Chapter 462: The Incurable Illness
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
From the sky, one could clearly see the patches of ravaged earth scattered throughout Girvent Forest from the devastation of a recent war.
The forces of Delonga had been annihilated completely in the war against Ferde's army. Also taking into account the fact that Link was the Legendary Magician presiding over Ferde, Delonga had no choice but to retreat.
Unfortunately, just as he had expected, Delonga's sworn enemy, the kingdom of Southmoon, didn't pass up such a chance to swoop in for the kill.
At this moment, the kingdom of Southmoon had planned on dealing the finishing blow to Delonga in his moment of weakness.
As both Ferde and the Southmoon Kingdom were allies, Link could not have wished for a better outcome.
Once the kingdom of Southmoon finished off Delonga, business between Ferde and Southmoon would be even smoother than before.
While Link's head was filled with such thoughts, the airship pilot in front said to him, "My lord, we're approaching East Cove Magic Academy. Do you wish to land inside?"
"No, try to land as far from the academy as you can. Don't want to give the people inside a fright."
He was now a Legendary Magician, and also the first officially recognized Legendary Magician among the human race. If news of his return got out, everyone from the academy would come out in full force to welcome him, and that would be a big waste of his time.
On a patch of empty land in the woods outside East Cove, the airship landed. Link exited the vessel and began heading for the East Cove Magic Academy. After walking a few feet towards it, he used Dimensional Jump, making the necessary calculations.
Hum. There was a bright white light, and Link vanished instantly. A few seconds later, he was standing in front of Herrera's magic tower.
The academy was quiet, as always. There were a few magician's apprentices running down the stone path leading towards the magic tower. They didn't seem to notice Link, who had suddenly apparated there.
Walking up to the magic tower's entrance, Link gently tapped on the rune of the entrance. A soft bell-like sound echoed within. After a while, the door opened, and an apprentice, no more than fifteen or sixteen years old, peeked out from behind it.
He looked at Link and was stunned for a bit before he asked, "Hi, can I help you?"
Link was wearing a dark blue Assassin's Robe with a sword hanging from his waist. Judging by his muscular physique, the apprentice figured that he must have been a warrior. The warrior's body was adorned with a dazzling assortment of magical equipment, and at that point, the apprentice had refrained from making any further assumptions of the person in front of him.
"Is Master Moira here? I have some business with her."
"You wish to see the advisor? Um, she's currently not in the tower."
Slightly disappointed, Link asked again, "Then, do you know where she is now?"
"She's probably at the Heaven's Thorn. She should be back soon."
"I see. By the way, is Magician Rylai in?" Link asked once more, deciding to see his disciple.
"She's in. Wait here, I'll go get her."
"Alright." Link stood by the door and waited for him.
The magician apprentice closed the door behind him. A moment later, the door opened again, and Rylai stepped out of the tower, smiling.
She was a bit puzzled by this at first, as she did not really have any warrior acquaintances, but upon seeing Link, her face immediately split into a smile, and she shouted gleefully, "Master, why are you here?"
Link smiled back gently. "I'm here to see my master, as well as my own disciple. Aren't you going to let me in?"
"Oh, come on in. Auntie Herrera will be back shortly." Rylai skipped cheerfully like a child as she led the way.
Her effusive demeanor startled some of the new apprentices in the great hall.
"Who's the warrior with Rylai, and why's she so friendly with him?" asked the apprentice who had opened the door for Link.
"I don't know. I haven't heard of any powerful warriors in the kingdom these days... Why did the other apprentices suddenly stand up?" asked one of the newcomers.
He felt himself being pulled up forcefully as one of his companions stood up beside him as well. A low voice whispered in his ear, "What are you still sitting around for, that's the lord of Ferde!"
"What lord of Ferde? Ah!" The student quaked in sudden realization and stood upright a bit too quickly. There was a sharp pain in his knee, and he staggered forward, falling to a half-kneel on the ground.
Wasn't the lord of Ferde Link, one of the senior apprentices of the academy, and supposedly the first ever Legendary Magician on the continent? How could he not have recognized him?
The youth who had opened the door for Link was muttering beside the newcomer, "Ah, to have missed out on such a great chance... I really should put my eyes out for not having recognized him sooner!"
Amid the din, Link followed Rylai to the magic tower's second floor. At first, Rylai had wanted him to wait at the second floor, but Link smiled at her and said, "No, let's wait at the great hall on the top floor."
He walked on, this time followed by Rylai.
Upon reaching the entrance to the great hall on the top floor, Link entered the password on a rune beside the door. With a click, the door opened.
The password was still the same as when he had still been an apprentice in the academy.
When they entered the great hall, Link sat on one of the benches, then beckoned to an awkward Rylai with a smile. "Come sit in front of me and take out your notebook. I'll help you solve some of your problems."
"All right." Rylai visibly relaxed as she sat down and handed her notebook to Link.
Link flipped through the thin book for around ten minutes and managed to grasp Rylai's progress in her magical studies. He indicated an analysis of a Level-3 spell called the Ring of Frost to her and said, "You've made a mistake here. At room temperature, the element of water is especially fluid. To have it attain a metallic sharpness, the magical structure should be like this."
Link extended a finger and traced out the revised version of the magical structure in the air.
Rylai was deep in thought. Ten minutes later, her face brightened. "I see. No wonder I couldn't seal up the experimental magic puppet with my Ring of Frost."
She asked, "What about my hydrotherapy spell? The last time I tried to treat a rabbit according to the instructions given, it ended up dead. Though such accidents have been rare, I'm a bit scared now to use this spell."
Link flipped to the page where she had written down her notes on hydrotherapy. She had recorded down the results of her experiment. From the looks of it, she had felt extremely guilty about killing the rabbit, as she had written down a detailed account of the whole process.
After looking through it, Link understood the reason behind the rabbit's death and smiled at her. "It's alright, there was no problem with your spell. The problem lies in the rabbit. You described the rabbit's whole body as swollen, and there was a viscous fluid coming out of its eyes, correct?"
"Yes, the poor thing."
Link gave his analysis of the problem at hand. "It was probably a textbook case of elemental imbalance. It was suffering from edema. As an immune defense, its body had instinctively absorbed an excessive amount of water in order to flush out the toxins in its body. At this point, its body was already saturated with too much water. Through your hydrotherapy, its elemental balance was broken, causing the rabbit's internal systems to collapse as a result."
"Ah, so I was the one who killed it?" Rylai's eyes were swimming with tears.
"Not really, it was a terminal disease. Think of it as a form of euthanasia. All right now, don't cry. I'm going to give you an explanation of the principles of basic magical treatment so that you won't make the same mistake again."
"Okay," said Rylai, wiping her tears away.
Link then wrote the following line below Rylai's notes on hydrotherapy: 'The key to effective treatment is the maintenance of internal balance. Achieving elemental balance in another body will greatly improve its chances of recovering from a disease. Of course, things aren't always that simple...'
Link began teaching his disciple the main principles of the art of magical treatment. Rylai listened attentively, and every time she hit a problem, she would puzzle over it for a moment, but only ask Link for further explanation if she couldn't solve it herself.
Link would answer her questions with only one sentence, or even one word at times, and Rylai would feel even more enlightened with each answer.
Time flew by in silence as both master and disciple sat in front of one another, completely engrossed in their discussion. All of a sudden, there was a chink from the door of the great hall. Someone had returned.
Without even looking, Link knew that Herrera had entered the room. Her voice reverberated from outside the great hall. "Oh, seems like we have a guest today."
She entered the hall, a warm and gentle smile on her face.
Link stood up and bowed before her. "Advisor."
Though he had already completed his apprenticeship with her, he still had nothing but gratitude for having received her tutelage in the past.
Herrera looked at Link, somewhat overcome by emotion. "Ah, time sure does go by fast. In a blink of an eye, you've already reached heights never before attained by any other human."
When the two sat down, Link asked, "Advisor, you seem a bit down today. Is something the matter?"
Although Herrera's face wore a smile, Link had known her for so long that he knew whenever there was something troubling her. The tips of her brows would droop down slightly, and her eyes wouldn't open up as much as usual. Link was familiar with all the facial tics of his former advisor.
Slightly stunned by this, Herrera gave Link a forced smile. "Am I that easy to read?"
"No, I just know you too well," said Link with a laugh.
Herrera sighed. "There is indeed a problem. Up north is a small town called Garrason, where a strange illness afflicts the citizens. Those infected lose all reason and gain a significant boost in strength, then proceed to attack anyone and anything on sight in a frenzy. The disease is also highly infectious; anyone bitten, scratched, or in some cases touched by the infected are infected themselves. Symptoms show within at least ten minutes upon infection."
Link was taken aback. "Can't the priests treat them?"
From Herrera's description, it sounded like an epidemic.
"That's the most frightening thing about it, the disease can't be treated by any divine spell!"
Link fell silent. A few seconds later, he asked suddenly, "The state of Garrason doesn't look too promising, does it?"
Herrera kneaded her forehead. "I guess there's no point in hiding it from you. Truth be told, Garrason was just the source of this epidemic. The disease is spreading at a terrifying rate beyond the city's borders, and right now, things have gotten a bit out of control."
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