Chapter 303: The Blooming Lilac and the Duke
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
This place was around ten miles away from Pine Leaf Village. However, that battle caused a ruckus and was extremely attention-grabbing. This place was no longer safe.
"Nana, drag him along. We will leave now," Link said.
Naan walked forward and first used her dagger to poke around his body carefully checking for any hidden weapons. After making sure that there were no problems, she then lifted this Dragon Warrior in one hand.
Following which, Link led the way as Nana trailed behind him. They dashed forward, covering a distance of ten miles in a short time and ran into a lush forest. This forest was covered in dense overgrowth. Even if this Dragon Warrior were to scream his lungs out, no one would be able to hear his cries.
The two of them then stopped at a tree the width of three full-bodied men as Link said, "Break the tendons of his hands and legs."
This guy was a high-ranking dragon and was at least Level-8 in strength. If he ever recovered his strength and decided to launch an ambush attack, Link and Nana could very well lose the battle.
They had to be extra careful.
Nana naturally followed Link's instructions. She swiftly brandished her dagger and directly severed half the limbs of this Dragon Warrior, cutting away all the flesh together with the tendons. Garoff merely whimpered in pain as Nana executed Link's orders. His wounds were simply too serious for him to do any retaliation.
Link was in no hurry as well. He pointed at the area under the tree and told Nana, "Remove his armor and lay him down."
Nana had engaged in close combat with this Dragon Warrior during the battle. Although she had successfully made some serious wounds on his body, the strength of a Level-8 Warrior was not to be understated. Nana's limbs had begun to show signs of distortion and required immediate adjustments.
Nana was merely a magic puppet and had no concept of shame. She quickly removed the Dragon Warrior's armor and lay him down on the bed of leaves under the tree. Link then walked forward to inspect her right arm.
This right arm was the most durable part of Nana's body. After a battle with a Drago Warrior, this arm had clear signs of deformation, and the joints seemed slightly out of place. Although Nana had been enhanced to possess the self-recovery function, this function was still very limited. The damage done to the limbs now was clearly something Nana could not repair using her innate abilities.
Link then grabbed Nana's wrist joint with his hands and released a transformation spell. He then slowly repaired the damaged magic runes along the joints and arms.
Nana lay there motionlessly as she stared at Link with a pair of clear eyes. Link could not help but laugh at her innocent expression. Although she was merely a magic puppet, she was a loyal and powerful companion. She had been a great help to Link along his journey.
Link was also getting better and more meticulous with his technique.
The deformation of the arm was not serious and could quickly be restored. Link then moved on to the right leg. Dragon Warriors tended to have more strength in their legs than their arms. Furthermore, Nana lifted her leg as a form of instinctive defense and not a calculated one, causing the deformation to be a lot more serious. One could clearly see the unnatural curvature of her knee joint, hip and even the spine.
Link then increased the strength of his transformation spell and started working on those areas.
As he was working, Nana asked, "Master, is Nana hurt?"
"Yes, but it's not a big deal. You will be fine in a minute," Link answered.
"This target has a weird fighting style. Nana has never met anyone like that," Nana pointed to the Dragon Warrior as she said.
He was clearly carrying a sword but was bent on using punches and kicks as his main weapon. He also played all kinds of tricks, tempting her with feints and threatening her with other tactics. She nearly could not keep up with this high-level battle technique. If not for her speed advantage, she would have definitely been defeated.
"You have to get used to it. You will meet more of such opponents in the future," Link said.
This was the difference between a battle master and an ordinary Warrior. The former not only possessed terrifying battle capabilities but was also well-versed in scheming tactics. It might seem immoral and even undignified at times, though it would often garner good results. Nana seemed to lack experience in fighting such opponents.
Nana is still not strong enough. Close quarters combat is still her absolute weakness. How can I change this? Link thought.
In such battles, Nana's advantage in speed would be greatly weakened. If the opponent charged at her headlong, she might be able to deal with it the first time. However, after that battle, her body would suffer serious deformations and would be powerless against a second opponent.
After some thought, Link cast his glance on the Breakpoint dagger, which was tied to his thigh. If Nana was holding the Breakpoint dagger in her left hand instead of Whispers of the Forest, the Dragon Warrior would have already been defeated. More importantly, the Breakpoint dagger was a lot easier to wield and suitable for close quarters combat.
Upon this thought, Link handed the Breakpoint dagger over to Nana and said, "Stop using Whispers of the Forest from now on. Use this! If they start using punches and kicks again, pierce them with this dagger!"
Nana continued lying motionless on the ground and merely lifted her hand to receive the dagger. She played around with it for a while before returning the dagger to Link as she said, "This is too ugly; Nana refuses to use it."
Link fell speechless. This was not the first time Nana threw a tantrum. She seemed to have this feeling of attachment to things of the past. For example, she used to insist on wearing a battle dress in the past. However, after wearing leather armor for a while, she stopped complaining about it.
Though this reminded Link of something important. If such a powerful magic puppet was equipped with such an ordinary looking dagger-well, it was simply a matter of changing the appearance.
At that moment, Link had already completely restored Nana's body to perfection. He then received the dagger and took out a small piece of Mysteria Gold. This was the remnant of the materials that were used to create the Huge Fire Gun for Celine. He then melted the Mysteria Gold with magic and lay it onto the Breakpoint dagger before decorating it with intricate patterns, leaving only the original blade exposed.
After the adjustments, the ordinary looking dagger became pretty good looking.
"Is this fine?" Link handed the dagger back over to Nana.
Nana's lips curled in satisfaction as she received the dagger. She then emulated what Link did and tied the Breakpoint dagger to the side of her thighs. She was still unwilling to let go of the Whispers of the Forest in her left hand.
At the same time, a painful groan sounded. The Dragon Warrior had awakened. He had discovered what was done to him as he stared at Link with a ferocious glance. He then hissed, "Who are you?"
Without Link's command, Nana had already unsheathed her dagger and rushed forward with breakneck speed. She pointed the blade of her dagger at the Warrior's heart. The moment she sensed any peculiarities, she would take action without hesitation.
Link then walked forward with a faint smile on his face. He said, "It does not matter who I am. What's important is who are you guys? And what do you plan to achieve? I am extremely interested, and I think Her Majesty will be as well."
In the beginning, this Warrior seemed calm and composed. However, the moment Link mentioned Her Majesty, the Dragon Warrior shivered, and his pupils dilated.
"I have no idea what you are talking about!" He answered in a manner that exposed his guilty conscience.
Link laughed as he retrieved the leather letter from the Dragon Warrior's armor, "Stop pretending. Why do you think this letter appeared in the mailbox on Bluestone Road Number 92? I was the one who placed it inside."
Garoff stared at Link with widened eyes. He was already extremely careful this time around. In fact, he had already discovered the presence of the letter two days before. However, he was afraid of any peculiarities and stopped himself from retrieving it. It was only until two days later when he decided that it was safe enough to take action. Little did he know that this person was even more patient than him, waiting for him to take the bait.
He was akin to a fish swimming in the water, circling around a grain of food for a long time and finally deciding to go in for the kill, only to realize that it was a poisonous bait.
After several moments of silence, he spoke in a raspy voice, "I was left with no choice. You do not have to ask me anything. I won't and cannot tell you. I can only choose death..."
At the end of the sentence, the Dragon Warrior started spouting large amounts of blood from his mouth. This blood was black in color and was sizzling when it poured out from his mouth, causing smoke to rise into the air.
This Warrior actually decided to commit suicide. The poison must have been in his mouth this whole time.
He chuckled as he said his final words, "May the Queen be safe."
He breathed his last.
How much resolution must it take?
Link frowned as he stared at the Dragon Warrior. His opponent acted too fast. He simply had no time to stop it from happening. This way, the clue that he had just gotten was severed.
However, although this Dragon Warrior did not provide him with any information, Link could determine his next course of action from something on his body.
Link sniffed the warm leather letter that was in the Dragon Warrior's armor. There was no lilac smell on it. This meant that the person who had tasked ordinary dragon Polot with a mission that day was not this Dragon Warrior, but someone else.
Link then inspected his weapon.
This was a high-quality dragon blade crafted with good workmanship. However, the other party was extremely careful and had eradicated all markings of the weapon. There was thus no way to trace its origin.
That was not all.
Link then began to inspect his boots. More specifically, he was checking the soil stains on the soles.
This Warrior had clearly traveled a long way. There were many layers of dirt stuck to his soles with very minute differences between the different layers. Ordinary people would not have been able to tell the difference, though this was a simple task for a Magician.
Link inspected them carefully and used a Detection spell in the end to obtain more information.
Link even cast a Guiding spell.
This was an extremely simple Level-2 Secret Spell. Link learned this spell to track down his enemies. As this was a Low-level spell, it would not be effective when used against a High-level Magician or Warrior. However, it was extremely effective when used simply to track the origin of a soil sample on the sole of a Dragon Warrior.
After casting the spell, Link felt himself go into a trance. Following which, a faint misty trace appeared in his field of vision, leading him to the place where this Dragon Warrior came from.
"Nana, pierce his heart, and we will leave."
"I understand," Nana swiftly made another attack through the Dragon Warrior's heart to eliminate any further threats and trailed behind Link.
Link walked a distance of 18 miles before he finally reached a forest. The trail seemed to have dissipated at this point. However, Link did not panic and carefully observed his surroundings.
This forest was situated on high ground. Looking out from this point, one could clearly see a magnificent stone castle on a field some distance away.
There was a stone tablet in front of that castle. Link then cast an Eagle's Eye spell to improve his vision. The words written on the stone tablet read "Territory of Duke Osiris."
There were many fields around the stone castle as many dragon race farmers were hard at work. The entire territory seemed calm, peaceful and ordinary enough.
However, a sighting confirmed Link's suspicion that this place was the beginning of a heinous plan!
On the two sides of the road leading to the stone castle, and also within the gardens of the stone castle were lilacs. Thousands of them filled the area in full bloom.
Upon this sight, an in-game message filled Link's field of vision.
Mission: Mastermind Completed
Player Omni Points +100
Activated Second Step: Investigate
Content: Enter the territory of Duke Osiris and investigate his true motive, obtaining the key evidence of the Duke's betrayal. Note, you must not be discovered by the Duke!
Reward: 200 Omni Points
Link already had 660 Omni Points. Furthermore, this mission's text was blood-red color, signifying the extreme danger and difficulty.
After all, this Duke Osiris might be a Legendary individual and have at least Level-9 strength. He must also have many underlings. If Link made even a single mistake, he might not escape this castle alive.
After some consideration, Link still decided to accept the mission, though he needed some time to plan his course of action.
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