Chapter 275 The Sacred Spring (Part 2)
Ye Ci was more intrigued by the Sacred Spring than the owner of that voice. A smile appeared on her face as she stared at the fountain. It looks like I’ve finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel. Now that I’ve confirmed the location of the Sacred Spring, let’s find out just who was shouting at me.
She turned around to face the source of the voice, and spotted a man walking towards her from the shadows. Despite his relatively young appearance, Ye Ci could tell from the man’s eyes that he was someone who had been alive for hundreds or even a thousand years.
A Detection cast on the man showed nothing but question marks.
Ye Ci sighed and raised her eyebrows. Great! Now every NPC has a higher level than me! Guess I should show him some respect. And she bowed respectfully at the man.
“Greetings, sir. I'm a traveler who is lost in this dark night. It is by chance that I came across this shrine, and I’m immediately captivated by the water in the fountain. I mean no ill will, I just want to restore the fountain to its former glory.”
The man bore down on Ye Ci who was still bowing at him with a face devoid of expression, “I can smell the scent of a Wraith on you, mortal. You’re not being entirely truthful with me.”
The scent of a Wraith?
Ye Ci’s eyebrows furrowed. What does he mean by that? Could it be the Sacred Arrow? Or maybe the ring? Or is it something entirely different? She spoke to the man with confusion clear on her face, “What Wraith? I’ve never been in contact with a Wraith before.”
The man closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He closed his eyes for a long moment before finally letting out his breath, “That’s right, this is the scent of a Wraith. So even after a thousand years, you have not managed to find a way to end yourself.”
Ye Ci was struck by a sudden realisation, he’s talking about Moore!, “Ah, you’re talking about Mr.Moore.”
“Moore?” the man’s eyes widened, “He goes by that name nowadays?”
“Yes, sir.” Ye Ci nodded, “I was sent here by Moore to look for a way that will finally allow him to die.” she continued after putting on a mask of sorrow, “Although ‘Wraith’ is not something I’d use to describe Mr.Moore, but sir, I can tell that he’s a man full of sadness and sorrow.”
“If my ears are not playing tricks on me, mortal, you’re pleaing in Moore’s stead?” the man stared silently at Ye Ci before finally speaking up.
Ye Ci was stunned. The identity of the man was still not known to her, and she knew that her response would determine the outcome of the next stage of a quest. “I’m but a mere mortal, sir, but from what I can see with my very own eyes, it’s the truth.” replied Ye Ci after a long moment of silence.
The man stared long and hard at Ye Ci before letting out a sigh, “You Elves are indeed the most kindhearted race in this word. You’re always unwilling to look at the ugly side of things. Don’t you know that it’ll bring more harm to your race than good?”
He’s speaking as if he’s familiar with Elves!
Ye Ci thought of the Sacred Arrow in her inventory, and a bold plan began formulating in her mind.
Her brain was processing the information she had received about the Elven King Dau’er thus far like a supercomputer.
Dau’er fought alongside the rulers and heroes of all the races across the land against the Dark Lord Naga and lost his life. Of course, there were rumors that he did not meet his death in the last battle against the Dark Lord, and was instead sealed by Naga.
The lord of Dark Clay City, Lord Moore, took part in the battle as one of Dau’er’s comrades. In the quest for power, Moore obtained immortality, and became a Wraith as mentioned by the man standing before her.
The Elven King Dau’er had fought against the subordinates of Naga as well, and had gravely wounded Shajia with his Sacred Arrow. Despite being a creature of darkness, Shajia did not perish, and instead fled the battle with the Sacred Arrow. Nuoba then summoned Shajia after an untold amount of time, and sold his soul to the demon.
When Ye Ci eventually obtained the Sacred Arrow from the Shrine of Shajia, she was redirected by the Elf Natasha to cleanse the Sacred Arrow of Shajia’s corruption.
Moore’s familiar was able to guild Ye Ci through the treacherous terrain of the Sacred Snowy Mountain to the Sacred Spring.
The Sacred Spring is the key to the cleansing of the Sacred Arrow, and Ye Ci ran into the man who was also an acquaintance of Moore in the shrine hosting the Sacred Spring.
From her conversation with the man, she found out that Moore was not the only one the man knew. The Elven King Dau’er was an acquaintance of him as well.
The lord of the Dark Clay City has made a promise to provide Ye Ci with crucial information that he knew about Dau’er if she could find a way that would release him from his immortality.
All her encounters thus far had some form of relation with the Elven King Dau’er. They might seem unrelated at first glance, but they were in reality linked together by an intricate web of details and lore. Ye Ci knowledge of the Elven King was nothing but the tip of the iceberg.
“Do you know Dau’er?” Ye Ci spoke the question out loud after all the connection was made. The desperation of her voice was not only the desperation felt by the Elves, but also as a reincarnator who was deeply ensnared by the mystery of Dau’er who was always present in her quest since her reincarnation. She was desperate for an answer, but she did not know if the man was willing to share what he knew.
The man was of course not surprised by the question. Dau’re, the King of Elves, was the ruler of all Elves and the one who led the entire Elven race to glory in the past. He chuckled and crossed his slender and feminine fingers, “It seems that we can have a deal, Elf.”
“A deal?” Ye Ci was shocked.
‘A deal’ was not a phrase unfamiliar to Ye Ci, but she was not used to being on the receiving end of an offer, “What sort of deal?”
“I’ll tell you what I know about your king, and you’ll tell me about that Wraith.” the man smiled, “You see? It’s a fair deal. Both of us have something to gain out of this. I get to satisfy my curiosity about that Wraith, and you’ll have all your questions about Dau’er answered. We both have our own curiosity that needs to be satisfied. Don’t you think this is the perfect deal for you?”
Ye Ci found herself staring at the man’s face. His smile was beautiful. It was the most beautiful smile she had ever seen. Despite his age, the man’s smile was so captivating that Ye Ci could not look away from him.
A sudden wave of nausea washed over Ye Ci. Something’s not right! She attempted to move her fingers, and found them to be unresponsive. Ye Ci was alarmed. Oh no! He’s using magic on me! I’ll be in big trouble if I continue staring at him!
Ye Ci attempted to force her eyes closed, but they remained wide open to her dismay. She took in a deep breath and turned around with a sudden surge of energy. She was shocked to realise that her back was drenched with sweat, and her limbs were already sapped of energy.
The man raised his eyebrows and stared at Ye Ci’s shivering form with a smile.
“This is not fair.” Ye Ci could finally speak after taking in a few breaths. She stared at one of the collapsed columns of the shrine, as if it was of great interest to her.
“How is it unfair?”
“We’re never equals in this deal. You can force any information out of me with your spell, but I can only hope for your benevolence. You’re the one who will always have the initiative, while the only thing I could do is to wait for the scraps that you’re willing to feed me.” Ye Ci gave her reply after taking in a long breath, “I refuse your offer.”
“Oh? You’re refusing my offer?” the man seemed to have anticipated the response, he remained emotionless as he continued, “Is this your only reason for refusing me?”
“I can’t give away Moore’s secrets.” Ye Ci responded. Every NPC in Fate held a unique trait. Ye Ci was not familiar with Moore, but she could tell that the NPC was someone who would want his secrets kept. Ye Ci was not willing to share the secrets she knew to an NPC with unknown identity. She knew that one wrong step would earn her the scorn of Moore and even the NPC.
“And why is that? His plight is not a concern of yours. You can just tell me about it.”
“No.” Ye Ci shook her head, “We Elves are known as a race that can bring a secret even to our graves. I cannot betray the honor of my race. Besides, I don’t think I should be telling you a secret that does not belong to me. I might not know Moore very well, but I have an obligation to keep his secret to myself.”
“You’re a rather stubborn Elf.”
“You’re wrong. I’m not stubborn, I’m merely upholding my principles. Only a person who’s able to remain tight-lipped is a person that is respected.” Ye Ci sighed, “I do not wish to cause trouble for Moore because of my slip.”
“Even at the cost of information about Dau’er?”
Ye Ci narrowed her eyes at the question, “I’m sure you’re not the only one who took part in the battle. I believe that I can get the information from somebody else.”
The man stood in silence for a very long moment before finally breaking into laughter.
“Why are you laughing?”
“It seems that you Elves are still a very interesting race after so many years.” the man turned around and walked towards the fountain. He removed the debris blocking the spring, and water began to flow into the fountain once again.
“What do you think of the Sacred Spring?”
Ye Ci glanced at the Sacred Spring, I guess I should be okay as long as I do not stare into his eyes, and turned around to face the spring, “It’s beautiful.”
It was indeed beautiful.
The beauty of the spring did not lie in its clear water, but due to the contrast it presented in the ruins of the temple. Its beauty was that of a lotus springing from the festering mud around it.
“I’ve admired its beauty for many years. Even I have forgotten the age of this spring.” the man smiled at Ye Ci, “You’re a very kind hearted Elf. Your ability to keep Moore’s secret is a sign that his judge of character has improved over the years.”
Relief washed over Ye Ci as she heard the man’s worth.
I knew it! I’d definitely be in trouble if I accepted his offer just now! Ye Ci knew not what was the choice made by the player who accepted the quest in her last life, but she was certain that she had made the right choice.
“Who exactly are you?” Ye Ci decided ask the question after a short moment of thought.
“Who am I? I think even I myself have forgotten the question to your answer.” the man sighed, “I was once known as ‘rabbi’ by Moore. Perhaps that is my name.”
Rabbi? Ye Ci was momentarily stunned, doesn’t the word ‘rabbi’ carry the meaning of ‘my teacher’?
Could this man be… Moore’s mentor?
It can’t be! He’s way younger than Moore, and Moore’s more than a thousand years old. If he is the mentor of Moore, he must be older than the man by a lot!
As expected of an NPC… He was able to maintain such a youthful appearance despite his age.
“If Moore sent you… Does it mean that he is regretting the choice he made?”
Ye Ci was stunned into silence by Rabbi’s words. She thought of the words spoken to her by Moore and nodded, “Yes. I think Moore is indeed regretting his decision.”
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