Chapter 601: Can I Still Call You Duke?
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Red Dragon Queen felt warmth flow into her icy chest, forcing away the coldness and numbness. She instantly recovered her feeling. This wasn't a good thing because what followed was an intense pain that made her go crazy.
It was terrifying, like someone plunging a blunt knife into her body and then cutting her into pieces, bit by bit, before rolling her into a ball of ground meat. She felt like her bones were getting shattered!
Under this extreme pain, all she could do was scream.
But the small movement brought new pain. The pain came in waves, each stronger than the last. It felt like her intestines were breaking and her soul was scattering.
What's wrong? Who's torturing me?
Gretel couldn't think properly under the pain. Her vision was black, and she couldn't see anything. Her mouth was numb and swollen too. There seemed to be a block of wood inside so she could clench her teeth.
Those two questions remained in her mind for a long while. Suddenly, another warm current surged. More numbness was driven away. Coming back to life, her body grew more sensitive. Even more unbearable pain came, shattering her mind.
She started floating in the sea of pain. Surrounded by darkness, she didn't know when she would see land or why it was like this. She just waited for time to pass in the torture, confused and lost.
After who knew how long, a shred of light appeared in the dark sea of pain. It came from the sky.
The only thought in her mind was: what is that?
The light approached quickly. When it was close, Gretel vaguely saw that it was a hand. This hand of light came from the sky and grasped her body, pulling her from the endless torture.
It was like a hallucination but also a bit real. She couldn't distinguish real from unreal.
But she felt that the pain had reduced to something bearable. Gretel also felt a bit of her vision recover. A blurry figure appeared-he was familiar. A familiar voice sounded in her ears too.
Gretel couldn't hear the voice clearly, but it seemed to be warm like winter sunlight. She calmed instantly.
The warm current from before kept surging into her. This time, the pain reduced when it appeared again. What resulted was indescribable warmth and comfort.
Slowly, Gretel's vision sharpened more, and she saw the figure clearly. She saw the young yet plain face and the black battle robe. The sleeves were rolled up, and the hands were covered in blood. They reflected the moonlight. There was something like a thread and needle in the hand. It was doing something in her chest and abdomen. The warmth she felt came from these hands.
The memories of before returned to Gretel's mind. She'd run into the Light Magician Halino. She hadn't been his match. A few moves later, she had been nailed to the wall by the Spear of Light. Then Link had appeared, and Halino had detonated the spear. She didn't know what happened afterwards.
But Link was healing her now. At the very least, this meant Halino hadn't defeated him...This young man was incredibly powerful. He'd killed the Black Magician Eugene who had been undefeatable for centuries. He'd also survived a battle with the Light Magician. Unfortunately, he had his own path and didn't belong to the dragons.
Looking at Link's focused expression and the sweat on his forehead, and feeling her body recovering quickly, Gretel stopped caring. She threw away all worries. Without speaking, she gazed at Link, looking at every curve and detail on his face.
She wanted to remember all of this.
On the other hand, Link was focused completely on healing Gretel's injury. Instead of the flesh magic puppet spell, he used Vance's anatomy method. He also used Realm Essence to urge Gretel's body to heal itself. The effect wouldn't be as fast as the flesh magic puppet spell, but it would help Gretel recover to its original state. There wouldn't be many side effects.
Gretel's injury was grave. That explosion had practically shattered her body. Link had used two hours just to keep her from dying. Then he used three hours to help her regain consciousness and get rid of the pain.
But she was still far from recovered. Link couldn't help much during this process. It depended on Gretel's own recovery ability.
After another half an hour, Link finally treated all the surface wounds. From the outside, Gretel's body had recovered. There were just stitches everywhere that looked menacing and scary. To prevent scarring her mentally, Link washed the blood off his hands and wrapped her with the magic gauze he'd prepared.
"Your Majesty, your wounds are treated but are still grave. You need at least ten more hours before he can move."
As he spoke, Link placed a fur cape on Gretel's body and a clean shirt under her head for a pillow. Now, Gretel had collected the weak emotions that had come out. She was once again the Red Dragon Queen.
"How's Halino?" she asked softly.
"He's dead." Link wasn't surprised by the Red Dragon Queen's actions. They'd chosen different paths and were both rulers. If the prior disagreement still existed, they would have no room for negotiations.
Gretel was shocked. She didn't think that things were more dramatic than she'd imagined. Link had killed both Light and Dark Magicians. After a moment, she asked the most important question. "Did you get the piece?"
When asking the question, she wished that Link would tell her he didn't. Even if it was a lie, she would accept it and move on.
So what if Link became the ruler? He had the ability. As the ruler of Ferde, the territory had prospered instead of sinking into darkness. Anyway, she didn't want to care anymore. She couldn't care. As long as Link lied, she wouldn't be conflicted.
But Link nodded. "I did."
The Red Dragon Queen's heart turned bitter. She said with difficulty, "You shouldn't have saved me. You should've killed me!"
Link smiled. He rolled down his sleeves and pulled a book from his waist. "Actually, we were all fooled by the protector. The piece can't do anything. It's just a key. What I received, in the end, was a book of Secret spells."
Link opened the leather buckle on the book and flipped through for Gretel. "Do you see? It's all Secret spells and some Soul spells. This was left behind by some powerful ancient Magician. It has nothing to do with the World Tree."
"Really?" Gretel's eyes sparkled with happiness. The pained expression in her brows dissipated.
"When have I ever lied to you? In reality, you're the one who's always lying. Do you still remember the Dragon Valley?" Link asked in return, smiling.
Gretel sighed in relief. Link was right. She'd indeed lied to Link many times, tricking him into the Dragon Valley. Of course, these were nothing now. Even if the Soul spells in Link's book were mostly forbidden, that didn't matter either.
The most terrifying disagreement between them had disappeared. They didn't have to kill each other anymore. It was enough.
Gretel's brows curved and her voice became gentle. Her entire temperament grew gentle. "Thank you for saving me, Duke."
"Duke?" Link arched an eyebrow in confusion.
"I think that your idea before was right. The dragon race can't remain in the same spot. When I recover, I will return and persuade the elders to share the secret of the Dragon Power."
Then, fearing Link wouldn't agree, she asked, "Will you come back?"
"Your Majesty, I'm very happy you can understand me." Link smiled and nodded. He agreed.
"Duke" was only a title to represent that he saw himself as part of the dragon race. But now, he and the Red Dragon Queen didn't have any difference in status.
In reality, this was like an alliance. Link lowered his title in consideration of the ego of the ancient dragon race. (Take the Qing Dynasty tribute trade for example. It was trade but was called "tribute" for the Qing Dynasty's ego.)
Gretel obviously knew they couldn't return to the past. But after experiencing this event, she understood something. Decisions shouldn't be made in a hurry. She should look forward-it may be a good thing.
"Where are we now?" Gretel looked around and only saw icy walls. There was a magic light above her head.
"We're still in the extreme north. This is a hole I dug randomly to keep warm." Link chuckled. As he spoke, he felt that Gretel's wound had used up all her power again, so he started feeding her power.
"Your injury is very grave. The power cycle may even be damaged, so every now and then, I must feed your power to boost recovery. A few hours later when you're better, I'll take you to Ferde."
Right now, the Red Dragon Queen didn't have any power at all. It was all supplied by Link. She couldn't recover it anymore, and Link didn't know why. But seeing as her body kept using up power to heal itself, it was highly possible she would recover.
Gretel nodded in agreement.
After a pause, she suddenly thought of something. "What about those who'd come with you?"
"They're okay. The test we experienced was actually an illusion. My people have returned to Ferde. The Mountain Sage also returned to Dwarf Mountain. The Warrior from the Isomerism Realm has also disappeared. I checked the tracks in the snow. They seemed to have gone towards the Black Forest."
"Oh, that's good." Gretel sighed softly. "This way, we won't be able to stop the fusion of the realms. Firuman will have trouble."
Link nodded. "Indeed, but we're still alive. There's hope that we can solve it."
Gretel looked at the young man. He was calm when he spoke. Even something as shocking as the realms fusing couldn't shake him.
She smiled and thought, You're wrong. As long as you're here, then there is hope.
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