219 The Lord’s Absolute Power

 The appearance of Link riding a 13-feet-tall giant tiger really shocked the people who came across them. Some ordinary people went timid and stopped in their tracks, some stepped slowly backwards, and some even cried out in fear.

Fortunately, Dorias made an effort to look as gentle and non-threatening as possible. He walked along the road in an orderly manner and shook his head gently from time to time. After a while, the people there slowly calmed down and got a little less nervous around him.

Soon, they could hear different voices talking about the giant tiger.

"Lord of Light!" exclaimed one voice. "Look at how big the tiger is! It can easily swallow a whole cow!"

"Is the lord sitting on the back of the tiger?" asked one voice.

"Oh my god!" said another voice. "Look at how his body is shrouded in flames! He's terrifying!"

"Will he chase us away?"

Link listened closely to the words spoken by these people. His eyes scanned the whole area slowly to catch every detail.

He found that these people on the road were all wearing tattered clothes. Their faces were pallid, and their bodies were weak. They don't look like free country folks who came here looking for work from the Girvent Forest. Rather, they seemed to have dragged their families and their meager belongings to escape from something.

Are they refugees from the North? Link wondered. No, it can't be. Norton Kingdom's army has been winning the battles in the North, haven't they? The recent stalemate is mostly happening in the Black Forest. How could there be refugees, then? The clothes these people wore doesn't make it look like they're from the North either...

Besides, even if there were refugees from the North, they'd first appear in the Girvent Forest up north, wouldn't they? Why come to Ferde Wilderness first instead?

Just then, Gildern appeared. He was now the scout commander in the area and was responsible for investigating the happenings around this place.

Link hopped down the tiger's back and walked over to Gildern.

"What's going on here?" he asked. "Where did they come from?"

"My lord," Gildern hurriedly answered. "I was just about to report this to you."

"Go on, then," Link said as he walked into the territory with Gildern following behind him.

"These are the refugees from the Delonga Kingdom in the South, my lord," Gildern explained. "The Delonga Kingdom and its western neighbor, the Southmoon Kingdom are now at war. The Delonga army has lost many battles and even more lives and territories. As a result, these people had to make their escape and run from the occupied land, my lord."

Two kingdoms in the South were at war? Link's chest suddenly tightened as he came to a realization.

It's already happened! Link thought.

At this point in the game, because the Norton Kingdom was too preoccupied with the war with the Dark Elves in the North, it had no time to control the minor southern kingdoms. At this point, the Syndicate ran wild in the South, and they kept fanning the fire of disputes between the southern kingdoms to provoke them into conflict. In the end, the whole southern part of the continent descended into chaos and bloodshed.

In this world, things were slightly better, although there seemed to be the same trend happening in the undercurrent of events. Link was afraid that history would soon repeat itself again now.

Link let out a long sigh and thought of Elin's words.

The sun will soon sink under the horizon.

Link knew that he had no power to control what happened in the South now, but he was still puzzled by some questions.

If they wanted to escape, he wondered, why didn't they take refuge in the deeper parts of the Delonga Kingdom? Why come here?

His estate was known across the continent as a bleak and barren place. What did they expect to find here? Were they going to eat dust to survive? Besides, surely the Delonga Kingdom wouldn't be happy to know that their citizens had escaped to the Norton Kingdom, would they?

Fortunately, Gildern had figured everything out from his inquiries.

"This must have something to do with Warter, my lord," he said. "Warter had been to the South frequently, buying slaves. He'd spread rumors all around that we are lacking people here in Ferde Wilderness. He'd probably spread the news of the anti-magic soil discovery as well, giving the impression that we are wealthy. These refugees probably thought they'd be safe here, that's why most of them sneaked through the borders of the kingdom by the Black River and reached here eventually."

Link's estate was indeed short of people, so in Gildern's eyes, their arrival had been a good thing.

While Link had the same opinion as well, as a liege lord, there were many more things for him to consider. He had to view it from the perspective of his estate's development as well. If anything went wrong at this point, it would send a cascade of negative effects into motion and ultimately influence his estate's future.

Link gazed around at the refugees on both sides of the road and fell into silent contemplation.

These refugees all knew that Link was the Magician lord of the land. They all stood humbly before him with their heads bowed down. When Link's gaze fell upon them, they all became restless, as if awaiting a verdict that would decide their fate.

The children all looked malnourished and weak. Their little faces were dirty, and the clothes they wore were nothing more than tattered rags. They held tightly to their parents' clothes with wonder and fear in their eyes. They seemed curious and wanted to get a closer look at Link, and yet they were afraid of the strange man, so they quickly darted their eyes away from Link. They were just as fearful as little rabbits.

Seeing that Link had not spoken, even Gildern had begun to feel nervous now. Although he'd become Link's follower not too long ago, at that time, Link's reputation had risen higher and higher, and his power kept expanding at a shocking rate. Even his aura was so terrifying now that it could inspire anyone with fear.

Suddenly, there was a change in Link.

He lifted his finger and pointed at a young man not too far away from him.

"Catch him and bring him here!" he ordered two soldiers beside him.

"My lord, what-" Gildern muttered in bewilderment.

Link interrupted Gildern's sentence with a wave of his hand and motioned to the soldiers to obey his orders immediately.

Right now, the mercenary troop had transformed into the armed guards of the Ferde Wilderness. Link was the lord of the Ferde Wilderness and a powerful Master Magician, so he wielded absolute power over the soldiers in the troop. The two soldiers then rushed towards the young man with haste.

The young man panicked and was about to turn around and run away. But that was foolish of him, of course, since there was another soldier merely a few feet away from him who instantly kicked his leg and made him fall splat to the ground.

The two strong soldiers then rushed over and seized him and took him to Link. They made the young man kneel on the ground in front of him.

The atmosphere was extremely tense, and all the refugees went silent. Some babies seemed to sense the fear in the air and opened their little mouths to cry. But before they made a sound, their cries were muffled by their mothers who held them closer to their chests.

Link said nothing to explain himself. He took out his wand and used the Magician's Hand to rip open the front part of the young man's clothes, exposing his bare chest. The young man was well-built and looked very strong, completely different from what a starving refugee would look like. Then, over his heart, there was a tattoo of a dark green dagger with seven drops of blood dripping from it.

The young man's face changed suddenly. His whole body tensed up, and there was a faint Battle Aura emanating from his body. No one knew where he got the dagger that suddenly appeared in his hand, and he then sprung up abruptly and lunged forward to stab the dagger at Link!

It all happened so quickly and unexpectedly that all everyone could do was gasp in horror. Gildern's eyes bulged out, and he tried to pull out his sword to rush up and block the dagger, but he was an archer, so his speed couldn't compare to that of an Assassin.

Just then, a faint white light appeared around Link's body. It was the Level-4 Edelweiss. A moment later there was a blur in the air in front of Link's body where the Vector Resistant Force Field appeared.


The Assassin lost his balance when he lunged forward and was blocked by Link's shield. He was knocked back a few steps before a whoosh was heard when a terrifying giant Flaming Hand appeared which grabbed the Assassin and held him in its palm. Horrible screams then escaped the lips of the Assassin which rang through the whole area.

A second later, Link stretched out the giant hand which made the Assassin fall slumping to the ground. He wasn't dead yet, and the burns on his body weren't so serious, but his Battle Aura was completely burnt out.

He fell to the ground panting and stared at Link with eyes that were full of terror.

The refugees around Link watched the scene silently. Many of them gulped in fear. They now gazed at Link as if he were the most fearsome person they'd ever met. Some children even burst into tears. The scene that displayed the Magician lord's power had been seared into their memories, and in that instant, they knew that Link was a man who was "invincible" and who possessed terrifying "godly powers."

That's exactly the kind of effect that Link had expected. He cast a voice amplifier spell on himself and took a few steps towards the Assassin.

"Are you a spy sent by the Syndicate?" Link asked with a voice loud enough that everyone could hear.

The young man's face was pale, but he remained silent, which meant that the allegation was true.

The refugees then went into an uproar. It's no wonder why the lord would suddenly launch those terrifying attacks since the young man turned out to be one of those infamous Syndicate thieves. With this revelation, the fear in their hearts was greatly reduced.

Link observed the reactions of the refugees. He found it satisfactory. He had no intention of showing his terrifying power just to intimidate these people at all.

"Take him away and hang him at the north gate!" ordered Link at the soldiers beside him.

The soldiers obeyed his orders immediately. Not long afterwards they could hear a brief scream from the northern gate of Scorched Ridge. The Syndicate's spy was dead.

Throughout the process, all of Scorched Ridge was silent.

Link's actions had left a deep impression on the refugees' minds. In their eyes, this Magician lord had godly eyesight and was capable of fearsome magic powers. He was also very decisive and would have his orders carried out as soon as they were given. Thus, right now the refugees were as docile as a flock of sheep before Link. They felt that they were completely at his mercy.

When Link sensed their reactions, he knew that he'd achieved what he expected to do. His face suddenly turned warm and kindly. He had many reasons for doing what he just did. In fact, killing that spy from the Syndicate was merely his secondary goal.

These refugees had arrived too early in his estate's development stage. They hadn't seen true order being set up, and the construction in the area was also still in operation. In other words, with the large influx of refugees into his estate, there was a chance that the area might become too chaotic.

Once this happened, it would be difficult to solve in a short span of time. It could only be gradually improved over time. Therefore, the wisest thing to do now was to establish the absolute power of the lord in order to avoid the conditions in his territory to descend into chaos later.

That was why Link acted the way he did the moment he arrived. He used the most impressive spells to remind everyone that he was the lord of this land and that he would make sure that order was installed in this area.

After the severe act, now it was time to show the people his kinder and gentler side.

Having dealt with the Syndicate spy, Link walked to a high mound where everyone could see him and began his address.

"I, Baron Link Morani, the lord of the Ferde Wilderness, welcome you to stay in my territory. Here, as long as you obey my rules, you will lead good lives as free people."

The refugees heaved a sigh of relief in droves the moment they heard Link's speech. Their tightened heartstrings began to loosen, and they calmed down and began to whisper among themselves.

"The lord is such a young man," whispered one of them.

"The rumors are true," said another, "his magic really is powerful!"

"He's not just fearsome and majestic, he's also very wise!" commented one of the refugees. "Did you see how he recognized the thief from the Syndicate with just a glance?"

Link knew that he'd done well after hearing these remarks. Now that his work here was done, he decided that it was time to leave.

"Summon all officials for a meeting," said Link to Gildern. "I have some important things to arrange with all of you."