Chapter 508: Thoreau the Soul Devourer
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
On the beach of the mysterious island
"How is it? Can you break the spatial rune?" asked Gretel.
On the beach, Gretel reclined on a chair magically sculpted with sand, basking under the sun. As Link had already far surpassed her on the subject of spatial magic, she chose not to interfere with his work.
Link carefully observed the transparent runes carved into the space on the other side of the beach. A long while later, he nodded. "I can break it, but I may need half a day to do so, and I fear our opponent would not be so generous as to give us that much time."
As soon as he broke the rune, whoever cast it in the first place would surely come for them. The island was the enemy's territory; both Link and Gretel may not be his equal here.
"What should we do then?" asked Gretel, though she did not seem flustered. Judging from Link's calm demeanor, Gretel assumed that he must have some sort of plan up in his sleeve.
Link paced in circles on the beach. Finally, he said, "The longer we wait, the more prepared our opponent will be on this island. Since he's deliberately locked us in here, we'll just have to force him to come to us."
Gretel immediately understood what he meant. She said, laughing, "Sounds like a great plan. Then break the seal, while I'll wait for him to come here."
Link nodded and pulled out the Dragon King's Fury sword. From the sword's tip radiated a red light, which then pierced the air in front of him.
He had begun the rune-breaking process, but his intention was not to actually break the magical seal but rather to draw the enemy out.
Eight minutes later, a rune had crumbled, and a crack formed on the rune formation. The surrounding runes began to glimmer and align themselves back in place. In an instant, the crack was closed back up again.
A crack caused by the rupture of one rune could be healed up without any problem. If ten or a hundred or even a thousand of those runes were to break at the same time, the resulting crack could be irreparable.
Five minutes later, a second rune crumbled. A crack then closed itself up just as quickly as it had reappeared.
After breaking those two runes, Link felt that he had enough practice. He then proceeded to break a rune at two-minute intervals, but there were just too many runes covering the whole island. Just chipping away at a few runes would not affect the whole thing, and the whole magic seal around the island remained as sturdy as before.
But this was only temporary.
Though the rune formation seemed perfect, after losing ten or so runes, a few places on it had begun showing discordance. All he needed to do was to keep on breaking the runes till everything collapsed.
When Link had broken through more than 50 runes, Gretel, who had been lazily lounging on the beach all this time under the sun and sea breeze, suddenly sat up. "He's coming!"
Link nodded and continued his work. "He's a bit slower to react than I had expected. If he were any slower, I would have been done with the whole rune formation."
In case the enemy had not yet noticed the state of his magic seal, Link did not stop breaking the runes. On the other side, Gretel stood up, and her body began swirling with a bright light. In a flash, the light condensed into a gleaming dragon-scaled battle dress on her. She held in her hand an elegant-looking one-handed sword. The weapon itself emanated a soft red glow, indicating that it too was a legendary weapon.
Link looked at her, somewhat surprised. "Your Highness, you can use a sword?"
Gretel smiled. "I've learned many things in the past 2000 years. Though I don't normally use a sword, I might just be better at it than you."
"Maybe." Link chuckled.
At that moment, a black spot had appeared in the sky. A few seconds later, the black spot expanded into the figure of a man with a black robe billowing around him. Another ten seconds later, the figure was already within 300 feet away. He hovered in mid-air, and a voice came from him. "Ah, I seem to have caught two dragons. Today's catch has certainly exceeded all my expectations."
Link looked up and saw an extremely beautiful young man in the air. He was wearing a black magic robe with golden linings. With black hair and white, almost flawless skin, he was a beauty to behold by human standards. However, Link was not concerned with his looks. He intently felt for his opponent's aura which was almost imperceptible.
This meant that his opponent was probably two levels higher than Link.
Link glanced at Gretel. "He's strong."
Gretel's face was now tautened with alertness. She nodded, and began focusing Dragon Power into her magic sword, getting herself ready for battle.
The young man spoke again. "Truth be told, I did not expect such an extravagant catch. Your souls do seem powerful. By absorbing your souls, I'll possess both your strength and knowledge. My understanding of the laws governing this world will reach heights never before imagined by anyone, not even I!"
Hearing this, Link's brows furrowed. He asked, "Are you Thoreau, the Esteemed One?"
The man was preparing to devour their souls. It was not something a god's messenger would do, as all souls belonged to whatever god he or she served.
In the game world, the island was part of a hoax, and the character known as Thoreau had done much evil under the guise of dispensing justice. Using this knowledge, Link was able to deduce the stranger's identity.
The black-robed young man was stunned by how quickly his identity had been discovered. He then shook his head, sighing. "I had expected no less from a Legendary master. Nothing gets by you, eh?"
He remained in the air without moving an inch, as he said, "Yes, you guessed right, I'm Thoreau. 1000 years ago, I spent countless hours and energy creating this island. I've even brought together the mixed races exiled from the outside world to flourish here and reproduce. As they reproduced generation after generation, the souls of their deceased nourished me, making me stronger. When the island becomes a bit too populated, I'll appear as a demon before them and bring their numbers down to an acceptable level. Through this cycle of life and death, my power has surpassed its limits twice. Haha, isn't my plan just glorious?"
"Despicable," said Gretel. "You're devouring souls for nourishment. What you're doing is against nature itself, and you'll soon answer for your crimes against it!
Thoreau cackled. "My crimes against nature? No, no, no, the only rule governing all life in the realm is survival of the fittest. As long as I'm strong and careful enough, no one and nothing will be able to punish me for my actions."
Saying this, he turned towards Gretel and smiled. "Judging by your good looks and power, you must be the Red Dragon Queen. No other creature in all of Firuman possesses such faultless beauty. If you're willing to give up your power to me, I'll promise to spare your life and let you stay by my side. What do you think?"
Gretel shook her head. "You must be out of your mind."
Thoreau heaved a sigh. "Seems like you've not yet understood your place here. Right now, I'm the hunter, and both of you are my prey. I'm the one holding sway over your very fates, while you don't get to decide anything."
When he had finally finished gloating, a magic wand suddenly appeared in his hand. The wand was a dark golden color with a blue gemstone fixed on its tip. As soon as the wand appeared, the whole sky shimmered with an azure blue haze. At the same time, the waves began exploding against the beach. The water level rose, and it seemed as if a tsunami was about to happen.
This was a Legendary-level phenomenon.
Thoreau said with a low voice, "I've spent 300 years making this wand, and it's already close to perfection. In all these years, I've never met any prey worthy of my full strength. But now, both of you will have that honor!"
At the appearance of the magic wand, Link heard the spirit of the Dragon King's Fury sword warning him in his mind, "Careful, I know that wand. It's the Sea God's Fury wand!"
The game system instantly reacted to the mention of the wand's name by revealing its in-game message.
The Sea God's Fury wand, the Scepter of the Tidal Summoner
Legendary Mid-level (14)
Description: Greatly amplifies all water spells, the dream weapon of any Water Magician.
(Note: If you happen to come across the wand's user in the ocean, run for your life!)
Reading this, Link was able to immediately devise a countermeasure. He said to Gretel, "It's an extremely powerful water-based magic wand. We shouldn't be fighting him near the ocean."
Saying this, Link winked at her, implying that there was more to his words than met the eye.
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