Chapter 44: White Deacon (Part 1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Walking back from the corridor leading to the temple, Nailisi had already stood up. Her expression was no longer as listless. She obediently stayed with them and whispered to Saleen, “Master, are you looking for the exit?”
Saleen furrowed his brows. Nailisi knew why Saleen was upset and said, “I will call you chief once I’ve learned the language you are all speaking.”
Saleen snorted. He was afraid that his heart wasn’t strong enough and that he would be tempted by the imp instead. Even though a soul bond existed, it was hard to say that there was no danger.
“This altar is the exit. Back then, the people who built this temple could leave directly from here. That is why I’ve been waiting here for thousands of years.” There was an unimaginable sadness in Nailisi’s voice. Saleen knew he could not stop her, either, for it was the nature of an imp to be ready to seduce anyone at any moment.
“It seems like master doesn’t have that much energy.” Nailisi stretched her back. Since transforming, she had lost her tail and it would take some getting used to.
“Is there no other way?”
“If there was, I would have escaped a long time ago.”
Saleen kept quiet. He touched the Ring of Gifts on his hand and said, “Canghong, when you first found the entrance to the ruins, what was it like?”
Canghong’s face turned red. He said, “I don’t think it was here. It was a magic tower, buried underground with only the peak of it showing.”
He had actually gone the wrong way?
“Everyone disperse and look carefully. See if there’s anywhere on the altar where a gemstone can be inlaid.” Saleen could only hope now that this ancient magic array had a simple method that commoners could use to pass through. A teleportation portal was very rare and there were probably less than twenty teleportation magic arrays in the four empires all together. These magic arrays could be used by commoners, but a large number of gemstones were expended each time they were used, so the price for them was hefty.
However, as long as they could get out of here, Saleen could afford it. He was no demon, and if he had truly been trapped here, it would not take tens of thousands of years. He would starve to death in a month.
Canghong had unconsciously started listening to Saleen’s orders. Comparing their abilities, Saleen was not as skilled as him in close combat. However, if the distance were to be increased, he would be no match for Saleen. In the beginning, Saleen had held back, but after everything that had happened, he had taken over as the leader of the team.
“Leader, there’s a hole here!” Sika’s voice was tremendously loud, echoing from the top of the altar.
Saleen came to Sika’s side, bent over, and touched the floor with his hand, feeling the magic streaks there. The hole that Sika had found was at the crossroad of all the magic streaks, and it was highly plausible that a gemstone could be inlaid there.
Saleen put his fingers into the hole, feeling its structure. He realized that this was a pedestal that could allow gemstones with twenty-four sides to be inlaid.
There were two different gemstones that could activate a teleportation portal. The first was known as the white spirit crystal, and the second was known as chalcedony. From their heist, Saleen had both gemstones. A white spirit crystal had a constant value while chalcedony’s was difficult to determine.
While Saleen considered which gemstone to use to activate the magic array, Canghong and Sarah both found a hole in which to inlay a gemstone and activate the teleportation portal. Usually, three gemstones would do the trick. Saleen felt that he was in a pinch, as these holes were not small and the inlaid gemstones could not be retrieved again.
He decided on the white spirit crystal in the end. He only had two pieces of chalcedony and it would be hard to cut three out of them.
Saleen dejectedly took out a white spirit crystal the size of a ball, feeling a little troubled. The white spirit crystal was very tough. He wondered how was he going to cut it into twenty-four equal sides.
Once a mage reached Grade 4, they would learn a certain spell: Current Cutter. This magic could then be used to cut different kinds of gemstones. However, Saleen was only a Grade 1 mage. He could cut the gemstone by using heated rhenium gold silk. There was a piece of rhenium gold in his Ring of Gifts. However, he was not an alchemist and would be unable to cut the rhenium gold, which was a hundred times tougher than steel, into thin streaks.
Sika, Canghong, and Sarah. The three of them did not seem like they could complete such a meticulous task. Nailisi saw Saleen worrying and in her quick thinking asked, “Master, is there any problem that I can help you with?”
“You? Do you have a way of dealing with this white spirit crystal? Cut it into three equal parts with each part having twenty-four equal sides. The bottom needs to be four centimeters across, just like the magic nucleus of a magic beast.” Saleen thought, This imp has survived for tens of thousands of years. She should have some talents and should be able to cast a few high grade spells.
Nailisi took the white spirit crystal from Saleen. This was a more primitive crystal, and there were even impurities on the outside as it hadn’t been processed before. She observed it for a while before placing the white spirit crystal to her mouth and beginning to bite it. With a loud crack, the tough crystal had been bitten apart by Nailisi.
“Nailisi!” Saleen was anxious. This thing had been meant to be used for their escape, and the imp wanted to eat it?
Nailisi used her long fingers and dug around in her mouth, finding the fragments of crystal she had just bitten off. Putting them into Saleen’s hands she said, “Master, is each side this big?”
Saleen was amazed. The imp was talented. With just one bite, the white spirit crystal had a flat side that was four centimeters long. Her teeth were practically daggers. With such sharp teeth, even magic armor wouldn’t be able to defend against it.
“Good work Nailisi, continue!” Saleen praised the imp. Nailisi held up the white spirit crystal and started munching and chewing on it. It was not a pleasant sight. Since she needed to separate the crystal into three pieces, when she opened her mouth to its widest, she looked like a crocodile. Her lower and upper jaw were open at an obtuse angle.
Cutting gemstones would certainly produce fragments. The fragments that the imp bit off were very regular, with each side being flat. Saleen kept each and every one of them, as these fragments could be used to inlay a ring and some could even be used to create a magic prop of a larger size. Saleen feared being poor and did not waste anything at all.
After half an hour, three perfect twenty-four sided gemstones had been cut out by the imp’s teeth and were inlaid into the magic array.
Then came a question. How was the magic array activated?
Activating a magic array required a spell. The back of the map that Saleen had taken had the spell for the magic array, but Saleen was only a Grade 1 mage and spatial magic was something that only a sorcerer could master.
Saleen had a plan all along. There was a reason that they had been able to be sucked into the magic array. The greatest possibility was that his usage of Protection of the Goddess had activated the magic array. This magic array might have contained residual energy that had sucked the four of them in.
Besides that, Saleen couldn’t think of any other reason. He adjusted his mage robe and walked into the middle of the magic array, waving the others over. Nailisi was the first to run to Saleen’s side, then Sika, Sarah, and finally Canghong. Saleen started to recite the spell, and the Ring of Gifts began to glow green again.
Before the divine spell was over, the magic array had begun to respond. The three gemstones inlaid in the magic array released a blinding white light, and the entire magic array began to light up.
Saleen was secretly overjoyed. As expected, it was an automatic magic array and the person passing through had to be a disciple of the Goddess of Nature. So long as he could initiate the residual energy in the Ring of Gifts, he could be affirmed by the teleportation portal. If that was the case, he could return next time!
Originally, Saleen had not wanted to leave the temple ruins. If he could have, he wished to stay inside the ruins to train for a while, at least until his left hand recovered. The injury on his left hand would require a long time to heal, and even though it didn’t affect his movement, he wouldn’t be able to cast any Grade 2 magic.
However, there were still the people from the sacred Holy See in the Chaotic Swamp. He didn’t know what those people were targeting but no matter what it was, it couldn’t have been good for him. This temple’s location was fairly well concealed, but after all they had been through, they had left quite a lot of traces and it wasn’t guaranteed that the entrance wouldn’t be spotted.
White lights shot out from the magic array. They bent in mid-air, combining and forming a large shield and covering Saleen and the others with it.
The teleportation this time was much easier than before. The feeling of being stabbed a thousand times was not there. Saleen felt much lighter and was slightly unbalanced before reaching the pond before the temple. Following him were Sika, Nailisi, Canghong, and Sarah. Everyone had made it.
Saleen was anxious, as there were still diasikala lurking in the water and he was no match for them. Even with his magic chords full, he could only release twenty-four water shields and who knew how many diasikala were in the pond. He struggled upwards, the imp able to feel his anxiousness and twisting her body to catch up to him with lightning speed. She was much better in the water than Saleen.
The bloody aroma in the pond hadn’t dispersed, and in the dark, dozens of diasikala appeared and pounced towards Saleen. Saleen could not have been any unluckier. However, just as he was about to take action, the imp swam forwards excitedly. Using her two hands, she grabbed one in each and started biting them.
Diasikala had a tough shell that even low-grade magic could not penetrate. However, Nailisi’s teeth were so sharp that they could even cut gemstones and after being starved for centuries, she was finally looking at living prey. Because of her excitement, she ate each one without even chewing and only sucked out the essence from each of them.
Her magic abilities were far too common for an imp like her. However, if close combat and fighting skills were taken into consideration, a Cascausus warrior like Sika who had the blessing of the priests would easily overpower her. Diasikala might have been a Grade 5 magic beast, but they were incredibly stupid. Not a single one thought of releasing magic to attack the imp. All of them opened their mouths, wanting to bite a chunk of meat off Nailisi’s body.
They had placed too much faith in their outer shells and in less than a minute, dozens of diasikala had been wiped out by Nailisi, their empty shells sinking down to the bottom of the pond. Seeing the way Nailisi ate, Saleen was shocked. If it hadn’t been for her hunger, which made her weak, he wouldn’t have been able to control her.
The outer shells of these fish-like magic beasts were good materials for alchemy. It was a pity that Saleen’s bag was full. Lacking the energy to dive down and pick them either way, he picked up speed and swam towards the light at the surface.
Saleen exposed the top of his head above water and then immediately dived back down. The hill cyclops was still at the edge of the pond, but what worried him was the fact that it was already dead, its large head having rolled into the water. There was nobody in sight.