Ferde Wilderness, East Coast
The weather was excellent. A cool breeze swept through the beach as golden sun rays graced the World of Firuman. There were many seagulls sunbathing on along the coastline, and in places where the tide did not reach, a lush layer of greenery took over. One could even see a few trees swaying in the relaxing breeze.
"Hey, old guy, it's time to wake up. The sun is up." Link walked towards the beach and lightly kicked a skeleton leg sticking out of the fine white sand.
A few seconds later, a muffled sound sounded from beneath the sand, "You came here alone? Are you not afraid that someone might be suspicious of what you are doing?"
Link was different from who he used to be. Now, every single one of his actions was carefully scrutinized. It would be impossible for him to hide his whereabouts even if he wanted to. This was the troubles an overachiever like Link faced.
Link then smiled as he said, "I came here together with Celine, in the name of practicing her marksmanship."
Whoosh, a skeleton appeared from the ground as the fine white sand around him was cast aside. Vance then said in a sleepy tone, "Marksmanship? What marksmanship?"
A sudden explosion on the surface of the water answered his question. This explosion traveled in a linear direction and only dissipated after skidding 150 feet across the water.
Looking along the direction of this linear explosion, Vance saw a figure on top of a rock some distance away. Celine, who was clad in grey armor, was waving at him with a cap in her hand.
"In this period, Celine will be practicing her marksmanship here and also doubling up as our surveillance. You don't have to worry about anyone discovering us."
"Alright then. That is good to know." Vance then stood up and put a black robe on himself. This way, even if someone had seen him together with Link from afar, Link would have room for explanation.
"Let's go. It is too open over here. It will be convenient to hold our conversation in the cave." Vance said as he headed towards the cave on the side of the coastline.
Link then followed behind him as he said, "Old guy, I have recently read many magic puppet books that belonged to the High Elves. One of them mentioned something called a Flesh Magic Puppet. This body is so genuine that ordinary people would never be able to tell the difference. Perhaps I can create one for you."
Vance then waved his hands as he said, "I simply like to lie on the beach and rest. I am not interested in the rest."
Link then continued, "This type of magic puppet has an extremely delicate and intricate body, allowing the user to enjoy everything that a living person can. You will once again be able to taste delicious food and feel the bitter cold and unbearable heat. You can even find yourself a lover..."
Before Link could complete his sentence, Vance stopped in his tracks and said, "It is impossible for such a magic puppet to exist in the world!"
The reason for his disdain for life was exactly due to his inability to experience the senses that accompanied flesh and blood. He was also unwilling to fall to the dark side and gain pleasure from those sinister acts. Hence, he could only rest on the beach to kill time when he was free.
However, with this intricate Flesh Magic Puppet, he could once again enjoy the pleasures that accompanied flesh and blood. He had almost forgotten that feeling. He only remembered that it was a peculiar and wonderful feeling, something that he would do anything in exchange for.
"The human race is unable to do so. However, the High Elves can. They have tens of thousands of years of experience with magic. Amongst these years, there have been countless prodigies which culminated into a vast treasure trove of wisdom. I already figured out the exact method to construct this magic puppet."
"That's enough. I want it. What should I do?" Vance answered immediately.
Link then said, "I am not done. There is a price to pay for this body."
"What is it? I can pay any price, as long as I am able to."
"Firstly, this Flesh Magic Puppet is extremely delicate. In order to reap the maximum benefits of this puppet, your soul would have to be completely fused with the puppet. This is the first step to attuning your senses with the puppet. This process is irreversible, that is, once you fuse your soul with the puppet, it would be impossible to draw your soul out again."
"Why would I want to come out of it after gaining back my senses? That is not a problem at all!" Vance shouted,
"Another point." Link continued, "Due to the complete fusing of your soul, if the puppet was damaged in any way, your soul will also suffer the same amount of damage. You will die like any ordinary human. Unless you become powerful enough to ignite the Sacred Fire within yourself and become a god before you die, you will never gain eternal life again."
There was a price to pay for all decisions, which was how the World of Firuman maintained balance in the world. At that moment, only a Divine Gear could partially upset this balance.
However, Vance showed no signs of hesitation. He merely chuckled and said, "Currently, I am no different from being dead. To be able to enjoy the world with my full senses and experience a lifetime of joy again is worth the sacrifice!"
Link was not surprised at this decision and said, "Then it's settled. When we are done with Nana, I will create that body for you."
After entering the cave, Link realized that Vance had expanded the place since the last time he entered. It had already been transformed into a place more than 30 feet in diameter and nine feet in height. It was even extremely cool inside.
In the middle of the cave, was a large and smooth table made of stone. There were a few naturally formed holes directly on top of the table, allowing light to enter the cave. There were then a few refraction lenses placed strategically on the ground, refracting the light towards the direction of the stone table. The principle which this setup worked around was similar to that of the astral lamp on earth.
"A decent enchanting table," Link commended.
"I did it in my free time. Alright then, I know that Nana is definitely damaged. Let me take a look at the pieces," Vance said.
Link then took the metal pieces out from the dimensional pendant. Quickly the entire stone table was filled, and he said, "She was damaged in the back by the Dark Serpent. Apart from her head remaining intact, the other parts were all smashed to smithereens. I have checked that the heart situated in her brain was only slightly damaged. We should be able to repair her."
Vance merely observed the fragments on the table and stayed silent. He paid close attention to the pieces that were directly hit by the Divine Gear. It took him a long while before he shook his head and said, "The power of a Divine Gear is truly amazing!"
Following which, he took Nana's head and cast the Higgs field spell on his hand. With just a little force, the exterior of Nana's head was removed, and a sapphire colored crystal dropped out from the inside.
This crystal was around the size of two fists and contained many runes within it. The runes were so dense that they looked like layers of seamless coating and cotton wool within the crystal from afar.
Vance then reminisced, "When I just created Nana, there were only over 1000 rune circles within her heart. However, after my hundreds of years of study, the number of rune circles within the heart has increased tenfold. Take a look at these knots over here. These are all Nana's battle experiences over the years. I had observed it previously when I was making adjustments. Nana has defeated nearly 200 infiltrators in this past hundreds of years trying to protect my underground palace. One of her strongest opponents was a Level-9 Assassin. Look, it even recorded the name of the Assassin. His name is Morpheus."
Link was shocked.
Morpheus? Wasn't that the leader of the Syndicate? The person who had attained the Legendary status and was extremely close to becoming a god, the Shadow Stalker?
To think that he was defeated by Nana as well. Furthermore, he had not come back for revenge even after so many years. Although this may be due to Morpheus preoccupation with other issues, this could also refer to Morpheus' fear of Nana.
Nana's strength was truly amazing.
"Oh, look here, it's a crack. The heart was still damaged in some ways. But fortunately, it did not harm the core structure of the heart. I can repair this."
As he spoke, a glow enveloped Vance's hand as he was prepared to repair the heart. However, he was interrupted by Link.
"Wait, there is no rush." Link then opened a large scroll on an empty space at the stone table. He then charged it with mana to activate it.
With a humming sound, a clear hologram appeared on top of the scroll. It was a detailed structure of the heart of the puppet. Link pointed to the hologram and said, "I have many new ideas. I feel that we can improve Nana through these methods. However, I have never put them into practice and am thus unsure about their feasibility. Can you help me take a look?"
Vance did not speak. He was already completely absorbed in the hologram right in front of his eyes. He circled the hologram again and again and carefully observed every rune formation within the heart.
After a full half an hour, he pointed to an intricate structure and asked, "I don't really get this part. What does it do?"
"This is an intelligence structure that a High Elf thought of. Its role would be to humanize the pure logical thought process of magic puppets," Link answered.
"Humanize?" Vance was still slightly confused.
"Yes." Link nodded and continued, "For example, if I ask Nana what is one plus one, she will only reply two and would give no other answers. However, after this intricate structure, Nana can choose to not answer such simple questions. Its greatest use is to prevent Nana from going into a trap of endless logical loop. "
Vance then went into deep thought as he whispered, "Endless loop? I did consider this and made some adjustments to Nana. However, it was not perfect. Your structure seems refined enough and should solve this issue completely. Amazing, truly amazing, the High Elves are indeed geniuses."
He then continued to observe the structure. Time flew quickly, and Vance was finally done with the structure after three hours. He then sighed as he said, "Compared to your magic puppet heart, mine is almost like a sieve. It is full of holes, and I must be lucky that Nana survived to this day."
Link then shook his head and said, "That is an overstatement. Nana's true strength lies in her battle experience over the past hundreds of years. That is the true priceless treasure. The rest are only parts that complement this aspect. The structure that I developed is also merely meant to help Nana fully utilize her strongest advantage. "
As Link spoke, he brought out another scroll and charged it with mana. Before long, another hologram appeared in the air. This time, it was a blueprint of the structure of Nana's body.
Vance then carefully observed it. His experience with magic puppet creation was rich, and he quickly discovered many flaws in the design.
Link stood beside him and started making revisions to the design the moment Vance pointed out the flaws. Every so often, both of them would discuss ways to improve on the design.
While Vance seemed like a depressed and unmotivated individual, he was also a prodigy of his times.
Their exchange of ideas and thoughts progressed extremely smoothly. New ideas surged into their brains constantly like the bubbles ever present in boiling water. The flaws were quickly taken care of by both of them.
Time flew, and the sky darkened. Link had to return to his territory. Vance then said in disappointment, "It has been a long time since I felt such joy. Alas, I was born 1000 years too early. If you were present at that time, I would not have to go through that much pain researching into Battle Auras!"
Link also felt elated and said, "We still have many issues that we have not settled. If I have nothing to do tomorrow, I will come at exactly 10 o'clock in the morning. If I cannot make it on time, I will ask Celine to inform you in my place."
"Alright, I already cannot wait for tomorrow to arrive," Vance said.
After a short farewell, Link then left the cave by the coastline. Upon reaching the exit, he saw Celine practicing her swordcraft on the beach.
Link then got inspired by that scene, "Celine's Battle Aura is still quite weak. Although the Huge Fire Gun is strong, she will still be in danger if her hiding spot is exposed. She will need something that can protect her even in a close ranged battle... a shotgun should be good."
Link then decided to craft a pair of shotguns with high firepower for Celine when he was free.
Link then greeted Celine who was completely focused on her practice and said, "Let's go."
"Alright." Celine then kept her sword.
"You have used up all your bullets?" Link asked.
"It was just 150 bullets. I was done a long time ago." Celine laid her hands out helplessly. It felt extremely refreshing and exhilarating to shoot the gun. However, there was simply too few bullets.
"I will try to prepare more bullets for you tomorrow..." Link said as he swore to find a simpler way to craft these bullets. It was too much of a chore to do the same things every day.
"Alright, then," Celine said expectantly with a smile on her face.
The coastline was not far from Scorched Ridge; the two of them quickly reached back to camp. By the time they reached the entrance, they saw Gildern walking towards them.
Seeing the serious expression on Gildern's face, Link felt a shiver down his spine as he asked, "What happened?"
Gildern then took out a letter and said, "My lord, MI3 has delivered an emergency letter from the battlefield. There is a bloody sword logo on the front of the letter."
Link was already a core member of the Norton Kingdom's upper echelon. He enjoyed the same clearance to information as Dean Anthony. He would receive a copy of any reports regarding the situation on the battlefield.
If there is a logo of the bloody sword on the letter, it meant that the information in the letter was extremely important, to the point where it might change the tides of the battle. Gildern was aware of this fact as well.
This meant that something that would adversely affect the results of the war in the North might have happened.
- Against the Gods
- Ancient Godly Monarch
- Ancient Strengthening Technique
- A Second Chance
- A Will Eternal
- Ancient One
- Atelier Tanaka
- A step into the past
- Ancient Cultivator in Modern World
- Absolute Choice
- A Helping Hand
- A Frog in the Well
- Always You
- A Record of a Mortals Journey to Immortality
- A Naive Short-tempered Girl
- A Thought Through Eternity
- Age of Adepts
- Ascendance of a Bookworm
- A Chance
- A Match Made in Heaven
- Asuka of the Scarlet Sky
- Assassin Farmer
- A Slight Smile is Very Charming
- A Slice of Life: an Online Romance from Aiden's point of View
- Ace of Ace
- Akuyaku Tensei Dakedo Doushite Kou Natta
- A New Me
- Battle Through the Heavens
- Bungaku Shoujo
- Botsuraku Youtei Nanode Kajishokunin wo Mezasu
- Blue Phoenix
- Bringing The Farm To Live In Another World
- Battle Frenzy
- Beseech The Devil
- Blade Online
- Beloved Empress
- B Group no Shounen
- Beauty and the Bodyguard
- Ballad of the Desert
- Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou
- Bringing the BNations Husband Home
- Douluo Dalu
- Desolate Era
- Dragon-Marked War God
- Dungeon Defense
- Devouring The Heavens
- Descent of the Phoenix – 13 Years Old Princess Consort
- Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyusoukyoku
- Dragon Martial Emperor
- Dragon Blooded War God
- Divine Throne of Primordial Blood
- Dungeon Hunter
- Doomed to Be Cannon Fodder
- Dragon Maken War
- Dominating Sword Immortal
- Descent of The Phoenix
- God of Thunder
- Everyone Else is a Returnee
- Genius Doctor Black Belly Miss
- God and Devil World
- God of Slaughter
- Great Demon King
- God of Cooking
- Emperor of Solo Play
- Goblin Kingdom
- Emperor's Eye
- Experimental Log of The Crazy Lich
- Forty Millenniums of Cultivation
- Friends Without Benefits
- Godly Model Creator
- Epoch of Twilight
- Empress Running Away with the Ball
- Galactic Dark Net
- Gate of Revelation
- Gourmet Food Supplier
- God of Crime
- Games Universe
- Emperor of The Cosmos
- Global Evolution
- Genius Sword Immortal
- Hail the King
- King of Gods
- Kumo Desu ga Nani ka
- I Shall Seal the Heavens
- Killers 7
- Hidden Marriage
- Heavenly Jewel Change
- I am the Monarch
- I was a sword when i reincarnated
- In a Different World with a Smartphone
- Konjiki no Moji Tsukai
- Kuro no Maou
- Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
- History is Strongest Senior Brother
- Heavenly Star
- Kujibiki Tokushou Musou Hāremu ken
- King Shura
- Infinite Competitive Dungeon Society
- Immortal and Martial Dual Cultivation
- Immortal God Emperor
- Kamigoroshi no Eiyuu to Nanatsu no Seiyaku
- Heroes Shed No Tears
- Invincible Conqueror
- Imperial God Emperor
- Inma No Hado
- I'm Really A Superstar
- Martial World
- Monster Factory
- Martial God Asura
- Long Live Summons
- Lord Xue Ying
- Lazy Dungeon Master
- Limitless Sword God
- My Wife is a Beautiful CEO
- Magi Craft Meister
- Maken no Daydreamer
- My Wife is a Beautiful CEO
- Miracle Throne
- Martial God Space
- Law of the Devil
- Legend of the Dragon King
- MMORPG Rebirth of the Legendary Guardian
- Martial Peak
- Mesmerizing Ghost Doctor
- My Beautiful Teacher
- Martial God
- Monarch of Evernight
- Martial Arts Master
- Monster Paradise
- Mr CEO Spoil me 100 Percent
- My Disciple Died Yet Again
- My Cold and Elegant CEO Wife
- Mystical Journey
- My Father in Law is Lu Bu
- Martial God Conqueror
- MMORPG: Martial Gamer
- Life Mission
- Lord of All Realms
- Mai Kitsune Waifu
- Murdering Heaven Edge
- Master Hunter K
- Masked Knight
- Release that Witch
- Release That Witch
- Peerless Martial God
- Nidome no Yuusha
- Otherworldly Evil Monarch
- Poison Genius Consort
- Rebirth of the Thief Who Roamed the World
- reincarnation of the strongest sword god
- Princess Medical Doctor
- Renegade Immortal
- Peerless Battle Spirit
- Pure Love X Insult Complex
- Praise the Orc
- Red Packet Server
- Otherworld Nation Founding Chronicles
- Perfect World
- Pet King
- Painting of the Nine Immortals
- Reign of the Hunters
- NEET Receives a Dating Sim Game Leveling System
- Pursuit of the Truth
- Returning from the Immortal World
- Paradise of Demons and Gods
- Spirit Realm
- Shen Yin Wang Zuo
- Swallowed Star
- Stellar Transformations
- Shadow Hack
- Sovereign of the Three Realms
- Strongest Abandoned Son
- Spirit Vessel
- Stunning Edge
- Skyfire Avenue
- Starting from Zero
- Summoned Slaughterer
- Slave Harem in the Labyrinth of the Other World
- Shadow Rogue
- Sendai Yuusha wa Inkyou Shitai
- Stealing The Heavens
- Super Soldier King
- Superstars of Tomorrow
- Shrouding the Heavens
- Tales of Demons and Gods
- The New Gate
- Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken
- True Martial World
- Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
- Transcending the Nine Heavens
- The Great Ruler
- The Unrivaled Tang Sect (Douluo Dalu 2)
- Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
- The Daily Grind
- The Book Eating Magician
- The Strongest System
- Tales of the Reincarnated Lord
- The Good Student
- The World Online
- To Deprive a Deprived Person
- The Magus Era
- Terror Infinity
- The Wizard World
- Talisman Emperor
- The Black Card
- The Nine Cauldrons
- The Good for Nothing Seventh Young Lady
- The Great Conqueror
- The Strongest Dan God
- The Man Picked up by the Gods
- The Charm of Soul Pets
- The Great Thief
- The Divine Elements
- The Avalon Of Five Elements
- The King of the Battlefield
- The Strongest Gene
- The Ultimate Evolution
- The VIP
- Trial Marriage Husband: Need to Work Hard
- The Gate Of Good Fortune
- The Alchemist God
- The Invincible Dragon Emperor
- The Portal of Wonderland
- The Silly Alchemist
- The Amber Sword
- Wu Dong Qian Kun
- Warlock of the Magus World
- Zhan Long
- War Sovereign Soaring The Heavens
- Ze Tian Ji
- World of Cultivation
- World Defying Dan God
- Upgrade Specialist in Another World
- Undefeated God of War
- Zhu Xian
- World of Warcraft Foreign Realm Domination
- Very Pure and Ambiguous The Prequel
- Womanizing Mage
- World of Immortals
- Virtual World Peerless White Emperor
- Sci fi