Book 7, Chapter 9

Monkeys

Five of the longswords initially plunged into the ground were now destroyed. These superior-grade weapons couldn't handle the searing heat of the blue flames, melting apart in the blink of an eye. Every activation of the power had caused the temperature in the entire square to rise, as though a furnace was running nearby. The weaker warriors already found it difficult to breathe, while even the saints were sweating.

Richard continued to stand quietly, not wiping off the blood flowing down the corner of his mouth. The single drip that rang through the deafeningly silent square confirmed one thing: he was hurt.

But so what? Everyone knew that injured beasts were the most dangerous of all.

The saints were all staring at each other in fear, trying their best to drum up the courage even to act against him as a group. However, their eyes were constantly drawn to the bodies on the floor that hadn't yet cooled.

“Everyone, attack to—” A dwarf hiding in the crowd started yelling, but Richard's gaze immediately fell upon him. Swallowing the rest of his sentence, he slowly started to back away. Richard picked up one of the molten swords that he had just used, throwing it towards the would-be instigator.

A faint blue flame appeared on the remains of the sword, but it flew very slowly through the air. Still, the dwarf lost all colour to his face and turned to run, only to be held in place by fear and fear alone. His joints stiffened up as though he was a small animal being eyed by a lion, his legs refusing to move. He had already jumped away in his mind, but the onlookers only saw him standing in place.

Seeing the thrown attack, everyone nearby cleared out instantly. There was a saint warrior on either side of the dwarf, but even these so-called powerhouses saw the flames and retreated as fast as they could. The molten sword plunged into the dwarf's body, the tiniest bit sticking out the other side. The flames burst out from his wide-open mouth, and as his corpse fell apart it became evident that all of his internals were charred.

The dwarf wasn't even a saint. He couldn't hide from Richard's unerring aim in the slightest, and none of the saints had the courage to block the attack for him. However, the final result only condoned their cowardice; the flames didn't expand naturally and burn him from within but shot out his mouth in an exquisite display of control. Had someone tried to help, the flames would have jumped to and burnt them instead. The blue fire didn't need any extra abilities; its heat alone was enough to kill most saints.

……

What looked to be a few ordinary nobles were standing in the shade of the trees closer to the peak of the mountain, watching the battle in the square. Although they were far away, they could still hear and see everything that was going on. The middle-aged man at their head had an incredulous expression on his face, “Are the lesser nobles of Faust even allowed to attack the fourteen?”

“Of course not, my Lord,” someone next to him replied, “Although the Sacred Alliance is a country of upstarts, their system is based heavily on our own. Theoretically, the other major families should unite and suppress this mess; they can’t leave them unchecked and risk the entire aristocracy falling down.”

The man nodded, “So why aren’t the others intervening.”

A lanky man spoke up this time, “The lesser nobles are fascinated by this so-called artefact. As for the other major families, I hear that half of them have conflicts with the Archerons and many of them have even been defeated in prior civil wars. They will interfere, but I believe they are waiting for Richard to be beaten down so they can profit more from the situation.”

The first aide snorted, “All short-sighted. Even if they have enormous problems with the Archerons, they shouldn’t just sit back and let this happen! It’s the Archerons today, but then it might be the Mensas tomorrow. It’s like two monkeys are fighting and one of them just decided to burn the forest down to win.”

“Everything works out for us,” the lanky man smiled, ”They would rather threaten their entire system just for internal struggles, so when they lose one of their pillars how will they fight us?”

The middle-aged man nodded, “Yes. Begin looking into the third option for the negotiations.”

Everyone froze up for a moment. The third option was the most overbearing of them all.

……

The saints in the small square seemed to have gained a level of cooperation, approaching Richard a single small step at a time. They walked together, gambling on who Richard would kill first. Nobody here knew just what Richard’s blue flames were, but the temperature was so frightening that the flames should have actually been white. Someone skilled with fire had already tried to claim his glory and failed.

Richard’s explosive attacks could kill without error, possessing unstoppable power, but fortunately he was also consuming a great deal of energy with each strike. From the looks of it, he could only make up to ten attacks.

But ten swords meant ten saints! There were already six bodies in the ground, and none of those present wanted to be amongst the rest.

Richard suddenly sighed and pulled Moonlight out of the ground, the flame igniting on the blade as he pointed it forward. The saint he pointed at immediately shuddered; there was no way he would be able to escape if Richard chose to attack. Richard feinted a few times, and the sight of the saint flinching like a child elicited a chuckle, “You’re a saint too, and you want the blue moon? Pathetic. And you fools, you really think I can only use a few more attacks? Come at me.”

“Don't believe him, let's go together!” someone shouted loudly to dispel the hesitation. However, a sharp whistle filled the air as a one-handed axe whizzed through the sky, falling right in front of Richard's feet yet with the blade pointing towards the crowd.  The weapon was just gorgeous, and at one glance one could tell that it was a piece of legendary equipment. The aura powering the weapon seemed to be a saint's as well.

However, nobody with any sense cared about either of those. Instead, they looked at the mark on the axe; the crest of the royal family.

All of the lesser nobles of Faust could conceivably band together to grab the blue moon from the Archerons, but they wouldn't dare to do anything in the face of the royal family. The royal family had no lack of legendary experts who had been exploring the myriad planes for decades, but even ignoring them Emperor Philip himself was inconceivably powerful.

Bloodthirsty Philip was a man who could attack an entire fortress in a battlefield of despair on his own. Levels were no longer enough to describe him; even amongst epic beings, he was one of the most powerful! A legendary being might take some time to kill everyone present, but to the Emperor even saints were no more than commoners. Nobody would be able to escape.

“You sure are bold to attack one of the fourteen families. Such flagrant disregard for the law… Are you people not afraid of the death of your families?”

Footsteps rang out as the warriors blocking the entrance to the square automatically gave way. They didn’t fear the new entrant himself, but they were absolutely terrified by the royal family behind him. It was someone with an unparalleled appearance, his mere presence leaving many short of breath.

The Fourth Prince was here.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA