8 His Choice


 Two of the three powerful Dark Elf Warriors were brought down in the blink of an eye.

Link had no idea what anyone else thought. He was just relieved that he had managed to kill Jiggs.

Part of it had been his own strength, but it was also thanks to Jiggs' arrogance and the fact that he underestimated Link. Subconsciously, the Warrior had thought that he could crush the young Magician like a bug, never once seeing Link as an equal.

In other words, he was too reckless.

Now, Link was left with 2 Omni Points and 5 Mana Points. Without hesitating, he changed all the Omni Points he had into Mana Maximum Points. His Maximum Mana became 81 Points, with 25 Mana Points.

The Mana he had was more than enough for him to handle the Dark Elf Warrior named Terry.

Link turned to look at Terry. He pointed his wand at the elf, the tip glimmering with magic.

Link was waiting for him to attack.

The elf was just a Level-2 Warrior. As long as he attacked first, his weaknesses would be apparent. Link would use that to give him a fatal blow, just like he had done for Sherman and the Commander, Jiggs.

Terry gulped and took a few steps back. Out of the blue, he bolted, running for his life at full speed, disappearing into the dark within the blink of an eye.

Okay. It seems like his courage had fled with him.

This guy must have gone to call for help. I need to hurry! Link thought. Link understood what Terry was thinking. After all, there were many Dark Elves in the Magic Academy.

He waved a hand at the shadows where Celine hid. "Let's go. We need to leave this place as soon as we can."

The Portal Tower was just in front of them. With no more enemies in their way, it was time to leave.

Celine walked out of the darkness, her sky-blue eyes shining with a strange light. Smiling, she said, "Link, you use magic so well. Better than almost anyone I know."

Her face held no fear, only admiration.

Her response was a little strange though. The way she squinted as she smiled, it made the feeling that Link had seen her before even stronger.

This Celine isn't just your average person. I must have seen her before, somewhere.

"Hey, what are you spacing out for? It's dangerous to dilly-dally here." Celine patted Link on his shoulder, bringing him back to his senses.

"Oh. Yes."

Time was of the essence. Link didn't ponder it any further and instead just followed Celine into the Portal Tower.

But as he watched her figure from the back, her round ass, her long legs, the poofy ponytail bouncing behind her, the graceful way her body swayed as she walked... Something cracked inside Link. He spaced out again.

He finally remembered.

Celine did look like someone he had known. More specifically, a demon he had known. A demoness NPC who had broken Link's heart in his last life!

The demoness' name had been Celine Flandre, also known as The Demon Princess. She was known for being one of the top four beauties in the game Legends.

Her mother was a human, but her father was the famous Demi-God, the Lord of the Deep, Nozama. The very same Demi-God that had fought Link to his death. According to the latest update in the game, in order to kill the final boss, one needed to complete an extremely difficult mission. And the one who had posted the mission had been none other than Celine Flandre.

As a half-demon, Celine Flandre was tremendously talented. At a young age, she was already a Legendary Great. The Lord of the Deep, Nozama, hating the fact that such a daughter was lost to him within the Mortal Realm, had sent his demon lackeys after her. To achieve that, Nozama had even killed Celine's human mother.

From then on, Celine and her demon father had become sworn enemies. Escaping from her father's clutches ever since childhood, she only began to fight back when forced into a corner by Nozama himself, who had entered the World of Firuman.

"I couldn't choose the circumstances of my birth, but I can choose my own path!"

"My father? Huh! He's just a turd of The Deeps!"

"I swear that I'll kill him!"

"Oh, Link. You really are an amusing Magician. Honestly, I think I may have fallen in love with you. Heehee. You didn't believe me, did you?"

"Silly. I love to watch you mortals and your silly, dumbfounded expressions."

Celine Flandre's every word from his last life echoed in Link's head. Her every laugh was carved into his heart.

Even though she was only an NPC, the game company had created her character especially well. Her pain, her determination, her love of pranks, her breathtaking features, and that sweet but mischievous charm of hers. Everything about her fascinated Link.

For a long time, Link had harbored the illusion that she, although just an NPC, had been real.

Link snapped back to his senses very quickly.

He knew that this Celine was most likely a different one from that famous Demon Princess. The woman from his memory had eyes black like the night sky, a head full of thick black hair, cute little fangs, the tips of which were just vaguely visible against her red lips, and two little nubs of horns on her forehead. But this Celine had golden hair and green eyes. They were completely different people.

I must be mad, Link thought, spacing out because of her at a time like this. She's just an NPC from the game. She may exist in this world as well, but her and the Celine in front of me are definitely not the same people.

Shoving his thoughts of her into the deepest crevices of his mind, Link continued to follow Celine into the Portal Tower.

There was a large hall in the tower. The floor of the hall had been inscribed with tons of runes. There were four obelisks around the hall, white light flowed around their tips.

The Portal Tower was a small one. There was only one portal rune and it could only transport one person at a time.

Looking at the portal rune, Link remembered the mission he had been given by the gaming system.

Stop the signal. Stop the Dark Elves from using the tower to contact the rest of Dark Elf Army outside the city. The objective of this mission was very clear-delay the arrival of the Dark Elf Army.

Perhaps it could only delay them for an hour or two, but that time was especially precious because this had been an ambush. Each second that the Dark Elves lost could mean an unexpected turn of events for Gladstone City.

Initially, Link had intended to forfeit the mission. But on his way here, he had seen countless tragedies. Now, he hesitated.

Maybe, just maybe, I should destroy this tower after all. If I do so, I may be able to save a lot of people, he thought.

Celine's voice rang out. "Hey, is something wrong? Why do you keep spacing out? Hurry, I'm ready to go. Follow after me."

She was already standing on the portal rune.

Link raised his head to look at her. The beautiful face before him seemed to blend with the face of the Demon Princess, striking Link's heart.

Yes, the Portal Tower must be destroyed. Only then will the Dark Elves be unable to go after Celine via the Portal Tower. And I, will gain 20 Omni Points. I will definitely be able to find another way to escape Gladstone City!

Link finally made up his mind. He would complete the mission and destroy the Portal Tower.

Of course, he wouldn't tell Celine anything. He had the feeling that once he did, she would stay back to face everything with him. That was too dangerous.

He smiled. "I was just thinking over a complicated magic question. You go ahead. I'll follow after you. I'll activate the portal rune for you."

Activating the portal rune was a simple task. He just had to channel some Mana into the rune.

Link tapped the portal rune with his wand. The four obelisks around the hall each shot out a white beam of light at the cornerstone portal rune carved on the ceiling. The huge rune was activated. White light beamed down from it, enveloping Celine within the countless formless runes that flitted within the pillar of light.

Celine's form was drowned out by the blinding white light. When it died out, she was gone.

With his weakness gone, Link heaved a sigh of relief.

He activated the Portal Tower again, the light on the obelisk appearing once more. But this time, there was no-one waiting on the portal rune.

Link then turned and ran out of the hall. When he was about 100 feet out, the imposing rune on the ceiling beamed the white pillar of light down once more.

In that moment, Link turned and shot a Fireball at the portal rune.

The Portal Tower was an intricate product of magic. Destroying it was easy-it only needed a little Level-0 Spell to throw the Mana within it into chaos.

Magic was forbidden within 100 feet of the Portal Tower. It was taboo within the Magic Academy!

Bang!

The white fireball collided with the portal rune, shattering it into countless little particles of light. The particles were then converted back into pure Mana. At the same time, a beam of light descended down onto it. Thrown into disarray by the unexpected burst of Mana, the rune on the ceiling exploded with a loud boom.

The explosion started a huge chain reaction. The immense Mana contained within the tower was thrown into turmoil.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The Portal Tower radiated with Mana-it was blinding. White, gold orbs of light rose up and disappeared into the air, wildly and uncontrollably releasing Mana. In the sheer chaos of it all, many cracks appeared on the outer wall of the Portal Tower. More runes were torn apart, releasing more waves of magical energy.

Within the blinding flashes of light and a tremendous boom, the Portal Tower collapsed into a pile of rubble.

Link was far away by then. He returned to the small woods from earlier and hid in the shadows of one of the ancient trees. Once again, he cloaked himself with a spell of Lesser Invisibility.

All the activity going on at the Portal Tower caught the attention of the Dark Elf Assassins. All of them knew the significance of the tower, and they ran towards it, or at least, the ruins of it.

Hiding in the shadows, Link heard the game server's notification even as he watched the Dark Elves run past him.

Mission: Stop the Signal, completed.

Gamer Link receives 20 Omni Points.

Part Three of Mission: Escape

Mission details: Escape the Dark Elf Assassins' pursuits.

Mission reward: 20 Omni Points

Looking at the mission contents, Link smiled bitterly. The city was full of Dark Elf Assassins. He had killed the Dark Elf Commander Jiggs and destroyed the Portal Tower. More importantly, he had let the Warrior Terry escape. Link was definitely their main target.

The entire academy of Dark Elf Assassins would certainly be searching for him. No, not just the Dark Elf Assassins. In a while, a Dark Elf Magician would be arriving to use the Portal Tower. Since the Portal Tower was now in ruins, that Magician would join in on the search as well.

Remembering the Magician he had come across in the game, Link's smile grew more bitter.

That Dark Elf Magician wasn't like the soft Magicians of the Magic Academy. That was a true Battle Mage, a member of the Silver Moon Mage Council of the Black Forest, a Level-2 Elite!

Luckily, Link thought, I have 20 Omni Points. And I don't need to kill them. I just need to run away from them. I still have a chance.

...

Gladstone City, the suburbs.

In the darkness of the night, a white light flashed. A human form appeared out of thin air. It was Celine.

She moved to the side and waited patiently.

Half a minute passed, but no light appeared. One full minute passed, and a blinding white light appeared. Not in the suburbs, but at the Magic Academy in the distance.

Celine stared. Seeing the continuous flashes of light and feeling the enormous Mana waves emanating from there, she guessed what had happened right away. She understood what Link had done.

"He didn't come. He destroyed the Portal Tower, afraid that the Dark Elves would come after me through the portal. But now, I am safe, and he is in danger!"

In that moment, Celine felt her chest grow tight.

"You go ahead. I'll follow you. I'll activate the portal rune for you." The young man had been smiling as he said it.

His smile appeared in her mind, as clear as day.

"Fool! Idiot! Moron! I didn't need you to save me!" Celine stomped her foot. She made up her mind. "This won't do. I need to get him out of there."

She had grown up in loneliness. Other than her mother, no one had ever been so good to her!