Book 5, Chapter 70

The Final Battle(3)

On the highest floor of the church in the City of Saints were three priests, stood on a circular platform that was only five metres across. All around them was a projected image of the battlefield, allowing them to witness the crushing defeat as if they were present in person. They saw as their warriors struggled and were cut apart, numbers dwindling to near nothing. The rune knights continued to destroy their formations, making it evident that the war was over.

“This cannot be it!” a young one exclaimed, his voice reverberating throughout the halls, “Perhaps we could try the weapon!”

“I object. The weapon consumes too much holy water, the City will collapse,” the oldest of the priests said.

“What’s the difference between collapsing and landing in enemy hands?!” the young priest argued.

“So long as the City is around, we have a chance,” the older priest’s voice rose as well, “The Norlanders will not occupy this plane forever. So long as our people are united, there will come a day when we overthrow them and reclaim the City.”

“THE CITY OF SAINTS CANNOT LAND IN THE HANDS OF THE NORLANDERS! THAT WILL BE A STAIN TO THE LAND! WHAT IF THEY UNRAVEL THE SECRETS AND AWAKEN THE GODS?!”

The argument went back and forth for a few minutes before both turned to a middle-aged priest. With two conflicting opinions from his peers, he now had the decisive vote. However, he just stayed quiet with an expression of doubt on his face; he was evidently undecided.

“Do not forget the reason for our existence,” the older priest said icily, “Do you really think we are priests? We have studied the barrier of the Godnest for so many years, but have not been able to discover anything new. What reason is there for the Norlanders to be able to break through?”

“But… But… These ones are different!” the younger priest stammered.

“How? They merely brought more rune knights than we expected, their experts aren’t even as powerful as the last ones. Even the invaders back then were repelled at the Godtear Rift; if not for the muddleheaded Prince Roran, we would never have lost out ground!”

The young priest immediately paled, at a loss for words. Prince Roran was his elder brother, but he found it difficult to disagree with the criticism.

“Alright, the enemies are already outside the City,” the middle-aged priest finally interjected, “There is no meaning in faulting anyone. Right now, I feel like…” At this point, the man went mum once more.

“Perhaps we should ask Her Excellency,” the younger priest said,

“Is she not resting? If we wake her up now, the damage will be irreversible,” the older one rebuked.

“And you think she would be better off if the city was overtaken? It’s better to awaken her now.”

Even as the older priest started struggling to come up with a response, a clear voice rang through the hall, “You are correct. In these circumstances, my injuries are unimportant.”

““Your Excellency!”” The three priests turned their heads in unison, looking at the graceful figure that was forming in the hall.

The middle-aged priest’s eyes widened in shock, “Your Excellency, why are you using your spirit form? You can always use the formation to contact us.”

This figure was Daychase, the legendary being that held the highest rank in the Resting Orchid Plane. Unlike Stardragon, she had entered the legendary realm using her own true talent. Having been pushed to the verge of death in Gaton’s attack before managing to block him at the Godtear Rift, she had entered seclusion to treat grave injuries that were much more difficult than she had imagined. After being wounded by Mordred, her injuries only grew worse with time; these days, she slept for months at a time to minimise the dangers of the situation.

“I have an urgent matter to attend to,” Daychase explained, her tone so solemn the three priests were frightened, “Notify Stardragon to put a tracking spell on him at all costs. We will be using the Smiting Ray.”

Daychase’s translucent body suddenly radiated killing intent as she pointed at a target on the screen.

At Richard.

“The Smiting Ray? But—”

“Then that is how it shall be,” the middle-aged priest interrupted the older one’s words, “Make the preparations!”

The older priest sighed, not objecting any longer as he took his place along the edge of the platform while the other two did the same. All three raised their arms, beginning a mysterious incantation that enveloped them in light that spilled out from their hands. A cross-shaped star appeared in the middle of the platform, beginning to vibrate violently.

“Your Excellency, why do we have to spend so much to kill a weakling like him?” the older priest asked.

“His strength is irrelevant. I can… feel a connection to the Godnest coming from him!”

The three priests immediately paled.

……

As Stardragon continued to kite around the battlefield, looking for an opportunity to strike, his body suddenly shook as his face filled with rage and shock. He looked at Richard, eyes almost spewing fire even as a chill ran down his spine. He was not afraid of Richard, but to mark him required entering the range of the fifty rune knights and their javelins. There were even twenty more nearby, ready to assist at any given moment.

As Stardragon was making up his mind, Richard coincidentally met his gaze. He was rather startled by the trace of fear in this opponent’s gaze, and despite Stardragon realising and trying his best to hide his intentions he was quickly found out. Richard started retreating, pulling back another forty rune knights for protection as he opened up some distance.

Stardragon roared furiously, beginning to curse. Knowing that the new rune knights would make Richard unreachable, he burst forth with power as he threw a large fireball to clear the way. Curling up into a ball, he shot forward to catch up.

The fireball was quickly smashed apart by javelins, and Richard calmly opened up the Book of Holding to bring down a wave of crimson lightning from the sky. Each bolt burned away some of the energy protecting Stardragon, causing him to slow down. There was no sense of hurry to the spells; Richard wasn’t worried in the slightest. Stardragon had expended far too much energy already, left unable to use his legendary ability.

As Stardragon shot past Asiris and Fuschia, Senma finally caught up. She wasn’t quite able to intercept, but so long as he started preparing an attack she would be able to stab into him from behind. Numerous glowing javelins flew over, but a clever manoeuvre to knock into some of them allowed him to deflect most of the damage at the cost of taking three hits.

By this time, Richard already had his daggers in hand. Adopting an offensive stance, he stood his ground and awaited Stardragon’s arrival. Spells both arcane and divine continued to descend from the sky, causing Stardragon to wobble in his flight. Kaloh shot out of a portal and readied a dragon breath, ready to attack. Knowing fully well that a legend from Norland could rip it apart, the red dragon enjoyed the feeling of being able to fight this one on near-equal ground.

The dragon’s breath was aimed right between Richard and Stardragon. If the latter wanted to cross and fight Richard, he would have to go through a terrifying attack. If he wanted to avoid it, the slowdown would be his death! Kaloh drooled with excitement; he hadn’t tasted a legend in a long time.

However, Stardragon betrayed everyone’s expectations. Instead of descending to fight Richard, he just flew a hundred metres overhead and fled the battlefiedl. A few more javelins and spells struck his body, but he managed to zip away.

Richard’s face warped at the sight of a cross-shaped star slowly fading away above his head.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo