Book 6, Chapter 80

Creation And Sustenance

The goblet in Richard’s hand had been placed on the altar for many years, perhaps ever since the formation of the Saint Louis Cathedral. It had no special qualities, but the divinity within was extremely dense. It was extremely useful when trying to analyse the laws within; even the holy book could not compare.

Richard started channelling his energy, extracting some of the divinity within the goblet in the form of a milky-white smoke. His eyes lit aglow to analyse the properties of this energy, slowly magnifying the image to reveal rows of divine runes each travelling on their own trajectories. All gods of a plane shared the same divine text so he understood most of what the specific runes said, but the importance of these runes did not lie in their meaning but in their path. His blessings allowed him to analyse the mass of information coming from all of the runes at once, allowing him to get started on an analytical model of the laws of light.

The glow from his eyes grew increasingly warm even as his own body reached burning temperatures, his face glowing red like fire, but it didn’t take long before the goblet dimmed and eventually exploded. Seeing that it had lost all of its divinity, he shook his head and picked up one of the swords. The sword had less than half as much energy, however, so he quickly went through that as well.

One day and night later, all of the holy items were gone. From his estimates, he had only finished a tenth of the analytical model he would need to start working on these laws himself. This would be an exceptionally long process, but from the looks of it the laws of light had millions of variations unlike the 65,536 he had learnt from the Tree of Life.

Looking at the broken divine items here, he seriously started considering the deal with Martin. Martin could extract just about ten units of divinity from a batch of this size, so for a successful partnership he would have to come up with roughly fourteen units of divinity. Deducting the two that he could keep to himself, he would need to produce twelve units each for nine batches. That was a total of 96 units of divinity that had to be obtained via sacrifices or trade. A top-tier offering could net him roughly fifty units of divinity, so this was equivalent to two top-tier offerings. This wasn’t cheap, but he could still afford it.

He summoned an attendant over, instructing him to send a letter to the Church of Glory addressed directly to Cardinal Martin. There was nothing in the letter outside of two digits, 14. Martin would understand.

His gaze finally landed on the only thing that still had a divine aura, Martin’s book. The tome was more than twenty centimetres thick and half a metre long, its cover made of bronze with divine symbols inscribed on the surface. Richard couldn’t quite understand what those symbols meant, but he could quickly confirm that they had nothing to do with the Radiant Lord. The Church had likely obtained this book from elsewhere and moulded it into a holy book.

Opening it, he found the pages had yellowed from years of use. They were filled with beautiful writing about the Radiant Lord, but a quick scan revealed that the words were much younger than the pages themselves. Flipping through it, he also couldn’t find any signs of burns or tearing, something that was strange given how many times the pages had been burnt up during the battle at the cathedral.

As he continued flicking through, the book suddenly stopped at a blank page. Looking through it and finding nothing really eye-catching except a slight difference in colour from the other pages, he closed the book once and started flipping through once more. The book landed open on the same page again.

Now intrigued, he started examining the page further. It looked to be quite ordinary, but when he touched it he felt a vaguely familiar energy flowing through. This energy was similar to his Book of Holding or Flowsand’s Book of Time. Immediately guessing at its use, he tried to insert various types of energy within to no avail.

It was only when he started using bloodline energy that the book suddenly reacted, the page turning the dark red of lava and forming a demonic image upon it. The image looked to be that of a common demon, red body with curved horns and a heavy axe, and even when blurry he felt a faint connection to the being that was depicted. It felt like if he poured in enough energy, the creature would pop out of the page.

He diffused his energy and the demon roared unhappily before slowly disappearing. However, half the energy Richard had sent in seemed to have been absorbed by the page.

He quickly realised that the page’s summoning likely depended on which bloodline was poured in, so he started harvesting some moonforce from his world tree and poured that in. A faint green started appearing on the page, like something was about to take form, but eventually the summoning just failed. It was the same for his elemental and nature affinities, and while the restoration affinity formed the vague silhouette of an elf it didn’t go all the way either.

As the only grade 5 affinity in his world tree, it was the astral trunk that finally managed to get a result. It formed the image of an elven shaman on the page, and as he continued to add energy it started to grow clearer. This time he didn’t stop there, even activating the power of the well of stars. Once his truename was engaged, the elf immediately grew older and flashier, with a crown appearing on its head. He could vaguely feel that this elf would be just shy of a saint, which was a powerful aiding force in any battle.

If this was the power of Schloan, what of Dizmason? Richard immediately activated the power of the first part of his truename, curious as to what being the power of destruction could call forth. A spot of black appeared on the page and blotted out like ink, a terrifying aura radiating from the depths of the darkness, but after a low growl the darkness disappeared completely.

Having expected a greater demon to appear, Richard was initially disappointed. However, he surmised that it could just be that the book could not handle such a level of summoning, or that his earlier conjectures with this truename were correct and he didn’t possess enough control over it yet. Whichever it was, this proved that Dizmason was much more powerful than Schloan, far surpassing his Archeron bloodline.

He closed the book and placed his hand on the bronze cover, feeling a unique sensation as an invisible force seemed to try and unite him with the book. He opened it up once more, only to find that all of the Church’s writings had been replaced by ancient symbols. He did not recognise any of them, but at first sight somehow understood what they meant:

Creation, Sustenance, Destruction, Time, Eternity.

These words seemed to tug at his heart, but he shook off the feeling and returned to his study, grabbing the Book of Holding and placing it on this new book. A dazzling light flooded the room and blinded him, but after a few minutes the Book of Holding had disappeared. New symbols now occupied half the bronze cover, glowing with a dark red light as though they were melting the bronze.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA