679 Archmage Tutor 1

 By using the Divine Fragment's curse to kill Mozur, Link had created a huge disturbance, but he didn't know about these changes in the background.

While the outside world was changing dramatically, he and Eliard had just arrived at the border of Ferde.

"Eliard, wake up!" Link raised his voice at Eliard.

"Huh? Oh, sorry, that thing is too tempting." Eliard whacked his forehead and then shook his head, forcing his eyes away from the wooden box hanging from Link's waist.

The box contained the Divine Fragment. For some reason, it radiated with a tempting aura. It made Eliard feel that it contained a world-class delicacy while he was a vagrant who hadn't eaten for three whole days.

He also felt that if he possessed the box, he would immediately have all the good in the world. He would be the happiest person in the world and never have any regrets.

This feeling was 100 times better than his first time sleeping with his first love Ailina and his current love Evelina. He didn't know how to resist.

Tearing his gaze away, Eliard could clearly feel a voice telling him, Just look again. It's alright. Link won't yell at me... Why can Link hold it? Why can't I? Yeah, it's better if I hold it... It's better if...if it's mine...only mine...

The voice was littered with pauses and had an indescribable persuasiveness. Eliard wanted to stop, but he couldn't. He was embarrassed by his thoughts, but it didn't stop him from thinking them.

Link will never agree to let me have that treasure. How can he? Look, he's going to scold me again. If I ask him, he'll even use the lord's authority to punish me... How should I get it then?

Under the nameless desire's urging, a thought that scared him finally popped out. What if I find a chance to...make Link disappear?

Once this thought appeared, his pallor changed. He gulped and quickly looked up. When he saw Link's back, he lowered his head. His eyes stared at the ground, darkening.

The thought only lasted for an instant. Horrible guilt seized Eliard's heart. No! How can I think that? I wouldn't be where I am now without Link. I have my beautiful lover, Evelina, and prestigious status. Link never shows off his lord's authority. He is my best friend and my comrade. We're fighting together to create a human paradise. How can I think like that?

All the questions dissipated the shadows in Eliard's heart. His eyes brightened again. But it only lasted a few seconds before another thought popped up. Will Link take the Divine Fragment for himself and use it to become a god?

He couldn't repress this thought. It was like a seed underground that had gotten watered. It broke through the soil bravely. Eliard's logical and ethical mind ripped it out, but more and more kept growing.

Suddenly, Link stopped walking and said, "Eliard, this can't continue."

"Huh, what?" Eliard's mind cleared up. He realized that those chaotic thoughts still existed, but they didn't affect him as much. After all, people needed company.

Ding. Link tapped the air and the space before Eliard solidified into a clear mirror. He saw his reflection in the mirror.

There was a familiar yet strange face. The contours were familiar, but the expression was not. His brows were tightly knitted, and his eyes were dark. The facial muscles were tense, and the corners of his lips were tight. It was a menacing and evil face.

Eliard was completely shocked. He felt his face in disbelief. "How is this possible?"

"The face is the reflection of one's soul. The Divine Fragment is tempting you right now." Link studied his good friend's eyes, but Eliard's gaze shied away. This would have never happened in the past.

Link was shocked-not at Eliard but at the Divine Fragment's power. To be honest, he'd been affected deeply too. However, he'd seen Morpheus, Dylosen, and especially Mozur die with his own eyes. His heart could always warn him, so he didn't fall in too deep. It seemed that Eliard had completely fallen.

"Eliard, this Divine Fragment is a curse. It will bring bad luck to you and I and Ferde. You've seen how powerful it is at tempting people. The more people there are, the stronger it gets. If we bring it to Ferde, who knows what will happen?"

By then, Ferde may fall into internal chaos due to it. It might even collapse.

Eliard was frightened, but the voice rose up again. See, see. He said he wouldn't bring it back to Ferde. He must want it for himself. That must be it.

As soon as that idea was planted, Link yelled, "Eliard, bastard!"

With that, Link suddenly reached out and slapped Eliard crisply. It dazed Eliard.

As the saying went, you could hit someone but not slap their face. Even an unbothered person would forever remember a heavy slap. It was even more so for Eliard. As best friends, other than that fight at Tutor Herrera's door, they'd never even gotten angry with each other, let alone slap each other.

Elard didn't even know how to react. He just clutched his face and glared at Link in angry shock.

Unexpectedly, Link's fury disappeared after the slap. "Okay, are you awake now?"

"Awake?" Eliard was confused, but he soon felt the change. The dark thoughts weakened a lot. They still remained, but they'd become fleeting clouds. They no longer affected his mind. When he thought back to those terrifying ideas, he found them incredible.

"Link, I..." Eliard felt strange and embarrassed.

Link waved his hand. "Don't, I understand. When I first got the fragment, I had the same thoughts. Now, we have to get rid of the fragment."

He was a powerful Soul Magician now. He didn't slap Eliard just to slap him. He used this insulting action to sway Eliard's heart. When a flaw appeared in his soul, Link yelled further to create an advanced defense barrier in Eliard's soul.

The entire process was traceless but effective. It successfully helped Eliard escape from the fragment's influence. Of course, this was only temporary. As long as the Divine Fragment was still beside them, Eliard could fall back into it. They had to get rid of it as soon as possible.

After he recovered his senses, Eliard felt belated fear. He didn't dare look at the wooden box again. "You're right. We can't let this into Ferde... Link, are you preparing to go to the Aragu Realm now?"

"That's the plan." Link's expression was strange. He looked to the Grinth Forest in the northwest. "But for some reason, a voice keeps telling me that the forest is the right direction."

"Soul Premonition?" Eliard was a powerful Magician too. He knew that all strong Magicians had this ability. Link also had studied Secret spells before.

Link was a bit hesitant. "I think so, but to be honest, the Divine Fragment is too powerful. The enemies watching it are also impossibly powerful. I don't know if the premonition is mine or if some creature is affecting me."

The premonition was a good thing in lower-level battles. But at this level, most Magicians had touched on this field before. The so-called Soul Premonition wasn't as trustworthy anymore. If he relied on it for directions, he could walk right into a trap.

Eliard had no solutions. "Which path do you choose? If you want to go with logic, it's Aragu. If you want to follow your gut, let's visit the forest. I'll go with you either way."

It was hard to choose.

Every physical appearance was a reflection of the heart. Right now, he was in a mess, so he decided to tidy it bit by bit. He looked carefully at the root and tip of each train of thought.

A few seconds later, Link opened his eyes. They were clear as water.

In that instant, Eliard was shocked by the clarity of Link's eyes. They were as pure as a child's eyes and as clean as a pool of water. But they also carried such wisdom. It was impossible to describe. He'd never seen this look on another man.

He believed that Link had the answer.

"To Grinth. There should be an elder waiting for us there," Link murmured dreamily.

"Elder? Do you know who it is?"

"We'll know when we see him. He shouldn't be an enemy." Link walked towards the forest; Eliard hurried after him.

The two were very fast. Around fifteen minutes later, they were at the edge of the forest. There was a clear creek with a flat stone beside it. An elder with a snowy robe leaned on his wand and sat there, smiling at the two.

When Link and Eliard approached, the elder said, "Ferde lord, you didn't disappoint me."

Eliard doubted the elder's identity, but Link understood. He bowed and said, "Archmage, it is my honor to see you."

With that, Link handed over the wooden box with the Shadow Divine Fragment. He didn't want to hold it a second longer.

Unexpectedly, the Snow Mountain Archmage didn't accept it. He shook his head. "Fate has told me that now is not the time yet."

"What?" Link wanted to throw the thing down and leave.

"A powerful enemy is hurrying over. You and your companion need more strength. There isn't enough time. Let us start."

With that, a magic book appeared in the Archmage's hands. He flipped to a page and pointed at a magic seal that was too complicated to be ever replicated. "Level-17 magic seal: World of Ice and Snow. Learn it in three days!"