Book 5, Chapter 35

Dusk and Dawn

By this time, Richard had already reached the Land of Dusk. He was in the same cave system as the first two times, but now he knew better than to expect safety. He carefully looked around his surroundings, tapping the sword case strapped to his back to release Carnage’s dagger from within. He then gathered his bearings and walked through the passageway.

The cave system looked the exact same as before, which wasn’t a surprise considering how the plane was dying. Even if something changed this place greatly, the origin energy that no longer had a will directing it would work to return its form to the moment of the will’s death. Of course, this meant more of the plane’s energy burnt out, reducing the chances of a new will being born.

As he headed forward, he paid conscious attention to his grip on the blade for the first time in a long time, adjusting the tiniest of details until he couldn’t think of any improvements. His footsteps echoed in the dim passageway, growing louder as time passed. This was both a deterrent and a challenge; only someone of power dared to make noise in the Land of Dusk.

He had realised that there was an ambush ahead the moment he teleported over, but he pretended not to see anything and maintained a steady pace. The moment he entered a fork in the path, a foul smell suddenly enveloped the cave as a skaven lunged at him from behind. Its sharp teeth which could cut metal were glinting in the darkness.

However, moments before it could reach its prey, the demonic being froze in mid-air. Its claws and teeth twitched once or twice before it gently collapsed. Richard didn’t even turn around, just grabbing the fallen creature by the head and pulling it over to start harvesting it for materials. A faint smile rose up on his face, but as he cut open the creature’s chest and inspected it that faded into a soft sigh.

He still remembered vividly when Beye had cut one down with one stroke, just like he had now. However, Beye’s cut had instantly killed the skaven and left only a tiny slit on the heart. His attack had struck the heart as well, but he’d missed the most critical artery and instead turned the entire organ to mush.

His brows knitted together. After thinking over it for a long time, he held his dagger up and made a quick thrusting motion in the air. The movement seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary, but it created a small gust and was accompanied by a faint whistle. His breaths grew heavier as he tried again, but the whistling persisted.

He shook his head and sat down. Both those strikes had been infused with the full power of all four Lifesbanes on him, but they still paled in comparison to Beye’s attack when she hadn’t possessed a single one. Beye’s attacks didn’t have any aftershocks either, nor did they whistle.

He closed his eyes and dipped into his memories, recalling the moment of Beye’s strike. Steadying his breathing, he made another soft strike with his dagger. This time, his blessings were activated to their utmost as he studied the blade’s trajectory. The aftershocks this time were reduced, but once the strike stopped he sighed once more. The strike had only deviated slightly from its target, the error so low that it wouldn’t even affect a grade 3 rune, but if he used Lifesbanes to layer ten strikes into one that difference would greatly disperse his power. If he’d possessed the ability to keep all ten strikes perfectly on target, Voidbones wouldn’t have a face anymore, nor would Ensio have an arm.

Talk was cheap. He was far from achieving such control, and even Beye wasn’t that perfect. However, he didn’t feel specifically anxious; that was why he was here in a battlefield of despair, to train himself and polish his skills and abilities.

He continued to harvest the skaven’s body, placing the most precious bits in his bag before cutting up the meat and hanging it from his waist by iron wire. Nobody could tell whether they would meet an enemy a week or a hundred in a day in the Land of Dusk; if he didn’t find any enemies, this would be his only food source over the next few days.

Tidying up the scene, he continued on his expedition once more. It took the better part of the day to exit the caves, and the luckily enough the cliffside he came out on was only a few hundred metres from the ground. He suddenly recalled something after landing, turning back around to look at the numerous cave openings on the side of the cliff. He couldn’t recall just which holes he had come from the last two times he was here, and he also didn’t know where he would come out the next time.

Thankfully, gathering his bearings wasn't a tough task. He cast a quick spell that even the warriors in the Land of Dusk knew, converging mana into an energy compass with three gold and seven grey needles. The needles represented the different strongholds in the Land of Dusk, with gold being those of Norland and grey being those of Daxdus. 

Quickly determining the direction of the Capital of the Unsetting Sun, he started rushing over. However, he suddenly felt the earth beginning to shake. A peculiar feeling welled up in his heart, an indescribable reverence that he could not explain. It was like he was a lion atop a cliff seeing a tidal wave rising in; his own power didn't matter in the slightest.

Why were mere tremors making him so uneasy? Richard froze for a moment, trying to figure out what it was. He quickly realised that these vibrations weren't local; the whole plane was crying in pain!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA