Knowing that it would be impossible to convince him, Ferlyn shook her head and faded away. Her image scattered into timeforce and disappeared completely, taking the abnormal purple in the study with it.
Richard sighed and sat back down on his chair, staring out the window. The man started walking away as well, but before leaving he suddenly looked back, ”If you truly are determined to go to the Darkness, then I advise you raise your title with the Eternal Dragon to at least a Lord of Time. That is the only way to return alive.”
“My title?” Richard’s eyes narrowed, “How far away is it?”
“You are currently a Planewalker. Next comes the Voidwalker, Lord of Space, and Lord of Time,” the man said in a low voice, “This is only personal advice. You can choose whether you listen.”
“Thank you,” Richard nodded, “I don’t believe we have met before.”
“I’m Leo, Her Excellency’s eternal servant.” The man jumped out of the window and disappeared into thin air. Richard quickly recalled where he had heard the name before; this was the rarely seen commander of the paladins of the Church.
Once Leo left, Richard spent an entire night in quiet meditation. It was only at dawn that he finally stood up and walked over to a window, watching the City of Miracles in all of its glory.
All an illusion, he couldn’t help but feel. This was supposed to be one of the most prosperous cities in the world, but nobody here was really happy. It was like he was standing in another time and space, looking at a mere image of grandeur.
He didn’t know when his grip had grown tighter, but he was suddenly jolted from his trance by a loud screech as the frame was completely twisted apart. He immediately turned and rang a bell to call some of his mages over, meeting them in the corridor and ordering them to set up communications. By the next minute, he was sitting in front of the recently-upgraded long-distance communication circle waiting for Alice to respond.
“What’s so urgent?” Alice asked with a yawn as she appeared on the holographic screen, “Couldn’t you let me sleep a little more?”
“It’s important,” Richard answered.
Alice immediately shook her head, her clouded eyes starting to glow. She gestured for him to continue.
“I want war!”
She seemed to stop breathing for a moment, looking him right in the eye as she processed what he’d just said. The war goddess of the Archerons immediately burst out from within her tired frame, her crimson hair flaring up as she smiled with resolution, “Just say the word.”
Richard’s own eyes narrowed, “Alright, prepare your army, I’m coming over.”
Philip was twenty minutes into breakfast by the time Richard reached the royal island, but he was led directly to the Emperor’s dining hall and granted a seat. Looking at the enormous man eating vulgarly, Richard could find no signs of any injuries left behind from the battle in the Land of Dusk.
As he watched the figure that was now comparable to the founding emperor of the Sacred Alliance, Richard’s mind wandered to the situation in the Land of Dusk. A new balance had been reached, and even having given the other two empires a third control of the City of the Unsetting Sun between them, the Sacred Alliance was certainly ahead. As Gaton had said, the oily fingers didn’t matter when it came to the biggest upstart of the Sacred Alliance; power was everything.
“Eat!” Philip spoke even as he wolfed down a huge steak, “These things aren’t good when they’re cold.”
Richard didn’t touch the knife and fork, instead bowing sincerely, “Thank you for your help in Klandor, Your Majesty!”
The Emperor grunted in annoyance, “What are you talking about? You’re my royal runemaster, no matter what you did in Klandor those old men wouldn’t dare to do anything to you. This isn’t just your business, it involved the reputation of the entire Sacred Alliance.
“Honestly, if you actually died on Azuresnow Mountain I would just have gone over and killed a few barbarian legends for breakfast. It wasn’t my contribution this time, go thank your girlfriend in the Church.”
Richard shivered a little, his face darkening, “Flowsand… She’s gone to the Darkness.”
“It was only a matter of time,” Philip nodded, “It’s the fate of all Chosen.”
Richard heard the deep sorrow in the Emperor’s own voice, but he didn’t want to broach the subject any further. He instead changed topics, talking about the main reason for his presence, “I also came here to tell you that I’m preparing for war.”
“You’re playing around with the Sacred Tree? What’s your goal?”
“The Saint Louis Cathedral.”
“Oh?” Philip paused, “That’s the largest church on the northeastern border of the Sacred Tree Empire. This involves faith… How far are you going?”
Richard was already prepared with an answer, “All resistance will be wiped out, and those who surrender will be returned. So long as they show enough sincerity, I’ll even consider returning the cathedral itself.”
“I heard you saw the Sacred Tree Empire in your trip?”
“I killed the Sixth Prince.”
Philip raised a brow in surprise, “Uriel, one of the Angels?”
“It was a fair battle, the Council of Elders and the Azuresnow Shrine were present as witness.”
“Heh, that isn’t what I meant. It’s only a prince, they don’t matter much at all. I just heard that his control of his power wasn’t all that great, but still… To kill one of the seven— well, five now— Angels. You’re getting good!”
Richard smiled at the compliment, “I was desperate and he decided he wanted to fight me. Of course he’d lose.”
Philip sighed and shook his head, “You’re being very ambitious with this war, be careful. Two things: don’t destroy or otherwise harm the cathedral itself, and don’t kill those in high positions. Remain aware of this bottom line, and I’ll take care of the Empire if they want to grow the scale.”
“Thank you very much!” Richard bowed once more. His biggest worry had just been solved.
The Emperor laughed, “I don’t care why you’re so anxious for war, but since you want to fight, remember to hurt the enemy until they wouldn’t dare provoke us again!”
“I think so too,” Richard said with a twinkle in his eye.
“Alright, the war is something for tomorrow. Eat.”
Far away in an unknown world, three travellers with thick cloaks were walking along a deserted road. The person at the forefront slowed down slightly and looked up at the sky, “This place is really bad, but it’s better than the place we came from. Is this the Darkness? I can’t wait to see what fate has in store for us.”
“You’re always so impatient,” a voice rang out from the side.
The first man snorted with disdain, “I’m just a normal person. Who’d want to be a monster like you?”
The person in the middle took off her hood as the two others argued, looking around the world at which they had just arrived. This was a ridiculous land full of rocks and gravel, with the only scenery being a few tall stone pillars in the distance. The earth was black rock, and the only source of light was an omnipresent dull grey glow that could barely illuminate anything. This was a world of despair and death, with no life nor water to be seen anywhere.
“Come on, let’s move,” Flowsand said as she started walking once more, nodding to another figure far out in the distance. They didn’t even know where they were, and that wouldn’t do.
Io fell back a little and let her take the lead, starting to walk next to Nyra and whispering, “She doesn’t seem as sad.”
Nyra nodded, “Yeah, it seems a little strange.”
“Yes, she calmed herself down so quickly. We women don’t let go of our emotions so easily.”
“Hey!” Io grunted, “Are you even a woman?”
Nyra flashed a flattering smile, “For now. Do you want me to change that?”
The battle priest immediately turned away. Regardless of why it was, Flowsand was calmer and it seemed like she could even cheer herself up a little. What they didn’t know was that she had locked herself away in the Temple of the Sands for an entire day.
That day in Norland had been an entire decade within.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo