Chapter 716: The Last Enemy (2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There was nothing extraordinary about the appearance of the High Elf maiden in the doorway. She was wearing a simple-looking maid uniform. Link could not feel any aura from her. She looked on all counts like any other High Elf maid working in the royal palace.
Has something happened? thought Link.
The maid simply stared at Link from the doorway with a troubled look on her face. Suddenly, she said, “Your Highness, do you honestly think that the realm fusion will solve everything? No, this is only the beginning!”
Link frowned. “And you are…?”
She did not reply. Link turned to look at the doorway. There was no sign of the maid. He then turned back to his work and saw that he had unconsciously written something on his magical notebook: The Ruler of Light and Darkness.
Link’s heart began racing. The Ruler of Light and Darkness was about to come soon. The newly fused realm was still in the process of settling down. It still had a lot of kinks to work out. How was he supposed to defend it properly from this all-powerful realm devourer under these circumstances?
He then tried to recall what he saw earlier. Link quickly realized that the realm’s will must have appeared before him to warn him of the impending danger.
A problem soon presented itself to Link. In order to weather the imminent storm, he had two choices. His first option was to stop the realm devourer with everything he had. This was out of the question. There was no one in this world capable of doing such a thing at the moment. The second option was to stall him until the two realms fused perfectly with each other. Only then would the new and improved version of Firuman be in a better position to defend itself against the Ruler’s attempts to devour it.
A new problem arose at this point. Who would be the one to slow the Ruler down?
Link rested his forehead against his hand as he pondered on a solution. Minutes passed, and still, he remained motionless in his seat.
The problem had resisted all of Link’s attempts to solve it.
The Ruler of Light and Darkness was an actual god. According to records of ancient times, he had at one time possessed power above Level-25. He might have been weakened after splitting himself into beings of light and darkness, but it would not be ridiculous to assume that his power level was currently in the neighborhood of Level-24.
A Level-24 god would certainly have power and wisdom beyond compare. Even if he had attained Level-19 power, Link was still a mortal. He would simply be the strongest ant of his lot.
An ant was still an ant. In the face of overwhelming power, he would be instantly killed.
After thinking for a long while, Link still could not come up with a solution. He had stood up from his seat and walked to the window, staring out of it at Andwar city in hopes that it might inspire some fresh ideas in him.
A god’s power is certainly beyond compare. I’ve experienced it once back in the Fedaro realm. However, it had belonged to a friend. This time…
Link sighed. He then disappeared in a flash of white light. An instant later, he reappeared in Ferde’s Mage Tower. His appearance had changed drastically. He had transformed back into the black-robed Lord of Ferde.
Link had spent most of his time behind the Mage Tower’s walls. This was the only place in the world where he could feel at ease. He began walking up to the top of the tower. Once there, he stared out into the distance.
Half a minute later, the wooden door swiveled open. Eliard was standing in the doorway.
“Seems like you have a lot on your mind now, Link.” Eliard could easily tell something was troubling his long-time friend.
Link smiled weakly at him. Then, he said, “The realm fusion may not be enough to avert the crisis, I’m afraid. I just received a warning from the realm’s will. When the Ruler of Light and Darkness reaches us, all of Firuman will be wiped out, including me.”
Eliard was taken aback by this. He was one of the few people in the world who knew what was going on. As soon as he heard what Link said, he too knew that there was simply nothing he could do at this point.
Only despair awaited them now.
“The situation couldn’t get any worse than this. Link, what do you plan on doing now?” asked Eliard. They need not confront the realm devourer head-on. They already possessed the technology to travel through the Void. They could still flee into the Sea of Void before the realm devourer reached Firuman.
Of course, they would only resort to this if the worst came to pass. None of them had any intention of seeing all their accomplishments go to waste.
Link chuckled. As if he had read what Eliard was thinking, he said, “Truth be told, I really want to flee from this place. Not just myself, of course. I would bring along every Magician in Ferde with me into the Sea of Void and try to look for a place to hide from the Ruler of Light and Darkness, where we could all live out the rest of our lives.”
“Not a bad idea. However, I don’t think you would do such a thing,” said Eliard. The smile on his face was the byproduct of all the tension leaving his body in the face of an impending disaster.
Link fell silent. He would have really fled if push came to shove. However, the worst had yet to come… Wait a minute; maybe there was still a way out of this after all!
Link’s eyes lit up as if struck by inspiration.
This inspiration had come from the divine fragment which had fused with Link’s body.
The fragment was a Level-20 divine artifact whose existence was enough to disrupt the realm’s power. Logically speaking, it was not something that was supposed to exist in this world.
However, the strangest thing happened. Not only did it still continue to exist in Firuman, but word of Morpheus’s mastery over it had also spread to every corner of the realm.
In the past, Link would have simply dismissed such a thing as the stuff of legends. However, upon coming to terms with the true nature of the Firuman realm, Link was now able to delve further into this.
The realm had allowed something capable of disrupting its balance to exist in it, long before Morpheus stumbled upon it. Morpheus did not come across the divine fragment by chance. The realm had allowed him to find it.
So why had the realm kept it all this time?
The realm’s power transcended both time and space. It must have figured that the divine fragment would play a huge role in resolving a future crisis and so decided to keep it hidden away in itself.
So why did it let Morpheus have the fragment, and why did it let everyone know about it?
This was also not difficult to figure out. Sensing that the end of the world was upon it, the realm decided to let the fragment’s presence be known throughout the world by letting it fall into Morpheus’s possession. Every master would then be forced to fight it out among themselves until only one remained. The champion would then be allowed the honor of using the fragment to save the realm from certain destruction.
At this point, Link’s mood brightened. A faint smile had appeared on his face.
Seeing this, Eliard immediately knew that his friend had come up with a plan. He quietly left the place, not wanting to disrupt Link’s thought process.
At that moment, Link had willed the Crown of Eternal Night into existence. There were now three black spikes protruding from the crown, with a star-like jewel set on the tip of the center spike.
Suddenly, the scene before him changed.
When the crown appeared on his forehead, Link realized that the Mage Tower had vanished beneath him, along with Ferde. He was now completely enveloped in darkness. Countless points of light glittered around him. Upon closer inspection, he realized that they belonged to the constellations of a night sky.
In the darkness, a gentle voice sounded in Link’s ear. “Mortal, what is a god?”
The voice sounded just like the High Elf maid from before. However, it now had an otherworldly quality to it. Link figured that Freyar, the embodiment of the realm’s will, must be speaking to him right now.
Simple as it might sound, the question she had posed pertained to one of the fundamental truths of the world. Ordinary folk would probably scoff at this, thinking that the asker had nothing better to do than contemplate on the finer points of life. However, those who understood the true weight of the question would hold the asker in high regard and might even go so far as to spend a lifetime in search of an answer.
What is a god?
Ordinary people and even some accomplished Magicians might not find such a question meaningful in the least. However, this was not just a question for Link; it was the key to unlock a higher plane of thinking.
In an instant, his mind was filled with all sorts of answers. However, he quickly realized that they were all based on the typical mortal’s understanding of godhood and so had no intrinsic value to them.
Link spent a whole hour contemplating on Freyar’s question with the aid of the Crown of Eternal Night. Finally, he shook his head and replied, “I don’t know.”
At that moment, he suddenly remembered a saying on earth: Test not the lord thy God. This was indeed a thought-provoking quote.
The gentle voice asked once more, “Mortal, what is darkness?”
It was another existential question. However, it was a lot simpler than the previous one. The concept of darkness was easier to grasp than that of a god. Link had used Dark Power himself before. He also had considerable experience dealing with demons and Dark Elves proficient in the usage of Dark Power.
He began feeling the flow of Dark Power inside his body. He then tried to recall the times he had gone up against demons like Nozama, reliving their attacks in hopes that they might reveal the true meaning of darkness.
Soon, Link realized that something was amiss.
He realized that the Dark Power in every Dark Power user differed in some small way from one other.
Varying forms of Dark Power existed among the Dark Elves, demons and Dark Magicians of the human race. Even Nozama and his daughter Saroviny wielded vastly different forms of Dark Power.
No form of Dark Power was truly alike in this world! Was a generalization even possible?
In the end, Link simply replied, “I don’t know.”
“Yes, an answer to such a question is beyond even my grasp. The only thing we know for sure in this world is ourselves. The only thing we have any control over is ourselves. Link, you are one step away from ascending to godhood. You have to take this last step on your own. Everything else is nothing more than a hindrance to your journey,” said the gentle voice patiently, every word resonating with Link profoundly.
Link let out a deep sigh. “I understand.”
“So what do you intend to do now?”
“Hehe…” Link heard a soft chuckle. Then, the voice said, “Go then, King of the Eternal Night!”