Chapter 574: Rescuing the Naga (1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The wheels of the carriage that the port administrator had arranged for Bryant rattled on as it drove straight towards Scorched City.
The stretch of road that Bryant was on was at least 20 feet wide and had been leveled flat through the use of a Petrification spell. The road ahead of the carriage was practically a straight line. There were tall buildings neatly lining both sides of the road, from the port all the way to the Scorched Ridge.
Looking out from the window in front of the carriage, he could see groups of buildings crisscrossing with each other. A few miles down the road, skyscraping Mage Towers rose up from the horizon.
From afar, one could clearly see networks of Mana intersecting with each other around the Mage Towers. Under the faint golden light emanated by the Mana, the whole city seemed even brighter and warmer as if the place was illuminated by a sun that never set.
Bryant could not help but feel calmer and cheerful at the sight of this magnificent city being bathed in everlasting sunlight.
He had just left Skeletal Fort in the North and was somewhat depressed by its sight. The city’s golden glow dispelled all the negative emotions in him in an instant.
“What a beautiful city,” he exclaimed.
From his sleeve came a hissing voice. “Like hell it is! I hate it here! It’s too bright and hot, and it stinks of humans everywhere. This is a disgusting place! If my father rules this place one day, I’ll make sure to have him tear down that tower in the distance!”
Sensing the clammy wriggling in his sleeve, Bryant warned, “I think you’d best keep it down. We’re approaching the Mage Tower. Wouldn’t want to risk getting exposed now, would we?”
“I don’t need you to tell me twice!” grumbled the voice in his sleeve, and then it went silent for the rest of the journey.
The carriage pressed on until it finally arrived at the entrance of the Scorched Ridge. Bryant was stunned by what he saw there. Looking out of his carriage, he saw a black-haired young man standing at the entrance, smiling at him.
The young man was wearing a standard magic robe. He was holding an ordinary-looking magic wand. He looked like an ordinary Magician’s Apprentice. But Bryant knew all too well that this was simply a magical illusion. The aura that he sensed from the young man had already revealed to him who he really was.
It was Link himself.
The “Magician’s Apprentice” walked towards the carriage, opened the door for Bryant and then gave him a Magician’s salute.
“Master, please follow me.”
Bryant felt his heart beating even more quickly. Link’s appearance had caught him off guard. This was unexpected.
Though Nozama had asked him to kill Link, Bryant never intended to do so in the first place. The Time Stop spell would only last for one second, which was just too short. If he wanted to end Link, he would need to be sure of where Link was and be close enough to him in order to activate the divine time seal.
However, Link could easily turn on him if he tried to activate the divine seal. Bryant might even be killed by him before he could even activate it. No matter how powerful the seal was, it would all be for naught.
Seeing Link coming out to welcome him personally, Bryant could not help but feel suspicious about this. He suddenly had an impulse to turn around and leave.
However, he managed to get a hold of himself. Bryant coughed and then said, “I did not expect you to come out personally, Link.”
Saying this, Bryant’s arm tensed up, warning the little snake hidden inside his sleeve to be careful. She wriggled back in response. Bryant could feel that the little snake was also nervous. She had not moved a muscle when she saw Link standing before them. It was as if she had already entered hibernation in his sleeve.
What Bryant did not know was that Link had seen this little exchange between him and the serpent. He had already suspected Bryant was up to something. Seeing the High Elf personally at the entrance, Link was able to confirm his suspicions about this meeting.
He let out an inward sigh. Seems like Celine’s dream was true. I never knew that the High Elves would be working with the Army of Destruction.
Still, the smile on Link’s face did not fade.
“I’ve been quite free lately. When I heard that you were coming for a visit, I thought I might greet you personally. You said that you were coming to discuss the matter of reconnecting with the Aragu realm. Well, I’m all ears.”
Reconnecting with the Aragu realm was what Bryant wanted to discuss with Link, at least on the surface.
Bryant did not think that Link would be interested in the subject. Somewhat startled, he smiled and said, “I see. After you.”
The two began walking along the street of the Scorched Ridge.
Compared to the bustling outer city of Scorched City, the Scorched Ridge was a different matter altogether.
Ordinary folk lived in the outer city. Though their houses were laid out neatly, due to how fast construction had taken place, some of them looked shoddily built. There were still places in the midst of construction.
Those living in the inner city belonged to the upper circles of society, including high-ranking military officials and Magicians. The buildings here were all splendidly built. However, it was extremely quiet in the midst of this splendor. There were few people on the street, each one of them dressed in high-quality attire. There were even a couple of young Magicians hurrying about.
One of the pedestrians had his head lowered as he walked, apparently deep in thought. A few others were huddled together in a heated discussion about something as they passed by. Everyone walked at a brisk pace, as if they had all come out for a jog out on the street.
Bryant also saw a few Magician’s Apprentices buried in their magic books as they ate something.
One would not find such bustle in the Isle of Dawn.
The High Elves’ lifespan was thrice that of humans. They were also more gifted in the mystic arts than the human race. The High Elves had always preferred peace and tranquility. It would be diligence of the highest order if a young High Elf Magician was willing to spend eight hours a day in his or her magical studies.
Bryant walked on, amazed by the sight before him.
He remembered his days as a young Magician. At that time, he had been so obsessed with unlocking the secrets of magic. However, when there was not much else he could learn from human magic, Bryant decided to set out into the world.
He had basically left his mark across all of Firuman. He had climbed mountains and crossed oceans to learn magic from the dwarves, the Yabba people, the High Elves and the dragons. However, his time studying magic in Andwar had left a deep impression in him.
In order to study magic in the Isle of Dawn, he had paid 200,000 gold pieces up front. During his time there, he had even helped the High Elves carry out many questionable deeds on the Firuman continent. In the end, the magic books he had gotten for his effort were no more than Level-8.
When he walked along the streets of Andwar, the High Elves would avoid him like the plague and then whisper behind his back. They would look at him as if he were a monkey in a zoo.
His magic might have seen a drastic improvement during those years, but it was also one of the most humiliating times of his life.
Looking again at the scenery around him, Bryant said to Link, “My lord, you’ve already built a Mage Tower. All these young Magicians are now thriving in your city. You don’t need to travel the world just for a bit of magical knowledge here and there.”
Link shook his head, still smiling. “Whether this place will thrive tomorrow, or the day after, still remains to be seen. I may have built myself a Mage Tower, but I’ve also angered many people. This city may seem prosperous now, but it may also be reduced to ashes tomorrow. Take me for example. I may be the object of adoration and envy today, but one of my enemies may get the chance to destroy my body tomorrow and subject my soul to whatever horrendous torture they could think of. Who’s to say for sure what fate has planned for all of us?
Link’s words seemed to be hinting at something. Hearing this, Bryant jolted and laughed weakly. “Surely you’re joking, my lord?”
Link gave a vague smile. The two of them reached a courtyard garden. Link extended out a hand, inviting Bryant to enter the place first. “After you. Whatever it is you wish to speak, we’ll be discussing it here.”
Bryant raised his brows in surprise. Glancing at the not so distant Mage Tower, he asked, “Hasn’t it always been tradition to discuss matters in the Mage Tower?”
The Sacred Rune of Destruction he had with him was telling him that Katyusha was currently being imprisoned in the Mage Tower. But now, there was no way to enter the place, determine where she was being held prisoner or spring her out of captivity.
Link smiled, “The Mage Tower is now no longer open to guests. It’s one of the new rules I’ve enacted.”
“I see. Then we’ll talk here.” Bryant was somewhat disappointed. This was unexpected, but also understandable, seeing that there had been many clashes in the shadows between Ferde and the Isle of Dawn.
He had a backup plan.
Once they were inside the courtyard, a beautiful magic puppet maid came over to lay out treats on a table. Casually seating himself beside the table, Link said, “I’ve read the documents you’ve sent me. I take it that the Isle of Dawn is prepared to reconnect with the Aragu realm?”
Bryant nodded. “In truth, we’ve already begun building a small-scale portal. Princess Ariel has vanished without a trace, but the royal line must continue. So, we’ve been working to reconnect with the Aragu Realm and bring back Princess Milda. During the process, slight vibrations will be felt in the realm. But rest assured, this is all normal. We hope that Ferde will not overreact to this.”
“I understand,” said Link, nodding. It sounded as if Bryant had feared that Link would begin jumping to conclusions when this happened, and so decided to let Link know what was going on beforehand.
After pausing for a while, Link asked, “Is there anything else?”
“There’s one other thing. Opening a realm portal is a complicated and dangerous business. We aren’t really confident about all the details of this operation, and of course, nothing must happen to the princess during the process. And so, I’ve brought the magic circle we’ve designed for the portal. Our highness wants you to take a look at it and see if there is anything that could still be improved on. You will be sufficiently compensated for your work, of course.”
“I see. Do you need it soon?” asked Link.
“The sooner, the better. I’ll be waiting here for the next few days. When you’re done, I’ll bring the plans back with me.” Bryant even handed Link the blueprint for the realm portal.
Link gave it a look. The design was incredibly complicated, but it did resemble a realm portal’s magic circle. He nodded and said, “I’ll have it ready as soon as possible. I’ll need at most three days.”
“Thank you. I’ll wait for you in the outer city then,” said Bryant.
“No need. You can stay here in this courtyard. It’s much quieter here.”
Bryant nodded, accepting Link’s offer.
Without another word, Link turned around and left the place. After seeing Link off at the courtyard’s entrance, Bryant went back into the courtyard.
“Alright then, I guess it’s all up to you now, Merna. Be careful, though. Link’s acting strangely. I think he may be on to us.”
“Understood.” Merna was the name of the snake. She slithered out of Bryant’s sleeve, made her way to the middle of the garden and finally squeezed into the opening of a drain out in the street.