69 The Clandestine Guardian (Part 2)

 The Angels of Light were a Legendary race that appeared in many folklores across the World of Firuman. In these stories, the Angels of Light were protectors of the Gods; they were sacred and powerful, always fighting against the dark forces at the frontlines.

However, not many had truly seen an Angel of Light with their own eyes.

Link could not believe that the Magic Instructor from East Cove Higher Magic Academy was an Angel of Light. Furthermore, her motive was to inform him of certain secrets that had been kept for centuries.

"May I ask for your name, please," Link asked after he recollected himself. While he was playing the game, an Angel of Light could frequently be seen in the World of Firuman trying to save the World of Light from being constantly corroded by the dark forces. She was termed as one the Four Beauties, Herrera.

After playing for half a year, players would occasionally see Herrera.

When Herrera first awakened, her powers and beauty were average at best. However, as the players grew stronger, more of her powers awakened and eventually revealed her true identity as an Angel of Light.

Not all players were lucky enough to witness the true form of the Angel of Light. The first condition was to attain the Legendary state, which only 5% out of the billions of players managed to achieve.

While other players could see the Angel of Light through the data of Legendary players, the experience of meeting her in person was vastly different.

Even so, the sight of Herrera alone was sufficient for many.

She had an elegant and scared disposition. Seeing her would rid you of your evil thoughts and help you attain inner peace. Moira did not intend to keep her real name a secret. "My name is Herrera, from the Sacred Land of Light. My mission is to assist the people in the World of Light in their fight against the dark forces. However, I won't interfere directly in the battles out of respect for the free will of life in this world."

It really was Herrera. Link was dumbfounded. He did meet her once when he played the game. However, they first met after the explosion of the East Cove Higher Magic, and not at the academy itself. In fact, her location prior to the explosion was a mystery, to think that she would be at the academy.

"Why did you approach me?" Link was puzzled.

"I descended onto the Mortal Realm 35 years ago. Two years ago, I awakened a memory where the God of Light hinted at the coming of the Chosen One. I have been waiting ever since. In the beginning, I thought the Chosen One was Eliard, but after reading your thesis, I had a feeling it was you, meeting you in person confirmed my hypothesis."

Link was speechless. He was indeed chosen by the God of Light to descend into this world. Although until now, he still refused to admit it.

Link's silence validated Herrera's hypothesis. A normal human wouldn't be able to stay so calm after her revelation that she was an Angel of Light.

She continued, "I discovered that Bale seems to be experimenting with dark magic. He has ventured too far into that area; there is a high chance he'll fall into deprivation. I need someone to investigate the situation for me. You seem to be the best choice."

An in-game message appeared in Link's field of vision.

Mission Activated: Suspicion

Task: Investigate Magician Bale and find evidence of his black magic research.

Reward: 25 Omni Points.

Link hesitated for a moment and then accepted the mission. After all, he really needed the Omni Points.

Link remained silent the entire time. Thinking that he was unwilling, Herrera spoke, "I will not interfere with your free will. If you are not willing to, you can still enter the academy to practice magic, or even re-pick your magic instructor. You can also choose to become my disciple."

Link felt at ease listening to those words. Similar to his previous experience, Herrera still put emphasis on respecting the free will of the living. Completing her missions usually would garner you pretty decent rewards.

In essence, it was a privilege to converse with Herrera.

Link knew that Herrera had misunderstood, he said, "No, of course I am willing to. I'm just slightly worried."

"About what?" Herrera inquired.

"My real magic power is way above that of a normal academy student. The only reason I am so weak now is due to the side effect of a potent potion. A Level-6 Magician like you should have realized that by now right?"

"Indeed," Herrera nodded, "But that is not a problem at all."

Herrera took out a glimmering pure white feather surrounded by many sparkles. "Look carefully, every ball of light you see is a rune."

She gave this feather to Link. "Carrying it with you will cloak your aura, making you look like any other normal student."

Link carefully inspected the feather and a message appeared in the game system.

Cloaking Feather of the Angel of Light

Quality: Epic

Effect: Greatly reduces the magic aura that you emanate.

The moment Link came in contact with the feather, the feather transformed into a ball of light and circled his body, before disintegrating into the air.

Link peered into the mirror in the carriage. He had become as ordinary as any other student of the academy!

Herrera continued, "I have already made all the preparations. There is an empty slot in Bale's class. Give him 2000 gold coins as your tuition fee; he will not be able to resist such a huge amount of money. You have to be careful though, Bale is a vigilant man. You have to find a balance that allows you to grab his attention yet not raise his suspicion. Only then will you uncover the truth."

This was a tough request. Link thought for a moment and asked, "Is Bale in need of money?"

"Every Magician needs money," Herrera winked.

"I understand." Link already developed a plan to get close to Bale.

The carriage was now close to the exit of River Cove Town. Herrera spoke her final words, "Your thesis was intriguing. Your exposition on the orbit of the stars was accurate and you even brought in the discussion of the nature of space into your evaluation. However, you should never release this information to the public, at least not until you acquire the power to protect yourself. Do you understand?"

Link shuddered and gravely nodded his head, "I swear by my heart."

In the World of Firuman, knowledge could be directly translated into power. Before when Link was clueless, he only wished to gain the validation of the academy. He thought back on his actions and laughed. Luckily, he did not submit the full paper but only a part of it.

"Alright. Make your return and report to the academy in a month's time. Someone will lead you to Bale's Magic Tower."

The carriage pulled to a stop, waiting for Link to alight. Suddenly, a thought flashed across his mind. "Recently, I've been interested in alchemy and enchanting magic, can I borrow some books from you?"

"Of course." Herrera smiled.

Her hands glowed in a sacred light and reached into the space beside her. When the glow subsided, three books appeared in her hand: The Theory of Enchanting Magic, Foundational Enchanting, and Mid-High Level Enchanting Magic.

"The requirement to learn enchanting is much less as it does not require special tools. As for alchemy, let's wait until you reach the academy," she said as she passed the books to Jacker.

Link was elated. "Thank you."

Herrera smiled, her eyes reflecting the dazzling sunlight of the Girvent Forest. With a voice as clear as water, she gently spoke, "You are the Chosen One. As the vessel of a god in the Mortal Realm, it is my responsibility to help you become stronger. As long as you don't fall to the dark side, I will do all I can to help you uncover the mysteries of magic."

The carriage door closed and rode on, slowly riding out of Link's field of vision.

With the weight of three books in his hand, Link thought, Fall to the dark side? What can the dark side offer me?

He clutched the necklace in front of his chest which housed the Magic Runes and Celine's Feather of Darkness, both of which emanated a strong aura of darkness.

A certain amount of research into the dark side is still necessary. Know thy enemy, right? Link was never one to completely follow the rules.