Book 6, Chapter 79

Ambition

“It is fate,” Martin said with a smile, causing Richard’s face to pale.

“Fate?”

“Indeed. Your appearance at the Saint Louis Cathedral was preordained, the fact that you managed to burn through my book shows that you have the power required for fate to pay attention to you. Not all chance encounters are accidental, Mister Richard.”

“Heh, not all chance encounters are accidental, sure. But the prophecy still didn’t know where I was coming from or who I was, how can you call that destiny?” Richard asked rudely.

“Destiny is beyond the control of the gods. In fact, many deities fall under its control at times. When faced with the awe of its power, we can either resist or give in and respect it. Before one has the strength to fight the world itself, the former is only a way to slow things down and make them worse.”

Richard frowned, but he could not refute Martin’s point. Anyone else could have argued back, but his mind immediately focused on Flowsand who was currently in the Darkness. That was destiny; it was a pre-ordained matter that she could not resist, only slow down.

However, was fate all that complicated? He was at the point in Faelor where he could look down on some of the gods there, but the Eternal Dragon’s arrangements were as good as destiny to him. What, then, if one stood above the Eternal Dragon as well? Could one resist destiny there, or was this a spiral with no end?

He thought about it seriously, “Thank you for your assistance, but you have also caused great losses to my side. I will consider us even, but at least on friendly terms.”

“It seems like you do not trust me,” Martin shrugged.

“I have no reason to.”

“I wish you luck, then. Right, I almost forgot something; once these items are turned into divine crystals, can you tell me how much divinity they produce in total?”

“… Why?” Richard was rather surprised at the strange, almost blasphemous request.

Martin smiled, “I do not know how you plan to extract the divinity, nor do I care. However, your efficiency might be a good way to form a relationship. If you can extract more divinity from this than the Church, I will send some more items at regular intervals. I’ll keep the original divinity they should have produced, but any excess we can split down the middle. What do you think?”

Richard squinted, “How much will your methods produce?”

“About… this much.” Martin spread his hand and a milky crystal was condensed within, a dense foggy energy still twirling within. It was the crystallisation of the divinity of light, and roughly about ten units.

“I can’t make any promises. Besides, the divinity I harvest might not have any properties.”

“Even better, we have no lack of crystals with specific divinity.”

The two eventually struck a deal, shaking hands before parting. Martin left with the envoy the next morning, the archbishop taking on the role of driver himself. They had no guards, but that was no problem for travellers of their calibre.

Within the carriage, Martin shut his eyes and started nodding off with the radiant smile still on his face. However, the archbishop interrupted his sleep respectfully, “Your Eminence, do you really want to strike a deal with Richard?”

“Is there anything wrong with that? We both stand to benefit, and the warehouses are filled to the brim with divine items that we have no use for.”

“But those are the Lord’s items, we only have the right to possess them as His servants. Richard is not one of us, it feels like we are going against the teachings of the Church.”

“The rules of the Church are not prophecies, they’re something we mortals came up with to make things easier. So long as we’re working for the good of the Lord and retain our principles, what we do is not important.”

“Of course, Your Eminence. You are the only one who can understand the faith in such a dynamic manner. I can only follow the established laws perfectly to avoid making mistakes.”

“That is sensible as well,” Martin commented, “Everyone works within their own limits.”

“You seem to be in good spirits, Your Eminence.”

“Haha, of course! I’ve finally gotten rid of that book of calamity, why would I not be relaxed? I also have the feeling that Richard will certainly give us a pleasant surprise with regards to the divine crystals.”

“The book of calamity? You mean…” The archbishop was shocked. Martin’s holy book was one of the seven greatest weapons of the Church of Glory, but it was being referred to as a book of calamity.

“That holiness is only external, its true identity is the Book of Calamity. Hmph, Messia must have seen through this long ago. I was careless at the time and fell into his trap, leaving me stuck with the book. I’ve finally escaped, I can concentrate on repaying him for it later.” There was a rather strange aura of murderous intent radiating from the cardinal.

“This… Book of Calamity, does it have any negative effects?” the archbishop asked prudently.

“It is extremely powerful, we are only able to utilise a small part of its energy. The book has the power to change destiny, which puts its owner at odds with the power of fate. I have no wish to be such a person, so I have been cautious for all these years. This was the only opportunity I found to give it away.”

“Could you not just have given it to a random passerby?”

Martin shook his head, “That book is a powerful magic item, it has high standards for its wielder. Controlling it requires the ability to use the power of laws as a minimum baseline, one cannot just give it away.”

“Then I have to congratulate you, Your Eminence!” The archbishop was both excited and surprised at this information. It was evident from this huge secret that he had won Martin’s trust.

“I’ll let you handle the matter of the divine crystals from today.” Martin nodded off and fell asleep, starting to ponder matters related to Messia. The archbishop quietly rejoiced; this meant Martin would turn a blind eye to him keeping some of the divinity for himself.

……

At this time within Blackrose, Richard was in a heavily guarded private room as he closely inspected the divine items he had taken, including the holy book.

Divinity was normally the best way for a less-talented sky saint to come into contact with the power of laws. Many warriors used divine crystals as a baseline to understand the power of laws, eventually using it to come up with their own path to a breakthrough. However, this came with a heavy price. The only way of condensing divinity outside of killing weaker gods was to get it from the Eternal Dragon, at least as far as he knew. Besides, even if one became a legend this way, the legendary ability they gained would be abnormally weak.

Martin did not seem like someone who would be content with mediocrity. It was extremely likely that, even if he wasn’t at the legendary realm yet, he grasped at least some of the power of laws. Thinking of it this way, one could quickly tell the cardinal’s true intentions behind asking for divine crystals: he wanted to light his own godfire!

Lighting one’s godfire was normally the next step after entering the legendary realm anywhere else, but in a primary plane like Norland it wasn’t the best of choices. However, an overwhelming majority of legendary beings would have exhausted their talent the moment they stepped into the legendary realm, so the godfire was the only way for them to advance further. However, Richard couldn’t believe Martin wanted something so simple either. Under the youth’s harmless exterior was an unfathomable greed. Did he want to be the new Radiant Lord?

Thinking of this, he shook his head. There were many ambitious people in the world, but very few had the ability to match. Martin was likely a stellar talent, but there was no shortage of people like that in Norland. One still needed a certain amount of luck to even reach the legendary realm.

He fiddled with the goblet in his hand and smirked; the cardinal certainly hadn’t guessed his true intentions. He really had chosen these items for the divinity within them, but it was not to extract that divinity but to analyse it. He wanted to control the laws of light!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA