The 102th chapter “Stronger and stronger” (Up and Down)
Using the fastest speed to fly out of the surrounding snow covered lands near the Holy Mountain, the old magician once again took out his wand as they came up to the “forgotten ice field”.
The land in between the “forgotten Ice field” and the “Holy Mountain” had a very clear line to distinguish its borders. On one end was covered in cold hard ice, while the other side was covered in soft snow. As they stood there, everything seemed calm inside the forgotten ice field. But from prior experience, they knew in their heart that once they took their first step inside the ancient magic array, the weather would immediately change!
Taking the lead, as soon as the old magician stepped into ice field, the sky immediately darkened and the once quiet wind started to rage in bursts. In order to fend off the brewing weather, the silvery gem on his wand was again releasing a soft comforting light.
“Quick! Don’t waste time!” The old Magician grabbed Du Wei because right now in his mind, Du Wei was the most important person in their mix. Firmly grasping onto his side, the old magician raised the wand like a torch into the air and led the way forward….
The howling wind of the ice field was gradually starting to release a stirring noise like that of sharp blade ravaging against something. Standing next to the old magician, Du Wei could clearly hear the creaking sound that came from the wind blades hammering against the small barrier set up around the group.
From his appearance, beads of sweat were already starting to form around the old magician’s nose. It was obvious that the old fella’s magic reserve weren’t full recovered from their initial crossing of the ice field……
Harsh winds soared through the air and misty dark clouds blocked out the very sun in the sky!
Thanks to the old magician’s endurance and support, they barely managed to make it through their first day of escape.
During the second day, Du Wei could clearly feel the old magician overexerting himself. As soon as beads of sweat started to form around his forehead, they were frozen instantly due to the freezing weather. Not long after, the frozen beads had formed a layer of ice on the old magician’s face. If not for the puffs of white air coming out of his nostrils, one would really mistake him for a frozen Popsicle.
In order to cut down on the magic consumption of the old magician, Hussein had already lifted the old magician onto his back. Step by step, the knight walked through the icy surface as he released his golden Dou Qi. Thanks to his effort, the group was able to enjoy a hint of warmth from this endeavor.
“This won’t do……” Once again, the magical light in the old magician’s hands dimmed down a notch. In a whispering voice, he called out at Du Wei: “I can’t hold on. Du Wei, you come here and hold the wand for a while. I need to refill some of my magic reserve while I meditate.”
Passing the wand over to Du Wei, the old magician quickly chugged down the last bottle of magic potion he had on him. Within moments, the look on his face was slightly better, but his eyes were still showing a look of tiredness. Not long after, Gargamel took over the job of sustaining the barrier and relived Du Wei.
“This storm is a little odd.” Slightly regaining his spirit, the old magician frowned at once: “The storm of this ice field is fierce, but it shouldn’t be this fierce! Don’t you think that the storm now is much stronger than when we first came through?”
Du Wei nodded and whispered, “Do you mean that the dragons can control the storm?”
“No.” The Old magician shook his head, looking somewhat weak. Moving forward, Du Wei ignored everything and supported the old magician’s body as they continued walking. In a weak voice, the old magician whispered into Du Wei’s ears: “According to the legends, the reason God set up this magic array here is to block humanity from continuing into the north and stop the exiled races from heading south….. In addition to these two reasons, there is also another important reason and that is to limit the dragon clan.”
“Limiting the Dragons?” Du Wei was struck with a thought.
“That’s right. The dragon clan’s purpose is to guard this place, but that is only on the surface. To spend so many years in this boring place, some will eventually feel disgusted here. In name they are guarding this place, but in truth, they are also imprisoned on top of the Holy Mountain because they are not allowed to leave until their mission is completed. Although the dragon clan has kept to their mission over the millenniums, but there is also the occasional individual that enters the human world to travel just like that old dragon. This is fine if it was only one or two dragons on the occasion because it they won’t have much impact on the human world as a whole. But what if the entire dragon clan were to migrate into the human world? Their presence would definitely change the balance of the world. So, fearing the dragon clan would get tired of their mission, God set this magic array here in order to block the mass migration of the dragons down to the south.”
Carefully looking around, the winds were sweeping back and forth and countless tornadoes were hanging upside down from the sky. Intertwined by of all of this, the barrier was constantly being squeezed by their pressure…..
“From a general perspective, the dragon clan is a race of flight, but yet this ice field is an area of no flight. Any race traveling through this place must only walk on their feet; otherwise, they would also need to fend off the onslaught of wind blades in midair. Even for the powerful dragon clan, I suspect only a minority of one or two powerful individuals can possibly make it through this place. Thus, with this ice field here, the dragon clan is forced to stay put on the Holy Mountain and continue acting as the guardian of this place. In this case, I do not believe this crisis is the doing of the dragon clan. I think that within this storm, there is some other mystery behind it.”
Du Wei paid close attention to his analysis.
Taking in a deep breath, the old magician continued: “The first time I came to this ice field, it was only by myself. Two hundred years ago, Semel didn’t continue with me through the ice field because once we reached the frozen forest, we had already separated. Also back then my powers weren’t as powerful as the present, yet I was able to make it through this place. Although it was difficult and harsh, I was able to do it, but now? Think about it, this time my powers were much stronger than two hundred years ago, but in the end…. I almost drank my entire reserve of magic potion and still couldn’t sustain myself through the entire trip. If not for you and Gargamel’s presence, there was no chance for me to make it through to the dragon mountain!
What exactly is hidden here to make the storm more powerful than 200 years ago? In accordance with the normal logic of magic, a magic array would weaken with the passage of use. Yet this place is the exact opposite, it did not weaken but instead intensified.
After a pause, the old magician continued speaking: “When we were coming through, it was already so hard…… But on the way back, I found that the storms here are even worse! To be honest, I didn’t expect that in just one day, I could not hold on! Do you remember? When we were coming, I alone stood up for two and a half days! What exactly is making this storm increasing in strength each and every time?”
Du Wei had taken one look around the ever increasing air pressure of the clouds, and then his face slightly changed from what he saw: “No matter what, we should be able to get out, right? Even if you and I or Gargamel depleted our magic reserve, don’t forget that we also have a powerful Medusa in our team! When we were coming, she never expended any of her strength!”
“Don’t hope to depend on Medusa.” The Old magician sighed, looking at Du Wei with a pitiful and emotional look: “Such a pity! You are really smart and quick on the uptake of magic concepts when you’re only 14 years. So young and under no guidance from any real magician, you were able to reach the strength of a third level magician. A true genius! But it is a pity… I see that although you read a lot of books regarding magical knowledge, but all the things you learned are all from texts and have no system to them at all. You need to understand the knowledge of magic is profound is deep. There is no way you could have understand some of the difficult concepts from the recorded books in this world! You did not even receive the most basic education of magical systems, so it is no wonder that you do not understand that we cannot rely on Medusa’s magic because she is a magical beast! You understand? Although she is humanoid in appearance but she is still a magical beast. In accordance with the natural barrier of the magical field, human magic and beast magic cannot work together. This is because our magic is from our own unique magic system, and magical beasts have their own unique nucleus stone inside their body, so their method of using magic and training is completely different from that of us humans. Although Medusa is powerful, but she is unable to help us host this magic barrier.”
Speaking up to here, the old magician smiled wryly: “Are you not surprised? Along the way we were having such a hard time, but even then I did not request Medusa for help despite Medusa’s strength being much higher than you and Gargamel.”
At this point, a flash of sadness crossed the old magician’s eyes as he suddenly spoke loudly: “Hussein! Stop here! I have something to say.”
The Knight was currently moving forward while holding Gargamel, but Hussein immediately stopped in his track because he could feel something was amiss. Turning his head around, he looked at Du Wei and the old magician: “What’s the matter?”
“Don’t go.” The Old magician’s look was extremely stern: “I made the calculations. To this day, the distance we walked when compared to when we first came here is about twice as slow! But already our magic could no longer support us….. Such a situation, I think you feel it too, right?”
Hussein did not speak, but the somber color of his face was already coming out.
“I have carefully calculated this many times. If we continue like this, we would run out of magic by tomorrow noon and would no longer be able to keep going…. But by tomorrow noon, we would only have traveled one fourth of the distance required…. If we continue consuming our strength like this, we would soon meet our death under the assaults of the wind blades!”
After revealing this shocking news to everyone, none in the group seemed surprised by this piece of information. Whether it was Du Wei or Medusa, it seems everyone was expecting something along those lines. Even Gargamel, that was supporting the barrier didn’t say anything and kept his mouth shut, although the mouse was timid and wretched, but he was after all an experience rich magician. When it came to the estimation of energy consumption, he wasn’t much different from what the old magician was thinking.
The one to raise a voice was actually the newest member MR. QQ.
“What’s wrong, why not keep moving forward?” Despite being in this snow covered place, QQ seemed to really enjoy this trip and was even lying asleep on Du Wei’s back with his eyes closed. Jumping down, he stomped and stomped around a bit as he wiggled his fat body. Lifting his head, he asked: “What is the reason we are not moving?”
“Because we are afraid we won’t be able to get out.” Du Wei sighed. His sentence sounded a little helpless, but at the same time unwilling to yield. The only one still looking calm was Medusa as if everything in the world had nothing to do with her.
“We have to find a way.” A corner of his mouth revealed a saddening smile and then the Old magician solemnly looked at Du Wei: “Du Wei, you have to understand that you are the most important one here! The burden you are carrying is Aragon’s mission; therefore, in any case, I will not let you die here…… So, I came up with an idea that might be able to give you the opportunity to get out.”
Du Wei did not speak, biting his lip as he watched the old magician.
“Hussein is a Saint Knight and the golden Dou Qi of a Saint Knight is not to be underestimated. Also the strong body of a Saint Knight can even rival that of a dragon, even without the protection of magic; Hussein should be able to go a day’s walk in this storm.” With that said, the old magician turned to take a look at Hussein: “My Knight companion, after tomorrow at noon, if we lose the protection of magic, there will be no way to escape. The only one that can last an extra day is you with your golden Dou Qi, so I want you to promise me one thing.” The Old magician pointed at Du Wei: “Your golden Dou Qi can protect the space around you. If you carry a person on your back, you can protect that single person. I want you to carry this kid Du Wei and proceed forward without us! Proceeding at full strength, your walking speed should be a lot faster than it is now……”
“But I can only last a day or so.” Hussein spoke in a cold way: “One day’s worth of time is still not enough to get out of this ice field.”
“Then leave it up to fate.” The Old magician sighed: “This is the only way, though the hope is slim, but maybe a miracle can happen and let you walk out of the ice field. I did the math, if you run at full speed throughout the day, even if you do not get out, it won’t be too far from the edge. Maybe…… A miracle can occur.”
Everyone did not speak, their faces showed a complex emotion. Du Wei took one look at each and every companion, and then suddenly said: “Perhaps I can summon Semel?”
“It’s useless.” The old magician whispered bitterly: “I already included all of our forces in my calculation…. Although I still don’t know for sure what happened to her, but I can be certain of one point. The Semel by your side is much lower in strength than the Semel that I knew. Before you forget that she and Hussein had a duel? Also at the time, Hussein did not advance into a Saint Knight yet and even then, the two were evenly matched. From my estimation, Semel’s magic is at best the eighth level or a little bit above that but not much. Even if we add an eighth level magician to our mix, we won’t be able to get out. So calling Semel out here won’t mean much……”
The Old magician looked at Hussein as he spoke: “I’m afraid that when necessary, even you have to be sacrificed.”
Hussein did not speak, continuing the indifferent and prideful look on his face.
“I will give my wand to Du Wei, then Hussein, you will take Du Wei and move forward with your golden Dou Qi. If you end up using all of your Dou Qi and still couldn’t get out of the frozen ice field, then Du Wei, you must give up on Hussein and move forward by yourself with the wand! By your side there is still Semel. With her strength, you should be able to protect yourself for a little while and the consumption of magic is not a lot. I think that if you are by yourself, you should be able to make it out.”
Du Wei’s expression turned cold. Looking at the old magician, then at the Hussein, to Medusa and to Gargamel, finally to QQ.
“You mean after sacrificing everyone, I’ll be the only one that could make it out?” Du Wei immediately refused: “Although I can’t be considered a good person, but to do something as to sacrifice my companion’s life in order to protect mine, I cannot accept it. Don’t forget that by tomorrow, that old dragon will start his chase from the Holy Mountain. I may not even make it out of the ice field. If that old fella catches up to me, do you think I would have a chance if none of you were near me? After regaining his dragon form, that old guy is even comparable to Aragon in person!”
All were silent.
Indeed, a restored Dragon form chieftain is comparable in strength to Aragon in person! Nobody thought for even a moment that Du Wei can deal with such a powerful enemy.
Of course, there was still room to object.
Just when everyone was silent… A sudden shrill voice grabbed everyone’s attention! The always graceful looking Penguin QQ suddenly flew into a rage!
Letting out a sharp cry, the penguin angrily jumped up with his whole body and nearly bit him with his mouth!
“Who said it?! Who says the old dragon’s power was comparable to Aragon! Nonsense! In this world, none is more powerful than Master Aragon! Absolutely not! If master were to resurrect, then that old dragon would easily be chopped into seventeen-Eight pieces!”
Fortunately, the Penguin lacked claws and teethes. Otherwise, looking at his angry face, Du Wei feared that this bird would really jump up and bite him. Even so, this bird was already jumping at him with its obese body to show his indignation for what they said.
“Enough.” Looking at this beast that came out of the coffin, Du Wei frowned. Other than being able to speak, this guy is simply a burden: “I can understand your mood of wanting to defend Aragon, but facts are facts. If Aragon had not tricked that old dragon into drinking the water from the fountain of youth, he couldn’t have won the battle in the past.”
“Bullshit!!” QQ was fast to react, quickly covering his mouth. Stroking his chest, he sighed: “Oh, graceful, graceful, need to keep up my gracefulness….” Afterwards, he gave Du Wei a look: “Who said Aragon can’t come out on top of the old dragon!”
Angrily staring at everyone, the penguin loudly asked, “Have you never thought of this before when Aragorn walked through the field of ice? After enduring such a powerful storm, his strength was only left with ten to twenty percent! Under the condition of nearing exhaustion and depleting all of his strength, Aragon was able to challenge the old dragon and come out with a tie! If not for this ice storm weakening Aragon, he would have chopped that old fella into pieces!”
“What did you say?!” Both the eyes of Du Wei and the old magician lit up, staring at QQ.
QQ lifted his head without a hint of relenting: I said that when Aragon passed through this ice field, his strength was only at ten or twenty percent! That is why he was forced into a draw with that old dragon; this is the truth that he told me!”
Du Wei and the old magician met each in the eyes and came up with the same key question!
By crossing the ice field, Aragon consumed around eighty to ninety percent of his power?
Of course, to be able to come out with a draw with the all-powerful dragon patriarch after losing eighty to ninety percent of his strength, it seems everyone had misunderstood Aragon’s strength…… Now it appears that Aragon really deserves the title of strongest under the stars. To think that the old dragon could match up to Aragon in his dragon form, now everyone here knew their guesses were completely wrong……
However, what QQ said contained information even more important than this.
Leaving only ten or twenty percent in strengths and can still come out with a draw with the Dragon chieftain. One can’t imagine how powerful Aragon really is when he is in his prime!
For such great strength, this spell was still able to consume eighty to ninety percent? Then isn’t this magic array far too powerful to the point of being horrifying?
“Wrong! Completely wrong!” Du Wei immediately shouted: “Wrong!”
Scratching his head, Du Wei was trying to catch hold of the inspiration flashing through his mind:
“If even for someone of Aragon’s strength, he had to consume eighty to ninety percent of his strength? Then wouldn’t the storm’s intensity be even stronger back a thousand years ago? But like you said, two hundred years ago when you came here, the storm was much weaker than it was now. If Aragon had to consume eighty to ninety percent of his strength just to pass through, then shouldn’t you have been killed two hundred years ago! This storm doesn’t seem to be getting stronger, but seems to be……..”
“Adjusting its strength based upon those that venture into this ice field. It’s almost like a self-responding mechanism is set into the very function of this magic array.” The old magician accurately summarized his theory.
When Aragon came here, the storms intensity was enough to consume eighty to ninety percent of his strength.
Two hundred years ago when the Old magician came here alone, the storm caused him to burn up most of his strength. If compared to when Aragon came here, the storms intensity should have weakened.
But now, the people here are seeing the storm increasing in strength.
“It is clear that this magic array can detect the intruder’s strength. The stronger they are, the stronger it gets.” Du Wei quickly added, “Maybe we can take advantage of this weakness.”
“How do we take advantage of this? Are we now going to turn off this magic barrier?” Gargamel uttered a cry, and then his voice became weaker: “You guys been talking back and forth, but do you have a solution? Also, I’m unable to continue maintaining this barrier! Better have one of you swap out with me for a while; otherwise, this magic barrier will be ruined!”
Raising an eyebrow, the Old magician immediately took the wand off Gargamel’s hands and injected his own magic into the barrier. Then in a whispering voice, he continued speaking: “Du Wei’s speculation makes sense….. However, if we were to remove this magic barrier now, I fear we would be shredded into pieces immediately by the wind.”
Du Wei suddenly grabbed QQ: “After leaving the Holy Mountain, how did he go back?”
“That’s right!” The Old magician’s eyes lit up in realization!
How did Aragon go back? After losing eighty to ninety percent of his strength, Aragon then fought with the dragon chief and also carved out such a huge road project in the Holy Mountain! Logically speaking, Aragon should have consumed a large amount of his strength. So how did he go back in the end?
“How would I know.” QQ shook his head, patting Du Wei’s hand and spoke slowly: “Don’t you know that grabbing other people’s neck is very rude! Back then, Master locked me in a sarcophagus. So of course I wouldn’t know how he went back.” But before master left, he did quote these words: “There is something odd about this ice field, so he left something in the coffin.”
Without a word, Du Wei immediately dropped QQ and removed the baggage on his back. Opening it up, he quickly turned everything out.
“What is it?” In one breath, Du Wei poured all of his belongings out into the open and looked at QQ
“I slept for too long. There are some things that I can’t remember very clearly.” QQ looked at Du Wei:
“I seem to remember what the master said is that the thing is a tall, pointy object that can shrink and stab into the ground….. Oh, let me think……”
“What is it?” Du Wei waited patiently.
“That thing had a weird name. I should remember……” QQ cocked his head: “Think it was… Dodging… Wind….. Ah yes, it is called Wind dodging needle!”
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