Link felt great power burst within him. It swept through him like a wild flood, quickly healing his injuries. The wound on his heart started mending at a speed visible to the naked eye.
At the same time, a hymn-like voice rang out in his mind.
Darkness, our lord, is boundless. With shadows as his flag, murder as his sword, he destroys the weak and rules the Void!
This sound was as ancient and magnificent as before. It was as if millions of people were chanting at once. Under this prayer, Link saw the sky darken. The golden sunlight turned dark yellow, then red and dark red, until it finally extinguished.
After the sun extinguished, countless stars appeared in the sky. But it didn't end. The stars faded and disappeared too. Finally, the entire world was pitch black, devoid of any light. Only the hymn from before remained. As time passed, the voice grew stronger and stronger. It felt like the hymn was getting closer to Link.
He felt instinctively that something was about to happen. Pushing down his shock, he waited patiently.
After who knew how long, when the hymn was booming around him, the pure darkness before his eyes suddenly formed an image.
Thy sky had already been dark before. But after this black image appeared, the sky seemed to have a shred of light in comparison.
Link felt that there was nothing blacker than this in the world. It devoured all light, almost devouring even Link's mind and soul. Thankfully, Link's soul was now strong enough. He felt the lure, but he could still anchor himself down. He wouldn't get sucked in.
Then the figure spoke. "Mortal, I shall crown you!"
Link wasn't sure what was happening. He didn't get flustered by that sentence either. He remembered Morpheus' words: the Shadow Divine Fragment wasn't a blessing. It was a curse-a curse of misfortune.
He was still guarded against the Divine Fragment.
"Who are you? Tell me your background!"
"Ha, do you have any choice now?" the black shadow asked in reply. At the same time, a few shreds of light shone from behind him, illuminating the area around Link.
In that area, Link saw himself. He was still half-kneeling on the ground, supported by his sword. But he was surrounded by thick darkness. The space around it was highly distorted. Because of the chaos, rapid air currents kept appearing. It looked like a web of dense silver-black lightning.
Not too far from Link, Saroviny had sat up on the ground. She was badly hurt and couldn't move. At the moment, she was screaming at Frost Knight Therodeau who had hidden away. He was now thousands of feet away and was flying towards Link.
With his speed, he could cross that distance in less than a second.
Under these circumstances, Link would get killed by Therodeau if he didn't agree. He had no choice.
Link was very practical; he quickly calculated the costs and benefits. He would either get killed or choose this mysterious road. The former was a dead end. The latter had risks but also a sliver of hope.
It was obvious.
"I accept," Link agreed.
As soon as he spoke, the black shadow laughed heartily. Then it quickly transformed, solidifying into a circular thing. Looking closely, Link saw a crown.
It floated towards Link's head. That moment, the game system actually reacted and showed the specific stats of this crown.
Crown of Eternal Night
Level-19 (Can be upgraded to Level-29)
Effect 1: Boundless Darkness. The wearer's max power will be increased by 200%, magic resistance increased by 80%, and physical resistance increased by 30%.
Effect 2: Dark Thoughts. The wearer's mind will speed up, and their spiritual energy will increase. They can easily sink the enemy into panic and chaos.
Effect 3: Eternal Night Divine Authority. With the ancient dark contract as a witness, the wearer can easily control all dark creatures below their level.
Effect 4: Ultimate Incarnation of Darkness. After activating the power contained in the crown, the wearer will transform into the sovereign of Eternal Night for a short period (less than five seconds). In this state, the user will be immune to any spell and spirit attacks. Their power recovery rate will be increased by 300% and physical defense by 90%. This effect can be used once per day.
Side effect: Dark power will flow through the body, corroding the user's mind. Finally, the user will become the representative of the Sea of Void's origin of darkness and be ruled by darkness.
(Note: Ash to ash, dust to dust. All originate from darkness and will return to darkness.)
Seeing the dark attributes, Link sighed inwardly. He knew this was the Crown of Eternal Night's use, but he still had no other choice.
Bowing his head, the crown-seemingly made of black glass and with an ancient yet majestic style-lowered slowly on Link's head. In that instant, he felt something icy and cool settle in his soul.
This power's invasion was unstoppable. After it entered his soul, Link instantly felt his thoughts turn indifferent. Everything that he'd treasured and loved seemed unimportant now. He could sacrifice them at any time.
This was the cost of choosing darkness.
Strangely enough, Link didn't feel fear. His soul seemed to have split into two now. One of the souls became the bystander. He floated in the air, watching calmly as darkness invaded his soul. He could even see the process clearly.
The watching soul was the Link from before. Everything he cared for was preserved well. They weren't affected at all.
The situation was strange, but it happened naturally. Link didn't know how he did it either.
But the system gave him the answer.
This is Soul Dominator Thoreau's blessing.
"Blessing? What blessing?" Link froze.
Thus, the game system displayed the blessing's specific uses.
Soul Dominator's Blessing
Unrated Soul Spell (Souls can be small or big, powerful or weak. It depends on a thought.)
Effect: This spell is for the one who received the Soul Dominator's gift. With this blessing, the blessed soul will not be affected by any outer force.
(Note: Ask your original heart.)
For some reason, when Link saw this blessing, the dark hymn suddenly rang out in his mind.
Darkness, our lord, is boundless. With shadows as his flag, murder as his sword, he destroys the weak and rules the Void!
In this hymn, darkness was above all existences. It was the source of all, and it ruled the Void. But Link suddenly discovered that the ancient Soul Dominator seemed to have found a special soul cultivation method that could make the soul rule all.
In other words, Link, who had studied the Book of Revelations before, had somehow inherited the Soul Dominator's truth. Whether a soul was strong or weak depended on a single thought. This was the special thing about a soul.
The hymn should change its first sentence for Link: I rule darkness.
Thinking of this, he couldn't help but be impressed by the Soul Dominator's boundless wisdom. He thought of the sovereign he'd seen in the ice cave. There had been endless wars. Even undefeatable strength had been useless. Only the soul could rule all and find refuge in the chaos, leaving quietly. That was true wisdom.
By then, Therodeau was close to Link, but he didn't dare approach. Three hundred feet away, he raised his sword. Ice and frost gathered on the blade, and it instantly turned hundreds of feet long. Then he brought it down towards Link's head.
Crack. The sword came down hard, but it couldn't hack Link into pieces.
Under the frost sword, Link raised the Ode of a Full Moon horizontally. Silver-dark light flowed through the sword. It was subtle, but it easily blocked the shockingly powerful frost sword.
Crack, crack, crack. It was the sound of ice cracking. Threads of dark power whizzed through Therodeau's sword, quickly undoing it.
Pieces of ice fell down. Therodeau maintained it with all his might, but it was useless. He felt irresistible strength come from his sword. He couldn't block it at all.
On the other hand, Link rose from his kneeling posture. He easily lifted the huge frost sword as if it was a feather. When he'd stood up straight, his sword shook and there was a huge explosion. Therodeau's frost sword instantly shattered. The pieces evaporated and disappeared in the air.
The unstoppable power forced Therodeau back. He also had very rich battle experience. While retreating, he immediately activated his frost territory.
Crackle, crackle, crackle. Instantly, everything inside the territory froze and crumbled into white powder. White mist rose up in the air. This was the strange phenomenon of space being frozen. Absolute Zero was quite powerful.
This power would be troublesome for someone at Level-16, but Link was way stronger than him.
When the cold swept past Link, he just ignored it. What was the coldest in the world? It was darkness, rather than ice. With the Crown of Eternal Night, Link had become the candidate for the ruler of darkness. He didn't care about the cold at all.
He grabbed towards Therodeau and cast the dark spell, Flame of the Soul.
Therodeau screamed. White flames burst from his eye sockets, nose, and ears. After the flames reached the air, they turned into strands of white current that flew into Link's body, transforming into dark Mana.
Therodeau's soul was instantly gone whereas Link's power increased again. He was only a sliver away from Level-17. Here, Link suddenly heard something. Turning around, he saw that the injured Saroviny was disappearing into the air.
Seeing that things were going wrong, she ran again.
Link frowned. He suddenly felt strong danger. His instincts told him that he must leave the Aragu Realm, or else something bad would happen.
He immediately prepared a portal, but then he discovered something wrong. It wouldn't open.
He tried again and realized some force was obstructing him. This force seemed to smell of fire.
Thinking, Link immediately understood.
The Inferno Archmage locked the Aragu Realm, but he didn't come personally. The Snow Mountain Archmage must be delaying him, but I can't leave. I'm sure many will come to kill me soon.
Since he couldn't escape, he could only get surrounded. This was dangerous.
Thinking more, Link realized he only had one choice-find the Snow Mountain Archmage. That was his only ally and the only force that could save him in Aragu.
With this in mind, he rushed towards the Isle of Eternal Winter in the northeast where the Snow Mountain Archmage lived.
While Link was looking for his ally, the Fire Sect also entered full battle mode. This time, they received the god's oracle. They only had one target-the Legendary Magician, the lord of Ferde from the Firuman Realm.
The oracle said that the Ferde lord was close to Level-17 and had incredible combat ability. Thus, practically the entire Fire Sect was sent out.
Within five minutes, the five powerful fighters with territories (Saint Milda, Saroviny who'd just run back and finished recovering, the three remaining Lava Knights of the Fire Sect) set off. With the help of the Inferno Archmage, they opened a portal and entered the Verdant Plains.
When Saroviny didn't see anyone, she sniffed the air and smelled Link's aura. Deducing, she immediately said, "He's gone to the Isle of Eternal Winter! Go!"
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