Book 7, Chapter 10

Final Offer

Everyone in the crowd exchanged looks of fear, but having gone this far none of them wanted to give up either. They had grown more and more audacious with the other families of the fourteen not making a move to protect Richard, but now they had attracted the attention of the Fourth Prince.

These minor nobles only dared to try and kill Richard because they knew the Archerons were in a rather unique position in all of Faust. They were perhaps the only family with no clear heir, and their reliance on Richard meant that they would likely fall days after he died. Any other family in the entire city, even those without islands, had the history and pedigree to survive. This courage fizzled away in the face of Nyris’s appearance. Offending a prince without reason was certain death.

“Richard killed more than a dozen of us!” a noble called out from the crowd.

“And I’d kill a dozen more if they dared step foot on my island,” Richard responded with a smile. Looking at him, Nyris momentarily went into a daze.

An old saint stepped out of the crowd, asking in a low voice, “With all due respect, Your Highness, might I ask if you represent the royal family with your stand on this matter?”

“Benzo Nirk, is it?” Nyris looked at the saint with narrowed eyes, causing the man to pale. Surprisingly, he refused to cower as his eyes instead flashed with killing intent, his chest puffing up in a display of determination. Nyris turned around and gave Richard a meaningful look before declaring in a clear and melodious voice, “No, I’m just here as Nyris.”

Having said that, the prince flipped off the entire crowd and continued viciously, “But I am here. Killing me will have no repercussions from the royal family, but let’s see you fools even get to that point first.”

……

Within the window of a nearby inn, Neil jumped to his feet even as his palm struck his face. Cursing under his breath, he waved and instructed a servant, “Go tell… Sigh, go tell Father. Also pass down my orders; every saint under me is to get here right away!”

Knowing the situation was urgent, the servant took off at once. Neil turned to the two saint guards behind him, “If Richard and Nyris end up in danger, I’ll need you two to try and rescue them.”

Two against dozens was a suicide mission, but the guards nodded with no signs of hesitation or despair. These were men who were fully prepared to die for their lord. Nodding himself, Neil turned back to the square.

……

Nyris wanted to continue his speech, but he was suddenly grabbed by the back of the neck and flung out of the encirclement. Even as he flipped over in the sky to land on his feet, Richard looked him in the eye, “Fuck off, this is none of your business!”

Richard then pulled out another longsword and continued with his charming smile, “Now, I don’t want to waste time going in circles with you lot. You want the moon, don’t you? Kill me and you get it. The price is simple; half of you will be left behind.”

Half of them? Nobody wanted to believe Richard’s words, but their instincts told them that he wasn’t lying. With half of everyone dying, the odds of one’s own death would be 50%. In that case, who would be able to grab the blue moon? Even if one did, would they be able to keep it?

While the mob started hesitating, the small square began to shake as a young man that was built like a mountain made his way over. He seemed to be walking at leisure, but before anyone could even react a powerful force gently pushed them away. The youth didn’t utter a single word as he moved past them, but he took his place beside Richard.

This caused an uproar in the crowd. Agamemnon was one of the Ironblood Duke’s most favoured sons, and his arrival changed the situation in a way that Nyris’s wouldn’t. Even without any followers or soldiers, he was far more of a threat to go up against. While most of the Fourth Prince’s siblings would be rather happy that he was gone, the monster known as Beye doted on this brother of hers. Killing him would cause disaster.

Now, the mob truly was having second thoughts. There was only one factor that compelled them to fight anymore; Richard’s vengeance. Everyone that had publicly made him an enemy in the past was eventually punished for their decision, and he was known for his strong memory. Already at a point of no return, they would rather kill the three present before they died than just whimpering away in vain.

However, the crowd was blinded once more as another figure flashed its way over. After a moment of stunned silence, someone whispered in alarm, “Beye!”

Eyebrows and pupils so faint they were almost colourless, dishevelled short hair, and a completely unconcealed aura that was brimming with killing intent; as someone who had managed to kill a legendary being on her own, Beye inspired sheer terror in anyone going up against her. She was even more terrifying than most legends; having forced herself to delay the advancement as long as she could to hone her skills, she would certainly be a terrifying monster whenever she did take that step. At that point, legends likely wouldn’t even be able to escape from her.

Both Nyris and Agamemnon were only vaguely important to their families, but the Ironblood Duke would never sacrifice Beye in his life. If she were to fight to the death here, Duke Orleans would most certainly wipe out the family lines of everyone involved. With him as a catalyst, the royal family might move as well!

“You guys…” Richard shook his head in resignation as Nyris jumped back, the blue flame on Moonlight winking out, “Sigh. Why do you want to stop me from venting a bit? The chance is gone.”

A wicked smile that could reduce children to tears crept onto Beye’s face, “The old man was worried that you wouldn’t be able to help him take care of those young beauties on his behalf, so he told me I couldn’t let you die. You represent their happiness.”

Lawrence was far away and had withered to a mere husk of his former self, how could he react so quickly to the events in Faust? This was just an excuse. Richard understood that Beye was nearby and had rushed over the moment she got word; it was just that she was as awkward with relationships as she was proficient at combat; she would never readily express her concern.

However, Richard still shivered at the mention of young beauties. Most of those women were young fifty years ago; by now, half of them were probably buried in the ground. Lawrence’s task for him… He couldn’t help but want to run away at the mere thought. Still, it made him want to visit the old pervert again. It was just that there hadn’t been a single chance of life extensions in any of his recent sacrifices and his tree of life had told him the fruits wouldn’t work on someone so old.

Just as he was filling up with nostalgia, Beye’s sharp gaze focused on the crowd, “What are you still doing here? Tired of life, are we?”

Another saint braced himself before asking, “With all due respect, Lady Beye, are you here representing your own stance or that of the Ironblood Duke?”

Just as the words left his mouth, the man suddenly stiffened as his eyes went wide. Beye slowly withdrew her index finger from his forehead, the long digit covered in blood and brains. Few people in the entire square had even managed to see how she’d made her move.

“Questioning my presence, you’ve got some nerve.” She shoved the corpse to the ground, raising her head to look at the dumbstruck crowd, “Any indignity towards the fourteen families will not be tolerated. Any judgements upon one of our own must come from us, not you rabble. Any family that wishes to attack a ruling family of Faust has to abide by the laws that have been around for centuries; you need to march your way into the city first. This is the Ironblood Duke’s will!”

This caused an uproar in the crowd, the people cowering with fear. However, someone still worked up the courage to ask, “So this—”

“This ends here. No feuds shall arise from this, no one shall use it as an excuse for vengeance.”

Every gaze in the mob immediately fell on Richard, whose own eyes fixed onto Beye’s for a few moments before he smiled and nodded. This was a nod of courtesy, of a patriarch agreeing with the message of another family’s envoy. However, just as the people started to breathe a sigh of relief, he suddenly called out, “One second.”

The crowd immediately grew alarmed once more, but Richard continued casually, “I’m feeling generous, here’s one last chance for you lot. Pick three people of your choice and we’ll battle; no outside interference. Of course, the fights will be to the death. What say you?”

Greed bubbled up in many of the saints once more. Richard’s conditions were extremely attractive; there was still a sky saint amongst the dozens present. With him as the core and the two strongest of the rest, that would be a combined power that was comparable to two sky saints. With Richard being the one bringing this up, no one could say anything if he died. Some of those with ulterior motives immediately switched their gazes to the sky saint.

However, the man’s expression turned quite grave as he tried to match Richard’s stare. In the end, he turned to leave without a single word. In only an instant, his figure had disappeared into the distance.

A sky saint wouldn’t dare battle Richard even with two other saints to assist him!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA