Scratching his head, Tiramisu finally worked up the courage to ask, “Who taught you to forge?”
“A human here, a few days ago.” Mountainsea continued to wave her hammer.
“But is this thing still lafite?”
“Of course not.”
“Then what is it?”
“I don’t know.” A drop of sweat dripped down onto the red metal below, immediately evaporating.
“The blacksmiths here are ordinary, they couldn’t teach you to make this thing.”
“Hmm? I don’t know, I just didn’t want to sleep anymore.” The girl wiped her forehead, the sweat falling onto the steel once more.
“You see that sweat?” the Medium Rare head whispered, “That’s what’s doing this. The steel is absorbing her power.”
Tiramisu nodded at the analysis, watching as Mountainsea picked up another lafite ingot and started fusing it with what she was already working on. A single swing of the hammer halved the thickness of the lafite, and the heat started merging it with the rest.
“If you’re using your power for it, why don’t you just pour blood? It should take half the time,” Tiramisu commented.
Mountainsea sighed, “Why? There aren’t many ingots here, what should I do after I finish with them?”
“You look sad,” the Medium Rare head suddenly commented.
“Huh? No, I’m not sad. Just… It feels like I don’t have any direction.”
“Direction? Isn’t following Master our direction?” Tiramisu chuckled.
“But is that a direction at all?” The girl continued hammering into the metal.
It was at this time that Alice’s horn rang out. Tiramisu squinted and listened, his muscles bulging instantly, “The little red-haired girl is rallying the army. Should we go?”
Mountainsea looked at the remaining ingots and shook her head, “No, I’ll finish these first. Let’s go join them later.”
“Argh. Then I’m taking a nap.” The ogre leaned back into the stonewood behind him.
The hundreds of rune knights had lined up in orderly squads outside Emerald City, standing quietly. Covered in armour, Alice was sitting in front of them all with a rather unsightly expression on her face. She had been waiting here for half an hour, but neither Phaser, Tiramisu, nor Mountainsea had appeared. Waterflower had only made her presence known for a moment before disappearing somewhere, and Rosie hadn’t come along.
The last one was the only decision that made sense— runemasters generally didn’t enter battle unless they were looking for experience. Even the nicest evaluation of someone like Richard who led the charge was eccentric, while many people considered it downright crazy.
“My Lady, it has been a long time now. Are we still waiting?” One of Alice’s generals came up and asked.
Another one snorted coldly, “Lord Richard’s followers are far too proud; they actually ignore the military call. If one of my men was half an hour late, he would be beheaded. This… I don’t know how he trained them.”
“Shut your mouth!” One of the rune knights stepped out of formation immediately, eyes screaming murder at the two generals, “Who permitted you to say anything about my Lord or his followers?”
The two generals immediately turned green, one of them shouting, “This is no place for you to interrupt! Know your place, do not think your runes are personal property! I was following my Lady into war before you even knew what a battlefield was!”
“Oh?” The rune knight sneered, “You think you’re better than us, do you? Let’s see how many we have… Oh, about 300, nothing at all. I’ll give you five thousand men, how about we go meet on the battlefield?”
The two generals immediately paled, remembering that the rune knights belonged to Richard and not Alice. While he had handed them over to her control, their loyalties were clear. Although the Rose Knights were weaker than the average rune knight, this troop’s charge couldn’t be stopped even by 10,000 elite soldiers. In fact, Richard was the only one in recent years who regularly fought rune knights with ordinary knights, but even then finding soldiers like the shadowspears was impossible.
“Such insolence!” Alice frowned, “Richard handed command of you all to me. Did you forget that?”
The rune knight glanced at Alice and shrugged it off, “Earl Alice, we obey our orders, but not unconditionally. I suggest your subordinates control their mouths, comments on my Lord or his followers will not be welcome here.”
Having said this, the man got back on his horse. However, before returning to his team, he turned back to sneer at the two generals once more, “You haven’t seen the power of my Lord’s followers. In front of them, you lot are less than dirt. Your so-called experience will be useless!”
The two generals’ expressions were warped beyond ugly at this point, but under Alice’s gaze they forced themselves to endure the humiliation. Most of the rune knights present were actually stronger than them individually, and they were only in their positions because of their tactical ability. Being used to drowning powerhouses with ordinary soldiers, they did not value those who were only strong individually and nothing else. However, Richard’s rune knights had experienced fighting alongside Richard’s followers. Tiramisu, Flowsand, Waterflower, Io, Nyra, even Gangdor… Every one of these names filled the enemy with nightmares.
“Sigh. We cannot wait any longer; march!” Alice waved forward, starting the expedition.
Richard’s unicorn had joined the rune knight army when they were a few minutes along the road. Now taller than any other mount present, it possessed the ability to shield everyone from the will of the forest.
On the unicorn’s back was Waterflower, snoring against the creature’s neck with the Shepherd of Eternal Rest clutched tightly in her hands. She was the only follower who had appeared on time, but several of Alice’s generals were just staring at her with a mix of emotions. One reason was that her posture was too casual and revealing, not nearly as disciplined as a soldier’s should have been. However, the more important part was that she was on the unicorn instead of Alice. Alice had tried to mount the beast once it appeared, but it had casually kicked her away. In contrast, it went docile the moment Waterflower appeared and even moved around softly to keep things stable for her. Comparisons would naturally be drawn.
The sleeping Waterflower suddenly seemed to feel something as she opened her eyes, looking over the generals before returning to her sleep. The generals immediately went stiff the moment her gaze fell upon them, one even losing balance and falling off his horse. Alice jumped off her own mount without saying a word, eyes glaring daggers as she picked him up and threw him back on his horse.
These generals were excellent at tactics, but their personal strength wasn’t outstanding at all, barely making sainthood. Waterflower was someone who had followed Richard in the Battlefield of Despair for years on end, tempering herself to the absolute limit of perfection before advancing. Ordinary saints were nothing to her; she could kill ten of them in a single fight.
The generals fell quiet after this incident, but the atmosphere had turned freezing. Alice’s brow was constantly furrowed in her dissatisfaction; she’d known long ago that Richard’s followers were extremely powerful, but their unruly nature was a shock. They only seemed to care about him, not considering her position at all.
It didn’t take long for Richard to arrive at the Evernight Tribe, but some of the elves guarding the tree of life moved to block his path. One of them spoke up, “Mister Richard, the Council of Elders is holding a meeting. Forgive me, you cannot enter for now.”
The elf was asking for forgiveness, but his body posture made it clear that it was all just a formality. He didn’t want Richard to enter the tribe either.
“The… Since when is there a council of elders in the tribe?” Richard asked slowly.
“The Council was established after the death of the Grand Elder.”
“Fu… And who made this decision? Nobody has such rights in the tribe, take me to this council now.”
“I’m sorry, you can only wait here.” The warrior was extremely determined.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo