Book 5, Chapter 67

City of Saints

The model for the working of the Godnest was the largest he had ever seen, and even a basic analysis told him that the formulae he needed to solve to understand it were amongst the most complex he had ever come across. He picked a small portion, but even that caused his head to throb despite his blessings being used to their limits.

Richard was well aware that he didn’t have the capabilities to decipher these formulae yet; that would require a rudimentary understanding of how planar laws worked. Still, he sensed an air of familiarity from this body of complexity, one that sent him almost a decade into the past.

Blue lines running along a young woman’s body, like branches with a life of their own as they radiated blue light. A beautiful sapphire colour that had brought his mind to a complete halt… A beauty beyond words, beyond everything.

All those years ago, he hadn’t understood even the slightest bit of the mysteries behind the Deepblue Aria. He had spent months wholly focused on trying to decipher its meaning, but had completely failed. Even now, as someone on the verge of becoming a grand runemaster, he barely understood the slightest bits of the laws hidden within. The grade 6 rune surpassed even the laws of Norland, so he had been tasked with venturing out into the myriad planes in hopes of understanding its deficiencies and completing it.

And now, there was a seed of hope in that quest. Richard felt butterflies in his stomach at the realisation of where he had seen some of these formulae before, but that quickly gave way to unbridled enthusiasm for what could be. He needed to get to the top of this mountain, to examine the rest of its structure and start a thorough analysis. If the City of Saints would not allow him to climb, then they would need to be eliminated right away.

However, it was this very urge that also caused him to clear his mind. Stopping his calculations; he grew even more suspicious of the origin of the Resting Orchid Plane. The Godnest didn’t seem like a natural creation, and could very well be the aftermath of a new deity’s ascent. However, an even more daring theory floated up in his mind; perhaps the entire plane had been created by such a being of unimaginable power.

At this point he didn’t doubt in the slightest that the peak of the Godnest hid a great secret. Perhaps the place truly was where the gods of the plane were resting, or perhaps they had perished and that was their grave. At the very least, either explanation answered the question of why this plane seemed to have no deities at all, not even a demigod.

Could there be a godspark up there? This question immediately gripped Richard’s mind. He then thought back to the City of Saints and the two legendary beings within. Even injured the two could cause great destruction to his army, perhaps even posing a lethal threat to himself or his followers. However, there were ways to mitigate the dangers to a manageable level…

‘What?!’ His body suddenly shuddered, attention pulled to the outside. The clouds above turned transparent, revealing an enormous planet covering half the sky. The surface of the planet was a light blue in colour, and as it streaked through the air it felt like the thing would drop down and kill them all.

Strange and intricate patterns could be seen on the planet’s surface even from this distance, some glowing and the others dim. These patterns did not seem to be natural ley lines, but instead a magic array that covered the entire planet.

But what sort of being could actually do something like that? A god? Yet, even multiple gods working together would not be able to complete such a massive project. A number of truly immortal deities would have to hole away for uncountable years to actually finish it.

Even as he gaped in shock, the skies quickly returned to the dull orange of dawn. He turned around and asked his followers who were cleaning up the interrogation scene, “Did you guys just see that?”

“See what, Master?” Tiramisu raised his head. Flowsand seemed to be puzzled as well, so nothing could be said for the others.

Richard shook his head, confirming that he was the only one that had witnessed the phenomenon. His brows then furrowed, “Did you at least sense anything out of the ordinary?”

“No.” As a battle priest with acute senses, Io was the first to shake his head. Nyra was soon to follow.

Flowsand walked over and stroked his cheek, asking him with concern, “What happened?”

Richard looked out at the Godnest and sighed, “The City of Saints… might not be as simple as we think. We need to make more preparations.”

“What kind of preparations do you mean?”

“War preparations. I’m afraid our current strength isn’t enough. Let me think…” He started rubbing his temples, trying to work his sluggish mind. The side-effects of trying to tackle laws he did not understand hadn’t yet faded.

“Not enough? Impossible. Both those legends are hurt, and even at full strength they wouldn’t be able to turn the tides. Stardragon wouldn’t dare enter the range of my Lens of Time,” Flowsand tried to reassure him.

“No, that’s not what I’m talking about. I feel like something is wrong, maybe we underestimated this plane…” Richard tried his best to word his thoughts. That phenomenon felt absolutely real, but he couldn’t ignore the possibility that it was a hallucination or illusion.

“Hmm…” Flowsand thought for a bit, “I don’t really feel anything wrong, but… It’s always good to play it safe.”

Her words made him even more unsure of himself. As a chosen priestess of the Eternal Dragon, she had a rudimentary sense for everything in the old dragon’s domain. With her not feeling anything amiss, there were only two explanations: everything was alright and he was just becoming paranoid, or the Godnest was a place that even the Eternal Dragon had no hold over. There were few such places in the myriad planes.

Still, despite the low possibility he decided to prepare better. Even if all he had seen was an illusion, the Godnest itself was not. He could still sense a connection between the Godnest and the Deepblue Aria, something that could hardly be a coincidence.

He turned to Senma, “Go back to Norland and ask Fuschia and Asiris to come over immediately. Tell Alice to pick up the defences of Blackrose, I’m pulling all the rune knights over.”

Flowsand frowned at his words, but did not say anything. Both Asiris and Fuschia were capable of engaging Stardragon alone, and with a hundred more rune knights alongside multiple other powerhouses like Senma, Lina, Tiramisu, and the two heavenly guardians, the enemy legends could only flee. Richard’s feeling that something was off despite her own senses not being alerted could only mean one thing; the Eternal Dragon had no power in this place.

Richard stayed within the Resting Orchid capital over the next few days, waiting for Senma to return with this reinforcements. Outside of brief spells of meditation or runecrafting, most of his time was spent on the terrace of the castle staring at the Godnest for hours at a stretch.

It took a week for Senma to return, but even so he rested for another night before leading his forces out of the capital and towards the City of Saints.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo