After walking for around 150 feet, they saw a body on the ground which had its arms severed.
"It's Morestern." Vance whispered.
Celine quickly squatted down to observe the injuries on the Voodoo Magician's body. After glacing up and down, she could not help but gasp, "What fast attacking speed!"
From the shape and depth of the wound on Morestern's forehead, Celine, who was a swordsman, could accurately determine the terrifying attacking speed of the magic puppet. It was a level that she could only hope to reach.
Meanwhile, Vance and Link were observing the magic traces left on the scene.
Vance pinched the piles of white dust on the ground and cooed, "This old guy seemed to have cast a Corrosive Nova spell before he died. From the residual magic fluctuations, this spell was released extremely quickly. I estimate the total casting time to be only around 0.2 seconds. The Dark Arbiter is really a powerful wand."
Link pointed to a set of footprints on the side and said, "This small footprint was probably left by the magic puppet."
Vance looked over and nodded. "That's right. Nana's image is that of a 17-year-old girl...Don't think of it that way! The only reason why I used this image was to bewitch the opponents!"
Link shrugged his shoulders and decided not to comment on that decision. He continued to observe the traces on the ground. After a few minutes, he said, "After the magic puppet killed Morestern, she left immediately. After around half a minute, Dorians appeared again. He came right over here...This should be the place where the wand was. He picked it up and left."
Link then switched an angle to view the traces as he continued, "From the footprints on the ground, there were two outbursts of power. The first one was here, where the puppet moved horizontally for three feet, and her attack was dodged; one Elemental Disintegration spell was released. She then started fighting back."
Link spoke as though he had witnessed the battle scene first hand, explaining along the way. Link then walked up beside Morestern's body. He saw a white gelatinous substance and dabbed his finger in it. After taking a sniff, he continued, "When the magic puppet retaliated, Morestern was just about to release the Cobweb spell. Vance, how fast do you reckon Morestern actually needs to cast this spell?"
Vance knew that Link was estimating the power of the magic puppet and was hence willing to cooperate. He observed the white substance and said, "I have seen him cast this spell once. He was extremely fast. This level of completion should have taken less than 0.1 seconds."
"Less than 0.1 seconds? That is too vague. I need it to be more specific," Link pressed.
Vance thought back on what he saw and reported an accurate number, "0.08 seconds should be about right."
Link then measured the distance between the two outbursts of power and frowned. He then said, "The distance between the two footprints is 150 feet. If the magic puppet had attacked while Morestern was casting the spell, her speed could be estimated to be at a terrifying 2000 feet per second. Vance, you were totally right, this magic puppet has evolved greatly."
Celine was horrified, "If we consider the starting step and the landing action, her top speed would be much greater than 2000 feet per second. This is insane!"
This outburst of energy was comparable to a short distance teleportation spell.
Vance gave a bitter smile and said, "Nana seems to have exceeded my expectations. What do we do now?"
Vance was not confident in going against such fast reaction and attacking speed. He would be courting death! Not to mention how embarrassing it actually was to be defeated at the hands of his own creation.
Celine turned to look at Link.
Link stayed silent. From the current data they had, he quickly calculated the power limit of the magic puppet. After around three minutes, he said, "It will be a bit tough, but we still stand a chance. For example, when traveling at such a high speed, she will not be able to change directions. This can be seen from the battle traces."
To change directions while traveling at 2000 feet per second would generate a huge centripetal force that would put great pressure on the magic puppet's body. Even if her body were hardy enough to withstand such pressure, the ground beneath her feet wouldn't be able to provide enough friction to make the direction change. This was not merely dependent on the power of the magic puppet, but also the environmental restrictions.
He looked at Celine and said, "Give me the bracelet; I have to make some alterations to this spell."
The bracelet contained a Level-5 Crimson Edelweiss spell. As the creator of this spell, Link naturally had a good understanding of this spell. He was extremely clear that this spell also contained a magic inflection point which would last around 0.06 seconds. This was sufficient time for the magic puppet to deliver a fatal blow. In order to ensure Celine's safety, he had to compress the duration of the magic inflection point to within 0.01 seconds.
Celine handed her defensive bracelet over to Link. Link then sat down on a piece of rubble and took out the best material he had brought with him, the Fire Star Thorium, before he started to replace the ordinary Thorium in the bracelet with this high-quality material. The process was extremely fast and could be done with a simple replacement spell. It merely took ten minutes. Following which, Link used a Higgs Field spell to carefully repair the tiny flaws in the bracelet. As time was tight previously, he did not polish this bracelet to his usual standards. He originally thought that no one in the world would be able to take advantage of such minor flaws. However, now that this puppet had appeared, he would have to defend against it.
The entire bracelet had around five flaws. Although they were all inconspicuous alone, their effects would stack and render the eventual Crimson Edelweiss spell imperfect. Ordinary people would not be able to feel any difference between the two. However, a strong Magician would be able to tell simply from the magic fluctuations that was emanating from the bracelet.
After Link completely refined the bracelet, Vance, who was observing the whole time, could not help but applaud, "This bracelet is beautiful!"
Link smiled and put the bracelet on Celine's wrist. The previous bracelet he gave Celine was around the same quality as the Dragon's bracelet he gave Eleanor. However, the quality of the bracelet now was much higher than that.
"Now, I do not have to worry about the magic puppet breaking through the magic inflection point," Link mentioned as he held Celine's smooth and soft hands. Link did not wish to let go of it as he caressed it gently.
Celine merely smiled and did not pull her hand back.
Link then turned towards Vance while holding her hand. "Instant spellcasting requires complete focus. There can be no distractions in your heart nor any fluctuations in mood. Only then can flawless spells be released."
"I'll do my best."
Vance rubbed his smooth skull and suddenly lacked confidence. It was simply enough for a thousand-year-old monster like himself to feel no distractions in his heart. However, for one to have no fluctuations in mood...As long as one was still alive, that would be almost impossible to do during combat! This request was fundamentally anti-human!
Now that the preparations had been done, the success of their mission would depend entirely on their reaction on the spot.
"Alright, let's enter."
The three of them progressed forward.
As they passed through the security hall, a long and winding corridor appeared. There were magnificent statues on both sides of the corridor, and the ground was made entirely of black jade. It was a sight to behold.
"This is what an underground palace should feel like," Link said with a smile.
"This is merely the beginning," Vance spoke with pride.
As they walked along the corridor, they could feel that they were walking along a slight upwards slope which brought them higher towards ground level. After two whole rounds, a huge copper door appeared right in front of them. The door was at least 30 feet in height and 24 feet wide. Glorious scenes where the God of Light created the world were inscribed on both sides of the door, giving the door an intense historical and epic presence.
Celine was pleasantly surprised at the sight, as she stared at Vance once more. "I did not think that you had such good taste."
Vance felt extremely satisfied.
The door was left ajar, and they passed through it without any obstructions. Behind the door, was an extremely spacious hall that was more than 2000 square feet. The ground was carved out of obsidian, and in order to maintain the stability of the hall, 20 thick pillars each the width of two adults were built. Similarly, intricate statues were carved into each of these statues for aesthetic purposes.
The three of them progressed, using the pillars as cover. After around 60 feet, they heard voices in front of them.
"Master, is this fine?"
From the voice, one could easily tell that it was magic swordsman Dorians.
But wasn't he the master of the underground palace? How could there be another one? Who exactly was this master? The three of them were puzzled.
At that moment, a crisp voice sounded.
"Joint magic rune lubricated level 89%, beneath expectations. Number two, restart!"
"Yes, Master." Dorians voice once again sounded as brushing sounds followed.
As they listened to the conversation, an incredulous look overcame all of their faces. They had gotten it wrong the whole time. Dorians was never the master of this palace. This true master of the palace was the magic puppet, while Dorians was merely her servant. It suddenly all made sense. How could Dorians face a Level-7 Magician without any fear, and why he would be such a cheapskate and be willing to stay in this palace despite being a strong magic swordsman?
The thing that was keeping him here was not the wealth, but the magic puppet!
Link then looked at Vance. "Nana is your creation. Why is it not listening to you?"
Vance helplessly laid out his hands and said, "I have no idea as well. Four hundred years ago, Nana was merely a magic puppet that I created. How could I know that things would turn out like this?"
"Then, can you still give her an order?" Link asked.
Celine also looked at Vance expectantly. As long as there was a chance for her to avoid battling with this magic puppet, she would take it.
Vance said regrettably. "I'm afraid not. I don't look like who I was 400 years ago at all. Furthermore, before I was imprisoned, I had set Nana into a state of slumber. Now that she has awakened, I'm afraid that something must have happened."
Four hundred years was a long time. It was true that many things could have changed.
Link took a deep breath before saying, "Then I guess there is no other way. Let's do this. I will commence the ambush while Celine helps me defend against any unprecedented attacks."
"Got it." Celine stood in front of Link as she spoke with resolve.
Link then started concentrating his mana. He was about to cast the Level-6 Titan's Hand spell.
Link could cast the spell in 0.5 seconds. This was already considered an extremely fast speed. However, the moment he started concentrating mana, the magic fluctuations broke through the veil of their concealing spell. Nana's voice then echoed through the hall.
"Intruder alert! Threat level: 3 stars!"
Following which, a young girl with an exquisite appearance and huge, clear eyes appeared.
Celine was extremely cautious of Nana. The moment she saw Nana, she instinctively activated her Level-6 bloodline spell, Obsidian Shield. This spell was extremely special, as it would not interfere with other spells that were being cast at the same time. Furthermore, it could also be activated instantly. After activating this spell, Celine then triggered the Crimson Edelweiss spell. Link had given the bracelet a mana retention ability which allowed mana to be stored and thus allowed the spell to be cast instantaneously whenever Celine willed. Hence, within 0.1 seconds, the Level-6 Obsidian Shield was covered by another Level-5 crimson forcefield.
The moment these two spells took form, Nana's attack arrived.
A figure appeared right in front of the Crimson Edelweiss spell. She rushed into the forcefield, ignoring the burning heat from the forcefield. Although the heat seemed to have no effect on her, the forcefield seemed to have lowered her speed greatly.
However, her speed was still fast by normal standards. The dagger in her hands then struck like a venomous snake, piercing through the Edelweiss spell before piercing through Celine's second layer of defense, the Obsidian Shield. It was about to hit Celine's body anytime soon.
This was not an attack that took advantage of the weak points in the spell. Nana merely used brute force to break through two high-level defensive spells.
Link was horrified. How can she have such destructive offensive power!
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