254 Thin Line Between Life and Death

 Ferde Wilderness

Link looked up at the sky. The moon hung high, casting down silver light and covering the wilderness with a layer of frosty white fog. It was a clear night and was suitable for flying.

"Romilson, don't use the unicorn. Use a flight spell so we can get back quickly," Link said. He was pretty sure the Assassins would try to stop them. If they flew, they could pass over the trouble.

Unexpectedly, Romilson grew awkward. "I don't know how."

"Aren't you a Level-7 Magician? You don't know any flight spells?" Link knitted his brows. This was an awkward situation.

Romilson became more embarrassed. "I don't like being in the air...How about you do it?"

Who would've thought that he was scared of heights?

Link shook his head. "I don't have much Mana left, and one of the enemies is a Level-6 Magician. I need to be ready for any sneak attacks."

He had encountered a Level-6 Hellfire Magic Seal earlier. This meant that the enemy had a very powerful Magician that he must be careful of.

The gears in Link's mind moved, and he suddenly had an idea. Giving up on the original plan of returning to the camp, he steered the Wind Fenrir and started running towards the coastline. "Follow me!"

"To where?" Romilson hurried to catch up.

"There'll be Assassins on the way back. It's not safe," Link said. If it was just the two of them, Link could battle it out. But now they also had to protect the gravely injured Elf Princess Milda, so he wasn't confident.

Romilson didn't have any other ideas and could only follow Link closely. After a while, he suddenly yelled in panic, "Link, Her Highness can't keep going anymore. What should we do?"

Link turned to glance at Milda. Her pallor was sickly, and her light golden hair had lost luster. Looking closer, he saw that Milda's breathing had become weak. Her Mana aura was extremely chaotic.

Chaotic Mana meant that one's consciousness was slipping and losing control of one's body. Warriors had a similar phenomenon. Many times after a powerful Warrior died, the Battle Aura inside would collapse. Sometimes, it would even cause a Battle Aura tornado.

If this was happening to Milda now, it meant she was on the brink of death. Even if they could return to Scorched Ridge, probably no one would be able to save her.

"Did you bring medicine?" Link asked.

"Yes, but they're useless. Her Highness always has Elf Nectar with her. It's a type of sacred medicine with great detoxification effects. She's already taken it, but it's useless. This poison is too powerful." Romilson's expression was grim; he looked like he was about to cry.

He used to live a peaceful life in the Isle of Dawn but ran into this mess as soon as he arrived in the Norton Kingdom. Now, even his princess was about to die. He was having a complete mental breakdown.

The problem was that even the Elf Nectar was ineffective against this poison. It was a rare feat.

Thinking of something, Link said, "Let me check her injuries."

With that, he activated the Magician's Hand and moved the princess from Romilson's unicorn. This time, Romilson didn't stop Link. He was already a mess and Link, ever so calm, was his last thread of hope.

When Milda reached the Wind Fenrir's back, Link controlled the beast to run smoothly. He cast a Flash spell for illumination and carefully lifted Milda's eyelids.

The crystal-like eyes had no luster, and the light purple irises had become dark green. Her pupils had dilated and, this was bad news.

Link turned Milda's hand over. He pinched the skin on the back of her hand and studied it closely. He'd seen her hands during the day. At that time, the skin was still smooth and flawless like cream. Now, Link discovered that the skin had darkened. When he pinched and pulled the skin taut, he could see little dark green dots underneath. At a glance, it was like countless little bugs under her skin.

Seeing this, Link had some idea what kind of poison had been on that arrow. He thought, System, I need specific info about the toxin, Gray Blood Poison.

After a while, information on the Gray Blood Poison was displayed in Link's vision.

Gray Blood Poison

Epic Toxin

History: it first appeared in the year 1229 of the Divine Calendar. The first generation blood poison was created by Deans, a disciple of Dark Elf Master Magician Aymons. After countless modifications, it has become a practically incurable poison.

Use: fusing into the victim's blood, the poison destroys the cells along the way. There will be dark blood spots under the victim's skin. Then their organs will begin to dissolve, followed by the muscles. Finally, the victim will be reduced to mostly undamaged skin and a skeleton.

Special circumstances: High Elves severely lack immunity to this poison. Even with a cure, the victim may not be able to survive if they are a High Elf.

Solution 1: Moonlight Potion

Solution 2: Blood purification

(Note: this toxin must be removed as soon as possible. If the organs begin to dissolve, it will become truly incurable.)

Link scanned the information quickly. Having a general idea, he quickly pulled open Milda's shirt. He pressed down lightly on her chest to test the status of her organs.

Milda's body was now covered in dark and pale patches. There was no beauty to speak of, so Link was not distracted. After a few seconds, he closed Milda's shirt and said, "I have an idea of what poison it is. It can dissolve her organs. I checked, and her organs have some small changes already. She can last for half an hour at most.

"Ah!" Romilson gasped. Staring at Link, he said, "Master Link, you have a solution. You must have a solution, right?"

"Yes, but we have to get rid of the enemies in the way first." Link could already sense the Assassins behind him. They didn't disguise themselves and used their advantageous speed to pursue Link and Romilson.

Now, they were more than 2000 feet away. At their rate, they would be here in five minutes.

Romilson could feel it too. Furious, he yelled, "Those d*mn Assassins! I'm gonna kill them all!"

"No, we can't fight them. He princess won't be able to handle it."

Link calmly considered the situation. Milda was running out of time; her life was hanging by a thread. He must detoxify her immediately!

Romilson was about to cry. He kept looking behind him or to the princess on the Wind Fenrir. His thoughts were a mess, and it would probably affect his casting of spells!

"Relax, Romilson. The princess won't die. I have a way to save her, but you have to do what I say!"

Romilson also realized that he had lost it. Forcing himself to calm down, he nodded. "Okay!"

Sitting on the Fenrir, Link produced some magic materials. He didn't have any Moonlight Potions and didn't know how to make one either, so he couldn't consider the solution.

As for solution two, he needed a blood purifier.

The theory behind blood purifiers was simple. It was basically a precise water purifier with a simple transmutation magic seal on the filter. Then, the Magician must control the magic seal precisely and remove the toxin without damaging the blood cells.

All in all, the Magician must have a very strong enchantment foundation, which Link obviously had.

Link didn't have a blood purifier either, but it wasn't too complicated. He had the materials so he could quickly make a simplified version now.

Without saying anything else, he focused and started making it.

Romilson caught up and asked anxiously, "Where are we going?"

"Don't disturb me! If anyone comes, stop them!" Link had to control the Wind Fenrir and create the blood purifier at the same time without making any mistakes. It was extremely hard.

All hope of saving the princess was on this human Magician. Romilson didn't dare to say anything. He followed Link quietly with a wand in hand. He was ready to attack any Assassin who appeared.

The seconds ticked by. Link could feel the Mana fading from Milda, and she was barely breathing. She was about to die.

Romilson kept an eye on Milda's status too. He was so nervous that it felt like his heart had jumped into his throat. He just wished Link would hurry up!

Around two minutes later, there was a blood purifier made of Mithril in Link's hands. It was shaped like a small heart with an entrance and exit for the blood. The center was an empty atrium the size of a fist. It was crudely made, but he didn't have time to worry about that.

After testing it a few times to confirm that the thing worked, Link lifted Milda's shirt again. He pressed down on her chest and back to discern where the heart was. Then he applied pressure and stabbed the two tubes into Milda's heart from under her armpits.

With the two tubes in her body, Link extended his perception along the blood purifier. Higg's Force Field also extended into it.

The force field changed the tube's shape with minor adjustments. It carefully connected the tubes to the aorta. Certain that there was no error, Link activated the spell on the blood purifier.

The Mithril heart glowed dimly. Then, Link saw viscous black blood get sucked out of Milda's body. It flowed into the blood purifier and flowed back into her body after being purified by the magic seal.

The cycle repeated.

Link carefully controlled the magic seal on the blood purifier. Bit by bit, the Gray Blood Poison was picked out.

This was highly technical work. He needed to ensure the stability of the Mana waves and distinguish the toxin. If he messed up, Milda's blood would be destroyed even if he got rid of the toxin. She would definitely die then.

Link focused entirely on this work to avoid any problems.

After around two minutes, the blood from Milda's body contained some slivers of red, while the purifier grew darker. Milda's breathing also grew heavier.

Success! Link thought in relief.

As an amateur, he had succeeded the first time he performed such a complex heart surgery. He was truly blessed by God.

To be honest, he had been relying entirely on his strong perception as a Magician to feel around. It had been like walking in the dark. He had no clue if he could succeed and just tried his best.

Since there was some effect, he needed to keep it up.

Link continued to operate the blood purifier. He estimated that at this rate, Milda's blood would be completely detoxified in ten minutes. All his focus was on the blood purifier, but he was also worried about the Assassins.

"How's the situation?" he asked Romilson.

Romilson had seen Milda's state. Link was suspect of groping the princess's body, but she truly had recovered, so Romilson had nothing to say.

To answer Link's question, he quickly reported, "They've caught up. They're only around 400 feet away now."

"Four hundred feet?" Link glanced back. Using the moon for illumination, he saw a dozen black shadows racing towards them. The one at the front was the one who had the Reaper's Gaze dagger.

"I need ten more minutes for the blood purifier. I can't cast spells, so you have to stop them!" Link exclaimed.

"Uh...There are 14 of them. I don't think I can handle it." Romilson didn't dare overestimate his power.

Link continued, "Just do what I say. If you can't follow directions, then just say so."

"What do I say if I can do follow directions?" Romilson asked stupidly.

Link sighed. He was losing patience from dealing with this imbecile. He growled, "If you can what I day, then just do it! What else do you need to say? Do I have to teach you this too?"

"Ah, oh, oh. I get it." Romilson realized immediately that he had asked something stupid.

"Now, cast the Magic Light Spell at the sky! Keep going, don't stop."

This was an illumination spell. It was simple, and Romilson obviously knew how to do it. He didn't know why Link wanted it, but he just followed the order.

Bright balls of light streamed from his wand and rushed into the sky. The formation of white light lit up the area as if it were daytime. No secret attacker could hide in this brightness.

Link looked up at the coastline in the near distance. He adjusted his direction and ran to the beach.

The Assassins behind them were now within 300 feet. Link glanced at the cave on the beach and saw the two familiar eerie green Flames of the Soul inside. Making a decision, he ran another 600 feet and said, "Now stop and cast a Level-7 offensive spell."

"I need at least three seconds. They're not stupid, and they'll definitely dodge it. Then, it'll be over for us...!" Romilson cried.

"Do what I say!" Link ordered. The High Elf had wasted two seconds with his nonsense.

Romilson jumped in fright. He immediately started casting the spell Thorn Jungle.

Thorn Jungle

Level-7 Master Magician Spell

Cost: 3500 Mana Points

Effect: Rattan thorns created by solidified natural elements form a dense and deadly thorn array within 240 feet of the spell caster.

(Note: this is a semi-supplementary, semi-offensive spell, used mainly to trap the opponent.)