The Road At Night
Dusk was approaching, and Norland’s second sun began to set in the west, the last of its brilliance dyeing the rivers, the horizon, and the entirety of Norland red. In the time it took to shut the arched gates Faust was enveloped by a gentle, fragrant golden glow. It was as if the world stood still, and time passed in tranquility.
Richard released his mana, the beast skin in front of him shining with layers of spell formations like a gentle breeze on a river. Another rune was now completed, and while the effects of it were barely better than the standard he was extremely satisfied considering the materials used. He sat quietly and waited for the power of the spell formation to finish taking effect. Suddenly, a wave of fatigue swept past him, which caused him to feel drowsy. Every time this happened, Richard’s first countermeasure was to gulp down a bottle of revitalising potion.
With one hand rubbing his temple, Richard’s other hand reached for the side of the table. However, what greeted his hand was not the familiar, icy, smooth touch of the cylinder, but a warm and bouncy piece of flesh. What followed next was a startled gasp, as the piece of flesh hurriedly left his hand. Richard was flabbergasted, and he turned his head. He saw Coco standing a metre away with a flush on her cheeks. She was staring at him in shock, coupled with restrained anger. The piece of flesh that he had grabbed was her buttocks.
Not bad to the touch, but not exceptional. This was the first thought that came to Richard’s mind.
Back in the Deepblue, Richard always had a revitalising potion by his side to drink when he was weary. However, the ARcherons could not provide such a good environment, and the few potions they had were saved for times of war. However, Richard had just recently left Deepblue, so this habit of five years would not be that easy to forget.
‘Maybe I should apologise to her?’ Richard pondered, not knowing how to explain himself.
The two assistants were by his side, so it would be inappropriate of him to comment on the impoverishment of the Archerons. Furthermore, Richard did not think that being poor was something wrong. Right now, he was extremely aware of the vast differences between the outside world and the Deepblue. Take these two helpers, for example. In their lives they would rarely have seen more than a few powerful mana potions, so they would never be able to imagine sustaining one’s daily tasks with such things. This was were the awkwardness lied. Richard wanted to tell the truth, but nobody would believe him.
The female assistant only harrumphed and turned away, not saying a single word. As for the male assistant, his gaze flitted and landed on Coco’s buttocks briefly, before he shrugged his shoulders. As for Coco, her cheeks were still red. She bit on her lower lips, and her eyes seemed to glisten with tears. However, she too did not speak as she continued with her tasks of tidying and preparing the table, except that she now maintained a certain distance from Richard.
In actuality, with the disparity in Richard’s and Coco’s identity, a brief touch of her buttocks was no big deal. Even if the person who touched her was the male assistant, he would at most be reprimanded lightly. If that happened, some might even consider that it was Coco’s motive to bewitch the man.
Richard knew of the many rules of the nobility, and knew that if he were to apologise now it would create trouble for Coco in the future. However, Coco was evidently livid, and her expression betrayed her intentions to stay at a distance away from him, something that caused him to feel rather uncomfortable.
The hourglass was already halfway down, indicating that it was almost time for dinner. Seeing the many materials and apparatus set up on the table, Richard felt rather impatient. Soon, he tossed the equipment he held in his hand on the experiment table, before standing up and walking away.
However, just as he took two steps forward, he felt something split apart deep in his consciousness, and a incomparably crisp clap sounded loudly before a sliver of iciness mixed with darkness appeared, as if a shadow dissipated in his consciousness.
Richard was taken aback and immediately halted. He concentrated deep on his consciousness, yet could not find any traces of the shadow, as if what had happened was just an illusion. He scanned his body with his senses, but he did not discover anything amiss. However, there was a lingering trace of danger that remained. Something had happened, but he couldn’t figure out what it was.
At this moment, the thuds of heavy footsteps sounded in the corridor. Senma appeared at the third floor of the laboratory, saying to Richard, “Master wants to see you, follow me.”
Richard nodded his head, and instructed the two assistants to keep the runes that he had just crafted before following Senma outside. Senma’s face was still ashen, and the aura that emanated from her was rather weak. She took out an exquisite vial and tossed it to Richard, “Drink this along the way, you don't have much time left.”
Richard was rather stupefied as he looked at the invigorating potion in his hands. This potion was designed to restore both energy and mana at the same time, something much more valuable than a regular revitalising potion. Something big had to have happened for him to be given this, but instead of asking he drank it all in one gulp before following her to the main castle.
Richard once again saw Gaton in the command room, and the magical map in the centre already had its contents changed. The plane was unknown to Richard, but the area was steeped with magma. This plane was most likely to be a level of hell, or the deep abyss. Or perhaps it was another place with similar properties.
Gaton’s hands were pressed on the edges of the map as he stared fixedly at the projection. A powerful aura was continuously emanating from his body, so thick it was almost visible to the naked eye.
On the end of the map was a pair of knights dressed in heavy armour. There were no exposed areas other than ‘T’ openings on their helmets, with even their palms covered in scale mail. Their armour was frighteningly heavy, and if one looked from the side they could see that it was over fifteen centimetres thick. It was unknown just how much power one needed to pierce through such dense armour.
The two knights looked the same, dressed in black stinger sets which were the most popular among heavy knights. However, the Archeron emblem was embedded on different sides for them, one on the left and the other on the right, to differentiate between the two.
This was Kaylen and Kayde, a pair of brother-sister twins that belonged to Gaton’s thirteen. Although their equipment was ordinary and seemed not to have any additional effects, their auras were no lower than Senma’s.
Mordred stood quietly behind Gaton, and when he saw Richard enter, his lips cracked open into a silent smile as a form of welcome.
Gaton stood up straight, and looked at Richard with his hawk-like eyes. “Richard, you’re here. Let me see how much magic you have recovered. Hmm… Yup, a good deal of it. You’ll be ready by the time the ceremony starts. Senma! Take another invigoration potion for use on the journey later.”
Senma responded with a noise from her throat, as Richard looked in bewilderment, “What ceremony?
“An offering to the Eternal Dragon! Kiddo, your luck isn’t too bad.We have enough tributes now. But then, your luck can be said to be very bad as well, because there isn’t much time for you to prepare. Take this!” Soon, Gaton tossed a black box over to Richard.
The moment Richard caught the box, both of his hands sunk down, causing him to nearly fall to the ground. This box was close to a hundred kilograms heavy, and he had to activate Eruption to regain his balance and catch it firmly.
“Open it and look inside!”
Richard opened the box, and a burning stench wafted out from within. Shockingly, this stench had an overwhelming surge of power! There was a mass of flesh in the box, blazed so much it had turned black. The power of laws circled it, releasing a powerful aura to the pulse of its beating.
“Demon heart!” Richard said, aghast.
“Mm, from a lesser demon lord! And this too, catch!” Gaton tossed a larger box over this time. This box was extremely heavy too, but the moment it reached Richard it stopped on its own, before floating down and resting gently on the ground, as if there were a pair of invisible hands that had carried it. The moment Richard could see the box’s opening, the lid lifted.
There was an equally stinging stench here, but it wasn’t accompanied by any heat. This aura was thick with darkness and rot, the head of a devil with more than ten amber eyes open. The numerous horns on the head were still sharp and well-preserved. Even the arc of the horns were not changed, and everything seemed to come to a still, as if its appearance had been like this for a long time. This head was chopped off a long time ago, and no longer showed any signs of life. However, the powers of corrosion and darkness were still well preserved under the powers of magic.
“The head of a devil!” Richard gasped.
“It’s a greater devil! However, it has been dead for some time now, and it’s not that easy to sever the head of another devil. This is for you, the private property of your old man. You struck it big this time!” Gaton said as he put on the helmet he carried in his hands, as if he was going into a battle shortly.
Richard looked blankly at the two boxes, as his gaze swept past the people present. Kaylen and Kayde were masked, so he naturally couldn’t see their expressions, but both Mordred and Senma were just as shocked as him.
Richard’s abilities had recorded the data of these demon and devil remnants that were only spoken of in the books he had read. To humans, going to the deep abyss or hell to kill either a demon or a devil was extremely difficult. As for those devils and demons that had managed to traverse planes and enter Norland, they had long since been slain and offered to the Eternal Dragon. To look at these prized items that were still filled with power was not something common.
The demons were from the deep abyss, and the devils from hell. These were both prime planes just like Norland, but vastly larger. The environment there was extremely special, giving an abnormal boost to its residents’ powers. Each level of these places was a semi-plane unto itself, with a being unifying the area. As for the exact number of layers they had, nobody knew for sure. They were both an amalgamation of countless layers of planes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Theo: Sorry this was late as well, fell asleep at the desk yesterday. Welp, you have two more today though, so there's that.
Translation/TLC By: OMA
Edited By: Theo