225 A Precarious Situation

 Plop, Plop.

The three half-dead ghouls were dragged into the middle of the open space by the scouts.

It was undeniable that the vitality of these ghouls was simply rule-breaking. One of them suffered an arrow through the eye and judging from the severity of the injury; his brain must have been damaged. The other two had their heart completely squashed, and all three of them had Sacred Silver running through their blood. Despite these grave injuries that could kill an ordinary human a hundred times over, they were still breathing and very much alive!

Link came out from his hiding place but still kept his distance from the ghouls. He stood beside a tree around 60 feet away.

Annie walked towards him and whispered while staring at him expectantly, "My lord, what should we do with the three of them?"

As she had mentioned, Your Highness did not exist in the Dark Forest; there were only scouts from MI3. Since Link was now the captain, she had to address him as lord.

If this happened in the past, Link would have felt uncomfortable. However, he was now a true lord of a territory and had many followers behind him. He was already accustomed to the hierarchical system in the World of Firuman

He said, "We have no need for the three of them. Burn them with fire."

No matter how strong their life force was, burning them to a crisp was bound to work.

The scouts then collected dried branches and piled them up before throwing the three ghouls into the middle. Link then threw a fireball which ignited the flammable dried branches, starting the fire.

Under the intense heat of the flames, the three ghouls instinctively struggled and tried to escape. However, the moment they got out from the range of the fire, the scouts would use wooden sticks to push them back into the inferno. After ten whole minutes when the scouts could already smell the aroma of barbecued meat, the ghouls finally stopped struggling and fell dead.

This kind of life force had totally broken the power balance in the World of Firuman. Only the strength of a Divine Gear could accomplish this.

After dealing with these three ghouls, a scout came to report, "My lord, there is another ghoul lying over there. He is not moving."

Link naturally did not forget that guy. After all, he personally destroyed his will to fight.

"Let's go take a look."

The scouts surrounded Link to protect him and headed towards the ghoul who appeared to have no visible injuries.

Link stopped when they were still 60 feet away from the ghoul. The scouts also became more vigilant and were prepared to guard against a sneak attack from the motionless ghoul.

Annie was slightly worried and asked, "Should we shoot a few arrows to cripple him before doing anything else?"

"There is no need to," Link shook his head before telling another scout. "Please retreat in case he attacks."

Link then headed forward himself.

Annie immediately dissuaded, "Link...Sir Mirose, please be careful."

This was different from the sneak attack before. Link would have no distance advantage walking towards the ghoul like this. Even if it were to engage in a direct battle, the ghoul at his full speed could very likely give Link a mortal injury.

The scouts were also anxiously looking at the Link, afraid that something would happen to him. If he were to die, the six of them would not be able to deal with this ghoul.

Link motioned for everyone to stay calm as he continued forward. The distance between them continued to shorten, 45 feet, 40 feet, 35 feet; Link seemed to have no intention of stopping.

Darco originally had harbored no hope of surviving. However, the Magician had actually revealed himself. Furthermore, he had actually cast no defensive spells over himself. This was a god-sent opportunity!

The will to fight once again burned in his heart, "I might not have been your opponent while you were hiding in the shadows. However, now that you have appeared without any protection, I can always fight you now!"

He tightened his muscles and started accumulating his energy. The moment his opponent was 30 feet away, he would unleash all his energy and smash his head in a single strike! In his eyes, the Magician seemed to be defenseless while brazenly moving forward-33 feet, 30 feet. Now or never!

Roar! Darco opened his mouth and bellowed before hurling himself towards Link.

"Arrogant Magician, Die! Uh...Uh...What is this...What the hell...My stomach..."

After traveling only half the intended distance, Darco suddenly grabbed his throat in pain. A silver ball seemed to have entered his mouth while he screamed his war cry, swirling down into his stomach.

Following which, an unbearable pain could be felt in his abdomen. This was an extreme form of pain, as though countless knives were slashing their way through his body. He could not help but grab his stomach in suffering.

"No! No! I am a Warrior of the Lady of Darkness! I will not be defeated by this pain! I'm going to kill you!" Darco held his abdomen as he walked towards Link in small steps.

He felt as though something had contaminated his blood and his power was drained by this mysterious substance. He was getting weaker every step he took. The moment he took his fifth step, he could not hold on anymore and fell on his knees with a thud. The Magician now stood six feet away from him, unmoving. He could reach the opponent with just another step. Clearly, he needed to just hold on for a while more to defeat his opponent! But alas he failed!

This six-foot distance seemed like an insurmountable chasm at that moment!

Looking at the faint smile on the Magician's face, a deep sense of frustration and despair overwhelmed Darco. "All my actions were within his calculations. I simply cannot defeat him."

From the start, he had been suppressed by this Magician. This Magician did not use any fancy techniques. In fact, all he used were ordinary techniques known to most Magicians.

Darco's confidence was completely shattered.

In order to keep his trump card a secret, Link did not bring out the Burning Wrath of the Heavens Wand. Instead, he took out an ordinary silver wand and activated the Magician's Hand with a slight movement of his wand. The ghoul was then lifted by his chin into the air.

"Can you understand the common tongue?" Link asked.

The ghoul's eyes could be seen to avert Link's gaze. He seemed to be avoiding the question, suggesting that he could understand Link perfectly well.

"What is your name?" Link asked.

There was still no answer.

Link's wand glowed faintly which caused the little silver ball that the ghoul swallowed to wreak havoc once again.

Darco held his stomach in pain and bent his waist. He rested his head on the ground as though he was begging for mercy and said, "I'll speak, I'll speak! I am Darco!"

"Our camp was attacked by the likes of you. We have an extremely strong Warrior called the Dawn Swordsman. You should be familiar with this name?"

This was the reason why Link left this ghoul alive. He needed someone who could give them a lead. From his observations, this ghoul was slightly more intelligent and would thus be easier to reason with.

Darco shook his head, "I'll not say."

This sentence had, in fact, revealed additional information. By saying that he refused to reveal any information, it meant that he knew the details regarding Kanorse.

All that's left was to extract the information from him.

Link turned to look at Annie, "Your Highness, does MI3 have any tools to make him speak?"

Annie winked as she already knew Link's plans. She then smiled, "I am not very good at such things. But we have loads of these people in MI3; what do you say, Larson?"

A scout walked out, chuckling while playing with the dagger in his hands, "My lord, we would usually cut off the meat from the target's body piece by piece while making sure that they remain conscious. Of course, if we were dealing with ghouls, we would first enchant the dagger with Sacred Silver. I assume he would have the time of his life."

Darco swallowed a mouthful of saliva upon hearing those words. He had experienced first-hand the darned power of this silver metal. He could still feel the burning sensation in the abdomen. If that material was used to cut off his flesh...He did not even want to think about it.

Link shook his head and said, "I'm afraid that won't do. These ghouls have such a strong life force. If we cut them off piece by piece, how long will it take?"

The moment his voice fell, another scout jumped forward and said, "My lord, we have six people over here. If we work together, I'm sure we can cut off all the meat within five minutes. Furthermore, we can experiment if a ghoul can still live after losing all his flesh."

Beads of perspiration appeared on Darco's forehead.

Link then made an expression which suggested that he was considering the feasibility of this method. In this period, the perspiration on Darco's forehead became even more prominent as the stress he was feeling increased exponentially. He feared that the next moment Link spoke, he would be sentenced to this cruel and terrible punishment.

Darco did not dare to take any risks. His psychological defensive barrier had been completely breached and shouted, "I surrender! I'll tell you everything you want to know."

Link exchanged glances with the scouts. What a perfect cooperation that scared the wits out of this pathetic ghoul.

"Alright. Is the Dawn Swordsman still alive?"

"Yes, he is. However, he is gravely injured and has been brought to the Skeletal Fort."

"Skeletal Fort?"

Link was familiar with the Skeletal Fort. In the game, the Skeletal Fort was a huge story mission that contained many powerful enemies. The strongest boss in the fort was none other than the wielder of the Divine Gear, the Dark Serpent.

Although the wielder was unable to fully utilize the power of the Divine gear, the fact that the Divine gear was in her hands was enough to make her a world boss.

Link had totally no confidence in defeating her in a direct battle. In fact, Link would be lucky enough to escape alive if he ever faced that person in a battle.

Link then asked in a fearful voice, "What are you going to do to him?"

"Our boss seems to admire him, saying that he is the strongest Warrior on the continent. He has earned the right to receive the blessings of the Lady of Darkness."

Upon hearing those words, the scouts exchanged glances. They did not know the existence of the Divine Gear and merely felt enraged at those words. However, what Link felt was a chill down his spine.

Ordinary Dark Elf Warriors could already become Level-6 ghouls under the effect of the Divine Gear. If the Dawn Swordsman were to be demonized-what strength would he attain?

Who else could defeat him?

Even Link would not have the confidence of defending against him. It would definitely be a nightmare. The situation was going completely out of control. However, he knew that he had no choice but to do everything in his power to stop it from happening.

He immediately asked, "Where is the Skeletal Fort?"

"No, I cannot say any more. The boss will kill me and enslave my soul...I cannot do this...Just kill me! Kill me now! Ah! Lady of Darkness, I did not intentionally betray you! They forced me to!"

As Darco continued speaking, he became more incoherent in his speech. His expression was dazed, and his tone was showing a hint of madness. He was really going insane.

The scouts from MI3 all had experience in these situations. Upon seeing the ghoul in this state, Larson immediately walked up to Link and said, "My lord, he has been broken. There is no point in doing this any further."

Link had noticed as well. He then ignited the Sacred Silver within Darco's body, and thin silver light rays pierced him from the inside out.

Darco then fell to the ground, motionless.

"Burn him, and we will move forward to the Skeletal Fort."

After which, Link began collecting the Sacred Silver crossbows and fixed them once again to prepare for the next battle. The scouts then started collecting firewood to burn the ghoul.

Quickly, everything was settled, and the scouts were ready to move out.

Link stared at the scouts and said in a low voice, "I have no idea where the fort is, and I cannot guarantee that this mission will be a success. We will run into many enemies along the way. Everyone, are you sure you want to follow me on this dangerous mission?"

"For the Norton Kingdom!" The scouts replied in unison. Their eyes shone with a bladed resolve.

"Alright then, let's go!"