Book 6, Chapter 166

One Goes Left, The Other Goes Right

Her helmet still in hand and long blonde hair fluttering in the wind, the girl immediately noticed the nearby knights saluting someone flying over from the keep and smacked her spear against the ground, “So you’re Richard? How dare you invade my family’s lands, come down and fight me!”

When Richard saw the young woman up close, he was quite amazed. Eyes glowing with Insight, he quickly determined that she was quite a balanced talent; most young powerhouses focused on their strength, bloodline, or some other aspect, but she had everything. That did mean she didn’t excel in any one aspect, but entering sainthood while still in one’s teens was quite the achievement. This kind of person was unlikely to reach the highest peaks, but she would still be a formidable enemy with no glaring weaknesses.

Although Richard and Nyris had forced themselves to stay below sainthood as long as they could to accumulate power, that wasn’t the only way. One could also choose to advance early and stabilise their foundation, using their sainthood to start working on analysing laws. This was in fact the better idea for someone as balanced as her, who wouldn’t really lose too much in any one aspect by rushing herself. Agamemnon had chosen this route, and to this day Nyris still couldn’t compare to his taciturn friend anymore.

However, the girl’s intellect seemed nothing compared to her talent. She had only recently achieved sainthood and was too weak to even guard the gates of the City of the Unsetting Sun, but she had still come here to challenge him. Her perception wasn’t great either; she hadn’t noticed the horror of the ogre lord standing atop the walls.

As the glow in his eyes from Insight faded away, Richard took one last look at the young woman’s body through her armour. She suddenly felt a chill and looked around, but unable to find the source of whatever had triggered her sense of danger she returned to glaring at him from below. He sighed softly; the child didn’t even notice that he was the source, she was just too inexperienced. While her talent had brought her to sainthood without any issues, she was just like a little flower in a greenhouse.

“And you are?” he asked.

“Alectra Silversword, daughter of Baron Somers and seventeenth student of Saint Thomas. Come down and fight me, you must pay the price for what you did to this city!” the girl raged.

The name Alectra was familiar, and scanning through his memory Richard found that it was one of the three goddesses of revenge. There was a hint of divine power in the girl as well, so it was quite possible that she had their blood. That would also explain her talent.

“Saint Thomas, the famous paladin from the Sacred Tree Empire?” Nyris flew over, “This girl has a good teacher alright. But who’s Somers?”

Now familiar with the Silversword Family tree, Richard replied immediately, “Fenlier’s younger brother. She should be the old coot’s niece, but she doesn’t seem to have an idea about the situation. You know what, stay here a moment.”

He took a step back while Nyris waited, making sure that the prince’s focus was on the girl before he flashed behind and pushed him forward while saying loudly, ‘Richard, this woman was challenging you!“

“What?” Nyris immediately turned around, “You…”

“You’re more suited to this game, go,” Richard said softly, grabbing the Fourth Prince by the arm and sending him flying in a graceful arc towards the girl. With his martial arts trained to great proficiency, Nyris just didn’t have the time to respond as he rocketed down while cursing.

*Ring!* A halberd flew out from the city walls as Nyris stopped his forward momentum, embedding into the earth right by his side. Looking at the legendary spear in the girl’s hand and the superior-grade weapon that Richard had thrown over, the prince felt like cursing. He wasn’t one to rely on weapons to win, but at the same time it was a huge embarrassment to lose because the shaft broke upon impact.

The girl stared at Nyris for a long time, her face flushing red as she stuttered out, “Are… Are you Richard?”

The angrier the Fourth Prince got, the more beautiful he became. It seemed like this attraction wasn’t limited to one gender. Hearing the girl ask the question, Nyris picked up the halberd from the ground and suppressed his anger with a playful smile, “Yes. Now let’s finish this quick, I want to get some dinner.”

Alectra’s expression changed a few times before she bit her lower lip, jumping down from her mount and dragging her spear behind her, “Don’t think I’m cheap, I’ll fight you as an equal.”

Paladin Thomas was a unique presence in Norland; unlike most powerhouses that thrived in duels, his combat skills were designed for the battlefield. His charge was equivalent to that of a rune knight platoon, and as his student Alectra was certainly at her peak while mounted. With her mount also more powerful than even Richard’s magic mounts, the girl had clearly given up a significant chunk of her power.

Looking over the scene, Richard had his chin in one hand as he immersed himself in thought. However, a number of strange ideas were running through his mind, a result of his blessing facing something he had little knowledge of yet.

The Fourth Prince seemed to have no regard for the fairer sex, stepping over to the girl and immediately slashing down with his halberd. Alectra exclaimed in shock as she took three steps back, her spear seemingly coming alive with a dragon’s roar as she stabbed with every step. These three attacks combined were a famous technique used by Paladin Thomas that he called the Divine Smite.

Nyris immediately realised he had underestimated the young lady, his own energy bubbling up to repel the attacks. The halberd in his hands seemed to tremble as he tried to block the attacks, threatening to break at every step. He managed to catch the first two thrusts with the blade of the weapon, but the third made it through his defences and struck him right in the forehead.

Blue lightning erupted from the Fourth Prince’s body as he retreated thirty metres, halberd falling by the side as his helmet split in two. A bright red line appeared from his hairline, leaking crimson down his forehead and the two eyes that were spitting electric fire.

If the Fourth Prince could be considered beautiful and charming, he was now cold and bright like a flower that had just been crushed. 

Alectra’s mouth opened up in shock; she hadn’t expected this result. Having been distracted for a moment, she’d instinctively called upon her strongest trick when Nyris flashed over towards her; she hadn’t thought it would actually injure him.

Nyris’s expression had frozen over as he looked at the distorted halberd in his hand; had he used his own weapons, the result would have been different. His own aura was fierce, but he needed time to channel energy; the superior-grade weapon alone couldn’t keep up with her heavy strikes. Had he not reacted quickly enough, those strikes might just have split his skull in two.

The prince didn’t have to look at the wall to know that Richard and his followers were staring at him. Clenching his fist in shame at his poor display, he rubbed the crimson off his lips and shouted into the sky. Blue lightning crashed down and covered his body as he rushed forward once again, wielding the half-destroyed weapon in a flurry of blows on the opponent.

This time, he didn’t let up. Zipping all around Alectra like a ghost, he landed strike after strike on her spear and nothing else. There was no energy imbued in the weapon itself, but every blow was immeasurably heavy; all of his rage had been concentrated on that spear, and no matter how she tried to dodge not one strike missed. Miraculously enough, the broken halberd somehow maintained its form even with the shallow cracks on its surface. In the blink of an eye, the girl had been pushed to the brink with no way to fight back.

Back atop the city, Richard, Phaser, and Tiramisu were considering how they would fight against Nyris if they were in Alectra’s position. The special unit and the swordmage both believed they would still find an opening in one strike, while Tiramisu put both heads together and decided he would buff himself for strength and send the prince flying with one hammer. Not one of them would require a second attack.

In the meanwhile, Nyris seemed to be done venting as the halberd finally twisted, its blade catching the spear and launching it into the sky.

Alectra froze up in her stance, face willed with shock from the sheer impact of the loss. Grunting at the distorted halberd and throwing it away, Nyris noticed the defeat in the girl’s eyes and walked over, gently lifting her chin and whispering warmly into her ear, “You see those three on top of the walls? As long as you can win against them, come find me in Faust. I’m going!”

Having said that, the prince jumped up and flew into the city, not forgetting to glare at Richard along the way. However, Richard sensed from his gaze that he had returned to normal for a bit.

A lonely Alectra was left outside the city, biting her lip as she stared at Richard, Phaser, and Tiramisu to burn their images into her mind. Picking up her fallen spear, she jumped back on her horse and galloped away.

……

Richard had lost some time with all the detours, but as night fell he and Nyris got on their griffins and flew towards Faust. His heart was heavy as they took off; the prince who had just been in good spirits was clearly sinking into a shell as he grew more silent and depressed. Nyris refused to answer his questions either, eventually even just turning away and ignoring him.

He could tell that the prince didn’t want to return to Faust, but he had no choice. Already out for an entire week, he had to return to make sure that all of the family’s assets were in order. As the king of the Archerons, he couldn’t do whatever he wanted with his time.

The griffins flew east for an entire day and night, and as they landed Nyris quietly walked alongside Richard towards the teleportation temple. The royal family’s portal was a little on the left, while the Archerons were on the right.

The temple was quite lonely this late into the night, but even though they were about to separate Nyris just continued walking towards the royal family’s island.

“Nyris!” Richard called out, stopping the prince, but even so he didn’t look back. Feeling the loneliness emanating from this long-time friend’s figure, he said softly, “No matter what problems you have, remember to come find me.”

Nyris stood quiet for a moment before responding, “You can’t help with my problems. You aren’t just a person anymore, but the patriarch of the Archerons. This politics… it will interfere sooner or later.”

“Then I’ll help you as Richard, not as an Archeron,” Richard smiled softly.

Nyris turned around to look him in the eye, slowly walking over before embracing him in a gentle hug. Richard felt his friend return for just a moment, but this was different. The very next moment Nyris turned around and headed towards his portal, not looking back at all. Richard watched his figure disappear and sighed, turning to his own portal.

One went left, and the other went right.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo