Far across the myriad planes in Faelor, Flowsand was lazing against her sofa when a knight delivered a letter to her. She yawned in her seat as she cut open the envelope, slowly pulling an almost-blank sheet out from within. Stretching to wake herself, she read through the single sentence within.
*Thud!* She immediately fell to the ground, scrambling back up and desperately looking for the sheet of paper that had fallen with her. Her hands started trembling as she picked up the letter once more, reading the two simple words on it with terror in her heart. Eyes going completely wide, she turned the letter over only to find another short sentence that did nothing to assuage her fears.
Then, there was nothing. The messenger had already retreated, leaving the entire residence in absolute silence for a long time. The letter had slipped from Flowsand’s stunned hands, falling to the ground.
It felt like hours before she got the strength to speak, as she suddenly jumped up and yelled angrily, “Broodmother? Who gives a fuck about the broodmother, asshole! She’s a lot more trustworthy than you are!”
She rushed out of the room, not even bothering to wear her shoes as she rushed to the command centre. Heading for the humanoid knight on guard, she grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and lifted it into the sky before throwing it away, “Go call a cloned brain right now, don’t tell me you’ll ask, just do it!”
The aggression was unnecessary— she actually ranked behind Richard and the broodmother’s main body in terms of command rights over all drones— but as she was now she couldn’t bring herself to be calm. Still, the drone simply stayed in place as it contacted a cloned brain mentally. In the meanwhile, she headed up to the meeting hall and opened up the floor-to-ceiling windows that had been installed so Tiramisu could peek in.
Richard’s followers were still scattered all across the barbarian plains, with Gangdor and Andrieka stationed on the borders with the human countries. Andrieka in particular was constantly provoking the Iron Triangle Empire’s soldiers, testing their attitude. However, she was unwilling to wait for everyone to gather.
It didn’t take long before a gust blew through the windows, an enormous insectoid creature flying down from the sky and hanging off the outer wall. A small proboscis that doubled as a mouthpiece slithered down and in through the window, “Beautiful Miss Flowsand, what do you need of me?”
Flowsand looked this mini-broodmother up and down, sickened by the sweet androgynous voice coming out of such a monstrosity, “You’re getting more disgusting by the day. Get me the original.”
The mouthpiece nodded, “The shape is not important. I can create a human shell for the cloned brains if you wish, but you know that life is far beyond one’s outer appearance. Do you not think the current forms of these cloned brains are perfection?”
“The fuck I do! Answer me honestly, what happens to you if Richard dies?”
“Master will die?!” Shock flowed in the broodmother’s voice for the first time ever, but then she went silent for a moment and responded, “If you wish to know about the impact on me, then Master’s death will leave me stuck at level 9 for all eternity. I can continue to build new drones, and given enough time I will turn the entire plane into my nest, but even if I become as big as a mountain I will be stuck here forever at level 9.”
Flowsand’s brow unwrinkled, “Why?”
“Because I have no soul, only an approximation of one. My advances are entirely dependent on the soul I first imprinted from, Master Richard. His death will give me true free will, but I will also be stuck forever.”
“Hmm… You aren’t a natural life form, are you?”
“I believe my kind is bred exclusively as weapons in planar war.”
“No matter, you’re a complete life now. However, Richard has met with trouble— no, the bastard has gone looking for it! I’m going to return to Norland to see if I can do something.”
“What can I do to help?” the broodmother asked immediately.
“Support Gangdor in controlling the situation here in Faelor. Secondly, create an avatar and give me the seed. It might be useful.”
“I certainly will, and I have some private possessions as well. Please take them, they might be able to assist you.”
“Private possessions? What do you mean?”
“Three warrior drones I designed, the combined results of my analysis of various races. They were originally meant to protect me, but there is more meaning in leaving them by your side. I call them the Eternal Warriors of the Night.”
“The Eternal Warriors of the Night? Why does that sound familiar?” Flowsand frowned.
“The term appeared in my mind as I designed them. It must be an implant in my memory from creation or unlocked during my growth.”
“No. In terms of Norland levels, they are only level 17. Phaser is the only one of the three who is functional right now as well; the other two need to return to the worm nest frequently to replenish their powers. I will need a month or so to perfect them.”
“So only one warrior, and not even a saint. Is there anything special about her?”
“Flowing within them is the blood of gods. All of their bodies have the characteristics of bastard demigods, and their souls have been extracted from defeated enemies. They do not share the same restrictions as other combat units, having the capacity to learn and grow. However, their body structure is completely unlike those of a human; every expected weakness is actually a fatal trap. I can resurrect them even if they die, so long as I have enough divinity and divine blood.”
“Those two aren’t exactly common things,” Flowsand pointed out.
“Faelor has a number of local gods and demigods for divinity, while Zangru serves as a fine source of the blood.”
“Good. I don’t have much time, when can Phaser come over?”
“She has been recalled. It will only take a day.”
“Good, have her hurry. You can go now.”
The cloned brain detached from the window and flew away. Flowsand slumped into a chair and opened the Book of Time, flipping to a page with two hourglasses representing Nyra and Io. A small injection of timeforce pulled the hourglasses out of the page, “Come to Bluewater right away. I will be going back to Norland soon, and will never come back again.”
Both Io and Nyra showed expressions of surprise, but they simply nodded in silence. The two were currently in the barbarian plains, one examining an idol while the other was searching around. The two glanced at each other and took to the skies, zooming across the plains towards Bluewater.
The next morning, Flowsand’s group of four walked through the portal and appeared directly in the Church of the Eternal Dragon. In addition to Nyra and Io was a female warrior wrapped in delicate-looking armour, looking rather attractive even with a metal mask covering her face. This mask didn’t even have any eyeholes, making it impossible to tell whether she was using some different form of sight or was just blind.
Arranging for a place to stay for the three, Flowsand immediately headed to find Ferlyn. The two generations of chosen priestesses spent a long time in discussion at the back hall, and even when they came out Ferlyn was still trying to persuade Flowsand who was constantly shaking her head. They quickly approached the sacrificial altar, and a curtain of timeforce blocked the curious eyes of the priestesses and paladins.
Flowsand opened the Book of Time at the altar, divine power flowing out like water as it permeated into the ruins. Ferlyn spoke up from behind her, “I’ve already told you of the final outcome. Do you not believe me?”
“You still have time to stop.”
“If I do, he’ll die in Klandor.”
“But the future the old dragon showed you won’t nec— ARGH!” Ferlyn started trembling with pain, golden blood dripping down from her brow. She reached out and rubbed her forehead with a helpless smile, “See, this is what happens when people like me say what they shouldn’t. Are you sure you want to be like me?”
“Ferlyn, do you think I’ll be able to escape the fate of becoming like you forever? Some things are set in stone, a destiny written down before we’re even born. I want to take control of what I can, meeting it on my own terms. At least… he isn’t bad to me.”
“You…” the high priestess was left at a loss for words.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo