Marko's face was as white as sheet of paper from fear as he watched the pestilence leave the Thousand Leaves Bar; he felt cold on his back as if he had just been soaked in water. Only when the footsteps finally faded away did he take in a long breath, and stretched out his hand to wipe the cold sweat on his forehead. For a while, he felt all energy sapped from his body as he sat weakly on the ground.
"Phew…" At the same time, the group of adventurers from the Ruby Moon Mercenary Corps heaved a sigh of relief as well; the expressions on their faces were as if a heavy load had been lifted off their shoulders. For them, it was like having survived a holocaust.
Just as everyone rejoiced, the door of the Thousand Leaves Bar was pushed open.
Then, the group of adventurers saw the long-legged beauty dash in and give Marko a kick in the face with her boots.
"Who told you to be vulgar, shameless!"
"Ah!" The leather boots from the Silver Hand were tailored for all kinds of adventurers. The workmanship was not delicate, but the soles of the boots were horribly hard. The kick in Marko's face was similar to a hit using a whip, and the whole side of his face swelled up in an instant.
"Hng!" The long-legged beauty crinkled her nose, and flipped her blonde hair back gently before walking away with a proud gait.
The group of men from the Ruby Moon Mercenary Corps looked at each other, then looked at Marko with some sympathy… Of all people, he had to provoke a shrewish woman, who was also the well-known Chilli Pepper from the Silver Hand!
"Did you vent your anger?" Lin Li witnessed this scene in front of him as he stood outside the Thousand Leaves Bar. For a moment, he was both dumbfounded and amused at the situation.
"Who told him to speak such vulgar words…" Ina's nose crinkled kittenishly.
"Ina, are you still adapting in the Silver Hand?"
"Yes, I am. Everybody's very kind to me. Captain Marie is like a big sister to me. Mr Felic, Captain Marie is a beautiful woman. We went to the Nightmare Mountains the other day, and encountered a lot of magical beasts. And then we…"
At the mention of the Silver Hand Mercenary Corps, Ina's beautiful face was brimming with spirit.
They wandered aimlessly through the streets of Alanna. Lin Li listened quietly to Ina as she talked about her experiences—from how she left Jarrosus to how she came to join the Silver Hand Mercenary Corps, then from the various missions she had gone through to their disputes with the Ruby Moon Mercenary Corps. At this moment, the long-legged beauty was like a cheerful little sparrow.
But as she spoke, Ina's face suddenly turned gloomy, and there was a faint sobbing in her voice. "Everyone is very kind to me, but… but I still miss home and Father…"
"Don't cry, it's all in the past…" Lin Li patted her shoulders gently and comforted her in a soothing voice.
"Oh, right. Ina, Mr McGrenn asked me to hand this to you." Seeing that Ina was depressed, Lin Li hurriedly pulled out the half an arrow from his pocket in hope of diverting her attention.
And it worked. As soon as he took out the half of an arrow, Ina forgot her grief, and confusion clouded her expression. "I seem to have seen this before. I remember that when I was a child, Father often stared at half an arrow in a daze alone, sometimes for the whole afternoon. But later on, when I got older, Father seldom took it out anymore. Mr Felic, did Father say anything when he handed this to you?"
"Mr McGrenn said to bring this half an arrow to the Eternal Shrine to look for your mother."
"Mother!?" Ina asked in astonishment. "Mr Felic, did Father really said that?"
"But… but Father told all along me that Mother had died of difficulties when she went into labor when she gave birth to me."
"It's probably because Mr McGrenn thought you were too young to know these things, so he lied to you that your mother died when she gave birth to you."
"Mhm!" Ina nodded heavily; there was finally some vigor in her sky-blue eyes. At least she knew that she still had relatives in this world.
"But where on earth is this Eternal Shrine…" This question had plagued Lin Li in many ways ever since he had given his promise to McGrenn. He thought about many ways to search, and had asked many people about it, but he had yet to find a clue to the Eternal Shrine.
"This… I remember that once, when Father was drunk, he seemed to mention something about the shrine…" Ina frowned, which actually made her look unusually lovely. "But I was young at that time, and can't really remember much of what was said. I only remember Father said that it was at a faraway place, and we'll have to cross the Sea of Darkness to get there…"
"Cross the Sea of Darkness?" Lin Li started in surprise. Even he, a transmigrator, had heard that the Sea of Darkness was an endless sea. There were all kinds of magical beasts in the sea, and all were 100 times stronger than the magical beasts on land. Hence, there was another nickname for the Sea of Darkness—the Sea of Death. In the history of Anril, no one had ever crossed the taboo sea. Did McGrenn accomplish this feat without anyone knowing when he was young?
It didn't seem possible…
It was unknown how many magical beasts were lurking in the Sea of Darkness. These ancient magical beasts had been living in the sea as early as the years of the flood, when the Dragon and Titan were competing for hegemony. Their strength was far beyond the human ability to compete. Even in the Dark Ages, the powerful High Elves did not dare to provoke the majesty of these sea tyrants.
No matter how many secrets McGrenn hid, he was still only a level-six warrior. Even if he used Destruction Combat Energy at the cost of his life, he was merely a level-ten warrior at most. He could not even compete with Lin Li with such a strength, so how could he compete against the ancient magical beasts? They were an abnormal existence that could even crush an Archmage with a mere breath!
However… Other than this, what else could explain the mystery surrounding Eternal Shrine?
To be honest, Lin Li had asked many people about it for a while now—including Macklin. Lin Li had approached the subject without coming straight to the point, but the answer was surprisingly consistent—what bird crap Eternal Shrine? Never heard of it…
Seeing that the young mage was silent for long, Ina asked with some curiosity, "Mr Felic, what's on your mind?"
"Oh… Nothing." Lin Li shook his head, and put aside the Eternal Shrine for the time being. After some ponderment, he quietly asked the long-legged beauty, "Ina, when are you going to return to Jarrosus?"
"I'll return whenever Mr Felic decides to return…" Ina was blushing, and her voice was light and soft, but her eyes were resolute.
For a lady, perhaps there was no more definite hint than that.
Unfortunately, she had overestimated Lin Li's ability to take hints.
In the face of such a clear hint, this fellow actually said in all seriousness, "Well, you stay in the Silver Hand for the time being. I'll bring you back to Jarrosus after I finish the trial."
"Ohh…" There was a trace of disappointment in Ina's eyes. However, giving that big hint had exhausted all her courage, such that her heart was still pounding hard at this time. How could she still muster the courage to give him another hint?
"Oh, right…" Lin Li considered something for a while, and drew out a few bottles of potions from his pocket. "Take these. Drink the brown one if you're injured, and the black one if you're poisoned. Also… If you encounter a fierce magical beast, drink the orange one, and run away immediately. Can you remember it?"
"Mhm, I've gotten it…" Ina sensed Lin Li's concern for her, and a hint of sweetness welled up in her heart.
Lin Li repeated his reminders. After making sure nothing was left out, he waved goodbye to Ina and walked alone in the direction of the Guild of Magic.
It was getting dark by the time Lin Li returned to the Guild of Magic.
The guild hall was buzzing with noise during the day, but it was more or less deserted and cheerless at this time.
After a busy day, Lin Li was rather exhausted, and was about to go through the tree-lined path back to his room when he suddenly heard a voice behind him.
"The… The most cunning fellow there, wait up!"
Lin Li looked back, and saw that it was Macklin with his goat-like beard.
The old fellow looked a little different from the day. The black mage robe was loosely worn on his body and the hood was not pulled; his messy hair resembled a chicken's nest.
"Do you have any instructions for me, Mr Macklin?" Lin Li was a little stunned; he wondered what the old fellow had done to make himself look like this.
"Uh…" The old fellow came over. He took a glance at the surroundings, then rubbed his hands embarrassingly as he whispered to Lin Li in a low voice, "I… I'd like to ask you for a little help…"
"Ah?" Lin Li was startled. He was clear about the old fellow's strength; a level-19 Archmage was actually asking for his help?
"It's not a big deal. Just follow me."
Lin Li's heart was full of confusion. He contemplated for a while, and decided to follow Macklin.
They went out of the guild hall and into a low building just next to it. Macklin took Lin Li around a few corridors, and they soon arrived at an unlatched door.
Through the open door crack, Lin Li could clearly hear the sound of clanking.
He was all too familiar with the sound.
Hearing the familiar noise, a bizarre expression came across Lin Li's face. No wonder people said that the more formidable a person was, the more psychopathic he became—it seemed that this was indeed right. Look at this level-nineteen Archmage, hiding in his room forging iron!