Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Madrick’s face turned pale the moment he saw Sean. How could he not know what he had done? Thinking back to what had happened two days ago, Madrick swallowed his saliva with much difficulty, and his expression revealed some fear. “What… What exactly do you want?”
“What do I want? Heh heh…” Lin Li bent down with a grin on his face as he stared into Madrick’s eyes. “Don’t be so nervous. I don’t want to do anything to you. It’s just that I’ve heard Sean mention today that a mage called Madrick is missing an opponent to practice with. I wonder if I can have the honor?”
“Really?” Madrick looked suspicious, and retreated unconsciously. He didn’t know why, but he always thought this fellow named Felic looked frightening when he smiled.
“Of course!” Lin Li nodded seriously, and his face was unusually sincere.
But at the same time, a wind blade tore through the air, and a light swoosh was heard. The wind blade closed in on Madrick’s inner thigh, and made a long, deep cut.
“Ah!” A shrill cry sounded. In an instant, blood was cascading out of Madrick’s thigh. Large tracts of blood streamed from the wound and dyed his brand-new gray mage robe red in a flash. Madrick’s eyes were full of horror; he screamed in despair while desperately clutching his wound.
However, no matter how he tried to cover it, he couldn’t stop the blood from flowing out…
“How’s that, Mage Madrick? I’m quite a good practice buddy, right?” Lin Li said cheerfully as he stretched out one hand.
There was no indication of him reciting a spell at all, but all of a sudden, there was a violent surge of magical wave, and a soft explosion followed by a ball of flame ignited from his hand.
Madrick felt his scalp go numb as he watched the dancing flames. He finally knew what the fellow wanted to do—he wanted to reenact what’d happened the day before yesterday. However, the one who was going to lie wailing on the ground would be him instead of the country boy.
“Don’t come near me!” Madrick seemed to have lost it suddenly. He desperately crawled towards a corner, even disregarding the wound on his thigh. He screamed in anguish as he crawled. “Darian is my uncle, he won’t let you off!”
“Darian’s your uncle?” The slowly descending Flaming Hands froze in midair; the blazing flame was almost touching Madrick’s nose.
“Phew…” The Flaming Hands did not come down, and Madrick’s tightly clenched heart finally relaxed. After letting out a long sigh, he felt a chill on his back. Madrick knew that the Flaming Hands was not used just to scare him. If he had uttered those words a second slower, it would already have landed on his chest. Fortunately, he was quick-witted to mention Uncle Darian at a critical time…
“The guild’s Archmage, Darian, is my uncle. I’d advise you not to do anything rash…” At the thought of his Archmage uncle, Madrick felt somewhat emboldened.
“Oh… So your uncle is called Darian, I thought it was Gerian…” Lin Li nodded, and at the same time, the Flaming Hands came down.
“Sizzle…” When the Flaming Hands came down, a plume of white smoke sprung up instantly. Amidst the smoke, a strong stench of burnt flesh spread, followed by a shrill cry. Madrick fainted almost at the same time the Flaming Hands came down on his chest. It felt as if being branded by a burning iron. The pain was far beyond what an ordinary person could endure. At that moment, Madrick even suspected that his chest had been cooked…
Everyone took in a hissing cold breath on seeing the cruel scene.
The few young mages stood stupefied there, looking at Lin Li with eyes that were filled with fear. No one had expected the fellow to be so ruthless. Madrick had already mentioned that his uncle was the guild’s Archmage, Darian. However, the fellow seemed to have never heard him, and presented Madrick with a Flaming Hands without second thought, almost cooking his skin right there and then.
Everyone wondered what kind of background the fellow had to be so overly arrogant. The unconcerned attitude he carried was as if he had no regard for Archmage Darian…
Lin Li was not interested in knowing what they were thinking. He stood up, refreshed, and clapped the ashes off his hands. With a smile on his face, he said politely, “Goodbye, Mage Madrick. Remember to say hello to your uncle for me.”
Almost everyone, including Madrick, heaved a long sigh of relief when they heard the words. They were finally seeing this pestilence away…
But as soon as the idea popped up, they saw the pestilence halt his steps and say, “I forgot the Air Bomb…”
Then, there was a muffled sound of explosion. Madrick, who was already somewhat out of his senses, jumped like a frog at the muffled noise. In an instant, there was only a splash of blood; a pool of red—mingled with minced flesh and torn rags—splashed all over the ground.
After the Air Bomb, Madrick seemed to be dead—he lay limply on the ground, and even his breathing became very weak. Everyone saw clearly that his whole back had been blown up. From a distance, it was a bloody pile of flesh, just as if he had just been bitten by a wild animal. The flesh and blood were mingled together, and there were a few pieces of cloth in it. The terrible sight made everyone hiss, taking a cold breath…
“Sean, let’s go.”
Having done all this, Lin Li left with Sean without another look at Madrick. Such a small character was not worth his attention.
When they returned to the guild hall, Andoine had been waiting there for a long time, along with Macklin, the goat-like beard-wearing old man. The latter was really shocked when Andoine entered the door earlier on. The first thought that came to his mind was: It’s over, this old fellow has come to find trouble with Aeron…
At the moment, instead of reporting to Aldwin, he had rushed downstairs, and greeted Andoine warmly while trying to probe into his intentions.
But the old fellow was so tight-lipped that he refused to reveal why he had come. He looked around and asked about Felic from time to time, which had Macklin in trepidation, nearly scaring him into a nervous breakdown. He was afraid that he would say a wrong word and make the old fellow think that Felic had suffered grievances in the Guild of Magic—things would be serious then…
It was simply a torture to Macklin.
Fortunately… The duration of such torture was not too long.
When Lin Li walked into the guild hall, Macklin was so relieved that he could hardly wait to jump up and kiss him. Master Felic, Master Felic, you’re finally here. Send the old pestilence away as soon as possible…
“Kid, where did you go?” Andoine had waited for a long while, and his patience was wearing thin. Just as he was about to reprove the kid, he suddenly noticed a young man, who had a massive frame just like that of a magical beast, following behind Lin Li. In that moment, his eyes could not help but reveal some surprise. “He is…?”
“He’s Sean, my friend from Jarrosus.”
“Not bad, not bad.” The old man nodded. He had said exactly the same thing as Gerian.
As for the reason behind “not bad”, Andoine did not elaborate.
However, it’d be the same whether he elaborated or not. It was impossible for Sean to know who had praised him with his knowledge. He only knew that this kind-looking old man seemed to be complimenting himself. So, he bowed his head, and gave two modest giggles, which amused Macklin, who was standing at a side…
Andoine seldom complimented anyone; even when he saw Gryffindor, he had only said “Not bad”.
And yet, it put Gryffindor in high spirits for a long while. He told everyone he saw that he was someone who had received Master Andoine’s compliment before.
And look at this black tower-like country boy, who only knew how to giggle inanely. It was as if the one who had complimented him was not a legendary mage, but an old geezer selling bread next door.
By comparing the two guys, Macklin really had to yield to the latter. He cursed in his heart, Damn that freak Felic, none of the people who have something to do with him are normal people…
“By the way, Macklin, I’m going to bring the two of them out, and will probably not be back tonight. Is there any objection from the guild?” Andoine asked democratically before leaving.
“No, no objections…” On hearing this, Macklin shook his head repeatedly, thinking, You old pestilence, you’ve come in person, so who dares to have any objections? If having any is not getting tired of living, then what is it…?
Andoine nodded in satisfaction, and praised in his old and aged manner, “Not bad, not bad, You’re more sensible than Aeron, that useless bum…”
By the time the three men came out of the Guild of Magic, it was already pitch-dark outside; there was not even a figure in sight out in the cold street. They walked along this cold street all the way out of Alanna, and headed for the Nightmare Mountains. The Nightmare Mountains were a long way away, and it took them a lot of time to get there. It was almost midnight when the three men climbed along the rugged mountain road to the top of the highest mountain, looking at the dense forest afar.
The Nightmare Mountains at night seemed to be a different sight than during the day.
Many of the magical beasts that were common during the day, such as the Three-eyed Blood Wolf, had mostly returned to their nests, and were replaced with all kinds of nocturnal magical beasts. The forest was dark and quiet; the lighting along the way originated entirely from the Illuminating Spell released by Lin Li. Anyway, his mana was almost infinite—it was nothing even if he used the Illuminating Spell all the way.
Besides, with Andoine, he had no chance to make a move. Along the way, magical beasts appeared from time to time among the trees, but most of them didn’t even get to reveal their faces; they merely made some noise by accident, and the old fellow would send a fireball directly in their direction, blowing off each magical beast along with the trees.
To Andoine, magical beasts below level-fifteen were nothing. He didn’t even have to use his brain, and could just kill them off with an instantaneous outburst of magic. Lin Li had lost count of the number of magical beasts that had died unjustly in the hands of Andoine along the way. It felt just like driving a steamroller out in the streets—no matter what it was, he’d roll over it first; anything else would have to wait.
“Eh?!” As he passed through a bush, Lin Li suddenly stopped in his tracks, for he found that there seemed to be traces of trampling among the thorny bushes. After taking a careful look at it, it seemed that there were quite a few people. The footprints on the ground were numerous and disorderly; at a casual count, there were more than a dozen people.
“Sure enough, someone has come.” Looking at the direction of footprints, it was just north of the forest.
This time, Andoine felt dejected. He was the one who had discovered the place. These fellows had sneaked in on the sly—what was the difference from grabbing a bite from his bowl? The old man touched his chin, and looked vaguely hostile. “Who’s the one with no eyes…”
“We’ll know when we go over.” It didn’t matter much to Lin Li; he had only come for the Eternal Adamantine, anyway. Even if someone had beaten him to it, he’d just have a little less to pick. He didn’t believe that someone could pick all the Eternal Adamantine in just one night.
They followed the footprints, and very soon found the northern part of the forest. Before the three men left the forest, Lin Li saw from a distance that there seemed to be a flicker of fire at the place just ahead.
A Warlock’s Eyes was summoned by him. Under the control of Lin Li’s powerful mental strength, the Warlock’s Eyes seemed to be particularly agile. It soon passed through the dense jungle, mindful of the spot where the fire was noticed by him, gliding towards it quickly.
These people obviously came prepared—even a campsite had been set up. On the plain outside the forest, several tents were connected to each other, and a bunch of bonfires was burning in the middle. There seemed to be something cooking on the bonfire; food’s aroma was coming from the camp a distance away.
In such a huge camp, there was not even one person in sight.
Lin Li frowned, and there was some puzzlement in his expression. The scene was too bizarre. There should be one or two people staying behind to watch over such a big campsite. It was impossible not to sense a trace of life like this.
With this hint of doubt, the Warlock’s Eyes flitted quickly through the campsite, and then drifted outside to a nearby cave, which was deep and dark, and seemed to give off a ghastly chill from a distance.
“Weird…” After retrieving the Warlock’s Eyes, Lin Li was still full of doubts.
He was a little puzzled indeed. At first, he had thought that everyone had gone into the cave to dig ore, but when the Warlock’s Eyes had scanned the outside of the cave, he realized that the cave was dead silent too.
“What’s the matter?” The old fellow was getting impatient. From his point of view, there was absolutely no need to spy with the Warlock’s Eyes; he could just blow them away with a magic spell. He’d tear down the ghost camp first. That fellow with no eyes had gone so far as to snatch a bite from a legendary mage’s bowl…
“There is no one in the camp…” Lin Li shook his head, and asked with some doubt, “Did you find anything amiss when you came in the morning?”
“There’s nothing wrong. It’s just a plain and a cave. Oh, right… It was in this cave that I found the Crystal of Eternity.” Andoine thought for a moment, and added with some hesitation, “What seemed wrong was that cave. It was huge like a maze, and it was cold and dark. When I went in during the day, I had to turn around for a few hours before I found the way out.”
“Then, let’s have a look in the cave?”
“Okay, but be careful. Don’t lose sight of each other.”
Indeed, as Andoine said, the cave was just like a maze. After entering the cave, the inside was terribly complicated. The road was winding and more rugged than the path up the mountain. Lin Li maintained his Illuminating Spell, and led the way in front. He was followed by Sean, who had to bend down slightly to avoid hitting the top of the cave because he was too tall. Andoine was at the end of the line, for he was the most powerful among them, and so had to stay at the end to deal with all kinds of sudden events.
The road in front was always pitch-black; no matter how Lin Li enhanced his mana output, the Illuminating Spell could only illuminate less than ten meters ahead. A chilly wind would blow from time to time, which added some gloom to the mysterious cave. The surrounding stone walls were wet and humid, and left a greasy feel on one’s hands when one touched them—it was just like touching the body of a python.
On the whole, this place was unpleasant…
After walking through a steep slope, the scene ahead suddenly changed. It was narrow and deep previously, but all of a sudden, it become like a spider’s web, extending in all directions. As he stood in front of each entrance, Lin Li suddenly felt as if he had walked into a hive.
“How did you walk in the day?”
Andoine’s voice was somewhat awkward. “I closed my eyes and walked anyhow…”
Lin Li shook his head. The old guy was really unreliable. He counted the front entrances. There were as many as seven entrances, both large and small. From the outside, the one in the middle was the most spacious of all the entrances, and from Lin Li’s position, he could clearly see that there were faint glimmers inside—it was the unique shine of the Eternal Adamantine.
Since they had come to mine, it was without doubt the best to choose a road with minerals. Lin Li hesitated a little, and led the two people into the largest entrance.
He did not see it wrong. Shortly after stepping into the entrance, Lin Li suddenly saw that there was a dim glimmer in the open area ahead.
The Eternal Adamantine veins were generally exposed outside the surface, and few were deeply buried in the ground. People who had reached the master level of mineral knowledge like Lin Li could easily find the location of the open vein with its unique shine, just like the one in front of them. Lin Li could see from a distance that it should be a lean ore. After the Eternal Adamantine contained in it was smelted, it could probably be forged into two sets of armor.
Although the old man was unparalleled in magic attainments, he was a rookie in the field of minerals. Watching Lin Li stand before a stone in a daze, he could not help but ask in confusion, “Such a stone is worth your coming to the Nightmare Mountains in the middle of the night?”
“This is not a stone, it is called the Eternal Adamantine. It can be used to forge the gold rod and armor. In terms of elemental resistance, it definitely comes first on the list of all magical metals.” Lin Li took out a scroll from his Robe of Wrath as he explained to Andoine patiently.
“…” This explanation sounded like gobbledygook to Andoine. What eternal gold, what forged armor… He couldn’t understand it no matter what. How could this kid be so young yet know so much…?
Lin Li pulled out two scrolls for Air Bomb, one of which he held himself, while the other one was handed to Andoine. “When I count to three later, you will detonate the Air Bomb with me.”
“Orh…” After a series of shock, Andoine’s eyes were glazed. He had completely recognized his fate. This kid was a living monster. You could never understand what was on his mind. Instead of trying to guess, he might as well cooperate and do whatever the kid wanted him to.
The two Air Bomb scrolls were inserted into two of the cracks of the Eternal Adamantine vein. Theoretically, the two magic spells should be enough to blast the vein open. However, theory was only theory. Even Lin Li himself had never used magic to blast a mine before. In the past, they used geo-explosives, but after coming to Anril, he had never seen anything like this, so he could only make do with using the Air Bomb…
With the idea of trying, Lin Li started counting down.