-Chapter 39, DGM-
The current world and the previous game world’s maps had big differences. Although the positions of places on the map were identical, there were slight discrepancies in the details.
Link knew that echo valley was situated in the northwest region of Gwinnett forest, but as for the routes there and shortcuts, he was a stranger to them.
The forest in the game did not have foilage this lush. The shrubbery were all thorny undergrowth. As a modern man, if Link swept his way past them, he would totally lose his way.
Luckily, Hank and his team were mercenaries. Reading maps were part and parcel of their profession.
Hank led the way, followed by Lucy, Link and finally Greedin.
This was Link’s suggested arrangement after consideration.
After all, he had only just met these mercenaries. Although they did not seem like bad people, the human heart was difficult to see through. Thus, Link had no choice but to take safety measures. Lucy and Hank tended to be more reserved, and it was difficult for Link to read their thoughts. On the contrary, Greedin was casual, someone who spoke his mind and opened his mouth before thinking. Although his talk was cheap, he did not have a bad heart. Thus, Link could count on him to guard his back.
However, Link did not know that while he was worried about the mercenaries ambushing him, the mercenaries were also on guard against him. Link was too strong and too mysterious. They were afraid that Link would turn on them at the final moment.
Their hearts were as tensed as a drawn bow.
In this way, both the mercenaries and Link stayed on their guard until they reached 200 meters of echo valley.
There was a tree with a massive trunk which required 3 fully grown men to wrap their arms around it. It stood 50-60 meters tall, and the tree top was unusually dense and wide. The four of them climbed up and hid on the treetops, surveying the valley in front of them.
At the mouth of the valley was a natural boulder with curtains of creeping tendrils dangling from it. Dense foliage also grew at the foot of the boulder. This obstructed their view of the valley.
The archer Greedin pointed out: “The entrance is below the boulder. Look at the roughest vines below it — right, there. See it?”
Link squinted his eyes, peering at the boulder. As expected, he glimpsed a faint black hole hidden in the shrubbery.
“Impressive.” Link could not help but praise. He turned to Hank. “If you can’t see the situation inside the valley, how did you find out the number of people?”
Hank explained, “A person will deliver fresh fruits and spices often. While we can’t determine the number from the amount of fresh fruits because not all people eat fruits, this number can be determined from amount of spices. The consumption for spices tends to be more stable, and people consume them in almost every meal. From the rate of their spice consumption, and our gathered information, we can roughly gauge the amount of people in the valley — around 100 to 150 men.
Link nodded his head. “Smart.”
He attentively watched the entrance of the valley. “Do they have sentries around here?”
Hank shook his head. “That guy has confidence in this hidden valley, and he didn’t plant any sentries outside. However, I can’t say the same for the mouth of the valley. Lucy said she detected a weird odour at the mouth of the valley. Probably…probably some detecting magic spell.”1
Link stared at Lucy, astonished. “You can smell the odour of magic?”
Some people were naturally sensitive to the smell of mana, which is pretty normal. This was one aspect of talent in magic. In other words, if Lucy went to study magic, she would almost certainly succeed.
Of course, Lucy was only a commoner. Even if she had talent, she had no money. No talent scouts had also discovered her, so she could only become an ordinary mercenary with a keen awareness of magic.
Admitting she had a keen sense of magic in front of a magician made Lucy feel somewhat embarrassed, but she still admitted it. “I can faintly sense it, but I have no way of confirming.”
“Her senses are very acute. We have been saved more than once by Lucy’s senses.” Greedin complimented her.
Lucy glared coldly at Greedin, her face red. Now she was even more embarrassed.
Link begin probing for magic spells since Lucy said that there could be detection spells at the valley mouth.
After thinking, he spent 1 free point to buy a level 0 magic spell.2
Level 0 magic spell
Use: Roughly examine surroundings for various kinds of smells, including mana, elements, mysterious power, etc.
After purchasing the magic, Link cast it.
This spell did not require a magic wand. Link blinked, mana flooding into his eyes. Dim white light flickered out of his pupils. At the same time, changes appeared in his vision.
A dense layer of fog seemed to shroud everything before his eyes. The ground was yellow, the colour of the earth element. The trees were emerald-green, and the boulder was a mingle of the colour of white, which is the metal element. At the position of the valley entrance, Link saw a radiance of light.
It was only a thin layer of light. Its lustre was as pure as water, and its boundary was distinct. This was the smell of magic.
Looks like Lucy was right. The valley entrance really had detection magic.
Cancelling his ‘beginner detection’ spell, Link turned to the three mercenaries. The three mercenaries looked back with expressions of respect. If you think about it, a person shooting out light from his eyes would seem powerful. And powerful earned respect.3
By now, all the mercenaries had forgotten about the time they had first met Link and his sorry figure. Link had already became a legitimate magician in their hearts.
“Anything?” Lucy asked.
Link nodded. “Your senses are very sharp. There really was the smell of magic at the entrance.”
Greedin grinned, “I told you, Lucy’s senses are usually correct.”
Lucy seemed happy and a little proud of herself.
She was a total amateur to magic, but her skill had gained an expert’s approval. This feeling was pretty good. If this news were to get out, it would be enough to make a name for Lucy.
She could tell people that she could detect magic from now on, and a magician had personally appraised her. The other mercenaries would definitely view her higher.
Witt was indeed cautious. Link signalled for the three mercenaries to climb down the tree.
When they descended from the tree, Link begin to cast a spell on Hank.
His wand pointed at Hank, a radiance that sparkled like water enveloping Hank’s body. After the light flickered 3 times, Link pointed at a patch of land beside Hank. The radiance of light burrowed into the soil.
The soil on the ground seemed to come to life as it wriggled. After a while, the floor begin to bulge upwards, turning into a pillar of mud. Arms begin to grow, then two legs, the head, and finally the features of the face.4 The pillar begin to grow distinct features, and it turned exactly like Hank, including his warhammer and his shield. This spell was indeed effective. If neither of them moved and stood next to each other, it would be impossible to determine who was real and who was fake.
“Incredible.” The three mercenaries who were unfamiliar with magic gasped. When had they met a magic like that?
Link pointed his wand at the valley mouth, quietly commanding, “Rush into the valley while adopting a defensive stance.”
‘Hank’ turned, similarly drawing the shield from behind his back. His face expressionless and without a trace of fear, it dashed into the valley mouth.
At the same time, Link commanded the mercenaries, “Go, we’ll wait at the valley mouth, the minute the substitute has attracted the bandits’ attentions, we’ll begin attacking!”
This was their discussed battle plan. In this plan, the four of them would divide the fighting.
Link was in charge of killing the enemy, and was the sharpest sword of the team. Hank and Lucy would remain near Link and guard him. Their jobs were to ensure that Link did not receive any ambushes by archers. As for the archer Greedin, he was their second blade, in charge of lending support.
Seeing that Hank had already dashed to the bottom of the boulder and ran into the valley without the slightest hesitation, Link signalled. “Go, we’ll catch up with him.”
The three mercenaries encircled Link with Link in the centre, simultaneously dashing towards the valley mouth.
While running, Link pointed his magic wand at every mercenary and casted spells. Tendrils of light begin to coil around their bodies.
Level 1 magic spell: Feline boost. Substantially boosts the agility of the target. Lasts for 20 minutes.
It was the first time the three mercenaries were receiving the boost of an auxiliary spell. Hank waved the shield in his hand with surprise, feeling that the shield in his hands were as light as a leaf. Lucy lightly jogged forward, feeling like she was fast enough to fly. Greedin yelled, “This is magic? Too powerful, I feel…I feel like I can run faster than a warhorse!”
‘Three idiots.’ Link quietly ridiculed them in his heart.5
Link divided his mind, controlling the substitute to charge at the valley entrance. Because he was the caster of the spell, he also shared the vision of the substitute at the same time. He was also capable of controlling the substitute from a far distance.
The substitute did not bother with hiding. Like a spartan warrior, it sped without fear into the valley madly, running while screaming loudly.
“Witt, you coward! Come out and have a fight to the death with me!”
“Witt, you sonuvabitch without an anus, get the fuck out here!”
“Witt, I am your dad!”
The voice of the substitute was deafening. Not only did it spread widely throughout the mouth of the valley and the inside of the valley. The name echo valley truly wasn’t for show; it repeated the words incessantly.
“Witt, I am your dad…dad…dad~’
At the mouth of the valley, the three mercenaries exchanged glances. If Witt took this insult lying down and continued hiding in his valley, then he would not be a bandit head but instead the saint!
If the bandits saw their boss being ridiculed like this, they would definitely go berserk.
“Will the idiots inside the valley rush out lock, stock and barrel?” Lucy licked her cherry lips. She was prepared to slaughter.
Hank gripped his shield in one hand and wielded his warhammer in the other, chuckling. “That’d be good. When we’re done with this, I, Hank, can proclaim that four of us wiped out the dark brotherhood. With just this, I can comfortably live for a lifetime!”
As if assenting, the inside of the valley erupted, like a hornet’s nest that had been disturbed.
-Chapter 39, end-
This was hastily done and it’s honestly quite bad. Welp whatever