Book 5, Chapter 104

A Time Of Passion

Dreambreaker shook her head at Richard’s outburst, “I already talked to Rundstedt once before coming to look for you. He’s a stubborn person, but one cannot deny that he has dedicated his entire life to the stronghold.”

“And I respect that, it’s why I didn’t leave right away. However, respecting someone doesn’t mean agreeing with their every decision,” Richard replied.

“Then you’re the same as him. Here’s what the Marshal said: “The City only values power and results, that kid isn’t even a grand mage yet, don’t talk to me about potential! Nobody cares about potential in this land. The fort is currently under my command, and all of its laws will apply to its residents. If there’s something he doesn’t like, he can become a legend and wrest me from my seat.” If you have the ability to overthrow him, you can make decisions in the City of the Unsetting Sun.”

Dreambreaker’s account was precise, even the gestures and timbre perfectly replicating Rundstedt. If one were to close their eyes, they really could believe that is was the Marshal himself speaking.

Richard fell silent, not speaking for quite some time. However, he eventually couldn’t stand the legendary mage’s gaze, “Smart old man, isn’t he. Setting up the conflict such that it allows him to retire.”

Dreambreaker smiled faintly.

“As for the runes, I will not hide things from you. All my energy is currently focused on a new custom rune I’ve been trying to make. It’s already seven failures in, but there’s some hope of success soon.” Richard took an incomplete rune out of a sealing case and placed it in front of Dreambreaker. Next to the rune was a blueprint with some names and explanations scribbled on, most parts corrected save for the portion on usage.

“Hmm… Instant Assault… It says here that it’s a combination of Shadow Seal and Lifesbane. What is Shadow Seal?”

Richard called Waterflower over, asking her to stretch out her forearms and activate the rune. Dreambreaker immediately gasped, “This is a grade 2 rune? How? Increased defence penetration, faster attacks, and even a stealth effect?!”

Shadow Seal on its own was comparable to some standard grade 3 runes, but it only required the capacity of a grade 2 rune. If one could fuse the base properties of Shadow Seal with Lifesbane, then the new rune would be powerful even compared to grade 4 runes. With the lower requirement on capacity, its value would be immense.

“Wait… This is part of a grade 3 set?” Dreambreaker had just read another line.

Richard nodded in Waterflower’s direction, “For her. I haven’t finished the design yet, but I’m tentatively calling it the Illusion of Dawn.”

Dreambreaker took a good look at the young lady, “Lucky kid, even I would be moved by a third order set. Alright, since this rune is about to be completed, I won’t be too difficult and ask you to work on something else. However, if you have the spare energy I would like a replacement for the rune on my shoulder ot a Lifesbane.”

“Hmm… I’ll get you a Lifesbane. I don’t have much experience with grade 4 runes, and I’m still studying grade 3. A standard rune wouldn’t be very useful for you.”

An expression of joy flitted across Dreambreaker’s face. Even if she couldn’t use the Lifesbane, she could give it to someone close to her. She expressed her gratitude before turning to leave.

“Remember, ten million gold,” Richard called out behind her, and she nodded without looking back. Richard had already made several concessions to even craft her a rune, and the new price was just the standard. She mused about children and tantrums as she returned to her residence.

Richard sighed once Dreambreaker was far enough away. The current situation was far more complicated than he had expected.

……

The battle still raged on with more and more deaths every day. New people were now rushing towards the City of the Unsetting Sun from both ends, Norlanders and Daxdians now engaged in a test of will to see who would give up first. The strongholds of both the Sacred Tree Empire and the Millennial Empire were launching stronger attacks against their enemies, mounting pressure on the Daxdian troops and causing them to fight even more fervently. From an attack every few days, there were now a number of attacks on any given day.

The light of the Eternal Glory formation still burnt brightly, but despite their reduced strength the Daxdians were killing more and more of the defenders. The problem boiled down to sheer military power; the sieging army was an order of magnitude larger than the defenders.

Right now, it was difficult to find a single perfectly healthy person in the city, perhaps the only one of which was Saint Lawrence. Richard and Beye were paying more and more visits to the healing table, with each visit growing longer as well. They were slowly pushed away from the city borders to the fringe of the inner city, and pushed again all the way to the core. Even Beye didn’t think she, Richard, and Waterflower alone could hold off the entirety of the invaders.

Kill, craft, heal, kill, craft heal… Richard felt numbed by the daily routine, and the old man had a pale expression on his face. Lawrence didn’t have the energy to mess around, not even touching Beye to boost his own flagging mind. There was a point where he fell asleep while still operating on Richard, who ended up enlisting Waterflower to help him clean up and finish the process.

“Wh… What?” the old man suddenly woke up, remembering that he had been healing Richard before he fell asleep. Looking at Richard still lying on the operating table, he rubbed his eyes vigorously and cried out, “When did it become this bad?! Your injuries were much lighter than this!”

“You’re just too tired, old man. I’ve been this hurt all along, you just forgot in your daze. Hurry up and treat me, I still plan to live another few years.”

Looking at the extent of the injuries, Lawrence didn’t hesitate and immediately started the treatment. However, he continued to mutter under his breath, wondering how he got things wrong. Was he getting old? No, it had to be those damn Daxdian bastards.

The fires of war burned brighter than ever, both sides putting their bodies on the line to fight for every inch of land. Richard and Beye showed their true tenacity, returning to battle the moment they were healed and disposing of a number of enemy saints every time. Waterflower displayed her own talent, her new rune silently sending uncountable people to their graves.

At this point, everyone in Norland and Daxdus had an eye on this bloodstained land. The Sacred Alliance seemed to be fighting off half the might of Daxdus on their lonesome, Marshal Rundstedt refusing to request reinforcements in this battle of will and blood. Everyone knew the City of the Unsetting Sun was sure to fall. The other two empires already had their troops prepared, but could do nothing without a request for assistance. So long as Rundstedt made the request, support would be available in a matter of hours.

However, there was still no news regarding reinforcements. Even in the last moments of battle, the warriors of the Unsetting Sun guarded the city with their lives even though a number of saints were gathered at the teleportation halls of both other empires. Every grain of sand dripping down the hourglass stirred their emotions further.

They all had the same question in their hearts: just what was the City of the Unsetting Sun fighting for? Was it merely for their rights in the Land of Dusk? Everyone knew that there were only responsibilities on the battlefields of despair. Glory was never a tangible benefit.

“They only have four hours,” someone suddenly remarked.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA