Well into the night, Richard was meditating in his room with Carnage on his lap. Deep within his body, the elven world tree seemed languid with a layer of blue light wrapped around all of its leaves and branches. The Archeron bloodline was no longer roaring as well, but one could tell from the steady flow that it was prepared to erupt at any time.
The poison was still eating away at his mana pool. He was now at level 12, but the toxicity hadn’t yet been suppressed. Despite his hardest attempts, he would fall at least a few more levels before the night drew to a close.
He touched the destiny crystal in his chest pocket for what felt like the millionth time. This plate was significantly tougher than the other two; those had broken the moment he even touched them, but this had even survived the attack back in the Resting Orchid Plane. He realised his mind was wandering and shook his head, focusing on meditation once more. The time had come to use it, but he wouldn’t do so until the eve of the battle.
Within his inner void, the first star captured by the Deepblue Dream remained floating stably in the air. The blood star condensed from the Land of Dusk was shaking uneasily, but very little of the power it released was absorbed by the well of stars. They were in total supplying a significant amount of mana, but the poison was still taking its toll.
He was currently concentrated on the restoration affinity of his elven bloodline, the only part of his existence that seemed even vaguely capable of fighting back. This was perhaps the affinity he paid the least attention to, but coincidence had it it was the exact one he needed right now. Every mote of light sent out by the trunk managed to eliminate dozens of times its number of the poison, but the number of these motes was just far too small compared to how much poison there was.
It didn’t take long for him to realise that the reason for this tenacity was the partial deciphering of the laws of life from the Forest Plane. Quickly understanding that the lack of numbers was due to his own meagre comprehensions, he immediately decided to put all of his efforts into this tiny hope. Although it took some effort to get it working, he started directing the astral rays within the Deepblue Dream from the well of stars to the restoration affinity. The output of the tree immediately doubled, leaving him overjoyed. A quick calculation told him that this new method would leave him at level 10 for tomorrow’s fight, barely enough to drive Mana Armament.
He quickly decided on a three-pronged approach. His second and third minds were put to the task of converting astral energy into life energy and pouring it into the restoration trunk, while his primary consciousness focused on continuing to decipher the laws of life. Even one more law would greatly improve his chances of not having to fight to his death tomorrow.
The skinny elder secretly visited Archbishop Hendrick in the middle of the night, discussing things for nearly an hour before leaving with an ugly expression. Hendrick’s expression was dark as he returned from the courtyard after seeing him off.
“What’s wrong?” The Sixth Prince asked from the shadows.
“These savages… They never do things thoroughly, no wonder they’re in decline!” Hendrick huffed before walking off.
As the Archbishop’s figure receded into his room, the Ninth Princess walked out from the shadows as well, making a face in his direction before asking, “What happened?”
The Sixth Prince smiled softly, “I guess there’s going to be a bit of change to the ceremony.”
“Heh? Didn’t the barbarians already ban their strongest fighters from the competition?”
“How could those guys be anything of a fight?” Uriel asked with disdain.
“It’s the poisoned guy.”
“Poisoned guy? Who is it?”
The Prince ignored the question as he walked back to his own room. The girl just snorted and went back to sleep with a pout.
Richard had nearly thirty motes of light flying around his restoration affinity trunk by the time the moon crested the sky. He had been progressing faster than expected, with at least one more law in the system deciphered before he would have to do battle again. However, a knock at his door pulled him out of his trance. Shifting his sword to his hand, he opened the door to find Great Shaman Urazadzu waiting for him.
“Oh? Come in,” he said as he opened the door completely and walked to the hall, but he didn’t let go of his blade. Once the old man followed him inside, he sat down and stared with expectation.
Urazadzu sighed before taking out two black vials from a pocket, “I’m afraid we do not have the antidote for what you ingested yesterday. We… have seen the error of our ways, and want to make up for that slight. These are two sacred treasures of the Azuresnow Mountain. One is the Beast God’s Potion, a medicine that can greatly improve your bodily power. With how you have been fighting right now, it should help greatly.
“This one is called bloodthirst essence, and it can greatly boost your body’s power for a period of time. However, it will also exhaust you greatly when its effects come to an end. There are three drops within, you only need to take one drop at a time. A normal barbarian will be incapacitated for three days upon using it, so you will likely be bedridden for four to five. Be careful of when you use it.”
Richard didn’t take the vials immediately, pointing his sword at the bloodthirst essence, “Is that not cheating?”
“No, it is compensation for having wronged you. We will try our best to ensure that the remaining fights are fair. You can be at ease.”
“Oh?” Richard chuckled as a wind spell blew the two bottles towards his hands, “I look forward to this… fairness.”
Once Urazadzu left, Richard pulled out both vials and started to analyse the contents within. Fortunately, he saw no evidence of any ill will with either. A rather strange smile crept up his face as he stared at the Beast God Potion; although he had never seen it before, just the pure energy he felt within was extremely precious. The bloodthirst essence was rather interesting as well; while Urazadzu had warned him about using it, his own body recovery was certainly very powerful. If the average barbarian would go down for three days, he definitely wouldn’t need more than one.
He didn’t understand why the elders had changed their mind, but this was his only opportunity to make it out of this alive. Once he was fairly confident there would be no problems, he just poured the Beast God’s Potion down his mouth.
It felt like his abdomen was instantly burnt by fire and ice, a sharp pain spreading from his stomach all throughout his body. The potion was extremely violent, but he could feel the energy being infused into his muscles and bones. The pain grew stronger with time, but he could feel his sinews being toughened and his bones hardened.
It was only minutes into the process before he could no longer stand the pain, falling to his hands and screaming like a beast. He tossed and turned, roared and whimpered all night, the pain only letting up after the first rays of dawn. By that point he was bloody and full of cuts all over, but his body had buffed up significantly.
He struggled around for a long time before propping himself up and looking over his body. His wounds were squirming as they healed at a visible pace.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo