Slumped on the floor, the despondent Eirbower Duke raised his head and looked at Charlotte. It might have been a mirage, but he thought that he saw a divine golden radiance coming from her, almost as if she was a goddess—the Goddess of Fortune.
The good thing about civilizations was that most problems could be easily resolved by an exchange of resources. As the frequency of resource exchange went up, humans actualized the concept of money in order to better facilitate such exchanges. No one could deny the extrinsic value of money.
It is often said that there is no problem in the world that can’t be solved with money; if not, it could only mean that the offered money isn’t enough.
The Sorofyas had a slightly different interpretation of that saying.
Anything that can be solved with money isn’t a problem.
“H-how much again?”
The Eirbower Duke stared at the glowing Goddess of Fortune before him with eyes widened in incredulity, unable to believe what he had just heard. So, Charlotte calmly repeated the figure once more with a smile.
Those light words vanquished the indignation on the Eirbower Duke’s face, replacing it with an imposing disposition fitting for the ruler of the northern lands. His mana started to surge as he rose to his feet, fully showcasing his towering bear-like stature.
It felt like the sky had risen by three inches the moment the silent Eirbower Duke stood up. He had been so humble and money-minded in front of Charlotte and the others that even Roel forgot what kind of person he was till this moment.
Orsted Eirbower, Origin Level 2. Guardian of the Northern Lands.
This honest-looking man had once made a resounding name for himself in the Austine Empire before he returned home to inherit the title of the Eirbower Duke. Ironically, it was the decades serving as the Eirbower Duke that slowly caused the man who was once nicknamed ‘Incendiary Bear’ to slowly lose his temper.
Even the toughest man would have to bow down in the face of poverty.
Despite Orsted Eirbower’s miserly attitude, the huge sum of money he earned from the Blessing Festival every year would go to purchasing resources so that his people could safely tide through winter. Without this income, there was no way the freezing northern lands could possibly sustain so many people.
It was no exaggeration to say that the prosperity of the Eirbower Dukedom was closely related to the ‘miserly’ and ‘greedy’ attitude of the preceding Eirbower Dukes.
Roel couldn’t help but feel a little moved thinking about it.
Meanwhile, Orsted Eirbower took out a mysterious-looking whistle from his suit.
“Can I get it in terms of resources?”
“Of course. I’ll bear the cost of delivery.”
Orsted blew his whistle the moment they came to a deal, producing a clear and surprisingly euphonious whistle sound. Within ten seconds, a humongous bear around the size of a truck barged through the buildings and arrived on the scene, bringing a furious gale with it.
A massive pair of meteor hammers also appeared in Orsted’s hand at some point in time.
Huh, where did you pull those meteor hammers out from? Were you hiding them in your pants?
Roel was dumbfounded by the magic trick performance.
It turned out that the humongous bear was just the first of the many to arrive. Following right behind it were many other warriors mounted on the bear, rushing over at breakneck speed.
“Mercenaries of the northern land, destroy all of them!”
With a furious roar, the Eirbower Duke mounted onto the humongous bear and led the charge onto the battlefield. He threw his meteor hammers outward with frightening force and speed, crushing the head of an Origin Level 3 disciple right from the get-go.
The Saints Convocation was horrified by the completely unexpected intervention of the Eirbower Duke, and it plunged them deeper into despair.
“Charlotte, that’s against the rules!”
Nora voiced her vehement objection against Charlotte’s act of finding a helper on the spot. However, Charlotte paid it no heed. She continued firing her Jewel Trigger from the backline, remaining dignified and graceful.
“I’m just offering some help to the residents suffering in the barren north. You can also hire them if you want to. You just have to offer a higher price than mine.”
Nora was choked up by Charlotte’s words.
Meanwhile, Francis was swiftly approaching his limits under the combined assault of Cynthia, Rodney, and Wood.
The blessing of Grandar and Peytra had greatly reduced the side effects of their transcendent abilities while further enhancing the advantages of their Origin Attribute. Despite being only at Origin Level 3, their combat prowess was already on par with the weaker Origin Level 2s. This was the advantage of the ancient gods’ blessings.
Francis was already crippled after having fractured 30% of his bones to cast the Miasma of Specters, making it harder and harder for him to cope against the coordinated aggression of the trio. On top of that, Alicia was also keeping an eye on him from the sky, throwing a spell over whenever he showed an opening. In one of their clashes, he even got half of his shoulders shaved off.
By this point, he had no choice but to admit that his defeat was already sealed.
He swept a glance at his either dead or mortally injured subordinates on the battlefield, and he suddenly felt anger burning inside of him.
It was not his approaching death that angered him; he had no qualms dying for his noble faith. What angered him was his inability to kill that demon’s spawn and complete his mission.
Roel Ascart, you despicable, conniving scum! You act all innocent like a child, but your heart is filled with nothing but schemes. I have to at least get back at him for this ambush!
“Please watch me, Mother Goddess!”
Having made up his mind, Francis let out a deafening roar. Thinking that he was going to unleash a powerful spell, Cynthia and the others upped their aggression, seeking to heap more pressure on him so as to curb his counterattack.
However, Roel’s face paled the moment he heard those words. As someone who was once an honorary guest of the Saints Convocation’s Leinster Branch, he knew what Francis was up to right away.
“Shit! Get away from him! He’s going to blow himself up!” shouted Roel anxiously.
Cynthia and the others widened their eyes in horror, and they immediately backed off to where Alicia was. This created some empty space for Francis to catch a breather, though he was already in no condition to make a comeback anymore.
Francis looked at the guarded enemy formation in front of him and the black-haired boy far away in the backlines, and he snorted in disdain.
He had barely any mana left in him, but there was still one last spell in his arsenal. If he were to tribute all of his bones and convert them into deathly miasma, he might still be able to complete his mission. The only problem was that the prowess of this mindless self-explosion wouldn’t be ideal, such that he wasn’t confident of bringing down most of the transcendents present on the scene…
… but it was definitely enough to get rid of a child who barely had any transcendent powers left in him.
The golden fluid magic tool protecting him is indeed formidable, but it doesn’t harness the blessing of a god. In other words, it’s unable to stop my miasma from penetrating it. If so, the only outcome for that demon’s spawn is death!
“Go to hell, Roel Ascart!”
With a roar filled with hatred, Francis leaped into the sky, and thick black miasma began billowing out of him. Crk crk crk, the sounds of his fracturing bones echoed nonstop.
Under the gaze of the few surviving disciples of the Saints Convocation, Francis used the final sliver of his consciousness to explode his body.
A violent explosion occurred, spreading the terrifying miasma that plundered flesh and blood across the entire mansion in a heartbeat.