Book 7, Chapter 50

Magic Soul

Emperor Philip’s funeral turned out to be far simpler than most expected or wanted, but it wasn’t any less memorable for it. Richard only understood once he left the palace that Empress Apeiron didn’t think even Duke Orleans qualified to deliver a eulogy for someone as powerful as the man; it was a sentiment he couldn’t help but agree with.

However, he was also certain that these actions would be another point used to disseminate rumours about how preposterous the new ruler was. Nobles were often forgetful; with the pressure of the two other empires gone, they had already forgotten what Apeiron’s tyranny had just saved them from.

As he approached the teleportation gates leading back to the temple, he noticed Nyris hurrying towards him while trying his best to seem casual. The Fourth Prince lowered his voice as they crossed each other, “I’m coming to visit you tonight.”

Having said that, he continued on his way. Richard himself didn’t bat an eyelid, acting as though he had heard nothing and continuing towards the portal. However, just as Nyris was about to enter another hall of the palace, a familiar figure suddenly appeared in front of him that caused Richard to frown: Earl Kimbaye.

It was strange for the envoy of the Millennial Empire to even be present still, but from the looks of things he also had quite some freedom around the palace. He stopped Nyris and said something with a smile, causing the prince to hesitate for a bit before nodding begrudgingly. Kimbaye immediately bowed with an even wider smile, turning around to leave. Seeing Richard looking at them, he waved from afar.

When he returned to the Archeron island, Richard felt a lingering sense of anxiety; Nyris’s words had a sense of foreboding to them, and the cautious nature of his approach and angry tone said a lot.

A number of thoughts swirled around in his head leaving him unable to relax, but eventually he forced it all down. Any doubts would be answered when Nyris arrived. He chose not to think about it any longer, instead making his way to the basement to pick up some rune sets to finish.

Rosie’s skill at runecrafting continued to grow steadily, long surpassing even his own wildest expectations from her potential. It was apparent that talent wasn’t a hard limit to one’s capabilities; one could improve far beyond where they should through force of will and determination. At this point, only the two most important steps to both Savage Strike and Savage Barrier had to be completed by him personally; even though one didn’t require much mana for these, the precision he employed in their design was something Rosie couldn’t accomplish yet.

There was also an incomplete new rune in the storage area as well, an attempt to craft the Crimson Inferno rune that was infamously difficult to complete just like Lifesbane. As a grade 4 rune that required one to be on the verge of becoming a saint runemaster to craft, it also needed its crafter to have legendary magic and a great pyromancer’s level of fire control. The rune itself had a simple use: it greatly magnified the power of any fire-related spells or abilities. With such difficulty to create and the small niche it served alongside the enormous cost, the blueprint was almost freely available in the open market. 

When Richard had first obtained the design for this rune, he had studied it intensively and discovered some issues with it. The designer was undoubtedly a genius in terms of his conceptual ability, but he clearly didn’t have the ability to craft this himself. Thankfully, his truename granted him a grand pyromancer’s control over fire via the abyssal flames, so he could make the necessary changes to get it to work. After some miscellaneous changes and corrections, he had pushed down the crafting requirements to level 20. He himself, with his other advantages, could now craft it at level 19.

Ever since he absorbed the blue moon, Richard had already fulfilled the requirements to use this altered Crimson Inferno rune. It would greatly increase his capabilities in battle, so he had gotten around to crafting it immediately. However, after a few days of work that almost brought him to completion, he had been distracted by the other events occurring in Faust. Losing inspiration and not wanting to jeopardise the process, he had stowed the rune away and planned to continue when he was calmer.

However, there were currently two figures in the magic storage area that should have been empty, one male and one female. The pair had entered stealthily without triggering any alarms, but from the way they were moving it didn’t look like they were here to steal anything. In fact, they embraced each other the moment they came in, lips locked together in fiery passion. The man quickly started exploring the woman’s body with his hands, and despite some initial resistance she was quickly moaning in approval.

The dim magical light in the building showcased just how handsome the man was, his beautiful eyes so stunning that they seemed to smile on their own. The young lady was extremely attractive as well, her breasts so massive that they seemingly wanted to force the two apart. The man’s hands dug beneath her dress, but they couldn’t even grasp the full area.

The woman suddenly moaned loudly, an almost fire-like heat emitting throughout her body and causing the lighting around them to brighten up. The two immediately went into shock, the man exclaiming in fright, “Is there someone else here?”

The lady shook her head, “Impossible. Don’t worry, nobody enters this place; I already prepared a barrier for the alarm, and the servants are barred from entering. Richard is entering the Emperor’s funeral as well, he can’t be here.”

The handsome young man finally calmed down, his eyes almost dazed from the magical light all around him. His voice suddenly grew a little hoarse, “Are all these runes?”

She shook her head, “I have no idea, there might be materials and the like as well. Some of them definitely are runes, though.”

“Ooh… I’ve never seen a completed rune before, can we open one up to have a look?”

“No! Richard will be mad if he finds out.”

“So what? You’re his younger sister, he won’t punish you. Besides, we’re just having a look; it’s not like they’ll break or something.”

These words caused the lady to relax, but a moment later the youth grunted softly, “What’s that?”

She looked in the direction he was pointing at and saw an exquisite shelf at the corner of the storage area, a single magic sealing case sitting atop it. This case was delicate and refined with a number of spell formations inscribed on it, with a gold-plated, hand-carved signature on the side. One could make out at first glance that this was from a master craftsman. However, a faint red aura was emanating from within it, a beam of light shining all the way towards the ceiling that constantly cycled between red and blue.

How was a premium magic sealing case leaking energy? The young lady was startled, but as the beam of light started to absorb the ambient mana it started to pulse thick and thin, almost as though it was breathing. A moment later, one could even hear a faint heartbeat.

“Magic soul!” the young lady cried out instantly, being reasonably well-versed in her magic studies. The youth’s expression warped as well; he recognised the term. A magic soul wasn’t a soul in the traditional sense, but it wasn’t much different from an actual soul. The circumstances around one’s birth were vaguely understood at best, and it was mostly left up to luck. However, a magic soul contained intellect that would turn a regular artefact into a true divine tool. This soul was also the basis of crafting grade 5 runes.

While there were runes like Lifesbane that could compare to grade 4 runes while still at grade 3, the same did not hold true for the difference between grade 4 and 5. While Crimson Inferno was extremely powerful, there still wasn’t a single grade 5 rune that was objectively worse than it. Every magic soul was extremely valuable, worth at least a greater offering; even a newborn could be sold for at least five million gold once it was stripped from its source. There were many talented youths who would never earn that much in their lives.

The magic soul’s radiance shone down on the young man and woman, outlining their captivated expressions.

“Is that a rune in that case?” the man asked hoarsely.

“I… I think so,” the woman responded.

“Let’s open it and find out, just a peek!” he whispered into her ear as he hugged her.

“Absolutely not! If Richard finds out…”

“I just want to know what a legendary divine rune looks like. Just a peek! Don’t you love me? Don’t you trust me?” the man asked, his tone dripping with accusation.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA