Book 5, Chapter 33

A Long Journey

When the wyvern finally made it to the Archeron island, Richard couldn’t take it anymore and fainted. The entire island was whipped up into a frenzy.

A day had passed by the time he woke up. At his bedside were several familiar and unfamiliar names; the ones he recognised were the old steward, Coco, and Fuschia. He smiled in assurance as he sat up, making sure everything was alright before giving a hug to everyone who deserved it.

Once the situation on the island stabilised, he quickly sat down to write two letters. One was meant for Flowsand, sent immediately through an envoy to Faelor. The other was meant for Mountainsea, which he handed to the steward and instructed to have sent over in a year.

He had maintained a perfect smile throughout. Everyone, including Fuschia, had felt like he was calm, patient, friendly, and charismatic, treating everyone with respect and good faith. He was simply a perfect leader. Only he himself felt it strange that he managed to maintain that smile.

Once all the preparations and arrangements were made, Richard packed some simple luggage and got ready to head out. He was not Gaton; he could not joke around and be generous, but he had his own style and set of beliefs.

He was Richard, not Gaton… He took his simple luggage and headed for the Orleans island, heading for the Land of Dusk.

……

Richard’s decision may have been sudden, catching everyone unprepared, but he was meticulous as always. The entire Archeron island was bustling with life as it tried to fulfil his orders, the old steward carrying a long list of errands that he ticked off one by one throughout the day.

Faust found out quickly, and he became the talk of the town once more. Some were waiting for him to perform another miracle in the battlefields of despair, while others cursed him to die and never return. However, he was already gone.

Orders for equipment and materiel reached Nyris, Neil, and the Orleans Family the very next morning. Droves of supplies were shipped off to Blackrose Castle, arming the Archeron soldiers. Even though he was leaving, Richard planned to keep his promise of leading them into conquest. Senma and Asiris would soon find new materials and soldiers aiding their war efforts, at least stabilising their positions.

When the cavalrymen that had been borrowed from Alice were returned, they were now armed to the teeth. They felt very strange; this was the greatest immediate boost to their power that they had ever felt in their lives. In the past, they had often mocked those who armed themselves greatly; the harder an enemy’s armour, the more they feared death. However, they were now mobile fortresses that were tougher than any enemies they met, armed with precious swords that were sharper, more durable.

This was Richard’s style. If he had presented them with gold directly, these proud Archerons who had won countless battles under Alice would just refuse it. Richard’s shadowspear knights and rune knights had been the driving force of most of their battles. Besides, the Mensas were enemies that had killed the previous family head. Gaton was someone who had unlocked his truename, the greatest warrior of the family who had already earned his place at the very summit of the family tombs. To kill the enemies that had destroyed such a bright star was a reward in and of itself.

However, Richard had found their weak spot. They saw gold as dirt, but they valued their equipment more highly than their families. He had thus given them a middling pay for the days they had spent at war, instead spending thousands of gold on weapons and armour that they could not reject.

With her elite soldiers outfitted by Richard, Alice’s strength was greatly enhanced. She was an Archeron who had awakened her truename; even though she wasn’t a saint, it would take great power to defeat her. He could rest assured that she would be alright.

……

With Lina continuing to hold the fort at Blackrose, some of Richard’s followers had been pulled out of Faelor to head to the Forest Plane.

In Faelor, the name of the Crimson Dukedom had travelled far and wide. The more noticeable of Richard’s followers like Gangdor and Tiramisu had their reputations grow in tandem. Everyone knew that the Crimson Dukedom had a large group of saints gathered within, so strong that even sub-legendary warriors would return in low spirits if faced with them.

Calls to topple the Dukedom rose up throughout the Iron Triangle Empire, but they were quickly quashed. Everyone now believed Salwyn’s assessment of Richard: it would be near impossible to win a battle against him without at least three times the manpower. However, it was far too late to do that; considering Richard’s current army size, they would need an army of 200,000!

Even for a country as strong as the Iron Triangle Empire, an army of such size would be a challenging task. One couldn’t just throw inexperienced bums out into battle; their effect would be minimal. However, if they gathered all of their soldiers to attack, Walvis Bay would immediately come under threat. Just as well, the Dragon Church would use this opportunity to aggress.

Richard’s followers were still making their way through the barbarian plains. The famous general Andrieka had appeared once again, the mysterious black-clothed advisor stood next to him. Andrieka didn’t have too many troops, but most of them came from the broodmother. These were only level 10 barbarian warriors, incomparable to Richard’s core soldiers, but they held great advantages in morale and equipment. Casualties didn’t matter with them; the broodmother could now produce a dozen in a day.

Andrieka’s strategy at the ancestral plains was different from what he had used in the holy war. The troop formations this time showed more patience and fortitude, with no mistakes made even if the battles dragged on for days. The barbarian tribes nearby had assembled their toughest warriors and given chase for ten days before realising that it was a trap. The white eagles flying overhead suddenly started surrounding the cloned brain as another small army flanked in from behind, pincering into the barbarians that were already at a disadvantage.

The barbarians had suffered heavy losses, their 3,000-strong army left with only a few hundred survivors. All tribes within a hundred kilometres were thoroughly destroyed, after which Andrieka’s army breached the defences of the strongest local tribe and took down its temple.

The cloned brain quickly took the altar and the idol of an unknown ancestral god, flying to the distant Land of Turmoil, while Andrieka remained in the plains to encircle and destroy the other barbarian tribes. He constantly sent the captives back to the Crimson Dukedom as well; these strong barbarians would later be sold to the various human countries as slaves. Most of the slave trade in western Faelor came from the Bloodstained Lands, and Richard was now actively driving this trade.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA