Vance had witnessed the downfalls and successes of many heroes in the over 1000 years he had been alive. He was truly the one that had experienced fully what life in Firuman could bring.
Link naturally thought of consulting this old experienced undead before he faced the Divine Gear.
Following the instructions of the transmission rune, Link walked all the way to the seaside before heading north along the coast. After he passed by the harbor that was near completion, he had to run another three miles before he finally found Vance in a small cave at the edge of the seaside.
He was sitting on a boulder in front of the cave and seemed to be thinking about something. From afar, he merely looked like a deserted corpse.
Dorias did not recognize him. The moment they reached the cave, he laughed and said to Link, "Look at this skeleton! How interesting! He was able to maintain this posture after being dead. I'll blow his head off."
Dorias then prepared his claws and was about to use Vance's skull as a ball.
The moment his claws were raised, a bolt of lightning appeared in the sky. With a terrifying rumble, the lightning struck directly at Dorias claws. Dorias then retracted his claws due to the intense pain and stared at the skeleton with disbelief. "Strange. There is something going on with this skeleton!"
Vance then awakened as the Flame of the Soul in his eyes lit up. He then looked at Dorias with teasing eyes and smiled as he said, "Link, is this your pet? It seems interesting enough."
Dorias wanted to rebut but was harshly interrupted by Link.
Link jumped down from his back and was extremely straightforward, "Old guy, I need a favor from you."
"If someone like you says so, I presume it must be real trouble. What is it?" Vance patiently replied.
Link then reported the findings of the royal palace in detail, from the abnormal Dark Elves to the Dark Divine Gear and finally, his decision to go northwards. He then said with no confidence, "Honestly, I don't know if I can do it."
Vance did not have any expression on his face after hearing that. He nodded his head slowly. "This is truly a troubling issue. Please give me a moment."
Vance lost his usual casual and even slightly insane demeanor, sinking into his vortex of thoughts and concerns. This state lasted for more than half an hour before he finally said, "The Dark Elves worship the Spider Queen Lolth. This god is known for using a whip as her weapon. The name of this weapon is the Dark Serpent, Lady of Darkness' Lasso. If the Dark Elves have truly gotten Divine Gear, it could only be this one."
Link knew that he had found the right person the moment he heard those words!
He then asked, "Do you know the exact nature and properties of this Divine Gear?"
Although Link knew the properties of this exact Divine Gear in the game, the likelihood that there would be differences was high. For example, the Storm Lord sword in his hand had starkly different stats than the one in the game. It was a lot more overpowered in the World of Firuman. Link had not trusted the in-game stats that he remembered ever since that incident. If he continued to do so, he would meet his end one day without even knowing the reason why.
Vance shook his head. "That is a weapon of the gods. How would a mortal like me know its exact nature? However, this is not the first time the Dark Serpent has appeared in this world. There have been a few legends connected to it."
"Please tell me." Link was humbled.
"Please give me some time." Vance once again descended into a meditative state and took another half an hour before he finally opened his mouth. "It was rumored that the Dark Serpent was extremely poisonous and could release highly toxic substances. For the people whom it recognized, it could transform them into the perfect Warriors. However, this venom is extremely lethal to its enemies. If an enemy were to be afflicted with the poison, there would be no possibility of survival, and even his soul would be disintegrated."
"That powerful?" Dorias instinctively shrank behind Link.
Vance continued, "Alas it is just a weapon. After entering this world, there must be a host. While this host would be controlled by the weapon, they would also be empowered to a terrifying extent. It was rumored that only Dark Elves who carry the royal blood of the Silver Moon could withstand the power of the Divine Gear. They would then become unparalleled Warriors."
"How strong would that be? Legendary status?" Link was horrified.
"I don't know." Vance shook his head.
Link was slightly disappointed. However, another voice rang in his mind, "Not legendary status, merely the strength of a Level-9 professional. How can a puppet ever reach legendary status?"
This voice belonged to the sword spirit of the Storm Lord sword.
Are you sure? Link asked.
The sword spirit was infuriated, "What do you mean! This is the truth! I have experienced at least ten times more things than the skeleton in front of you! I have even fought against the Dark Serpent before!"
Link was suddenly curious. Who won?
The sword spirit fell silent for a moment before replying, "I'm too lazy to tell you."
Link was, however, desperate to know the true extent of the Dark Serpent's power. "Wait, you said that you once fought against it. Please tell me what kind of power it wields and how to defend against it!"
There was no reply. This sword spirit would come and go as he wished; his behavior was completely unpredictable. After asking a few more times in his mind and getting no response, Link could only give up.
In this period, Vance had also not been giving any more information. Link guessed that that was probably all of Vance's knowledge and said, "Old guy, I will then be returning to my territory. Will you be bored staying here?"
Vance shook his head and spoke with a calming voice, "I face the sea every day and enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset and birds diving into the water. Please don't worry about me."
"Oh, then goodbye." Link mounted onto Dorias and went back to his territory to make some final arrangements.
After making sure that Link had gone away, Vance immediately jumped down from the boulder he was sitting on and ran back into his cave. In the cave lay Nana's destroyed body. Originally, he had agreed to modify Nana together with Link after Link had gotten some basic knowledge about constructing magic puppets.
Therefore, Vance had put off touching the magic puppet all this while.
However, the situation was different.
As he entered the cave, Vance could not help but reprimand, "This young guy is truly arrogant. To think that he wants to fight against the Divine Gear-he will definitely be dead!"
However, after that outburst, Vance sighed helplessly, "The appearance of the Dark Serpent is bound to be a sweeping disaster for the entire world. Who would be able to escape this tragedy? Will I be able to live through it? If one is unwilling to become a puppet of darkness, it will only be a matter of time before they are dead..."
He walked towards Nana and squatted down to inspect the damage done. After a long while, he then took out his Dark Arbiter wand and started casting a transformation spell.
He already knew the reason for Nana's outburst and could easily repair her. The only reason why he didn't do it sooner was due to the promise he made with Link.
But now it seemed like he had to.
"Young guy, don't blame me for not waiting. If I don't repair her in time, you will definitely be dead going to the North all alone. I am letting her save your sorry ass."
Vance had once spent 20 years creating this magic puppet and was thus familiar with every single one of her structures. He repaired Nana at an astounding speed.
Under the effect of the transformation spell, Nana's wounds healed, and the frozen pair of clear eyes started regaining consciousness.
A crisp, clear voice appeared from Nana once again, "Nana is starting up...Memory damage...Nana has no more targets...Nana has no more targets..."
"It's still too early to wake up. Sleep and don't cause trouble." Vance then lightly patted her head with his hand enveloped in white light. With a light touch, Nana once again fell into a deep slumber.
Link was, of course, unaware of Vance's plan. He had already returned to his territory.
Not far away, the foundation of the Mage Tower was already being set. Further away, one could even see a tall giant magic puppet plowing the land.
Scorched Ridge was also unusually crowded. One could see that the path leading towards the Girvent Forest was filled with pedestrians ten times the normal amount. Some of them were carrying baskets and holding their children's hands. Many of them seemed to be moving as a family. From the number of items they were carrying, they appeared to be moving locations. Many makeshift tents used for camping purposes were also set up in the area around the Scorched Ridge.
Link had been too busy to notice this previously. Now that he had realized this, he felt strange.
Dorias was surprised and said, "That's a lot of people."
"Let's take a look."
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