Waterflower’s company greatly freed up Richard during a battle, but at the same time there were some subconscious restrictions he placed on himself. He couldn’t be as carefree and reckless as before, having to consciously weigh his strength before every battle. This meant his harvest wasn’t spectacular, but at the same time his injuries were minimal as well.
As the Daxdians regained their strength and resumed their attacks on the City of the Unsetting Sun, Richard and Waterflower did their part for the defence. Using the complicated terrain to trap their enemies, they weaved in and out of the Daxdian formation as they reaped the lives of half a dozen elites. It was only then that the enemy decided to change path.
And just like that, Richard started a life of living together with a girl. Richard fought, rested, and crafted runes, occasionally spending some time talking to Waterflower.
He spent time analysing his own power and strengthening his bloodlines, of which his moonforce affinity was the first to reach grade 4. His sense for moonforce and ability to command it instantly skyrocketed, and the power of his secret swords grew to a terrifying level. However, Annihilation and the Ring of Fate were still his strongest abilities.
The growth of the affinity also gave him a new ability: Lunar Majesty. It allowed him to absorb a specific type of moonforce and store it within his world tree, giving him a boost when using related spells or the corresponding secret sword. As this ability was strengthened, his moonforce tree would grow more branches and thus allow him to absorb more varied types of moonforce. The first type he unlocked was the power of the azure moon, the same energy that fuelled Annihilation. It had been a conscious choice, partly because of familiarity but mainly in memory of his mother.
This advancement surfaced a question he had asked himself many times in the past to no avail: just what type of energy was moonforce that it existed across the planes with little difference on each? Alucia was a mediocre goddess in Norland, her status far too low for the sheer amount of power and versatility she could grant. It irked him that she wasn’t even a greater goddess, but no matter what direction he approached the problem from he just couldn’t reconcile all the facts. He eventually just gave up.
Richard didn’t feel much of a difference in his lifestyle, but that was not true for the warriors of the City of the Unsetting Sun. Ever since the day Blacklight was seized, not a single rune had been sold to Rundstedt. Forget Lifesbanes, even elementary runes were off the table.
Despite going hunting frequently, Richard still spent a fair bit of time at home and had plenty of materials; it was obvious that he was still crafting. It was just that the runes he crafted didn’t land in the city’s hands anymore. However, nobody called him out on this decision. The requisition was public knowledge by now, and Richard still fulfilled his duty of repairing and maintaining everyone’s runes without the slightest drop in quality. Even the Marshal’s guards weren’t refused service, and because of his frequent contact with the city’s soldiers his work was far better than what Lunor offered.
At the same time, he had soared to near the top of the rankings when it came to sheer number of kills. Even many of the council members couldn’t match up to his military exploits, so they didn’t have the guts to complain about him.
However, one day he was met with an unexpected visitor, a woman with a title yet no name. It was the only female in the entire city with more of a reputation than Beye the White Night, and for the same reason; Dreambreaker was a terror on the battlefield.
Unlike Beye, Dreambreaker was a mage, and a legendary mage at that. A master of illusions and mind magic, her bloodline ability was said to be more gripping on the soul than the demons of the abyss. With her visiting, Richard had no choice but to welcome her graciously. One reason was her sheer power and status, but another was that she was the only legend of the city who hadn’t participated in the requisition. At that time, she had been at home nursing serious injuries from battle.
Dreambreaker’s veil and form-fitting robes did well to showcase her fitness, but she wasn’t particularly charming. Although it was a simple thing for a legendary mage to captivate anyone who so much as laid their eyes on her, she seemed far beyond that. As she sat down and took off her veil, her face was the same; beautiful, certainly, but not enchanting. This was someone who didn’t really care for physical beauty; even what she had came mostly from her power instead of any actual attention.
Looking straight at this legendary illusionist would cause a normal person to lose their soul, but Richard was confident in himself as well. After exchanging some simple pleasantries, he stared her right in the eye.
Dreambreaker looked him up and down for a while before sighing softly, “Your will is powerful. Even I cannot read your soul. Hasting and Rundstedt really haven’t thought this through.”
Richard smiled faintly, “Everyone has their own stance, it’s just that I don’t envy them for theirs. We have our differences, and neither side is willing to budge. However, I’m sure Saint Lawrence conveyed that I couldn’t be moved in that regard.”
“Heh, this conflict is between you and them, I do not represent the City; when the troubles are gone, so will I for the myriad planes. I might return only when I’m exhausted or bored, and that takes an unknown number of years.”
“Something to look forward to,” Richard commented.
“Wait till you become a legend to say such things. When the day comes that your family, friends, and kids are all old and dying, even home feels like any other plane. A single plane’s laws can be enough to spend a lifetime researching, it is a lonely life.”
Dreambreaker’s musings surprised Richard. He didn’t have much contact with legendary beings, but those he did know seemed to lead far more exciting lives than she was describing.
“Ah, I’m babbling again,” she laughed, “Maybe it’s all these injuries scaring me for my life. Alright then, business first. I believe you’ve already guessed why I’m here.”
Dreambreaker nodded, undoing the ribbons of her robes to reveal perfectly round shoulders, “Have a look.”
Richard immediately noticed that the rune on the shoulders was only a standard grade 3 rune, far below the standard for a legendary powerhouse. A strong illusionist like her needed powerful barrier-breaking abilities which standard runes could not provide.
Richard nodded quietly. Custom grade 3 runes were still difficult to find in the Sacred Alliance. At the very least, Lunor wasn’t very reliable.
“Okay, I’ll come to the point. Richard, it is growing difficult to hold the fort. I would appreciate as much help as you could grant.”
“Hmm…” Richard pulled back his long sleeves, revealing the runes on his forearm, “I have these, they’re top of the line Lifesbanes that are the most powerful I’ve ever crafted. Considering they’re my property…”
Dreambreaker sighed knowingly, “You’re expecting another requisition?”
“Hoping for it, actually. It’ll give me a reason to get out of this city. His Majesty did request my presence here, but I feel like my services are more necessary at the Fort of Dawn. I’ve already done more than required of me here, and more than most people. Now, for the so-called bigger picture, it would be better for me and my followers to retain a monopoly on my new runes. But then again, anyone can give some lip service to such vague ideals.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA