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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Hao Ren and Vivian had discussed the venue of the summoning ceremony. Both of them had concluded that it must be failsafe. They had to anticipate all risk factors during the preparation phase. Vivian needed to a stable spell casting environment, a comprehensive security measure that could monitor the magic power, and a sophisticated amplification device, all of which were facilities of the magic realm. Hao Ren was familiar with modern technology but a noob when it came to things about magic. But Hao Ren did not need to study its specific principles; all he needed to do was to sort out the data and criteria listed out by Vivian. The Aerym Elves had prepared such a venue: the Magic Tower in the royal district.
The Aerymian Elves had initially been a race of magic, and they still were. The spaceships, space forts, and solar elements collecting station that the elves built might look high-tech, little people knew that their magic skills were so excellent that they had blurred the line between magic and technology. Floating Spell was the fundamental of Aerymian spacecraft, and the enchanted scorching sword was the predecessor of plasma weapons. Back then, the coronal station, which resembled the early Dyson sphere, was a massive semi-permanent enchanted structure. So, if Hao Ren wanted to find an expert of magic among his sphere of influence, the Aerymian Elves were the first to come to mind.
The Aerymian Elves might have done miserably at home and did not even manage to venture beyond their own planetary system, but they had churned out a solid foundation in magic after researching behind a closed door for thousands of years.
The Royal Mage Tower of Minas Elenion was located in the north next to the unfinished Elven Palace. The Elven Royalty assigned all the engineering resources to solve the livelihood issues of the people, so the palace remained a piece of the construction site with a few buildings acting as a temporary palace. The office area and the Royal Mage Tower, which functioned as an urban energy node, were completed.
It was a white tower with elegant lines, consisting of the central tower and three ancillary towers. A large golden crystal was suspended above each auxiliary tower. These golden crystals were the first large-scale equipment that the Aerymian Elves created using local resources of the planet. They got the energy from the solar wind collectors in space and channeled it to the tower before distributing to the energy storages and magic pools throughout the city.
The Royal Mages of the Aerymian Elves lived in the central tower. These wise scholars studied the ancient blueprints that they extracted from the database. They modified and adapted what they learned to use on this planet. Part of the energy in the Magic Tower was dedicated to this purpose.
On this particular day, they had made a temporary arrangement to the power supply of the Royal Mage Tower. Another control station was handling the city’s energy supply for the moment. This control station was a temporary facility that the Aerymian Elves built when they first arrived on the planet and now came in handy. Meanwhile, most of the personnel in the magic tower had evacuated, and the security system was online to prepare for the experiment.
There was a sky-blue rotunda at the top of the Magic Tower. The floor of the rotunda was engraved with intricate runes and composite magic arrays. The walls were inlaid with enchanted crystals and gemstones that played various functions. A dozen Aerymian Royal Mages were beside the magic array, continuously entering new data on the screen suspended in the air and fine-tuning the energy of the magic tower. Vivian stood in the center of the rotunda with her feet on the central node. She had appeared confident earlier, but now she was a little nervous.
Hao Ren and his entourage, together with Hilda, stood outside the range of influence of the magic array. This spiritualized Elven Queen nodded to Hao Ren and said, “Do not worry. This magic tower has the most comprehensive security measures, and the extra magic energy it provides could alleviate the pressure on Vivian while she concentrates on controlling the magic itself.”
“I thought of letting Vivian do the experiment in space or in an unoccupied area on the planet,” Hao Ren said. “This way, even if the experiment fails, we can minimize the damage.”
“Let me be frank; any magic experiment requires a stable environment and tons of supporting facilities.” Hilda shook her head gently. “We cannot avoid risk. A qualified magic researcher will only reduce risk on the premise of conducting an experiment and not the other way around. Otherwise, is it not better to give up the experiment all together in the first place?”
Hao Ren nodded. He knew that the most significant risk of the Crimson Moon Project actually came from the Crimson Moon itself. The moonlight was lethal. Under normal circumstances, the light of the Crimson Moon was very destructive and would destroy everything under the moonlight. It was also why Hao Ren had intended to have the summoning ceremony held in the no-man’s land of New Aerym. But after the journey going back in time, Vivian had unexpectedly recovered her lost strength and memories of 10,000 years and found the mysterious red crystal deep in her consciousness. She could finally control the power of the Crimson Moon, including manually turning off the damaging effect of the moonlight.
At last, Hao Ren and Vivian decided to borrow the Aerymian magic to complete the experiment.
There were still risks, though. Even if the Crimson Moon did not get out of control, mobilizing such a massive amount of energy was dangerous. But as Hilda said, no experiment was risk-free.
It would be all right as long as safety measures were in place.
The MDT floated in mid-air, displaying the overall situation of various space facilities. “Satellites are in place. Testing the radar systems… all running well. Temporarily switching to optical observation mode.
“Observatory No. 1 to 16 are in place. Probes are being released. The probes are anchored.
“The terrestrial sensors are working normally. Calling in sequence… call is finished, and the data link is working normally.”
The facilities that once helped the Aerymian Elves settle down on this planet came in handy this time. Satellites and observatories were ready in position waiting for the appearance of the Crimson Moon.
“Fifteen minutes to summon.” Hao Ren looked at Vivian. “Don’t be nervous, just follow the rehearsal procedure. It is just an ordinary summon. You just need to get the Crimson Moon out, and I will handle the rest.”
Vivian took a deep breath and calmed down slowly. She smiled a little and said, “Okay, don’t worry about me.”
Hao Ren nodded and looked at Lily, who was not far away. “How is the emergency stop device?”
Lily held up her giant alloy sword on the edge of the magic array. She waved the sword in excitement while wagging her tail. “The emergency stop device is ready!”
“Shit! I feel something is not right about the emergency stop device.” Hao Ren massaged his head. “Vivian, don’t you want to use a more normal alternative like an energy interrupter?”
“That is not reliable.” Vivian shook her head. “The Crimson Moon is a summoning subject. After its appearance, it would stay there for a long time even if we cut off the power supply. The only way is to interrupt my spiritual connection with it, and the fastest way to do it is to make me lose consciousness. You refused to lend me the energy shocks, so I had no choice but asked Doggie to help me out. The only thing that I am worried about is that Doggie would use this opportunity to get her revenge. You know, that husky is mad.”
Lily had overheard it and jumped up angrily. “Battie, stop badmouthing me! You should show your gratitude as I have given up my mealtime to protect you!”
Hao Ren buried his face in his hand. “You mean using the 200-pound alloy sword?”
But since Vivian had invited Lily to help, and the two of them had also come to a rare consensus, Hao Ren decided to let them be. After all, there were a bunch of people keeping an eye on the situation, nothing was going to happen.
Five minutes to summoning. Hilda gave the orders to the royal mages.
As the blue dome with a picture of the stars began to slide open to both sides, the last rays of the evening sun shone into the rotunda.
Vivian closed her eyes. A hum rose from the bottom of the hall as powerful magic energy began to gather at her feet.
“Five minutes to Crimson Moon. Sound the bell.”
The melodious bell began to echo throughout Minas Elenion. The elves who heard the sounds looked up at the sky, waiting for the arrival of the Crimson Moon in anticipation.
For the elves who had never witnessed the horror of the destructive moon, the Crimson Moon was just a strange term of mystery that invoked their curiosity.
“I will observe it in space.” Hao Ren took the MDT with him. “Others will stay here with you. Keep the line on.”
Vivian nodded slightly with her eyes still closed.
A flash of light later, Hao Ren had already arrived in the flight deck onboard the Petrachelys.
“Turn on the panoramic display and activate extra shields.”
“Understood.” Nolan’s voice came from all around.
The walls and all equipment on the flight deck disappeared. Other than the metal platform beneath Hao Ren’s legs and the console before him, his surroundings were replaced by the scene of space.
It gave the illusion that the spacecraft had disappeared and Hao Ren was floating in space.
But Nolan kept reminded Hao Ren that he was still inside the spacecraft. “The Crimson Moon will appear in a minute. The data link is connected and will stream the footage in real-time.
Hao Ren looked ahead and saw the stars blinking in the distance. The lights that flickered on the satellites and space observatories appeared like fireflies in space and Aerym was right below, a blue sphere the size of the soccer ball.
“The Crimson Moon will appear in ten seconds.”
Hao Ren clenched his fists and then released slowly. He took a deep breath while counting down in his mind.
Ripples began to appear in space.
Almost immediately, the ripples expanded to become a spherical space half the size of the moon. A red light started to tremble and spread from the sphere and filled his entire field of vision in just a matter of a couple of breaths.
The Crimson Moon had arrived—right in the expected position.
It was indeed a celestial body that was physically reachable, an object that was observable in space, not an atmospheric phantom that was only visible from the surface.
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