Pet To Lover
Back in his own residence, Richard dragged his tired body forward as he slowly got to his feet. However, the moment he stood up his legs buckled and he almost fell over. Even with Blackgold incorporating two other residences nearby from the moment he took charge of the Deepblue, he still felt like this place was familiar as ever even if he didn’t sleep here at all. The now-enormous building had him feeling nostalgic for a moment.
He suddenly flinched as he felt robes being draped around him, almost freezing up for a moment before he sensed that it was Waterflower who had silently gotten close. This normally wasn’t a problem since he would know from their soul link, but tired as he was he hadn’t been paying attention.
But where was Nasia? His face reddened as he turned around, finding the paladin standing there soundlessly as though she had no aura. However, she didn’t seem to notice him at all, busy studying the closing portal he had just come through.
Now a little curious, he staggered over and asked, “What are you looking at?”
“Verifying a judgment.”
“Your master used an unstable portal just now.”
“Unstable?” Richard’s voice trembled, the apocalyptic scene of Sharon’s battle springing to mind.
“Yes, it’s almost the same as the battle. If she loses control in the slightest, it’ll explode. Now this one won’t affect the Deepblue too much, but it’ll still be quite powerful.”
Although he had full confidence in his master, Richard couldn’t help but grow a little worried over being so close to death. However, he brushed it off and started to put on some inner garments aside from the mage robes.
“What will we be doing now?” Nasia asked him, “How long are you planning to stay in the Deepblue?”
A trace of hesitation on his face was quickly replaced by resolve, “They’re fixing the portal right now. We rest here tonight, and we can be back in Faust tomorrow.”
“Sigh… What else? Planar war, runecrafting, regular war, expanding my territory, getting stronger… there’s quite a bit to do.”
The fight between Apeiron and Sharon had been the biggest one he had ever witnessed, and it showcased just how dangerous two legendary beings fighting was for any plane. The sight of their powers destroying the very plane had been burnt into his mind, and was a constant reminder of how far he was from his own goals.
“More lofty ambition,” Nasia pondered aloud, “Why? Are you willing to let go of your master so easily?”
Richard looked up, seemingly staring past the many boundaries to find Sharon herself as he smiled, “What else can I do? I don’t want to be her pet forever.”
“Now you’re a lover, not a pet,” Nasia corrected. Surprisingly, she had heard the rumours floating around the tower.
“Is there a difference?” he smiled bitterly.
“Hmm… Yes! Right now, you just have to serve her properly and you can sponge off her for the rest of your life.”
Richard’s eye twitched as he felt an impulse to throw her out.
News of the battle at Floe Bay shook all of Norland, various versions of the story spreading through the continent like wildfire that collectively gave a complete picture of the events. The apocalyptic battle had announced the epic-level might of both Empress Apeiron and Sharon herself.
The delegations from both empires were recalled from Faust, the issue of borders dropped for now. Julian had already found a small section of a mountain as compensation for Marquess Miranes’s death, but nobody complained. Still, the issue would be brought up again in the future; the great battle had proved Apeiron’s capabilities, but it also showed an enormous rift between the Empress and the Guardian of the Sacred Alliance that could be exploited.
Both other human empires were now waiting to observe how the Sacred Alliance would defend both of its fortresses in the Land of Dusk. Although Apeiron was powerful, they did not believe she was as strong as Philip himself. Her behaviour had been odd and alienating as well; even doing nothing to govern was better than fighting one’s own guardian.
As an aside, Sharon’s deadly use of unstable portals and space rifts in battle had spread throughout the magic community. Many mages rushed to the scene to find the remaining traces of her magic, using the accounts of the eye-witnesses to figure out the simple principle behind the attack. One just had to form a portal between two planes and then collapse it from within, slowly moulding it into something that could be thrown that would explode when it lost its stability. A storm of energy would build up into an unimaginable explosion. Even most average mages could at least understand the principles behind this ‘spell’.
Many started claiming that this would elevate mages even further in society. When this attack became standard just like Time Stop or Death’s Decree, even if only legendary mages could use it the mere existence would inspire awe.
Curiosity was one of the defining factors of a mage. There were many unwilling to fight, but none were unwilling to experiment. A number of the mages of Norland tried to grasp the theory behind the spatial explosion, causing small bursts of all magnitudes across the entire continent. Every single one was an extraordinary failure, the worst flattening almost half a city. Each explosion also entailed the death of at least the mage attempting the magic.
In the very first day, 110 mages died all over the continent, including a legend and 35 grand mages. Their only common attribute was an affinity for spatial magic. This shocked the rest, giving them cause for caution and compelling them to examine the mistakes closely. They found that every attempt had failed the moment one loosened their control over the portal, forget collapsing it from within or moulding the energy.
Planar teleportation was the jewel of spatial magic’s crown. Control was the most important part of it all— even the slightest of instability could harbour terrifying consequences. This was why every spatial mage was careful when building their portals, taking extra precautions to make sure both ends were in stable environments. Sharon’s attack overturned centuries of convention.
While the bloody results caused casual spatial mages to reevaluate the dangers, the spell was still undeniably attractive. Some continued to reexamine the theory closely, while others sent representatives to the Deepblue to try and figure out Sharon’s secret. Of course, the latter group had little hope; why would she reveal the basis of such a unique and powerful spell?
There wasn’t even much one could give her. Everyone knew that Sharon was a dragonslayer who travelled the void with ease, stacking up on all sorts of bizarre and exquisite items during her travels. Most people on the continent regularly waited for her auctions to find new and powerful items; they didn’t have anything worth such a powerful spell that she would want.
While Sharon grew even more famous amongst the mages of the continent, Empress Apeiron had her own gains as well. Having detoured around the north for a few days before returning, she found herself walking into a palace that treated her with a lot more reverence than the original fear.
As for Julian, he was huddled up all the way in a sleep-like state that helped suppress his frightening injuries. Lifesbane was known to be malevolent, but Richard’s was much worse than one could ever expect. He had felt his wounds deteriorating day by day and had no choice but to enter this semi-hibernation to sustain his life.
Of course, Apeiron herself didn’t appear worried about his condition, and didn’t even have any plans to help. The Empress only knew to kill, not heal.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: HH
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA