Chapter 374: Mysterious Realm
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The wind from the cliff was extremely strong. Under the light from the light spell that Link had cast, they could see small wind ripples. These all pointed to the base of the cliff, as though there was a vortex sucking them in from there.
Watching as the dwarf Riel was slowly getting further and further away from them and that the demons behind them were catching up, Link bit his lip and said, "Milda, go on, we'll jump too."
He had never come to this place before when he played the game, but he had seen something similar on the game forums.
On the discussion boards, it was said that beneath Orida Fortress was a dwarf cavern. If you followed along one specific path inside the cavern and followed it till the end, you would reach a place called the Wind Vortex.
This vortex was a naturally occurring vortex. By going through it, one could reach a place known as the Hidden Realm.
As for what was in the Hidden Realm, the writer did not give many details. From his description, after entering the Hidden Realm, players would appear in mid-air. As for him, he had died in mid-air, killed by the birds in the Hidden Realm. The adventurer had been Level-5 at the time. The only thing he knew was that the birds' levels were all indicated as a question mark. This meant that they were at least three levels above him.
He attempted to respawn in the Hidden Realm after dying. However, he could no longer find the Wind Vortex. Therefore, he could only respawn in the graveyard.
After him, many other adventurers also attempted to find the Wind Vortex, but none had succeeded. It, therefore, became a legend.
On the discussion boards, the player had included a map. However, the vortex shown on the map was nowhere as big as this one.
In the game, it was just a small vortex. According to the player, after jumping down, a levitation spell was activated on his body, and he gradually floated into the vortex. Over here, not only was the wind insanely strong, the jump was much bigger too. What's more, there didn't seem to be any levitation spell appearing.
The light spell illuminated the surroundings, allowing Link to see the not-too-distant stone wall. It was almost pitch black inside this pit, and every now and then, violent wind blasted out from the darkness as if it were reminding them that below it was empty space.
This truly was another underground space.
Link leaped forward, angling himself towards King Riel. Nana followed closely behind. In mid-air, Link waved his wand at King Riel and cast, "Spatial Shackles!"
Riel momentarily stopped in mid-air. Link grabbed Nana's hand and instructed Princess Milda, "Hold on tightly!"
Then, he released a Vector Throw behind him. Whoosh. Energy blasted out from behind him, causing him to increase speed, reaching Riel's side.
Under the restraints of the Spatial Shackles spell, Riel was stuck in a very funny position. He had assumed he was going to die, and in the last moments before his death, he had retrieved his alcohol flask, intending to finish the rest of the alcohol before dying. The alcohol was still flowing into his mouth when Link reached him.
Link grabbed the dwarf's thick hand, flinging the alcohol flask aside. Then, he canceled the Spatial Shackles spell.
Riel looked at Link and was so moved that he started crying. "Waaaah, Link, Milda, waaaaahh. You guys are truly my best buddies, when I fell off the cliff, you guys actually jumped off to accompany me in death. Waaaah, to have such friends like you, it's all worth it. My life has been worth it!"
Link was speechless.
Princess Milda couldn't take it anymore. "Dwarf, there has never been a Magician that has fallen to his own death before!"
"Hmmm, eh what? You mean, I won't die?" Riel suddenly realized what was happening. He immediately started clapping. "Hahahaha, I'm not going to die! That was such a fright! Where's my booze, I'm gonna drink to celebrate!"
His hand was feeling around his belt for his alcohol flask, but it was nowhere to be found. Link had long since thrown it away.
Link couldn't be bothered to deal with him. After falling for another short distance, he shouted, "Careful! We're reaching the bottom!"
It was still completely black ahead of them, just like a black hole. The light from the light spell was useless in lighting up the way. The ripples in the air dude to the force of the wind were becoming even stronger, and the wind that blew past their faces was like a sharp knife, cutting deeply into their skin. Link immediately cast a Level-2 protective barrier on everyone.
Two seconds later, the four of them disappeared into the black hole. Just before they disappeared, Link heard a clear voice from behind him.
He turned back to look and saw a vague black figure sticking her head over the top.
Shit. It's Saroviny. She's caught up!
Meanwhile, the four of them entered into the black hole, and it seemed like time had stopped for them.
Link embraced Nana and Princess Milda in one hand, while in the other, he grabbed on tightly to the dwarf Riel's arm. In that instant, he felt like his mind blanked out. Besides the feeling of constantly falling downwards, he could not see or feel anything. Neither could he move his body. At some point, the light spell also winked out.
This feeling was like a ghost crushing you while you slept at night. It was very frightening.
That player's description was nowhere near as frightening as this. Who knows if this vortex will lead to the same Hidden Realm as in the game.
After falling for an unknown period of time, Link could vaguely make out some light in front of him. It got brighter and brighter until finally, the four of them appeared high up in the sky. Beneath them was an endless sea of clouds, while above them hung the brilliant sun. Birds flew through the clouds like fish swimming through the sea.
This was exactly as was described in the game.
Link let out a sigh of relief. It seems like he had entered the Hidden Realm.
He immediately cast a levitation spell onto everyone, letting them descend slowly from the sky.
"What is this place?" Riel asked in surprise.
Princess Milda pondered for a moment, before saying, "I believe we have reached the world of Aragu!"
"Aragu? As in the disappearing continent?" Link asked. He was shocked. This was a name that was not unfamiliar to him. He did not know of this place in the game. Rather, it was during his time in the East Cove Higher Magic Academy, when he was flipping through the library archives out of boredom that he came across this name. It was in a book called The Continental Adventure Guide.
In the book, it was said that in the ancient past, Firuman was a lot bigger than it was now. At that time, there was a strong and knowledgeable race, known as the Aragu. They occupied Firuman's most beautiful landmass, creating an incomparably strong magic empire, producing many illustrious, famous magical works.
However, amongst these magical works, there was one incident that happened. In the midst of that incident, the magic went out of control, and the resulting explosion caused the Firuman continent to break apart into many smaller pieces.
After the incident, Firuman was split into many pieces. The current Firuman continent consisted of the largest piece. The Isle of Dawn was another small piece of land that broke off. According to legend, there was another large piece that drifted off towards the east. Because of the treacherous sea waves and wind, all adventurers that had gone out in search of this continent had lost their lives. In the end, none had brought back concrete evidence of another land.
No matter what, after that incident, the Aragu people and their empire disappeared. The only traces they left behind were stories in the history of some of the tribes in the current Firuman continent.
Link had always treated this as a myth and did not pay it much heed. Princess Milda, however, was a High Elf. The High Elves were an ancient race, and Princess Milda would not talk nonsense without having any basis for her words. Therefore, Link still trusted her words.
Princess Milda surveyed their surroundings, picking up some clues. She pointed to some of the birds flying through the crowds, saying, "Look there, at those birds. Their wingspan is over 30 feet long, their beaks are bright red, long, and sharp like a spear. No such bird exists on Firuman now. However, I've seen fossils of this kind of birds in the museum on the Isle of Dawn. Based on the research by historians among my tribe, these red spear birds lived over 100,000 years ago and were extremely ferocious birds of prey…"
"Hold it, you said, birds of prey?" Link immediately interrupted. He remembered that in the game, the other player had died from being pecked to death.
Princess Milda also realized Link's concern. They were about half a mile from the nearest cloud. The red spear birds had yet to notice them, but at the rate they were descending, they would soon encounter the birds.
The dwarf rubbed his forehead. "I hope these birds don't give us too rough a welcome. My old bones can't take it anymore."
As Riel was starting to feel a headache coming, they heard a sharp voice coming from above them.
"Don't run! I'm gonna get you!"
Link looked up and saw Saroviny just above their heads, rapidly catching up to them. What made matters worse was that Saroviny had a pair of dark purple wings extending out of her back. Needless to say, these wings were inherited from her father's fallen angel bloodline.
Fortunately, amidst all this misfortune, Saroviny had come alone.
Yet, even this was enough to give Link a hard time. He did not dare to get tangled up with her. Making use of the distance between them, he did not hesitate to use a Dimensional Jump to get further away.
Whoosh. A column of white light appeared, and Link and the others vanished from their original spot. A moment later, they re-appeared below the cloud. From there, they could see dense forests covering the land. At the same time, the red spear birds had noticed them.
Caw, caw! Immediately, the red spear birds chased after them.
Link had no time to play with these birds. He immediately activated another Dimensional Jump to teleport to the ground.
The forest here was very different from that on Firuman. The trees here were extremely tall and thick. Every tree was at least 30 feet wide, reaching a height of 600 feet. Even the grass and vegetation were ridiculously huge.
Beside where they landed was broadleaf grass. The grass was, in fact, bigger than a banana leaf by about three times. The way it drooped down made it look like a natural shelter.
"What kind of shitty place is this? Look at this worm, its teeth. It could almost bite off my entire leg!" Riel whined, using his war hammer to smash a worm the size of a cat.
"Look up, the demon is being attacked by the red spear birds!" Princess Milda pointed out.
Link saw it too. As Saroviny chased them through the clouds, the red spear birds also noticed her and started to pursue her.
Link's eyesight was excellent, and he watched how Saroviny drew out her knife to slash at the red spear bird. As her blade collided with the bird's beak, it let out a harsh clang sound, causing sparks to fly out. However, the beak was not damaged at all. After being dazed for a moment, the red spear bird immediately resumed its pursuit of Saroviny.
Link had no time to admire the strength of this predator. "This is a good chance, she won't be able to escape for a while, let's use this chance to get away!"
The four of them ran through the mysterious forest. After a few minutes, Saroviny was no more than a black speck in the sky. It wasn't because Link's party was traveling quickly. Rather, Saroviny was chased far away by over ten red spear birds.
This was truly a frightening place.
Link kept his senses on full alert as he slowed down his pace. As they passed another giant tree, all of a sudden, ten people appeared out of the vegetation.
Their clothes were all tattered, as though they were simply wearing rags. They were thin and gaunt and had sharp noses, looking almost like humans, but possessing sharp ears like those of elves. It was perhaps more accurate to describe them as elves rather than humans.
After jumping out, one of them pointed a long spear at Link, speaking in a strange language that consisted of lots of howls.
Link could not understand, but the system helped him translate what the other party was saying.
Basically, this was what was being said. Dear friends from afar, you came from a distant place and met with me. This is the grace that the lord has showered upon me. I must reciprocate this grace. Therefore, I will use all my strength to destroy you and take all your possessions, enjoy your women and beat up your children!
"Isn't this simply robbery?" This was Link's first time hearing such eloquence prior to a robbery.
Link could understand what he said about women, but as for children…?
What children? Don't tell me, it's Riel?