Chapter 3: The Elven Mage
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Carringer stepped forward, but the man in the gray-blue cloak stepped back. He took only one step and then stabilized himself. The reaction was a subconscious action.
Carringer didn’t go too close. He stopped at a decent distance, moved his knife behind him, and gently bowed, “I am the bounty hunter Carringer, I’m willing to help you.”
The man opposite raised his hand as if he was detecting something with the pendulum hanging under his palm. He was wearing dark soft-leather gloves, and his wide cuffs revealed a small section of his slender arms, in the dark blue light of the forest, his skin looked particularly pale.
After a moment’s hesitation, he finally drew back his pendulum and slowly took off his hood.
Golden long hair, light green eyes, small ears with sharp temples, fresh and soft facial lines.. He was an elf. The resident bard of Black Tree Village was right.
The elf nodded in return. Carringer stared at him, but the elf didn’t dare look back at him.. He just looked at the grass beside Carringer’s feet.
“You…” The elf spoke in a very low voice, “Hello.”
“Are you a mage?” Carringer asked.
The elf nodded.
“What do I call you?”
The elf whispered, “Rime.”
Carringer looked around and said, “Where’s Rime? It’s spring now.” 1
“No… I’m Rime.”
Curious, Carringer thought.
Originally, he was mentally prepared. Judging from the letters and phone calls, the mage was obviously extremely irritable. After meeting, he was bound to be abused in person… He didn’t mind being insulted and was even curious.
Now the situation is not the same as expected… The elf named Rime, is polite and even timid. He doesn’t seem to be able to say, ‘your wife and your mother will sew you up for three days and three nights.’
Carringer suddenly thought of a possibility: maybe more than one elf lived in the mountains? The people in Black Tree Village also said that they had corresponded with an elf in the mountains a long time ago. The tone of the old letter was different from that of the cursing letter, and the writing was also different.
To confirm, Carringer asked, “Were you the one talking to me just now?”
Rime just nodded. No words said.
“Did you use the avatar to communicate?” Carringer still didn’t believe it, so he confirmed again, “Did you use a spell to speak through a medium and then pass it on to that demon?”
Rime nodded again. Still no sound. At this moment, the slender legged spherical avatar had disappeared, maybe the mage has sent it to patrol elsewhere.
Carringer asked again, “I saw a letter in Black Tree Village. It said…” He recalled the contents of the letter and thought that the swear words should be omitted. “Er, the main meaning of the letter is to advise the villagers not to go up the mountain and take no risks. Did you give it to the village Sheriff?”
“How are Marlowe and those young people?” said Rime softly, nodding.
“Who is Marlowe?” Carringer asked.
“Oh. Everyone else is fine. I didn’t see the sheriff. His family said that his injuries weren’t serious, but later it seemed that he was ill or something, so he is still recuperating.”
Rime just nodded again. Carringer thought it was funny, this elf was amazing! There were many witty words when writing letters and sending messages. But now, when talking face to face, he dares not to even look people in the eyes?
Carringer moved forward a few steps. From the elf’s body movements, he obviously wanted to step back. Maybe he was afraid of being impolite, hence he remained in the same spot stiffly..
Moving closer, Carringer lowered his voice and said with a smile, “It’s nice to meet you, sir. You see, I’ve said my suggestion before. I’m here to work, and you’re busy with the troubles in this place, so let’s work together, okay?”
“But…” Rime frowned, apparently still disagreeing with the proposal.
Carringer went on, “By the way, I want to make one thing clear. I don’t have a mother or a wife. If I’m torn into three hundred pieces by a monster, I’m afraid I can only ask you to help sew me up. But you don’t have to worry. If I dare to come, it means that I have confidence at the bottom of my heart. I won’t be torn into three hundred pieces and drag you down.”
Carringer deliberately repeated the elf’s ‘good words and good sentences.’ The elf did not say a word, with an awkward smile on his face.
Oh, the elf’s ears are a little red.
Despite the dim light, Carringer was keenly aware of this.
Suddenly, there was a roar from the depths of the forest. The sound came from far away, like a mountain lion, but sharper.
Rime looked up at the distance and said to himself, “I should go back.”
The expression on his face changed subtly, as if he was making a difficult decision. A moment later, he leaned slightly over the woods behind him and looked back at Carringer, “Follow me.”
Carringer followed obediently, “Where are we going?”
“It is…. We are going to where I live. It’s time. It’s not safe outside. You’d better go down the mountain tomorrow.”
Who said I was going down the mountain?
Carringer took a few quick steps to move in front of the elf. He was armed and could take on the task of getting rid of weeds.
When he was close to the elf and looked over the elf’s shoulder, he found that the elf didn’t need his help at all. The elf in front of him casted a weak warm light onto the path, as long as they walked along it, they could walk through the dense forest unimpeded. The elf’s hands held the pendulum, which was also emitting the same color of light. Looking carefully, small things like dew drops were constantly falling around them.
So they walked one after another in the dense forest, Carringer looked left and right, the elf looked down, only a little way in front of him.
Carringer asked, “You live in the mountains?”
The elf sighed, “I used to be here with my teacher.”
According to his tone, his teacher either died or left him. Carringer asked, “Where is your hometown? Is it in the Southwest Forest? Or the Island of Yore? You look like an elf from the southwest.”
“I think so.” The elf was both concise and ambiguous.
No matter what Carringer asked, the elf had the kind of attitude that kept people away. Carringer looked at his back, thinking how to make him talk more.
On the way, they encountered a black monster attack. It was huge,, something like a mixture between a mountain pig and a carnivorous lion. It ran through the forest and broke down many trees. When it saw the elf and the human, it rushed over madly.
Before Rime could raise his hand to cast the spell, Carringer pulled out his sword and jumped out. This time, he did not use the machete, but pulled out the broad blade sword on his back. At first, Rime wanted to stop him, but when he saw the accuracy and speed of Carringer’s attacks, he didn’t make any more noise and just stood there quietly waiting.
The elf took a few quick steps back as the monster’s blood splashed over. Carringer pulls his sword from its body, swings it, and walks back to the elf with a smile. Without any comment on the battle, Rime quietly pulled out a cloth towel and handed it to Carringer.
Carringer was stunned to see that he was trying to clean the blade.
“No, thank you very much.” Carringer put the bloody sword into his scabbard. “This is a special weapon. It won’t rust, it won’t get dull, and it is raised with blood on purpose. If I use it to kill alien creatures, the more I kill, the better my sword will be.”
Rime took back the towel, “Oh, I understand. Advanced arcane protection demon enchantment, dragon biting weapon.”
“Yes, that’s the name. You’re an erudite mage.”
The elf smiles, “I can do this kind of enchantment. It’s just that the technique is too troublesome. I haven’t done it for a long time.” With that, he continued to turn and lead the way.
Carringer had been watching him, and he noticed that he was more relaxed than before.
The mage saw the hunter deliberately show force, saw the bloody scene of killing with close combat weapons, but he was more relaxed? Did he feel safer? Or… he finally believed that Carringer really is capable and will not die easily, so he was relieved?
After walking for a while, the terrain in front of them rose abruptly, forming a cliff standing on the forest floor.The cliff was bare, without any plants, and no buildings attached to it. The elf continued to walk towards the cliff without any intention of going around.
When they were close enough to the cliff, Rime said a mantra, and an array pattern flowing with silver light gradually appeared on the cliff. Rime pressed his palm on the lowest part of the pattern and murmured a few chants. A bronze arched double door appeared in front of them.
Carringer whistled. It turns out that there really is a mage tower here. The poet of Black Tree Village didn’t get it wrong.
Rime enters the gate first, turns around and signals Carringer to follow.
Carringer entered. The gate disappeared in a blink of an eye, and the outside of the cliff was restored to bare rock.
Behind the door, the hall was extremely open, with a wide vault above it. The walls and the ground were all made of exposed bricks and stones. There was no carpet and almost no furniture, with the only possessions being consumables, which were packed into wooden boxes and sacks and stacked in every corner.
There was a downward platform in the center of the hall.The platform had no guardrails, so you could directly see the deep floors below. The floors were connected by a spiral staircase, which also had no guardrails.. In the center of the spiral floated several stone plates with magic runes carved on them.
Rime steps onto the float. Without waiting to be reminded, Carringer consciously followed.
“Is this really an upside down mage tower? Is this the top of the tower?”
“Did the people of Black Tree say that?” asked Rime.
“Who else could it be?”
“It’s actually an ancient relic, not a tower,” Rime said. “All of them have holes dug deep down. Why do they have to say it’s a tower? But my teacher did call this place the ‘Moon Tower,’ which he liked. People in Black Tree Village were perhaps misled by him.”
“Oh, it’s true. If you look from the direction of the city and nearby villages, the moon disappears behind the mountain for most of the year when it sets. Inspired by this, the teacher called this relic the ‘Falling Moon Tower.’” Speaking of this, Rime gently shook his head. “My teacher is different from the general mage. He is a very romantic person.”
When it comes to his teacher, Rime’s words seem to change a lot. “What’s your teacher’s name?”, Carringer asked,
“Charlie Jingh.” When saying his teacher’s name, Rime’s voice slowed down and his voice became very solemn. “He’s basically a hermit. You probably haven’t heard of him.”
Carringer had never heard of the name, but from the style, he could tell that the name came from the Southwest Forest. The Southwest Forest is more vulnerable to magic, and few elves become mages.
Elves in different regions have different naming habits. Adventurous people, like Carringer, can basically tell where each other’s hometown is by their name.
The pontoon is on the fifth floor down. The elf had just come down with Carringer, and the door of a room in one corner of the hall opened automatically. A round long legged demon came out of the room with a pile of newly changed quilts on its head.
“You’ll rest here tonight.” The elf stood by the door and made a “please” hand motion.
In one corner of the room was a newly made bed, plussoft chairs, hangers, and desks. Magical light balls hung from the head of the bed and on the walls.There was a pot of water and a piece of dried bread on the desk.
It looked nice, but this room is obviously not a guest room. As a guest room, it is too big and spacious. The room was very large, wide enough to lay down ten beds spaciously. Carringer estimated that it used to be a large study or warehouse, but later it was emptied to let people rest temporarily.
From this point, he can see that this ‘Falling Moon Tower’ is not used to welcoming guests.
Carringer entered the room,followed my Rime, who was roughly explaining the use of the light balls on the walls. It’s a ready-made magical item that can be used without knowing how to cast a spell. In fact, Carringer has used them for a long time. After all, he had cooperated with other mages before, but instead of interrupting Rime, he listened quietly with a smile.
After that, Rime turns to the door and is ready to leave, butCarringer suddenly reaches out and grabs his wrist.
Rime was stunned for a moment and then slowly turned back, “Sir, you don’t want to suddenly grab mage like this next time. Not only me, but also other mages… “
“I’m sorry. I have something to say.”
“I’m not accusing you,” said Rime, “mainly because it’s too dangerous. Mages usually have protective spells on them. If you touch them rashly, it can be dangerous.”
As he spoke, Carringer slowly let go of his hand, but secretly confirmed one thing: Rime is very slow.
He’s more of a bookworm than those weak, nerdy human mages.
It’s the same when they were in the forest and Carringer had taken the lead to attack the monster, and Rime stood still. There’s nothing wrong with this in itself, but according to Carringer’s experience, Rime’s reaction speed is obviously much slower than other spell-casters.
Carringer is an experienced bounty hunter, and of course he knows he can’t touch mages. There are a lot of neurotics in mages, some of them will hide passive paralysis spells, and some more demented people will hide instant curse magic.
After what happened just now, Carringer can confirm that there is no preset protection spell on the elf mage.
He didn’t like to see people, didn’t like to cooperate with others, is a bit slow in taking action, and did not prepare a passive protection spell. It’s a little strange for an elf mage.
But Rime is the caster, and he can cast other spells. So, why on earth is he like this? Did he think it was not necessary to have protection? The mountain forest is full of danger. He should not be so lax.
“Don’t go,” Carringer deliberately blocked the elf with his body. “I have something else I want to talk to you about.”
“Is it about this mountain?” sighed Rime. “No need to… “
“You said something in the forest,” Carringer said. “I know what an alien infector is. Obviously, there is power from the abyssal plane on this mountain. The animals on the mountain are being eroded and are slowly being transformed into real abyssal creatures. If left alone, the infection will spread to humans sooner or later.”
Rime gave him a slightly surprised look. Carringer shrugged, “What? I am a bounty hunter. Of course I know about the abyssal plane. “
Rime lowers his head again and walks around Carringer.
“I have no intention of cooperating with you. I have to go. Please rest-”
Carringer followed him, “I heard there is a half-dead ancient demon at the bottom of this Moon Tower. Is that true?”
To this question, Rime replied simply, “No.”
“There is no demon? Or are there no ‘ancient’ demons? Or are there demons, but not under this Moon Tower?”
Rime didn’t answer. He walked out of the room and bowed slightly. “Tomorrow morning, the statue will wake you up, and will take you down the mountain.”
Carringer held the door frame with one hand, “Wait! You haven’t told me where the fucking cottage is yet?”
Elf frowned at the vulgar words. He pointed to the end of the corridor, stepped on the pontoon, and slowly descended into the depths.
- Rime is frost formed on cold objects by the rapid freezing of water vapor in cloud or fog.