Chapter 1071: Imperial Curse (Part 1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There was no way Saleen could rest for six hours. There was a ruins right beneath Daliang City, and there was no way he could just give it up. He would sooner destroy the place than let it fall into the hands of the Holy See. Other than the dangerous magic cannon, Saleen still needed to set up other defenses.
The best way to do so in the long run was to set up a magic net around Daliang City. It would enable mages and enchanters to receive magic powers within Daliang City areas without weakening.
The problem however, was that it would take a very long time to set up the net. Furthermore, even if the net was set up, there would not be that many enchanters emerging for a while. Demons could serve as substitutes, but there was no guarantee that it would last.
There would not be any problem with the children, as Nicholas, Eleanor, and Sul were tasked to protect them. The combat capacity of the three hardly suffered any weakening from the drastic change of their current environment. Especially Eleanor, as level eight elvish royalty, the power of her bow was hardly any different from magic spells. If she did not suffer any weakening, Eleanor’s current combat capacity would exceed a level nine sorcerer.
It was a given in Nicholas’ case, as he did not require blessings from gods. Or rather, what he feared most was gods looking for trouble with him. A place where gods were completely out of reach was probably the best place a fallen holy master could find themselves in. He had collected quite a number of souls in his Scepter of the Fallen, after all.
A golden grand swordmaster like Sul hardly suffered any weaknesses other than reliance on a good weapon. The young man had a heart of steel, more so than even Saleen.
Saleen contacted Nailisi. The teleportation portal in Ceylon City hardly allowed anything to be delivered other than letters. Saleen asked her to build a magic array capable of transporting people as soon as possible, as well as deliver 30,000 demons to him herself.
There was one very apparent strength with the Magical Element Tower: Coordinate Lockon.
In most cases, building teleportation portals was messy. Building them in any part of Myers Mainland would require the selected place to have a very stable coordinate in order to prevent any accidents. The location of the Magical Element Tower would always be a suitable place for teleportation.
The teleportation portal in Ceylon City would suffer a breakdown after being used several times, but the one in the Magical Element Tower had a durability comparable to level 18 elementite, which even the gods found difficult to destroy.
Six hours quickly passed. Saleen contacted Gusion and had him bring about two dozens of mercenaries. Every single one of them were to change into temple guard gear. 12 sorcerers were called, along with Sika and Jalin, to prepare to enter the ruins.
The ruins were right beneath Daliang City, in-between the statues of giants.
The sorcerers were concerned that Saleen was bringing too few troops with him, and had no choice but to bring troops from Golden Plains along. Venturing into the ruins was definitely dangerous. Saleen had no intention of losing his men, and the sorcerers were forced to bring something to the table to get something from the ruins in return.
Jalin was irked seeing Sika tagging along. If Sika had talked about something else, she might not have taken it to heart, but Sika was dissing her figure, and Jalin’s figure was indeed inferior to Sika’s, so Jalin held grudges against Sika.
Sika, however, seemed to have completely forgotten about it, jumping down from the city with glee.
Even the elite troops needed to use ropes to descend to the ground. 500 meters was not a height anyone could have jumped. Jalin held a paper umbrella. She opened it and jumped alongside Saleen from the walls. The material of the umbrella was the same as her mask: incredibly sturdy. There were magic nuclei set in the umbrella, which when opened, allowed Jalin to easily float as she dropped.
She had been using it since she was at level six. It enabled grand mages to fly like sorcerers.
The point where Saleen landed was calculated. He landed on the nose of one of the statues. He looked around and found the dirt between the statues to be solid, which served as the base of Daliang City. The near hundred-meter thick earth right above served as an extension to those statues, making them incredibly sturdy.
The ground beneath them felt soft, which apparently was the result of the large scale earthquake. The sorcerers gathered around Saleen, acknowledging him silently as the leader of the force. Saleen pointed at the nose of one of the statues. “I heard that these ancient statues were built according to the ratio of the human body down to the last detail. We will be able to enter through the nose.
The sorcerers from Golden Plains looked at each other, puzzled. Saleen smiled and added, “We don’t have much time. It’s better for us to take the shortest route. According to the books, I fear that the wind magic attacks are not something any one of us are able to deal with. We’ll dig below from there, unearthing the ear of the statues, then we can enter from there.
The sorcerers sighed in relief. It seemed like Saleen did know what he is doing.
Saleen did not unleash any of the figures, as they were used only for combat. The sorcerers had no choice but to break out their puppets, digging under Saleen’s instructions. The mages from Golden Plains were a force to be reckoned with. Even Alchemy City was unable to produce their kind of puppets. None of the mages showed any concern at putting their puppets to do hard labor. It seemed like they had ways to make sturdy ones.
Four puppets were put under each of the 12 level nine sorcerers to do the digging. Although they were incapable of using any of the elements in their surroundings, their mental powers worked just fine.
If Saleen was able to get the magic net set up, they would be able to function at the full capacity expected of level nine sorcerers, and perhaps perform even better than that. Magic nets worked like magic chords and were powered by magic power furnace after all, so as along as their mental powers proved strong enough, the net would allow them to continuously cast spells.
As for the ruins of the giants, the sorcerers had never dug anything like it. But they had studied quite a bit of the records concerning giants. They did not encounter any trouble when the puppets dug their way down. All potential trouble was triggered by the catastrophe. The magic catastrophe had ended.
The giant’s ear was soon unearthed. Saleen did not have the puppets continue digging; he cast his own water currents to clear the dirt out instead.
Saleen was finally able to see how big the hole of the ear was. After clearing out the ear using a six meter long water current, he found that the hole was tens of meters tall.
Saleen then summoned Rossen, the Water Puppet. With Rossen in the front and Gusion at the rear, the soldiers walked into the ear of the giant with magic lamps.
Rossen was very calm and there were hardly any emotional fluctuations. He had reached level nine with practice. He spent most of his days in the Shenhe meditating and figuring out problems. When Saleen summoned him, he opened the mental link between him and Saleen.
Saleen sensed whatever Rossen was able to see. The Water Puppet took the lead while the sorcerers followed Saleen into the ear under the protection of their followers.
Jalin put away her umbrella and followed Saleen and Sika in. She knew that there was no way she could have wandered about the ruins herself. They were unable to control the elements around them even after entering the giant’s ear. The combat capacities of the sorcerers were still in all time low inside.
The 12 sorcerers stuck increasingly close to Saleen without realizing it. Everyone knew Saleen had command of elemental creatures and ancient figures. They instructed the followers and puppets to follow the Water Puppet, being on guard to deal with any dangerous situations.
There were none to be found. The twisty roads within the ear led them forward. Other than being uncannily dark, there were no magic patterns to be found anywhere.
However, Saleen was very confident. He knew the ruins lay very deep beneath their feet. They had no choice but to enter through the statues as he had no time to have them dig deep into the ground. The correct way to do it was to have them keep digging downwards. There would definitely be a way to enter between the 24 statues.
While the place looked like a ruins of the giants, it was situated in the middle of Myers Mainland. As such, the ruins definitely had something to do with humans.
There were many bloodlines of giants and they were more than a hundred times more complex than that of humans. However, it was known that pure-bred giants were all capable of growing to 1000 meters or more. That statue’s head was already about 1000 meters. When calculated according to body ratio, the body would reach between seven and eight miles in height.
The Water Puppet walked before everyone else and it took less than 20 minutes for them to make it pass the twisty roads, reaching a wide cave. Saleen deduced the place to be giant’s mouth. There was another hole in the ground that seemed immeasurably deep at one end of the cave, which would have probably been the throat of the giant.
The Water Puppet stepped back and Saleen gestured for the other puppets to come up front.
One of the puppets under the sorcerers’ control came to the hole on the ground. Magic lamps were only capable of shining about a hundred meters in the mouth, and the puppet was sent to the edge of the hole to test things out. A huge claw suddenly emerged from the hole and took hold of its head, dragging it deep down.
Saleen heard the sound of the puppet’s steel head being crushed. The sorcerers were frightened. How could there be any living being in the ruins? According to history, Daliang City had been around for most of recorded history, which meant the ruins had to be many thousands of years old. That amount of time would have definitely starved any living thing.
Saleen was the only one who was able to see the claw clearly. He stopped and gestured everyone to stop testing.
“Jalin, how much do you know about giants?”
“Everything I know was from the books,” Jalin paused, and continued after not hearing Saleen say anything in response. “It was said that there were lots of parasitic life forms inside a giant’s stomach. When the giants fight, they would spew them out. The parasites were helpful in fights.”
“So that thing could be a parasite then?”
“Definitely. We humans have a lot of parasites within us, don’t we? Many ill people have worms in their bellies and such. Those are all findings of mages. The parasites inside giants are different, as they possess intellect. If a giant dies, the parasites can’t live for long.” Jalin knew that Saleen had no control of the situation for now, so she told them everything she knew without having anything back.
“Assuming that place that we passed through…wasn’t some statue of a giant, but a fossilized body of a giant. It would stand to reason that the parasites within the giant’s body should have been long dead.”
“As such, the thing we’re in is still a statue. That thing that showed up earlier was an ancient puppet.”
“Ancient puppets? They don’t look like much!” Saleen asked in a puzzled tone. That claw might have crushed a steel puppet, but it did not look to have strength beyond level eight or nine. That thing might not be a match for the ancient figures.
“Energy degeneration and Principle of Crystal Coffin,” Jalin said plainly. The sorcerers and Saleen knew what she meant, but Sika remained puzzled. Jalin was doing it on purpose.