Atop a snowy mountain stood an enormous stone house, ten metres tall with the doors so wide that a two-horse carriage could walk through without issue. Several barbarian figures were gathered around the fireplace of this home that was too large even for an ogre, a mixture of youths and old men waiting for more arrivals.
The furnishing of the house was very simple, made mostly of stone and wood. In one corner of the main hall was a small stone basin sat atop flaming embers, several wild fruits floating across the surface of the water boiling within. There was a stone-carved altar of a strange beast in the centre as well, the extremely crude sculpture somehow filled with a powerful aura that could steal away one’s breath.
“This ghastly weather!” a youth walked into the house, shaking the snow off and scurrying towards the fire, “I’m going to freeze to death! Why does it have to be this place?”
“It’s to prevent mortals from disturbing the idol of the Beast God!” a barbarian with a nasal voice spoke up, “Do you want to leave? I see your heart isn’t with us ever since you got yourself a teacher from Norland, Yori.”
“Master isn’t a Norlander, don’t make that mistake. The people who say that kind of thing make her angry.”
The other youth paled slightly, but he didn’t back off, “So what? Does she have the guts to come find trouble with me?”
Yori suddenly laughed, “Why is a coward like you talking about my heart? A barbarian warrior who’s gloating that the enemy won’t come fight him? How about you go out instead of hiding in your nest? I can show you the way to the Deepblue.”
The youth’s expression warped in an instant, “What’s the big deal about Sharon? Isn’t it just summoning dragons? That’s so ordinary.”
Yori sneered, “Summoning dragons is ordinary, but I’d like to see you try beating a group of black dragons. Can you do that, little Hang?”
The barbarian called Hang snorted, “I know many powerful people who can easily kill dragons!”
“And do they know you? No need to go white, come now. Forget your parents, your uncles, your brother, even your wife. That isn’t you. Do you have the ability to go to the Deepblue and fight Master?”
“Yes, but… I’m only one person…”
Yori waved his hand and sneered, “Just like I said, a coward. And then there’s a Norlander who’s come to Klandor for the second time now. I feel far more proud of having Richard as a junior I’ll ever be of you.”
“That’s not brave, that’s stupid!” the youth retorted, but by this time Yori had already stopped paying attention.
“Hey, old Wumu isn’t here either? Wow, I’m not the last one here… That old fo—”
“Hahahaha,” a burst of laughter rang outside the door, interrupting Yori’s words, “I know you always say bad things about me, boy.”
An elderly man walked into the stone house while accompanied by a youth; this was the same old man Richard had seen when he entered Klandor.
“Everyone is here, we may begin,” one of the other old men in the house immediately spoke up, “We are here to discuss the holy shrine’s proposal to advance the sacred ceremony. Who agrees?”
Several people quickly expressed their opinions, after which the old man spoke up once more, “Everyone except Yori has agreed to advance the ceremony, the Council of Elders has agreed to move it forward.”
Yori’s expression was dull, but he sighed and didn’t say anything. He knew just why the sacred ceremony had been advanced, and he didn’t possess the strength himself to deal with it.
“The second thing we need to discuss is how to deal with Richard,” the elder said softly, “After all, he still holds the Tooth of the Beast God.”
“I propose we send our warriors to grab him and take the Tooth back by force!” Hang immediately piped up.
“Are you not a man?!” Yori stood up angrily, “If you have the ability, go fight Richard and take it back yourself? Don’t you always say you’re talented and brave, stop being a coward and go do it? You’re at level 20 and don’t even have the guts to fight a level 18 mage?”
“Of course I can go!” Hang said with a snort, “But he is only a Norlander, why should an elder of the Council go fight him personally? You have been targetting me repeatedly, Yori, my patience has reached the limit. My uncle—”
“If you want me to fight your uncle, I’ll gladly do so to the death. Come, let’s swear right before the altar!” Yori grunted, “You absolute…”
Seeing the barbarian mage’s outburst, Hang immediately paled and lost his voice, “You… You’re crazy…”
“I know you’re too scared to fight me, put forth anyone from your family that you want and I’ll fight them. If you can’t do even that, then just shut your useless mouth.” Yori sneered and sat back down, closing his eyes and breathing softly to calm himself. A look of sheer malice filled Hang’s face as he stared for a long time, but he quickly sat back down as well.Although Yori wasn’t at the legendary realm yet, he had been fighting in the Twilight of the Behemoths for many years, one of the most famous battlefields of despair. Even a true legendary powerhouse wouldn’t be absolutely confident of winning against someone of his calibre, and Hang knew he would lose unconditionally. However, he couldn’t bring himself to admit this fact.
The elder presiding over the council frowned, “I have already confirmed that Her Highness gave Richard the Tooth of her own accord. He has not stolen it, nor has he robbed it. However, given the advancement of the sacred ceremony, we cannot leave the Tooth of the Beast God in the hands of a Norlander. We should still do something.”
Most of the elders exchanged glances before their eyes collectively fell upon Yori. Feeling the piercing gazes, the barbarian mage stood up, “Distinguished Elders, a Norlander has dared to set foot on Klandor with the Tooth of the Beast God in hand. This is a true warrior! We should greet him as the descendants of the Beast God, as the sons of Klandor who still have honour flowing through our veins! Since when has the Land of Heroes grown so cowardly that we have to use an army to fight a single man? What difference is there between us and the Norlanders we look down upon?”
Yori’s words caused hideous frowns to appear on the faces of the elders. They knew he was right, but there was still the fact that Richard had beaten Balibali and almost killed Heisa the last time he had arrived here. Mountainsea’s intervention had saved his life, but that had been from a reprehensible scheme that went against Klandor’s ideals. Right now, they didn’t know of many warriors at the same level who could beat the mage.
Yori certainly knew this as well, but despite— no, because of it— he appealed to the sensibilities of the council.
Elder Wumu eventually sighed, “Elder Yori, are you very close to Richard?”
“He is Master’s favourite student.”
“I haven’t ever seen the kid in my life, what kind of personal relationship could we have?”
Wumu thought about it for a while, “The Tooth of the Beast God is a token of the holy child. Could you go personally to retrieve it?”
Yori’s smile immediately disappeared, his expression turning cold as he stared at Wumu, “Elder Wumu, I have no personal relationship with you. Stop joking with me!”
“I am not joking. I heard recently that Richard has been staying in the Land of Dusk, and he has unlocked the mythical Manacycle ability. Besides you, I fear we have no warriors below the legendary realm capable of defeating him.”
These words painted Wumu himself as a target, with several elders expressing disbelief. It was one thing to say that Richard was powerful, but for him to be able to defeat any of the warriors, druids, and shamans with their own special talents below the legendary realm was another thing entirely. Even the elders regained their youthful rage, while Hang immediately started ranting about how Norland’s mages were extremely weak.
Looking at the bickering faces, Wumu just sighed. He had already grown accustomed to this scene. It was Yori instead whose spirits were raised. Having said all he wanted to anyway, he started heading for the door. Regardless of the council’s reasoning, he would never make an enemy of Richard. Sharon might look like a cute young woman when she wasn’t angry, but when she was… A chill ran down his spine at the mere thought.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo