Chapter 506: The Arrival of the Actual God's Messenger
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
In the castle
Link stood beside a crystal cauldron almost as tall as him. He was busy stirring the thick medicinal concoction within the cauldron with a crystal rod.
The concoction was so thick that each stroke had taken a lot out of him. Link felt as if he was rowing through molten steel.
"Oh, you should probably stir it a bit faster. Also, you should focus on stirring in a spiral. Yes, that's it. You sure are a lot better at this than any Apocalypse Dragon Guard."
Link was panting at this point. He had thought about magically enchanting the crystal rod to stir itself, but Gretel had said that any use of magic would affect the mixture's medicinal properties and that he would need to stir it with his bare hands.
With that said, Link was forced to work until he could barely feel his hands.
As he stirred with all his strength, Gretel stood on the other side of the cauldron, regulating the intensity of the fire beneath it. At times, she would sprinkle a pinch of herbs into the mixture.
After that, she poured a huge bowl of golden-colored herbs, which she called "Searing Sun Herb," into the cauldron. She then said to Link, "Stir it faster, yes, keep it that way... Don't let your sweat drip into it. Yes, that's it."
Link kept on stirring according to Gretel's instructions.
There was a bubbling sound from within the cauldron, and he could see the mixture within begin to thicken. The Searing Sun Herb had dissolved completely into it, and slowly, the mixture began to shimmer with a jade-green color. At the same time, a pleasant fragrance wafted from the cauldron.
The noses of the children around them unconsciously twitched at the smell.
Gretel's face brightened at the concoction's change. "That's it, the texture's turning out nicely. Don't stop stirring, Link."
Link soldiered on. It was a good thing the Dragon Power within his body was able to repair any bodily injury almost instantaneously. Otherwise, he would have crippled both his arms at this point.
After stirring for more than an hour, no more than a tenth of the jade-green liquid was left in the cauldron. It had changed into a dark green color, and the fragrance was now so pungent it was almost intoxicating.
Gretel began turning down the heat. She then said, "It's almost done. Stir it slowly now. Yes, that's it."
Link did as he was instructed. He continued stirring for half an hour until the liquid within the cauldron was finally condensed into a black capsule no bigger than a dove's egg.
"It's done," said Gretel with a smile. She picked up the capsule from the cauldron, bit off a small chunk off of it, and then gave the rest to Link. "Eat it."
"Why? I'm not the one poisoned here," said Link, confused.
"Eat it, and you'll know why. This isn't just an antidote," said Gretel, smiling knowingly at him.
Link took the other half of the capsule and breathed in its medicinal fragrance. Warily, he chewed a small bit off the capsule. As the antidote dissolved into his saliva and slid down his throat, Link felt a rush of heat enter his stomach and then spread out to all corners of his body.
Immediately after, an in-game message concerning the capsule he had just swallowed appeared before him.
The Red Dragon Queen's Antidote
Quality: Level 11
Description: Neutralizes the Void Centipede's venom, while restoring the user's physical strength. If ingested after undergoing extreme exertion, the drug will repair torn muscles and strengthen the user at the same time.
(Note: Anything made by the Red Dragon Queen is guaranteed to be top quality.)
After reading the message, Link gave the rest of the capsule back to Gretel. "I think you should eat the rest. You're the one who's poisoned. You need it more than I do."
"Idiot." Gretel shook her head, smiling. "I've already calculated the dosage I need. I left the rest of the drug especially for you. Why do you think I deliberately let you stir the mixture just now? It's so that you'll be able to exhaust yourself and later fix yourself up with the medicine. And still, you want to give me your half?"
"I see," said Link. He swallowed the whole thing in one go, and an intense heat flowed through him from his stomach.
The heat was intense, but not overwhelming. Instead, it produced an almost soothing sensation as it boiled through his entire body.
Wherever the heat passed through, it melted away all the exhaustion in that part of his body. A while later, Link was filled with so much energy that he would probably explode at any moment.
The fire within him began to intensify. Link's body felt like a balloon at that moment. More accurately, he felt like a piece of steel being grilled in a pool of lava.
Is Gretel trying to melt me from within? This medicine's a bit too efficacious! he thought. Link could not take the heat anymore. He immediately drew out the Dragon King's Fury sword and rushed into a nearby stream, where he began madly practicing his sword in the water.
Gretel was left speechless when she saw Link taking the whole capsule in one gulp. She had forgotten to tell him to take it in moderate portions.
"He's going to have a hard time," she said.
Gretel carefully popped one small piece of the capsule into her mouth. Her pale face turned crimson in an instant, and her breathing was now steadier than before.
She could clearly feel the icy venom coursing through her body being incinerated by the intense heat from the capsule. Once completely free of the venom, Dragon Power flowed again through her. In a few moments, she had regained more than 1000 Dragon Power points.
Before, she was unable to deal with the Chaotic Rot that Link had sealed up in her body with his Sealing spell. Now, with her Dragon Power, she managed to expel the Rot together with Link's Sealing spell out of her body.
The tainted energy that she had released from her body was so powerful that it probably would have flattened the whole place in a ten-mile radius if not handled properly. When it exited her body, Gretel was careful enough to open a realm portal and direct it out of the realm of Firuman.
When she was done, Gretel heard the swishing sound of Link's sword coming from the nearby stream. She shook her head, chuckling at him. She then let out a sigh with a deep-felt sense of respect and gratitude towards Link.
Many times, she had personally witnessed Link's self-restraint.
He was a reliable person who would not let his emotions get the better of him. She never needed to worry about him messing up any of her requests. He was also extremely diligent. In her 2000 years as the Red Dragon Queen, Gretel had never met anyone like him.
His accomplishments would most likely not stop here. Link would keep on going forward until he had finally surpassed everyone and everything.
It was truly a blessing to all dragonkind to have Link as a Dragon Duke.
Ah, if only I had met you sooner... With Celine in the way, whatever shall I do? thought Gretel, frowning.
She had wanted to have Link all to herself at first. As time passed, the more she knew him, the more she felt that it was impossible to do so. The little fellow was frightfully intelligent at times and rarely made any mistakes.
After thinking for a while, her eyes suddenly widened. "If I can't get to him directly, maybe I can do so through Celine. I may have a chance if Celine agrees to it... alright, I'll do just that!"
While Link worked off the excess energy he had received from the antidote, seawater lapped lazily against the white sand of a beach a few hundred miles away. One of the waves receded from the beach to reveal a huge, black fish lying on the sand.
The fish was around two feet long, and its scales were densely packed together. With a closer look, one could see that its scales were covered with countless gleaming runes. As the wave receded, its scales began to transform into a long black robe with golden linings all over. In that robe, the fish had taken on a human form.
Before the next wave came crashing against the sand, the figure in the black robe stood up, and vapor began rising from his body into the air. Before long, he was completely dried from head to toe.
The figure was a 20-year-old man. With a mat of black hair and a fair complexion, his body was slender and almost skeletal-looking.
The man then began walking along the coastline for about ten miles until a simple-looking village appeared before him.
There were a number of large humanoid shapes walking among the wooden huts in the village. Upon closer inspection, one could see that every one of them had the head of a fish on top of their human torsos, while their skins glistened with a sticky fluid like an amphibian's.
Stunned by the appearance of the man in the black robe, they then began shouting and waving their tridents as they rushed at the black-robed man.
With a sinister smile on his face, the man gently waved a hand at the fish people. A ripple appeared in the air like a crystalline wave, bringing up the white sand into the air and sending it crashing down on the fish people like a huge net.
A terrible ripping sound could be heard. More than 200 fish people in the village were bloodily torn apart by the sudden attack, their misshapen bodies now scattered on the sand.
The black-robed man ignored the corpses around him and continued on through the village until he reached a large cage. The cage opened by itself, releasing ten mixed demons imprisoned within.
The mixed demons were already groveling on the floor before him. They all said in unison, "Our almighty messenger of the gods, you've finally come to save us!"
The man nodded. "Thoreau the esteemed one has ordered me to descend to the mortal realm to save his children. Come, follow me as we rid this place of all darkness. I can feel it, the darkness that has taken root in the deeper parts of the island."
With the fish people dead, none of the mixed demons had anything to say about this. "As you wish, great messenger of the gods!"
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