The warriors exchanged glances, but the one prepared to leave shook his head as he ignored Lawrence and took to the sky, “My apologies, Master Lawrence, but this is a serious matter. I have to report this right away.”
The tanned man looked down, not daring to meet Lawrence’s blazing eyes, “Forgive us, Your Excellency. We never imagined there would be a demon in Master Richard’s room, we only thought it was a surviving enemy that hadn’t been quick enough to escape. However, the Daxdians are fierce people; they never surrender. Please don’t be fooled by this one!”
Lawrence sighed, his gaze flitting around at everyone. Some among them were at a loss, others deep in thought, but most were glaring at the demon with eyes filled with hatred. If not for the one who left bringing up just how important a royal Daxdian would be, they would have ripped Blacklight to shreds. There was no chance for him to interfere; he no longer held the prestige of a legendary mage and saint runemaster.
“Your Excellency,” the slender man said cautiously, “the injured cannot wait any longer.”
Lawrence took another look at the tables and snorted. He knew that if he didn’t act now, it would be too late. These people had fought without care for their lives against the Daxdians, and couldn’t be made to pay for their comrades’ actions. The old man sighed deeply and picked his tools up once more, causing everyone to heave a sigh of relief. The injured warriors now had a renewed glimmer in their eyes.
It wasn’t too long before a piercing screech rang through the air, two fully equipped saints and a grand mage flying over at top speed. The grand mage immediately jumped with delight when he saw the fainted Blacklight, “Yes, this is a live Dranicus! The injuries aren’t serious at all!”
“Good!” a middle-aged saint commented before turning to the people in the courtyard, “The Marshal has decided to requisition this Dranicus demon. Details of compensation will be discussed at the table tonight, please pass on the news to Master Richard. We will be taking it away right now.”
These three were direct guards under Marshal Rundstedt, possessing immense authority in the City of the Unsetting Sun. The Marshal had less than ten such guards, all of whom always took on the most dangerous tasks of every important battle. Their loyalty to the fort was unquestionable. Lawrence was in no position to deny them.
‘Things are going to get messy,’ the old man thought to himself. Richard seemed to care a little for this demon, and the young runemaster always hated being forced into a decision. While he hadn’t been in Norland for a while, Lawrence knew that the Archerons were natural rebels.
Richard was currently at the central plaza of the city, searching frantically for any signs of Waterflower. It hadn’t been too long since the battle came to an end, and various elemental enchantments were still in the air alongside soul attacks that had yet to fade. All of these disturbances made it difficult to ascertain just where Waterflower really was. All he knew was that she was nearby, and the soul connection between them was growing increasingly weak.
A frown was plastered across his face as he felt Waterflower’s strength fading, and his heart gripped as he imagined the worst. Looking at the chaotic aftermath of the intense battle, with even saints leaning against walls in an injured daze, that fear only grew.
There were still traces of explosions and blood on the main street, and one could even see uncleaned innards sprayed onto the walls. A thick smell of blood enveloped the area, mixed with the stench of rotting flesh.
One could only see a few rare clerics around, walking back and forth as they checked injuries one after the other. Healing spells had been replaced by medicine and bandages, making it clear that all divine power had been exhausted.
Rows of stretchers could be seen at the steps of the Church, containing those too injured to even stand. The more powerful clerics and priestesses occasionally rushed out of the doors of the Church, healing the most unstable of the warriors before running back in to meditate and recover.
Nobody was being healed completely, the only requirement being that they wouldn’t end up disabled. In some cases, even that was abandoned as the clerics barely bothered to save a target’s life. The line at the steps was still very long, with the injured warriors awaiting the omens of their survival. Saving one completely meant consigning five others to death.
This wasn’t Richard’s first time seeing this. Even he had to use his body’s immense regenerative capabilities to heal; unlike Faelor, here he didn’t have the luxury of a cleric to tend to every wound.
With no other options, he started to go around and ask those present whether they had seen a girl with Waterflower’s description. This was a brute force method, but it was also the only one he had available. Even including logistical and support personnel, the City of the Unsetting Sun had no more than 10,000 people. He was bound to find her eventually.
However, every minute that passed only increased his worry. He didn’t know whether the girl was injured or even if he’d be able to save her in time if he found her. Thankfully, most of the city recognised him. Many people enthusiastically answered his question, some even expressing their fervent desire to aid in his search. Unfortunately, most of these people were too injured to even move. He told them all to stay put as he continued searching on his own.
Just as he left a group of saints who were huddled by a bonfire, he suddenly felt his connection to Waterflower completely break off. This time, he could confirm that it was an external force blocking him! Flames of rage arose in his heart as his head started to buzz, and he started running around like a madman.
Deep within the shrine, Hasting washed his hands clean and wiped away the beads of sweat on his forehead. As he leaned back into his chair and closed his eyes, he felt so exhausted that he could die. The spell formation on the stone table was completely lit up, the rays of light forming a shield that caged the girl within.
The girl was deep asleep, the magic runes on her body glowing and dimming alternately like a beautiful illusion. A translucent projection that looked the same as her body was floating right over her, sometimes charging madly like a wolf and staying crouched in wait during others. Most of the time, she walked back and forth in a daze, and there were occasions where she just curled into herself for warmth.
This was Waterflower’s soul.
Hasting slowly opened his eyes and glanced at the sleeping girl before closing them again, “Who could guess her soul had such rare power. There’s a soulguard contract too, there’s more to this one than meets the eye.”
The legendary mage knocked gently on the arms of his chair, causing an old hunchback to slowly walk out from the darkness. The old man groped around a storage cabinet and poured a small portion of what looked like blood into a cup before handing it to Hasting with both hands.
As he walked closer, the dim torches in the hall finally illuminated the hunchback’s face. There were no eyes.
Hasting took the black blood and downed it instantly, feeling slightly better.
Footsteps suddenly rang outside the hall. The three guards of the Marshal announced their names and entered, the grand mage in the lead bowing respectfully, “Your Excellency, I can confirm that the demon is truly a Dranicus, and is nearly completely unharmed. Here it is.”
“You’re sure?” Hasting exclaimed, tossing aside all status as he leapt out of his chair and started to examine the young demon that was being held by the two guards. His voice immediately grew emotional, “Great! Not just a Dranicus, but a pureblood as well. Look at its eyes, they’re such a clear black! He could very well be an heir to the tribe! Haha, hahaha, HAHAHA—”
The legendary mage’s manic laughter quickly turned into violent coughing, a bit of blood starting to spill down from his lips. The marshal’s guards were startled, but even the grand mage who was familiar with Hasting lacked the courage to cast a tranquilising spell. He could only try to calm Hasting down with words.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA