Chapter 604: Dark Elves’ Starlight Rose (2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Hearing what Ellie said, Lawndale shook his head furiously. “Princess, you don’t understand. The Lord of Ferde is more terrifying than you can imagine. You have no idea just how many people want him dead, and how many of those people have ended up dead.”
He then let out a sigh, a little less optimistic about the princess’ chances in the world. She’s still so young and has so much to learn about the ways of the world. It would seem that she still requires training.
Eugene swept a glance at him silently. He had stood on the pinnacle of Firuman for 400 years. Compared to him, Lawndale was a lot less wise about the world itself. His mind was an open book to Eugene.
“You think I’m underestimating the Lord of Ferde?” asked Eugene softly, fighting off the urge to let out a bitter laugh.
“No, Your Highness, I just thought that you would do well to maintain a certain degree of reverence when talking about someone as accomplished as the Lord of Ferde.” Lawndale chose his words carefully in order not to hurt the princess’ pride. Of course, the Dark Elf’s attempt at euphemism had little effect on Eugene.
Eugene grew even more contemptuous of the young Dark Elf, whose sideburns had already grown white. However, he knew that if he were to climb up the ranks of Dark Elf society, he would need Lawndale’s support.
Also, Lawndale’s reaction allowed Eugene to recognize that Link had earned the respect of every race on the continent. Despite being so much younger than the veteran masters of the world and the fact that he had only made a name for himself not too long ago, Link had cast a long shadow over the world. Even his enemies could feel the heft of his influence all over Firuman.
Can Link really be the Avatar of the Realm? How else could he have grown so much? But he still seems to be lacking something that makes him a true Avatar of the Realm. Curious, curious indeed.
“You’re right, Lawndale, but first, don’t you want to hear what I have to say first?” said Eugene, humbly admitting that he was in the wrong, despite thinking otherwise.
“Of course, Your Highness, please say your piece.” Lawndale nodded immediately. There was no harm in hearing out the princess, anyway.
Eugene said, “You mentioned something about the crack in Dragon Valley. Even though the crack’s already been sealed up, it’s still not completely fixed, is it?”
Eugene continued, “Right now, things are going quite well between Ferde and Dragon Valley. This crack threatens the safety of the Firuman realm. If we break the seal holding the crack together, the Lord of Ferde will definitely rush over there to fix it, will he not?
Lawndale nodded again, finding nothing to contradict.
“When the Lord of Ferde leaves Ferde, we’ll have plenty of options to choose from. We could ambush him as he makes his way there, attack Ferde itself, or even incite chaos throughout the human cities beyond Orida Fortress. Ferde’s forces will be scattered all over the region in an attempt to maintain order, and we’ll be able to chip away at its defenses bit by bit.”
“But he’ll retaliate…” said Lawndale. It sounded like a solid plan, but his mind had grown duller recently. He would instinctively try to refute anything without forming an actual counterargument.
Eugene explained, “Of course he’ll retaliate. But don’t forget, we’re in the Black Forest. We can always retreat back into the darkness if he does. While the High Elves may have the World Tree to protect them, we are already protected by the geography of our natural habitat. We’ll simply have to be on the defensive, as we send in crack troops to harass the human cities. The humans live mainly on flat terrain. Once they’re scattered, they’ll be more vulnerable to our attacks. Trade among the humans will weaken considerably in the resulting chaos, and Ferde’s sources of income will be cut off as well. Follow my plan to the letter, and the humans will become so weak that all we need to do is give them a little push, and their entire civilization will fall.”
“Your plan sounds reasonable,” said Lawndale, mulling over Eugene’s plan. He was obviously moved by it.
Of course, it’s reasonable! Eugene was now becoming increasingly disdainful towards the Dark Elf, who seemed to have sunk so deep into the pit of abject failure there was no hope of pulling him out of it. Of course, she managed to hide her contempt as she continued, “This is only step one. There’s a step two to my plan.”
“Oh, do continue, Your Highness,” said Lawndale.
Eugene continued, “There’s the Syndicate to the south of the humans’ domain. Wasn’t Morpheus planning on ascending to godhood? Also, wasn’t he an ally of ours? Why have we stopped working together? Let the Syndicate harass Ferde from the South. Even if this proves difficult for them, they could still block off merchant ships bound for Ferde and disrupt business there. What do you think?”
“Yes, you’re absolutely right.” Lawndale’s eyes lit up for a moment but then shook his head, chuckling bitterly. “It’s a good plan, but I fear that it may be impossible to carry out.”
An oppressive aura began to bubble up from the depths of Eugene’s soul. The radiance that the Dark Elf princess’ flawless features had afforded him on the outside had faded all of a sudden and was replaced by a chilling sternness.
At that moment, Lawndale sensed that the air was becoming hard to breathe. A shiver went down his spine as he looked at the princess. He quickly lowered his head, not daring to look at her in the eye. All the meanderings in his head had melted away like snow under a fiery sun.
As is to be expected by someone blessed by the gods themselves. I shouldn’t have opened my mouth so carelessly. She truly is the princess of the Dark Elves! All of Lawndale’s distrust towards Eugene was converted into admiration in an instant.
“Why would it be impossible to carry out?” asked Eugene.
Lawndale smiled bitterly. “Your Highness, I had come up with a plan similar to yours back then, but it had fallen on deaf ears. The Black Forest now belongs to the Nagas. Don’t let their feminine features fool you; in truth, they are as hard as steel and have always preferred head-on confrontations with Ferde. They have never been one for sophisticated plans like yours, Princess. What they do like, though, are one-off solutions along the lines of taking the fight straight to the humans at Orida Fortress. According to them, doing so will please the God of Destruction. Once he’s satisfied, they’ll receive more of his blessings.”
“But won’t they lose in a head-on fight?” Eugene held his forehead in his hand. He did not expect to hit such a problem here.
“Which is why they’ve decided to make their next move after the High Elves succeed in merging the two realms…”
“Damn it!” cursed Eugene before Lawndale could even finish speaking. He then took a deep breath, calming himself down. “The realm unification will destroy Firuman. The High Elves have gone mad, this is exactly what the God of Destruction wanted! Idiots… Lawndale, the Dark Elves will be taking the helm of this alliance. There’s no way I’m entrusting the fate of my race to a bunch of madmen and servants of the God of Destruction!”
Eugene’s words resonated with Lawndale. Deep down, he could not agree any more with them, but there was nothing he, or anyone else, could do at this point. He sighed. “Your Highness, our race has never been the same since the war between light and darkness two years ago. We can only leave these things to the realms of fancy.”
Eugene fell silent for a long time. Then he spoke, “I once came across a certain presence residing in a space-time distortion. It taught me a sacrificial technique that would allow me to increase my power considerably. I’ve tried it once. It was effective, but I’ll need your help to do it.”
Lawndale was stunned. “How much power will you be able to acquire?”
Eugene narrowed his eyes. “I’ll be able to reach Level-14 in three days if we can sacrifice more than 30,000 people.”
Before, he had only reached Level-13 with the technique in question. After his ordeal with Link, he was now able to easily solve some of the problems that had tormented him in the past. He was now confident that he could reach Level-14 this time.
“30,000? You can reach Level-14 by sacrificing 30,000 lives? Lawndale’s eyes widened. He could feel his heart thumping wildly against his chest. If the princess could acquire such power, the Dark Elves would be free from a fate of exploitation in the hands of others.
Regaining his composure, he said in a low voice, “Your Highness, how sure are you about this?”
“I’m 90 percent sure that I could pull it off, but I’ll need your help, Lawndale.” Eugene reached out and touched Lawndale’s face, looking fondly into his eyes. He could see that Lawndale was immediately entranced by his gesture.
“Don’t you worry, Your Highness, I’ll have 30,000 people ready for you in a day. They’ll be dying for a righteous cause!” said Lawndale, gritting his teeth in resolution.