433 A Mysterious Black Shadow

 Chapter 433: A Mysterious Black Shadow

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

The dwarven Magician and Red Dragon Warrior's strange misfortune made Link extra cautious.

Cries for help traveled through the wind every now and then, suddenly closer and suddenly further away. As they got closer, the sky began darkening. The Void's aura thickened and the Mana density shot up as well.

Link checked his stats. His Dragon Power recovery rate had reached 41 points per second.

He tapped the air lightly, and a micro-spatial detector appeared. A few seconds later, he received the result. The space is less than half the thickness of Ferde. Spatial Rends occur occasionally. No wonder Void Beasts come out.

Link continued forward. Not even 100 feet later, there was a sudden miserable cry. It was 150 feet away.

"Wah! Is there any kind soul here? Ah, I'm going to die! Ah!"

Link's heart jumped. He flew to behind a big tree and froze. He didn't dare to brashly use Spatial Distortion to investigate what was happening on the other side. For three full minutes, there wasn't any new movement. Even the cries disappeared, and the forest was silent.

Link peeked out and looked in the direction of the sound.

The forest on that side was dense and pitch-black. He couldn't see anything. The few beams of light streaming through the treetops were unable to penetrate the darkness. Faint breathing-like sounds came from the murkiness. This meant something was definitely hiding in there, but Link couldn't see anything even when he squinted.

For the first time, Link felt his heart pound. He was completely clueless as to what was in there or what the thing could do to him. He didn't even know if the thing had discovered him.

This was a bit of a problem.

Thinking for a bit, Link decided that the thing hadn't discovered him. At least, it had no intention of attacking him. Otherwise, he wouldn't still be here in one piece.

He didn't dare to advance either but staying here wasn't a solution. After thinking, Link decided to retreat and use a magic puppet to lure the thing out. Then, he'd at least know about the thing's abilities.

He quietly snuck back.

Nothing attacked him. As the distance grew, the environment kept changing. Three hundred feet later, a hand suddenly snaked out of the bushes to Link's ankle.

Link's heart jumped. His leg jolted and, dodging the grab, he kicked out.

"Wait!" a rushed voice said. The voice was very rough with a natural stubbornness-it was a dwarf.

Link pulled his leg back and looked in the grass.

It was a short walnut tree with many leaves. Under the tree was a dark and hairy head. It was a dwarf with a full beard.

The dwarf didn't speak. He waved at Link and then pointed at the walnut tree, clearly telling Link to hide like him.

Link bent down and realized that there was a cave under the tree. It was around four feet wide. The clay walls and trees around and above the cave were covered in starry runes.

The runes were very exquisite. They completely covered the dwarf's aura so that Link didn't even notice him.

Seeing that he was hesitating, the dwarf grew impatient. He mouthed the words, "Get in here!"

Link looked around. After confirming it was safe, he crawled into the hidden cave under the tree. Once inside, the dwarf put the branches back and adjusted some runes. Finally, he let out a breath and turned to Link.

"I am Magician Gaimin. Are you Master Link?"

Link wasn't surprised. He had determined the dwarf's identity from his Mana aura. He was at the pinnacle of Level-8 and was quite powerful. Link had thought he was dead; he didn't expect the dwarf was hiding.

"Yes. Did you see it?" Link asked.

"No, I just saw a black shadow, but I couldn't see what it really was." Gaimin looked terrified. He sat onto the ground and buried his face in his hands, mumbling, "Flo died because of me..."

Link sat down too. The cave was narrow, and they were packed in tightly, so he tried to stay to the side. "Tell me what happened to you two."

"I heard a little girl crying for help. It sounded like a Yabba, so I thought a Yabba was in trouble, so I went over with Flo. When we got to the trees, I felt danger and tried to retreat, but it was too late. It pounced!"

The bearded dwarf's eyes were round and filled with terror. "In a hurry, I cast the Star Explosion Spell, but you saw the result. It was useless. The thing swallowed it up. In the last moment, Flo threw me over here. I hid into the bushes and used our spell to hide. Then I heard Flo's cry... I watched him die powerlessly."

Here, the dwarf sniffed loudly and rubbed his eyes. "It's too scary. I've never seen anything like that."

Link frowned as he pondered. He'd seen that thick black shadow too and even heard its breathing. That meant he must have met eyes with the thing.

"I saw it too, but it might be afraid of my power. It didn't do anything."

"Of course! You have supernatural power so it won't dare to act recklessly." Gaimin wiped his nose and then asked, "What should we do now?"

"Retreat first," Link answered. "I heard that dwarves are good at using stone puppets?"

"Yes. Are you talking about using stone puppets to test the opponent's power? Oh, that's a good idea." Gaimin wasn't stupid. Actually, all Magicians were highly intelligent. Though they were both dwarves, Gaimin's brain was much more useful than that frivolous Riel's.

"Let's move further away." Link rose to get out of the hidden cave.

"Look, we don't have to go out." With that, Gaimin waved his arms and moved the dirt on the ground.

Link watched as his arms glowed with dirt-yellow light. He looked like he was swimming in the dirt as he pushed it aside. Then the dirt actually did separate like water. A stone tunnel formed instantly.

"Follow me. It's safe down here." Gaimin was like a big groundhog. As he spoke, he'd already dug a 30-foot-long, three-foot-wide tunnel.

Link had to double over to follow Gaimin. The dwarf kept burrowing forward. Ten minutes later, he created a 650-foot-long tunnel. Dwarves' ability to dig holes were honestly impressive.

"It should be safe now, right?" Link asked.

"No, it's not enough. I'll keep digging." Gaimin seemed to get into it. He dug another 1300 feet before starting going upwards. With a crack, the tunnel broke out of the ground. Light filtered in and Gaimin snuck out.

Outside, Link discovered that they'd reached an open plateau. Looking back from here, he could see the entirety of where he'd been earlier.

"Look at the black-purple light over there. That's where the thing is hiding," Gaimin said.

Link obviously saw it too. The black-purple light was more than 150 feet wide. It shrouded the forest like fog. When the wind blew, the fog would sway as well, like a giant ball of pollen.

"I'll start summoning the stone puppet," the dwarf said. He looked side to side and finally stood before a 20-foot-tall rock. He patted it lightly. "It's white rock. It's not bad but not sturdy enough."

As he spoke, he took out a dark piece of metal the size of one's head and a fist-sized piece of light purple metal. He pressed them against the rock and started using an enchantment for a force field.

Under the force field, the two pieces of metal seeped into the rock like mercury and became one.

Link recognized the dark metal as fine gold and the light purple one as eternium. These were extremely precious metals in the human world, but the dwarf took it out casually like it was nothing. The dwarves truly were the best miners in Firuman.

The two types of metal seeped in, and the rock's color slowly started changing. It was grayish-white at first but slowly, it started to look metallic.

Link walked up and tapped the rock, producing hollow thumps. It looked neither metal nor wood but was extremely sturdy and resilient.

"We have many strong alloy formulas," Gaimin explained. "Every Magician has to learn how to change metal and rock materials. Now, this rock's strength can summon a stone puppet and withstand a Level-8 flame spell attack. However, I'm afraid it's still not enough. Master Link, do you have any ideas?"

Link's enchantments and his power were both well-known throughout the continent. Any Magician knew about it.

"Let me see."

He took out the Dragon King's Fury sword and scraped off a small ball from the stone. He rubbed it in his hands while his hand glowed with the enchantment's light.

Link carefully analyzed the material's nature. A few seconds later, he grasped the alloy's characteristics.

The material synthesis was already perfect, so Link didn't do much in that aspect. However, the enchantment could be greatly improved. He thought for a while and then carved some magic runes on the rock.

The runes were very delicate. His sword's tip vibrated gently, and various tiny runes appeared quickly on the rock. He also filled them with a great amount Legendary Dragon Power.

At first, the dwarf watched carefully, but five minutes later, he ran to play with stones by a tree. It was too complicated to watch; his head hurt.

Link spent around half an hour and created around 800 runes. He also added around 5000 Dragon Power points into the rock. The Dragon Power recovered to the max quickly, so it wasn't troublesome at all.

As more and more runes appeared, the rock changed continuously. It was metal-gray at first; then it became crystal-red and then half-translucent. When Link finished the last rune, the rock had become a highly transparent crystal.

There were also pollen-like clumps in the crystal, like clouds in a clear sky. Those were the halos of the runes Link added into the rock.

Here, Link said, "I'm done. I can only do this much in a short period."

Gaimin walked over and circled the giant crystal. He knocked against it and then tried the spell. Then he wailed, "It's too sturdy. My spell is ineffective...I can't make it into a stone puppet anymore."

This crystal was the sturdiest, most resilient material he'd ever seen in his life. When his spell approached it, it was like a tiger meeting a turtle. He had no way of acting on it.