After defeating three six-winged Burning Angels, Link quickly left the scene. Half a minute later, he arrived at the new intersection between the Yan Empire and Aragu Empire: Raging Dragon River.
Crash, whoosh. The river's crashing waves were thunderous like thousands of galloping horses. Standing on the riverbank, he could feel the ground trembling.
Upriver and downriver of the Raging Dragon River were vastly different. There were many cliffs and water was abundant, thus creating this scene as it tumbled down.
The river wasn't just fast, but it was also very wide. From what Link could see, the surface was at least half a mile wide. Steam rose up from the surface, hiding the river.
Link sensed carefully and got a basic idea of the Raging Dragon River's secret. He couldn't help but sigh. There are signs of Mana operation. This is a perfect fusion of magic and natural principles. What a great representation of man and nature as one.
As soon as he thought this, he felt a slight energy surge from the near distance. It wasn't malevolent though. He had an idea of the comer's identity.
Link stood by the river and waited.
A few seconds later, dark blue light pierced through the heavy mist and landed by the river. It was a Warrior in dark blue crystal armor. Seeing Link, he saluted in the Araguan way and smiled. "Master, you have great vision."
His smile wasn't submissive. His crystal-blue eyes sparkled with confidence.
Seeing the man's appearance, Link already knew his identity. Since the man called him "Master," he guessed that the man also knew him. They hadn't met before, so the Snow Mountain Archmage must have told him.
This meant that the Archmage already knew of his arrival. Similarly, the Inferno Archmage must know too. Neither had appeared yet, so this could only mean that the Snow Mountain Archmage was fighting the Inferno Archmage so he couldn't come.
Thinking of this, Link knew that he should be safe now.
With his current power, other than people above the Archmage level, he didn't fear any Aragu Warriors. Even if many people surrounded him and he couldn't beat them all, he could use spatial magic and escape easily.
He returned the Frost Warrior's salute. "I heard that there are six powerful Frost Warriors in the Aragu Empire. Each one has top skills in the realm. May I know your name?"
The Aragu Empire and Yan Empire were opposites. The Yan Empire had Lava Knights while Aragu had Frost Knights. They were at the same level.
Hearing Link's words, the Frost Warrior puffed up his chest even more and said seriously, "I am Therodeau Heather, the Absolute Zero. The Snow Mountain Archmage, Grandmaster Iyr told me about your arrival and guided me here. You came much sooner than I'd expected."
"Grandmaster" was another name for Archmages because once someone reached Level-19, they would start a clan and have many students.
"Oh, you're Therodeau. I brought the thing. Do I give it to you or hand it to the Archmage?" Link asked. The Divine Fragment was difficult. If he could, he would definitely toss it to the Frost Knight and get out of there.
But reality disappointed him. Therodeau shook his head. "The Grandmaster told me that you must give it to him personally. Our responsibility is to escort you there safely."
This made Link furrow his brows. "Is the journey dangerous?"
If they were regular people, the Yan Empire might send someone powerful into the Aragu Empire to attack them. However, they were at the top level, and the Aragu Realm was their turf. How could anything happen?
Therodeau shook his head. "I don't see any danger, but Grandmaster said that he feels a surge of darkness is corroding the realm. This darkness will cover the sky and earth, destroying the sun and stars. Unfortunately, he's caught up with the Inferno Archmage. Otherwise, he would definitely come welcome you personally."
This deepened Link's brows. "Surge of darkness? Cover the sky and earth, destroying the sun and stars? Is there more information?"
Therodeau didn't reply immediately. Looking at the Slanda Plains behind Link, he said, "Master, it's not safe here. How about we cross the river first? I will explain to you on the road."
Therodeau whistled. The Raging Dragon River instantly calmed a lot. The mist that had covered the surface now showed a clear passageway.
"Follow me. Be careful not to touch the mist. The Grandmaster created it personally, and it's extremely cold. It can freeze anything, even space. That's why transmissions are forbidden." With that, Therodeau activated his power and started walking through the water.
Every time he stepped, the water underfoot would turn to ice. With hard ground under him, he could jump forward. The ice would then get swallowed by the rapid current. On the other hand, Link used Void Walk to float behind. His expression was calm, but his heart was in tumult now-not because of the Raging Dragon River but because of the Snow Mountain Archmage's words.
Archmages had extremely powerful souls. Their knowledge of spatial and chronological principles was far beyond Link's grasp. The Snow Mountain Archmage had seen the darkness and described it as destroying the sun and stars. In other words, the realm would be destroyed.
Even more incredible was that the Inferno Archmage didn't feel anything about the darkness and still wanted to fight. Didn't he care that after the realm was destroyed, he wouldn't become a god anymore?
Also, what kind of darkness could destroy a realm?
Many possibilities instantly flashed through Link's mind.
The first was the Sovereign of Light from the Fedaro Realm. He was the only true god Link knew. He had the motivation and the ability.
The second was a magic accident. An accident had happened in Firuman that had split the realm into two. There was also the World Tree that could fuse the realms. If the tree made a mistake, it could also spell disaster.
The third... the third was a bit less certain. The Sea of Void was boundless. No one could say it wasn't possible for some terrifying god to jump out somewhere.
Deep in thought, Link arrived at the other side of the river with Therodeau.
Rather than Raging Dragon Fortress, it was a remote place. The fortress was a few miles away, and Link could see it easily.
"This is a secret mission," Therodeau explained. "There's no need to let the mortals know. If they know, more trouble will appear."
Link agreed. "Then where are we going?" he asked.
Therodeau whistled again. A while later, a figure appeared. They were also clad in blue crystal armor, but their figure was more graceful. They had long silver hair too. Getting closer, Link discovered that it was a female Warrior. She was around five feet and had a slim body for a Warrior. The huge sword on her back looked jarring in comparison.
Other than the long silver hair in the ponytail, this female Warrior also had dark blue eyes. They were deeper than Therodeau's, and her gaze was more composed. As for her looks...she was better than the average, but she couldn't be compared to the Red Dragon Queen or Celine.
"This is Lily, the Ice Queen and general of the Frost Knights. She is my commander."
Link was a bit shocked. He didn't think that this slim woman with the same name as his Tower Spirit would be the general of the Frost Knights. She didn't look like it at all.
Lily smiled. Her features expanded, reminding one of a snowy plain under the sunlight. "Ferde Lord, it is my honor to meet you. I've heard many legendary stories about you."
Her voice was clear like a breeze that brushed past the snowy plain. It boosted Link's energy and left a deep impression.
Link nodded inwardly. With such a powerful psychological contagion, she must be at the pinnacle of Level-16. Her combat ability must be shocking too. No wonder she led the Frost Knights.
"They're all insignificant experiences. Should we go now?" Link didn't want to waste a second.
"Of course. Therodeau and I will accompany you. Please follow me." Lily led Link while Therodeau stayed in the back. The three instantly started traveling.
On the road, Lily explained, "Master Iyr is at the Fortress of Eternal Winter in the northeast. He is around 2000 miles from us. If we travel at full speed, it will take around three hours."
"I see." Link nodded. Two thousand miles wasn't far.
After that, they traveled in silence. An hour passed and the three were on the Verdant Plains in the heart of Aragu. There were no abnormal signs.
Because it was the heart of the empire, the three were slightly relaxed. But then Lily stopped abruptly at the front.
"What... That is..."
Link looked over and saw someone familiar.
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