Chapter 298: Tipped Balance, Equilibrium Gone
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Night of the Dragon Inn.
Elin closed the room's curtains and took out a black candle. She lit it and strangely enough, the flame was an eerie blue. There were also runes circling the flame like stars.
"This is the soul-guiding candle I created. It can stop souls from being lost in Soul Realm," Elin explained.
Link was confused. "Won't the flesh body enter the Soul Realm?" He hadn't gone into the Soul Realm with just his soul yet, not even in the past game.
Elin shook her head. "No, doing that is too crude. There can be many side effects if the flesh body goes into the Soul Realm and can greatly restrict the performance of the soul's power. More importantly, it's easy to become completely lost in the Soul Realm and be unable to return."
As she spoke, Elin walked to Link and grasped his hand. "Okay," she said softly. "Now look at the candle. Yes, just like that. Don't think about anything. We are safe now, and Nana will protect us...Go!"
At that word, Link felt himself become dazed. His vision blurred too, and when it sharpened again, he realized the soul-guiding candle was gone. It was replaced by a hazy yet warm glow.
The scene inside the glow was very strange. Link actually saw himself.
He saw himself sitting quietly in the chair before the table, staring unblinkingly at something. Elin stood beside him, her face also frozen. She stared unblinkingly in the same direction as Link.
A crisp voice sounded beside him-Elin. "Those are our bodies. The space under the light of the soul-guiding candle creates a bi-dimensional overlapping state. This is also the anchor of our exploration in the Soul Realm. No matter how we travel in the Soul Realm, if anything happens, we can return to the anchor instantly to go back to the Physical Realm."
"This sounds like dreaming." Link looked down at himself. His body was still there, but it felt blurry. His limbs were a bit transparent too and looked unreal. Glancing at Elin, he saw that she was semi-transparent too and even more transparent than him. He could barely see her features clearly.
This was probably an out-of-body experience in the other world.
Elin studied Link carefully and praised, "Link, your soul is very strong. It's practically the strongest soul I've ever seen. You're right. This is like dreaming. It's the safest way to enter the Soul Realm. Okay, follow me."
She started walking to the door, and Link followed.
In the Soul Realm, they were also at the Night of the Dragon Inn, but everything had become black and white. It was quiet too, to the point of being frightening.
At the door, Elin went straight through it instead of opening it. Link copied her. Ignoring the door, he walked over, and there was a small poof. Then it felt like something went over his body. Looking back, he was already outside the door.
"This is a basic spell for going through walls. Souls can easily move through any dead objects. Of course, only do it when you're clear about the situation behind the barrier." Elin waved to Link from the front. "Follow me closely and don't hesitate. The soul-guiding candle will only burn for one hour. We must complete the exploration of the Dragon Temple within an hour."
"Okay." Link followed close behind Elin.
The two quickly exited the inn. Outside, Link looked up and discovered that the sky was pure gray. Fog obstructed his view in the close distance. Occasionally, a blurry gray-white figure would walk over. They were practically like plumes of fog, wandering aimlessly in Creekwood.
"These are the souls of the atheists of Creekwood," Elin explained. "They didn't have any beliefs in life, so after death, they won't be guided by any gods. They would just follow their instincts and return to where they had lived and wandered. They'll usually wither away after a year or so."
Souls were not undying. Like a ball of fire, they would extinguish someday. When you were firewood, the flame would extinguish in the blink of an eye. If you lit the Sacred Fire, you would be like the sun. Compared to the temporary life of mortals, you would exist for eternity.
Link was well-read, so he had a basic understanding of this. He wasn't too shocked.
Elin continued down a road to the Dragon Temple. She was very fast, almost flying, and would travel 30 feet in a blink. Link was just as fast though and could easily catch up.
Elin sighed. "There's fog everywhere, and it's hard to see. Otherwise, we'd be able to teleport to the Dragon Temple with a thought." Simple souls had no weight, and their bodies would be wherever their thought was. However, they didn't know what was hidden in the fog, so they didn't dare take any risks.
As they spoke, they'd already arrived at the mountain path outside Creekwood Village. "What's with the fog?" Link asked curiously. "I entered the Soul Realm in the North before. It was on the ice field, and the view was great, but once I entered the forest, the fog came. It was even thicker there than it is here."
Elin didn't hold any knowledge back. "The fog is made up of scattered souls. Rather than souls of intelligent beings, these are the souls of plants and beasts after they die. They're very weak and break down soon after death. There are countless lives in forests. More and more souls gather together, forming the fog."
There were forests on either side of the mountain path. As the two traveled away from Creekwood, the fog became heavier. Elin's progress slowed down too.
"In the Soul Realm, the forest is the most dangerous. No one knows what is hidden under the white fog...Stop! Follow me!" Her voice suddenly turned nervous.
Her small body flashed and hid behind a tree at the side of the road. Link followed over and found that the tree was solid. It was probably because it was alive and had a soul.
After hiding for less than a minute, a giant figure radiating with fiery red light walked from the corner up ahead. It was hard to see through the fog, but when it got closer, Link saw that it was the soul of a dragon.
The Dragon Soul was 22 feet tall and 50 feet long. It was completely translucent like a crystal and firelight three feet long shot out from it. It was shockingly intimidating.
He came down the mountain path slowly as if he were patrolling. When he went into the distance, Elin whispered, "That's a Dragon Soul Guard to make sure the Soul Realm isn't trespassed. He's very powerful, and unless you have special training, not even a Holy Spirit is his match. There are three of these guards on this path. We must avoid them."
"Understood." Link nodded. From the earlier close interaction, Link could feel that his soul had more substance but was weaker.
To use a metaphor, his soul was a two-pound block of crude metal while the other was a finely processed granite combat machine that weighed a ton. He was no match.
When the guard turned the corner, Elin walked out from behind the tree and continued down the path. The Dragon Valley was honestly too high, and the paths were winding. Elin and Link walked for more than ten minutes and hid from two more Dragon Soul guards before the Dragon Temple finally appeared.
From the angle of the soul, the Dragon Temple was even more radiant.
The fog around the temple was scattered. The continuous Wei'e Palace buildings were enshrouded in a layer of heavy red light. At the heart of the palace, a beam of fiery red light shot into the sky. From afar, it made one feel the tremendous power.
This sight was like a godly kingdom.
There was also a ring of Dragon Guards around the palace. They weren't as powerful as the Dragon Soul Guards from before, but they could not be overlooked. There were a lot of them as well.
Elin didn't dare get too close. She hid in a corner and spied on them. Link was looking too, but he was confused. "Everything looks normal."
Here, he could only sense the endless power and terrifying strength of the Red Dragon race. He couldn't feel anything out of sort.
Elin shook her head. "That's only the surface. Follow me."
She led the way, staying far away from the majestic palaces and kept going. During this, there were more steep and difficult paths, but it was no problem for souls. After walking a large semi-circle, they were at the back of the Dragon Temple.
Here, something changed. The majestic light at the front of the Dragon Temple was gone. Instead, there was a large square. It was surrounded by the same fiery red light, but there was a heavy ball of darkness over the square.
The ball of darkness was more than 30 feet wide. More frighteningly, there was an impossibly large Red Dragon under it. It should also be a soul, but her body was almost solid, even more condensed than Link's. It was practically the same as in the Physical Realm.
The dragon was sprawled on the square. With this pose, she was 50 feet tall and 200 feet long. The red flames that she spat out were ten feet long.
Compared to her, the Dragon Soul Guards from before were nothing. However, the power of the ball of darkness seemed to be terrible. Under the pressure of the light, the dragon's soul could only lay there, unmoving. Fire was burning wildly on her, but the dark aura still pressed down, slowly tainting her body.
"Who is this?" Link was shocked. "Is this...?"
"You guessed correctly. This is the Red Dragon Queen Gretel. That ball of darkness should be the Legendary Dragon Sacred Gear-Worthdamk. Translated, it means 'equal balance.'"
"Equal Balance?" Link exclaimed. "Isn't it the balance of light and darkness? But it's already pure black now."
The Dragon Sacred Gear Worthdamk was a very special magic tool. It reflected the balance in the world that the Red Dragon strove to protect. Using the Worthdamk, the dragons could easily find the places in the Firuman World that were in discord and fix it. From this perspective, the Sacred Gear had unbelievable power.
But now, the equal balance was no longer equal. It had tipped completely towards darkness, and this was bad news.
Elin sighed. "Indeed, it is the balance between light and darkness, but now, someone has manipulated it so that it is no longer balanced. It has become the balance of darkness."
This was truly bad news.
Link could see that several similarly powerful dragons stood beside the Red Dragon Queen, giving her strength at all costs. However, this could only delay the speed that she was polluted by darkness.
Faced with the Sacred Gear's power, even the Legendary Red Dragon Queen was powerless.
Here came the problem. They were only at the beginning stages of Level-8 and Level-7. What could they do when faced with this awful power?
"I don't think we can do anything," Link said quietly.
Elin was frustrated too. "Yeah, but if we don't think of a solution, this Dragon Valley will be over once the Red Dragon Queen falls. We'll be over too."
The problem now was not whether they should get involved but how they should save themselves! Link was also out of ideas. But just as he was getting frustrated, a sound rang inside him.
Detected large increase in the surrounding thickness. Quickening strength absorption...Saved Omni Points are ready. Starting to pay past rewards.
Epic Mission Activated: Red Dragon Valley
Mission Step One: Culprit
Mission Content: Find the culprit who damaged the Sacred Gear Worthdamk
Mission Reward: 100 Omni Points
Link immediately accepted it. Then a warm current kept flowing into him; it was a large amount of Omni Points. He checked and saw that he had 560 points now.
The rewards from the Black Forest mission and the day-to-day discoveries of the supreme magic skills were all given. It was honestly a lifesaver!
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