The favourite daily activity of the Elves of Dawn City was to watch the sunrise from the top of the city. The snowy mountains on the horizon dyed gold by the morning sun formed a magnificent scenery that could hardly be described with words.
As the sun rose to the top and the day got hotter, the Elves would move to the lower layer of Dawn City. Spots of sunlight would penetrate through the branches to illuminate the surrounding. The water lilies and lotuses in the wetlands would provide a fresh fragrance. Various types of fishes swam in the clear water as if they were floating lazily in the air. The beautiful patterns on the pinewoods under the water could also be clearly seen. It was like the view from a dream.
Glorfindel finally recovered from the agony brought by Paul’s ink. Right now, his hands and feet were bound by a type of special Elven shackles made from sharp grey thorns that penetrated into his body. With the divine power of Sin’dorei sealing his power, it was close to impossible for him to escape.
Glorfindel had calmed down somewhat. He still held a cold and overbearing attitude because he knew that according to Elvish customs, the Elves were forbidden from openly killing kin. Furthermore, he’s not just any Elf. He’s one of the sacred Twilight Elves.
The ones escorting Glorfindel weren’t Elves but a bunch of strong Dwarven warriors. Sheyan casually strode next to them with his hands behind his back. Melody walked in front of the group surrounded by the Elders who had the highest authority and power. She would occasionally steal a glance at Sheyan and smile sweetly.
When Glorfindel was escorted into the city, he could immediately feel a strange power at work. The power was immense and covered almost half of the entire Dawn City!
Glorfindel was someone who had seen a lot of things. It didn’t take long for him to identify the source of the power. At the roots of most Seaforest Trees were egg-like objects that were about half a man in size. They should be the ones causing the rapid development of Dawn City.
One of the reasons that Dawn City and the wetland surrounding it were so full of life was thanks to the valuable materials brought from Rivendell, but the most important reason was actually these objects. They were the eggs of the Ocean-freak of Moria which were placed everywhere in the wetlands to continuously provide life forces to the living things there!
What actually happened was, after Paul conquered the Ocean-freak of Moria, he naturally couldn’t accept the eggs that had no relation to him at all. This is a primal instinct for animals, like how an African lion that took over a pride would bite the cubs that weren’t of his seed to death.
Sheyan naturally wouldn’t let these eggs go to waste. At first, he used the life force from the eggs to cultivate another kind of aquatic plant that was smaller in size. The Dawn City then was designed in the style of a miniature garden. However, after obtaining the wealth of Rivendell, they changed the trees to the gigantic Seaforest Trees, and built the city as a grand forest city.
After walking for close to half an hour on the vine tracks of Dawn City, they reached the valley. The valley had also been turned into a swamp. Travelling through the valley on the vine bridges presented to one a unique scenery.
Sweats started trickling down Glorfindel’s forehead. He didn’t know why the further in he walked, the more uneasy he felt. The feeling of unease was hard to describe and caused him unexplainable fear. Of course, Glorfindel wouldn’t show any weakness and forced himself to maintain a brave front.
They soon arrived at the naturally-formed cave after taking a turn. The cave was too high for the water to reach. It used to be the territory of the Balrog, but the ownership of the cave had now been passed to the Dwarves. The Gimli tribe had sent at least 500 masons to inhabit the place.
The dwarves, being natural masons, had spent no time in making the cave their base. They found the temperature of the place very much to their satisfaction. It was suitable for smithing, and also warmed their beds nicely.
The original lord of the cave, the Balrog, appeared in front of Glorfindel.
It made its appearance in a way that no one could have imagined.
The place where the Ocean-freak of Moria used to incubate her eggs now had a gigantic magic formation. Glorfindel noticed that the formation was formed from a coalition of 7 magic formations, each of them an exquisite piece of work that the Dwarves put significant effort into.
The materials used to build the magic formation were naturally extremely valuable. Some of them looked very familiar to Glorfindel because he had seen them many times in Rivendell’s storage.
The Balrog was placed above the magic formation. Its whole body was covered in a black, rock-like shell akin to solidified lava. Multiple cracks formed on the shell to reveal a glimpse of the scary red turbulence within. From afar, it looked like a giant egg.
7 chains were nailed firmly to the stone wall of the cave. The other ends of the chains wrapped around the Balrog to hang it in the air. The chains were extremely thick; each ring on the chains was the size of an adult human. Some strange runes were engraved on the chains and they would emit a faint green glow. Whenever a red light flashed from within the body of the Balrog, it would be evenly absorbed by each chain and would be transmitted away.
Glorfindel finally understood why the climate was as warm as spring when the place was right beneath a snowy peak. They caught the Balrog and absorbed its life force to provide energy to the surrounding land! It would explain the warm water in the swamp and the mysteriously high temperature of the area.
‘Wait!’ a thought crept into Glorfindel’s mind that almost made him stop breathing.
‘The Mines of Moria are right next to this area! The ancient Dwarven kingdom moved here because the caves here are rich with minerals, but the appearance of the Balrog caused the mines to be abandoned. Now that the Balrog has been captured, there would be no more threats in the mines, which means the Dwarves can operate the mines again. Doesn’t that mean Dawn City already has the foundation to cooperate with the Dwarves?!’
Glorfindel was absolutely right. Every step in Sheyan’s plan was linked. He brought over Paul the octopus to conquer Ocean-freak Moria, then ambushed the Balrog with the krakens. With the Balrog captured, he used the rich minerals in the Mines of Moria to attract the Gimli tribe. Under the promise of the massive profit that cooperation would bring, the Gimli tribe gave Dawn City their full support. If it wasn’t for that, there was no way Melody and the few followers she had left could build a city of such scale.
The procession moved into a cave next to the one where the Balrog was imprisoned. It was a cave hollowed out by the Dwarves. An eerie glow emanated from within. Sheyan took a look in front and gently told Melody.
“There’s something I need to talk with Mr. Glorfindel about. His mouth is too dirty so I need to clean it a little.”
Melody nodded obediently and left with 2 of her followers. As soon as she left, Sheyan revealed a cold smile. He waved his hand and the elite Dwarven warriors begun their rough “inspection” of Glorfindel. They completely stripped him of everything on his body. The process was far from gentle.
Glorfindel screamed madly.
“You fool! How dare you insult a Twilight Elf like this!”
The other Elven elders did not look too happy either. But Sheyan ignored them and said.
“You call this an insult? Then what do you call that time when you said you would hang me from a tree? I’m not a generous person. Any time someone threatens me, I will keep it in my heart and will always look for a chance to pay it back.”
Since Glorfindel had made thorough preparations for his harassment activity, he should have a lot of valuable items on him. Of course, Sheyan wasn’t able to use them, but the Elven elders and the Dwarves seemed very interested in them. Sheyan’s face remained cold as he nodded his head slightly at Annenia Cyathea.
Annenia Cyathea was a loyal confidant of Melody’s, so he had no trouble at dealing with Glorfindel. He smirked at the helpless Glorfindel and produced a tree branch. He then dipped the branch in his own blood and started drawing strange runes and patterns on Glorfindel’s body. The process seemed very tiring for him and he started breathing heavily halfway through drawing on Glorfindel’s back.
Sheyan looked at the rest of the Elven elders and told them.
“What we’re drawing now is a secret rune passed down by the sacred Sin’dorei for Lady Melody Sunstrider called the Soul Absorbing formation! The process of drawing the formation is very taxing on one’s mental power so it’s impossible for Elder Annenia Cyathea to complete it by himself. However, he had drawn the outline of the formation, so we now need your help to complete it.”
An Elven elder suddenly exclaimed in indignation.
“I refuse to perform such barbaric acts! This is an insult to the great tradition of the Elven race!”