The King's Lane
Eliard was devastated. He held Elena's corpse in his arms and fell into a state of despair.
Link could not bear to see his best friend in such great pain. It was a heart-wrenching moment. As for the coachman, he simply stayed in the corner and was too scared to move.
However, even though he was paralyzed with fear, he was also the only person who had no connection with the issue. His awareness and judgment were not as seriously affected as the rest.
His gaze alternated between Link, Eliard and Elena's corpse when all of a sudden, he saw a faint glow emanating from Elena's corpse, which disappeared quickly after circling once around her chest.
The speed of this light ball was extremely fast. Everything happened in the blink of an eye. When the coachman tried to look more closely after rubbing his eyes, all that was left was a body covered in blood.
Originally, the coachman wanted to report this phenomenon to Link, but immediately dismissed the idea. These Magicians would kill without batting an eyelid in the heat of the moment. This is too horrifying. I would be better off if I stay out of this.
Link was too preoccupied and shocked by Elena's rashness to notice this minute detail. Furthermore, he was completely focused on Eliard and paid no notice to Elena's corpse. As for Eliard, he was thoroughly devastated and had practically no awareness of his surroundings.
The coachman lost sight of the light ball instantly. He did not realize that it had floated to the back of the carriage. The light emanating from it was dim, much like a highly transparent glass orb. It was also very small in size, only about the size of a thumb. It carefully evaded Link's field of vision and slowly drifted into the forest beside the carriage.
It took its time and slowly bobbed up and down till it had covered a distance of about 300 feet. It then accelerated to a speed almost ten times faster than its original, leaving shockwaves and wind in its path. It traveled straight into the depths of the Girvent Forest.
After a while, a farm appeared in its field of vision. There was a beautiful manor in the middle of the farm. It should be the property of a small noble family.
The farm did not cover a large area. There were about 30 households over the 1000-acre land. In the farms beside the village, one could see many farmers hard at work, and at the northwest corner of the farm under a large tree was simply a cemetery built simply from wooden fences.
There were over ten people surrounding the cemetery. A pale-faced female corpse laid on the ground while a man cried uncontrollably while holding her in his arms. From his muttering, one could determine that the deceased woman was his wife who died from difficult childbirth. There were two farmers beside the body who were hard at work digging a pit to bury the woman.
The woman was dead for less than a day. As it was winter, the body still looked as though it had some vitality.
The dim light started traveling even faster upon this sight and rushed into the body of this young woman.
The man was still holding his wife's body while lamenting about her tragic life. However, the next moment, he let go of the body and stared at it with a horrified expression. His lips moved but no words came out of his mouth.
"What happened, Joseph?" Someone asked.
"Lisa seemed to have moved a while back." The person called Joseph sounded slightly uncertain. His wife had already stopped moving, causing him to suspect that it was all his illusion.
"Don't be too sad, Joseph. Lisa has already gone to heaven," another person comforted.
Joseph agreed with his gaze still glued to his wife's body. At that moment, the body moved again. Her chest even showed faint signs of breathing, validating the presence of life.
Joseph was extremely convinced this time. He was surprised and elated and immediately placed his ears on his wife's chest to listen for a heartbeat. He then heard faint but clear thumping sounds!
Joseph was ecstatic. He shouted, "Lisa is not dead. She is still alive! She has returned from the dead. Oh God of Light, thank you for your kindness!"
How can someone come back from the dead? Everyone thought Joseph was going insane from the depression and looked at him with a compassionate gaze.
However, as Lisa's breathing became more visible and showed more obvious signs of life such as coughing, no one doubted Joseph's words anymore.
"Oh my god, Lisa really is back."
"But I saw her die with my own eyes!" A middle-aged woman screamed in horror. She was a midwife and had delivered countless babies. She had never seen a woman come back to life from a difficult childbirth!
"This must be the blessing of the God of Light! He must have been touched by Joseph's love." This was an illogical explanation. However, in a world where gods were proven to have existed and even appeared throughout the annals of history, this was a sound and persuasive argument.
Finally, an old man walked out. He was Joseph's father. He said, "Alright Joseph. Lisa may have been resurrected. However, she is still very weak. Take her back home immediately!"
"Yes!" Joseph was extremely happy and he felt as though he had unlimited energy. He hugged Lisa and ran all the way back home.
In his embrace, Elena sighed. Master's magic is indeed powerful...but this body was too heavily damaged. Also, she seems to be an ordinary village woman. She must have been bounded to many menial tasks and household chores every day. It might not be easy to escape from this place.
She then started to recall her past memories. When Elena's physical body suffered lethal injuries, she expelled her soul from that body and left. However, that was not before she took a close look at the contents of the scroll using the Eye of the Soul.
The soul was the most basic and pure state of life, with the ability to record any information with objectivity and faith. In other words, a person in that state would have an eidetic memory.
As Elena recalled, bits and pieces of the contents would slowly appear in her mind. Every detail was clear and defined. She had a look of satisfaction on her face. That's a relief. Although it had been a dangerous mission, I somehow completed it perfectly. Most importantly, I seemed to have destroyed a brilliant Magician in the World of Light. This is extremely worth it!
With Eliard's sensitivity, he must have thought that I deliberately took the attack. He must be devastated and might even fall into depression. He has also just turned 18, which was the golden period for any Magician to increase their strength. If his depression could last for a couple of years, his magic achievements would definitely be substantially reduced in the future. This would mean that she had gotten rid of a potential enemy.
It was even possible that he might turn against Link. Elena could not help but chuckle at that thought.
How perfect. Elena was proud. Perhaps I will feel slightly bad for deceiving Eliard. No, he is an enemy, I must be ruthless! Show no compassion and pity in the face of an enemy. This is master's teachings!"
Link could only sigh as all the light went out in Eliard's eyes. It wouldn't help to simply stay on King's Lane. He turned to the coachman and said, "Let's return to the academy."
"Yes, Mr. Link." The coachman immediately nodded. Link was pretty famous within the academy and he had long heard of his name.
The carriage turned in the opposite direction and slowly made its way back.
Along the way, no one spoke. Even the horses seemed to have detected the repressive atmosphere and trotted as lightly as possible.
When they arrived back at the academy, the carriage stopped in front of Herrera's Mage Tower. Link stepped forward to open the carriage door as Eliard dragged his feet towards the Mage Tower with Elena's bloody corpse in his arms.
When the Magician's Apprentices in the hall saw the situation, many of them exclaimed or screamed in horror.
"Oh my god."
"Elena just said that she was feeling unwell, how could she have..."
Eliard ignored all the comments and simply walked towards the staircase.
Herrera was bound to know if such a serious thing happened in the Mage Tower. As Eliard climbed the stairs, she appeared at the platform on the second floor.
"Eliard, what happened?" Herrera stared at the bloodied corpse with a look of disbelief.
In her eyes, Elena was a conscientious and hardworking student. She also had a flair for magic. She was even optimistic about her relationship with Eliard, confident that it would become a beautiful story she could tell to her next batch of students. How did things turn out like this?
Eliard did not answer the questions and simply walked past Herrera. He had no idea why he did that. His only aim now was to satisfy his stubborn inner self and bring Elena back home, to the small room where they had spent countless happy moments together.
As Herrera did not get an answer, she then looked at Link, "What is going on?"
Link smiled bitterly and said, "Master, I need to tell you this in private."
"Alright. Come to my room." Herrera walked towards the highest floor while Link followed closely behind.
When they reached the hall at the highest floor of the Mage Tower, Link took out his memory crystal and activated it. Images of the event in the Girvent Forest appeared. The talks Elena had with the merchants in the forest, the suicide of the merchant on King's Lane, all of them were displayed clearly in front of Herrera.
Herrera had a look of disbelief on her face. "This is Elena?"
This was the complete opposite from the obedient and hardworking Elena she knew!
"It should be her if she doesn't have a twin sister." Link threw his hands out helplessly. It seemed as though he had successfully stopped Elena. However, he felt that something was amiss although he could not point out exactly where.
"Do you know the contents of the scroll?" Herrera did not dwell much on Elena's deception. Her main concern now was the scrolls, which were the most important object of the incident.
"I have no idea. I guess the scrolls are still on Elena's body. When I stopped her, she was about to escape. However, it might not be easy now that Eliard is devastated." Link could totally understand Eliard's actions. If he were to be in Eliard's shoes, he might have already gone insane.
"What exactly happened that made Eliard so depressed?" Herrera could feel that Eliard was not in a good shape.
Link then recounted the incident at King's Lane in detail. When he was done, Herrera fell silent.
It took some time before she sighed, "I have no idea if Elena had true feelings for Eliard. However, I know that it will be difficult for Eliard to recover given his personality."
Eliard was sincere, generous and even a little stubborn. Once he decided to go into a relationship, he would definitely put all his emotions into maintaining it. Now that his partner had willingly died for him, he might be stuck in this whirlpool of remorse for his entire life.
In other words, a talented Magician like Eliard might meet his downfall because of Elena.
Upon hearing Herrera's words, Link immediately recalled the merchant who willingly died for Elena. He suddenly felt a chill down his spine.
The merchant was merely an ordinary person and was, naturally, easily manipulated. However, Eliard was a world-class genius and was way more difficult to control. That might be why Elena adopted the destructive approach to ruin him.
And it looked like she was successful.
Had her ability to manipulate people reached that level?
So... is she really dead? Link was starting to feel unsure.
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