Book 6, Chapter 111

Stifled

Richard sighed once the Disintegrator was complete. He could already feel the boost in power this set could give him; it might have been enough to last through another wave with Tzu before he had to flee. However, this set could only be formed from what he had learnt in that battle, where he had spent many days fighting and leading without end to the limits of his abilities. Most important of all was his direct contact with Iskara’s soul force and the power that he had felt within, alongside the final image of Tzu erupting with all of her ability.

At some point in time, Richard’s originally weak body now had carrying capacity that even surpassed Waterflower’s. Five layers of Lifesbane were superimposed on him without issue, and that was in addition to the grade 4 Mana Armament. His vitality rune had been upgraded to grade 3, and his original Nature’s Domain and spell penetration runes had become the Ruler’s Domain and grade 4 Magic Break runes respectively. On top of all this, he had added a new grade 3 rune called Unshakeable Will.

The upgraded vitality rune greatly improved his sustainability in combat, and Wanderer’s Domain allowed him to fight skillfully in most environments. In the Forest Plane where he grasped the power of laws, he was better than most children of the forest. Magic Break now had the opportunity to shatter spells instead of just weakening their effects, while Unshakeable Will was actually an interface that his tertiary consciousness could tap into to control his energy distribution precisely.

Once he confirmed that all the runes were working as intended, Richard got dressed and walked out of the lab. He swayed a little as the sunlight struck him— he hadn’t slept in an entire week outside of meditation— but a pair of soft hands immediately grabbed him to help him steady. Swaying the fatigue away, he shook his head and took Moonlight from Rosie, “I’ll be going ahead. Tell everyone to assemble according to the original plan and set off.”

“Yes, Master,” Rosie nodded seriously.

Richard acknowledged and jumped straight into the air, gliding dozens of metres onto a nearby building and leaping off once more. In only a few seconds, he had disappeared.

Putting all the other equipment she had prepared for him away, Rosie headed to the war room immediately, “Master said to mobilise the troops according to the original plan.”

“He just left? Did he say anything?” Alice raised her head from the map table.

“No, he’s in a bad mood.”

Alice nodded and sighed, “Alright, leave.”

Hearing the dismissive tone, Rosie nodded and excused herself from the war room. However, she stopped a moment when she walked out of the door, taking a deep breath before continuing on her way.

Back in the war room, Alice was staring at the door with a wrinkled brow. Her fiery hair and faint scar were known to every Archeron in existence, and they all revered her as the goddess of war, but in her heart she felt like she couldn’t hold a candle to this weak mage that came from another family. She was a great general, there was no doubt about that, but Richard himself was much better. If in a frontal battle, she wouldn’t trust in her victory unless she had three soldiers for every two of his. Even so, the Rose Knights were a force to be reckoned with on their own. The value of hundreds of quasi-rune knights could not be understated at all. On top of that, Rosie herself was a true runemaster.

That wasn’t even the annoying part. Now that she had some access to Richard’s army, Alice had found that Rosie was the one person outside of Flowsand he regularly shared a bed with, despite numerous attempts by people of all stature to court his affections. He had even called her an Archeron in public, effectively marrying her into the family. On the other hand, she herself was supposed to be Richard’s partner but they had only been intimate once. Moreover, her own fears had stopped either side from enjoying things nearly as much as Rosie would have.

With neither side having had children with Richard yet, Alice knew that her status wasn’t much higher than Rosie’s. Still, the other woman had endured the dismissal and walked off without arguing about it. Such people were far more difficult to deal with than the arrogant ones.

Alice shook her head and forced down the annoyance in her heart. Richard had been injured upon return, but he refused all treatment and immediately holed himself up to meditate and work on his runecrafting. Anyone with even the slightest of intellect could see that he was in a bad mood, a storm brewing under his calm appearance, but he had left just as quickly as he arrived. There was no information about what had happened within the depths of the forest at all.

Right now, only one thing was certain: war was imminent. Knowing this was her chance to gain the upper hand over Rosie, Alice decided she would outperform herself and took a horn off the wall, walking up to the terrace and blowing hard.

The warhorn resounded throughout Emerald City for nearly a minute, and the barracks immediately quieted down. The soldiers who’d been enjoying lunch with friends finished up quietly and returned to their rooms, starting to equip themselves. Hundreds of squires poured into the stables to saddle the horses, and in less than an hour, the entire army had assembled.

Nyris and Agamemnon’s soldiers were here as well, and they were all elites, but they lost their voices as they saw Richard’s troops assemble. It took a long time after the rune knights had marched away that the soldiers of the royal family looked at each other and whispered, “Were they all rune knights?”

These men had seen rune knights before, but never in such great numbers. With 150 Savage Knights paired with 200 Rose Knights, the total count was a staggering number that comprised almost all of Richard’s elites!

……

In the depths of the forest, Phaser was lazing around on the broodmother’s back without moving. Continuing to eat, the broodmother reminded her, “That is a call to assemble. Are you not ready yet?”

“Master already left early, I’ll join them halfway. Don’t be noisy, I’m thinking/”

“Thinking?” Constantly eating, the broodmother could only communicate with Phaser via her mind. Still, the doubt in her tone was quite obvious; in her eyes, Phaser was just in a daze.

“I’m thinking about life,” Phaser replied seriously.

“Life?” The broodmother stopped chewing for a moment, gradually turning serious.

……

*Ting! Ting!* The sound of hammering constantly rang through a corner of Emerald City, coming from a small smithy near the edge. Mountainsea was hammering a bar of red metal on the anvil, her forehead covered in sweat. Next to the furnace was a pile of slag, and on the other side were a few small ingots.

Sitting on the edge of the furnace, Tiramisu’s three eyes were completely entranced by her single-minded focus. At this point it was clear that he would reach the legendary realm one day, and he already had the power of an ogre lord, but even to him this girl looked like a monster. The metal on the anvil looked unremarkable, but even with Mountainsea’s full power it was only changing slightly with each blow. She had started on this a dozen days ago, jumping up from her sleep with the idea of making armour for herself.

After tossing through Richard’s warehouse, she eventually settled on lafite to be the material. However, while lafite steel was quite tough, it didn’t meet her standards at all. To ensure that the metal reached a quality she was happy with, she was folding it using techniques she had learnt from the craftsmen in the base.

The ogre had watched as a full ingot of lafite steel had been turned into a thin sheet, followed by a second and a third. Day after day she had worked on the metal, turning a dozen tonnes of material into only a few ingots. Tiramisu wondered if this metal could even be called lafite anymore.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo