City of Sin

Book 9, Chapter 145
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The Beginning Of Dreams

Faust slowly picked up momentum, but before it jumped Richard looked back at the reaper base one more time. Alucia clearly didn’t know that the reapers were products of the world’s laws. They only appeared in the alter world because true order could only arise in the depths of chaos, and their responsibility was to wipe out all existences that could threaten the existence of the world. They would not truly vanish; another base would naturally be produced in time, and that one would likely be even stronger.

However, this wouldn’t really matter to the Queen of Shadows. Her kind drifted in the cracks of existence, and strictly speaking they didn’t belong to the world at all. They were only projections left behind by harvested souls, and the reapers that had killed them once would not target them again. He recalled the moment when he had summoned the Legion of Nightmares in the final battle against the reapers in Faelor. They were at best an annoyance, unable to do any real damage. Abstaining from telling Alucia the truth would at least allow her to stay relaxed until the new reaper base was formed.

The flying fortress was quickly covered by the rainbow radiance, disappearing into the newly formed portal as it embarked upon its return voyage. Consecutive teleports and almost a month of travel finally brought them back to there they had entered, but as they exited they found that the space around them was empty.

The passage couldn’t simply vanish. There was always a connection between Arbidis and the alter world, so it was just the location on this end that had changed. However, just like in the light the dark void was nearly limitless. Without any clues, it could take thousands of years to be able to find the passage back home.

A deathly silence enveloped Faust as everyone felt their hearts sink. However, that fear was suddenly dissipated as a powerful beam of light lit up the void, even more dazzling than in the world of light as it couldn’t be missed even from millions of kilometres away. The beam expanded into a pillar that shone on Faust, extending into the far distance with a familiar aura on the other end. This was a way back to the light!

Martin’s signature voice rang out in Richard’s mind, “Could you be lost, my dear Richard?”

......

A brilliant ray of sunlight pierced through the dense clouds of Floe Bay, shining on the bustling Deepblue. It passed through the tall windows and landed on the sparkling crystal bed at the top level of the tower, causing the woman on it to scrunch up her eyebrows and purse her lips. She muttered in her sleep, but the light continued to creep up until it covered her face.

Sharon’s breathing grew faster, her nostrils starting to spark with starfire, but the sunlight didn’t bother with these omens of destruction. Hundreds of lightning orbs suddenly sprang up in the peaceful room and turned it into a land of destruction, and the Dragon Slaver suddenly sat up and scanned through her surroundings with blazing eyes.

This was her familiar room, and her familiar bed. The windows were in the same style as always, making her feel like she had returned to a few decades ago when she had lived without a care and only worried about growing her treasury.

She recalled a bunch of youths that had dared to challenge her, only to be beaten down by her pet dragons in mere minutes. However, the stupidest one of them all who had a few screws loose had jumped forward to take responsibility, signing a contract to repay her for wasting her time. She had come up with a debt that was near impossible to repay, but the fool had simply stared at the paper for half a day before signing his name.

She knew the moment he signed that the hot-blooded brat had no idea what he was getting into, but he strived hard to repay her. He rose like a comet and accomplished a number of miracles, but his family was just so poor that he couldn’t even afford to feed his army. Even so, thirteen other gifted fools had somehow decided to follow him around. She herself had been unable to bear seeing the family’s situation, eventually starting to support them a little. It had all been a loan, but every time the man returned some money he would borrow even more.

She had wondered for a long time whether she had truly made a profit in that relationship, but that had all changed when the fool had sent his son to the Deepblue for education. In reality, the man had hoped his son would show some promise and be able to repay some debts. And the youth really was delicious...

Every scene of the past seemed to fly by in an instant, and Sharon finally awakened from her daze. However, her face paled as she saw the hundreds of lightning orbs floating all around her, and she cried out by instinct, “My room—”

The lightning orbs immediately lost all control.

...

“MY ROOM!” a resounding shout rang throughout the Deepblue as an enormous explosion blasted everything in the top layer. Everyone nearby shuddered at the power of the blue lightning, but after a moment they erupted in thunderous cheers. Sharon was finally awake!

However, the legendary mage couldn’t be bothered with the happiness of her subordinates. Immediately welling up with killing intent, she ran out to look for the delicious boy to settle the score. She had entrusted the Deepblue to him before falling asleep, and he was going to take responsibility.

......

News of Sharon’s awakening quickly spread throughout Norland, and Richard hurried over within minutes. Faust teleported right above Floe Bay, and he blinked over in the next moment. Sharon was about to burst forth in anger, but as she pointed at the ruins of her room he suddenly sealed her mouth with a hug and kiss.

The delicate legendary mage suddenly felt giddy, her mind going blank from Richard’s presence alone. She lost herself in the moment, melting into his embrace.

......

A long while later, Sharon and Richard left his residence and started to inspect the Deepblue. The tower city had now evolved into a small country of its own, with dozens of small factory towns all around it to process materials and thousands of mages studying within. The population had grown tenfold, and the legendary mage who believed anyone ‘studying’ under her was a free worker was quite satisfied with the situation. However, her face remained straight throughout the tour, even as Richard brought her to her demiplane and returned it to her control.

The first thing Sharon did upon her return was rush to her treasury, a shrill cry ringing through the air, “Where are my treasures?!”

The empty room looked quite miserable and cold, the barren scene only marred by a crystal desk and bucket of activated ember essence in the centre. Richard pointed at that essence and smiled with pride, “It’s there.”

There was now much more essence than when he had first returned from his battle in Faelor. He had placed all the excess from the reaper fortress here, making it more than ten times as valuable as the entirety of Sharon’s former treasury. It was one of the reasons he had been so eager for her to wake up, and he looked expectantly at the legendary mage as he awaited compliments or even a reward.

However, Sharon’s face still remained frosty as her brows stood like sharp swords. She suddenly whined, “I know this is ember essence, but... I had a house full of things, and you’re only giving me back one?!”

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