, nobody had the time to even check whether Richard was alive. In their minds, nobody currently in the Deepblue could survive a fight with Voidbones.

……

Not all the grand mages had rushed to Sharon’s residence. Blackgold had smacked his own head halfway there, rushing back to his office.

A small section of his room had been cordoned off by an enchanted door, hiding a large crystal ball. The grey dwarf knew how to unlock this enchantment, but the procedure was far too long and complicated for him to do so. He just took his gun and fired it from only a metre away, the thunderous sound shaking the surroundings as countless steel splinters rained down on the area. The enchantment lit up brightly for a moment before shattering, causing magical alarms to ring out everywhere.

Blackgold didn’t bother, rushing through and punching the crystal ball so hard that it shattered to pieces. The fragments caused his entire hand to bleed, but he didn’t even notice as he continued cursing to himself, “Damn it! Why didn’t I think of him earlier?”

In the depths of a mysterious world devoid of light, a pair of purple eyes slowly opened up. A cracked voice broke the deathly stillness of the land, “Master… Summoned… Me?”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA