Chapter 356: Eve of the Final Battle (1/3)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Outside the defensive line of Orida fortress
Skinorse dragged himself back covered in wounds.
At that time, Link had unleashed a Legendary magical spell, the Thunder God’s Descent. He was facing a Level-9 expert as well as the user of the Dark Serpent. He simply could not afford to pay attention to his surroundings.
When the shockwaves of their fight hit him, Skinorse did what he could to find cover. Nonetheless, a rock the size of a small head still smashed into his back.
He did not have the tenacity of a demon’s body, so after getting hit, he forcefully used his Battle Art to keep himself going.
He covered 200 miles in only half an hour!
Normally, even in an uninjured condition, he would not be able to do this. However, this time, he truly gave it his all.
Link staked his life to prevent the demons from pursuing him. If he didn’t finish the mission, Skinorse felt that he would be letting himself down.
He didn’t want future historians to record this section of history sadly, in this manner. “Link risked his life to stop the demons, but an unknown person wasted his sacrifice.”
He wanted historians to write, “Skinorse successfully completed Link’s mission, delivering the magic note to Orida Fortress, leading to a reversal of the war!”
That would be his glory!
Therefore, when the 150-foot-tall Orida Fortress appeared in his vision, Skinorse felt all his organs heating up. Every breath he took felt like torture as his throat was choked with blood. Even the phlegm he spit out was red in color. His legs too felt like they were made of lead, and his Battle Art was all run out. He was essentially on his last leg.
His vision grew blurry, and the objects in his vision looked darker than they actually were.
A Scout outside the fortress barricade noticed him and shouted, “Who are you? Report your rank!”
Hearing this, Skinorse knew that he had accomplished his mission. He breathed deeply and spat out a glob of blood that he had been suppressing inside his throat. Then, his legs gave way, and he collapsed onto the floor.
“Major! It’s Major Skinorse!” Someone had recognized him.
“Huff huff, bring me to the fortress… pant … to see Duke Abel. I carry an important magic note!” Skinorse said, lying on the ground and breathing deeply. Every breath carried the stench of blood.
After saying this, Skinorse felt extremely faint and almost lost consciousness.
In his stupor, he felt someone carry him up and feed him something that tasted like medicine. After drinking a few mouthfuls, he felt a cool feeling in his chest. He could also hear people talking beside him. He was then placed onto a warhorse, which slowly trotted forward.
Before the magic note was delivered, Skinorse did not dare to let himself lose consciousness. All the way here, he bit his lip to keep himself awake. Fortunately, he was a Level-7 expert, so after resting on the horseback for a bit, his spirit had recovered, and his mind had cleared up significantly.
He found that he was going through a dark tunnel-like passageway about 120 feet long. This was part of Orida Fortress’s magic defenses.
After passing through the tunnel, Skinorse was carried off the horse and into a stretcher.
The relief of the ground had increased, and 300 feet later, there was a second wall. Because of the high terrain, the wall rose even higher. This also gave defenders a greater range of vision.
In the second tunnel, a priest appeared chanting incantations. Divine light shone onto Skinorse’s body.
Skinorse felt waves of warmth entering his body and the pain he was feeling gradually decreased. Following that, he felt an itch in his throat and his chest. It was a very familiar feeling that came whenever his wounds healed up.
Oddly, this time, his vital organs were the ones that were damaged this time. These organs weren’t typically sensitive, therefore, for them to itch was very strange for Skinorse. This showed how fast the recovery was.
Skinorse’s injuries were not considered too heavy, and his body constitution was originally strong. With the divine healing from the priest, he felt as though he was revived, and although he still felt weak, he was essentially fine.
As he sat up in the saddle, he re-stated his mission. “I need to see Duke Abel, now.”
The priest gently replied. “Warrior, we’re going to see the duke now.”
“I’m fine; I can walk by myself.”
After getting out of the stretcher, Skinorse checked the magic note in his bracelet. Even though he knew that it would not be affected, he couldn’t help but check to make sure it was there. He took it out and stored it safely in his pocket.
The fortress was on an upslope. After the second wall, it was a stone ramp. The stone ramp was surrounded on both sides by tall walls which were protected by magic barriers. The walls had soldiers stationed on the top.
Even if enemies could make it through the two walls in front, they would still have to fight up this tightly defended ramp.
When they did, they would find themselves sandwiched between two walls of defenders in a kill-zone.
The ramp was very long and lead into a small city stronghold. The city was made of a few levels. At the fourth level of the city was the center of Orida Fortress.
This stronghold was almost completely made of anti-magic metals.
Even if enemies made it here, the stronghold gate was at least three-feet-thick and thoroughly defended. Breaking through the gate was not easy.
At this point, the hall in the stronghold was the center of command. In there was gathered Duke Abel, Elf Princess Milda, Dwarf Mountain King, as well as the formation commander of the third Yabba airship contingent.
They all knew that Skinorse had gone to deliver a letter to Link. Seeing that he had just returned without Link, they suddenly got a bad feeling.
“Major, report,” Duke Abel instructed.
Skinorse saluted towards everyone in the room. Although it was not too appropriate, nobody was in the mood to care. Then, he began to recount his experiences from when he met Link at the Golden Plains till the Hengduan Mountain Range. He talked about how they had discovered the Yabba airship, as well as the final confrontation at the Sentinel Cabin and the magic note Link, had bade him to bring back.
He spoke simply and finished his recount in under ten sentences. After that, he retrieved the magic note from Link.
The room was silent as everyone held their tongues. The magic note was received by an officer and handed over to Elf Princess Milda, who was most proficient in the use of magic.
Rustle. The hall was so silent that the only thing that could be heard was the sound of pages flipping.
The handwriting on the magic-encoded note was very familiar to everyone—it was Link’s. The Mana coming from the note exuded an aura of calm. Looking at the handwriting, Elf Princess Milda could not help but recall a particular black-haired young man.
The magic note indicated that he had stayed back to face an ambush of 50 demons and Aymons who was in possession of the Divine Gear. Facing a force like this, even her mother, the Elf Queen, could only escape for her life.
Therefore, most likely, Link was dead.
Although the note did not state the final conclusion of the battle, Elf Princess Milda, as well as everyone else in the hall, could guess what had happened.
Drip. At some point, a tear dropped onto the book in front of her, smudging a row of words. Elf Princess Milda hastily dried the page before continuing to look at it.
No one broke the silence in the hall. They were too afraid to break Elf Princess Milda’s concentration. Everyone knew of the importance of the magic note in her hands. Not only was it a message, but it also contained notes on a particular magic formation. It concerned the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Essentially, she held the fate of the continent in her hands.
Half an hour later, Elf Princess Milda closed the notebook. She nodded her head and said, “Magician Link has written very clearly. I believe that as long as we have enough Magicians, we can activate the spell formation contained within this letter. Using it, we can fight against the Divine Spells of the Dark Serpent. However…”
“However what?” Duke Abel immediately asked.
“In order to activate this magic formation, it needs to be directed by a Master Magician. Originally, Link would have been the best person for the job, but he…. Well, I will make a trip back to the Isle of Dawn to recruit at least a hundred Level-6 Magicians. Besides that, we will also need to begin training them to use the formation. I don’t know if we have enough time.”
Regardless of whether or not there was enough time, it was something that needed to be done.
“Damn!” Duke Abel smacked the table, anguish in his heart. Now that things had come to this, he didn’t know how to feel.
Link had already done all he could, and he had even given up his life for the cause. In the end, he found a way to fight back against the Divine Gear. However, compared to this magic formation, Duke Abel would much rather have Link back.
The magic formation was dead; the Magician was the true treasure.
For a Magician like Link who had the potential to become a Legendary Magician, Duke Abel actually might consider him more valuable than over a hundred thousand soldiers.
“Alright. Lord Link has already completed his mission. Moving on, it is up to those of us who are still alive,” the Yabba airship formation commander said, standing up from his chair. He looked at Elf Princess Milda and said, “Princess, our airships can speedily fly us to the Isle of Dawn. I would like to ask; would the Elf Queen lead the magic formation?”
Elf Princess Milda shook her head. “No, my mother cannot join the battle. She needs to protect our World Tree.”
“Alright. Let’s head out!” The Yabba commander said anxiously. He was obviously anxious. The Yabba capital city, Lariel, was currently besieged by the demons. Only the human army of their alliance could help them break through the siege. However, they needed a way to defend against the Divine Gear before they could move out.
Therefore, this magic formation still concerned the fate of the Yabbas.
“Yes, we’ll set out now,” Elf Princess Milda said.
However, it was at this point that another soldier rushed in. When he came in, he did not even bother with the formalities and shouted, “The Demon Slayer has returned!”
The Demon Slayer was Link’s title amongst the soldiers.
Everyone in the hall was stunned. They looked at each other in silence. Then, Duke Abel stood up. His actions were sharp and quick, and he even knocked over the chair that he was seated on.
“How is he? Is he injured?”
“He looks to be fine,” the soldier reported, beaming.
“Whew…” Everyone in the hall let out a sigh of relief. The serious atmosphere from earlier was now completely dispersed.