If they were to ready gamble with their lives right now, they should have gone in fully equipped with their armor and weapons.
This was the problem. The three of them were completely stripped of those things when they were captured by the bandits. How were they supposed to fight under such conditions? This was where Link's spatial magic would come in handy.
Without further delay, after dispersing Morpheus' white mist clone, Link plunged a hand that was now gleaming with a silver light into the space in front of him. When he pulled it back out, there were now three spatial rings on his palm.
"Catch!" Everything they needed was in those three rings.
Link put on one of the rings. He then willed out some equipment into existence from the spatial ring. In the span of a mere second, these pieces of equipment sat themselves on Link's body on their own.
Turning around, Link saw that both Eliard and Dylosen were already fully equipped as well.
They still had nine seconds.
"Let's move out!" Activating the Void Walk spell, Link sprinted toward the leftmost cliff face of the valley. Eliard and Dylosen followed close behind him.
As soon as they reached the cliff face, Link turned around and saw that the bandit leader and his merry band were still waiting there at the entrance of the valley. They looked at Link in confusion.
The bandit leader had Level-8 power. He could still be a problem.
Glancing at the bandit leader, Link swung the Ode of a Full Moon sword behind him. In an instant, he unleashed a crescent-shaped 30-foot-long arc in the air, which silently flew 3000 feet across the valley towards the bandit leader.
Whir... whir... whir... The bandits at the valley's entrance, whose bodies were still intact a moment ago, were cleaved apart cleanly by an invisible force before they even knew what hit them.
Turning around again, Link saw that a few thousand feet away, black smoke was rising into the air. Then, a black cloud began forming above them, gradually blocking out all light from the sky until the valley was as dark as night.
"He's activating a shadow realm with a law spell. Be careful, this is a Level-15 technique! He still has Level-15 power!" shouted Dylosen.
The Chaotic Moon was able to suppress Level-5 power. If that was the case, Morpheus should only have Level-14 power right now. However, he was still in possession of the divine fragment, allowing him to attenuate some of the Chaotic Moon's effect.
This was not good!
Link had been reading the book titled Sacred Realm that he had gotten from the God of Light's library whenever he had time to spare. He now had a deeper understanding of the Legendary realm and the spells that could be acquired at every level in it.
In the Legendary realm, every level had an entry threshold. The first threshold to cross over was the one between Level-14 and Level-15.
In the Sacred Realm, Legendary masters at Level-14 and below were akin to newborn babies. Higher-level babies would be more powerful than those at lower levels. However, the essences of their powers would still remain unchanged.
With his rapid spellcasting and his lethal battle techniques, Link might stand a chance against a higher-level opponent. However, as soon as a Legendary master reached Level-15, the power he had spent a lifetime accumulating would undergo its first transformation.
A master with Legendary power at this stage would have full control of the essence of their power. In other words, they would be able to twist the laws of nature to their advantage. Low-level Legendary masters might be able to muster a small portion of that power. However, once they hit Level-15, they would see a drastic increase in their control over said laws.
A "realm" would be formed through the mixing and matching of these laws with those governing the Firuman realm.
The shadows were the Shadow Stalker Morpheus' domain. He had an ability similar to this even back in the game.
In the game, incredibly powerful masters like Nozama, Morpheus, Level-19 Eliard, Kanorse, and the Beastman Warlord all reigned supreme in their own realms.
As soon as they activated this ability, the world around them would begin to warp into an environment that would be conducive to their powers while inhibiting the powers of their enemies in the vicinity.
Under such circumstances, a Legendary master would have their combat power amplified considerably.
Seeing the encroaching darkness behind them, Link immediately said to Eliard, "Defend yourself! Just focus on keeping yourself alive for now!"
Morpheus was a demi-god Assassin. He was at his strongest in the shadows. A full-blown attack by him from the darkness would instantly kill Eliard, whose power was still at Level-11, making him the party's weakest link.
Eliard nodded. He first cast a Level-11 Legendary spell, "Ultimate Defense," on himself. He then produced three Void crystals and activated them. Layers of light began settling on his body, forming a one-foot-thick crystalline sheen around him.
At the same time, Link and Dylosen set up their own defenses as well. The three of them were now floating in mid-air, 100 feet away from each other in a triangular formation. This way, if one of them were about to be in danger, the other two would be able to come to his aid in time.
At this point, the sky had completely darkened above them. The only light in this world of darkness came from the magical defenses that Link and the other had set up around themselves.
Still, no matter how anxiously they waited in the darkness, Morpheus had yet to reveal himself!
If he decided to spend the next ten seconds in hiding, he would soon return to full strength. At that point, if Link and the others still had not managed to escape the shadow realm, they would be forced to contend with a Level-19 demi-god. Death was the only possible outcome in such a confrontation.
"Dylosen, where is he?!" shouted Link. Dylosen was the only one who could seek out Morpheus in the darkness using the Level-19 Pinnacle sacred gear.
Dylosen's heart was now racing. Seconds passed, and he was still no closer to pinpointing Morpheus' exact location with the Chaotic Moon.
He began channeling his full power into the Chaotic Moon. His hands now sweating profusely, he muttered, "I'm still trying to find him. His realm is really muddling up my senses!"
Link's nerves were tautened in anticipation of the enemy's ambush from the darkness. One second, two seconds, three seconds... Seconds passed, but Dylosen still did not have the faintest idea where their enemy could be.
None of them had ever encountered anyone as menacing as Morpheus. Their current situation was not unlike being thrown into a fiery pit with nowhere to run.
Link knew that they could not go on like this. Waiting for Dylosen to track down Morpheus was not an idea he found appealing right now. He needed to find a way out of this, but how? Should they run for their lives? No, they still had six seconds left. There was still a chance. The only thing they needed to concern themselves with now was to find Morpheus in the darkness before he found them!
Suddenly, something clicked in Link's mind. He recalled using a certain spell to dispel Morpheus' shadow realm back in the game. Unfortunately, it was a Level-18 spell. With his current power level, there was no way he would be able to use it.
However, the memory of this spell was like a key which automatically unlocked certain parts of Link's memory that had been locked away in his mind for a long time. No, there was still another spell, another technique that could get us out of this... Yes, I've got it!
In the game, few players were able to use magic to dispel Morpheus' shadow realm. However, as they still needed to defeat him, some Magicians had come up with a particularly effective way to bypass his shadow realm.
Though it was an ingenious technique, one still needed to have Level-14 Magical Power in order to use it. Link would also have to burn through all of his power to cast it.
But Link did not mind exhausting all his power for this, for he still had an extremely power magic stone at his disposal: the Energy Crystal that would replenish his power once activated!
At that moment, Eliard saw that Dylosen was still wrestling with the Chaotic Moon. He knew that the man had come to his wit's end.
"Link, should we retreat?" shouted Eliard.
Link shook his head. "No, we still have a chance. Witness my magic!"
While saying this, Link was perusing the spell menu that had appeared in his field of vision. He soon selected a spell named "Sunlight."
Level-14 Legendary spell
Cost: 28,000 Realm Essence points.
Description: Convert a huge amount of power into pure sunlight. If cast at full power, the resulting illumination may even be as bright as sunlight.
(Note: Light unlike anything you've ever seen!)
The Sunlight spell might not be enough to pierce through the darkness around them. Even though Morpheus' power had been inhibited by them, he was still a Level-15 master with his own realm.
There existed a wide chasm between Level-14 and Level-15. Morpheus would just ignore the Sunlight spell like it was nothing.
Therefore, Link still needed to try another technique.
To an ordinary Magician, this technique might prove difficult to pull off. However, to a spatial Magician like Link, it would be child's play. He currently had 190 Omni Points. After buying this Level-14 spell, he still had 50 points remaining, which he then used to give himself a power boost
Though he was only able to raise his power by 50 points, this 50-point power boost might just spell the difference between life and death for Link.
After acquiring the spell, a shiver ran through his body. He then raised his Ode of the Full Moon sword without hesitation. At the same time, he took out the Energy Crystal in his left hand.
He began activating the Sunlight spell in his right hand while drawing power from the Energy Crystal in his left!
In an instant, a speck of light appeared on the tip of his sword like the light from a firefly's abdomen. Then, the speck of light exploded!
Hum... Like the Big Bang, an explosion of light flooded the entire valley. It spread out in every direction, crashing against the surrounding darkness like a tidal wave.
However, Link knew that this Level-14 spell would not be able to disperse the darkness completely. The light would soon be swallowed by the darkness.
A violent spatial distortion appeared around the light at the same time. The light struck the distorted space and began filling it up for a fraction of a second until it finally burst out from an outlet in it.
In a corner, Eliard saw that the Ode of a Full Moon was growing bigger and bigger in Link's hand until it was approximately a few thousand feet long and a few hundred feet wide. The entire blade seemed to be made entirely out of light, which at times gleamed like snow and at times burned like fire.
"Ahh!" Link roared. He then swung this sword of light in various directions. In a blink of an eye, he managed to swing the sword around at least a hundred times. At a glance, rays of light seemed to be radiating from his body. At the same time, the light now spread far and wide across the valley, which barely made a dent on the darkness around them.
This was the difference between Level-14 and Level-15. The combination of a Level-14 spell as well as a few other techniques from Link left barely a scratch on Morpheus' shadow realm.
At first, the shadow realm had been an impenetrable sheet of darkness. However, as Link danced about with his enlarged sword, the darkness now seemed to thin considerably. At this point, anyone with Legendary eyesight would have been able to perceive the vague outlines of objects in the distance.
In the face of this all-encompassing darkness, Link's power alone would not have sufficed. As soon as the explosion of light subsided, he would immediately be consumed by the shadows. However, he was not alone.
With the aid of the few rays of light that managed to pierce through the darkness, Dyleson again tried to seek out Morpheus.
"I found him, I found him! He's right... Link, look out!" shouted Dyleson.
Through the dim light, Dyleson could make out a vague black form hurtling towards Link at unimaginable speed. The shadow was moving so fast his eyes could not even keep up with it. He would not be able to cast any spell to block the Shadow Stalker's attack in time!
In the shadow realm, Morpheus' power was at its peak. Even if he were to be spotted in his domain, no one would be able to block his lightning-fast attacks. This was true in Dyleson's case.
As soon as Dyleson finished his sentence, he suddenly felt his own body being swayed left and right by an unseen force. No matter how much he struggled against it, it was all in vain.
He shouted in bewilderment, "The space is vibrating around us!"
He then turned around to locate the source of this spatial tremor and saw a scene he would never forget for as long as he lived.
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