Chapter 452: It’s Trapped
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Dragon Valley, Soul Realm.
Link told his plan to Lucia, who shook her head. “No, I can’t do it. I don’t have enough power right now. Even at full strength, I don’t think I could restrain it. Also, my runes only work in the material realm. It’s useless here, but I can’t go back to the material realm.”
Any normal human would have been desperate at this point. Even an ordinary Magician, upon hearing this, would have thought, ‘That’s it, it’s hopeless.’ But Link’s first response to this was to think, ‘There has to be something we can still do.’
After a few seconds of silence, he spoke. “Miss Silverstar, do you mind sharing the details of your Rune of Principle with me? We’ll take it from here. This is Dragon Valley, after all. With the thousands of Red Dragon warriors here, power is something we have in abundance right now.”
“No, I don’t mind sharing,” said Silverstar. “You rescued me, and also, because of me, the Void Tyrant is now rampaging through Dragon Valley. This is the least that I can do, but the structure of my rune is extremely complicated. I fear there may not be enough time for you to master it completely.”
“There’s no need for us to master it completely. You guide us through it, and we’ll follow your lead,” said Link.
“But I can’t enter the material realm.”
On one side, Gretel said reassuringly, “Don’t worry, I know a spell called the Spiritual Cloak. It will protect you from any energy turbulence in the material realm.”
Uplifted by this, Link motioned at them and said, “If that’s the case, let’s get started now, shall we?”
With a swoosh, their surroundings regained color once more as they returned to the material realm.
They were on an island in the middle of the lake south of the city. Looking to the north, the could see endless black vines whipping about, though they still remained in place. It seemed that the Void Tyrant, as Silverstar had explained, was splitting itself into multiple bodies.
Once they were in the material realm again, Silverstar’s body suddenly began flickering like a candle in the wind. When exposed to sunlight, her body began emitting green smoke, like she was being roasted alive. Under these circumstances, it seemed that she would only last a minute at most.
“Spiritual Cloak!” Gretel cast the spell in time.
‘Hum!’ With a soft whir, a thin, red film spread out across Silverstar’s spirit. Gleaming slightly, it twisted its shape around her spirit to form a deep red cloak with a hood, completely shielding Silverstar.
Silverstar’s body regained stability. Underneath the cloak, she looked almost invisible, like a mere transparent shape beneath the hood.
“Okay, I’m alright.” The voice that came from the mantle sounded distant.
With a plan already in mind, Link turned to face the Red Dragon Elders. “This binding spell is large scale, so it will require a considerable amount of power to activate. I’ll need all the Red Dragon warriors here, the more the merrier!”
Some of the Red Dragon Elders nodded in reply without question, while others pondered for a bit, looking at the Red Dragon Queen.
Gretel did not immediately give her answer. Instead, she asked Link, “The warriors’ power levels are too low. Are you sure that will help?”
“Yes, it will!” said Link confidently. At the same time, he tapped in the air and conjured a lens of Spatial Distortion. “Using the principle of Spatial Collapse, I’ll be able to compress anything, other than one’s soul, in the realm of Firuman, including Dragon Power!” he explained.
He had once used the distortion of space to level up the power stored within the Light Rune Stone Herrera had given him back in the Skeletal Fort.
At that time, Link had only been a Level-6 Magician, but now, he had reached Legendary, and his accomplishments in Spatial Magic had more than doubled since. Right now, he was confident he could promote normal Dragon Power to Legendary level with ease in order to activate the Rune of Principle.
All Gretel’s hesitation faded. “Alright, assemble all our warriors!”
The Red Dragon Elders nodded and transformed into their dragon forms before flying off in all directions to carry out the order.
Link then spoke to SIlverstar. “Now then, let’s begin.”
Silverstar nodded. She had no more strength in her, so she was only able to explain the basis of her spell orally while Link and Gretel listened attentively.
The underlying principle was meticulous. After listening to much of it, Gretel frowned. She was able to understand most of it, but to actually grasp the rune structure and implement it would take more than a few days of practice.
And the thing she lacked most now was time.
She began panicking and soon could not keep up with Lucia’s explanations.
‘What do we do? What do we do?’ As she began to panic, she looked at Link, who was still focused on Lucia’s words, just like the time he had proposed his version of the spatial rune back in the great hall.
Seeing this side of Link, Gretel managed to calm down and forced herself to focus and continue paying attention to Lucia’s explanations.
Just then, Link whipped out his magic wand and began drawing out thirty-six different types of runes in the air with it. He asked, “Are these the basic rune structures you explained just now?”
Silverstar took a closer look at them, then nodded. “Yes, they’re all correct.”
Link then added another layer of runes onto the first one, letting them interlace with each other to create a web. “And is this construction of the spell correct?”
SIlverstar checked again and nodded, slightly startled. “Yes, it’s correct. Have you learned it before?”
This also drew a curious look from Gretel. Had Link already understood the spell, when Lucia Silverstar had only just explained the basic principles of it to them? His learning speed was simply incredible.
Link shook his head and explained, “Didn’t we battle the Void Tyrant not too long ago? Back then, your binding rune was floating in the air, and I was able to memorize all of it.”
He tapped his head and gave a sly smile. “I have a really good memory.”
In truth, it was actually the game system that had scanned the whole thing, but to everyone else in the world, it seemed like he was capable of extraordinary feats of memorization.
Silverstar’s eyes lit up at this, but just to be sure that Link wasn’t making it up, she said, “Show me again, let me see if you have everything right.”
Link then proceeded to draw out the rune structure down with every detail that he remembered seeing before. When he drew the 20th rune layer, Silverstar shouted with glee, “That’s enough, now all that’s left is to redraw the whole structure. I don’t see anything wrong with the structures you’ve drawn. With them, you’ll be able to recreate the binding spell that I cast the other day.”
Link sighed in relief and turned to face Gretel. “Your Highness, do you remember everything?”
After ten minutes of careful studying Link’s runes, she nodded. “No problem. I’ll draw them out, see if there’s anything wrong with them.”
At this point, Link had finished his runes. Watching him take the lead, Gretel had loosened up considerably and began drawing the runes out herself with rapt attention.
Five minutes had passed, and she had finished the 20th layer of runes. Checking her work carefully, she pointed out a few mistakes here and there, letting Gretel fix them. Another five minutes passed, and Silverstar finally nodded in satisfaction. “That’s it. You’ve got it now.”
Gretel went through the runes again in her head. She didn’t have Link’s photographic memory, and so the only thing she could do to make up for it was continuously go through the runes in her head.
Ten minutes later, she nodded, saying, “I’m good.”
Link clapped his hands. “We’d best hurry. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The city’s diameter was at least 1,000 feet. This meant that two of them would have to cast a binding spell circle with a diameter of more than 1,500 feet in order to catch the Void Tyrant by surprise.
There was also a certain difficulty to casting rune structures; each rune would have to be imprinted on space itself, and in order to do this, a certain level of spatial power would be required from the caster.
This was not a problem for either Link or Gretel.
Still, it remained an extremely demanding task.
“According to my calculations, the binding formation must be completed in three hours, or else this will all be for nothing,” said Lucia. With a time limit hanging over their heads, the difficulty of their task had spiked.
Link and Gretel looked at each other. Without another moment’s delay, they began working on the rune structure.
Dragon Power flowed out of them, sending ripples out through the space that then began twisting themselves into runes. The runes flashed for a moment, then dissolved completely in the air.
The two Magicians began weaving the runes together on an invisible canvas like master seamstresses while Lucia Silverstar looked on, watching out for any mistakes they might have made.
Three minutes later, the difference in speed between Link and Gretel became apparent. Link had already finished more than a hundred feet, while Gretel had completed less than thirty feet.
The reason why Link was able to work so quickly was his solid foundation in enchantment magic, as well as some help from the game system. From his perspective, he was able to see virtual images of the runes exactly as they had been placed in the entire rune structure previously. Link simply followed the images without thinking too much about it.
It made everything that much easier.
Inspecting twenty feet or so of the runes beside Link, Silverstar was able to put her worries to rest. These runes, judging from their detail and arrangement, were nothing short of a masterpiece, and she could not have done any better herself.
She went back to check on Gretel and nodded at her work. Though the Red Dragon Queen’s runes were not as elegant as Link’s, they met her expectations. Halfway through, she pointed out a couple of mistakes to the queen and waited for her to fix them.
She calculated the likely time of completion. The rune binding circle was approximately 1,500 feet in diameter and 4,700 feet in length, and the rate at which the two were working was sixty feet per minute. If everything went smoothly, they would be able to finish it in half an hour, which would be quick enough.
Time went by, and Link’s pace increased gradually, until he was jogging around the circle while working on the runes. Both Silverstar and Gretel looked on in utter horror.
On the other side, Gretel had gotten used to the task and was able to draw out a hundred feet of runes per minute, which was still not enough to catch up to Link.
She then spoke to Lucia. “You better check his work, see if there’s nothing wrong with it.”
With a look of concern, Silverstar went to check on Link.
Three minutes later, she returned to Gretel’s side and spread her hands out. “He’s drawing everything way better than I ever could. I couldn’t find any fault in his work. Ah, you got this one wrong.”
“…” Speechless, Gretel returned to her work.
At this time, the Red Dragon Elders returned with a large number of Red Dragon warriors and a couple of normal dragon masters.
Among the 3,000 people assembled. Most of them were around Level-5, including 1,000 of the high level dragon warriors. The average power level was around Level-6, with Level-7 and Level-8 being the outliers of the group.
Everyone had grouped around the rune circle and waited for its completion, ready to infuse their power into it.
Silverstar then proposed to Gretel, “Link is close to completion on his end, why don’t we go back and fix some of the errors you made just now?”
“Okay,” said Gretel apologetically. Her pace had been slow, and she had made a lot of mistakes; there was a stark gap between her work and Link’s.
Gretel went back to tidy up her work, fixing some of her mistakes here and there. When everything was in order, she continued working on the rest of her runes.
This time, to prevent making any more mistakes, she slowed down her pace, with Silverstar constantly checking her work by her side.
Link, who had already covered half of the city, began approaching Gretel from the other direction.
The two ladies looked at each other in bewilderment.
Within half a minute, Link’s runes finally met up with Gretel’s.
With a low hum, the runes joined together on both sides, and the whole rune circle lit up slightly, sending a small tremor through the encircled space.
Silver exclaimed excitedly, “You’ve done it!”
The sudden tremor had startled the Void Tyrant, who was still splitting himself within the city. He let out a roar, “You dare plot against me?”
Silverstar shouted immediately, “Quick, power the rune circle up, he’s noticed us!”
Without being powered up, the rune circle was nothing more than an invisible decoration hanging in the air.
Link rushed out of the rune circle and tapped the air with his wand. “Spatial Distortion!”
In an instant, a ball of Spatial Distortion with a diameter of ten feet appeared twenty feet above ground.
He shouted to the Red Dragon warriors, “Attack the distorted space with all your might! Hold nothing back!”
The Red Dragon warriors were stunned for a moment. They had never received such an order before.
Watching as the black tentacles lashed out from within the city, Gretel herself screamed out an order. “Attack! Use Dragon Slash on it!”
A Red Dragon Elder leapt forward and swung a powerful Dragon Slash at the ball of Spatial Distortion with his sword. A red streak of Dragon Power rushed into the ball, which shimmered for a moment before letting out a highly concentrated thread of Legendary Dragon Power from the other side, directly into the rune circle.
A layer of dim red light spread out across the rune circle. The enclosed space trembled at the same time, and the circle’s binding strength increased as a result.
It was effective!
The Red Dragon warriors began directing their attacks into it, while the circle’s binding strength increased more and more as a continuous stream of red Dragon Power flowed into it.
But this was not enough. Judging from the Void Tyrant’s speed, it was possible he might burst out of the rune circle before its activation. Keeping a wary eye on the black tentacles, Link shouted to the queen, “Your Highness, you must slow down the Void Tyrant by any means necessary! He’s too fast!”
The Red Dragon Queen transformed into her dragon form without hesitation, spread her wings in the air, and spewed out an explosive jet of Dragonfire at the front tentacles.
She flew around the outer circle of the city at an incredible speed, continuously pouring Dragonfire down on the mass of tentacles.
The black tentacles regenerated back almost as quickly as they were being burned to crisps, but were still unable to move any closer to the rune circle.
A minute had passed, and all the Red Dragon warriors had tired themselves out, including the Red Dragon Elders, who laid on the ground. They had all used up a great deal of their Dragon Power in their assault.
The rune circle still needed a little more juice to be fully activated. Luckily, Link had enough strength left in him to pick up where the Red Dragons had left off.
With a hum, the air within the circle began to shiver as the rune formation rotated slowly like a gear. The space within the circle then visibly became viscous. The black tentacles that had been lunging outwards moments ago now slowed down considerably, as all their energy had been sapped dry by the rune circle the moment they made contact with it.
“It’s trapped! It’s finally trapped!” Silverstar shouted excitedly.
Link shared her excitement, too, but his face remained grave, for this was only the beginning. There was still a long way to go until their ultimate victory over the creature!