Chapter 599: Young Man, Wish You a Beautiful Life
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The protector's words made Link stop. He glanced at Gretel. She was "frozen" in the spatial seal. A bloody gaping hole practically went straight through her. Her entire body was covered in blood. Flesh lay on the ground around her. Her frozen eyes were opened listlessly. Her pupils had started expanding, but her head was raised slightly. Her gaze was directed at Link's current position.
Her expression was complicated. There was some happiness but also bitterness. No one could pinpoint her thoughts.
Something was clear though. If Link removed the spatial seal and didn't receive any help, she would die within a few minutes.
"She doesn't have any power to fight back." Link didn't want to do it.
"She doesn't now, but you won't let her die. You have enough power to save her. As long as she's alive, she will try to destroy the Book of Creation piece. She will be your opponent... So, if you let her live, you won't be able to get the piece."
The protector's words were heartless. He'd given Link a very cruel choice. He could either choose the Book of Creation or choose to save Gretel. He could only choose one.
Judging from the performance earlier, the protector was abnormally strong, reaching Level-19. Link had no confidence to break through the obstacles set by something like that.
"People can change. She might not be that insistent," Link tried to persuade the protector.
The protector shook his head. "It seems that you don't know her well enough. Can you easily persuade a dragon queen who has lived for more than 2000 years and seen all the horrors of life? No, you can't. No one can change what she's already decided. You can't either...young man!"
He emphasized the last two words, pointing out Link's age.
He wasn't wrong. Link may possess great power now and experienced more than most humans, but he was still in his twenties. Even if he added his days from both worlds, he wouldn't be older than 50. His experiences and knowledge couldn't help him understand someone that had existed for 2000 years.
It was like how an innocent child couldn't understand an adult. They could live under the same roof but weren't living at the same level at all.
This was a fact. Link couldn't refute it.
Seeing that Link admitted it, the protector continued, "The Book of Creation contains unlimited power. Once you have it, you'll stand at the peak of Firuman and become the ultimate sovereign. At the peak, there is freezing wind. Countless people will have their eyes on your power, trying to steal your glory. Your closest friends will stab a dagger into your heart. Your most trusted will give you poisoned wine. Your lover will become the one who ends you. If a sovereign wishes to remain for eternity, you must be lonely... So, end her life!"
The protector's words were magical. When he spoke, different images appeared in Link's mind uncontrollably.
In the images, Eliard stared at him from a dark corner with hatred. When he was sleeping, Celine's hands gripped around a poisoned dagger. The reports Lucy gave him were all faked...They were images of all his friends betraying him.
Other images appeared too. They weren't about him anymore. Instead, they were historical events from Firuman and Earth that he'd read before. In these images, the kings and emperors were all alone. To get the throne, fathers killed sons, brothers killed each other, and mothers killed sons. There were endless tragedies and unspeakable darkness.
Whoosh, whoosh. Cold wind sounded in Link's ears. He thought back to the protector's words.
If a sovereign wishes to remain for eternity, you must be lonely. At the peak, there is freezing wind!
Yes, the wind was too bone-chilling. They were only hallucinations, but even with his strong mind, Link still shuddered subconsciously.
The protector's shadow had a pair of glowing eyes. Those eyes seemed to see through everything. Looking at Link, he could see his soul. "Young man, what is your choice? Lonely glory or a mortal's happiness?"
Link looked at the bloodied and dying Gretel again. After a pause, he said, "I choose..."
To be honest, he didn't know what to choose. This was the first time he felt lost after coming to this world.
Before he could finish, his vision flashed quickly. He glanced and saw the mission from earlier-the Piece that Shouldn't Exist. The mission flashed with blinding red light. It wasn't just to show its existence but also to remind Link that the God of Light wanted him to destroy it.
At the same time, the sword spirit's voice rang in his mind again. Another voice appeared in my mind. It said one sentence: all existences in the world have hearts. If one's heart is blinded, the world will have no light.
The sentence was mysterious. After hearing it, Link's heart twitched. Something flashed past his mind. It was fleeting, like a rabbit sprinting in the grass, but he could see the blurry figure.
Experience told Link that if he couldn't decide, then he shouldn't get affected by the outside world and decide brashly. He should think carefully to prevent making an irrevocable mistake.
Thus, he shut his mouth and fell silent again.
"What is your choice, young man?" the protector urged.
Link shook his head. "I haven't decided. You've already waited for so long. You can wait a bit longer, right?"
"Indeed...I will wait for your decision."
Link thought back to the sword spirit's words. He composed himself and carefully sensed his surroundings. More than ten minutes later, a light flashed in Link's mind. He had a hypothesis.
Nothing is restricting my power recovery, and the space isn't sealed. I can still use spatial magic. Does that mean that the restrictions on transmissions and flight aren't real?
Thinking of that, Link ignored the protector and took out the Ode of the Full Moon. He started practicing the Soul Furnace battle technique.
He went through each move slowly. His thoughts were sinking too. After a long while, Link's heart suddenly jumped. There was something abnormal. It was in his soul rather than the environment.
With the help of the Soul Furnace, Link was able to focus completely. His soul entered an indescribably calm state. It was as smooth and flat as the surface of a mirror.
Right now, Link's heart had no disturbances. He didn't have any emotions. He was completely calm.
There were many reasons why he could reach this state. Firstly, there was the Soul Furnace, a Legendary battle technique. Secondly, Link had the pure Realm Essence. It was abnormally perfect and basically gave Link zero disturbances. More importantly, Link had high control over his soul.
In this calm, Link could sense the tiniest shred of abnormalities. Now, he could feel several strange thoughts in his soul. After sensing carefully, he found three. Two were clear. The first was that he couldn't use transmission spells while getting to the piece. The second was that he couldn't fly in the valley.
These were the requirements given by the protector.
Another thought was blurry. Link sensed it carefully and discovered it was very fuzzy evil intent. It came from the protector. It was hard to explain, but it activated Link's stress mechanism.
After this was activated, the changes in his soul influenced his entire body which affected his power. After this avalanche-like chain effect, Link's body thought that everything in the environment was harmful and subconsciously rejected absorbing the power.
All existences in the world have hearts. If one's heart is blinded, the world will have no light.
The sword spirit's voice rang in Link's mind again. This time, it dawned on him. A ray of sunlight appeared in his clouded soul.
Once the light appeared, it sliced apart the clouds like a sharp sword. The world in Link's eyes brightened too. At the same time, he discovered that the looming ice walls had changed too. They looked cloudy, like a white mist.
It suddenly dawned on Link.
The protector's illusion wasn't actually that powerful. Most of his tricks were on the aspect of one's soul. Most of his surroundings weren't real. Other than the outermost walls of this icy valley, everything was fake.
Exhaling, Link looked back at the protector's figure. He realized it was an illusion too. Looking closely, he saw that the air around it was wavering. Its power was actually quite weak. It was practically just air.
"You're just the remnant of an ancient lord's consciousness. Now, you can no longer stop me."
With that, Link walked towards the Book of Creation piece and picked it up. During this, the protector retreated automatically. He smiled faintly. When Link picked up the piece, he bowed slightly. "Young man, you passed the final test."
Link no longer had any doubts. Looking at the piece in his hands, he said, "It won't turn me into the ruler or even give me any power, right?"
"Of course. It's just a broken piece. If it really could turn someone into the sovereign, it wouldn't be abandoned here."
"Then why was it passed down through the millenniums?" Link asked.
"It is a key." Light appeared in the protector's hands. When it dissipated, all illusions in the ice valley disappeared.
The freezing wind, icy snow, and extreme frigidity appeared one by one, showing the true appearance of the extreme north.
Whoosh, whoosh. Freezing wind blew endlessly, scraping Link's face like knives. He was forced to cast a Level-5 spell to fight against the cold.
The protector's illusion wavered in the wind and snow. He pointed at the tall mountain behind him. "Do you see the mountain path covered by thick snow?"
Link looked. Through the heavy snow, he saw a mountain behind the protector. A path snaked across it, but it was covered with snow. If not for the fact that the snow piles were very smooth, he wouldn't be able to see the path at all.
"Follow the path up. At the peak, there is a cave with a Level-19 eternal seal. The key is in your hands... Young man, I wish you a beautiful life."
After that sentence, wind blew and the protector transformed into snow, melting into the tundra.
Link glanced at the corner again. The game system's mission was still there, but it didn't flash anymore. The blood-red color had turned gray too. Behind it, it said "discarded."
This surprised Link slightly. The God of Light...can be wrong too?
He'd always thought that the God of Light was very powerful and knew practically everything about Firuman. Apparently, he was wrong.
Thinking back, this wasn't the God of Light's first mistake. Back at the Yabba city, he'd been fooled by the God of Destruction.
It seems that the God of Light isn't as powerful as I thought. He can't control Level-19 strength in the mortal world.
This detail helped Link see the God of Light's bottom line. He was powerful but not impossibly so. He had many flaws in his control of Firuman.
Of course, Link was still too weak. It was too soon to think of this. Shaking his head, he tossed the thoughts to the back of his head. Activating a levitation spell and Void Walk, he followed the mountain path to the peak.
Seconds later, Link was before a ten-foot-tall ice crystal. At a glance, it was just a normal block of ice. At closer inspection, Link saw that it was covered in runes. They were innumerable and complicated. He felt like his head would crack apart at just a glance, so he gave up.
When he walked up to it, the piece in his hand brightened and buzzed. It started shaking, almost leaving his hands.
Link let go, and it immediately floated to the crystal door. Then, like water fusing into a river, it disappeared. A few seconds later, the crystal door shone too. Five seconds later, there was a soft poof, and the door disappeared. A tiny hidden chamber appeared.
Pale blue light came from it, as well as a lovely and ethereal sound. Link walked in, and his eyes widened.
He saw two people inside the room. No, more correctly, it was two dried corpses.
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