Another grand mage took out two sheets of information, presenting them to Sharon. The legendary mage scanned through the papers and shot up immediately, “He made improvements to fireball? Let’s take a look… Wow, a total of seven improvements, that’s impressive. He can even cast a grade 3 fireball at level 1, even I couldn’t…”
The legendary mage suddenly cleared her throat before continuing, “I could only cast grade 4 or 5 fireballs, nothing impressive. Still, this boy’s a genius mage and a budding runemaster and he has the Archeron bloodline!”
Sharon chuckled as she flipped through the papers again and again, as if she could never have enough. Eventually, she just burst out laughing, turning to the dwarf in between her laughs, “Make some adjustments to Richard’s budget this month. Add more!”
The grey dwarf knew his master all too well. “Your Excellency, you seem to be in too much joy right now!” he reminded her before she could mention an exact amount. Sharon understood what he meant, but even if she found it funny she decided to push the change back for now.
The ‘future saint runemaster’ knew nothing about these things. Richard was standing naked in his bathroom, pouring a basin of ice-cold water over his head.
He’d long since switched off the magic heating in his residence. It was no doubt a brilliant system, able to regulate temperatures in any season, but it had a huge maintenance fee of a thousand coins every month! Besides, the freezing water was the only way to calm the boiling blood.
Richard was still puzzled about his own actions, from the fight with Papin before the duel to the actual battle in the arena. Why had he gone so far? Was it because of the boy insulting his mother? No, it had to be more than that. Smashing the youth’s head into the ground or casting the second fireball, they were both fatal strokes. The mountain kid in Richard still had a pure heart, and even though he believed Papin had to be punished he did not think the boy deserved death.
And yet, in that moment of offence, Richard could only feel the blood gushing into his head, the heat like he was placed into a furnace. Papin seemed irrevocably detestable, so much so that tearing him in half would not be enough to sate Richard’s fury. So when Richard smashed his face against the ground, it was only the start of it all. On the battlefield, he would have done anything to burn Papin alive. That second fireball was meant to turn the defenseless Papin into a human torch, consigning him to a painful death.
It was taboo for mages to overdraft on their mana, and the consequences of such an act varied based on the severity. A mild exhaustion would cause a drop in mana recovery from a period varying between a month to several years. A severe overdraft would cause a direct fall in power, or even the loss of life. Still, despite those heavy consequences, Richard would have paid any price for Papin’s death. But he knew, even a hundred dead Papins wouldn’t calm the wrath surging within him.
The duel had left him dizzy, and he didn’t even know how he got back to his residence. The only thing he vaguely felt was that there were more people around him, and they expressed more anxiousness and concern for him than before…
It took three days for Richard to wake up again. His blood was still boiling, and he felt the urge to find trouble with Papin again. It was at this point that the boy realised something wasn’t quite right— he was unusually agitated and had inexplicable murderous thoughts. It was like he wasn’t in control of himself, still wanting to smash something to pieces or throw something away to release the fire burning within.
*Splash!* Another pot of cold water poured down on his head. With the weather as it was, even if Richard’s body was far sturdier than those of other youths his age he still shivered with the cold, his face paling. But just as a cold breeze swept past he felt his burning blood stirring once more, this time even resonating with the mana within his body. He clenched his teeth, using that already-rigid hand to grab the wooden barrel again. This time he shovelled some crushed ice into it, even that simple movement very strenuous with a majority of his joints stiff and his fingers numbed.
Just as Richard struggled with the wooden barrel, a sweet, crisp voice sounded behind him. “Hey! Anyone in there? It’s time to eat!”
The unexpected situation blanked Richard’s mind, making him feel once more like a young child being stalked by a wolf. Instinct took over as he threw the barrel aside, jumping at the source of the voice in an attempt to fight for his life. As he turned, he saw a girl standing before the door of the bathroom, peeping in. He recognised her as the girl who delivered his monthly bills, but by then he was already no longer in control of his body as he threw himself on her and pushed her to the floor.
Richard was already like a fifteen-year-old youth, his build about the same as the girl’s. He crushed her below him, causing her to shriek in pain immediately.
Richard didn’t know why he suddenly grew a little dizzy. Things that he could normally think clearly of now required a long time for him to understand. His body temperature had already dropped too low, but that boiling blood deep within his body grew restless, and the clothes of the girl below him were very thin— the magic robes of the Deepblue kept people warm even in winter. He could feel the girl’s curves, and the burning heat of her body, all through the soft clothes.
The touch of his ice-cold skin to that burning heat caused his senses to be heightened to an unprecedented level. The girl’s body was both soft and flexible, full of youthfulness that caused Richard to feel strange. It was like something was awakening in him, his boiling blood seemingly having found a target as it rushed down below.
This journey was hardly smooth, the cold water from the bath still affecting him. It didn’t make it very far before Richard tried to sober himself, questioning her in shock, “It’s you? How did you get in?”
“I’m in charge of delivering your meals now. But you are always sleeping, and this is my second time coming. How would I know that you will disappear and… ugh!” The girl answered innocently. She felt light-headed from the fall just now, and her body was hurting immensely. Level 2 she may be, but mages didn’t have tough physiques like fighters. They were mostly similar to humans.
It was only then that Richard realised he was still on top of the girl. He tried to get off in a hurry, but his stiff joints locked up and stopped him from doing so. He fell back quickly on the girl the moment he tried to get up, and the more he struggled the more it looked like he was trying to grind into her. After all, Richard was not a fighter, the several buckets of cold water were not for nothing.
Richard’s movements caused the girl’s cheeks to tint a bright red, and she attempted to push him off. But then she felt his taut muscles, and something seemed to change in her mind as she hugged him closer and reciprocated like a mischievous feline. Her eyes grew hooded as she raised her body continuously, rubbing her soft breasts against Richard’s rock-hard chest. Moans escaped her in waves— a mixture of pain and indistinct breaths.
Richard was somewhat baffled by the girl’s reaction. She obviously wanted to help him stand up initially, so what was she doing stopping him? Still, it caused him to feel something different sprouting within him. This was the first time in his eleven years of life that his heart had sped up so strangely, and all of a sudden he actually thought it felt good to be laying down on her like that. He didn’t want to get up anymore, not really, shifting his attention. Was the softness he felt the tender breasts of a girl? It was indeed pleasurable, if only they were bigger...
Richard wasn’t overthinking, as data sprang up in his mind to support this. Precision and wisdom worked together, giving him descriptions and equations of her body’s curves and structure. Richard once again understood the beauty of numbers, but a pity that it was untimely. The veil of data seemed to halve his desires.
The girl was nothing impressive when compared to the other women in his memory. Still, she wasn’t too bad! Age was another variable affecting all this, and his abilities corrected his views once again.
It was then that the girl stretched out one of her legs and positioned it between Richard’s thighs, continuing to move upward. She prodded her leg up as much as she could. And in that instant, the numbers in Richard’s eyes flew off with no connection to each other.