An Apology For Being Late
“You!” The young mage called Link obviously hadn’t expected Rosie to be so resolute. He had believed he was more important in Rosie’s heart, or at least that he was vital to the rune workshop that he had laboured in for years.
However, his voice suddenly grew tender, “Rosie, why do you think a successor to an actual earl like myself would be willing to slave away here for years? Isn’t it all for you? I’ll obviously become a great runemaster in the future, why would I live here?”
The moment he heard this, Richard scanned the man with Insight. It didn’t take much effort to determine that he was level 16, with only enough talent to become a grand mage at best under normal circumstances. Even level 18 would take all of his efforts, only accomplished in the latter years of his life. Without the mana now, he would likely only be able to make grade 2 runes at best; becoming a great runemaster was an exaggeration. Or did he really think he had such prospects? But then, what sort of methods could give him that confidence?
“You can go become an earl, I stay. This is the world he gave me, and I’m not leaving it no matter what conditions you bring up. I already gave myself to him long ago, I’m not selling myself again.”
Link went pale, hissing loudly, “Don’t think Richard has any status! He’s just a manwhore who depends on his women; without Sharon’s support, he would never have money! If his father hadn’t died so suddenly, he wouldn’t be able to take over his family! What good is he anyway, he just has luck. That’ll pass, though; my family has already contacted Empress Apeiron, and she’ll be taking care of those upstarts soon enough. Do you think he can compare to old families like ours with long histories?”
Rosie stiffened, but the expression of alarm on her face slowly relaxed, “If that’s true… I’ll need some time to reconsider. How about I give you an answer in two days?”
The youth burst into laughter, “Nope. Do you really think I don’t know that you’ll tell Richard the moment I’m out of here? If you’re really sincere, then give me your body! I can’t wait any longer!”
He suddenly pounced upon the unprepared Rosie, grabbing the collar of her robes to tear them apart. However, despite repeated tugs, the clothes didn’t even budge; it was as though they were made from the most durable material on the plane. Trying once more, he finally realised that it wasn’t his clothes that were too sturdy; he had just grown so weak that even clenching his fist was difficult.
Rosie suddenly beamed, breaking off a lightning spell she was halfway through. The grade 3 spell would only have numbed his arms a little, but they would have set off the alarms and drawn the closest shadowspears over. Shoving him down, she leapt up and ran towards the door like lightning.
Tumbling to the ground, Link discovered that his entire body was incredibly feeble. He couldn’t even get up, barely turning his head to find a young man at the entrance with his arms now cradling Rosie’s body. He grew so furious it felt like his head would blow up, but despite an enraged howl he could only strike the ground without getting up.
“Just fuck off and sit there quietly,” the man said indifferently, “You can’t get up for five minutes.”
It was only then that the red faded from Link’s vision, allowing him to recognise just who it was, “Richard! Wait, is this an enfeeblement spell? Impossible, what did you do today!”
The only spell he could think of was Enfeeble, a grade 3 spell that drained a target of their strength by a little under a third. This spell was only used by low-level mages against strong warriors without any magic defences; as a level 16 great mage, his resistance should have suppressed the effects to the point that he would barely be affected.
Richard had no plans for explaining; as someone with runes and skills that were meant to break through magic defences, even pathetically weak spells were unimaginably terrifying in his hands. Link would be down for five minutes no matter what he tried.
“He’s saying Her Majesty will target you!” Rosie said in a hurry as she hugged Richard tightly, “You have to be careful!”
Richard patted her on the back, “Don’t worry, it’s just a brainless kid. Her Majesty looks crazy, but she doesn’t do stupid things. In fact, she just might be a better ruler than Philip; these clowns just wag their tails hoping to get her to pity them.”
“Who are you calling a clown?!” Link raged, “Lord Julian himself confirmed to my father that he will kill you soon!”
Richard chuckled, “Oh? And he thinks this attempt will end up different from the last two? Did he tell your father that Her Majesty had to save his ass the last time he tried?”
Link snickered, “Go on, keep shooting your mouth! Kill me if you have the guts, Father will find out sooner or later!”
Rosie stared at Richard uneasily, “I’m sorry… I should have known, this is going to be a problem.”
“It’s not your fault,” he smiled, “I’d find it strange if people didn’t drop dead just seeing your face. I can still deal with these annoyances.”
Looking at Link whose gaze was filled with poison and fury, she frowned, “He’s very stubborn, and because of me… He detests you, and he also knows the creation process for our rune sets. He’s also been to the city hall a few times, he should have some understanding of Faelor’s situation too… We should just execute him in secret and give the family an excuse… Let’s just say it was the barbarian plains, losing mages in divine wars isn’t uncommon.”
Link immediately trembled at the lack of mercy, but Richard just shrugged. Nobody who had been raised for politics was squeamish over a few necessary deaths. He glanced at Link, “No need. He wanted to rape you, which means he should die with humiliation. I’ll have some people send him back to Faust and execute him publicly.”
Link immediately gritted his teeth, “My family won’t let you get away with this!”
“Please, they’re welcome to try.” Richard smiled.
“This isn’t a good idea,” Rosie continued to frown. While Link’s family wasn’t one of the fourteen, they were still a ducal house. For him to be able to inherit an earldom at his age showed just how vast their territory was. This was her problem, and she didn’t want Richard to provoke another powerful enemy for her sake.
Richard laughed, “No need to worry. I fought hard to get where I am, nobody can take it all away from me so easily.”
He summoned two shadowspear knights and had them take Link to a prison; he would be sent to Faust and publicly executed the next day. Before that, Zendrall would meet him and work on his soul a little, ensuring it wouldn’t divulge any secrets, dead or alive. With that done, he looked Rosie in the eye and took out the magic sealing case, “This is for you.”
Rosie took the case from Richard’s hands and placed it on a table, opening it up only to cry out in surprise only a moment later. Within was a striking magic pen that was completely black with intricate magic formations inscribed all over it. As now a skilled runemaster herself, she quickly realised that this was a divine pen.
“You… shouldn’t have,” her voice began to tremble. This was the best gift a runemaster could get.
“It’s what you deserve. Pick it up, there’s stuff below it too,” Richard said with a smile.
Rosie’s eyes had been fixated on the pen the moment she opened the case, to the point that she didn’t even notice there were other things. Now, looking at the vast array of items below, she froze up.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA