Chapter 540: The Bluff (4)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Mage Tower, rooftop platform
Bryant’s face had gone pale. A shiver ran through his body. The only thing that could unnerve a Legendary master like him was the presence of a power equal to or higher than his.
If there had only been two or three other Legendary masters, Bryant would not have batted an eye. But there were now 11 Legendary masters, which was more than enough to strike fear in him.
Bryant could sense the sudden appearances of these Legendary auras around him so vividly that he was surprised that Prince Phillip, who was standing beside him, did not notice anything unusual.
Phillip asked in a low voice, “Prophet, what’s wrong?”
Bryant did not hear what he said. He was staring at Link for at least 20 seconds, dumbfounded. Finally, he asked, “How did Ferde manage to acquire this level of power? Were you able to make contact with the realm of Aragu?”
Realm of Aragu?
Link was impressed by Bryant’s imagination. Since Bryant had come to such a conclusion by himself, Link decided not to reveal his secret. He laughed coldly. “This is the source of Ferde’s might. Do you really think I would just tell you where I got it? As for the realm of Aragu, the Isle of Dawn would be wise to leave it alone. I have my ways of cutting off the passage between realms.”
In truth, there were only a few ways of doing such a thing that Link was aware of. But there was no harm in him boasting about it to Bryant. Link’s goal, after all, was to instill suspicion and dread in the High Elf.
Bryant fell silent again for a long while. He then opened his mouth and spoke, “Since Evelina has fled from Ferde, then we have nothing more to discuss. Thank you for the feast you’ve prepared for us. We still have a traitor to pursue. We’d be most grateful if you would let us go back.”
Saying this, he rose up and waited for Link to open up a portal.
He had admitted defeat.
Prince Phillip and the other diplomats had also hurriedly gotten up. Phillip walked to Bryant’s side and muttered, “Prophet, are we leaving? Just like that?”
Negotiations had not even begun. Even though Link had admitted that Evelina was no longer in Ferde, Phillip figured that the amount of compensation they had offered Link was not enough. If Link had been properly incentivized, he might have been more willing to aid their search for Evelina. He might even be able to bring her to them on the same day.
Bryant’s sudden decision to leave had left Phillip scratching his head in confusion.
Bryant shook his head. “There’s nothing left to talk. No amount of compensation that we can offer would be enough to a Legendary master like Link. Let’s go.”
The number of Legendary masters he had sensed in the enemy’s territory was enough to rival the Isle of Dawn’s might. As of now, Ferde and the Isle of Dawn were now on equal standing. Unless both sides went to war with each other, there was no way the Isle of Dawn would be able to take back what had been theirs from Ferde.
This was a depressing stain on the history of the High Elves. For thousands of years, the Isle of Dawn had managed to prevent such a thing from happening. Right before their eyes, the humans had acquired such formidable power to match theirs. The world was indeed evolving at an unprecedented rate.
There was a soft hum, and a portal appeared once more. Bryant’s gaze bore on Link. He said in a deep voice, “My lord, I do hope you’ll place greater emphasis on the bigger picture. The Army of Destruction up north is our true enemy.”
Conflict would be inevitable if tension persisted still between Ferde and the Isle of Dawn.
Link raised his wine glass and gently tipped its content over the edge of his lip. “We humans are more aware of this than the Isle of Dawn.”
He had accentuated the pronunciation of the word “humans,” which pierced through Bryant like an arrow. Bryant trembled slightly, bitterness welling up in him.
He was once human, but he was also young and brash back then. In his pursuit of a love so pure and true, he gave up on his humanity and became a High Elf. To put it more precisely, he was no more than a lost spirit wearing a High Elf husk.
He regretted making such a decision hundreds of years ago. But now, there was no going back. He had to see his path through to the very end.
Dejected, he stepped into the portal without another word. The other High Elves then followed him through it.
Hum, hum, hum… An instant later, a few figures appeared in the magic arena. There were already a couple of horse carriages waiting for them there.
The High Elves then got onto their carriages in the same order as before. Bryant had got on his as well, though his thoughts had drifted off somewhere else.
Once inside their carriages, Prince Phillip immediately asked, “Prophet, what happened?”
“Ah?” Bryant snapped out of his reverie. He then let out a long sigh before explaining to Phillip, “There were 13 Legendary masters in Ferde, including the Lord of Ferde himself, and from the looks of things, there will soon be 14.”
If he was not mistaken, the 14th Legendary master should be Eliard.
Phillip was speechless. There were only five Legendary masters in the Isle of Dawn, and now Ferde had twice that number. This was simply outrageous!
After a long silence, his eyes suddenly lit up. Hope sprang up in him as Phillip muttered, “Maybe they’re just Legendary Warriors? If they’re just Warriors, I don’t think we have anything to be frightened of.”
A Legendary Warrior would be able to mow down thousands of people on a battlefield with ease. This was an incredible feat, certainly deserving of the title of a God of War. But a Warrior’s brute strength proved useful only in ground warfare. Even if there were 13 of them, it was not something worth bragging about.
If these masters were all clumped up together, a high-level offensive area-of-effect spell would be able to eliminate them all in one hit.
Only a Legendary Magician had the power to alter the grand scheme of things to his or her favor.
A Legendary Magician may not be as skilled as a Legendary Warrior in one-on-one combat, but what made them redoubtable opponents was their vast knowledge of the powers of the world.
Legendary Magicians were capable of casting powerful magical formations and concocting potions with extremely potent effects. They could even forge unfathomable magical equipment and push the boundaries of knowledge with the fruits of their research. Through their profound wisdom, they were able to nurture the young talents of their race, paving the way to a brighter future through them.
If Ferde had 14 individuals with such power, the Isle of Dawn might as well concede this game of chess being played out on the chessboard known as Firuman.
Hearing Phillip’s words, Bryant jerked up in surprise. He carefully recalled what he had felt back then and realized that he had made a mistake. He had assumed that since Link was a Magician himself, the other Legendary masters he had sensed must have been Magicians as well. But now, thinking back about it, they did not actually reveal themselves to him. Only the core Magicians of Ferde had attended the banquet on the rooftop. This was sufficient proof that the new Legendary masters were not as strong as the core Magicians. There was even a strong possibility that they were only Legendary Warriors.
“If that’s the case, things may not be as bad as I had anticipated… Wait, no, something’s not right.” A change came over Bryant’s face.
“What’s wrong?” Prince Phillip’s heart was now thumping hard against his chest upon seeing the perturbed expression on Bryant’s face, dreading whatever terrifying conclusion the prophet had come to this time.
Bryant continued, “These new Legendary masters may not be as strong as Ferde’s core Magicians. They may even be Legendary Warriors, which means that Ferde only has two Legendary Magicians, Link and Evelina, and 11 other Legendary Warriors. Here’s the problem now. These 11 Legendary Warriors did not just appear out of thin air. Link must have used some sort of secret technique to endow them with Legendary power, and he was able to do this in the span of a few months. This means that…”
At this point, Bryant’s heart was racing as well. He did not dare finish his sentence.
Prince Phillip was able to fill in the blanks himself. His face had whitened. “Ferde is in possession of a secret technique that allows them to forge Legendary Warriors. With this technique, they can produce all the Legendary Warriors they need. This…”
Imagine for a moment that there were thousands of Legendary Warriors on the opposing side of a battlefield. These Legendary Warriors would also be armed with powerful magical equipment that Link had forged for them.
Who would be able to oppose such an army?
Despite only being skilled in ground warfare and battle techniques, Legendary Warriors manufactured this way could easily overpower any army with sheer number.
Both Phillip and Bryant were now filled with dread at the scenarios they had played out in their minds. They still did not know what was true or false, nor did they have any way of confirming their theories. Even so, it was better to be safe than sorry. Assuming that Link was indeed in possession of such a secret technique, the Isle of Dawn would not be able to win any war against him if they were not prepared for it.
Finally, Bryant said, “We’d best hurry back to the Isle of Dawn and report this to her Highness immediately.”
Phillip nodded in agreement. “You’re right, things have gone completely out of control.”
In the midst of the two High Elves’ discussion, the splendid horse carriage rattled down the road towards the port. A few Memory Crystals were hidden in a corner of the compartment, recording every word they spoke.
Bryant and Phillip were all so shaken by the sudden turn of events that they did not notice anything strange in their carriage. When they finally reached the port, the two of them got out of the carriage and boarded their ship without a moment’s delay.
Half an hour later, the High Elves’ merchant ship finally departed from the port. Another five minutes later, a green mist issued out of the ship and tore through the sky towards the Isle of Dawn at unimaginable speed.
It was Bryant. He could not wait any longer to deliver his message back to the Isle of Dawn.
Ten minutes later, Link had retrieved the Memory Crystals from the horse carriage. He and the other Magicians listened intently to the conversation between Bryant and Prince Phillip.
When they had listened to the whole thing, Alloa was the first to speak. “Judging from his tone, Bryant does seem sure of his theory. When he left, he was quite shaken up by this.”
Link nodded. “I even tried to provoke him a bit with that bit about humans. He had already seemed unsettled back then. He probably didn’t even notice the Memory Crystals planted in his carriage. I think he’s speaking the truth. What do the rest of you think about this?”
The crowd around them was silent, pondering on all the possible measures the Isle of Dawn would take against Ferde.
Three minutes later, Vance spoke, “I fear that the Isle of Dawn may overstep their boundaries.”
Everyone was stunned at those words.
Overstep… their boundaries?