Chapter 578: Rescuing the Naga (5) (2/4)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Mage Tower, Mana core
“Where’s Link?” Eliard had been looking for Link, but found Evelina instead.
“He went to check on the explosion and left me in charge of the Mana core. Is something wrong?” Evelina did not turn around to face him. She had to maintain control of the Mana core.
“Nothing really, just that I found something quite interesting on the first basement,” said Eliard. He then raised his voice and gave the tower spirit Lily a command. “Lily, open up mirrors 13 and 17.”
“Command received,” replied Lily. There was a whir. Then, a two-sided magic mirror materialized near the Mana core out of thin air.
The first basement was where the Mage Tower’s storage rooms were. All kinds of magic materials, food and wine were kept inside them. There was enough for a thousand people to survive for at least ten years.
The magic mirror displayed a corner of one of the food storages. The left side showed a pile of potatoes, while the mirror’s right side showed a row of oaken wine barrels.
Evelina looked at the two displays. Finally, she gave up, shaking her head. “I don’t see anything.”
Eliard chuckled. “You can’t see it here. It’s hiding in a blind spot between the two detection runes.”
Evelina asked curiously, “Then how did you find it? The tower’s Mana network didn’t pick up any unusual activity.”
“If I’m going to tell you how I found it, I’ll need to start from the time the Mage Tower was still in construction. Back then, I had overseen its entire construction process. I was even there when they began laying out its foundation. In the first basement, there, in mirror 17, do you see a mural on the wall?”
Evelina looked at where Eliard was pointing and nodded. “Yes, though it looked a bit crude. The scribbles of a High Elf child in the Isle of Dawn would have looked much better there.”
Eliard looked offended. “It was me. I painted it in my free time. When I was still practicing the Stoneshaping spell, Master Grenci told me that painting murals was the best way to master the spell. That’s not the point. The point is, I spent a lot of time on the eyes. Do you notice that the eyes of King Charles on the mural here seem to be gleaming?”
“It certainly does. Does this have anything to do with what you’re saying? There doesn’t seem to be any magic at work in those eyes,” said Evelina, still confused.
Eliard shrugged, then said disparagingly, “Evelina, I’ve been telling you that your thinking has always been rigid. I’ve already given you a hint, and still, you can’t see the secret behind the mural. If Link was here, he would have immediately known what it is.”
Evelina kept her calm. She had heard such talk from Eliard far too many times during their discussions. If she had let his words get to her, she would have been driven mad by him a long time ago.
However, no matter how closely she looked at the magic mirror, she still could not see what she was supposed to be seeing. “Where is this secret you’re talking about?”
Eliard said to Lily, “Magnify mirror 17, focus on the mural’s eyes.”
The image was slowly expanding. Throughout the magnification process, the mirror’s image maintained its definition. When the image was magnified tenfold, Eliard shouted, “That’s enough. Evie, look at the reflection in the figure’s eyes. There, do you see it? It’s a white-furred mouse.”
Evelina had already seen it when the image was only magnified fivefold. Deep down, she admired Eliard’s observational powers, but she would never be caught dead admitting that to him out in the open. She glanced at him and said with a huff, “Alright, I admit you have quite a keen pair of eyes.”
“I… won’t argue with you over that,” said Eliard as he pointed at the reflection. “The mouse is a Magical Beast. It’s extremely intelligent, and it’s not as weak as it looks. This little fellow managed to sneak into the Mage Tower when the place was in chaos for at least two seconds. It had slipped into the first basement without even tripping the detection seals in its path. Despite its size, its speed and observational powers are extraordinary. I estimate that its power may be above Level-8.”
Evelina had listened to Eliard’s evaluation of the creature with a solemn face. When he gave his estimation of the creature’s power, she said incredulously, “Isn’t it a bit of a stretch to assume that such a tiny creature has Level-8 power?”
“Not at all. Have you read Magician Opello’s magic book called Big and Small? asked Eliard.
“No, what’s it about?” Evelina felt a bit awkward. Half the time, she did not understand a word of what Eliard said, and this was not the first time. Was she getting old?
“You should give it a read. Opello’s a Level-5 Magician in the Mage Tower. He’s quite imaginative. The book’s filled with all of his wondrous ideas and imaginings. In the book, Opello presented his theory that an object’s size does not have any substantial value. For instance, through spatial manipulation, a person can be shrunk into the size of a peanut, without affecting his strength in the slightest.”
“Alright, I believe you. I’ll read it when I’m free. Right now, what should we do?”
Evelina was aware that new books were being added into the Mage Tower’s library collection every day. Before, she did not really think too much about it. She had always assumed that these low-level Magicians had nothing to offer her since she had surpassed them all in terms of knowledge and power. But now, she saw them in a new light.
Eliard had already thought of a plan. “This little fellow hasn’t realized that it’s been found out. It hasn’t moved from its hiding spot all this time, probably waiting for us to lower our defenses. It must be heading towards the laboratory where the Naga Katyusha is being held prisoner. If that’s the case, we could lay a trap ahead of it through a portal. When the Mage Tower’s defenses are sufficiently lowered, and the magic door is opened, it will walk right into our trap…”
Before he could finish, a white light filled the great hall. Link’s figure appeared when it subsided.
Eliard clapped his hands and said, “Link, you’re back just in time. I’ve discovered an intruder in the Mage Tower.”
Link had just finished inspecting the site of the explosion. The culprit was cautious. He did not gain much information from the scene. At the moment, he only knew that the culprit had used a delayed-action magical spell. It had been triggered using a Level-9 runestone. He had spent half a day searching for other clues, but even with the aid of a Focus spell, he did not find anything else.
All evidence clearly pointed to the fact that the culprit’s method was extremely advanced and was not at all an inferior to Link.
When he heard what Eliard said, his eyes lit up. “Intruder? What intruder?”
Eliard began explaining his discovery to Link in great detail. When he got to the part about the eyes on the mural, Link immediately said, “You were able to spot it from its reflection in the mural’s eyes? Not bad, not bad at all.”
Eliard seemed pleased with himself, then gestured at Evelina. “See, I told you Link would understand immediately. You still have a long way to go.”
Evelina’s mouth contorted with irritation.
When Link listened to Eliard’s plan, he pondered it for a while before saying, “I see nothing wrong with your plan. It’s just a bit too risky. You may even alert the Magical Beast’s owner. There’s still a lot of room for improvement.”
“Hmm, let me think it through again.” Eliard frowned, deep in thought.
Link smiled. He already had a plan ready. “How about this? Let’s not try to catch the Magical Beast. Instead, we’ll pull a trick on it.”
“A trick?” Eliard was silent for a few seconds. He then immediately said, “Are you suggesting that we let it find its target and then contact its owner in order to bring him or her out of hiding?”
Link nodded. “It’s still too risky to let the beast reach its intended target. We may be in trouble if its owner has some powerful technique up their sleeve. As a safety precaution, we’ll set up an illusion and fool the Magical Beast into thinking that it’s found its mark. At that point, it will make contact with its owner. We’ll be able to trace the connection back to the real culprit hiding in the shadows!”
Eliard’s eyes were glowing as he listened. He nodded furiously. “It’s definitely a better plan than mine. What are we waiting for? Let’s get started! This guy sure has some nerve, causing so much trouble in Ferde! He’s gonna pay for his actions, big time!”