Chapter 597: Instant Battle of Life or Death
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Pad, pad, pad. Link walked down the tunnel within the icy peaks. The constant soft footsteps hit the walls on either side and bounced back, creating overlapping echoes in his ears.
This was the only sound in the ice tunnel.
After around 50 steps, there was a cross-section. The place was quite wide. It was an open area of a few hundred feet wide. There were many sword-like stalagmites piercing into the sky. All of them overlapped and crisscrossed like a huge ice flower.
Suddenly, Link felt in his heart a strange aura coming from a huge ice flower on his left.
That moment, Link's senses sped up dramatically. He felt time slow down. Instantly, the basic information of this abnormal aura flashed past Link's mind.
Two hundred forty feet to the left, Level-13, dark, power is consolidating, about to erupt, danger!
Each fact was short, but they were indispensable in battle. As for other things, such as the attacker's identity, method, and more would need deduction to figure out. Link didn't have that in his mind. He didn't think either because that would cost additional reaction time.
In a battle like this, the faster he reacted, the more advantages he had!
After another instant, around one-thousandth of a second, a solution flashed past Link's mind. Give up defending and attack immediately!
The other was at Level-13, but Link had much magic equipment. Defending against this attack would be hard but not impossible. However, if he used a defense tactic, he would fall into an awkward disadvantage.
He would use up much Realm Essence to block a Level-13 spell, and he wouldn't be able to recover. Even if he won, he would have lost a lot. This was disadvantageous towards later battles.
And once he started defending, he would enter a stalemate even if he succeeded. Then that would cost even more power. So if he wanted to win and get the Book of Creation piece, in the end, he only had one option: fight to attack first!
During the instant decision, the Ode of a Full Moon was unsheathed at the same time. As the sword flashed, the consolidated Realm Essence flowed like a river. It seemed smooth, but there were undercurrents that rushed into the sword.
The entire sword glowed. The light didn't just come from its surface. It shone from deep inside, turning the sword translucent like crystal.
The glow was like moonlight. It poured into all directions, instantly washing the entire tunnel in frosty white.
At the same time, a rune halo appeared around the sword's tip. There were smaller halos inside this halo. The countless rings vibrated and turned at the same time. It was detailed and precise to the point of not being able to see it clearly.
The next moment, a black vortex appeared before the Ode of a Full Moon's halo. The sword tip buried into it and reappeared 240 feet to Link's left. That moment, countless runes flew at the tip. The silver moonlight was cold as frost. This was Link's strongest attack spell: Time.
As time flew by, seas could turn to land.
The sword soared for around one-thousandth of a second and moved 30 centimeters before hitting something soft.
There was a stalemate for around three-hundredth of a second.
In the first one-hundredth of a second, Link could clearly feel the powerful repulsion force from the soft object. It kept resisting the Ode of a Full Moon, wanting to push the sword out. This strength was impossibly powerful and completely surpassed Link's limit. He almost lost control of the sword.
But this only lasted for one-hundredth of a second. After that, the power of time came into effect. Under the extreme passage of time, the soft object's power decreased rapidly. It entered the stalemate period. This lasted another one-hundredth of a second.
The opponent continued to weaken. The Ode of a Full Moon began to get the upper hand. During the last one-hundredth of a second, the other's power collapsed completely. The sword stabbed in.
Squelch. That familiar sound and feeling was of a sword piercing flesh.
In the Orida Fortress, Link had personally used his sword to kill more than 5000 people. He was very familiar with the feeling of a weapon entering flesh, so he felt it at once. Realm Essence flowed through the sword and rushed into the opponent's body.
It didn't simply rush in. When it flowed past the sword, it started forming Mana structures. Because of Realm Essence's perfect controllability, the speed was at the maximum speed.
Instantly, it formed a destruction spell: Ball of Destruction.
It entered the opponent's body next. Then, Link retracted his sword. During this process, he'd already started retreating at full force. His body flashed and then hid behind a thick stalagmite.
It wasn't enough to block the opponent's attack, but it could hide him, making the opponent lose their target momentarily. This was to prevent their last attack before death.
While Link did all this, less than one-tenth of a second had passed. Link couldn't do this before. He would have needed at least two-tenth of a second to perform it completely.
This was all thanks to the Beastman Legendary battle technique, Soul Furnace.
Just as Link hid behind the ice pillar, a tragic cry came from his near distance. Following it was an explosive boom. Then, a power aura with fire and darkness traveled over.
Link turned to take a glance. He saw a dark purple flame billow from behind a stalagmite. Around the fire were pieces of blood and flesh. Amongst it, Link saw a bloody skull. Judging from the hair color, it was Dark Magician Eugene.
Now, Link realized belatedly that his sneak attacker was this Dark Magician. He'd taken care of it with one strike. Eugene was weaker than he'd imagined.
A semi-transparent shadow flew up from the ruins at an incredible speed, rushing into the sky. It should be Eugene's soul. If he'd flown a bit slower, Link wouldn't mind adding another strike to shatter the soul. He couldn't do that now though.
Eugene must be skilled in soul spells. After leaving this time, he will definitely use some method to be reincarnated. At that time, I'll have a new nemesis. I must be careful about this.
Of course, Link didn't have any regrets. In the previous situation, it was life or death. Since Link could kill Eugene once, he could do it a second time! He wouldn't underestimate Eugene's destructiveness because of this though. Eugene was a true Legendary Magician. Fighting face to face wasn't his strong point, but if Eugene chose to stay in the shadows and plotted, that would be truly horrible.
After composing himself behind the stalagmite, Link walked to Eugene's corpse. After looking around, he found an extraordinary dark wand and some magic items. This included a spatial ring. Opening the ring, Link couldn't help but shake his head.
So many good things. As expected of an old Legendary Magician.
Collecting all of them, Link checked his own state. That attack had seemed fast, but it had cost a lot too. In that instant, he'd used up more than 5000 Realm Essence points. This was close to 30% of his total power.
I still have more than 70%, and I should only have the Light Magician left. I can deal with him!
Link continued on with that in mind.
He walked for more than ten minutes along the tunnel. Then he suddenly saw someone leaning against a huge stalagmite up ahead. Looking, his heart jumped. It was none other than the Red Dragon Queen Gretel!
She'd transformed back into human form and was covered in blood. A crystal spear that kept flashing with golden lightning was in her waist. Her head rested weakly against the stalagmite. Her fiery hair fell messily around her. Behind her, the pool of blood had flowed for more than three feet. The view was tragic.
Perhaps due to a dragon's strong vitality, Gretel hadn't died. Her chest was still rising slightly. Hearing the footsteps, she opened her eyes and saw Link. That moment, she smiled bitterly. She opened her mouth to say something but didn't in the end. She'd just sighed and closed her eyes again.
She knew that this human wasn't the human she'd imagined. He was a lord. Perhaps he looked warm on the outside, but inside, he was fierce, cold, and cruel. They may have been friends, but they had different paths. He wouldn't help her.
Though her logical mind told her this, Gretel still had some hope in her heart.
Tap, tap, tap. The footsteps got closer; they were about to reach her. Gretel couldn't help but open her eyes. But what she saw dashed all hope.
Link didn't seem to see her. He acted as if she was a cold corpse and walked past without even turning his head.
I was right, but that's alright. I have nothing to miss in life. Gretel's heart had given up. The lightning spear had destroyed her body. All she could do now was wait for death.
Tap, tap, tap. Link's footsteps faded into the distance... A teardrop rolled down from Gretel's closed eyes. This was the second time she'd shed tears for Link. It would be the last time too.
But then something happened.
Link's voice suddenly sounded. "Halino, I see you. Come out."
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