Book 7, Chapter 58

Awaiting Freedom

The hummingbird fell silent for some time, the broodmother thinking of something far away. A moment later, she said casually, “I’ll be advancing very soon.”

“To level 10?” Raymond immediately grew serious.

“Yes. Master has already chosen the direction; I have to strengthen myself as much as I can.”

A profound smile appeared on his face, “He thinks that’s what is best for you? Amazing. A war machine should focus on strengthening her drones over anything else.”

“I was surprised as well.”

Raymond stood up and circled around the yard a few times, “You should awaken your truename then, which means you can try my method to free your soul. There have been successes in the past.”

“It will consume a large volume of resources,” the hummingbird responded.

‘Wait, is she really considering this?’ Raymond’s heart started beating faster, but he took a few breaths and kept his voice calm, “The most difficult resources to obtain are the remains of powerful beings. The rest can be purchased in bulk in Norland, and Richard has the money to give you everything you need. Zangru should make up for a bit of the powerful beings; the worst that can happen is a lower success rate.”

The broodmother fell silent for a few more minutes before retorting, “The likelihood of success is only 27%.”

“Oh?” he raised his eyebrows, “That’s quite high, my own calculations told me it would be 15. This is good news; after all, there aren’t many repercussions even if you fail, are there? The resource consumption is nothing to speak of; trust me, this entire plane will be yours in the future!”

“Perhaps… I can try.”

“Then you’ll act according to the agreement and give me an entirely new body with eternal life?” Raymond said with seeming fervor. However, with him walking quickly and turning away, the hummingbird didn't notice the absolute stillness in his eyes.

“As I said before, I cannot. Even if I can craft bodies purely from divinity, there will still be flaws. Every body will last 1,100 years, and afterwards I will have to craft a new one. Every replacement will weaken your soul until it fades from existence.”

“That’s still better than now, isn’t it?” Raymond said with a chuckle as he nodded at the end of the conversation. The hummingbird then flapped its wings and rose into the sky, flying away like a bolt of lightning. By the time he returned to sit at his table, the longing and nervousness had been replaced by serenity.

He casually picked up a journal and opened it, revealing a few simple ink paintings. The first was a large mosquito with a bloated abdomen, followed by a bat and then the beautiful bird that had just flown away faster than any of the previous creatures ever cold. By now, the creature had rudimentary intellect of its own, lasted an entire year, and also served as a direct line to the broodmother herself. He believed it was also capable of recording all of their conversations.

Combined with the changed correspondence over the past years, one could notice just how much the broodmother’s understanding of life had evolved over the years as she supplied him with life. The hummingbird’s voice was now less mechanical, feeling more and more human. He had even felt the twinge of emotion from her when discussing advancement.

He gently knocked the tabletop as a smile spread from one corner of his face to the other, “A free broodmother… Just what will you think of it, Richard?”

……

In a corner of the Crimson Castle was a section with very tight security, the magic workshop where Rosie’s laboratory was located. The place was vast and took up nearly a third of the internal citadel, separated from the rest by high walls and constant guard. Spell formations regularly dotted these walls, capable of absorbing mana and other energies to limit the impacts of any explosions from within.

A cloned brain took off from Richard’s own separate laboratory within this space, holding onto a magic sealing chest that was inscribed with an eye-catching crest as it flew towards the Land of Turmoil under the escort of a dozen elite wind snakes. Watching it fly away, Richard headed towards Rosie’s area with another smaller case of his own.

He melded with the consciousness of the elite shadowspears guarding the entrance of the area as he walked in, finding Rosie’s location in an instant alongside the best way to get to it. However, he was a little sad at what he found; even though it was late, she was still in her laboratory instead of her residence.

His heart stirred a little at her sheer determination; it had been years since she’d entered Faelor, but Rosie never once wavered in her discipline. She was spending the prime of her life in a world of runes and magic, the pearl of the Mensa Family a distant memory that even he would forget if he wasn’t careful.

As he walked the familiar path towards Rosie’s laboratory through a long corridor built above ground, he stared down at the bustling workshop below. Most of the desks were occupied, with hundreds of young apprentices rushing between the workbenches to gather the components while performing inspections. The place looked like absolute chaos at first glance, but everything was in perfect order; from the new runemasters to the weakest apprentices, everyone had their own jobs and were performing them without any conflicts. This was the result of intricate design and astute governance; it was no wonder that a rose knight would be produced every day and a half. Rosie’s runecrafting abilities weren’t even the beginning of her value.

Passing the long corridor and turning into Rosie’s lab, Richard frowned at the faint sound of an argument. Hearing an unknown voice alongside her’s, he suppressed his aura and quietly pushed the door open a tiny bit. There were many alarms in place here, but he had the authority to circumvent everything.

As he snuck in and walked through the lab, the sounds of quarrelling grew much clearer.

“Don’t you know how I feel about you?” a young male asked.

“I don’t care,” Rosie responded, “My world is one of magic and runes.”

“And Richard, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Magic, runes, and Richard. He’s everything to me.”

“Why?!” the youth roared, “What did he even do to deserve you? It’s been a year, an entire year, and he hasn’t come to see you once! I recently heard that he’s become a pet of Her Excellency Sharon back in Norland! But I’ve been here for you, through the past three years! Don’t you understand? If you choose me, I’ll return to my family immediately and inherit an earldom from my father. I don’t want you as a lover or companion, I want you as wife! How is being a countess worse than what you have here?”

Rosie sighed, “You don’t understand, Link, Richard gave me the entire world. Go home, and I’ll pretend nothing happened tonight. I’m not to be blamed for what happens if you keep annoying me.”

However, the man didn’t leave, instead staying there silently. His breaths grew louder and louder as his anger built up, waiting for the opportunity to erupt.

Richard had already walked inside, looking the two up and down. Rosie was still her simple self, her hair in a long ponytail designed to let her work without obstruction. The safest way for her was to cut her hair short, but she couldn’t bring herself to disregard her looks completely. Opposite her was what looked like a young great mage, tall and handsome with short golden hair and an impressive aura. He clenched his fists tightly and bent forward, as though ready to pounce forward at any moment, but she just stood there and glared him down.

Richard was only ten metres away from the two at this point, but he was so skilled at stealth that even a Daxdian saint couldn’t identify him at this distance. The man didn’t notice him at all, continuing on, “The workshop will lose productivity if I leave. There are six entire components only the two of us can craft.”

“I can just sleep a little less,” Rosie said with a shake of her head, “You can leave right now.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA