Book 6, Chapter 7

The Price of Growing Up

Nyris and Agamemnon had decided to watch the match for afternoon tea, but the duels had ended so quickly they couldn’t even really start. Lasting only a minute, each match was truly the epitome of a flash fight. However, that meant they could gather and share a meal for the first time in years.

“You gave up legendary equipment for this?” Agamemnon snorted as he examined the sub-legendary necklace. The entire thing was made of pure metal, with rough edges and unevenly sized rings. The pendant was a round metal plate with a pentagram carved on it, emitting ancient energy, but three of the corners of the pentagram were chipped. Outside of that faint trace of energy, he couldn’t figure out what was so special about this at all.

Richard just smiled without explaining, instead turning to glance at Nyris. The Fourth Prince had now lost a bit of his feminine charm, replacing it with a gentlemanly aura.

Nyris put down the scroll he had been holding and sighed, “That wrinkly old bastard… Well, at least I got to see a Heaven’s Call scroll. Okay Ag, let’s see the other thing.”

Identification was an art that required not just knowledge of magic but also mastery of history, materials, and other related fields. Nobles were generally skilled in this field, but Agamemnon was much more focused around politics and martial arts than Nyris was.

“Ooh, is this a Gun of Genvis? Why is it… Ah, only two rounds left. That explains it.” The Gun of Genvis was a fabled spell that was said to be able to break through any barrier. Although its lethality wasn’t as great as some other legendary spells, its use lay in that ability to break apart the barriers of a mage. Although this pendant only had two uses left and each spell was only grade 9, that was still quite powerful.

“Hmm…” Nyris continued, “Why did you choose this? It’s rare, sure, but two uses definitely aren’t worth losing legendary equipment.”

Richard smirked, “There’s nothing scary about a sky saint with legendary equipment, but even an ordinary one holding this necklace…”

““Ah…”” Both of them finally understood. Just like Heaven’s Call, the Gun of Genvis was especially deadly when used against a mage. As a consumable item, there couldn’t be many such things in the Mensa treasury; each one they lost was another lost chance to hurt Richard in the future.

Although she wouldn’t have been able to beat him, Yuria would certainly have made the fight more difficult if she used these two items. However, having witnessed his fireball barrage earlier, she hadn’t possessed the courage to try and invoke them at the cost of her own life.

“Alright, what are you going to do next?” Nyris asked Richard.

“What about you two?”

“Ag won’t be doing anything, and I’ll continue to upgrade myself. I’m in no hurry to become a saint,” Nyris said gleefully, a teasing look in his eyes as he glanced at Agamemnon.

Neither of them could particularly suppress their growth to avoid entering the saint realm, and Agamemnon had just grown too fast during the bloody battles in the Land of Dusk. On the other hand, Nyris preferred to take his time and polish his abilities, not really focused on battle.

“Alright then,” Richard answered, “I’ll go take a look at Faelor. When I come back, let’s go to the Forest Plane. It’s about time for the world tree there to get restless.”

“Great!” Agamemnon agreed.

“What…” Nyris pouted a little, “But that means I’ll have to become a saint.”

Richard and Agamemnon just shrugged. Battle was the most effective way to grow one’s power, but they were dangerous and uncertain. Agamemnon had grown so powerful during his time fighting under Emperor Philip that he became a saint immediately, but on the contrary Nyris had hoped to enter sainthood by pure practice alone. The Forest Plane was certainly safer than a battlefield of despair, but it would still propel him across the gap.

……

Richard wondered about the situation as he finished the meal and made his way to Faelor. Agamemnon was constantly growing within the Orleans Family, while he himself was becoming more powerful with each passing day. Although he was still cooperating with these friends, he could notice that Nyris was constantly increasing the distance to avoid being labelled as a slave to either of them. With the rate at which everyone was growing, there would be a day when these friends for life could be no more than close allies.

This was the price of growing up.

“Master!” As the familiar moment of dizziness gave way to a nostalgic sight and smell, the broodmother’s voice quickly snapped him out of his contemplations, “You’ve been gone so long, you should visit me!”

“Have you grown bigger?” Richard teased.

“Huge!”

“There was so much food?”

“My forest now covers the entire Land of Turmoil!”

Just the thought of that perfect forest made Richard shiver, something that even the Land of Dusk could rarely get out of him. “Anything else you want to tell me?”

“The legend tasted good!”

Richard immediately recalled Daychase’s body, smirking at the thought, “And outside of the taste?”

“Analysis is 1.03% complete.”

“Wait what?” Richard almost couldn’t believe what he had just heard. The broodmother could even analyse legendary beings? However, he quickly shook his head. Daychase was someone on par with a legend from Norland, and capturing a hundred of those was an impossible task. He wasn’t even sure there were that many legendary powerhouses in all of Norland.

“Master, you should come visit me soon!” the broodmother repeated with enthusiasm, tone certainly bolder than he remembered of her.

“Yes, yes, I hear you. Send the cloned brain here, it flies faster than the astral chrysalis.”

“Which one?”

“What do you mean which one?” Richard asked in shock. Just like Phaser, cloned brains were a special unit that needed divinity to create.

“I have too many things to handle, so I made a group to take care of trivial matters like battles,” she replied.

Richard didn’t know whether to feel proud or humiliated. He had always taken pride in being a powerful tactician who could put the broodmother’s troops to great use, but now she was telling him that the task was so trivial she wouldn’t even do it herself.

“Okay… I’ll come over in a bit, send me all the updates you have first… Wait no, no no no no no… ARGH!” Richard immediately grabbed his head in pain as he was flooded with data, mostly on the various creatures she had analysed. It took all of his effort to break off the connection by force, going through the disorganised information bit by bit.

The first things that stood out to him amongst the 10,000 creatures were the barbarians and dwarves. He had always thought they were single unified races, but she mentioned a dozen sub-species of dwarves and more than thirty types of barbarians.

As he shelved away the information to slowly go through in the coming months, Richard noticed one thing that the broodmother had highlighted amongst it all. She had now accumulated enough divinity to create that new seed!

“BOSS!” However, just as he was thinking of putting the doppelganger in the Forest Plane, his ears were almost torn apart by a booming voice. He felt the earth shake for a few seconds before he barely managed to turn around in time, seeing an enormous form almost cover him completely as it lifted him in its embrace.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hazel

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA