Book 7, Chapter 15

World Turned Over

Nasia turned her head to look Noelene in the eye as she walked past. The brief moment of eye contact immediately left the priestess feeling a frightening chill, her entire body locking up and unable to move. It was only until she followed Richard all the way out that Noelene regained her mobility, starting to sweat as she hurried away.

Outside the Church, Richard moved his rune knights once more and returned to the Archeron island. Nasia rode with him, quietly watching the scenery along the way. It was only until they were halfway back that she spoke, “That little priestess now, I heard someone call her Noelene? If you have a chance, give her some more grace.”

“What?” Richard’s eyes went wide in surprise, “What happened?”

“Nothing, she just lost a lot of her grace this time. In fact, she has almost nothing left. Quite smart of her; she even gave up on her share just to increase your chances with the summoning. Whenever you get some grace, just let me reward her for it.”

Richard felt incredibly helpless. This mysterious new paladin fighting for him was unique and overbearing, just putting the responsibility of getting more sacrifices for Noelene’s sake on him as well. He didn’t mind that— in fact, he wanted to rush over and give her as much as he could— but the problem was that the culprit riding with him had just exhausted everything he had. He didn’t even have lesser sacrifices left.

He would have to gather some more as soon as possible.

“Oh, right,” Nasia interrupted his thoughts, “This is my ability.”

She sent a message over their soul connection, directly imprinting the one ability she had at the moment into his mind: War Fanatic. This ability was an upgraded version of War Construct, greatly improving the speed, power, defence, and recovery of the target. And while War Construct was only really effective on those below the saint realm, perhaps barely passable on someone at level 18, War Fanatic could work on anyone and even anything under the legendary realm.

This ability was quite impressive on the battlefield, but as an innate ability it couldn’t be inscribed into scrolls. This meant Nasia could only keep it active on one person at a time, limiting its effectiveness. Still, for someone who was only level 16 this was quite amazing. Even at level 20 this wouldn’t be too bad.

“Impressive,” he said.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg, don’t rush to be impressed yet. You’ll make me look down on you,” Nasia chuckled.

Something so powerful was only the beginning? Richard couldn’t help a smile and a shrug.

……

The moment Richard returned to the island, a servant passed on a letter from the royal family. Richard’s brow wrinkled the moment he opened it, finding an invitation to the first royal island the very next morning for an important discuss.

He didn’t know why, but the letter made him feel extremely uneasy. The actual topic wasn’t stated in the letter, but that only made things more suspect. He had a hunch that all of the strangeness in recent times and the abnormalities of his friends would be answered at the meeting, and it didn’t seem like the answer would be pleasant.

Arranging a room for Nasia in the castle, he returned to his practice floor that doubled as Mountainsea’s bedroom and began to meditate. The golden seed had immediately started forming a third heart in his upper abdomen that was in a triangle with the other two, but his second was still in its nascent stages. With his standard recovery not enough to support both new organs, he had to pump as much energy in manually as he could.

However, his meditation that night had almost no results. The uneasiness was weighing down his mind, and while most normal astral rays were easy to catch the more powerful ones constantly eluded him as a result of his own repeated mistakes. While he did provide some extra energy to his new hearts, it was far from satisfactory.

Struggling his way into dawn, he quickly finished breakfast and headed to the royal family’s island under the escort of a small team of rune knights. The masters of every one of the fourteen islands appeared before nine, the first time he had ever seen everyone gathered in one place. Even the Ironblood Duke was present in person instead of sending one of his children.

All fourteen of them were guided to a special meeting room in the palace, containing a simple round table and almost nothing else. The table itself had no markings of status, and even worse it was quite crowded especially with how much space the Emperor himself would take up. Up above was a mural of Charles the Great, depicting the foundation of the Sacred Alliance to the beheading of the abyssal dragon Daramore. It was the only furnishing in the entire place.

This room and this round table where Charles the Great himself had met with his most powerful generals, establishing the covenant of the Sacred Alliance. Those generals had gone on to form the original giants of Faust, and ever since then this was where every important meeting of the Alliance would take place. Here, there was no Emperor; here, there was no level to the islands. Everyone who owned one was theoretically equal.

Taking a seat and looking around, Richard saw that most of the weaker families were bewildered by it all. Only some of the highest ranked of them all were quiet, like Wellinburg and the Ironblood Duke.

Emperor Philip himself walked in right on the hour, his appearance prompting every one of these hegemons to stand up in respect. Squeezing his enormous body into the seat, he motioned for all of them to sit before having his aides and the other servants withdraw and close the doors. Richard suddenly realised that the man had grown even larger, now taking up as much as four normal people would.

The moment the doors were shut, Richard felt a mana fluctuation that he couldn’t lock on to. However, the fluctuation itself was easy to read and something most mages were familiar with: an isolation spell. He immediately felt his heart sink; why would one need to stop eavesdropping on the royal island?

“I have a few things to discuss, everyone. The first is about my body; the battles in the Land of Dusk left severe injuries that I haven’t healed from. In fact, all of our efforts have failed; after some time, it might be difficult to even have the power of a saint.”

Philip’s tone was soft and uncaring, almost trivial. However, his words were like a meteor falling from the sky that could shake all of Norland! In the battle at the Land of Dusk, the Emperor had killed a legendary being even as he repelled two epic beings of Daxdus; with such strength, he likely qualified to be the most powerful being in all of Norland. However, now it turned out that the fight’s consequences were far beyond what they had imagined.

The loss of any epic being was a sensational event for the entire plane, and Philip was close to the peak even amongst them. The only other figure one could recall was Charles the Great, the founding Emperor himself. Everyone immediately felt stifled, as though all the air had been sucked out of the room.

And yet, this was certainly only the beginning of their problems. The consequences of this loss would be dire, not just for the royal family but for the entire Alliance. There were exactly three people that could be called epic beings within the country— Emperor Philip himself, High Priestess Ferlyn, and perhaps Sharon— but each of them had their own unique circumstances. Ferlyn was limited to the Church and could only afford a neutral position, while Sharon was known to have little experience. The legendary mage had been exploring the myriad planes all this while with few people knowing of her true strength, but word had already spread that she was injured and hibernating as well.

With Emperor Philip about to lose his powers, this meant the strongest military power in the Sacred Alliance was the Ironblood Duke. While he was more powerful than an ordinary legend himself, he was known to be worse than an epic being. The Alliance was suddenly empty, and an empire with no epic being was like a major family without a legend!

All eyes fell on the Ironblood Duke, retaining the slightest thread of hope. He had entered the legendary realm before he was even forty years old, and had for decades been improving steadily. He was the greatest hope for an epic being in the near future.

However, the Duke showed a bitter smile, “I shouldn’t hide this anymore. Only a week ago, I sparred with the Sword Saint of the Millennial Empire. I lost, thoroughly.”

All of the family heads went silent, even Richard feeling faint.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA