Chapter 340: But I'm Right Behind You
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Wailing Gorge
A gust of wind blew past, and instantly, it created a sound like that of children crying. It wasn't just a normal cry either, but more like a heart-rending cry that was forcefully pushed out. It made people who heard it feel like their heart was being squeezed, and it would make their hair stand on ends.
In the gorge, it was very dark. Although there were clear skies for a hundred miles all around, the amount of light inside was minuscule. Perhaps it was due to the walls blocking the light inside the gorge. In some corners, it was as dark as night.
After a moment, the wind blew in again from the front, carrying with it the smell of rotting corpses. Who knew who these corpses belonged to, or even what creatures they were?
Skinorse rubbed his shoulders, edging closer to Link. However, he still explained, "The wind in this ghastly place is very strong. I'm starting to feel cold too."
The Yabba musketeer, Melinda, didn't say anything, but she gripped on tighter to Nana's clothing. Every now and then, she would look backwards, as though afraid that there would be a black claw that would grab onto her and drag her away.
Link was still in a better situation. He was occupied with casting spells, and this kept his mind from wandering off. Therefore, he looked somewhat calm.
As for Nana, she opened her eyes wide, looking left and right in curiosity. After all, it was her first time coming to a place like this.
The black cat was naturally not the least bit scared, but it had its own troubles. "MEEOOW! Let go, you scaredy cat! Stop grabbing my ear!"
Melinda had grabbed onto the cat's ear, squeezing onto it tightly no matter what the cat did. This caused the cat a lot of frustration on the journey through the gorge.
The group of them thus proceeded like this through the strange place. After walking for about half an hour, they heard a sound of rustling carried by the wind.
They looked up and could make out the figures of two 12-foot-long Winged Howlers flying overhead.
The group immediately backed up. Although they knew that the Howler had not discovered them, they still reduced the sound of their breathing nonetheless, trying to remain as hidden as possible.
Only after the demons had flown off, Skinorse softly said, "These two demons look very strong, much stronger than me. Could they both be Level-8 demons?"
He had the strength of Level-7, but while facing these demons he could feel immense pressure from them. This showed that the demons were clearly a full stage higher than he was.
Link nodded his head. "Indeed, they're both Level-8 monsters. They're probably about ten times stronger than you."
Skinorse was speechless. Ten times! How could he even fight them?
A full ten minutes passed before he spoke again. "Why do I feel that the demons have gotten much stronger than before? They weren't this strong a month ago."
Link naturally knew the reason but chose not to say it. He simply said, "Perhaps the demons that Aymons is summoning are stronger than before?"
Skinorse did not doubt what Link had said. He cursed, "Aymons is mad! All the Dark Elves are mad! They're going to do themselves in some day."
Not long after the two demons flew off, the group heard footsteps coming from behind them. At the same time, they also heard voices speaking in the demon's language. Skinorse and Melinda had no way to understand it, but Link had done some research into the language spoken in the abyss, and he could vaguely make out the gist of what he heard.
"This damn gorge! How many passages are there?"
"Where do you think those little rats are hiding?"
"Who knows. They might be huddled up in some hole. I'm just annoyed at the commander's orders. Capturing a Magician alive? That's just suicide!"
"Hush! Don't let the commander hear you. You know his temper."
"Let him hear me then! What, can't we speak the truth?"
There were eight demons in this group. They took advantage of their superiority in numbers to walk brazenly through the gorge, not bothering to hide their position.
The demons were huge, and their speed was also fast. Looking at the situation, it would only be minutes before they caught up. This was different from the situation with the demons flying overhead. The gorge was only ten feet wide. If the two groups engaged in combat, the demons would definitely notice.
Link glanced around and suddenly spotted a human-sized hole. The hole was pitch dark. Nothing could be seen within. However, Link could make out the sound of wind from the other end of the hole. That meant that there was an exit at the other end of the tunnel.
These demons were huge, above nine feet in height. The hole was rather small, so they would definitely not be able to enter. It would be much safer than walking normally.
Link pointed at the tunnel. "Let's go in."
"Lord.... can we not? I think it'd be better if we just ran faster," Skinorse said. Looking at the hole gave him the chills. The tunnel was pitch dark, and there were even weird noises coming out of it. Furthermore, what made them even more afraid is that, in order to escape the demons' pursuit, they would have to grope their way forward in the darkness with no light. Who knew what they would find inside?
Melinda was about to burst into tears at this point. She didn't say anything but pouted her small mouth at Link. Her face was pleading. Clearly, she did not want to go in either.
Hearing the footsteps behind getting closer, Link said determinedly, "Stop dilly-dallying; quick go in! Skinorse, you're first. Nana, follow him, save him if anything happens. I'll bring up the rear."
Although they could run quickly, could they hope to outrun the flying demons? Furthermore, if they ran, they would make even more noise and expose their own position. Perhaps that would lead to even greater trouble.
Entering the tunnel was definitely the best solution.
As for what they might encounter inside the tunnel...well, they would deal with it when the time came. It would definitely be easier to deal with than the pursuing demons.
Link's command was absolute, and Skinorse could not think of any other way out either. He could only grab his dagger in his right hand and feel his way forward with his left hand, creeping forward one step at a time in the darkness.
Nana quickly followed. Link went in last.
Just as the group was about 90 feet into the tunnel, behind them in the passageway they came from came the sound of footsteps running past. The demons had arrived and walked past the hole.
Link carefully listened to the sounds of the footsteps go by. Just as he let out a sigh of relief, the demons suddenly turned back and Link heard a sound. "Hey, there's a hole here."
"I feel that there's something suspicious about it."
"Let me smell it."
There was the sound of something sniffing, and in a few moments, a demon voice said, "Indeed! There's a scent on the walls. They've definitely gone through here!"
"This hole is so small; we can't go in! How do we get them?"
"It seems that only someone of the commander's size can fit inside. Should we inform the commander?"
"Of course! Hee hee! Let the commander go in alone and attempt to catch the Magician."
Upon hearing this, Link again let out the breath he was holding back.
The scent on the walls was probably because of Skinorse's sweat. Just this little bit of trace had given them away. The demons were definitely astute. Fortunately for them, only the commander demon could chase them inside here, and Link was confident of dealing with one commander.
Thinking about this, Link said, "Hold up."
Skinorse and Nana stopped and watched as Link took out his wand to draw out magical symbols in the air. With each stroke of his wand, one line of glowing light appeared in the air.
His speed was very fast, and in about ten seconds, the air was filled with the light of radiant magic runes. Link pointed the staff towards the stone wall and said softly, "Seal!"
The runes flew up onto the stone walls. Clang! The cavern walls shook slightly, as though a hammer had knocked into it. Immediately, a magic formation emerged on the walls.
Following that, the tunnel started to change.
As the magic formation glowed with light, a magic door appeared behind Link. The magic door's surface was rough and looked like a mountain wall. It gave the impression that it was a dead end in the tunnel.
That was not enough. If it were just the magic door, the magical aura emanated from the door would easily be detected by the opponent. Then, they could easily break through the barrier.
Link continued drawing more magical symbols. Ten seconds later, another set of runes appeared.
Clang! The sound appeared again, and this time, the runes appeared on the magic door. When this magic formation was completed, the magical aura of the door immediately disappeared. Now, it looked no different from an ordinary door.
Skinorse could not spot any defects in the door. If he hadn't just come from the tunnel, but discovered the door on his own, he would have assumed it was part of the stone wall and be tricked by it.
The black cat also praised, "Hey, isn't this one of the tricks I taught you? Not bad, you're already putting it to good use. You're definitely smart, much better than that blockhead Isendilan."
Link shook his head, saying, "According to the demons, the commander is really incredible. This may not be able to trick him. I'm merely using it as a warning system."
If the magic door was broken through, Link would detect it and know that the demon commander was catching up. He would then be able to make preparations.
He said to Skinorse, "Okay, let's continue. Go forward another 300 feet, then I'll be able to safely give us some light."
Skinorse felt a lot more relieved and continued feeling his way forward in the darkness.
The tunnel gradually grew wider. After about 300 feet, what was originally tall and wide enough for just a single person suddenly expanded out. From the echoes of their footsteps, they could tell that the tunnel had gotten bigger.
"Lord Link, are you still behind me?" Melinda asked, suddenly feeling frightened.
"I am," Link replied. Hearing his calm voice made Melinda feel a lot more reassured.
However, it was at this moment when there was a wuuuuu sound coming from the tunnel. As a strong gust of wind blew past them, it made them lose their balance for a moment.
The strange wind blew for about three seconds, and then, just as suddenly as it had begun, it stopped.
The one in the lead, Skinorse, let out a sigh of relief and forced out of laugh. "That gave me a fright. I was afraid something would happen."
The group of them continued walking forward.
However, after ten seconds, Skinorse suddenly called out, "Hey, Nana, what are you doing beside me? I brushed your hand just now.
The next moment, Nana's clear voice sounded out. "But I'm right behind you."
At this moment, Skinorse felt like his heart was going to stop.
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