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▪️UNICORN

After walking a few steps, Evé could finally clearly hear what the crowd of players’ are discussing about.

“Whoa! That’s so cool! Thranduil, how did you catch it?”

The loud voice belonged to Demacia, whose voice was filled with uncontrollable excitement.

“I’ve said it many times, I didn’t catch it. I just saw it was injured, so I brought it back.”

Thranduil, the primordial elf, sounded somewhat helpless with his deep, gentle, and rather pleasant voice.

“Do you still need to tie it up like this after you’ve already brought it back?”

Li Mu’s voice carried a hint of being at a loss for words as he looked down at the pitiful looking tied up creature.

“There’s no other way…It’s resisting too much. I haven’t learned healing magic yet, so I had to forcibly bring it back tied up like this for treatment. Besides… I already loosened the ropes already, didn’t I?”

Thranduil spread his hands.

“Well in any case, this Unicorn truly looks so handsome and beautiful! Just as one would expect from a sacred beast in Western Fantasy legends!”

“If you could tame it as a mount, then it would easily outclass the Crypt Spiders by a long shot, wouldn’t it?”

Demacia said with his voice full of excitement.

A mount?

Eve’s heart skipped a beat.

She took a few more steps forward, while silently approaching the players from behind, and finally saw what they were clamoring about.

It was a pristine-white creature, resembling a slender white horse, adorned with a spiral-shaped horn protruding on top of its head.

Currently, it rested on a corner, warily watching the players who encircled it with cautious eyes. On its hind leg, were clear markings resembling those left by the claw of a magical beast—a conspicuous wound that still oozed crimson blood.

This was… a unicorn?

Evé blinked a couple of times.

Unicorns, in particular, are magical creatures entirely unique to the Elven Forest. When fully grown, they have strength ranging from iron to silver ranks. Moreover, if a Unicorn forms a contract with a person, then it can evolve even further.

Unicorns are typically entirely white, resembling ordinary horses with the only distinction being their spiraling horns upon their heads. Their manes and tails are much longer than those of ordinary horses, giving them an air of purity and nobility.

Unicorns by nature are proud and stubborn creatures, preferring to reside only in areas with high concentrations of mana. They are swift runners, having dual magical attributes of both wind and nature. Additionally, the horn on their heads can release healing and detoxification magic.

However, the unicorns’ magic couldn’t affect themselves per se, and they often just use their own magic to aid companions in need instead.

Evé recalled all this information from the world tree inheritance she received.

Back in the era of the Elven Silver Civilization, numerous elves would raise unicorns of their own, establishing partnerships akin to life companionship.

But with the Heavenly War a thousand years ago, coupled with the fall of the world tree, and the eventual decline of the elvenkind, these unicorns also experienced a similar fate to that of the elves…

With their beautiful appearance and unique healing magic, they were also regarded as prime magical pets by other races. Even if they couldn’t be tamed as pets, their horns were excellent magical materials, sought after by many races.

Especially humans.

With humankind having a significant demand for such creatures, even the Orcs have started hunting and selling unicorns in human countries.

Yet, these unicorns were proud creatures and only recognized those who approached them willingly with good intentions.

Cautious and sensitive to the emotions of other creatures, if a unicorn was initially met with hostility, then it was almost practically impossible for one to become its companions.

Due to this stubborn and cautious nature, a rumor began to circulate amongst humans that Unicorns only liked pure and innocent virgins, which is a misconception.

Of course, it was all just hearsay.

Nonetheless, it remains an undeniable fact that unicorns, in general, are very difficult to tame.

Apart from the powerful Archdruids, who generally have a predisposition to be friendly with all sorts of magical creatures, other individuals can only tame a unicorn purely by luck.

And if they were captured by force, unicorns wouldn’t accept being tamed, let alone be enslaved. Instead they would ultimately choose to starve themselves to death.

Retrieving all this knowledge from the world tree’s inheritance, Evé directed her gaze towards the unicorn that had attracted a crowd of players.

The Unicorn appears to be smaller in stature, seemingly not yet a fully grown adult, with its strength only being that of an intermediate iron-rank.

Due to the injuries it sustained, even a player of a much lower rank could likely subdue it with relative ease.

However, looking at the unicorn, Evé thought of something else instead.

Unicorns by nature are social creatures.

Encountering one meant that there’s a high chance that an entire herd is also somewhere close behind it.

After the elvenkind’s downfall, the mana level within the core region of the Elven Forest have also gradually declined. As a result, the presence of Unicorns in the forest have aslo slowly dwindled over time.

Rumors states that most of the herds have even migrated to areas further north in the Elven Forest.

However it appears that due to the resurgence of mana levels in the core area of the Elven Forest, these Unicorns are probably returning to the central region once again.

Evé could understand why the players were so excited.

No matter from which angle one looks at it, such beautiful creature is indeed the best choice for a mount. Moreover, their compatibility with elves is probably much better compared to that of Crypt Spiders.

However, winning a Unicorn’s approval won’t easy.

These creatures do not react positively to force. Unicorns also generally form their judgments primarily based on their initial impressions. If they perceive even a slight hint of hostility, then establishing companionship with them becomes an almost impossible task.

Given the players’ violent tendencies, subduing such creatures could prove to be challenging.

Nevertheless, Unicorns is also a creature that greatly values repayment very much. If it receives help, then one can easily gain its friendship.

“Let’s talk about the other matters later. Let me heal it first.”

Observing the injury on the unicorn’s hind leg, Li Mu began to speak. However, just as he was about to step forward, the unicorn struggled to its feet, emitting low growls, and defensively displaying its horn. It didn’t allow Li Mu to get close, let alone treat its wound.

“No… I feel that its temper is so violent… It won’t allow anyone to get close to it,”

“Come on, let’s just restrain it together! We’ll heal its injuries forcefully first,” suggested Demacia.

Immediately, several players moved forward, attempting to hold down the unicorn to treat it.

The unicorn, injured and weakened, proved no match for the players. They swiftly gained control over it, yet it struggled desperately, whimpering and contorting its body in resistance.

“H-Hurry! Brother Mu, heal it!”

Li Mu nodded and started chanting a spell before casting the [Cure] spell.

A pale green energy coalesced on his hand, before Li Mu redirected it into the unicorn’s wound. Yet, to everyone’s astonishment, the injuries of the unicorn displayed no signs of improvement at all.

“…What’s going on?”

Li Mu was slightly confused.

“Let me try.”

Another druid player spoke up.

He, too, chanted the same healing incantation, but his spell had also no effect whatsoever.

“Why isn’t Cure working?”

The players were astonished.

“It’s because of how you’re going about it…of course, the spell won’t work.”

As the players were left puzzled, a sigh sounded from behind them.

They turned around and found that the speaker was none other than the Holy Saintess, Alice.

Dressed in a dignified nature priestess gown, Alice had somehow appeared behind the players.

Upon seeing her, the players quickly put on warm smiles and instinctively bowed down respectfully.

“Lady Alice, good afternoon!”

As a rare purple-class NPC in the server, Alice had already earned her prestige amongst the players.

Everyone wanted to establish good relationships with her, to increase their favorability with the so-called Holy Maiden, and possibly gain some rare personal quests from her. Thus, their demeanor brimmed with respect.

Among the onlookers, Evé, who is currently wearing a cloak to conceal her identity, also joined the crowd and similarly gave a courteous salute to the holy maiden.

“Hello, Chosen Ones.”

Alice nodded in acknowledgement of the players.

Then, she looked towards the unicorn, with a hint of nostalgia within her gaze.

“I never thought that after so many years, I’d have a chance to see a unicorn once again. Could it be… that as our natural companions, they’ve also sensed the return of the Goddess?”

As Alice spoke, she turned her attention back to the players and issued an order:

“You can release it now. These Unicorns have a unique constitution. If they’re unwilling, your healing magic won’t have any effect on them.”

“Oh Shiet! So, it’s immune to magic!?” Demacia involuntarily swore.

Ignoring his outburst, Alice addressed the other players:

“Henceforth, you can’t be forceful to these creatures. You must gently communicate with it first.”

With the NPC’s instruction, the players quickly let go of their hold over the unicorn.

Seeing their actions, Alice turned her gaze to Li Mu.

“If I remember correctly, you should have already mastered [Nature’s Whisper.] You can easily communicate with it using that spell.”

Upon hearing the suggestion from the Saintess, Li Mu suddenly smacked his forehead with a dumbfounded expression.

“Right, how could I forget about that.”

He had nearly forgotten about this ‘lame’ starter skill he had received from the goddess at the beginning, having already exchanged contribution points for several more powerful druid abilities during this period.

Thinking of this, Li Mu quickly cast [Nature’s Whisper] and spoke to the unicorn.

“Don’t be afraid. We won’t harm you, we’re here to heal your injuries.”

Hearing Li Mu’s words, the unicorn lifted its head slightly.

It seemed to have somewhat calmed down, though its gaze towards the players remained cautious and wary.

“Hey look, it’s working!”

Li Mu felt relieved.

However, just as he was about to approach it for treatment, the unicorn retreated again, displaying resistance once more.

Li Mu: “…..”

“Whelp, still didn’t work I guess…It’s just too cautious.”

Seeing the unicorn’s reaction, Alice wasn’t surprised.

“This is normal. Unicorns are naturally cautious and vigilant in nature. Your previous forceful actions may have caused it to be wary of everyone here.”

“So… what should we do now?”

Alice sighed and said, “It won’t trust you anymore and will avoid getting close no matter what. Please step back, you’re too close, I’ll try to heal it instead.”

Upon hearing her words, the players took a few steps back, creating a path for Alice.

While walking towards the unicorn, Alice also added, “Seeing how you guys perceived the crypt spiders, I can somewhat guess how you view these unicorns.”

“I can only remind everyone here that these unicorns are the traditional companions of our race, symbolizing nobility, beauty, and purity…”

“We Elves naturally have an easier time gaining the friendship of these unicorns compared to other races. However, if you approach them with the intention of subjugating them, then you will never earn their approval.”

“The only beings that can immediately earn the favor and recognition of a unicorn are true druids and those who exhibit qualities like friendliness, sincerity, pure-heartedness, and a deep love for nature. Such individuals are uncommon, even among traditional elves, not to mention among you, who are the chosen ones.”

After finishing her words, Alice gently reached out to the unicorn and crouched down to begin casting healing magic upon it.

However, as soon as the elven girl crouched down, the unicorn struggled to stand and limped away from her, refusing her treatment and leaving.

Seeing the unicorn’s reaction, Alice’s brow furrowed slightly,

“This is troublesome… Perhaps the fright you gave it earlier when you guys tried to forcefully hold it was too much. This young Unicorn seems to not trust anyone now. Perhaps we’ll have to find Berser—”

Alice’s couldn’t finish what she’s saying seeing as the unicorn began to eagerly move towards a certain person.

Amidst everyone’s surprised gazes, it limped toward Evé, who stood in the crowd wearing a hood.

It then obediently lay down at her feet…

Additionally, the young Unicorn also lifted its head and affectionately nuzzled Eve’s leg as if she’s its own mother…

Li Mu: “…..”

Demacia: “…..”

Thranduil: “…”

Alice: “…”

Evé: “…”

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