Chapter 523: Who's Lying?
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Grinth Magic Academy
"Master, your lord must be very busy recently, right?" the king of Southmoon asked.
Eliard furrowed his brows at this. He'd heard that something happened to Link recently but this king looked dazed. This was his third time he started talking about Link. He seemed to really wish that Link could come to Southmoon.
"Your Majesty, our lord has been paying close attention to the situation in the North. If you run into any problems, let me know, and I will do my best to help you. If I can't, I will definitely help send the message." Eliard deepened his tone at the end.
"Oh, I see. That's good, that's good. I don't have any problems now." The king chuckled awkwardly. After a pause, he said, "Ah, let's not talk about this anymore, Master Eliard. You came from such a faraway place and must be tired. I won't disturb you anymore."
With that, he got up and left.
Eliard found this even stranger, but his expression didn't change. He stood up and saw the king out of the magic academy.
When the king's group left, he turned to the one responsible for the Ferde magic ambassador group. "Amir," he murmured. "Has there been any strange news from inside the palace recently?"
He felt that the king was very not normal.
Amir was a 30-year-old Level-5 Magician. He was short and looked wooden, but that was just the surface. In actuality, he was very sharp. This was the reason why he was responsible for the group this time.
He glanced to the side. Seeing that there were some people from the Grinth Magic Academy beside them, he said, "Master, the palace is as usual. I didn't hear anything strange."
His tone was normal, but when he spoke, he blinked at Eliard. This meant he had something to report privately.
Eliard was taken aback. He turned to study the Southmoon Magicians. At a glance, they seemed to be doing their own things. At closer inspection, they were paying attention to him. One of the young Magicians was the most obvious. He would constantly look over.
Things were even more off now.
Eliard was clever too. He yawned and slapped his forehead; fatigue showed on his face. "That's good. I'm tired, actually. I'll go rest now."
With that, he patted Amir's shoulder. "Where are we resting? Take me there."
Amir nodded. "Lord, please follow me."
He turned towards the garden villa in the southeast of the academy. The villa was very big with more than 20 rooms. All of Ferde's Magicians were living in it.
Once inside the garden, Amir took out his wand. He shook it and cast a Level-5 Secret Spell: Soul Fog.
Light fog spread from his wand and expanded. It became omnipresent water vapor that shrouded the entire villa. Then Amir continued walking. After entering the villa, he led Eliard to a small room on the second floor and cast a Level-4 barrier.
Finally, he relaxed. "Master, the situation is very strange."
His earlier actions had alerted Eliard. "Why did you cast so many barriers?" he asked. "Are there spies?"
Amir shook his head, looking perplexed. "I don't know if anyone is spying, but for the last half month, there were times when I felt strange while sleeping. It was like someone was watching me from the shadows. I looked around but couldn't find any spies. To be honest, I can't take it for much longer. I've had so many nightmares these days."
Eliard studied Amir. He realized the man had light dark circles under his bloodshot eyes. His pallor was dark too. He truly looked exhausted.
The situation was quite serious. After thinking, Eliard turned to look at the surrounding barrier. "Are these effective?"
Amir shook his head, chuckling dryly. "I don't know. Maybe or maybe it's just a placebo."
Eliard furrowed his brows. He thought a bit and took out his own wand. This was special. He'd modified it from Link's Burning Wrath of Heavens. It was now called the Wrath of the Sun wand.
The wand looked like it was made of crystal and radiated with faint sun-like golden flames. When Eliard poured Sunlight Power into it, the flames would multiply until the entire room was painted in light gold.
"Sun Barrier!" he roared quietly.
Level-7 Sunlight Spell
Cost: 2000 points
Effect: Use Sunlight Power to create a barrier that blocks outer sensory. When the barrier spreads, all abnormal power in the environment will be forced out.
(Note: Sunlight shines over the world.)
A ball of faint gold light spread from the tip of the wand. The golden flood rushed past everything, and there were some hisses. There really were things in the corner-detection spells. They were hidden well but were uncovered by the Sunlight Power.
Half a second later, the barrier was complete. The entire room was covered in a thin layer of gold as if it was plated with gold crystal.
"Alright, no one can hear us now. Tell me what you know but hurry. Best if you finish within three minutes." Eliard's power was already regenerating as he spoke.
He was highly confident in this spell because Link had participated in developing it. It was created specifically for Sunlight Power. When it had been completed, Link had personally promised that, for five minutes, even a Legendary figure couldn't see inside the barrier.
Amir was shaken. He'd never seen power like this. However, there wasn't much time, so he repressed his shock and said quickly, "Half a month ago, there were rumors that the king, queen, princes, and princesses-dozens of royalty-all fell ill with some weird disease. It wasn't serious, and they recovered in a few days. There was nothing wrong. But a while later, there were rumors that the king changed. He's like a different man."
"A different man? Did he become better or worse?" Eliard frowned. Before coming, Link had told him about the Ethereals. Hearing this, he instinctively suspected that it was an Ethereal.
Amir shook his head. "I don't know. The king hasn't called us for this half month. We don't know much about inside the palace, and my message to the lord isn't because of the king."
"Oh, tell me." Eliard felt that Full Moon City's situation was off.
"Three hours ago, a Level-5 Palace Magician went crazy. He cast a Flame Blast spell inside the palace, destroying a pavilion. A bunch of soldiers and servants were killed. He was captured later and killed without any trial. Even more frightening, the details were instantly silenced. I can't find anything out no matter what I do... I think something's really wrong. The Southmoon royalty is going to have trouble."
"I see..." Eliard fell into deep thought. He looked to Amir. The man seemed really anxious and scared. This must have traumatized him.
Magicians were noble and important. Every country treated them with respect. Even if they were sentenced to death, it had to be a horrible crime and go through a just trial. Every Magician had to be convinced before the criminal Magician could be killed. Killing a Magician like butchering a chicken rarely ever happened.
There weren't enough details though. Eliard couldn't figure anything out. He thought a bit more and asked, "The magic academy seems guarded against us. Why?"
Magicians were usually independent. In their field, they didn't care much about political power of the regular world. They only cared about a Magician's level. With Link's reputation as a Legendary Magician, they shouldn't be so feared here.
Amir sighed. "So many things have happened recently. There's a rumor going around Full Moon City that we brought them bad luck... Of course, this is just a small thing. The real reason is that Earl Andal, dean of the academy, fell sick. After he recovered, I felt clearly that they started watching us."
"Another sickness?" Eliard was shocked. If the people who fell sick were all taken over by Ethereals... He felt like he'd walked into a den of wolves.
He quickly calmed himself down though and started planning. He prepared to visit the dean of the Grinth Magic Academy. He wanted to see if the man really had any problems.
"Alright, keep your guard up. I'll pay Earl Andal a visit," Eliard said. He'd seen the man earlier and thought he was a bit quiet. Thinking back, it was strange.
"Master, should I go with you?" Amir asked. "We can have each other's backs."
"No." Eliard shook his head. "He's just a Level-6 Magician. I can deal with him."
With that, Eliard canceled the barrier. Without resting, he walked out of the villa. Outside, he walked alongside the square and then turned a corner. As soon as he turned, he saw a Magician from the academy come out of hiding and blocked his path.
He looked familiar. He seemed to be the one who'd paid attention to Eliard and Amir's conversation. Eliard remembered his name was Flemming.
When he got closer, Flemming suddenly said, "Master, I have something to say."
"You too? What?" Eliard found it strange.
Flemming looked side to side and muttered, "Be careful of Amir. He hasn't been acting normal. There are rumors that he has secret contacts with the robbers outside the city. I personally saw him with some weird strangers. I told the dean, but he doesn't believe me. I felt like I had to tell you."
Flemming was young. He was in his twenties and was only at Level-1. When he spoke, his eyes darted around as if scared someone else would hear. He didn't look like he was lying.
Eliard was even more perplexed.
He'd only been in the Southmoon Kingdom for less than two hours, and there seemed to be fog everywhere. He didn't know who he should trust. Was Amir or Flemming lying? Was everyone lying?
Thinking it through, Eliard still didn't know how to distinguish truth from lie. He could only stick to his original plan-investigate the dean.
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