The Amber Sword - v4c68

Despite saying that time was running out, Brendel's team ended up being delayed for another day at the Nugan River. Luckily, female hunter Peya's health was outstanding, and the fever quickly subsided and the wounds recovered incredibly quickly.

Brendel did not know if this was a special gift for hunters, but on the third morning, the team had to leave anyway at his request. He summoned a black wolf to serve as a mount for the greatly ailing female hunter, and as for everyone else, they had to go down to the ground on foot. The wagons and horses were left among the makeshift camps on the banks of the Nugan River, for the journey below was no longer fit for these to join.

A day into the forest, the coniferous forest soon became dense, the snow-covered boughs cascading at times even blocking the sunlight and making the forest floor eerily cold. The team creaked on the snow and broken dead branches, some minaret-shaped white rocks soon appeared on the forest floor, and then a light blue curtain of light reflected in everyone's vision, it was like a thin wall of light, this translucent wall of light towering into the clouds, covering the entire forest, and connected with white rock minarets not far away.

Everyone could not help but stop and watch this spectacle. But only Brendel knew that this light blue curtain of light was the entrance to this pre-quest, Milos's Dying Breath. In the game, this curtain of light was called the 'EP Binding' and was the symbol of the 80th level quest (character level).

After this curtain of light, there was that famous giant quest cluster.

Aside from the time of the Magical Golden Tree, this was the first time Brendel had ever challenged this quest in Vaunte. In Amber Sword, the quests worked quite differently than most games of the same period, and it was nothing more than a convention for players to use the term.

A quest in Amber Sword is better called a scene area than a quest. For that is the only word that accurately defines it.

The quests that Brendel was familiar with operated in several ways, the first being a one-time quest where only the first player to challenge it would have the opportunity to obtain the quest. The Forbidden Garden of the Magical Golden Tree, for example, the later player could kill the boss repeatedly through pieces of time, but they are doomed to be untouched by the scenario.

The second one was a typical scenario area with this giant quest group they were now facing. Such a giant quest group operated in a very classic manner and could be said to have set a precedent in the gaming industry at the time, where the quest still only had one or a few fixed main lines, but in other front areas, it was not the 'monster-in-the-doors boss' one-way advancement mode that the average player was familiar with. 

Instead, copies like Milos's Dying Breath are divided into two areas. Each area consisted of a point and a surface. The points were where the monster lairs were, and the surfaces were where the special areas were in the quest. In these areas, the lair will bring one or more fixed combinations of monsters, plus a randomly generated leader monster and some random special events. The player's task was to challenge these monsters in the specific terrain of the different areas.

This way, as long as the main story in the center of the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth was not activated, players will be dealing with a completely real area every time they enter the pre-quest. The difficulties they would encounter in this area were entirely dependent on the system's calculations and the changes their actions would bring to the area.

This gameplay mode could be said to have started an era and is the real reason why Amber Sword beat other games. A world that is infinitely closer to reality. In fact, since the first version of Level 70, every quest of the game that had appeared since then had used a similar concept, and Amber Sword has been steadily moving from that time to its peak.

Naturally, Brendel himself was also impressed with this era-creating quest.

But the good thing was that the existence within the copy, although it changed from time to time, was at least still traceable. Especially before entering it for the first time, the monster's lair would not disappear into thin air, the terrain within the quest would not have changed too much, and there were little secrets that only he knew that would be just as helpful.

That was why he could be confident.

The only variables were the only people who had entered the quest first, Arreck’s men and horses. Brendel looked back and saw that most of the people following him were stunned. The EP Binding was indeed spectacular. It was said that most of the reasons for generating such a curtain of light came from the ancient seals, just like The Indicator of Age.

This magical wall on the outskirts of the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth was said to be a self-seal laid by the Giant God in his last moments to protect his remains from the Divine Fire. But over the millennia, it had already been riddled with dark magic.

"Mr. Brendel, what the hell is that!" Firas looked up at the curtain of light that reached into the sky and could not help but exclaim. 

"It seems like a magic boundary." Laurenna murmured.

"Not as if, but exactly." Ciel tilted his head as well and slurred, "This must be from an ancient creation, there hasn't been such spectacular magic since the War of the Holy Saints."

But Brendel listened to a few of them without replying, and instead looked back at Peya, who was sitting on the black wolf's back. The female hunter was in better spirits this day, but her voice was still weak: "Father's notes mentioned this wall, but it's supposed to be harmless, and they went through this wall of light at the time. But beware, the forest behind it is the real dangerous area. "

"So what's back there?"

"My father mentioned that the forest is immersed in darkness all day long and that there are some glowing pale people under the night that lurk in the trunks of the trees who attack travelers who pass through it. My father said they were the ghosts of those who were lost, and spent their days looking for victims who could replace them." Peya replied in a small voice.

Everything she said was almost accurate and Brendel was surprised. It seemed like the female hunter’s father had entered the forest. The first area of Milos’ Dying Breath was the Forest of Night, which was as she had described it, there was the only night, never day, and there were all sorts of dangers lurking in the night. 

But it was the easiest piece of area of this pre-quest. There was not any specific plot to this area, there were quite a few monster lairs and some special random events, and it all depended on the player's luck as to what he could encounter.

He was familiar with this forest from the walkthrough. But Peya's father's notes could help him understand the forest from another perspective, and Brendel suddenly realized that his decision was beneficial.

"Would we be able to spot them?" The young prince, who seemed to lack natural resistance to these mysteries, gripped his sword and asked with a bit of a pale face. "I have a jewel, it can detect the Undead in advance."

"The Psychic Gem." Laurenna seemed to know quite a bit about magic items and instantly reacted to what Haruz was talking about. "Young prince, it would be great if you had that item. Ghosts and spirits are unpredictable and dangerous, and the Psychic Gem can keep them at bay."

“I have a different opinion, you’d better put that thing away.” Brendel, however, interrupted their conversation and turned back to Peya, "What your father saw wasn't a ghost, although it looked like one. It was demonic spirits, they are very sensitive to magical items and are used to killing travelers who carry them and stealing their equipment."

"Demonic spirits?" Firas was a little puzzled.

"They are a cruel kind of spirit. You've heard of the mages who became mad in pursuit of the mysteries of magic, some of whom turned to delve into how to control the dark magic, but most of them failed. The Dark Magic that rushes in will tear their bodies apart in an instant, but their purest souls remain, one with the magic they loved most in life. But of course, these mages can no longer be called human at this point, their minds are reduced to nothing more than a hint for magic, and beyond that, they are more akin to beasts. "

Brendel explained calmly.

His words sent chills down the spine of most of the people present.

Only Ciel nodded, "My lord is not talking about the bedtime stories you have heard, as I can testify to that. There are indeed many of them in the history of mages, but why are there so many magical spirits here, how strange is that?"

"It's simple, you'll understand when you get in," Brendel replied.

The party was now close to the wall of light, and it was only when they got closer that they could see the wall of light for what it was. It looked like a flowing wall of water, with the water elements bound to a thin surface and waves of light. As everyone approached it, the smooth surface mirrored the grotesque image of them being stretched.

Brendel reached out and touched the wall of light. This was to gain the approval of the EP Binding. The seal was, after all, a seal, and only the People of Order could pass through it safely and without fear, while the demons would be bound within forever.

The ripples on the wall of light flickered, and then the water receded to the sides, the scene was exactly as Brendel had seen it in his last life. Soon, a cavernous area about two people high and five people wide appeared on the blue wall of light. The hollow area revealed a corner of the Forest of Night behind it, and when Brendel squinted his eyes to look inside, the dark forest was exactly like the one he had seen.

But even amid the dark forest, there were stars floating around. Only that it was not a good thing, because Brendel knew that nine times out of ten, the living things in this forest would not have good intentions.

He stepped inward, one step into the forest that was forever shrouded in the silent night, then turned around and said to the people outside.

"Please come in, and welcome to the forest of eternal night-"