Chapter 618: Take Care, Kid
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"I take it you have some good news for me?"
Aisenis' appearance was abrupt. No energy fluctuations preceded it. He had appeared as a shadow, which then solidified into a physical body, from which sounded the Yabba man's clear, melodious voice.
As Yabba people were generally short, Aisenis would always appear on an elevated platform so that he would not have to keep his head raised to speak with someone.
At that moment, he had decided to make his entrance on a long table.
Link smiled. Without saying anything, he took out the Jogu pieces and began lining them up one by one on the table.
"Oh, are these Jogus? That's quite a collection. How did you manage to amass this much so quickly?"
Aisenis stared at the rows of Jogus. He stooped down and began inspecting each white stone on the table. After inspecting ten or so pieces, he turned around and looked at Link, "So you've collected 300 pieces of Jogu in total?"
Link nodded, "As per our agreement, 300 pieces of Jogu in exchange for a way to completely seal up the realm crack."
Hearing this, a troubled look crept up Aisenis' face. He rubbed his hands together unconsciously as he stared at the sky outside the window for a long while.
Finally, he spoke, "To tell you the truth, I didn't think you would be able to collect this much Jogus. If I were to give you the means to repair the realm crack, I'd automatically be an enemy of the God of Destruction. I wouldn't be able to stay in this realm for long, as he'd be sending his servants after me soon."
Link frowned. "We had a deal. Don't tell me you're going back on your word now?"
Link's words seemed to have touched a nerve, as Aisenis leaped up and said loudly, "No, of course not! I would never do anything to jeopardize my reputation as a respectable Travel Magician!"
Link shrugged. "Then what are you making such a fuss about? Every transaction always comes with its own risk. Just tell me what I need to hear and consider our business concluded."
Aisenis looked at the pieces of Jogus lined up neatly on the table. He picked one up and began gently stroking it. After a while, he sighed, "Mortal, if you ever have the chance to leave this realm and take a trip to the Sea of Void, you'd understand my misgivings about this. Also, this is a lot of Jogus, even for me... Alright, alright, I'll keep my end of the bargain!"
He handed a brown goatskin scroll over to Link. "It's all in this scroll. The procedure's a bit complicated, but it doesn't require much. You're a lord now. You probably have a lot of subordinates under you. I figure you'll be able to pull it off with your resources."
Aisenis waved a hand, and all the white Jogu stones on the table vanished in an instant. In the next moment, the Travel Magician began to fade away, ready to leave the place.
"Wait, I still have something I would like to talk to you about," said Link in a hurry.
Aisenis reverted to his corporeal form. "I'm listening."
"I still have a couple of Jogus left. I would like to buy a piece of information with them." Link initially had 307 Jogu pieces in total. After giving Aisenis 300 pieces, he still had 7 pieces to spare, which probably would be enough to purchase a small piece of information from the Yabba man.
Looking at the stones in Link's hand, Aisensi hesitated for a moment, then said, "Keep your Jogus. Whatever it is you want to know, just ask. Consider it a parting gift from me, as I don't think we will ever have the chance to see each other again."
Aisenis' face broke into a bitter smile. Curiously enough, Link could sense a hint of sympathy in his eyes as the Travel Magician looked at him.
Is he feeling sorry for me? Or is he just feeling sorry for himself? thought Link, puzzled. What was even stranger was the fact that Aisenis had always expressed a fervent passion for these Jogu stones. What would have made him turn down Link's last remaining Jogu stones?
Link figured the Travel Magician would not tell him his reasons even if he had asked. Putting these questions aside, he decided to take up Aisenis' offer and asked, "There seems to be a new commander in charge of the Army of Destruction. I would like to know more about this mysterious figure. For instance, his habits, his past, important figures under his command. I would like to know them all."
Aisenis shook his head. "That's way too many questions for a freebie from me. I can only tell you this. Yes, the Army of Destruction has a new leader, but you already know him. He's called Eugene."
"The Dark Magician Eugene?!" Link was taken aback. However, after carefully thinking it through, this made a lot of sense. He had interfered with Eugene's affairs not too long ago, and so it would be natural for him to stir trouble up for Link in return.
"Is there another Eugene I don't know about?" Aisenis shrugged. He then began to fade away once more. Just when he was about to disappear completely, his voice rang out, "Argh, I'm such a softie. Young man, I'll give you my last piece of information. It's already written in the last paragraph of the scroll's content. It concerns Firuman's future, or at least, the most likely future I was able to see. What will you do in the face of such a future, I wonder?"
Saying this, a beam of light shot out from Aisenis' fading form and hit the scroll in Link's hand. Finally, he was gone. Link did not have the faintest idea where he could have gone off to, or whether he was still in Firuman.
Recollecting himself, Link unfurled the scroll in his hand and began reading its content.
A magic seal was depicted at the beginning of the scroll. It was extremely sophisticated. More than half of the runes inscribed on it had surpassed Link's comprehension. However, he was still able to make sense of a couple of structures in it. They all seemed to involve gluing the torn edges of space together.
This all seemed legitimate, though Link would need to spend some time studying the magic seal in order to use it properly.
Aisenis' final words had piqued his curiosity. After giving a cursory glance at the magic seal, he moved on to the second paragraph of the scroll.
The paragraph was titled ominously "The Age of Darkness." Below it was an introduction of a few hundred words, which gave a brief account of Firuman's history.
Link continued reading the rest of the paragraph.
A year from now, after the realm reunification, the Aragu realm will be able to subdue all of Firuman with its overwhelming military might.
In the first year after the reunification, the Inferno Archmage will burn the World Tree down. As a result, the Isle of Dawn will sink into the depths of the ocean. Most of its inhabitants will perish, and any survivors will be forced to seek shelter on the continent.
In the third year after the reunification, Shadow Stalker Morpheus will fail at his ascension to godhood. The Southern Free Trade Confederation will be annexed by the Yan empire as a result. As the representative of the entire Norton Kingdom, Ferde will form the Alliance of Light with the Beastmen.
In the fourth year after the reunification, the War of the Green Valley will erupt. The Beastmen will be brought to the brink of extinction as a result of the war, and the alliance will be disbanded. With the God of Light's influence weakened considerably, the lord of Ferde will later be exiled from his domain. Three months later, he will join forces with the Aragu Empire.
In the seventh year after the reunification, the Inferno Archmage will successfully ascend to godhood and later defeat the Aragu empire's protector, the Snow Mountain Archmage. The Yan empire will seize this chance to unite the realm and slaughter all the important personages of the Aragu empire. The former lord of Ferde will perish in battle, while an imprisonment seal will destroy the Black Forest in the North, pushing the Dark Elves to the brink of extinction.
In the eighth year after the reunification, the Yan empire will achieve dominance over all other races.
In the eleventh year after the reunification, the Yan empire will collapse and split into ten smaller countries, in which all races will be able to achieve independence.
Anything beyond the eleventh year of the reunification is a blur. Nothing of substance could be gleaned from it.
There was a sentence scribbled at the end of the paragraph, which read, "Eleven years of strife. Casualties will amount to five million, which makes up at least 90% of the realm's current population. In the coming eleven years, the world will be plunged into an endless pit of darkness and despair. Take care, kid."
Link's brows furrowed as he read this.
As far as he could tell, Aisenis possessed incredible power rivaling that of a god. Naturally, this meant that he was able to accurately predict the most likely course time would take. Events would unfold as he had described in the scroll for the next eleven years after the realm reunification, ushering the whole world into an age of darkness.
However, Link had seen the future from Aisenis' perspective. Whatever choices Link decided to make from now on with this knowledge in hand could affect the future drastically.
If Link was an ordinary being, his actions would only be able to affect the future to a trivial extent. A few details would be shifted out of alignment here and there, but otherwise, everything would remain largely the same. However, Link was a Level-12 Legendary Magician at the helm of Ferde's army. He was an influential figure in the politics of Norton Kingdom who also had close ties with the dragon race. Simply put, the power he wielded was enormous.
The future had entered a state of flux the moment Aisenis revealed what he knew about it to Link. Someone with Link's influence would definitely be able to change the world's current course in order to prevent such a bleak future from happening.
In other words, he still had a chance to make things right!
Slowly rolling up the scroll, Link walked to the window and admired the scenery outside. He was now inside the barrier around the realm crack, and the scenery outside the window belonged to the Korora Mountain Range.
Mountains stretched into the distance as far as the eye could see. Dragon guards circled the sky above him, while Red Dragon Magicians remained in their positions, closely monitoring the barrier's condition. Not too far away were the Warriors and Magicians of Ferde.
The Magicians of Ferde were either analyzing magical techniques or monitoring the operation of the magic seals with their Red Dragon counterparts, while the Warriors of Ferde dueled with their Red Dragon counterparts, sharpening each other's skills.
Not everyone seemed outwardly happy about this, but the general atmosphere was one of peace and optimism for the future.
These are all elites of Firuman. Once both realms are reunited, most of them will die in battle, thought Link. The few who manage to survive will be forced to submit to the Aragu realm's indomitable might and endure a life of discrimination and scorn from their oppressors for the remainder of their lives with no hope of reliving the glory days. Though Ferde may be enjoying a prosperous existence right now, it will all soon come to an end once the age of darkness descends on all of us. I won't even be able to survive the first seven years after the realm reunification event. When I'm gone, Celine probably won't fare any better than me in the new world as well.
This all hinged on the matter of the realm reunification.
Not too long ago, Link did not think that the realm reunification would pose a huge threat to him and had simply wondered how he would have to adapt to a reunited realm. However, with the threat of an all-out war looming over him right now, Link had begun giving serious thought about stopping the realm reunification process entirely.
This was without a doubt a difficult hurdle to overcome, but in Link's experience, there was no such thing as the impossible in this world.
There's no time to lose; I must act quick!
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