6 The Mission—Or Survival


 There were two types of Magicians.

The first were Scholar-Magicians. Such individuals had deep understandings of how magic worked. Normally, their spellcasting was excellent, but they were not fighters. Under pressure, they made all types of mistakes.

Unfortunately, the magic tutors of The Lower Magic Academy of Flemmings had all been Scholar-Magicians.

Link saw Grant's corpse in one of the rooms. It lay on the floor, a deep, bloody hole in the middle of its chest. Grant had obviously been awake when he was murdered.

The floor had been littered with bodies, the air filled with the scent of their blood. Link mentally suppressed the urge to puke. What surprised him was that even though Celine's face was still pale, it had regained most of its normal composure.

It seemed that the maiden's soul and spirit were much stronger than her delicate appearance suggested.

Seeing a magic wand on the ground, Link picked it up. He passed it to Celine. "Take it."

Celine nodded. Taking the wand, she took a deep breath and tried to cast a Fireball. She took just over a second to do it.

"Not bad," Link praised her. It was an excellent attempt for the average Magician's Apprentice.

"Far behind you." Celine smiled faintly, looking much more at ease than before.

The two of them walked down the stairs. In the hall of the first floor, they saw Madame Fairfax's corpse. She lay there with her eyes wide open, an arrow lodged in her chest.

Sighing to himself, Link walked past the old lady's corpse and headed out of the Apprentice's Dorm.

Just as he was about to reach the exit, some eye-catching, glowing text appeared in his mind.

Part Two of Mission: Stop The Signal

Mission Details: Destroy the Portal Tower of the Magic Academy. Stop the Dark Elves from using the Portal Tower to contact the Dark Elf Army outside the city.

Mission Reward: 20 Omni Points

Seeing it, Link laughed bitterly inside. A reward of 20 Omni Points. It was very high, but he wanted to escape via the Portal Tower. If he destroyed it, how would he escape?

Never mind, he thought. I'll deal with it when the time comes. Let's get to the Portal Tower first. As for the mission, I'll just accept it for now. I'll forfeit if the circumstances don't allow it.

Omni Points were important, but his life was much more so. He had to act wisely.

After considering it thoroughly, Link chose to accept the mission for now.

Then, he trudged on with Celine.

The sounds of skirmishes from outside the academy had died down. The magic tutors were not good at battle techniques. Already at a disadvantage, their small numbers and being taken by surprise made them no match for the well-trained Dark Elf Assassins.

At the exit of the Apprentice's Dorm, Link tapped Celine and himself with his magic wand. He cast the Spell of Lesser Invincibility twice.

Lesser Invincibility

Level-0 spell

Effect: Gathers a shroud of darkness around the bearer. Is very effective at concealment in the dark. User must beware of bright lights.

This was the most basic spell of invincibility, as it was unable to conceal the sound of footsteps and scents. Bright lights and hunting dogs easily rendered it ineffective. But deep in the night, it would be enough.

"Follow me closely."

Link stepped into the darkness first, heading towards the direction of the Portal Tower. Celine followed closely behind him.

Not far from the Apprentice's Dorm was the Magic Academy's Starry Gardens. Flowers from all seasons were in full bloom under the nourishment of Mana. Peonies, roses, lilies, and tulips-the garden had every flower one could think of. It was beautiful. But the beauty of the scenery was destroyed by a corpse sprawled in the shrubs.

"It's Mr. Glasse," Celine said softly.

Mr. Glasse, a Level-3 Illusionist, skilled at transmutation magic and virtually harmless in battle. An arrow was buried deep in his back.

Evidently, his illusions hadn't managed to fool the Dark Elves.

Link had prepared himself for this. If no unexpected changes had occurred, he knew that they would see many of his magic tutors' bodies lying ahead of them.

And this was just the prelude to the massacre of Gladstone City.

As he thought, soon after, they came across the body of the young and beautiful lady teacher Vera. She wore only a thin gauze nightdress, most likely having escaped from her room hastily after hearing the commotion. But the Dark Elves had caught up to her.

The Dark Elves didn't appreciate her beauty. Her smooth, flat belly had a stab wound in it. Her body lay twisted on the ground. She was still alive and breathing, blood gushing out of the wound in her abdomen. Her nightdress soaked up the blood. It looked no different from a bewitching, bloody-red rose at first sight.

As if hearing them, her beautiful eyes sought the source of the noise, glowing strangely with a strong will to live.

She was still young, less than 30 years old. With her strong magical talents, she was already a Level-2 Conjurer. Her future held much promise, and her beauty was well-known throughout the academy.

She didn't want to die; her life had only just begun!

But her injury was fatal. No one could save her. Link was helpless.

Seeing corpses was one thing, but seeing someone on the brink of death was completely different-especially since that someone was a beloved teacher, struggling to live. It was too much.

Link's pupils constricted. The hand holding Celine's tightened.

In that moment, it suddenly struck him that he could never return to Earth. In the future, he would be just one amongst the countless creatures of the World of Firuman, struggling to survive in the Darkness.

I'm not a game player just watching from the sidelines anymore. I'm one of them. He'd really been disadvantaged by the God of Light!

Celine sensed Link's feelings. She was much calmer than he was. Patting his hand lightly, she sighed, "She was hurt too badly. We can't save her."

Link nodded, his heart heavy. Walking up to the lady teacher, he lifted his wand and used 2 Mana Points for the Spell of Slumber on her.

He couldn't save her. The least he could do was to let her leave in peace.

Under the Spell of Slumber, Vera slowly closed her eyes. Her body stopped writhing.

In another few steps, they saw the elderly Mr. Wilson. His head had been chopped right off. It lay ten feet away from his body.

All of them had been good people. Seeing them, Link felt the cruel reality of the war between Light and Dark. War was like a scythe, reaping lives like a harvest, it took a large patch of them with just one swing.

"What a dark, terrible world." Link felt sorrow in his heart and sighed deeply.

After the garden was a small forest. There were few trees in it, but they were huge. Each was more than 200 years old. A small path pierced through the wooded area, with lit street lamps every now and then that made it look like those of the High Elves.

This had been the favorite meet-up place for the couples of the Magic Academy.

But as Link walked through the woods, he counted six corpses sprawled out on the path, all lovers who had been meeting up late at night.

Tonight, these woods had become the final resting place for these couples.

"These Dark Elves are such a disgusting pack of Hell-Spawns!" Celine's face was full of disgust.

Link stopped walking abruptly. He took a step back and wrapped Celine in his arm, a large hand clasped over her mouth as he pulled her behind one of the ancient trees.

"Shhh."

Celine's beautiful eyes fluttered. She didn't say a word.

After a while, they saw a squad of Dark Elves run past them towards the direction of the Apprentice's Dorm.

There were at least 30 Magician's Apprentices in the dorm. These Dark Elves were going to annihilate them.

In a small voice, Celine asked, "Link, are we going to save them?"

Link shook his head almost imperceptibly. He couldn't. Celine understood. Her bright eyes danced. "Then why did you save me?" she asked.

Link paused before answering, "We're friends, are we not?"

Unexpectedly, his answer made the maiden's eyes light up. "You're a good friend. Can I ask you a question?"

"Go on."

"How did you learn so many spells in such a short time? And use them so well at that?" Her eyes burned with curiosity.

"I...perhaps you could say it's a revelation from God. When I woke up, something else was in my head," Link replied, mincing his words.

"Oh, that's how it is." Celine's gaze wandered. She didn't poke any further. Pointing at the Portal Tower, she said crisply, "Then let's go."

The squad of Dark Elves had passed. Link nodded and went on with Celine.

Passing through the woods, they scurried through the shadows in the Passage of Truth for about 30 yards before they took a left. They had arrived at the Portal Tower.

The Portal Tower had been very expensive to build. It was small, and could only send physical objects to no more than 6 miles away. Even so, such a tower had cost more than ten thousand gold pieces to build. That was half of what Gladstone City collected in taxes each year.

The building might've been costly, but it was very useful. It wasn't intended for treasures, but rather, information. It could send materials to much further locations, even places more than 300 miles away. It was extremely useful in that sense.

It was because of this that the Dark Elves also placed a lot of importance on the Portal Tower. Link saw three strong Dark Elf Warriors standing before the tower. He would have to face them.

They were guarding the Portal Tower from harm. If Link's memory served him right, a Dark Elf Magician would arrive soon. The Elf Magician would then use the Portal Tower to transmit a detailed report back to the Dark Elf Army stationed 30 miles away.

One of the three Warriors held a shield full of runes. The Warrior had wrapped himself in anti-magic armor from head to toe, not even exposing his face.

Link's pupils constricted. He knew this Warrior. In his last life on Earth, he had met the Warrior during his Escape Mission.

The Warrior was called Jiggs. He was the commander of the ambush on the Magic Academy. A Level-3 Warrior with Battle Aura, he knew many powerful Battle Skills. Covered entirely by anti-magic armor, he could completely disregard any direct spell attacks below Level-3.

In the game, he had been known as The Magician Slayer. All beginner Magicians finding their way out of Gladstone City avoided him like the plague.

The two Warriors flanking him were his subordinates, they both were Level-2. Although their gear wasn't as good as Jiggs' was, their anti-magic properties weren't weak either.

Now, Link had 18 Omni Points and 7 Mana Points. Engaging three powerful Dark Elf Warriors with that alone seemed impossible.

But he had no choice.

Taking a deep breath, Link purchased two new Level-0 Spells.

After that, he spent another 3 Omni Points on 30 Maximum Mana Points. He now had a Maximum Mana of 61 with 37 Mana Points. As for Mana Speed Recovery, he was short of time and had no use for it now.

He was left with 13 Omni Points after making his preparations.

Throwing a look at Celine to indicate that she should continue hiding in the bushes, Link walked out from the shadows on his own, letting the silver moonlight expose his form.

Link, who had been concentrating on observing his opponents, hadn't notice Celine open her mouth as if about to speak, then stop herself. The beautiful maiden decided to stay back in the shadows.

Never mind, that silly boy, she thought. I'll help him out as the situation progresses.

In that moment, Link saw only his opponents.

He waved his wand in greeting. "Hey, you pariah elves, what are you doing?"

He hadn't spoken loudly, but the three Dark Elves heard him quite clearly. They turned their heads simultaneously, fixing their bright red eyes on him.