Chapter 596: An Unjust Treatment
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
It was a 15,000-foot tall precipice. Its surface was as smooth as a mirror. There were little to no footholds on it. As neither Teleportation nor Levitation spells could be used at the moment, Link's only option now was to scale the ice wall.
The Guardian was clearly more powerful than any of them. Link had no choice but to play by his rules.
After trying to cast a spatial teleportation spell and making sure that what the Guardian said was true, Link began climbing up the ice wall.
The frozen wall was slippery. Each foothold was carved into it at intervals of 20 feet. With the aid of his magic and battle techniques, climbing the precipice would have been a breeze.
Link cast a spell on himself which gave himself an agility boost, Cheetah's Agility. The spell cost no more than one power point.
Normally, his body would have recovered this bit of power in an instant. However, after a few seconds, Link realized that his power reserve showed no sign of replenishing itself.
"Hmm? Has this so-called Guardian blocked off all the energy channels in my body?" He felt fine, which meant that no foreign power had infiltrated his body. The only other possible explanation to his current predicament was that the other party had erected a barrier around his body.
"Are the other three in the same situation as I am? Forget it; I don't have any proof to confirm my theory anyway. I'll need to expect the worst while dealing with this just to be on the safe side."
The worst case scenario would be his power being sealed off while the other three still retained their powers. This meant that Link would need to use his power sparingly. If a confrontation were to happen, he would need to be in a position where he could strike first and fast in order to be efficient with his power reserve.
Link would also need to maintain a level of secrecy. In the case of climbing the ice wall, it would be better for him not to use any spells right now so as to avoid wasting his Mana and giving away his position.
After thinking for a while, Link placed a firm foot on one of the footholds on the precipice. He then extracted a piece of magic steel from his spatial ring and spent two points of power to activate a Higgs Force Field, which reshaped the magic steel into a pair of ice-axes. Link then deactivated the Cheetah's Agility spell that he had cast on himself just now.
When he dispelled the supplementary spell, the Realm Essence power keeping it active would be released into the air. Link was prepared for this. With a nudge of his will, he redirected it back into his own body.
He was also up against two Level-13 Legendary masters. They were one level above him and possessed a great deal of combat experience. He could not afford to waste even one point of power at this point if he were to stand a chance against any one of them.
Gripping the ice axes tightly in his hands, Link stopped looking for footholds and swung himself up across the ice wall by brute strength.
He had climbed no more than 15 feet when suddenly there was a sudden rumbling sound within the ice wall. A few seconds later, a dark aura issued violently out of it. This is Eugene's doing. Must be at least Level-9. The fact that he is able to use such a high-level spell meant that his power was not sealed off like mine was... Well, that's not fair!
Though he had no idea why the Guardian had targeted only him, there was no use crying foul and getting angry about it. If he wanted to get his hands on the fragment, he would need to process his current situation calmly and devise a countermeasure against any attack.
Things aren't looking too good. I'd better get past this wall of ice, quick!
He then continued climbing up the ice wall, even faster than before. As he climbed, he activated a battle technique: Soul Furnace. This technique not only allowed its practitioner to have perfect mastery over one's own power, but it could also speed up the body's healing rate.
Link was putting enormous strain on both his arms as he climbed. He would have been able to withstand such a strain for a moment or two. But climbing 15,000 feet without rest would definitely present its problems soon. At that moment, he sensed that the strain would severely affect his swordsmanship.
However, if he sped up his body's healing rate as he climbed, with the aid of his Realm Essence power's naturally high recovery rate, he would probably be able to minimize the damage to his arms.
Composing himself, Link continued to climb up the wall. After climbing for a while, he began to feel his body heating up. His body temperature had increased to more than 50 degrees. At the same time, he could also feel that his power level had decreased by 50 points.
The 50-point loss was the result of his body mending the wear and tear in his arm muscles as soon as they appeared. At that point, Link's arms looked undamaged. Due to the continuous cycle of repair and damage that was taking place in his internal systems, they looked even sturdier than before.
Link decided to rest for a while on the precipice. He then continued climbing when his temperature returned to normal.
Throughout the whole process, Link could feel five distinct magical auras. One of them belonged to the Light Magician, the other two were the Dark Magician's, and the last two auras were the Red Dragon Queen's.
The three of them were using high-level spells as they pleased, not at all concerned about how much Magical Power they were spending. This proved Link's initial conjecture. All three of them were not hindered by the same power limitation that Link was shackled with. This unjust treatment was enough to make a man's blood boil.
If that's the case, I'll only have one chance for one single burst. If I fail, that would mean death. Eugene would also take the chance to shatter my soul into pieces, thought Link.
The risk was high, but there was no way Link would let the fragment fall in anyone else's hands, especially those belonging to the Dark Magician Eugene.
After calming himself and dousing the flames of righteous anger over the injustice of his treatment in his head, Link then continued his climb.
Half an hour later, Link finally reached the top of the ice wall.
At the top of the ice wall, there was a small platform no wider than 20 feet. There was a steep hill behind it. Sharp icicles lined the hill's path. It looked like a sea of swords from afar. Pristine white clouds floated at the end of the path, blocking off Link's view. From where he stood, besides the white clouds in the distance, Link could not see anything else.
Link made a mental note of the circular platform's coordinates. After looking around, he began walking forward. The slope of the hill was at most 60 degrees. There were places which were as slippery as a mirror. One could easily slip and tumble towards one of the icicles in front.
Here, Link walked with extreme caution.
After walking 50 feet down the hill path, he finally entered the sea of clouds. He could only see no more than 100 feet in front of him. Link had no idea what awaited him up ahead. For now, he could only walk on through the thick mist with his head bowed low and find out for himself.
After traveling 1000 feet, he suddenly heard a distant rumble up ahead. He could also feel the clash of dragon and light auras. After a while, he heard the Red Dragon Queen's shriek.
There was a hint of desperation in the high-pitched shriek as if it had been made by someone on the verge of dying. This did not bode well for the Red Dragon Queen.
Aghast, Link picked up his pace. However, after taking ten steps, he slowed down. "Halino must have found Gretel. It's clear she's not his match. She may already be beyond saving at this point."
Link let out a sigh. "Goodbye, Queen of the Dragons."
The queen's death would be a lamentable outcome. After all, they were still friends. If there was still a chance to save her, Link would take it by any means necessary. However, they were now pitted against each other in an unusually brutal testing ground. He could not afford to be lax in the face of such powerful opponents.
There was nothing he could do.
After a few steps, Link felt that his emotions were still in turmoil. He decided to find someplace to rest for a bit. He then began practicing the Soul Furnace technique on the spot.
His movements were slow as he carried out every step of the form. Five minutes later, he let out a long breath. He finally managed to regain composure.
Then, he continued walking forward.
Another five minutes later, Link reached the bottom of the hill. Here, the mist had thinned considerably. Visibility had increased to at least 500 feet. From there, he could see mountains and towering precipices in the distance. There was a wide, flat path between the mountains.
The path was at least 80 feet wide and spread out in all directions. From where Link was standing, he could see at least three forks branching off the main path.
Link did not know which was the right path to take. The place was like a maze.
An ordinary person would resort to trial and error, blindly taking each path until he found the right one. However, Link was Magician. Naturally, he had his own way of finding the right path.
He stood at the intersection, his hand holding an exquisitely crafted compass.
This was the Compass of Ultimate Truth. A magical gear imbued with Secret magic, it was also an imitation made by Link. The real thing was in Eleanor's hands. Link instantly took a liking to it and made an imitation for himself. He had also added precognitive powers to it, making it even better than the original.
There were three adjustable wheels in the face of the compass. 64 symbols had been etched on each wheel. Calmly, Link set the outer wheel to the symbol of a tree, the middle wheel to "hand" and the inner wheel to "book." He then cleared his mind of all thoughts and slowly channeled his Magical Power into the compass.
This was to ensure that his own thoughts would not interfere with the compass' function. Unobstructed by his thoughts, his unconscious mind was able to ask the compass the question that Link wanted answers.
There was a needle in the middle of the compass. A few seconds later, it began to tremble violently until it pointed at the leftmost road.
The needle had been guided by the mysterious hand of fate. Link kept his compass and headed for the left fork without hesitation.
After walking 1000 feet, another intersection appeared in front of him. Sharp icicles had sprouted on both sides of the road. It was as if Link had entered a crystalline forest.
Suddenly, Link sensed that he was being watched by someone.
"I've been spotted."
He stopped in his tracks. His hand now holding the Ode of a Full Moon sword, Link felt for the presence of his unseen enemy with his five senses spread out in all directions.
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