Book 7, Chapter 14

Covenant

Richard felt an enormous sense of danger, and tried to back away, but several strips of timeforce flew towards him under Nasia’s control. The screen of time that blocked others from entering this place now turned upon him, and despite his struggles his mana was just no match for the power of time itself. In a completely lopsided collision, he felt like he had struck a crystal wall as the strips grabbed him and lifted him into the air.

He struggled and struggled, but no matter what he did there was no way to resist. Failing with every kind of energy he had, even the power of laws, his eyes lit aglow with Insight only to show that the strips of timeforce holding him were linked to the entire space they were in. This immediately stopped all of his resistance; he had no expectations of being able to break the power of a space created by the Eternal Dragon.

Nasia spoke up to verify his thoughts, “I control all the timeforce here. No matter how powerful you are, you cannot match me.”

She then glared at him even as she waved a hand to dismiss the chains, “I will not kneel, and this is the last time I will permit such an offence.”

Now calmed down, Richard stared at the woman coldly, “You said you’d help me in battle.”

“Of course.”

“No point. I don’t need a knight who disobeys orders. You would only interfere with me.”

This blunt response left Nasia a little surprised; she hadn’t expected such a tough attitude in spite of the visible disparity in their strengths; he sounded as though he could give up the massive amount of divine grace without a second thought. The pale golden timeforce still not completely faded from her eyes, she gazed right into him and tried to read the truth behind his words.

Sensing the intrusion into his mind, Richard immediately resisted with all his might. It felt like something was touching the depths of his soul, but a pulse of energy repelled that might. Still, Nasia chuckled, “Seems like you’re quite confident in yourself. I admit, I will listen to your commands on the battlefield. I am a holy knight; that is within my obligations.”

Richard still frowned, “And why would you even follow me? Clearly, the fact that I brought you here is nothing in your eyes.”

“Quite smart. Yes, you’re right. I simply need divine grace to push my upper limits, and you seem to be good at getting exactly that. So that will be our covenant; I fight for you, and in return you give me the grace I need to advance. The higher in level I am, the more I will help you in return.”

“Sounds good,” he nodded before gesturing towards her, “And what about this?”

Knowing what he was talking about, Nasia immediately activated all of the enchantments on her equipment, saying in a natural tone, “Have a good look. If it weren’t for me, that amount of timeforce would not have created all of this. The boost in my power will pay for itself; you’re getting away with a deal.”

Having the basic ability to read auras, Richard was immediately shocked by the sheer number of enchantments the equipment had. Every piece was legendary grade! With the amount of timeforce she had consumed, even one piece of legendary equipment wouldn’t have been too bad. Thinking about it and deciding to accept the compromise, he reached out a hand, “Alright then, I hope it’s pleasure doing business with you.”

The hand reached out was open and for a shake, a gesture of equals instead of a lord greeting a new vassal. Nasia smiled behind her mask as she reciprocated, “As smart as expected.”

“Hmm? You’ve heard of me?” he suddenly recalled an idea that he had dismissed due to the circumstances.

Nasia nodded, “From Nyra’s message.”

“Ah, so she did to it after all. That means you’re her sister?”

“No. That woman really wanted to come, but… Let’s say I persuaded her to give me the opportunity.”

Richard frowned for a moment, already knowing just what kind of persuasion this overbearing paladin would use. Looking around at the empty altar, he sighed and started walking away, “Let’s go.”

“One minute!” Nasia called out, and before he realised what was happening he saw her take a small emerald seed from his pocket. This was a greater sacrifice he had kept prepared just in case; a fallback if the rest of the ceremony didn’t go as planned. Unable to move as she blatantly robbed him, he didn’t resist or protest either, just watching her next move quietly. This greater sacrifice wasn’t supposed to be enough to raise her level limit, so he was interested in what use she had for it.

Nasia threw the seed towards the altar and immediately converted it into opure timeforce, reaching out to grab all of the energy and ripping out an extra helping from the void. Richard heard Noelene gasp back in Faust as Nasia drank the power like water, her aura strengthening further. Only now realising that she was around level 14, he watched as she hit level 16 in a few moments.

Although Nasia hadn’t grabbed enough energy to equate to a top-tier sacrifice, she still had enough for about ten years of extended life. Richard couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer efficiency; there was still a bit of timeforce left floating aroung.

As he looked on to see what she would do with it, the paladin bundled all of the remaining energy and crushed it into a thumb-sized golden seed that she threw towards him, “Catch.”

Instinctively catching the golden seed, Richard saw a simple message in his mind: “Divine Blessing: Golden Heart. This seed will create a new heart or core in the user.”

As someone who had just gained a second heart, Richard was stumped. He had heard of this blessing before, but it was extremely rare even if rather inexpensive. An extra heart didn’t just mean extra power; his path to the legendary realm would have no obstacles at all! And yet, Nasia had only used the grace of about a lesser sacrifice for it!

Looking at his confusion, Nasia spoke up, “If you’re planning to give it away, don’t bother. This is a version made specifically for you, and could have some serious side-effects. Is there something else you would have liked instead?”

Richard silently swallowed the seed and left with Nasia.

Back in the Church, Noelene seemed to be in deep thought. The priestess was visibly fatigued, seeming even weaker than the apprentices by her side, but looking at Nasia’s masked face appearing behind Richard she cheered up, “Success?”

Richard nodded, “This is Nasia, she should be from the place. What happened to you?”

Noelene just smiled, “That’s good, this is the best I can do to help. Don’t worry about me, everything just has a price. Thankfully, it was much cheaper this time than I expected; I’ll recover soon.”

Looking at the grand priestess who had quietly started helping him ever since Flowsand left, even if she was profiting herself, Richard didn’t know what to say. Eventually, he only managed to sigh, “Thank you.”

Noelene looked at Nasia, who was a foot and a half behind Richard with the silence of a standard heavenly guardian. However, the level and equipment caused visible surprise, “Not bad. I’ll try to help you level her up as soon as possible, but she should be able to help you as she is now. Well, go back, I need to… rest…”

Richard nodded, bidding farewell, before heading outside the Church.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA