“ARGH! Just who am I? Cyric… Distorted Shadow…” Terrifying divine force was launched in all directions with Cyric’s screams, disintegrating Merrick’s body and soul without pause. But then again, it might have been kind to this worshipper that he didn’t have to see what happened next.
A faint red light enveloped Cyric’s body. The Book of Truth transformed into astral light that ignited upon contact with the red light, forming faint red flames. Cyric’s body abruptly split in two.
The new being was a hazy shadow that radiated the might of a Magus. “I’m back!” Distorted Shadow proclaimed, “The World of Gods, and that puny Magus… I’ve returned!”
Being at the peak of rank 8, Distorted Shadow wasn’t someone who’d die so easily. How could resurrecting with the Weave’s destruction be his only plan?
He’d inserted some of his power into Cyric’s true body before, giving himself a chance for revival as he killed the god. Using the remaining pieces of his soul, he’d successfully fooled the pope of the Church of Murder and Merrick into bringing him the Book of Truth. Even if some of his conscient had been eliminated by Leylin, his thousands of years of bitter plots had finally succeeded!
Distorted Shadow immediately recovered to the peak of his power, having robbed everything from Cyric when he ascended to godhood. Even if there were some imperfections in his cultivation, he had an obvious advantage over the other ancient Magi who only had their conscients remaining.
”I...I shall not fail again!” he roared, his entire body shattering to form a shadow that covered the sky.
”How could this happen?” The pope looked at the shattered divine statue before him, sinking to the ground as if all his bones had been lost.
“So he revived using Cyric’s body…” At the same time, Leylin got wind of these events as well. He’d felt a sinister intent envelop him along with Distorted Shadow’s revival. With the damage he’d done to the ancient Magus’ conscient, he definitely wouldn’t let him off without issue.
“Heh… I don’t want to let you go either. You’ve just revived yourself, so what if you’re at the peak of rank 8?”
Leylin flicked a finger, and a golden sphere of light surged out from his divine kingdom. The expanding sphere caught hold of some shadows, and they occasionally shrieked as they fled far away.
“Damn it… He’s already found a path, it won’t be long before he’s at the same level as me…” The shadow in the sky radiated endless rage, looking at a round eye that appeared in front of him.
“You seem to have some disagreements with someone of the Magus World,” Mother Core said. The air in her surroundings froze in place, making her seem terrifyingly grand.
Both being at the peak of rank 8, Mother Core and Distorted Shadow should have been similar in power. However, Distorted Shadow had been sealed for several thousand years. Even if he’d recovered most of his power by sacrificing Cyric, he was still nowhere close to Mother Core.
“Jejeje… I don’t need you to mediate,” the black shadow yelled before exploding. Mother Core sighed, earthy yellow flames instantly sweeping across the sky and trying to eliminate Distorted Shadow, but the power of distortion had already faded from the sky.
“This is going to be troublesome…” One of Mother Core’s clones made its way to Baator, entering Leylin’s divine kingdom, “This brat really does bring a lot of surprises…”
”Mother Core!” Leylin greeted her in person, having felt the clone’s arrival a while ago.
”I know everything already. Pity, Distorted Shadow didn’t let me mediate in this. His crazy and cold personality is famous throughout the astral plane…” Mother Core’s conscient emitted.
Following that, several vines dug their way out of Baator to embed themselves into the soil of Leylin’s divine kingdom, as if completing some sort of interaction.
”Not bad!” Mother Core nodded. Leylin’s rate of improvement had impressed her greatly, “You’ve gotten us into the World of Gods, and even found your own path. You’ll definitely be something in the future.”
“Everything is fated, Leylin. I’m starting to believe your existence will be the key to the battle between the Magi and the gods…” This was another reason why Mother Core wanted to help Leylin. With his rate of improvement, it wasn’t far off from the Magus World having another peak rank 8. With her vast experience, Mother Core definitely felt something about him.
”No matter how the future turns out, I will always be a Magus. The Magus World is my home,” Leylin promised.
“Good!” Mother Core replied. The two seemed to have reached an agreement.
The tendrils from the clone spread across Leylin’s divine kingdom, penetrating deeper and deeper into Baator. The clone found and attacked all of the shadows in the area, making Leylin believe that Distorted Shadow would find it difficult to affect his life with her as a guardian.
*Bang!* A part of the earth erupted to reveal a distorted lay of light. It was being plucked out of the ground by Mother Core’s plants.
”This is a seed of distortion,” Mother Core explained calmly, “It’s the usual kind of move Distorted Shadow makes…”
Leylin heaved a massive sigh of relief. Distorted Shadow had already been spying on his divine kingdom, something he could never have thought of. If he wasn’t careful, he would’ve suffered major losses in the future.
“Even though divine kingdoms are powerful, they pose too many restrictions to their owner. Take now, for example. We’ve learnt from experience, and are attacking the prime material plane instead of the divine kingdoms…”
Leylin nodded at Mother Core’s words. One would only be seeking death if they wished to fight a god in their divine kingdom. The smart thing to do was to attack their churches in the prime material plane, destroying the peoples’ belief in them. It was easy for Magi to bring about disasters, inflicting damage and disease that even the Goddess of the Plague could not match.
This was similar to how Leylin had attacked Debanks Island before. The divine kingdoms would lose their source of faith in the prime material plane, some even falling from the Celestial Planes directly.
Such was the result of relying on faith. It left a big gap in one’s defences, allowing them to suffer severe blows without any good way to prevent them. This was why Leylin decided not to become a god.
“Of course, it’s best that we don’t make our move at the beginning. We should wait and see how the others act…” Mother Core reminded him.
“I definitely don’t plan to participate in the Final War before I’ve forged my path completely, breaking through to the peak of rank 8.” Leylin naturally understood Mother Core’s intentions. He followed the statement up with a request, “I hope you can protect this place well after I leave…”
*Boom!* Leylin instantly left his divine kingdoms, carrying Seven Sins in hand as he infiltrated the Sixth Hell with Mother Core protecting his base. There had been a huge army of devil hunters in this place, and Leylin’s arrival caused all of the Lords of Baator to be alarmed and angered…
Of course, Leylin had pondered the consequences of having Mother Core protect him at home. He could rest assured that Mother Core didn’t interact much with Distorted Shadow in the past, and that the two had some animosity between themselves. On top of that, he was from the same world as her.
But then, they also had a contract between them. This protection was also an exchange of sorts, and Leylin believed that what he brought to the table was enough for Mother Core to do her best to protect him.
‘I don’t have to worry about my divine kingdom. Be it Distorted Shadow or any gods, Mother Core will be able to stop them. Even if she fails there’s the A.I. Chip clone there as well…’ Undaunted by worries, Leylin moved to attack the rest of Baator to complete his path of Original Sin.
At the same time, Distorted Shadow let out a terrifying roar from within a secret dimension. “Damn it… Mother Core dares to defy me, the master of distortion who’s annihilated three Magus alliances and five different worlds…”
Despite his anger, he felt somewhat helpless. Mother Core wasn’t an existence he could provoke right now, and even Leylin himself wasn’t easy to deal with. Having been enlightened on his own path, the Warlock was already at the threshold of the peak of rank 8.
On the other hand, he himself had just been revived. He’d suffered a severe loss in power, and if he tried to make a move he wouldn’t have much of a chance of taking out a Leylin protected by Mother Core. Not to mention that all Magi were extremely crafty, and it was unknown how many trump cards each one held in their hands. It would be troublesome to annihilate them.
‘I should deal with the other gods first to get back my powers. Moreover, I should definitely hinder him from completing his own path…’ This so-called hindrance was an aim to stop Leylin from killing all of the Lords of Baator, preventing him from obtaining all the laws he needed. This would greatly decrease his opponent’s rate of improvement.
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