267 The Infiltration of the Undead Knights

 Link spared no thought for the cost of the construction of his Mage Tower.

The Mage Tower comprised of the main tower which was 540 feet in height, and three other auxiliary towers which were each more than 300 feet in height. The four Mage Towers covered an area of more than 20 acres, making it a gigantic architecture in the Ferde Wilderness.

Standing below these Mage Towers, Link and Eliard seemed extremely insignificant, as though they were merely ants beneath the feet of a giant.

Eliard then told Link excitedly, "Currently, there are still a few minor magic formations in the tower that is not completed. However, the detection magic formation is already operating, and it's monitoring range is around 40 miles, around 50 percent wider than the Heaven's Thorn. This means that the entire Ferde Wilderness will be under its surveillance. The Elemental Pools within the Mage Towers have also started operating. They are all of high quality and can support experiments up to Level-8 in strength. We also left lots of room for upgrades for the future. This is all Sir Romilson's work. He had provided us with a lot of help."

Link smiled as he listened, satisfied with the results. With the completion of his Mage Tower, he was now a fully-fledged successful Magician.

The two of them then entered the Mage Tower where many other Magicians were already busy with the daily tasks that needed to be completed.

Eliard walked in front as a guide and introduced the facilities to Link.

"That is the entrance to the basement of the Mage Tower. It houses a Level-8 earth elemental ring that can be further upgraded in the future. Look, here is the parliament hall that can house 1000 people. Even if all the Magicians from the Norton Kingdom were to arrive, we could easily accommodate all of them. This is the enchanting workshop. It is huge, though we have not fully equipped it with the necessary equipment. This is the library that can hold at least 10000 magic books. Of course, we still have not started stocking it up with the relevant materials," Eliard explained.

Link observed all these facilities carefully and realized that this Mage Tower had one very commendable trait-almost every aspect of the Mage Tower had left plenty of room for future upgrades.

This meant that as Link grew more powerful, he could also upgrade this Mage Tower to complement his strength, rather than build a new one. It seemed like both Master Grenci and Master Ferdinand were very optimistic about his future developments.

After making the tour with Eliard, Link felt satisfied. However, he still had one concern, "We do not have any enchanting or alchemy tools. Furthermore, our library is totally empty. We need time to accumulate and gather these things."

A Mage Tower was akin to a small-scale magic academy. While one could compromise on the basic facilities, the enchanting workshop, alchemy workshop, Elemental Pools and library must be top-notch. These four areas were what determined how prestigious the Mage Tower was.

If the Mage Tower did not provide such facilities to their Magician's Apprentices, why would any of them want to study there? After all, they were not here to serve as guards.

"We can use gold coins to purchase enchanting and alchemy tools. We can even purchase Magicians with some gold coins. However, high-level magic books, also the most alluring of them all, were not something that could be bought using gold coins alone."

After a while, Link had an idea. He said, "I have to start collecting magic books. In fact, I have many of them housed in my head. I will copy them out in my free time and categorize them respectively...This is going to be a tedious project."

The construction of the Mage Tower was only the beginning. If Link wanted the Mage Tower to mature and grow stronger, he would still need to continue investing in it and give it a lot more time.

The Mage Tower was huge, and they spent over an hour before they finished the tour. Eliard and looked at Link and asked, "So are you satisfied?"

Link then nodded and said, "It is much better than what I expected."

"Naturally. The cost that went into creating this Mage Tower is insane. By far, the rough estimate of the cost is around 200000 gold coins, excluding the money used to purchase those rare materials. If we try to even count those materials in, we might not be able to give you even a specific number. If you ask me, I would say that the total cost is definitely more than two million gold coins. This is double the construction cost of the Heaven's Thorn!"

Eliard witnessed the construction process of this Mage Tower first-hand. He had gained lots of insights in that time as well. When he was done speaking, he looked at Link, seemingly wanting to speak but choosing to keep silent.

Link was familiar with Eliard's antics and said, "You seem to like this Mage Tower a lot. Why not you stay over here to continue your magic research?"

Eliard immediately broke out into a smile and said, "Link, you know me well. Indeed, I have fallen in love with this place. Not only the Mage Tower but even the entire Ferde Wilderness. I feel like it gives people a sense of optimism and energy."

The Ferde Wilderness seemed to be ever changing, progressing towards a thriving city one day at a time. For people with great ambitions, this place was akin to heaven on earth.

Eliard was one who harbored such ambitions.

Link then asked, "Are there any more Magicians who wished to stay in my Mage Tower?"

Eliard then nodded and said, "Of course. Out of all the Magicians who arrived, at least one-third of them wished to do so."

"That's good news. I welcome them any time," Link smiled as he said. There were at least seven Elemental Pools in this Mage Tower. He could not possibly use all of them throughout the day. The original intention of building such a huge Mage Tower was to attract more Magicians to the Ferde Wilderness.

At this moment, Eliard moved away from the topic of the Mage Tower and stared at the woman quietly following behind Link all this while. He then asked quizzically, "Who is this woman? Why haven't I seen her around?"

"She is called Nana," Link smiled and said. Along the way, Eliard had stolen glances at Nana many times. His curiosity had finally gotten the better of him.

"How do you do, Magician," Nana walked forward and said. Her voice was crisp and delicate as she greeted Eliard with a youthful smile on her face.

Eliard scratched his head and asked Link in a confused tone, "Why does she look a bit strange to me. How do I put it? It's just extremely awkward; something is off."

Link could not help but chuckle at his confusion and said, "This is a magic puppet that I created. My magic rebound status had already been dispelled ten days ago. This was what I had been busy with all this time."

"Magic puppet?" Eliard could not believe his ears. He was fairly sure that it was a living young girl standing in front of him. How did she become a magic puppet all of a sudden?

He then circled Nana and finally found some inhuman traces. He then asked, "Is her skin made from metal?"

"Yes, it's metal. It's flexible Iridium that has been treated through a special process. Many other precious metals had also been mixed in during the process, allowing it to have a flexible, soft, yet hardy texture. Ordinary blades will not be able to leave even a scratch on it. Furthermore, if she suffers minor injuries, she can even regenerate automatically without external help."

Link introduced Nana simply. This was merely a small part out of the myriad of outrageous things Nana could do with her new enhanced body.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that simply by comparing the number of materials used, Nana would be on the same level as this Mage Tower. However, if we were to go deeper into the wisdom used to create both of them, then Nana would be the clear winner, outperforming the Mage Tower in almost every aspect. They could not even be categorized under the same level.

Eliard was still observing, but after a while, he gave up and said, "It is way too delicate. It is still completely out of my league for now. What can she do?"

"She is a perfect Warrior," Link said with pride.

"Warrior? She looks so meek and delicate; can she fight?" Eliard did not believe him.

"Oh, she is very good" Link assured.

"Alright then," Eliard laid out his hands and said. However, one could tell from his expression that he was still not bought over.

At that moment, Link then left the Magicians to do the final touches to the Mage Tower and left together with Nana to Scorched Ridge.

Link then first approached Celine and ordered Nana to follow her around. He then approached Master Grenci and Master Ferdinand to discuss the counter-strategies with the information brought back by Skinorse.

The Delonga Kingdom was, after all, an established Kingdom. The Ferde Wilderness had just taken its first few steps and was definitely not strong enough to defend against any upcoming attacks. Link had to borrow the strength of the Norton Kingdom to go against it.

When he was halfway there, he saw Gildern who immediately strode over with big strides upon seeing Link, as though he had something important to say.

Link then stopped in his tracks.

Gildern had a serious expression on his face and bowed upon reaching Link and whispered, "Sir, I just received some bad news."

Link then cast a Soundproof Barrier before saying, "Tell me."

Gildern nodded and said, "Our scouts seemed to have met a group of extremely strong Undead Knights in the forest to the North of the Black River. Thirteen of our scouts have already died within a day's time."

Link frowned as he asked, "Extremely strong? Can you describe in more detail?"

"The scout who was lucky enough to escape mentioned that these Undead Knights have the power of darkness and ice. They are extremely strong and seem to have no weaknesses in their bodies. They can still fight even after their heads are severed and can even pick up their severed heads and place them back on their necks. Their bodies are also filled with corrosive liquids that can kill anyone within a minute if they make contact with it. Battle Aura will not work against them. The scouts who were killed by them would then stand up in ten minutes' time as Undead Warriors...It truly is terrifying."

Link then frowned. Gildern seemed to be exaggerating the situation. Even if they were Undead Warriors, they should not possess such powers. This type of Undead Warriors did not even exist in the game.

"Do we have any traces of their whereabouts now?"

Gildern shook his head and said, "They have a total of 35 people and seem to be doing a mission. They are moving very quickly. When the scouts found them, they were already heading towards the northwest region of the Girvent Forest."

The moment Gildern ended his sentence, Link saw a message from the in-game system.

Mission: Tracking

Task: Enter the Girvent Forest and track down the group of Undead Knights. Investigate the purpose of their mission.

Rewards: Lost Magic Book, Space-Time Fusion.

Time Limit: Eight hours. Exceeding the time limit will be deemed as a failure!

To think that there would be a mission connected to this. Furthermore, the reward was a magic book! From the title of the book, the magic book seemed to be a high-quality one. Link was enticed by the reward immediately. From the time limit, it seemed like it would be an important and dangerous mission.

Link then accepted the mission without hesitation and handed the scroll containing Skinorse's message to Gildern, saying, "Hand this over to Master Grenci, let him settle this issue."

"My lord, what about you?"

"I am going to stop these Undead Knights myself. I will set off now!"

After speaking, Link immediately went to find Dorias.

Dorias seemed to be enjoying life a bit too much nowadays. He had put on weight and, another Wind Tiger half his size lay beside him, probably a mate he found while wandering off on his own.

Upon seeing Link, he shook his head and said, "Link, I know that something has happened from your expression. Where are we headed to?"

"Northwest side of the Girvent Forest. I am tracking down a bunch of Undead Warriors."

"That's near," Dorias crouched down for Link to mount on before he roared, "Let's go. I can definitely reach them within two hours' time."

He leaped forward and seemed to be running at a speed much faster than before.

Upon seeing Link's surprised expression, he growled in disdain and explained, "I have been locked up for too long previously and was too weak. Now, I have regained most of my strength. I am now close to the peak of my past strength."

"Peak? How strong were you?" Link asked.

"I was Level-7 in strength at my peak. After I was locked up in the Tower of Azula, I slowly became weaker," Dorias explained.

"That is good news."

Dorias ran at full speed the entire time and took only an hour to reach the junction between the Girvent Forest and the Ferde Wilderness. Once he reached here, he lifted his head and took a whiff before saying, "I can already smell the stench of the Undead Warriors!"