The long sacred ceremony had finally drawn to a close. However, Richard remained standing in place as he heard the announcement of his victory, as though awaiting the next battle.
The judge walked over to him and whispered, “There are some more formalities before you and Mountainsea can meet. You can return to your room for now, I’ll have someone give you the information later.”
Richard flashed a helpless smile, “I want to. Trust me, I really want to. But there’s a problem.”
The elder froze, looking Richard up and down before frowning, “You’re feeling weak?”
“Didn’t you last three whole hours yesterday? Why are you weakening so quickly now?”
“How would I know? It’s your sacred medicine,” Richard answered helplessly.
This response left the elder speechless. He called over two sturdy barbarian warriors and had them carry Richard back to his house, and Richard even asked them to just dump him on his bed before leaving.
He felt so tired he just wanted to curl up and die, but he didn’t even have the strength to lift a finger. Lying down quietly, he began recalling the entire process of his battle against Uriel.
Everything at the beginning had gone right according to expectations, but even a minute into the clash of energy things had been far different than he expected. His original plan had been to use the clash of fire as a distraction, creating an explosion from it when his mana was about to run out and using the moment Uriel lost concentration to unleash his strongest sword attack. However, this was with the idea that he would lose the battle of attrition. Although he had mostly recovered, he was still a level lower in terms of strength and his runes were focused around physical battle instead of magic enhancement. Although Manacycle was extremely powerful in this regard, it wasn’t the same as a grade 5 rune set.
As the abyssal flames started to weaken, he had suddenly heard a roar from the depths of his soul. It was filled with an indescribable sense of pride, leaving him with the feeling that the entire world was trembling in its wake! He had suddenly felt every bit of strength in his body being redirected, numerous threads of blood even drilling into the void of the Deepblue Dream and draining the energy of the two stars. All of this power had converged into his palms, amplifying the strength of the flames and giving him the upper hand.
This was a deeper level of destruction, one that had even boosted Lifesbane to a power he had never been able to achieve before. However, he didn’t understand just where that furious shout came from.
Checking the situation of his body, he found both his bloodlines incomparably weak. The world tree had lost all of its leaves, and the lava flowing in his Archeron veins had almost solidified. Still, a line of mysterious runes floated out from within upon command, the power of his truename. Those at the front had a dark gold lustre implying they had been awakened, but this part was much longer than before. Ignoring Schloan, however, they still combined to form a single name: Dizmason, Destruction.
Before today, he had assumed this part of his truename represented the destructive ability of his abyssal flames. However, that roar was making him reconsider his assumption. All truenames were supposed to be part of one’s own power, but that energy had felt like a mighty existence he could not yet comprehend.
The truename flickered a few times before disappearing. Activating it used up a great amount of strength, so the already-feeble Richard immediately just fell asleep.
This was the first time that he slept peacefully since he stepped foot in Klandor.
Within the shrine, a group of elders conversed deep into the night. This time, the central council wasn’t the only one present. All four other councils had sent their own representatives, as had the Azuresnow Shrine. They were all discussing a single matter; the fact that the sacred ceremony had been won by a Norlander.
Everyone quarrelled loudly, with most opposing the mere idea, but they could not deny that Richard had truly won the battle on his own merit. If they were to change their stance now, the humiliation would most certainly spell their doom.
The only common idea was that they definitely couldn’t have it continue as per tradition, with invitations being sent out to the head of every decently sized tribe to watch. That would only showcase their shame to the entire continent.
After arguing for most of the night, even these exceptional warriors felt tired. Their fury was focused almost purely on the central council, and although they knew it wouldn’t help with the solution they were starting to vent. In the end, they all just agreed to push the ceremony back until Richard had completely recovered, giving themselves the time to come up with a plan.
Within a quiet little courtyard behind the Azuresnow Shrine, a robed Mountainsea was kneeling in front of the Beast God’s statue while deep in thought. A knock sounded on the door, and once he received a grunt of affirmation Great Shaman Urazadzu walked in. Looking at Mountainsea without her totems or braids, he sighed before putting on a smile, “Richard won the battle. Your wishes will now come true.”
“Oh? Good,” Mountainsea stated indifferently.
The Great Shaman put down a stone bowl that he brought in, taking out an ancient beastskin bag and opening it layer by layer, revealing a few stones of different shapes and colours within, “Your Highness, the battles have ended. I can draw your totems on once more.”
Mountainsea shook her head, “You aren’t hoping for me to beat him, are you?”
Urazadzu’s hand froze awkwardly, “That… No, most elders do think that, but the Council will not ask it of you. Do as you wish, but I hope you will at least make it look difficult to save us the humiliation.”
Mountainsea continued staring at the Beast God’s statue, “I feel really relaxed without the totems. I don’t want them for now, maybe later.”
The Great Shaman sighed, “Then I’ll leave these things here. Just call for me once you make up your mind.”
As Urazadzu turned away, Mountainsea asked softly, “You aren’t planning any strange tricks, are you? Having one of the guys come in and fight Richard one more time or something?”
“Cough… No! How could that be possible?” The Great Shaman shook his head, but the cough betrayed the idea. This had actually been brought up in the meeting, but the Grand Elder and Mountainsea’s mother Asa had denied it completely on the basis that it would make them just as shameless as the Norlanders.
Mountainsea just grunted.
Urazadzu found this once-lively back was suddenly very frail and lonely. He sighed, “You Highness, the results will not change, you have no need to worry. We might alter the form of it so we do not lose our reputation completely, but there will not be any more bad news.”
“Alright,” she nodded, “Richard needs rest, and I want peace for a day. I’ll get the totems tomorrow night.”
“Of course!” the Great Shaman left in delight.
Deep in the night, Mountainsea suddenly stood up and stretched for an entire half hour until sweat was rolling down her forehead, calling out to the warriors guarding her courtyard, “I’m hungry, get me some food.”
All three guards immediately got up to bring her a meal. With her voracious appetite, even the powerful barbarians needed two or three people to lift everything. A few minutes later, they brought back a few giant stone bowls filled with steaming hot food.
“Let’s eat together,” Mountainsea told the women, leaving them incredibly delighted. They knew just how special her food was; being able to eat with her was equivalent to half a year of practice.
Right as they sat down, all three guards suddenly felt their vision going dark. Before they knew it, Mountainsea had knocked them out and tied them up with a few hide ropes. She then wrapped up a large amount of roasted meat and tightened her loose robes before taking off. A soft “Sorry!” was all she left behind.
Richard’s eyes suddenly shot open as he was shaken awake, and he found Mountainsea staring right at him. His eyes went wide in surprise and delight, but just as he was about to speak she put her index finger on his lips and shushed him, “Get your stuff, we’re leaving.”
“Leaving? Leaving where?” he was confused.
“Klandor! Do you actually plan to take part in the ceremony?” Mountainsea immediately shuttled away, breezing through the room like a whirlwind as she packed the few things he had and returned. She just lifted him up and put him on a shoulder before lugging everything and darting down Azuresnow Mountain. In the blink of an eye, she disappeared into the night.
On another snowy mountain in the distance, Greyhawk suddenly sighed as he tightened his arms around his wife, “Our daughter’s all grown up now.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA