Book 1, Chapter 89

Punishment

Richard now sat alone by his bedside, his hands cradling his forehead. The events which had just transpired replayed in his mind scene by scene, every instant incomparably clear.

Things had just happened far too suddenly. He had only felt a distinct sense of danger at the beginning, which was why he’d grown furious when those guards attacked him. He had chosen to retaliate with full strength, mercilessly crippling two of them, but he’d fallen with that attack from the third. This was a result that Richard had anticipated already, he was not arrogant enough to think that he could win against the joint attack of three warriors above level 8. That he was able to take two of them down with him was already an unexpected result.

While this was only his first time experiencing a situation like this, Richard knew that it concerned the reputation of the Archerons. Tiny issues like it weren’t common in Faust, but they weren’t exactly rare either. Every family that successfully entered and established itself in Faust normally had some form of animosity with the older and more powerful families already present there. Thus, Richard was prepared for humiliation. Faulk stepping on his head was one form of such, although it was an extreme kind that would create a blood feud. However, in the next moment everything had changed.

When he thought back to it, the force coming from Faulk’s foot had been great enough to crush his head, smashing his skull into pieces like porcelain! In that moment, a true shadow of death had shrouded all of his senses. Faulk had wanted to kill him! This wasn’t a heated decision, but instead premeditated murder!

Richard had never felt such a close shave with death before. That one attack from Blood Parrot had been fast and silent, not giving him even a chance to feel afraid. This time, things had been different. The terrifying pressure from that shoe, and the creaking of his skull under the force… It replayed itself clearly in his mind, time and time again.

His ice-cold hands were trembling without end, and he felt so weak he could lose his consciousness in the next moment, sinking into boundless darkness. He felt bursts of pain from his fingers, a result of clobbering a level 8 warrior with his fists using no technique. His joints were still swollen up, and he was sweating from the pain.

However, Richard was thankful for the pain. It was what allowed him to remain sober. The great amount of sweat soaking his clothing made it stick tight to his skin, but the discomfort only kept him clear.

If not for Alice and Goliath appearing suddenly, if that foot had stomped all the way down… Richard couldn’t stop himself from thinking of that over and over again. He wanted to control himself, but could not suppress the terror in his heart. Once the fury and humiliation had vanished, all that was left was a fear of death. It was a huge terror that Richard had never even imagined before!

He looked up, forcing himself to see everything in the room, observing it attentively to expel the fear. Precision had grown erratic, however, with countless numbers appearing in his vision. Try as he might, he couldn’t make any sense of them, as if his mind had been sealed in ice. It was only when that strange blade appeared in his vision that Richard’s heart leapt slightly.

His residence wasn’t large, only containing a hall and two rooms. The bedroom was about ten or so metres long, so the blade that was a metre and a half long took up quite a large amount of space already. Without a scabbard, it was wrapped up crudely in beast skin and placed horizontally on the writing desk by his window. A corner of the skin had opened up, revealing a bit of the sharp blade within.

Richard’s heart thumped. As if enchanted, he jumped out of bed and slowly headed to the writing desk, grabbing the shaft and removing the beast skin that was wrapped around the blade. He then closed his eyes, breathing slow and deep.

This was an ancient longsword, shaped to support stabs. The threads at the shaft were showing wear and tear, but it felt extremely comfortable to hold. In just a breath’s time Richard’s mind spread through the handle and to the blade, his silvermoon blood beginning to flow as it absorbed the moonforce from the sky and poured it into the blade. It gave the blade some colour that fluctuated with the moonforce, changing irregularly with the colours of the moons.

It was only then that Richard’s mind began to steady itself, the blade in his hand making him feel like he had some power to depend on. He still couldn’t help recalling the scene near the church, but things were different now. He was now simulating the course of events had he had this longsword in hand during the fight. 

The sword would have allowed him to draw enough power from the moons at the first inkling of danger, and with the added power from Eruption his battle might would have increased threefold! He would be able to kill most of the guards and young nobles on the scene by the time it took a feather to drop, and the destructive power of the ashen indigo moon would leave Faulk seriously injured.

Only when he was truly near death, coming into contact with the reaper’s scythe, did Richard truly understand terror and the importance of power. If nobody had been able to stop Faulk, who cared whether the Archeron Family would pursue the matter and the Joseph Family would have no choice but to execute Faulk? He would already be dead, and the dead couldn’t fulfill any wishes or dreams.

His thoughts finally calmed down, and everything before his eyes returned to normal. Richard let loose a long sigh and slowly placed the sword down. He then took a seat by the window, beginning to think over his experience that day. Numerous suspicious events began to link together one by one, and he had the jarring feeling that something was wrong. It was only then that he realised he knew far too little about his own family and the world outside, with no way for him to link everything together logically. Fatigue finally got to his weakened body and mind, and he couldn’t help but lean against the desk and fall deep asleep…

Some time later, a little bronze bell magically began to ring within the room, awakening Richard from his dreams. He rubbed his eyes in a daze, finding that it was already night. The room was already pitch black, with only a small area lit up by the moonlight coming through the window.

The bronze bell continued to sound, and was followed by a gentle knock on his door. Richard opened it to find his butler, but instead of dinner he was brought to the basement of the castle’s keep to participate in an internal trial of the family.

A short while later, a bewildered Richard followed the butler to a floor underneath the castle’s main tower. The corridors here were different from the damp and dark of the castle, instead being dry and stuffy. Passing through a large gate guarded by two fully-armed footsoldiers, Richard was brought into an underground hall of considerable scale.

This hall was hundreds of square metres large, and two floors tall. The walls were made of rock, and had a few dark red flags hung on them that could be considered decorations.

At the end of the hall was a platform with five chairs. Gaton was seated in the middle, with Goliath and Alice in order on his right. On his left was an aged mage, followed by an icy middle-aged man dressed in black leather armour. Lined at the two sides of the hall against the wall were many other Archerons, and he recognised a few youths that he’d seen on the day of the banquet.

Richard headed to the sides, standing amongst the crowd. The two large wooden doors with iron embedded in them slowly closed, and with a desolate and distant sound of a bell a corner gate was opened in the hall. A bare-chested, boorish-looking warrior carried Warren and walked to the middle of the hall.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Theo: One more today.

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA