Book 5, Chapter 36

Dusk And Dawn(2)

As he continued to pay attention, Richard’s eyes bulged in surprise. He had read about this phenomenon in the Deepblue— planes shook with pain when their origin energy was extracted by a powerful legendary skill.

‘What kind of powerhouses are fighting?’ He instantly became alert. He didn’t fear the normal warriors of Daxdus, but he wasn’t so complacent as to think he could interfere in battles between high-level legends. Just the shockwaves from such a fight could put his life in danger.

Just as he was trying to determine the source of the tremors to move away, one of the dark grey needles on his compass suddenly grew lighter. The change seemed tiny, but it implied one thing; the Norlanders were attacking a stronghold of Daxdus!

A stronghold had absolute control over the lands nearby. Multiple legendary beings were gathered in each one to protect it. From the looks of it, a high-level legend from Norland had entered the Land of Dusk and attacked one of the Daxdus strongholds. From how quickly the needle was gaining colour, it appeared like they would even succeed soon!

Richard looked in the direction the needle pointed to. The stronghold under attack was more than 10,000 kilometres away, but as one of Faust’s fourteen he had access to a lot of the intel about the Land of Dusk. He knew this stronghold as the Fort of Dawn, the first fortress the Sacred Alliance had built in the Land of Dusk. Years of being on the back foot in this war had lost the Norlanders that stronghold, a moment of extreme humiliation for the Sacred Alliance in particular.

Now, that shame would be wiped clean. For a moment, Richard himself felt a strong sense of pride. However, that satisfaction was quickly tempered by the fact that he could barely even survive the Land of Dusk right now; these battles belonged to a level of power he had no ability to touch as he was. In addition, victory wasn’t everything. The following days would be extremely difficult for all of Norland’s strongholds as the Daxdians would counterattack fiercely. They would probably gather forces from a few of their own strongholds to launch a joint attack on the Fort of Dawn.

……

Considering the increased dangers, Richard became more alert as he continued towards the Capital of the Unsetting Sun. He didn’t encounter a single Daxdian for nearly a week, forcing him to exhaust the skaven meat and still go hungry for two days. He was starting to feel disappointed that he hadn’t picked up more of this nutritious meat from the first skaven he killed.

He was currently running across the fissured earth at a low pace, trying to conserve as much energy as he could while also using the terrain to shield himself. Carnage was held tightly in his grasp, swinging out at air every few minutes. Richard frowned after each swing, shaking his head before continuing to move forward. Over the past few days, he had practised these motions so much that they had become instinct.

‘SHIT!’ Just as he was about to jump across a wide crack in the earth, he sensed immense danger from his surroundings. However, his strength had already been gathered into his legs; all he could do was jump higher than normal. He flipped around in the air, Carnage stabbing out like a flash of lightning, but the tentacle rushing towards him was so big that the dagger only cut halfway through. The blade was embedded in the appendage as it continued to charge towards him.

Thankfully, the attack had at least diverted its path. Richard barely managed to dodge with a glancing attack to his legs, groaning dully as his blood splashed into the air. He used the opportunity to push himself away, landing ten metres in the distance. The sword case was dropped to the ground even as he turned to face the tentacle once more, all three swords springing out from within.

The tentacle coiled a few times in the air before shooting towards his position like a flash of lightning. Without any time to think, Richard just grabbed Carnage out of the air and roared, sparks flying across his body as a bloody glow rushed up his arms. Countless blinding flashes filled the air for a moment before the front half of the tentacle fell down in dozens of small chunks. The pieces were still wriggling on the floor, but that quickly came to a stop.

A roar of pain rang out from the crack as a giant monster with four bloodshot eyes charged out from within. The strangely fish-like creature was as large as an elephant, but more than a third of its grey body was occupied by its mouth. The remaining half of the tentacle twitched as it coiled back, swaying around the creature’s head. The monster was large in its own right, but compared to the tens of metres of length the tentacle had it looked rather tiny.

Facing an enemy he had never seen before, Richard immediately began a careful retreat. Even legendary beings weren’t rare in the battlefields of despair, so no amount of caution was enough. The creature just stayed in place as well, constantly releasing threatening howls but also unwilling to attack rashly. The damage to the tentacle was evidently a major issue.

Thinking of the monster’s lightning-quick ambush, Richard slowly lowered his body into a bestial half-squat. It looked somewhat strange, but this stance allowed him to react as quickly as possible.

Thus, a man and a monster confronted each other with neither being willing to launch an attack. Richard’s eyes emitted blue light as he activated Analytic, but all he could see was skin. This creature’s hide was exceptionally thick, and the energy flow underneath was minimal as well. It seemed almost like a normal beast, but that left him with no way to predict its abilities.

The wound on his thigh slowly started to close up, showing just how valuable the hydra’s regenerative abilities were. Perhaps Mountainsea hadn’t randomly chanced upon the egg but instead stole it intentionally…

However, the monster’s recovery was even better than his. The tentacle coiled up on top of its head, squirming without end as the bleeding stopped and new flesh started to grow. In less than two days, the dozen-odd metres he had cut off would be fully regrown.

Concluding that he wouldn’t be able to win a battle of attrition, Richard decided to start probing for this opponent’s weaknesses. He slowly opened up the Book of Holding as the creature roared, flipping open a page to bring a bolt of blood lightning down on the creature’s body. With the boost from his own elemental affinity and the abyssal flames, this grade 7 spell was more powerful than a grade 8 lightning storm against a single target. As of now, it was his strongest spell attack without using Sacrifice.

The crimson lightning left a deep hole in the monster’s forehead, almost breaking off the tentacle. The creature roared in pain, retreating a few steps as it eyed Richard with hatred, but Richard just frowned slightly. Even the full power of what was effectively a grade 8 spell hadn’t managed to make it through the monster’s skin; this opponent had far greater magic resistance than centaurs and the like. With its added stealth, it was basically born to defeat mages! Thankfully, it didn’t have any effective long-range attacks.

Richard continued to flip through the Book of Holding, launching another lightning bolt at the opponent. This bolt struck almost in the same place as the last, deepening the wound and finally penetrating the creature’s exoskeleton and tearing into the tentacle as well. When he flipped to the third page, the creature couldn’t take it anymore and madly dashed towards him at full force.

Richard tapped his sword case to pull out the Twin of Destiny, casting a grade 7 Stall spell on the creature. This spell was a direct upgrade of Slow; the reduction in speed wasn’t all that greater, but it was much more difficult to avoid. In a battle at this level, one single curse could spell the difference between life and death.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: YJH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA