Book 6, Chapter 98

Numbers

Both hands sparked the moment they touched each other, forming a green ball of light with a black core. This was a direct collision of life energy, competing purely on the basis of one’s control of nature. The Duskword druid smirked at first, but his expression quickly turned to one of sheer horror. He opened his mouth in a silent scream as blood spurted out from his throat, the dark green orb crashing into his body and opening up a number of wounds.

Richard merely smiled, casting a barrier to deflect the aftermath of the collision. The druid glared at him with pure malice as the hunter helped him to his feet, “So this is who you people are relying on. We’ll be back soon!”

Melia stared at Richard in shock. She knew he was powerful and short-tempered, but she hadn’t thought it was to the extent that he could crush a level 18 druid in such a direct contest. Was this youth even beyond the level of a saint?

“It’s just a trick,” Richard snapped her out of her daze, “I’m not that powerful.”

His words weren’t wrong. He was about equal in level to the druid, but it was only his mastery of the laws of life that gained him such a victory. On the other hand, Melia thought he had done something to pull out all of his power in one strike and calmed down. She had always been proud of her own power as a daughter of the forest, but this outsider seemed to be in an entirely different league. Whenever she was with him, she felt like a fool.

Just as she was comforting herself, the Grand Elder’s voice rang out from within the room, “I wouldn’t call your comprehension of the laws of life a trick. Come in.”

Richard’s heart almost froze up for a moment; for someone to understand his usage of laws there meant their mastery was well beyond his. Fearing the consequences of ignoring someone so powerful, he left the stunned Melia behind and walked in. He knew all too well the amount of power someone who mastered a law could erupt with, even if they were on their last breath.

He felt goosebumps all over his body as the masked elder looked him up and down. Just as he was considering escape, however, she spoke again in a trembling voice, “That sword…”

The sword? Richard took the elven longsword and placed it in the Grand Elder’s outstretched hand. Although this had been given to him by Gaton, it wasn’t very special. Outside of being near-indestructible, the only assistance it rendered in combat was a boost to any nature-based attacks. The Grand Elder’s spear was several grades higher in quality, so there was no need to worry about her stealing it.

The Grand Elder took the weapon and softly touched every inch of the blade. Even Melia could see the trembling of her body at this point, and it was obviously in extreme excitement. The woman closed her eyes and went still, seemingly trying to calm her feelings. When she opened them once more, they shone coldly as she stabbed her spear towards Richard’s face!

Richard felt his heart skip a beat as he instinctually called forth every protective spell he could. Blaze and Manacycle were combined to form two to three barriers every second, but even so he felt his scalp go numb. An electric light seemed to consume every square inch of his body, tearing the defences apart without any resistance at all, and when the flash dissipated the spear tip was already at his throat. One could even see a drop of blood flowing down the spiralling edge.

“Where did this sword come from?” she asked coldly.

Seeing Richard’s position, Melia immediately came forward, “Grand Elder, Richard is my friend! He saved my life many…”

The Grand Elder only lifted her hand, shutting the girl up. Seeing the cold gaze focusing on him once more, Richard rejected the number of lies that popped up in his mind and answered honestly, “It was given to me by my father. He did not mention its origin.”

“Your father’s name?”

“Uhh…” he hesitated for a bit, but he still answered in the end, “Gaton. Gaton Archeron.”

“Gaton… It really is him…” The Grand Elder’s tone turned soft, her aura deflating in an instant. It even seemed like she wouldn’t be able to remain sitting any longer. Richard wanted to ask whether she knew him, but even with her aura fading he felt a murderous intent erupting from within her. The question was discarded immediately as he eyed the room, looking for a route to escape in. He was starting to regret coming so close to this woman; at this range, he would be stabbed no matter what route he chose to escape in.

A quick calculation told him he had only one hope: activate Devout Prayer and hope the spear only grazed him. He would still likely be stabbed dead, but there was a small chance of escape.

The Grand Elder went silent, her eyes constantly shifting between the blade and Richard himself. It took an entire minute for her to speak again, “You’re the one leading the invaders who captured a tree of life?”

Richard nodded.

“This sword has no special attributes; the life energy attached to it only came a short while ago. With your ability and Gaton’s power, you should be able to make a better one.”

This time, it was Richard who was left silent for a while, “This sword is one of the few things my father left behind. I do admittedly have better weapons on hand, but I’ve grown used to having it by my side.”

“Left behind?” the Grand Elder gasped, “Gaton is dead? That bastard… How could he…”

She waved Melia away, asking eagerly, “How did he die?”

Richard considered his options for a moment before deciding to reveal the truth, “He… was trapped in an enemy plane and left to die. I haven’t confirmed it with my own eyes, but the High Priestess of the Church of the Eternal Dragon saw his closest follower taking his corpse to the end of the abyss.”

The Grand Elder fell silent for a much longer period of time. Even when she did speak, she sighed softly, “The depths of the abyss… If only I could leave…”

Richard still couldn’t figure out whether this woman was a friend or enemy of Gaton. However, her killing intent hadn’t weakened in the slightest in all this time, and despite being alert he slipped up in his control for a moment. Fresh grass sprouted from the wood underneath him, giving birth to a few white flowers.

The Grand Elder obviously noticed the change, but instead of attacking him she just opened her eyes in shock, “Devout Prayer? Where did you learn this from?”

“That… My father.”

“Gaton?” she snorted, “That bastard doesn’t have high elven blood; it seems he simulated it to teach you. If anyone could do it, I guess it’s him.”

As her gaze fell upon him once more, the killing intent had completely faded away. It was replaced by deep anticipation as she asked, “And your mother is?”

Richard’s eye twitched at the question, but he still whispered, “Elena.”

“Elena?” the Grand Elder’s breathing grew rough, “Is she a silvermoon elf?”

“She was, yes.”

Her body suddenly locked up, “Elena is dead? HOW? She should be able to live five centuries at least, even if she was in a plane at tens of times… HOW DID SHE DIE?”

Richard couldn’t respond immediately, the painful memory of the flames starting to course through his mind. He didn’t want to put the experience to words, but he still described everything in a few sentences.

Even now, he couldn’t completely understand his mother’s decision all those years ago. However, this woman in front of him nodded in acceptance, “Those two had a child… Sigh, go out and tell Melia to find a place for you to rest. I need some peace right now, return to me tomorrow and we will talk about things.”

As Richard walked out of the house, he found Melia already waiting outside. She hurried over to him and asked, “How is her injury? Did you talk about resisting the Duskword Tribe?”

Seeing her anxious look, Richard reluctantly raised his spirits and comforted her, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of them.”

“Take care of them? How? The Grand Elder is hurt so badly!”

“Doesn’t matter, I’ve never relied on powerhouses.”

“Then what do you rely on?”

“Numbers.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo