Thor immediately started planning to issue a Mana Armament to every single legendary mage in the Alliance. However, knowing that such a large order would cause Richard to balk, he acted like he only had a few top tier offerings in stock that he could put down as a deposit. With this being exactly what Richard wanted, the negotiation quickly concluded. Arranging for an appointment with Ferlyn that very night, Richard took all the offerings he could manage and teleported to Faust.
The first thing he did upon reaching the city was to meet the Ironblood Duke. Already having planned to meet another legendary mage, Duke Orleans turned down Richard’s request at first. However, upon being informed that Richard was already at the island and refusing to leave, he eventually acquiesced. The future saint runemaster of the Sacred Alliance was already a force that deserved respect.
Richard was rather entranced by the lobby he was led to. The only decoration in the metal-cast room was a single red ribbon, but the place radiated a dense aura of blood and death. As his eyes lit aglow with the power of Insight, he saw faint human shadows moving along the walls.
“This place is called the Hall of Brave Souls,” the Duke explained the moment he entered, “It is the room my family uses to entertain important guests.”
Richard couldn’t help but feel sheer awe at the middle-aged man’s presence. Despite the permanent lines on his forehead and the near-transparent pupils, the Ironblood Duke was nothing like Beye or Agamemnon. Those two seemed powerful, but the Duke’s aura alone placed applied physical pressure to everything in the vicinity.
“This is His Excellency Nightfire, he just returned from ten years exploring the myriad planes,” Duke Orleans motioned to another middle-aged man behind him, this one bald and wearing a grey robe, “We were to meet for lunch today, but since you insisted on meeting I decided to introduce the two of you. His Excellency is also interested in a potential saint runemaster for the Sacred Alliance.”
Orleans sat down in his chair, nodding towards Richard, “Now, what is it you wanted?”
“Top-tier offerings, in trade for promises from me,” Richard stated.
“A promise worth a top-tier offering? Interesting, just what is it you are willing to promise?” Nightfire chimed in.
“A full grade 3 rune set for any one person you choose, custom designed and crafted by yours truly.”
Nightfire’s eyes lit up, a faint flame enveloping his bald head, “A tailor-made grade 3 set, huh. Not bad, truly worth a top-tier offering. However, what guarantee is there that you will follow through on this promise?”
Before Richard could respond, the Ironblood Duke spoke up on his behalf, “This is a runemaster capable of crafting Lifesbane and showed off two entire sets at his first ever rune convention. He certainly has the ability.”
Nightfire nodded at the Duke’s statement, turning back to Richard, “And when can the set be completed?”
“The process will begin in roughly three months, and from conception to completion I will need about a month after.”
“So it would be on credit.”
Richard nodded solemnly without any hint of embarrassment, “I’m currently in need of a large volume of offerings, so I’ve dropped my prices a little in exchange.”
“Did you manage to find any buyers before you came here, then?” Nightfire asked, ignoring the topic of what it was Richard would need offerings for.
“I have a total of six offerings right now, only one of which came from my own hands. The other five came from the Mage Association.”
Nightfire laughed, “Heh, that old man grew so generous all of a sudden? Alright then, Orleans, how many promises are you ready to take? I want three for myself, don’t cut in line.”
The Duke flashed a smile as well, “I only need one. Most of my children have already grown up, and many of those who haven’t are only a waste of resources.”
Nightfire placed three crystals on the table, gently pushing them forward. The three crystals slid across as thought the table was made of ice, landing right in front of Richard. The silver light clearly indicated that they were beyslace spider crystals, but this caused Richard to frown a little as he picked them up. Spider crystals weren’t worth a top-tier offering, and they couldn’t be used for any sort of offering at all.
However, the moment they were in his hands, his eyes went wide in surprise. Within each of the spider crystal was a small grain of fire that burnt mysteriously, clearly marking them as mutant spider crystals. Even he could not tell just what sort of mutant species this was.
Nightfire laughed once more, “Three fused-core spider crystals, you owe me three promises now.”
Richard raised his head, his eyes betraying his confusion as he looked at the legendary mage, “You trust me just like that?”
“I don’t need to doubt someone the Mage Association is willing to pay five top-tier offerings to. The more someone can earn elsewhere, the more I trust their ability to make good on their word.”
By the time he left the Ironblood Duke’s island, Richard changed his original plan of heading to the Wellinburgs and went straight to the Church of the Eternal Dragon.
However, Ferlyn didn’t meet him in private this time like she had before. All of the level 18 priestesses of the Church had been gathered at her side, a total of eight! Noelene and Jacqueline were seated at her left and right respectively.
Such a lineup could scare most with presence alone. Richard’s heart skipped a few beats as he entered, and he frowned at the scene. While they weren’t particularly close beyond Flowsand, it felt almost like he had just entered a court to be interrogated. Still, he managed to compose himself and make his way over, placing a chest before the high priestess and bowing, “Your Excellency Ferlyn, I request the assistance of the Church. The payment is already here.”
Ferlyn’s eyes swept across the chest, but the crown on her head did not move as she said softly, “Open it up.”
Richard paused for a moment before opening the enchanted chest in front of the eight grand priestesses. The sudden rays of light dazzled even the most seasoned of them all as they gasped; more than half of the items within were top-tier offerings, and there were so many of them that the timeforce was gathering automatically!
It took a moment for the priestesses to gather themselves, silently counting the number of offerings within the chest. Many felt their hearts flutter once that reached double digits, and when they concluded that it amounted to ten top-tier offerings they were all eyeing the chest with raging desire. That amount of divine grace could easily propel any of them to the limit of level 20, giving them the possibility of entering the legendary realm and becoming a high priestess just like Ferlyn.
Richard was the first person in over thirty years to have produced so many top-tier offerings at once. Most of the priestesses looked at him with renewed respect, and some even with slight fear. Only Ferlyn seemed unmoved, as though she had predicted this beforehand. She spoke calmly, “Tell me what you want.”
“In the Forest Plane is someone suffering under the curse of a demon god of the Annihilation Plane. She does not have long to live, so I hope the Church can break the curse and save her life.”
Annihilation Plane? Some of the priestesses seemed lost, while the rest immediately grew solemn. To a certain extent, the Annihilation Plane was equivalent to the abyss or hell. A demon god of the Annihilation Plane would be an extremely difficult enemy.
However, bathed in the splendid light of the offerings within the box, any challenge seemed trivial.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA