Chapter 38.1 – Protagonist: You will eventually come back to me.
The blood-red, human-shaped, rune-covered creature sank into the ground, vanishing without a trace as if it had been absorbed by the forest.
Xiu sat on Zaphion’s shoulder, chin in hand, and looked thoughtfully at the result. This was the fifth time that he had recalled the blood contract beast. He knew that the man he was looking for was in there and, though the blood contract beast could enter freely, the whole elf forest was like a large magical array that kept out all unwelcome visitors.
Since that is the case then all this will have to be destroyed.
The flaxen-haired gnome straightened up, looked at the lush forest before him, and patted the head of a mechanical puppet.
From now on, there will be no Elven forest on the Chaos Continent.
Sunlight, filtered by the interlaced branches of the trees, illuminated the open-air altar and an exquisite idol surrounded by flowers and a fence of woven branches and leaves. On the circular altar, a golden-yellow branch dangled above a small pool. After a very long time, a drop of golden liquid would fall from the branch onto the pool.
That pool was not large. Its radius was around 3 meters and it was full of the golden liquid – the sap of the Tree of Life. According to legend, one drop of this sap can restore a person to his peak condition and greatly strengthen his physique.
Kneeling beneath the altar was a beautiful elf. Her long blonde hair, elegant white robes, and glittering white gold forehead ornament proclaimed her identity. The Queen of the Elves, with her hands crossed and against her lips, closed her eyes and adopted a reverent posture. After praying for a long time, the Queen of the Elves looked up at the Tree of Life. The foliage around the altar that was emerald green, but the rest of it was completely black.
There was a rustle of leaves and the Queen of the Elves stood up. Her golden eyes flashed with displeasure. She went outside and saw her most faithful bodyguard, Simon, and the loathsome Necromancer. They brought with them a black-haired man who was pale and appeared to be in a coma. As for the last person to arrive, Ariel, she was totally ignored by the queen.
“Your Majesty, I have something important to report,” Simon politely but hurriedly greeted the Queen of the Elves. “The gnome I spoke of last time seems to have formed a blood contract with this man. He has been looking for this person and should be here soon.”
The queen was startled. Simon had told her everything that happened in the Gnome Ruins. The sudden reappearance of a gnome was a little surprising, but right now the most important thing is to heal the Tree of Life. The gnomes and the elves have never interfered with each other’s affairs.1 She believed in Simon’s ability and thought that the gnome would never find out that the elves were behind the kidnapping. But now, because of the blood contract, the gnome who controls one five-star and one six-star mechanical puppet found out and is coming?
The elves have three War Gods and two Mage Gods, so one Sword Saint and one war God can’t defeat them, but it will be troublesome. The Queen of the Elves turned her gaze to Anat: if it were not for the vampire …
Anat noticed the elf queen’s gaze and she smiled with her hand on her red lips. “Why are you glaring at me? How was I supposed to know that they had a blood contract?”
“When will you remove the pollution?”
“It depends on when you bring me the person I want. What I want is that gnome, as long as you bring him here, I will fulfill my promise.” Anat smiled mysteriously. “Anyway, a gnome is nothing to the elves, right?”
It’s true, a gnome is nothing to the elves, but even if she is the queen it’s not easy to ask the elven elders for help in this matter.
Suddenly, the ground started shaking. The queen held on to some branches for support and looked to the distance with astonishment. It seemed like a huge meteorite had fallen, it’s fiery path painting the sky red. From far away, a green ball of light emerged from an ancient war tree and flew to the queen. The elves had planted hundreds of ancient war trees in the Elven Forest. These trees protected the elves’ territory and, when they died, their souls would pass on information to the elves before they disappeared.
The Queen of the Elves reached out her hand and touched the soul orb, perceiving the information. No one could discern anything from her expressionless face. The green orb vanished.
The queen was calm, but it was the calm before the storm.
“Simon.” The Elf Queen’s voice was cold. “Please ask the elders to come.”
Simon came to attention. Anat saw that the queen was only pretending to be indifferent. Obviously, something was up. Anat snapped her fingers and a bat flew over to her.
“The children I gave you before can’t hold on any longer.” 2
From Anat’s fingers, the bat flew to the Tree of Life. It alighted and began to suck out the pollution. The queen looked at this silently. Her normally cold, impassive face showed a trace a helplessness. If it weren’t for Anat’s bat, the Tree of Life would be completely polluted.
The beautiful vampire laughed joyfully.
“Working together is good.”
(TN: I guess she means the bats are her children)
The Fire Phoenix flew over the forest. Wherever it’s long tail feathers trailed, strong fire elements fell onto the trees like a crimson flower. Alighting on a tall tree, the Fire Phoenix surveyed the results. The green of the forest has been replaced by red. The god beast happily spread its wings and tweeted. Then, it seemed to think of its missing “Mother” who wasn’t here to see its masterpiece and folded its wings, dejected.
Dense water elements suddenly surrounded the god beast, caging it. By the time the Fire Phoenix noticed, it was already too late and the Phoenix was unable to take off. Seeing its precarious situation, a figure jumped up to the top of the tree and grabbed the Fire Phoenix, rescuing it from its watery prison. It was Old John.
In the air, a figure gradually appeared. It was an elf wearing the blue robe of a magician. He looked at Old John, who was holding the Fire Phoenix, and the forest that was being ravaged by fire. The elf decided to put out the forest fire first then take care of the masterless god beast later.
The elf took out his staff and spit out a spell: “Rainstorm.”
In the twinkling of an eye, clouds formed above the elf forest and poured down rain. The forest fires were put out.
Xiu looked up at the elf. Advanced magic can allow a person to cast a spell without saying the entire incantation. Only Mage Gods have the ability to cast a spell just by saying its name. To the Mage Gods, casting magic is as instinctive as breathing. They can instantly cast low and intermediate level magic.
The mechanical puppet heard the order and stopped its killing of ancient war trees. Zaphion raised its head to look at the elf.
The elf didn’t seem to mind being stared at by the mechanical puppet and continued putting out fires by manipulating the water elements in the forest.
The mechanical puppet swiftly jumped up and ruthlessly struck at the elf magician. It was like pressing a button – one moment the mechanical puppet’s hand was about to hit the elf, then the next moment light was shining through the hole in the mechanical puppet’s body.
Xiu turned back. On a tall tree behind him, another elf appeared. The elf put an arrow on his bow then shot at Zaphion, who was struggling to get up. “Don’t get in the way.”
Xiu looked at the two holes that ruined the beautiful silver white design on Zaphion’s body. Only a War God can damage a six star mechanical puppet’s body. For Zaphion to be unable to block the attack, it was clear that the archer was a War God.
The Mage God and War God were staring at Xiu, whose expression was very strange. His chin was lifted and his smile was both bizarre and dangerous.
Finally someone came to play with me. A raindrop on Xiu’s hair dripped down. It was dark red in color. He stretched out his two hands and started counting off.
“On the blue side, the elves have 1, 2, a total of two people. On the red side the mechanical puppets have 1, 2, 3, 4, …”
The bow on the hand of the elf who was standing on top of a tree began to tremble. Ever since he became a War God, he had never felt this kind of fear and despair as mechanical puppets began to appear, one after the other. The elf can feel the battle aura3 of the mechanical puppets. Their chests all had six stars and all of them are … War Gods.
“… 9, 10, a total of 10 people.” Xiu put his hands down and softly announced: “We can start the game.”
Xiu poked at the air in front of him. Like a burst bubble, the forest scene in front of him vanished into thin air and a beautiful fantasy scene appeared in front of him. Xiu summoned the blood contract beast once again. The red humanoid form began to run towards the distant lake.
Zaphion placed Xiu on its shoulders. Another mechanical puppet ran after the blood contract beast, leaving behind an area of burnt soil mixed with red. The terrible color looked as if someone had crushed minced meat into the ground.
They did not see any living creatures along the way. All the elves had gone off to hide somewhere, and Xiu didn’t feel like trying to find them. His brain was full of the urgent need to find that person.
The blood contract beast ran through the grass, over the lake, then finally began to climb up the tree in the middle of the lake. Zaphion ran through the tree canopy then jumped down in the middle of a clearing.
The mechanical puppet fell heavily onto the flowers, and its falling wind created a rain of petals. Xiu stood up and peered at the altar.
Above the altar was a human.
Du Ze was in Anat’s hands. He was still in a coma, his face was pale from blood loss … too pale.
When he caught sight of Du Ze, Xiu’s eyes instantly became red.
The Queen of the Elves and the crowd of elves around her involuntarily retreated. Even though the mechanical puppet’s attack was stopped by a light barrier, they still felt its dreadful intent to crush them into the mud.
“Bam! Bam! Bam!”
More and more mechanical puppets arrived and started attacking the magic barrier as the elves gaped, horrified. The mechanical puppets cast an intense red light onto them, as though announcing their desire to erase the elves from this world.
Fortunately, even though it looked as though it would was going to break at any time, the light barrier held. The Queen of the Elves remained calm. She walked forward and spoke to Xiu, who was still on Zaphion’s shoulder. “You cannot break it. This is the barrier of the goddess of life.”
Xiu finally turned his gaze away from Du Ze and looked at the elves. The queen saw his bright coloured eyes and suddenly found it difficult to speak.
“We … There may be some misunderstanding between us.”