108 The Absolute Territory of the Necromancer (Part 3)


 At Mist Basin.

...

After the death of three of the undead, Link and Herrera heard a great deal of noise coming from the forest and they noticed a large number of things approaching them. At the same time, the aura of black magic got more and more intense around them.

What made it that much more shocking was the fact that there was also a sound of wings flapping in the air, which meant that they wouldn't be able to escape by flying either.

There was no doubt that they were witnessing the undead army of the Necromancer!

"The opponent is hell-bent on keeping us here," said Herrera with a deep frown on her face, "Escaping this place is probably next to impossible now."

"The only way we could escape is to kill the Necromancer!" said Link.

Link had seen through the magic being used here now. The black magic he'd seen was very similar to the summoning spells he'd learned in the textbooks. The Necromancer's battle strategy so far hadn't been particularly unique either. The only way to get through all of this was to attack their leader head-on.

"But he's in the Mage Tower," said Herrera in an anguished voice. "And every time we try to approach it, we're hit by an endless barrage of black magic attacks!"

The sound of the undead army's footsteps got nearer and louder. Judging by the sound, there must be more than a thousand of them and they were approaching them from all directions - no doubt about it, they were now surrounded.

There was no feasible way for a Magician to attack or defeat another Magician in a Mage Tower. There are Elemental Pools in the Mage Tower, not to mention a large number of magic seals which stored an unimaginable power of magic. Meanwhile, the Mage Tower itself was also resistant to magic attacks. Overall, Link and Herrera's combined powers were not nearly enough to bring it down.

To put it in Earth's terms, Link and Herrera were like empty handed soldiers, while their opponent was hiding in an armed tank. How was it possible for them to defeat the opponent? It was good enough for them to be able to escape.

But the situation that Link and Herrera were facing was much worse than that. Not only was the opponent inside a tank, he was also commanding an army that was inexhaustible in number. Link and Herrera had no way of defeating them all and they were prevented from fleeing. If they went on this way for any longer, they would certainly die off depleted Mana.

After a quick discussion, the two found that they were now in a truly desperate position.

"What should we do?" asked Herrera.

She was already at a loss of what step to take next. She had been continuously casting spells just now, and had depleted 20% of her Mana so far, yet all they've done was kill only three of the undead - and they were now confronted with a thousand more! Even if each of the undead was an easy target to kill, their numbers meant that they could use up their Mana to eliminate all of them. And a Magician with no Mana was nothing more than a sheep waiting to be slaughtered.

"We push through as hard as we can and head to the Mage Tower!" said Link, already charging forward. Herrera gritted her teeth and caught her breath, then followed Link.

While running, she reluctantly said, "The Necromancer should at least be a Level-5 Magician, it's impossible for us to break into his Mage Tower."

"It is possible," said Link, "I know a powerful spell, an extremely powerful spell. As long as we can get close to the tower, we'll have a chance of breaking into it!"

He still had one last trick up his sleeve after all - the 100 Omni Points.

At this point, the Mana in his body was almost full, so even though the opponent was hiding behind the walls of a Mage Tower, Link was confident that he could force himself in with a Level-8 spell, if only he could get closer to it.

This way, he could topple the opponent's tank with his own anti-tank missile!

Still, Herrera stared at Link in incredulity, doubtful of his claim of this extremely powerful spell.

"It's a divine revelation!" said Link, to convince Herrera.

As an Angel of Light, she had to concede once Link invoked the power of the gods. And so she finally went along with Link's plan.

They were now equipped with Cheetah's Agility, Herrera's Holy Light, as well as the Edelweiss shield. This time, even if the undead ambushed them under the cover of the thick white mist, they were still able to easily handle it.

The good news was that they were close to the lake, in fact they were almost on its shores. After charging forward for a few steps, Link leaped into the lake. As soon as his skin hit the water a cold shiver ran down his spine. He could feel that the lake water contained concentrated amounts of black magic elements. The lake water was so old that if it wasn't for the protection of the Edelweiss shield and Herrera's Holy Light, Link would've frozen to death right then and there.

Herrera followed him into the lake. They had no other place to run to since the land was teeming with the undead. Although they weren't afraid of them, they still couldn't afford to waste their limited Mana on these ghoulish puppets.

The undead were naturally unafraid of the water as well. When they saw Link and Herrera jumping into the lake, each of them followed suit. One by one they made a splash as they entered the water like dumplings dropped into the pot of soup.

But their speed in the water was far removed from their speed on land. In fact, it turned out that none of them could swim, so they sunk like bricks straight into the depths of the lake. Some of them still attempted to chase Link and Herrera as they reached the lakebed, but then their movements were too sluggish to pose any threats there.

"Levitation!"

Herrera cast a spell before she jumped over the lake, which allowed her to hover about three feet over the surface of the lake without a drop of water on her body. She then cast the spell on Link as well and he slowly floated up from the surface of the water.

"...Why didn't you cast this spell earlier?" asked Link with a muddled expression. He was slightly annoyed that she didn't cast the spell before he got himself as wet as a drowned rat.

Herrera couldn't help but smile at Link's look of distress look and she even calmed down a little.

"My bad," she said, holding in laughter, "But you were already in the water before I knew it!" She then pointed the wand in her hand at Link and cast a simple spell to dry him off.

Link couldn't argue with that, so he glided towards the Mage Tower with Herrera close behind.

Even though the thick white mist still obscured their vision, they didn't have to worry about getting lost because the Mana fluctuations around the Mage Tower were so strong that both of them knew where to head without looking.

They estimated that they should be slightly less than a mile away from the dark tower.

After gliding over the lake surface for close to a hundred feet, they realized that the mist on the surface of the lake became denser and denser. By now the visibility range was no more than a few feet, any further than that and it felt as if they were heading into a solid white wall.

To avoid getting lost, Herrera and Link had to move very closely together. In fact, their shoulders were almost touching as they glided towards the ominous Mage Tower.

By now, they both had no idea what to expect or what kind of danger they would face-nor did they know what kind of fate was waiting for them in the Mage Tower.

Meanwhile, in the Mage Tower, the Necromancer Shade was looking at the magic mirror which was showing him what Link and Herrera were up to.

"Did they jump into the lake?" said Shade, laughing, "They can't be rushing to their deaths fast enough!"

Shade had centuries of practice in defending the Mage Tower. In all these years, he had fought in countless battles, and he'd killed innumerable Magicians of the Realm of Light who had attempted to defeat him. How foolish of these Magicians to think that he would leave the lake undefended!

Indeed, he had already prepared the final scenes for these two characters on the lake!

"Arise, Inosa!"

Shade was standing in the Mage Tower controlling the magic seals. He then pointed the wand in his hand towards the floor, and Mana shot towards one of the seals, making it glow instantaneously. Then, the aura it emitted started to spin, at first slowly but it gradually got faster and faster. About three seconds later, a stream of magic runes about eight inches thick shot out of the magic seal and headed towards the refracting crystal on the dome at the top of the tower.

As it hit the crystal, the stream of magic runes was reflected and it headed into the depths of the dark and murky lake.

Over the surface of the lake, Link and Herrera noticed the sudden flash of light, and at the same time they could distinctly feel the violent Mana fluctuations coming from Shade. Seconds later, they could feel the water under their feet began to stir. At first, there were ripples across the lake surface, then the ripples became waves and then the waves grew more vicious and more tumultuous.

The raging waves made noises so loud it was almost deafening.

Herrera was stunned by the changes in the lake and Link was alarmed himself. When he got here in the game in his previous life, Mist Basin was already occupied by the Dark Elves, so he didn't encounter the undead army or the Necromancer then.

But he did have a clear memory of the monster that rose from the depths of this lake.

He'd assumed, at that time, that the monster from the murky depths of the lake had always belonged to the Dark Elves instead of the Necromancer and was moved here later by the elves. That was why he'd chosen to jump into the lake. He'd realized too late that the monster had always been here, even before the Dark Elves' army arrived.

This was indeed an unexpected and most inconvenient turn of events.

Link clearly remembered that this behemoth of the depths was named Inosa. It was an Epic-level Boss. The word large couldn't begin to describe it. It was at least a hundred feet tall, and its appearance was similar to the eight-headed dragon of Japanese folklore or the Lernean Hydra of Greek mythology.

This particular monster was a six-headed Hydra. Each head possessed a different magic power, and each was capable of unleashing one powerful Level-5 spell.

The lake water suddenly churned more violently, until finally, there was a loud booming noise. Out from the surface of the water, about a hundred yards away from Link and Herrera, the colossal beast emerged.

The momentum created by the monster's emergence from the depths of the lake was so powerful that even the dense mist on the surface of the lake was scattered and cleared out. Link and Herrera were then able to clearly see the monster.

Link had been prepared for this, so he was not much disturbed by the monster's appearance, though he was slightly surprised by how much more vicious the monster looked compared to the one he saw in the game. It was Herrera's first time seeing it though.

"But this is the six-headed Hydra, the hell dweller!" she exclaimed in a shaken voice after quietly examining the monster for a while. "How did it get here?"

Link realized that this Hydra was of the dragon variant. It's no wonder that it was an Epic-level Boss in the game.

"Do you have a way to deal with it?" Link asked Herrera.

This behemoth was more than a hundred feet tall, plus it was one of the more ferocious types of Hydra. Link figured his Flame Blasts could do no more harm to the monster than a few scratches, let alone defeat it. It would have to be up to Herrera now.

If even Herrera had no way of fighting this behemoth, then he would immediately give up the intention of defeating the Necromancer and spend the Omni Points he had to gain all the force necessary to escape.

He had initially chosen to fight to the end because he believed there was a chance for him to succeed. But as things stood now, Link was smart enough to know that fighting would mean certain death!

Herrera stared fixedly at Inosa. The monster made no move to attack, it was only malevolently baring its teeth in the distance. After scrutinizing it for three full seconds, she finally made her decision.

"It isn't a pure-blood Hydra," said Herrera, "And it isn't that powerful either. I know a spell that could kill it, but it requires a long spellcasting time."

"How much time do you need?" asked Link, no longer hesitating between fighting or fleeing.

"One minute! It's a Level-6 spell that I've just mastered," answered Herrera.

"One minute it is then!" answered Link, "Go ahead! I'll buy you some time!"

Link was not the kind of person to go down without fighting back. They had been pounded with wave after wave of attacks from the Necromancer, so it was their turn to give him a taste of their power!