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Chapter 392: Spirit Wolf
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Two strong level-17 Warriors and four Bandits that were level-15 and above. Even if a Legendary magical beast were to meet them, it would have some trouble, what more a mere level-17 Red Leopard?
Hence, after Lin Li rubbed his nose, he retreated, feeling at ease…
When compared to that battle that was full of blood shed, Lin Li was more interested in that middle-aged mage that was concealing his true strength. He was a true master of disguise. Even in such a chaotic situation, he still maintained his cover—he had a somewhat panicked look that could not be concealed, and Lin Li even heard him make a few mistakes in his incantations…
An Archmage at the peak of level-17 would definitely not make mistakes in his incantations…
Lin Li pouted his lips, and mumbled, “Pretty good disguise. It’s a pity his luck is just too bad…”
The whole battle only carried on for a few minutes. The Red Leopard had smashed the ice wall with its head, and got stabbed in the chest by Reggie. After that, everything ended, and the level-17 magical crystal had landed into Reggie’s pocket. This was an unspoken rule: whenever two groups of Adventurers were taking part in a battle, whoever landed the last hit would be rewarded with the best loot.
Less than an hour after the Red Leopard died, the advance party entered the Scar of Death.
To their sides were steep mountain walls, and beneath their feet was dark brown mud, which felt wet and slippery when they stepped on it. In between, it even gave off a smoky smell. When they looked up, the sky above them seemed to be rather dark. The Scar of Death seemed like a wound that was carved out by a very sharp knife in the body of the Blackstone Mountains, and it always gave off a thick scent of blood.
The first feeling that Lin Li got from the Scar of Death was desolation. The steep cliffs on both sides felt like a cage, separating the Scar of Death and the Blackstone Mountains into two different worlds. The soil below seemed to have died, and the dark brown mud constantly gave off a dilapidated aura. Even though the canyon was very wide, it gave off a stifling feeling when it was looked upon. Lin Li knew it was because the colors in the canyon were too monotonous. It was always so dull, just like the sky before a storm, a dried up pond, or a dead plant. There was only dark brown earth as well as occasional bones exposed in the mud…
Johnathan took out the map from his pocket. He gesticulated for a while before he confidently pointed out a direction. “Based on the map, this should be the right path…”
However, after he had spoken, even he could not help but swallow his saliva…
In front was a cliff that had been cut by a knife and axe, and the only paths were those cracked openings on the cliff. A natural three-way fork was in front of everyone. All three paths seemed ghastly, but the one that Johnathan had pointed out was the ghastliest one of them—bones covered the black earth wherever they looked, and they could tell some came from humans, while some were from magical beasts. There were also several rusty sets of equipment and armor scattered at the side. Some of them even had a faint magical wave. Looking at it all, even an idiot would know how much blood had soaked this black earth and what sort of intense battles had taken place on this path…
“This… Brother Felic. Do you think we should enter?” Johnathan looked at those white skeletons, and could not help but stare blankly.
“It seems rather dangerous…” Lin Li could not help but swallow his saliva. This time, he was not being a pretentious pr*ck. This route was really dangerous. Perhaps what others saw were just the skeletons, as well as a thousand years of intense battling between humans and magical beasts, but Lin Li saw more than that…
For Lin Li, this aura was all too familiar. The Shadowglen from the trials, the Demon Fall Valley’s underground palace, and Syer Town’s bell tower all had a similar aura. Indeed, this was the death aura that was unique to all Undead creatures. It was just that the death aura here was much stronger than those Lin Li had seen before…
Honestly, Lin Li was rather doubtful. Even Ujfalusi did not have such a powerful death aura during his heyday. Furthermore, it was at such an incomparably strange place, the Scar of Death. Who knew what would be hiding behind such a powerful death aura?
Lin Li hesitated along with Johnathan, and they could not decide if they wanted to go in. Finally, the two bodyguards of Adelo got impatient. “What was Master Hutton thinking, sending you pieces of trash over? If you are afraid of dying, just hide behind us obediently. Don’t be a nuisance while holding the map…”
Both of them were powerful level-17 Warriors, and had terrifying strength allowing them to rip magical beasts apart with their bare hands. They walked over with a disdainful look, and a light shove from them was enough to push Lin Li and Johnathan to the side. It was especially so for Lin Li, a mage with a weak body—he stumbled a few steps backwards. If it were not because Johnathan had supported him in time, he most likely would have tripped, sprawling all over the ground.
“It’s always better to be careful…” Lin Li, who almost fell after being pushed, was not angry. He just smiled rather awkwardly.
“Careful my a*s, can being careful feed you?” The bodyguard that was carrying a double-edged greatsword sneered. “Those that are afraid to die, scram. The Malfa Family does not need useless trash.”
After saying this, they did not care about Lin Li’s reaction. They protected Adelo on both sides as they walked towards the gorge that was filled with skeletons. For these two high-level Warriors, a level-10 Mage was not any stronger than an ant. They could squash him with just a finger if they felt like it. It was fine to push away such a small fry; who would even bother about how he felt?
“Brother Felic, are you alright?” Johnathan looked concerned. The power of a high-level Warrior was no laughing matter—even he himself was pushed away so easily. This young mage’s body seemed rather frail, so who knew if he was injured…
“I’m fine.” Lin Li smiled. Even though he was not a high-level Warrior, he was a genuine blacksmith Guru. How could a body that was tempered by the furnace and hammer be so easily injured just with a push? In fact, if he was not willing, even a level-17 Warrior would not be able to push him aside so easily.
As to why he’d stumbled back in such a pitiful manner, it was just because he wanted to give way to these two fellas…
It was a bit like lining up to withdraw cash—whoever was at the front would be able to get more money. However, it was also the opposite—this was the Scar of Death, a place full of danger. Whoever rushed in first would be more likely to be attacked by magical beasts.
I can’t wait to hide from something like that. Only idiots would compete with you… Looking at the stalwart backs of the two high-level Warriors, Lin Li smiled despicably.
This smile was rather strange, and Johnathan and Reggie could not understand it at all. They merely guessed that maybe this young mage underwent some sort of stress. Norfeller and Ujfalusi understood it, but for these two cold-blooded Undead creatures, how did it matter who died? As long as that young mage did not die, they would not even bother to bat their eyelids no matter who died.
Only Rina rolled her eyes at Lin Li with contempt. If Master Englos were to know that the genius pharmacist that he spoke of was actually so despicable, would he be so angry that he would roll his eyes…?
But facts proved that it was logical for Lin Li to be despicable. The road ahead was not smooth. The advance party had just entered this path for less than ten minutes, and they had already encountered their first battle after entering the Scar of Death.
It was a pack of at least 100 Shadow Wolves.
Those that had never experienced it before would never understand what sort of feeling it was to be surrounded by a pack of 100 Shadow Wolves under the evening sky. Pairs of green eyes were dancing around in the darkness like phosph.o.r.escent light, which made anyone that saw it have gooseb.u.mps. The Shadow Wolf’s level was not high—it was just level-12—so even Lin Li and Adelo who had disguised themselves as level-10 mages would be able to take out a few of them easily without exposing their true strength.
But no matter how low-level a magical beast was, it would become frightening when in large numbers. This was the conclusion that Lin Li had come to after he was attacked by hundreds of Three-eyed Blood Wolves back in Alanna.
This logic could also be applied to the Scar of Death. When over 100 Shadow Wolves charged in from every direction, they made for a sight that sent chills down everyone’s spine. Their bodies were a mix of Undead and magical beast, which looked like a fog under the night sky. Normal attacks weren’t suited to kill them. In legends, they were monsters that were born from the resentment of a wild wolf that had died. They were born with an ability to negate some physical damage, and one had to use a weapon with elemental power, or rather magical weapons, to kill them…
Magical weapons were uncommon, especially among Adventurers that had no power or influence. It was even harder for them to get their hands on a decent magical weapon. Otherwise, Jason would not have spent his whole fortune on a rune’s adamantine longsword back then. In the end, he had no choice but to take on a mission at Syer Town Ruins that he would not have accepted in the past.
The two high-level Warriors did have such weapons—the greatsword and machete in their hands were decent magical equipment. The magical elements harbored by the machete and greatsword just happened to be ice and fire, and wielded by these two powerful Warriors, the fire and ice elemental power were pushed to the limits, and barely any Shadow Wolf could get within five meters of them. Amidst the almost tangible Combat Energy, the blue and red s.h.i.+ne were incomparably brilliant.
There were also some magical weapons in the hands of Lin Li and the rest. For example, Norfeller had Heaven’s Wrath, and Rina’s Radiance Blade never left her side. Unfortunately, they could not use them at this point. Adventurers that had a magical weapon naturally attracted attention, especially when they were low-level adventurers like themselves. If they really used them now, it would scare Adelo to death even if they were to exterminate these Shadow Wolves.
As for Johnathan, Reggie, and the rest, the weapons they used could only be barely described as sharp weapons. Each was sharp as it was, but it was thousands of miles apart from genuine magical weapons. At most, it was just goods that was sold for 30,000-50,000 gold coins at a weapons store. Naturally, it was not sufficient to deal with Shadow Wolves…
However, this did not hamper Lin Li. He searched his pockets, and quickly took out a few scrolls.
“Here’s a scroll for each of you, just activate it with your Combat Energy.”
“What is this scroll?” Johnathan took one of the scrolls. He had a rather doubtful expression.
“The Sword of Flames magical enchantment scroll. It allows your weapon to harbor Flame Energy, but it only lasts for an hour. After an hour, this type of Flame Energy would disappear.”
“My G.o.d…” Johnathan immediately got so frightened that his hands were shaking; he almost dropped the magical enchantment scroll in his hands.
“Hush… Don’t disclose this, I stole it from my teacher…” Lin Li was worried this fella would be loose-lipped; hence, he came up with a lie.
“Oh…” Only then did Johnathan let out a sigh of relief with a look of sudden realization. I knew it. Brother Felic is just a level-10 Magic Shooter, how could he have gotten so many magical enchantment scrolls?
One ought to know that although magical enchantment scrolls did not have a permanent effect, they came with a rather expensive price tag in the market. A scroll like this Sword of Flames scroll was at least 10,000 gold coins apiece. Furthermore, one could not complain that it was expensive. It was fine if you did not buy it—there were many others lining up to buy it. For an Adventurer, an hour’s effect could very likely save a life during the most crucial points.
It could not be helped. The market for magical items was like that. If this was a magical weapon or a permanent magical enchantment, the price would be shockingly higher—it could easily be in the tens of thousands of gold coins, and if it was really high, it could even exceed a million. Adventurers that were not at Jason’s or Emendas’ level simply had no right to ask about them at all.
But, if he said that it was stolen from his teacher, it should be believable…
Seeing that the other party was in his twenties yet having the standard of a level-10 Magic Shooter, Johnathan knew that Brother Felic’s teacher would most likely be an Archmage. Furthermore, it should be an elite Archmage at level-17 or 18. Otherwise, he would not be able to cultivate such a young and promising student.
“Brother Felic, would you get into trouble?” But after the sudden realization, Johnathan was rather concerned. In the eyes of this Adventurer that had not been exposed to society much, mages were the weirdest bunch of people in this world. They locked themselves in a cold and cheerless tower, researching mythical knowledge that only they understood. Year after year and day after day, such a boring life would eventually devastate their minds, turning each of them into psychopaths. Furthermore, they got stronger as they aged, so they would definitely become even more psychopathic. Following this thought process, Brother Felic’s teacher definitely had to be a fella that couldn’t get any more psychopathic. If he were to discover that the magical enchantment scrolls were stolen, would he conduct magical experiments on Brother Felic in a fit of anger?
“Relax, my teacher has a lot of such scrolls. He definitely would not find out that I sneakily took a few…” Lin Li went against his conscience and consoled him. There was no choice; he was really shy to tell Johnathan “That’s right. That old Andoine does indeed have a lot of magical enchantment scrolls, but they were all given to him by myself…”.
With Johnathan and the rest joining, the battle situation instantly changed. Even though there was a lot of Shadow Wolves, they only had the strength of level-12. Initially, they could struggle with their half Undead and half magical beast body, but now there were five more fresh fighters that suddenly joined, and each of them had sharp magical weapons. Fire magical element, other than light magical element, was naturally the energy that Undead creatures feared the most. When five weapons enchanted with the Sword of Flames started dancing, it was a total ma.s.sacre for the Shadow Wolves.
The Shadow Wolves’ numbers got lower and lower. Even an idiot could tell that the advance party’s victory was near.
But at this time, Lin Li frowned.
Although the 100 Shadow Wolves did not bring much danger to the advance party, they had affirmed Lin Li’s hypothesis. The most dangerous thing about the Scar of Death was not some crazy magical beast, but the dark power that made magical beasts go crazy…
It was because Lin Li knew that the Shadow Wolf was actually not some monster that was born out of the resentment of a dead wolf. They were just normal Three-eyed Blood Wolves, or a species of wolf that was weaker than the Three-eyed Blood Wolf. However, there was a very strong king in a pack of Shadow Wolves. This king could even be said to be their father. It was precisely because of the existence of this king that they could transform into a level-12 Shadow Wolf from a Three-eyed Blood Wolf no more than level-five.
The king of the Shadow Wolves was called the Spirit Wolf.
Spirit Wolf was just a name. When it was alive, it could possibly be just a level-five Three-eyed Blood Wolf, or a level-15 Night Demon Wolf, but when it returned into the embrace of death and underwent the manipulation of the Dark Force, it only had one name, which was: Spirit Wolf…
Spirit Wolves were genuine Undead creatures. In essence, it was even purer than a Vampire like Norfeller or a Lich like Ujfalusi. It was because be it Vampire or Lich, they still retained some of the characteristics they had had when they were alive. If they were more careful, they could even live like normal humans.
But Spirit Wolves were different…
Only the purest of Dark Force could hasten the birth of such a frightening monster. They might retain some of their memories from when they were alive, but those were just merely instincts from the soul fire. Once they transformed into Spirit Wolves, they were already another ent.i.ty altogether.
When Spirit Wolves were born, they had the strength of at least level-18. Not only were they proficient in all sorts of Necromagic, they also had a strange body that was half Undead and half magical beast, which gave them an incomparable strength. In this aspect, even a Vampire like Norfeller could not be compared to them.
Indeed, Norfeller was a strong person that could rip apart the Ice Howler with his bare hands, but Lin Li believed that even Norfeller would be unable to handle the Spirit Wolves without using the Heaven’s Wrath. This was because the Spirit Wolf’s body naturally did not have a definite form, just like the Nightmares from the Nightmare Mountains—they were a shapeless existence, and pure physical strength was unable to deal much damage to them.
That natural instinct from the soul fire caused Spirit Wolves to constantly summon compatriots. Wolves were naturally social animals, and even if they were remade into Spirit Wolves by the Dark Force, this natural instinct that came from the soul fire was still unchangeable. There was not a single wolf pack that could resist this summoning, just like how not a single magical beast could resist the control of a prehistoric magical beast. It was the fear and submission towards the strong that was inborn among the weak.
Those similar species that were summoned might not undergo any changes at the beginning, but as the days went by, the Dark Force within the Spirit Wolf would slowly change them. It would cause them to become a monster similar to the Spirit Wolf, transforming these monsters into the Shadow Wolves that Lin Li was looking at now.
But, the thing that made Lin Li frown at this moment was not the father of these monsters, the legendary Spirit Wolf. What made Lin Li truly worried was the Dark Force that gave rise to the Spirit Wolf’s emergence…
Back then at Alanna, Lin Li was on good terms with Sendros, and had this High Priest from the Darkness Shrine talk about some stories about the Spirit Wolf. In the legends of the Darkness Shrine, the Spirit Wolf was a pet of the G.o.ds, and the aim of their existence was to search for offerings to gift to the G.o.ds.
But, even Sendros had never seen a real Spirit Wolf before. In the ancient books of the Darkness Shrine, there had not been a single record about the Spirit Wolf for hundreds of years. The most recent one dated back to at least 700 years ago, the age when the Darkness Shrine was at its prime. That Spirit Wolf had caused a terrifying disaster in the north of the Ledin Kingdom. In the end, it was the four Archbishops of the Brilliance Shrine that took action before this disaster that could’ve possibly engulfed the whole Ledin Kingdom was extinguished.
Of course, that Spirit Wolf was extremely powerful. According to the Darkness Shrine’s ancient records, that Spirit Wolf had existed since the middle of the Dark Ages. After being infused with Dark Force for countless years, it already had the power of almost level-20.
This one at the Scar of Death was definitely not that powerful. It had been less than 1300 years since the Dark Ages, so it would definitely not be some level-24 freak no matter how suffused with Dark Force it was. Even though it was strong, it was not unbeatable provided Lin Li was willing to work hard…
If there was some cannon fodder willing to sacrifice themselves and buy some time for him, he would still have the chance of killing the Spirit Wolf after drinking all sorts of potions, summoning the Lord of Nightmares, and having the Holy Light of all Evil Forces.
But the Malfa Family did not give me a salary, so why would I work so hard?
Lin Li had never been a person that faced death with no regrets. It was the exact opposite. This a*shole was possibly one of the people most fearful of death; hence, he came to Anril to try and become stronger. Be it through stealing, s.n.a.t.c.hing, or lying, as long as he could become stronger, he would use any means necessary. It was all just so that he could continue living…
Asking a person like him that was afraid of death to go up against the Spirit Wolf?
Why wouldn’t you cut off a piece of his flesh instead…
Lin Li looked at Adelo, who was reciting spells, and started calculating. Should I bring this fella along with me? This guy seems to know quite a bit about the plans of the Malfa Family. If I were to bring him back to the Tower of Dusk for interrogation, it should be a decent choice…
“F*ck, what happened!?” It was at this moment that Lin Li felt that his finger was suddenly scorching hot.
The instant the heat came about, Lin Li had already reacted. It was the Ring of Endless Storm!
This sudden change almost scared Lin Li to death. This heat was too abnormal. The Ring of Endless Storm had been worn by him for so long, but nothing like this had happened before. Even Connoris, that despicable and cunning fella, could not do much in the Ring of Endless Storm. Why did the Ring of Endless Storm become like this when it had been fine so far?
Panicking, Lin Li did not care about the Shadow Wolf. He just inserted a sliver of mental strength into the Ring of Endless Storm.
After that, he saw a dumbfounding scene.
The Holy Light that had been sitting silently inside the Ring of Endless Storm had suddenly gone into a frenzy. Just like a rampaging bull, it was charging all about in that boundless Dimensional s.p.a.ce. The incomparably blazing white light had illuminated the whole world, while the terrifying Divine Power had been emitted in a disorderly manner, causing the almost infinite Dimensional s.p.a.ce to be in tremors.
That sliver of mental strength had just been inserted, and it had been already bound by that frantic Divine Power, turning into fragments in an instant.
“Why… Why is this happening?” Luckily, Lin Li’s mental strength was abnormally powerful. Although some had been ripped into shreds by the Divine Power, it did not have any effect on his body. If this was an average mage, just the loss of mental strength would be sufficient for him to permanently lose part of his ability (level).
But, there being no effect on mental strength did not mean that Lin Li did not feel surprised.
This terrifying scene was something that Lin Li had not seen before, or even thought of…
How was this happening? Why had the quiet and peaceful Holy Light suddenly become so frantic?
“Could it be… that it’s because of the Dark Force that sp.a.w.ned the Spirit Wolf?” Lin Li spoke to himself, but then shook his head. It should not be. Although the Dark Force that created the Spirit Wolf was powerful, it was not powerful enough to send the Holy Light into a frenzy. It should be known that even when he was in the Endless World, the seven pieces of the debris of the stars were not so frantic when he had shot the Dragon of Destruction, Azardas, dead.
The only similar situation should be the one at the Well of the Sun.
At that point, Lin LI had just acquired the Stars of Fury. He still had not known how to control this weapon used by G.o.ds, and a very accidental mistake caused him to fuse Holy Light and Gloomy Dark together. An elemental storm that almost destroyed the whole Well of the Sun had been created under the collision of the forces of Light and Darkness back then.
Wait, Gloomy Dark? When Lin Li thought about this, he had a stunned expression on his face that was hard to conceal. Could it be that the Dark Force that was giving rise to the Spirit Wolf… is Gloomy Dark?
In the legends, the G.o.ds used the seven elemental powers of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Light, Darkness, and Chaos to create the seven bolts of Stars of Fury. They only needed a small hit, and it could shatter the stars. One of the Holy Light had been used by Lin Li at Syer Town’s ruins. Although it did not shatter stars like the legends, it had shattered the Humerus Domain of a Legendary-realm Lich, thereby killing a Humerus Wyrm that was equally powerful.
The Holy Light’s power came from Light, and the Gloomy Dark’s power came from Darkness.
After thinking through everything, the death aura coming from depths of the canyon was not as pressurizing as before. Lin Li could faintly feel a familiar sense of warmth, and even heard a small voice calling out to him in his ears. This voice had transcended time and s.p.a.ce; in his ears, it was identical to the one at the Well of the Sun.
“I understand now…”
Following this clue, Lin Li had realized a lot. After coming to the Blackstone Mountains, he had suddenly become enlightened about all the things that he could not understand, be it the plans of the Malfa Family, or the goal of the advance party. Lin Li even somewhat guessed the true ident.i.ty of Tutankhamun, who had once eaten roasted boar with him.
Seems like the Blackstone Mountains are to become more interesting…
Lin Li had a smile on his face. When he entered the canyon, his steps were as firm and steady as before.
Meanwhile, a small silhouette flashed by the camp that was not far from the Scar of Death. Under the shadow of the evening sky, this small silhouette was like a spirit as it entered into Hutton’s tent stealthily.
“Young Master Hutton, I have returned.”
“Yes.” Hutton had a thick woolen blanket wrapped around his body, and held a magic book with a black cover. When the small figure entered the tent, Hutton, who was focused on reading, did not even raise his head. He just casually asked, “Where did Weathor go this afternoon?”
“Weathor did not go too far. He just went to a forest near the Scar of Death, and then saw a mage called Gavin over there.”
“Gavin?” Hutton frowned, and gently put down the magic book in his hands. “Tell me what happened in detail. Remember, do not leave out a single word.”
“Yes.” The small silhouette bent forward slightly. With a respectful posture that was almost humble, it recounted everything he had seen to this young heir of the Malfa Family.
The process of Weathor and Gavin meeting was naturally long, plus Hutton had ordered him to absolutely not leave out a single detail. Hence, this small silhouette spent almost half an hour before he had completely recounted everything.
“You mean, the Breezy Plains Guild of Magic?”
“Bring Hahn over. Oh, yes. Emendas as well…”
Not even five minutes later, there were hurried footsteps coming from outside of the tent.
Hahn and Emendas entered the tent almost simultaneously. Both their faces were full of confusion—it was already so late, so why did Master Hutton call them over?
“Hahn, is there a mage called Felic among the adventurers that you have recruited this time?”
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