Book 7, Chapter 44

The Tigress

Ensio quickly realised that there was something wrong with the situation, abandoning his fake sleep and getting out of his vessel in an instant, Cutting off the mana supply to himself, he placed his hand on Richard’s spell formation and flooded it with as much as he could to keep the vibrating array from exploding.

Catching hints of astral energy in each of Richard’s long, deep breaths, he couldn’t help but be astonished. This was a sign of the body being altered, something typical only during the advancement to the legendary realm. Richard was only level 19, why was his mana evolving now?

Richard himself remained in the dark about his situation. Advancing rapidly was rarely a good thing, especially for humans who were comparatively weak. Even though he had some demonic blood and was a half-elf, the dominant human side of him still suffered from the same drawbacks as the rest of his kind. It would put undue stress on his physique.

Ensio’s eyebrows furrowed as he realised that his own mana could barely stabilise the spell formation. With Richard rejecting his already-formed energy, it was all he could do to form a crystal-like energy mesh around the sleeping youth’s body to absorb any explosions if control was lost.

However, still injured and in a hurry, he let a part of the mesh touch Richard’s body. His eyes went wide as he saw it immediately dissolve into Richard’s body; this mesh contained the power of another plane! Still, he quickly regained his calm and patched up the gap.

A mage carrying an intricate magic-sealing case scurried over a short while later; while the case didn’t look big, it contained hundreds of magic crystals. The elf only glanced at the thing for a second before exclaiming, “Not enough! Get more!”

Surprised but not daring to interfere, the mage rushed back to the warehouse and returned with five entire cases. Despite only minutes having passed in this time, the first case was already half-empty.

The spell formations were pulsing furiously as the crystals powering them were constantly moved in and out, but Richard’s body was like a bottomless pit. No matter how many crystals’ worth of energy was dumped in, he absorbed it all without a hint of being done. Ensio could no longer mask his utter surprise; the sheer amount of mana would be the death of most powerhouses; Richard would need to refine this raw mana into his own attributes, the aftermath of which would be extremely damaging to the body. However, he had stabilised the formation and ensured that any accidents wouldn’t affect the rest of the Deepblue; all he could do now was wait.

As they observed the magic crystals depleting rapidly, the surrounding mages grew incredibly anxious. The old elven mage was already past his authority at this point, so Ensio shouted instead, “Move more magic crystals here, get all you can!”

This time, a number of mages ran to the warehouse. Blackgold immediately approved the request, knowing that it would please Sharon and not having problems regardless. Richard single-handedly propped up the Deepblue’s finances, so he would certainly pay it all back in the future.

More cases were brought over, but it didn’t take long for them to be emptied out as well. Richard remained in his vegetative state, his mana absorption still seemingly endless, and it was reaching the point where everyone was just watching on helplessly. It didn’t take long for them to inform Sharon herself; all of the reserves in the warehouse had been used up. None of them had ever witnessed such a situation before, and they were worried that this reckless absorption of mana would cripple or even destroy Richard from within.

Richard was still in a state of deep sleep when Sharon arrived, but every exhalation leaked astral energy that was absorbed by the spell formations before being pumped back into his body. A strange cycle had slowly formed, strengthening as more of the magic crystals were used up.

The web Ensio had formed continued to flicker in the space around Richard’s body. A small piece of it eventually fell on his chest, and even as he patched up the gaps with the power of his laws he felt like infinite stars were flitting past his consciousness from the distant void. He was rendered speechless yet again; this was a phenomenon he had only ever seen when the laws of two legendary figures came into contact.

Sharon paid no attention to him as she pushed through the barrier without effort, inspecting the condition of Richard’s body. With her perception much more powerful than his, she immediately found that the power cycle was altering Richard’s body and came from his elven bloodline to activate some sort of ability.

The legendary mage frowned; acquiring a bloodline ability was a long-drawn process that would take incremental sums of energy over years. However, Richard’s body had changed for some reason and was unlocking an ability right now; this was where all of the energy was going. She immediately opened a portal in the laboratory itself and slipped away, returning through another one even as most of the mages including Ensio shivered from fright. Ignoring their shocked faces, she started setting a number of magic crystals of all colours into the formation.

Each of these crystals had a different attribute, but the mana was incredibly pure and hundreds of times stronger than the average. They had been harvested from the mana pool in her semiplane, which left even her disgruntled, but she still didn’t hesitate in giving them all up. Of course, she wasn’t one to give up on millions of gold so easily; she swore under her breath to make him pay up for everything.

These new crystals finally brought about a balance to the cycle of energy, stabilising Richard’s absorption. Most of the energy gathered at his restoration affinity trunk and allowed it to grow, two young white leaves growing into branches of their own even as they emitted a white fog that covered the crown.

This was the second of Richard’s affinities to reach the fifth grade, and the dull runes next to the flickering Schloan lit up to form another section of his truename: Ruven, meaning the Mist of Life. As the two words combined, the well of stars gradually rose up on a huge pedestal and started spewing untainted life energy from its mouth.

As the process of Schloanruven’s formation drew to a close, Richard’s intake of energy slowed down and the cycle was broken apart. The unabsorbed energy coagulated to form tiny astral stars, and amidst that dreamlike situation he started regaining his consciousness.

Feeling familiar auras around him, he quickly noticed the changes to his body and looked within. He had gained the ability to summon near-boundless life energy, multiplying the power of his Devout Prayer and speeding up personal recovery as well. Coupled with the hydra egg he had consumed, his survivability in battle increased greatly.

This new section of his truename wasn’t awe-inspiring, but it was still quite useful. Rejoicing internally, he exhaled the last of the energy he failed to absorb and slowly opened his eyes. What greeted him were two twinkling sapphires for eyes.

Richard bolted up amidst his surprise, but that only left him crashing right into Sharon. A dull thud rang through the laboratory as the entire place shook from the weight of the collision, and those present winced as he immediately turned stiff and fell right back into the vessel. Fresh blood pooled on his forehead as though he had been hit with a hammer, and his dazed eyes showed that he was on the verge of fainting.

However, the legendary mage’s own face that seemed soft enough to be blown away by the wind was completely unaffected outside of a trace of redness on the tip of her nose. The collision had been like a fly hitting an elephant; Sharon didn’t even budge.

Richard grunted as he recovered from his daze, feeling like he had just crashed into a mountain. Activating the Mist of Life, he slowly wiped off the blood on his forehead. In only moments everyone saw the torn skin recovering to a faint pink scar, and even that quickly vanished. In moments, the injury seemed to have faded away.

Ensio’s face twitched as he placed Richard on a list of difficult opponents. In prolonged battles, those who healed quickly were the toughest of enemies.

“Master!” Richard greeted Sharon respectfully as he recovered, the pure joy quite obvious on his face.

However, Sharon just put her chin up and snorted, “Come over when you can move.”

Without even waiting for his answer, she walked away with heavy footsteps. Those present felt like a tigress had just left the laboratory.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: HH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA