Chapter 510: A Piece of Water Meteorite (1/3)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Link walked over to take a closer look.
From afar, he had thought the brilliant azure gemstone was spherical. Upon a closer look, Link noticed that there were a few bumps on its surface. There were also no runes carved into it. It simply looked like a polished rock.
Link took out the purple meteorite fragment that had re-solidified and tapped the azure gemstone gently with it. He then scratched the gemstone’s surface with one of the meteorite fragments’ sharp edges but could not seem to even leave an impression on it.
“It’s extremely hard!” Link exclaimed.
The meteorite in his hand was hard enough to leave a scratch on any Level-10 material. It could even slice through metal plates with ease.
Not only was the meteorite fragment unable to leave a mark on the gemstone, but the latter also did not seem to have any evidence of magical tampering on it. This suggested that the gemstone’s origin was far from ordinary.
What was worth noting was the fact that the wand and the gemstone on it were based on the water element, and water gemstones usually had a high resistance towards high temperatures.
After thinking for a while, Link said, “Since I’m still looking for a suitable dampening material, why don’t we just take apart the wand? I don’t think I would have much use for it.”
Gretel did not object to this. “Go ahead.”
Compared to the gemstone on it, the rest of the wand was merely scrap wood. Link drew out the Dragon King’s Fury sword and cut the wand in two. Without its wooden support, the azure gemstone fell off from the wand.
As soon as he got the gemstone, Gretel suddenly said to him, “With Thoreau defeated, there’s nothing keeping us here on the island. What do we do now once we get back to the castle?”
Link paused for a moment, then said, “The island lacks the resources and facilities that we need to work on the dampening material, and there’s also the problem of the spatial crack outside the Dragon Valley…”
This was certainly a problem none of them could avoid.
“Not to worry, I’ve thought it through,” said Gretel with a smile. She extended her hand and shook the dark green bracelet on her wrist. “See this?”
Link looked at it and saw that the bracelet’s design was almost primitive. The enchantments on it were like nothing he had ever seen. Looking at it even more closely, Link realized that he could only discern less than half of the enchantments used on it.
“What is this?” Link had noticed the bracelet on Gretel’s wrist before, but since it was her personal property, he did not ask too much about it.
“The Dragon King’s Bracelet passed down from ancient times. If anything were to happen to Dragon Valley, this bracelet would notify us of it, and I can even bring you back with me through long-distance teleportation.”
Link was left speechless. If she had been able to teleport them out of the island all this time, why didn’t she use it before?
Gretel smiled awkwardly at him. “I wasn’t able to activate the bracelet’s long-distance teleportation skill as I was not at my full strength before. Also, I can only use this skill once a month. Since Dragon Valley seems to be fine at the moment, I thought that I might as well save it for an actual emergency.”
Her explanation had sounded reasonable to Link, but still, he sensed that there was something off about it, as if Gretel had left out some other details.
Seeing Link’s ruminative state, Gretel continued, “Though Thoreau had escaped with severe injuries, if we were to leave this island, he may come back to continue devouring the souls of the island’s inhabitants. There are at least three million people living here.”
Link nodded, finally convinced by Gretel. “Alright then, we’ll start work on the dampening material here. It shouldn’t take us too long.”
“Hehe, then let’s get back. Honestly, the castle has kind of grown on me. Also, there’s no one else to bother us here…” Her voice trailed off into a mumble, and Link could not hear what she said at that point.
The two of them chatted on as they flew towards the castle. Far out in the ocean, a column of mist was steadily rising from the ocean’s surface. It was Thoreau the soul devourer, whose body had been split in half by Link.
His injury was so severe that he could only keep his body in a mist-like state. If he were to restore his body back to its original form, his severely crippled state would not be able to contain his own soul. He would immediately die from the process.
No, I need to find a new body, he thought. Seeing the two Legendary dragons flying back to the island, Thoreau immediately dismissed the idea of going back to the island and consuming the souls of the island’s inhabitants in order to replenish his power.
He swam further into the ocean in search of a suitable body for his soul.
He remained in his mist-like state as he swam. The spell was extremely taxing, and he did not have much time left. Even though the ocean was filled with all kinds of sea life, their bodies were too weak to bear the weight of his Legendary soul.
After searching for half an hour in the ocean, just when it looked as if his power was about to run out, a black-scaled swordfish appeared in front of him. Its appearance was almost similar to his physical body, and its power level was at most Level-7, which should be just enough to contain his soul.
Though Thoreau was not too pleased with his available options, he was running out of time and power. Reluctantly, he rushed into the black-scaled swordfish’s body.
In an instant, the fish ceased all movement. Its fins began thrashing about wildly; its whole body trembling uncontrollably as if it was being electrocuted. Ten minutes later, a blue glow filled the swordfish’s eyes.
Thoreau had successfully taken control of his new body. He waved a fin and wiggled his body, closely feeling the power in him that flickered like a candle in the wind. He then heaved a long sigh.
“I’m left with Level-8 power. My body’s suffered serious damage, and I’ve lost my magic wand. Years of effort gone down the drain like that… Well played, dragons. From now on, you are now my sworn enemies!”
Though he had lost most of his power, Thoreau had enough experience as a Level-8 Magician. He would not need to spend a thousand years to regain what he had lost.
“If I’m lucky, I’ll be back to my full Legendary power in a year or two. I can’t go back to the island now, but I can still head for the coast of the Firuman continent. There are a lot of boats passing by the coastline, and the soul of a mortal sailor on board should be a few times stronger than a fish. This way, I’ll be able to return to my former glory in no time.”
With this in mind, Thoreau swished his new tail and propelled himself away from the island that he had built with his own bare hands, towards the continent of Firuman in the west.
The castle on the island
Link and Gretel finally returned to the castle. After resting for the whole day, they then began puzzling over how best to forge a dampening material that could withstand high temperatures.
It took Link three days to produce his Level-20 experimental magic circle.
In that time, Gretel had begun her experiments with samples they had retrieved from the Sea of Void, including the purple meteorite, the azure gemstone, and the Void Centipede’s stinger, to test their alchemical properties.
When Link was finally done with the magic circle, he then proceeded to construct a number of alchemical equipment. That took him another two days. When he was finished, Gretel had already come up with a concrete alchemical procedure for their objective.
She then explained her plan to Link, “I’ll combine all these things together to produce a totally new piece of material. It will have the property to withstand high energy levels, but according to my estimations, it will only be able to resist Level-18 power.”
Link frowned at this. “There’s quite a difference between Level-18 and Level-20, you know.”
Though it was only a two-level difference, the last two levels after Level-18 were the most difficult stages to reach, especially Level-20, which existed in another realm entirely.
Pondering on this for a while, Link said, “Let’s put it aside for now. Start making the Level-18 material, and we’ll think of something to improve on it along the road.”
Gretel nodded, then said, “The alchemical process is extremely complicated. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it on my own. I’ll need your help in it as well. You’ll probably need to master the basics of alchemy. Don’t worry, I’ll be the one guiding you through it.”
Link did not seem to have a choice on this matter. He said, “Alright then, let’s get started!”
Gretel then began teaching Link alchemy.
Alchemy was essentially a huge branch of magic. Gretel was a master in alchemy, while Link was a master in magic. Both stood on the pinnacles of their respective fields.
Everything and everyone else seemed so small from where they stood.
Link listened attentively to Gretel’s alchemical teachings and was able to rapidly absorb all that he was taught. His skill in alchemy improved in leaps and bounds.
Half a month later, Link’s alchemical skill had surpassed 99.9 percent of the alchemists living on the continent.
Of course, there was still a small gap between Link’s current level and Gretel’s.
One day, he was carrying out an experiment according to Gretel’s instructions, when suddenly, an alchemical inspiration popped out of nowhere in his mind.
He was stunned for a moment, completely forgetting his work in front of him. Ten seconds later, the mixture in the magic cauldron before him began to boil violently. There was an explosion later, and the soup within the cauldron was splattered all across the alchemical laboratory.
Gretel had heard the explosion and immediately came into the laboratory from a room nearby. She saw that Link was radiating with the glow of a defensive spell, and the rest of the laboratory was all but destroyed.
“What happened?” Gretel did not understand how Link could have made such an explosive error.
Hearing the explosion, Link’s eyes came back into focus and groggily stared at Gretel. “I suddenly thought of a way to increase the level of the end-product all the way to Level-19.
“Impossible!” Gretel shook her head. “I’ve already thought of every possible alchemical process. With the materials we have currently in hand, the highest we can reach is only Level-18.”
Even an alchemy master such as herself could not achieve such a feat. How was a novice like Link able to do such a thing? She refused to believe that he had surpassed even his own teacher!