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Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
The haggard old man sighed rather regretfully. “I know his teacher.”
“Mister, are you a legendary of the ancient Magic Empires?” Lucien was not too surprised. Even though the three ancient magic empires were destroyed, many legendary sorcerers survived. After all, they were experts who knew plenty of unusual spells. Some of them hid in the depths of the Dark Mountain Range, and some hid in alternate dimensions and other areas, like the Empress of Snow. So, it was not too strange that he ran into a legendary in hell.
Mr. President’s teacher perished in the Battle of Antiffler during the War of Dawn. Whoever knew him was obviously an expert in ancient times.
The old man was dry and skinny, like a mummy without bandages. He said with mixed feelings, “The ancient sorcerers like us cannot keep up with the age anymore. Look at Douglas. How long did it take for him to become a top legend and surpass me? What are you doing in hell?”
“I’m planning to explore the primeval relics deep in hell and search for the special Stellar Core that the former Ice Duke hid.” Lucien did not hide his attention. Now that the legendary sorcerer had been hiding in hell, it was possible that he knew a thing or two about the matter. “Right, mister. I don’t know how I should call you yet.”
Lucien remembered the records of ancient legendary sorcerers, hoping to confirm the old man’s identity.
“Hehe. I am just an old man who’s waiting to die in hell. Why do you want my name and title?” The old man touched his head, and a strand of white hair immediately fell. “The primeval relics in hell? The Stellar Core that the former Ice Duke hid? Young man, you must be a legendary sorcerer in the Congress of Magic who made the advancement recently, aren’t you? I suggest that you don’t be too adventurous.
“I’ve been to the primeval relics twice, and twice I was almost lost and turned into phantoms that forever wandered there. More than six legends of the empire were confirmed to be dead during the exploration of the place. Those who could enter and return safely were mostly only the top legends like Thanos and Douglas. That is, when the Lord of Hell did not attack him.
“As for the Stellar Core that the former Ice Duke hid, it was something from thousands of years ago. I suspect that somebody has already taken it away. Otherwise, the current Ice Duke wouldn’t be as clueless as he is right now.”
Lucien listened to the old man and checked what he heard with the files he acquired from the president and Mr. Rhine. He felt rather odd. Generally speaking, the ancient legendary sorcerers were more or less gloomy and mysterious due to their cruel experiments and weird spells. Few of them were as kind and talkative as the old man here.
“Do you think I’m a chatterbox?” The old man smiled. “If it were in the past, I wouldn’t have wasted my time talking to you at all. You are free to die if you want to. However, after spending thirty years with her in hell, I have become soft and sympathetic. Otherwise, special souls like Maman would’ve become my experiment subjects a long time ago.”
“Thirty years? Her?” Lucien did not give a reply but asked in great interest. It would be easier to obtain intelligence if they were closer.
The old man’s face that was full of wrinkles suddenly turned gentle. “Now that you’ve come to hell, why don’t you visit my tavern, the Paradise of Souls? It’s right in the Silent Hell.”
“Alright.” Lucien nodded with a smile. He had to go to the Silent Hell after all.
The old man stopped talking, and Lucien enjoyed the burning fire and the splendid iron building in it casually.
After a long wait, Maman ran back delightedly. “Grandpa, the Water Soul Wine has been delivered to the old place. They’ll ship it to the Paradise of Souls today.”
“Let’s go home.” The old man touched Maman’s head affectionately.
Lucien followed them through the river to pass through the first few levels of hell before reaching a snowy plain.
Freezing wind was blowing on the plain, so fiercely that souls could be directly torn apart. However, there was no sound at all. Also, the ice land was spacious and covered in snow. Other souls and devils could not be seen at all. So, one could not help but feel the everlasting quietness and tranquility.
Lucien did not need to look to know that souls had been frozen in the ice below the snow. Consolidated, senseless, and unconscious, they forever slept in coldness and darkness.
The wind of peace and death hovered around Lucien and the old man, only to be ejected by uncanny forces. Maman was not frozen by the wind either.
After a long time, a town appeared up ahead. At the periphery was a wall made of ice, and inside the wall were rows of houses made of “Blood Warming Stones”, which was a local specialty of the Silent Hell that could effectively resist the soul-freezing coldness.
In the main material world, due to the rarity, a Blood Warming Stone of mediocre quality was already worth fifty Thales, but it was used to build a town in this place.
The residents of the town were floating souls, whose genders and ages varied. Their bodies were transparent and similar to Maman, they had their regular wisdom, except that they did not have a sunny and warm feeling.
“Old man, you’re finally back. I was waiting for the Fire Liquor.” A brawny man who had a mustache floated over and stared at the storage bag in Maman and the old man’s hands thirstily.
In the Silent Hell, even souls could enjoy the Fire Liquor.
The old man chuckled. “You drunkard, I won’t take any responsibility if you are frozen again outside after you’re drunk.”
Lucien glimpsed at the old man, feeling it odd. The legendary sorcerer was not bothered at all to be called by the ordinary souls as an old man. It seemed that he did not stress the hierarchy of the ancient Magic Empire.
The old man talked to the souls and walked to the tavern at the center of the town with his storage bag. Maman followed him and asked Lucien curiously, “Mister, are you not a human? I’ve never seen a human like you before. You have a warm body and muscles, just like the devils.”
“Human? What do you think a human should look like?” Lucien asked in amusement.
Maman raised his chin and declared, like a proud kid, “Humans are people who look like me.”
“Who told you that?” Lucien had guessed the answer.
Maman bulged his eyes in confusion. “My grandpa, of course.”
He became frustrated when they talked about his grandpa. Finally finding someone he could talk to, he said, “But grandpa doesn’t allow me to practice with uncles. He only asks me to do useless meditation.”
“Your grandpa is an awesome man. There can be nothing wrong listening to him.” Lucien patted his head with a smile.
“How so? Uncles and aunts all say that grandpa is just a common old man and that he does not have any capabilities other than cooking food and making wine.” Maman disagreed with Lucien.
Well, a special soul who has a legendary sorcerer grandpa with a concealed identity. It’s like a tale of the bards. Lucien thought in amusement but was too lazy to explain to Maman. He followed the old man and entered the tavern.
The arrangement of the tavern was more or less the same as those in the main material world. However, behind the bar counter was a female soul who was fuzzy and slow.
“I’m back. I’ve bought a hundred bottles of Water Soul Wine this time…” The old man walked behind the bar counter and reported it to the female soul. Although it was just daily talk, he seemed gentle and satisfied.
However, the female soul remained stunned as she washed the cups mechanically.
The old man spoke for a long time before he finally turned around and looked at Lucien who had been seated before the bar. He introduced, “This is my wife. Do you want a bottle of Fire Liquor?”
Lucien shook his head and asked curiously, “How did you find her?”
Generally speaking, the souls who entered the hell would be beyond recognition.
“She died because of a certain mistake of mine. So, I was able to make preparations in advance and mark the soul in special ways.” The old man opened a bottle of Fire Liquor and had a mouthful of it. “However, despite my profound understanding of the soul, I cannot find out its true nature and its transformation. So, by the time I found her, she was only slightly better than common souls. Perhaps she will completely disperse in another hundred years.”
Lucien nodded his head. From the description, he had basically guessed which legendary sorcerer the old man was. After all, few of them who were adept at soul studies had survived.
The old man went on. “After I found her, I accompanied her and watched her quietly to make up for what I did. Hehe. How time flies. It’s been thirty years in the blink of an eye.”
“The souls outside are the products of your experiments?” Lucien did not believe that a legendary sorcerer would give up so easily.
“Yes.” The old man nodded and had another mouthful of wine. “I tried to awaken their memories, but in the end, I only recovered their abilities to think. They are totally different persons from the past. Also, as time goes by, they will also completely disperse or be frozen in the ice, caught in the everlasting quietness.”
“What a shame.” After a brief silence, Lucien said, “It’s too bad that there’s still a gap for the Congress to make groundbreaking progress on the study of the soul.”
Lucien was actually not referring to the Congress of Magic but himself.
The old man looked at Lucien’s face. “The soul is the most intangible domain. It is in fundamental contradiction with arcana, which highlights proof and mathematics. Even Vicente, a one-in-a-thousand-years genius in necromancy, only made a minor breakthrough. Although I haven’t been out of hell for thirty years, and I don’t know the updates of the outside world, thirty years is still a very short time for magic studies. I remember that I spent a hundred and twenty-seven years near the Styx to study a certain feature of the soul.”
Before Lucien said anything, a gentle, refreshing male voice suddenly echoed at the door, “Hehe. Although it’s hard to believe, I can say confidently that the development of arcana and magic in the past thirty years is greater than thirty thousand years in the Magic Empire.”
Without turning around, Lucien already sensed a person with his spiritual power. The stranger was wearing a white tight suit, and he had pale and sickly skin. His eyes were red, and he had a pair of delicate silver horns that were full of dense patterns on his forehead.
Based on his undisguised air, Lucien could conclude very easily that he was exactly Memphiste, the incumbent Ice Duke and the Lord of Mysteries!
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