530 The woods


 Chapter 530: The woods

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

With a soft bang, an explosion pulled apart Skinorse and Irvan from each other's arms.

But the two were still not sated. Once separated, they immediately scrambled back towards each other. It was as if there was a magnetic attraction pulling them together.

"Wake up!"

Link shouted, his voice infused with Dragon Power.

Hearing his voice, Skinorse and Irvan trembled, then stood there as the dazed expressions on their faces began to fade.

Skinorse was the first to regain his senses ten seconds later. Numbly, he turned around to observe his surroundings and saw the leather armor scattered around them. He looked at Irvan, who stood naked in front of him, and then at himself, who too was stripped of all clothing. He also noticed that there were traces of blood on his lower body. Whose blood was it?

He swallowed, then ran to pick up his armor without a word. As he put his armor on, he also managed to catch a glimpse of Irvan and saw that there were traces of blood as well between his thighs.

Skinorse gulped again. That spiteful woman! If anyone finds out about this, I can kiss my reputation goodbye!

At this point, Irvan had also woken up. He looked around at the mess around him and felt a slight ache in his rear. His brown face blushed furiously, realizing what had happened. Without a word, he strode around to pick up his leather armor and began putting it on.

Skinorse tried to explain himself. "Eagle Eye, I wasn't really feeling myself..."

An arrow shot out from Irvan in reply. Skinorse immediately dodged the arrow and did not dare speak any further.

"If you so much as breathe a word about this to anyone, I'll kill you!" stammered Irvan.

Skinorse waved his hands in front of him. "I won't say a word. This is just too humiliating. I'm embarrassed about it as well."

"Alright, this was all just an accident." Link tried to calm the two of them down.

He asked, "Where's Eliard?"

"Eliard?" Skinorse was still a bit woozy. He then patted his head as his memory came back to him. "Eliard was kidnapped by that witch. She wanted you to go find her at Grizzly Hills in the South, alone, or else Eliard's life will be forfeit. Oh, and she had also ordered the bandits to go look for some king in Full Moon City. She said something about abandoning the first stage of their plan and moving on to the second stage."

"Looks like I've come a bit too late." Link frowned and pondered silently on this. He then said, "Come, we need to go to Full Moon City now. Whatever this second stage to their plan was, we have to stop them at all costs."

For the time being, the matter in Full Moon City took precedence over saving Eliard, whose life did not seem to be in any immediate danger. There was no telling what the bandits would do to the higher-ups of the city they were now holding hostage.

It was clear to Link that Evelina simply wanted to slow him down so that he would not have enough time to save anyone.

"Alright." Skinorse did not raise an objection to this. He was eager to leave the place as soon as possible.

...

As Link returned to Full Moon City, Eliard was being transported to Evelina towards the south.

Evelina was not traveling fast. Along the way, she carefully cleared away her tracks in her wake.

An hour passed, and she had traveled 100 miles. At this point, Eliard was now able to speak. He said, "Since you've initiated the second stage of the evil spirits' plan, what are you still being so careful for? Link won't be able to catch up to you so soon."

Evelina continued what she was doing. "And what if he gets all emotional? I hear that the two of you are quite good friends."

"He won't." Eliard shook his head. "I know him, he'll deal with what's going on in Full Moon City, and only then will he come to Grizzly Hills alone. He'll be sure to come fully prepared for you, and your death will follow shortly."

Not at all angered by his words, Evelina smiled. "You seem to believe in him a lot. While I may not have a chance in beating him in battle, Shadow Stalker Morpheus may be able to."

"Your plan sounds so simple. I'm sure whatever you can think of, Link will be able to see it coming. As for Morpheus, he may be powerful, but everyone knows his secret. He still hasn't completely mastered his Level-19 power."

Evelina was still smiling at him. "Say what you will, we won't know for sure who will come out victorious until we actually battle it out."

Eliard could not find the words for a retort. Though he was confident in Link's abilities, his opponent was also a Legendary master who had allied herself with another even more powerful master. The odds were clearly stacked against Link.

He then fell silent.

Evelina continued heading south. She did not cast any Levitating spells but instead, simply walked along a winding trail, which saw few travelers.

After walking for an hour, the two of them reached a wide river valley in the mountains. The sky had darkened considerably. Evelina had stopped. She found a cave gaping from the stone wall on the riverside. She then entered it, bringing Eliard along with her.

"With your power, do you even need to rest here? Can't you just walk all the way to Grizzly Hills?" Eliard was confused.

Evelina said smilingly, "I'm saving up my energy for Link. He probably thinks I'm going all the way south without stopping. I'd like to see how he tries to stop me."

Eliard was speechless. The woman was being excessively cautious. However, unlike her, Eliard knew Link. If he were in the woman's shoes right now, he would probably exercise the same amount of caution as well.

Once inside the cave, Evelina pushed Eliard into the stone wall. The stone behind Eliard turned into putty. When Eliard had sunk into it, the stone hardened around him once more, forming a stone prison around his body. Only his head remained hanging out from the stone wall.

"Alright now, don't try anything funny." Evelina gently patted on Eliard's face and then chuckled. "Little one, your skin's still as smooth as a maiden's."

Eliard remained silent. He watched as the woman spread out a fur bedding in the cave, ready to spend the night here. He then said, "May I ask you something?"

"Ask away. I'm bored anyway." Evelina had laid down on the bedding and put her cape over her body like a blanket.

The cave was dark. Eliard did not possess night vision and so could not clearly see the woman's face. All he could see was a curvaceous silhouette in the darkness and the outline of her pointed ears. However, he was not at all curious about what she looked like. He asked, "I was wondering, as a High Elf Legendary master, why are you helping the Syndicate?"

Evelina laughed. "High Elf? No, only half of the blood flowing in my body is of High Elf origin. I'm like you, a half-elf. Do you really think my life on the Isle of Dawn was a happy one?"

Eliard was stunned. Due to his own High Elf ancestry, he understood what it was like for half-elves like him to live on the Isle of Dawn and be subjected to constant discrimination and disdain from the other High Elves. He was able to understand the woman's motivations. Why continue staying on such a tiny island and endure the contempt of its inhabitants when a master such as herself would be celebrated anywhere else for her talents?

"Then why choose the Syndicate?" Eliard asked again. He felt that there was no way to compare Ferde and the Syndicate; they were polar opposites of each other. What good could there be in siding with a shadowy group like the Syndicate?

"You ask too many questions." Evelina laughed and continued, "Though I suppose it's okay to speak about this to you. There are two reasons why I'm doing this. The first one is that Morpheus had given something good. Naturally, one good deed deserves another, don't you think?"

"I guess. So what's the second reason?"

"The second? The second reason is that Link has made way too many enemies. He's still not strong enough, and it's only a matter of time before he gets himself killed. If I were to go to Ferde, won't I be embroiled in his troubles as well?" Evelina chuckled.

Saying this, she turned towards Eliard. "Truth be told, seeing that you're a half-elf yourself, if you choose to abandon your allegiance to Ferde, I'll spare your life. If I manage to defeat Link, I may even let you go free."

Eliard shook his head. "That's out of the question. Link is my friend. I've known him for a long time and have been through many things by his side. I will not betray him."

"Hmm, and what if he betrays you?" Evelina asked.

Hearing this, Eliard laughed out loud and said, "That won't happen."

"If you say so. It's still too early to be sure of anything. We'll just have to wait and see."

Eliard added, "I'm aware that Ferde has many enemies. Followers of the God of Destruction, the Syndicate, they're both enemies of Ferde on the surface. On the other hand, the High Elves pose a threat to Link from the shadows, but if you knew just how powerful Ferde really is, you'd be in for a surprise yourself."

Evelina was now more inclined to continue the conversation. "Well, at least you aren't completely clueless about the state of Ferde. But don't get too cocky. You need to understand just how powerful the High Elves are."

"How powerful are they?" Eliard was curious about this himself. It was a question he had been meaning to find an answer to. But the Isle of Dawn was too isolated from the outside world, and so the answer had eluded Eliard for a long time.

Evelina raised three fingers. "Three things to keep in mind. Firstly, the High Elves have a huge number of Magicians. As of right now, there are 80,000 Magicians above Level-6 among the High Elves."

"What? That many?" Eliard was taken aback upon hearing this.

"Of course. Most of these Magicians are below Level-10, but with the increase of Mana concentration around the world, there are now 5 Level-10 masters from the Isle of Dawn, myself included. Soon, this number will increase."

Eliard sucked in his breath. "And the other two points?"

"The other two... I won't tell you."

"Why?"

Evelina explained, "I simply left the Isle of Dawn, doesn't mean I intend to betray it. Why would I tell you the island's layout? Unless..."

"Unless what?" Eliard asked hastily.

"Unless you promise that you'll leave Ferde as well. There doesn't seem to be much hope left in that place, anyway."

Eliard shook his head. "Forget it then."

Despite saying this, Eliard was still trying to figure out how to extract such an important piece of information out of her. He needed to report this to Link.

Evelina yawned. "Fine, it's getting late. I'm going to sleep. I'll need to save up my strength and be prepared for anything."

Silence fell upon the cave. Only the sound of wind and flowing water could be heard from outside.

After spending two hours in silence, Eliard's ears suddenly pricked up to a muffled commotion outside the cave. Has Link caught up to them? thought Eliard hopefully.

Evelina had sat up. She strained her ears to listen to the sound outside. A few seconds later, she said with an irritated voice, "Oh, these people just won't leave me alone. I already told them I wouldn't be going back, and still, they keep pestering me."