Chapter 26 “The world outside is so terrifying”
In the history of the Roland Empire there existed an outstanding individual whom orchestrated a famous saying: “The imperial code is sacred and mustn’t be violated. Within the empire’s border, all must strictly obey its law.”
This person later went on to become one of the greatest emperors of all times and created one of the most brilliant eras to ever befall this land, known for their just laws and steady governing.
However, it’s also this exact emperor whom added another ending to his first saying in private. The second part were undisclosed of course, but documents discovered by historians later after his passing brought weight to the authenticity of the final phrase.
“All must follow the empire’s law, but with two exceptions. The first is the emperor himself. Imperial power is always beyond the law! Another exception is…. the magicians!”
Powerful magicians tend to possess abilities that far exceeded the expectations of a mortal. They can change the natural order of their surroundings, they can raise mountains, create floods, their very existence are akin to the gods! If they wished it, those powerful beings can easily bring forth a calamity capable of destroying a small kingdom!
Towards people like that, the logic of enforcing a standard meant for mere mortals were obviously redundant.
Even if not individuals from those legendary tales of old, a battle between two powerful mages were enough to bring great danger to those around them. Take for example a case back when the continent had not yet been united. During that era, known to be an era of darkness and strife, it’s not unheard of for cities to be destroyed from the aftermath of a mages duel.
These havoc reeking events may have gradually disappeared after the unification of the continent, but that doesn’t mean events on a smaller scale didn’t happen. Even to this day, it’s well-known for small towns to be eradicated as a result of some destructive spell called forth by a mage.
Regardless of all this, the empire’s law never once considered prohibiting duels between mages in public. The law does prohibit the common folk, but not mages. And the magic union even stated, “If there’s any disagreement between two of their members, it’s advised both sides find a quiet place to settle their score”, but this wasn’t enforced in any way!
As such, the agreement between the empire and the magic union was this: all intermediate level or higher mages cannot be judged by common means. If the individual violated any crimes, the procedure was to let the court rule if he’s guilty or not, then handed over to the magic union for punishment. The terms of the punishment would of course be chosen by the magic union. Whether the punishment would be fair or not was another matter.
Extraordinarily skilled, can override imperial law, can do anything based on their own preferences…. To the common folk, the existence of a magician was to be feared and looked at with awe.
And tonight, almost all of the inhabitants of Half Horn City were woken from their slumbering dreams as a result of tonight’s commotion – some even fell off their beds from the suddenness of the racket.
Shaking from the grounds up, their homes were trembling from the rumbling quake. People panicked from the unknown. Running out, they suddenly found the night sky dazzling from a bright light over the horizon. That light flickered on and off, then came the unknown roar of some beast, leaving all the citizens fearing for their lives.
Then it came, the shocking vibration that was as strong as any earthquake, which eventually caused the northern wall to collapse! The crumbling sound of the fortification wall sent the panicking people running across the city.
And far into the distance, as if from the direction of the Half Horn Mountain, everyone can see it with their naked eyes. Two giant masses of light were colliding against each other: one silver white, one fiery red! Growing more and more intense with each impact, the illuminating light coming off from their impacting blows looked like it would overshadow even the moon hanging in the heavens.
To make things worse were the accompanying howling roars with each blow. Like a heavy hammer pounding against steel, this sound reverberated against the people’s heart.
Equally rattled were the remaining city soldiers sent out on patrol that night. This small number of men attempted to keep order in the city, but in the face of overwhelming odds, it was impossible. They were inwardly scared too.
Then the scariest thing of all finally came. Someone had long ran for reinforcement stationed in the barracks outside the city, but to the horror of the messengers, they discovered the camp littered with soldiers either heavily injured or fainted from impact, even the prestigious Sir Spann was knocked unconscious on the floor.
The panicking crowd began to rush outside the city and some even climbed for higher grounds out of desperation.
It was then the thundering clap came from the direction of Half Horn Mountain…..
“The mountain is collapsing! Half Horn Mountain is collapsing!!”
Who knows who it was that called this out first, but this piece of information rapidly spread across the crowd like a raging plague.
Indeed, Half Horn Mountain was collapsing!
Far away, the hill that could be seen with the naked eye when standing on the walls, the famous Half Horn Mountain peaks, just collapsed within their sight! The entire mountain seemed to be directly broken apart as if that’s not a mountain, but a pile of sand … … Just came crashing down!
The intense light, though far away, was powerful enough that even those dozens of Li’s away could see it, and those with better sight would discover to their horror, two strange gigantic shadows fluttering in the light….
(1 Li = 500meters – a metric system commonly used in place of meters by the chinese)
Towards the inhabitants of Half Horn city, they would probably be forever doomed to never forget this night because under this mysterious veil of fear and panic, they longed for the coming of dawn so this nightmare would end.
When the first glimmer of sunlight finally shined on that day, the overwhelming ROAR which terrified everyone, and those fierce clashes of light that took up half the night finally disappeared!
Waiting for a good full hour, and verifying the unknown disaster was really over, people gradually settled down from the fear in their hearts.
People, including Sir Spann as well as Robert and the others, rescued last night by soldiers going to the garrison barracks for help, finally woke up.
In front of the powerful magician, they were practically defenseless and were either wounded or knocked out without room for retaliation. Then under the torrents of magic from the snow beauty, the entire ground collapsed and those who rushed in the earliest came out with the heaviest injuries due to the impacting blow they were dealt with, or collapsing rubbles from the building.
Unexpectedly, it was Rolynn, the female knight, who woke up first from this ordeal. Because of the loss of blood during the fight in the day, she had been resting in the evening, adding in the number of drugs Solskjaer gave her to promote slumber, she was the first to recover. Yes, she’s still weak from the blood loss, but nevertheless, awake.
Then the one to come to next was Sir Robert, followed by Sir Spann, and then the rest of the guards of the Rowling clan. After finding their little master and that dreadful attacker missing, everyone fell into a panic.
After figuring out the situation from those around them, the wounded Robert ignored his injuries and immediately headed towards Half Horn Mountain with several of the slightly less wounded men.
By the time Sir Spann learned of Du Wei’s disappearance, this knight felt like he was suddenly thrown off a cliff!
He had been badly injured and unable to move, his only recourse now was to send his remaining troops to scour the mountainside with Robert’s men. According to the residents sighting, the dreadful woman from last night’s attack fled to Half Horn Mountain, greatly reducing their search perimeter.
Meanwhile, Sir Spann immediately took news of the Rowling young master’s disappearance and sent it off to the main forces currently dispatched for the spring military drill. At the same time, he also sent an urgent letter to the governor of Lille Province of this disaster.
Let’s not worry about Sir Spann’s future career and focus our attentions back on Sir Robert. Enduring the bristling pain on his body, Robert and his men boarded a horse drawn cart and came back up to the Half Horn Mountain. Together with Rolynn by their side, what awaited the group was the remaining rubbles of the once iconic mountain.
The scene in front of them, it’s enough to astonish the soberest of man or woman in this world!!
They were just here yesterday. Hiking over half the mountain, they flocked here in search of that magic beast. A typical hilly mountain in the southern reaches of the empire, stretching three to four miles in length, this place used to be covered in lush greenery. If standing at the peak of the mountain, one could even garner the general outline of the city.
Coming off the cart, Robert and the Rowling guards all had their jaws wide open, unable to believe their eyes, unable to take in the reality facing them!!
My Goddess! If this was a nightmare then please let it end!!!
Even though an accompanying soldier of the local garrison swore that this was definitely Half Horn Mountain…… Or, the exact location of the mountain in the past.
But even this soldier himself was in a fearful daze, his eyes filled with horror!
In front of them… …
Half Horn Mountain ……
No, it should be said that this was no longer a “mountain”!
In front of them was a big, round crater that stretched for nearly three miles in length!
Half Horn Mountain? Where is it?
This question was on everyone’s mind!
The carriage just so happens to be stopped at the edge of the disaster area. Watching the scene, Robert felt cold all over in front of the astonishing sight before him ……
According to the Knight’s speculation, the circular crater, as if left by some sort of violent explosion, was likely caused by the massive blast that occurred here last night.
At the edge of the crater were litters of stones varying from all shapes and sizes, and the ground that was once comprised of earthly soil were replaced by thick coats of sand. The closer it got to the middle, the deeper the crater became!
What’s more frightening was the shape of the hole at the center, it’s like a deep pit!
As if the Goddess herself made the work with an invisible pen, the land was divided into two halves with distinct features.
Using the pit in the middle as the boundary, the left half was covered in a thick layer of hard cold ice. As if stuck in perpetual frost, the area looked like a world of silver from the fairytales.
While at the same time the right half was the exact opposite!
If the left side was a frozen ice world, then the right half was like a searing hot desert where every drop of liquid had evaporated from the heat! Dry hard grounds littered the graveling crater, some areas filled with sand, some didn’t. The crackling surface looked like a heavy drought had just befallen this part of the land where even the stones were gaping with burn marks!
Such a huge crater with two heavy contrasting appearances left the onlookers utterly speechless.
As expected of a stalwart knight, Robert was the first to recover from the shock that hit the crowd.
“I speculate …… A fierce battle must have taken place here last night. The level of this fight is far beyond our imagination…. And that magician named Vivian is also missing; surely she must have fended off that female attacker from last night.” The knight analyzed the evidence thoroughly, “These things are not our concern…. Our only concern now is locating the young master! By the time we were saved, he’s already gone! If that’s the case, he must have been kidnapped… Maybe even….”
As for the rest, Robert decided to keep it to himself. After all, a mountain had already been blown apart, leaving only a gaping crater behind! For a mage with immeasurable power, it be easy for them to make a person disappear.
Robert’s face turned unsightly, but as the highest commander of the group here he had the duty to remain calm and not let his frustration effect the rest of his men. Clenching his teeth, “The situation may not be that bad, perhaps the young master himself escaped, or perhaps merely kidnapped. In any case, the crucial part now is to locate the lord and bring him back!”
The knight immediately issued two orders: first, scatter everyone and search the surroundings. Second, send news back to the Rowling Plains regarding this disaster!
The scope of this event had long exceeded Robert’s control.
Oh where is the young master now?
This question lingered in everyone’s heart.
So what was Du Wei doing now?
The answer lied in the sky for Du Wei was doing something he never dreamt possible.
He’s …… riding a dragon!
Sitting atop of the dragon’s back, they soared through the sky! Winds were everywhere and he could barely keep his eyes open even after wrapping his head in his clothes. Directly below him was a sea of clouds. Not wanting to fall, he desperately clung onto the dragon’s back as they dashed through the air. Despite the fact that he’s riding a behemoth and soaring thousands of miles above ground, Du Wei had an inexplicable urge to scream out of excitement!
“Ple-ple-please, please don’t hold its scales, okay?” Next to him came the weak voice of Vivian. The female sorceress was weakly lying on the back of the dragon with her body tightly hunched against the scales, her face pale and frail to look at. So when she saw Du Wei grabbing her precious dragon so carelessly, this female sorceress felt distressed over her pet’s treatment,
”It…it…it will feel unhappy. Dragons are a…a…a specie with high egos. M y…my “Scorching Sun” is only, only a child. It..it..it doesn’t like others grabbing its sc..scales……”
“If he doesn’t grab the scales, what else was he supposed to grab?”
Du Wei frowned. As soon as he opened his mouth, a gust of wind poured in, causing him to choke and cough as a result. Quickly lowering his head, he turns around and gave the sorceress a glimpse, “The wind is too strong, am I supposed to fall without a place to hold on to?!”
Angrily, he said: “Alright, I can let go of his scales but we must first get away from your sister’s pursuit. When we find a safe spot to land, I will make a rein for this thing.”
My Goddess! Please forgive poor little Vivian …… Also forgive this horrible guy.
A rein on a dragon …… My heavens, does he think dragons can be so arbitrarily ridden?
At this time, the humungous red dragon underneath his body uttered a mournful cry…..
Du Wei was shocked as he shouted, “Oh no, your dragon can’t hold on anymore!”
Vivian was also distressed over the situation: “Scorching Sun is on..only a yo…young Dragon, i..it..it has just been injured, and had to carry two people..it..it..it ……”
There was a gruesome wound on the left wing; therefore, whenever it flapped its wing, it would slant slightly to one side due to difficulties in flexing its muscle.
“Hurry and think of something!“ Du Wei hollered at her, ”Otherwise both of us are going to die.”
“My..my..my belongings have all been extorted by you!!! I..I..I have no idea … …“ Vivian became speechless from fear and tears began to roll down from those pitiful eyes.
“Wahhhh！！！ The outside world is so scary! Teacher! Teacher! Please save me! I want Mommy, I want Daddy! Please come save poor little Vivian!! ”
Eh? She didn’t stutter when she’s crying!
Du Wei was so angry at this little silly girl that he nearly fell off the dragon’s back! How can she cry like a little baby calling for mommy and daddy during this crucial time!
His face turned gloomy and he scolded her a few times, but in the end, the dragon finally succumbed to the wound and couldn’t take it anymore.
Aside from fighting the whole night and depleting nearly all of its magic, this red dragon also had to escape with its master in toe. No matter how strong it was, this red dragon simply can’t keep going with a severe injury on its wing. And now, it has reached its limit.
Upon hearing a loud shriek, Du Wei abruptly felt his body sinking for the dragon was falling out of the sky…..
“God damn it! Do something! Your Dragon is done for!”
“Wahhh … … Daddy! MOMMY!! Mommyyyy……”
“Stop crying already! Or we’ll both die at this rate!!”
“Wahhh … … MOMMY …… Hurry and save poor little Vivian…….”
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