Although Richard had gone as fast as he could, it had still taken almost the entire night to fly over. The Deepblue tower in the distance already looked decimated, even if its general structure was still intact. Flames were still raging everywhere, making for a ghastly sight.
Richard actually slowed down his wyverns, adjusting himself to peak form. He was too late to affect the immediate situation, so the battle would either have stabilised or come to an end. He would likely be starting a new one, and that he had to win.
As they got closer, they confirmed that there were no fights going on. Shadows flickered as warriors ran around to put out the fire and help the wounded, making it clear that everything had come to an end. The outcome wasn’t as bad as expected, but Richard could still smell something rotten in the air that even he found difficult to bear. The traces of laws within were so powerful that they couldn’t have come from an ordinary legend; this was likely the powerhouse who had supposedly come with Voidbones.
His expression turned dark as murder filled his mind. He could only blame himself if Voidbones made it through all of his arrangements to protect Sharon, but if he was drawing on external forces to attack the Deepblue it was entirely different. He was already planning how to hunt down and torture the man to death if Sharon was hurt in the slightest.
With the mana supporting them cut off, all three wyverns immediately collapsed from mid-air. Richard looked towards Nasia, but the level 16 paladin who shouldn’t be able to fly at all was floating so effortlessly it seemed even more natural with her than him or Waterflower. Seeing she was alright, he looked back and started scanning the Deepblue’s surroundings; the silence was unusual.
His aura had already been blazing for a while now, and even one of the grand mages who focused on research would be able to notice the beacon. However, neither Voidbones nor the legend had shown themselves. Deep in thought, he blinked once and his eyes started glowing as he used Insight to sweep across the sky.
Lumps of concentrated energy immediately filled his vision, the remnants of powerful explosions that looked like watercolours blotted on canvas. The largest yet most concentrated of them all seemed to contain traces of teleportation, although a majority of the energy seemed to come from brute force. Sharon herself had used little energy to build the portal, but Tiamat had used all the energy she could in the struggle.
He stared intently and was about to fly over to inspect when a few strands of grey caught his attention. They were so faint that one couldn’t notice them without paying attention, even normal legends unable to discover them at all, but there was a path they traced behind. The laws in the vicinity were distorted wherever these threads passed, and it was clear that they came from a legendary being as well. Although extremely faint, Richard was shocked into attention; this energy belonged to Apeiron!
His gaze followed the grey lines all the way to Apeiron and Julian who were floating overhead, something that caused the Empress to raise a brow, “You can actually find me? Interesting!”
Although the two were simply floating in the sky, there were no fluctuations of energy coming from them at all. Powerhouses relied on perception to find their opponents, not their eyes and ears; the more powerful one was, the less useful their eyes and ears. Richard was a level 19 grand mage, someone considered quite powerful even in Norland. Those between sainthood and the epic realm rarely ever noticed Apeiron even from ten metres away.
However, Richard clearly didn’t just happen to look at them. He had followed the traces of her path, which really was an anomaly worth investigating. Apeiron started wondering whether he could see the traces of laws.
Nasia looked at Richard with intent as well, but he ignored her and said solemnly, “Your Majesty is here as well.”
Apeiron nodded, “I heard something I’m interested in would appear here, so I came over to catch it alive.”
“So where is that thing?” Richard asked.
“Sharon might have taken it away.”
“That should be the case.”
“So now…” Richard’s gaze turned sharp.
“I’m waiting for that thing and your master.”
He nodded, “Then let’s wait together.”
Apeiron flashed a faint smile that was almost indiscernible, “Alright.”
Richard closes his eyes, seemingly drifting into meditation as he waited in silence. Nasia drifted over to his side and said quietly, “You’re no match for that woman.”
“I’m depending on your ability,” he replied.
She smiled faintly, “War Fanatic can’t help you defeat that woman, you’d need a Worldeater for that. If I was really that powerful, what would I be doing with you? I’d have taken her down myself.”
“There’s no such thing as impossible, I see no need for discussion.”
“Are you sure you want to make your move if something goes wrong? You’d be courting death!”
Richard remained silent, but Nasia didn’t plan to let him off. She asked the question repeatedly until he finally raised an eyebrow and retorted, “Is the question that important to you?”
A smile appeared on the paladin’s mask, “Very.”
“Then yes, I’ll do it.”
“Even if you’re going to die?”
“Why not retreat first and gather all your forces? Come back and try to fight to the death with all you have.”
Richard laughed bitterly, “I’d still be courting death.”
“But the chances would be a tiny bit greater. Right now, they’re zero.”
Richard sighed and went silent for a moment before speaking, “It’s too late.”
“Then why don’t you just leave? It doesn’t look like she’ll stop you. Vengeance is better than being useless.”
Nasia seemed relentless tonight, and thinking of his upcoming doom Richard felt rather rueful, “She’s planning to fight Master, I can’t run away from that. Doesn’t matter if I can beat her.”
Richard laughed, “Maybe, but I don’t exactly want to be smart right now.”
“How are you not dead already?”
“Maybe the God of Destiny doesn’t want to let me die.”
“… There’s no such thing as a god of destiny.”
“Is that so? We do have a God of Luck, surely there’ll be one of destiny on some foreign plane.”
“No, not even on the ones greater than Norland.”
“How do you know?”
“I just know!”
Richard smiled and stopped the meaningless conversation. Nasia quieted down as well, seemingly falling into thought.
High above, Julian watched Richard with the scheming smile of a fox having caught its prey. Floating in mid-air was easy for a saint, but it still took energy. Unlike legendary beings who propped them up with local energy using their laws, saints and grand mages had to rely on their own energy or mana to sustain flight. Richard would grow more and more tired with time.
He was looking forward to the boy exhausting himself.
At this same time, Tiamat’s shrieks were resounding through Sharon’s semiplane. Only ten minutes had passed, but it felt like ten years to the enormous Prime Evil. The legendary mage’s dainty hands were shining with azure light as she kneaded the dragon’s flesh, rubbing and pinching to shrink her down.
Tiamat had remained a little arrogant in the first three minutes, still threatening Sharon and snarling at her as she tried to dodge, but by now she was begging and wailing as she promised anything Sharon wanted. However, her body continued to shrink down like clay being squished; she fought with all her might, but a single small foot seemed to be a million tonnes of weight that she couldn’t push off at all.
It took half an hour for the legendary mage to finish her task, clapping as she looked upon her own work in satisfaction. The enormous Prime Evil that had once been a hundred metres long was now reduced to a tiny, chubby creature that was only a little more than a metre tall; it was rather adorable.
However, Sharon’s genius in many fields clearly didn’t extend to her artistic abilities. The little dragon admittedly was cute, for lack of a better word, but the body had been distorted no matter how one looked at it. She lifted the creature up and landed next to the mana pool atop the hill, throwing it towards the edge, “Take a look, didn’t I do great?”
Tiamat took a look at her reflection in the water and nearly fainted, but even trembling from head to toe she stuttered out, “Y-your workmanship… workmanship…”
“Hmm? How is it?” Sharon pressed incessantly, beaming more and more. After all, direct praise would validate her the most.
“Truly… too wonderful!” The Prime Evil felt her dignity shatter into pieces.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Hestia
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA