The glorious aura filled the sky for five seconds. After that, the brilliant light slowly dissipated, leaving only Link's figure.
Link knelt on the ground. On the interface, rows and rows of notifications popped up. Once he took a glance at them, he realized that they were all reminders from the gaming system.
Player begins to burn his soul. Emergency protection started.
Clearing all reserve Omni Points...Begin consuming 500 reserve Omni Points.
All Omni Points consumed.
Elemental Affinity Bloodline transformation suspended, converted into 350 Omni Points. Begin consuming Omni Points.
All Omni Points consumed.
Player currently has 200 Omni Points. Begin consuming Omni Points.
All Omni Points consumed.
Purification spell completed. All reserve energy from gaming system consumed.
After reading this series of information, Link felt the emptiness in his body which was bereft with Mana and heaved a sigh of relief. Fortunately, he'd only consumed the reserve energy, and his soul did not suffer any damage. Link regarded this as incredible luck.
"Link, are you alright?" asked Annie with a worried tone.
Link turned around and saw the concern in Annie's face which warmed his heart.
"I'm fine," he said. "But I can't cast any high-level spells for a while."
In fact, he still had about 500 points of Mana, but considering the strength of their enemies at the time, this amount of Mana was basically useless.
Felina walked over to him too, and she looked quite alarmed.
"Was that a Legendary-level spell?" she asked.
"Perhaps, I'm not sure," answered Link. "It was a spell that I created when I was learning magic." It was something that he just couldn't explain, so he just had lie about it.
"I'm sure it was," insisted Felina. "I've seen Legendary spells, so I would know. I never expected a mortal to be capable of such force!"
The scouts nodded eagerly. They knew nothing about Legendary spells, but from what they saw-how the darkness of the realm of the soul was dispelled, how the sky was now cleared and how the white fog that blanketed everything was now gone-if that wasn't Legendary, then what was?
Link couldn't say anything in response. He merely stretched out his hand and shrugged.
"Oh..." Karnose's voice alarmed everyone. It seemed that he was waking up.
The purification spell had been successful. The signs of dark magic and the dark forces had been purged from his body, and the claws on his hands had vanished. Even the blood in his eyes was now gone.
But the powerful divine source of the dark energy was evident when they saw that although it was expelled from Karnose's body, it was not destroyed. It merely turned into a pool of black liquid on the ground near the Warrior.
This black liquid would even move. Parts of it even took the form of a snake and would move threateningly as if it was ready to attack anyone at any time.
Naturally, everyone stayed away from this black pool of liquid. Felina stretched out a hand to Karnose to help him up, but Karnose didn't seem to need any such assistance. He leaped up to his feet with surprising agility, almost as if he'd never been injured.
Then, he turned to Link and with his fist on his chest, gave Link a formal Warrior's bow.
"Master Magician," he said, "thank you for saving me. From now on, for as long as I live, you may summon me any time you wish, and I will fight for you!"
Just moments before, he was desperately hopeless. But at the very last moment, he saw the infinite brilliance of the glory of light. It was as if the heavens extended a giant hand down to him and plucked him out of the dark abyss.
He could only repay such kindness with his own life.
But Link merely responded with a wave of his hand and a cynical smile.
"I'm afraid you spoke too early," he said. "We're still trapped in the Black Forest, and the Dark Serpent is still following us close behind."
Karnose's face turned grave and serious. He looked around and only saw the Assassins' daggers and the Red Dragon Warrior's dragon claws. He couldn't find a sword anywhere.
"If only I had a sword to fight with," he remarked.
"What?" exclaimed Felina, glancing at the Warrior up and down. "Are you strong enough to fight now?"
"The dark forces may have controlled my body," he said, "but it had also repaired my injuries. Now that I'm purged of all the dark forces and all my injuries healed, why can't I fight? Although my Battle Aura isn't at its strongest yet, I'm sure I can kill a few ghouls now."
Link's eyes suddenly lit up. Karnose was a Level-8 Warrior. With his strength, they could probably get out of the Black Forest now.
Moreover, he did have a sword with him-the Storm Lord's sword. He was just about to grab its hilt and hand it to Karnose when a voice interrupted him.
"Stop!" said the sword's voice. "He's not worthy of me yet!"
Can't you let him wield you for a while? Link asked. Only until we escape the Black Forest. Or are you afraid of the Dark Serpent?
"Me?" retorted the sword. "Afraid of that snake?"
Then what's wrong with letting him wield you for a while? Link asked.
"You don't understand," replied the sword. "It's not that I'm afraid of fighting against the Dark Serpent, but I'm not suitable for it. I'm too weak now, but the Dark Serpent is infinitely strong. The moment I come in contact with it, I'll be smashed to bits."
Link thought this argument made sense. He dismissed the idea of lending the Storm Lord's sword to Karnose, but there was another idea in his mind.
Link still had 500 points of Mana left. It wasn't enough for him to fight himself, but it was sufficient for him to use Higgs Field to conjure up a sword using the Khorium in his storage pendant.
With this idea in mind, Link took out the materials from his storage pendant and turned to Karnose.
"I'll make you a sword," he said. "Tell me the kind of sword you're used to. Wait, we can talk while we walk."
Karnose saw the Khorium in Link's hand, and his eyes lit up. Khorium had excellent resistance to strong forces. Even without any magic fixed to the sword, one that was made with this material would be a good weapon on its own.
"I like a single-handed sword..." he began, "Well, one that looks like this sword on your waist would be good enough, but it would be nice if it was slightly longer...Yes, exactly this size!"
As the Warrior described his ideal sword, Link was using the Higgs Field to create one with Khorium right before his eyes.
"I'd like the hilt changed a bit, yes...just like that," Karnose continued. "I'd like a sharp axe at the back...and the blade should be thicker, and it should be serrated here...That's good, yes. Just like that! Excellent!"
Ten minutes later, Karnose held the sword in his hand and tried swinging it in the air. He smiled with satisfaction.
"Judging solely by how it feels in my hand," he told Link, "this sword that you hurriedly created in a few minutes is the best sword I've ever used!"
Felina glanced at him.
"Link is the most famous enchantment master in the continent," she told him. "Such a simple creation would, of course, be an easy task for him."
As she spoke, she showed the defensive bracelet that Link made to the Warrior.
"Look," she said. "I've got one of his creations too. A friend had brought it back to me from the mortal realm as a gift."
Link didn't expect his reputation in the art of enchantment to spread so far that it reached the Dragon Valley and even became Felina's treasured possession. It was indeed an honor.
"We don't have much time," said Link, smiling. "If we are lucky enough to escape from this place and return to the Norton Kingdom, I'll create a magic sword for you, one that's much better than this."
"You will?" asked Karnose, his eyes shining, although he suddenly smiled cynically moments afterwards. "But I'm afraid I don't have enough gold coins to pay you..."
"I'll persuade King Leon to reward you," said Link, still smiling. "so don't you worry."
There was no incident along the journey as they walked on.
With the powerful Warrior Karnose here among them, the scouts were relieved. Even Felina was visibly more relaxed. They continued their journey for more than half an hour until Link suddenly felt something awry. He looked up into the sky and raised his eyebrows.
"Something's not right," he said. "They're chasing after us...and they're very fast!"
There were no more signs of the Dark Serpent in the sky, but that heavy black aura kept extending towards them constantly.
After a few moments of careful observation, Link finally understood what was going on.
"Auselia has entered the Soul Realm," said Link. "We can't stay here. Let's get out immediately!"
Everyone nodded silently.
Link took out the scroll and activated it with some Mana. After a while, the world transformed from the grays and blacks to more colorful tones. The chilly wind and the white snow once again reappeared.
Link cast the Level-2 Cheetah's Agility on himself.
"Quickly! Move at your full speed!" he shouted. "We've reached halfway, another 150 miles and we're safe!"
As long as they entered the Norton Kingdom army's fortress, Auselia would then be forced to stop. Her god-level device might be able to kill thousands, but there was one huge flaw-the natural world rejected this device, so the more energy it consumed, the more unstable it became. Once it reached its limits and had insufficient energy, it would just pop out of existence.
When that happened, there wouldn't be much that the Dark Elves could do except cry about it.
Everyone knew this was the critical moment, so they ran wildly and as fast as their feet could take them. Although Link had cast the Cheetah's Agility spell on himself, his speed was still much inferior to the scouts' and even slower compared to Felina and Karnose's speed. The two Warriors each lifted one of his arms and carried him through the forest, pushing him forward at incredible speed.
They must've been moving at half a mile per minute.
They ran this way for a full hour before Karnose and Felina stopped almost at the same time.
"She's caught up with us," said Felina, looking back at the dense forest behind them. She sighed, thinking that it must be time for them to fight to the death.
"Ha! I guess it's time for my sword to drink some blood!" said Karnose, not feeling a trace of fear. He'd seen and experienced so much by now that he understood that as a Warrior, his aim was not to live long, but to die with honor and dignity!
Honestly speaking, Karnose was quite a decent man, after all. His face was firm and not bad looking, and his whole body was shrouded in a strong masculine aura. With this look and that spirit, any maiden in the kingdom would gladly throw themselves into his arms.
Another talented genius with handsome looks, thought Link, slightly bitterly. What a cruel world.
Link remembered that he didn't have much Mana left so he would be quite useless in combat.
"They've got many ghouls on their side," said Link. "I'll stand by and try to pin them down for you."
He then spent 60 points of his Mana to cast a single target Traceless spell and found a place to hide. Although they seemed to have fallen into a desperate situation, he would never give up easily.
No one knew what would happen in the future. But if they persisted, even for a second longer, there was always a chance that things could take a turn for the better. Many miracles had occurred in this world, and they always happened at the very last second!
Annie cleaned her dagger solemnly and applied the anti-freeze grease on her crossbow. She gently blew off some dust from the crossbow and smiled. This was probably going to be her last battle. To die with Link, Karnose and Felina would be the highest honor as a fighter!
All the other scouts were in silence. They began to check their weapons as well, and they started to find a good spot to hide, getting ready to ambush the enemies.
They were proud to have persisted to this stage as they fought against a god-level device. There was nothing to regret now.
After about a minute or so, a figure shrouded in black flames appeared. It was the guardian of the Dark Serpent, Auselia.
She had 50 ghouls behind her, along with the Level-7 demon Warrior, Bruttan.
Their force was immensely superior to Link's group. Both Felina and Karnose went slightly pale, but they looked at each other and Karnose simply discarded all his worries and laughed.
"Let's see who kills the most ghouls!" he shouted.
"Hahaha! You're no match of mine!" said Felina, playing along with it to give herself more courage.
Auselia noticed Karnose then.
"Ah, look at you," she said with that sickly-sweet tone of hers. "Karnose, Link... you've all been very naughty. How could you break your promises to me?"
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- A Second Chance
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- Ancient One
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- A step into the past
- Ancient Cultivator in Modern World
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