As he watched the enemy Magus in charge of defense, Leylin raised his right hand and tapped.
Countless black figures emerged from the shadows, overlapping with each other as they continuously multiplied. With the accumulation of the shadows, a small light appeared in front of his finger that formed a small-scale vortex that seemed to be able to suck one’s spirit in.
In front of Leylin, a layer of greenish-gray iron covering instantly appeared on that Magus’ skin.
This was ‘Iron Skin’, an innate earth element solidification spell that rank 1 Magi liked to use.
Leylin’s finger seemed to be moving extremely slowly, though in actuality it was approaching very quickly. As he tapped the Magus’ Iron Skin, the sound of rippling water could be heard.
In front of Leylin’s finger, the Magus’ Iron Skin peeled off bit by bit like snakeskin. A look of incredulity appeared on the Magus’ face, and after having been quickly tapped on the forehead by Leylin, his eyes rolled back and he fainted.
“Laura?!” The team leader was furious.
Shortly afterwards, a scroll appeared in his hands and Blake, who was to one side of the leader, produced a small shield the size of a palm.
Immense energy waves were emitted from these two items, indicating that they were ready to be activated at any moment.
“You two can attack me together!”
Facing this sight, Leylin simply smiled and clawed with both hands.
Black streams of air were emitted from his fingers, and each of the ten black streams was like little snakes as they surrounded these two Magi.
Where the two Magi had previously stood, two black cocoons could now be seen. From these cocoons, the occasional snake-like hisses could be heard.
Seconds later, the black mist dissipated, leaving behind two Magi that had fainted on the floor.
There was a layer of vague imprints that were like black snakes wandering back and forth across their faces.
After taking care of these three Magi, Leylin willed the shadow vines obstructing the sky to withdraw back into his shadow.
“I feel it now! With the constant stimulation from my bloodline, my control over the darkness is becoming increasingly stronger!”
The darkness in Leylin’s pupils became deeper, and he appeared to be intoxicated while deep in thought as he mumbled to himself.
After handling these three Magi prisoners, Leylin waited another few minutes.
Two unidentifiable human figures were flying across the ground, dashing towards Leylin rapidly. Even Leylin was only able to see after-images.
The two black figures were carrying something on their shoulders and came to Leylin, throwing the things on their backs onto the floor.
“Master!” Number 2 and Number 3 knelt on one leg, greeting him.
“In accordance with your orders, we have caught all of them. None have escaped!”
The two Magi that had escaped just now were currently lying on the ground.
Several injuries that were so deep that bone could be seen on the bodies of the Magi. They were extremely pale, which was a result of extreme blood loss. It was not difficult to imagine that these wounds were the result of a fierce battle.
“Good! You did well!” Leylin expressed his approval towards his subordinates.
These two Magi were newly advanced, and thus the weakest amongst the Magi. Numbers 2 and 3 were able to defeat them because of the immense power of Branded Swordsmen, a subdivision of the ancient Magi.
Perhaps, this was the obvious result of the large consumption of potential and vitality from Number 2 and Number 3.
To obtain power, Leylin had no choice but to speed things up and carry out many taboo methods on their bodies. This allowed them to break through their limits and become Branded Swordsmen in a short period of time.
Because of this, their vitality was being consumed at a faster rate. Based on the A.I. Chip’s calculations, they only had two more months to live.
“Bring them along. Let’s go!” Leylin heaved a sigh of relief as he pointed at the five Abyssal Bone Forest Academy Magi lying on the ground.
He still had many questions that could only be answered by these people.
In addition, it was no simple task to obtain official Magi slaves and guinea pigs.
Leylin still had many ideas and conjectures regarding Branded Swordsmen, and he needed to test it on these Magi.
After all, in ancient times, Branded Swordsmen were a subdivision of the official Magi, not Knights!
Hence, with Grand Knights as guinea pigs, Leylin still felt he was lacking something even with the help of the A.I. Chip. In the end, all he produced was Numbers 2 and 3, who were incomplete versions of the Branded Swordsman.
This could be due to their lack of the tremendous spiritual force that Magi possessed, which resulted in Number 2 and 3’s difficulty in manipulating the elemental particles in the air. It was several times more difficult than predicted by the A.I. Chip.
Leylin considered some scenarios and then brought the five Magi to a secure hidden area. After interrogating them, he immediately began to verify his doubts regarding Branded Swordsmen.
Leylin only dared to be so unscrupulous because this was a time of war and he was doing this to those from the enemy camp.
If not, using official Magi as guinea pigs would most certainly result in society’s displeasure, and he would receive negative repercussions.
On a high ground filled with white flowers.
In the thick fog, a large castle that looked like an upside-down cone existed.
This castle only had one point that was connected to the ground, and yet it was able to support the main body of the castle on top. Looking at it gave one the misconception that the world was upside down.
It seemed like this castle was normally upright, but someone had turned it upside down.
In the walkway paved with white marble, an old woman with a head of silver hair was carrying an oil lamp, ambling slowly.
*Ka-cha!* A metal door with blue electric currents sparking on the surface was pushed forward.
*Tssss!* Large amounts of icy white gas began to condense as they came into contact with the outside. It filled the walkway behind her with a layer of white frost.
The old lady walked in the house, which was practically a world of ice and snow. It was below 0 degrees, and if one were a regular human, it would be impossible for them to stay here for more than a few seconds.
In the heart of the house, tendrils of white vapour constantly emanated from two ice coffins.
Through the translucent coffins, one could see a burly man in one, and a girl lying quietly in the other.
Both of them had their eyes tightly shut, a look of pain and signs of struggle flashing across their faces occasionally. Each had a rune with a snake wriggling about on their neck and right hand.
“Sorry for the trouble, Doctor Hyder!”
The old woman got out of the way, and a Magus with a head of silver hair came from behind her.
This Magus looked to be very old, with wrinkle after wrinkle heaping on his face. However, his eyes were bright and he had a benevolent smile on his face.
“Curses are a very troublesome part of spells. They involve many strange and cruel things and Magi in the south coast who know this type of magic are scarce. I can’t guarantee anything other than that I’ll try my best.”
Hyder, a Magus specializing in healing, did not immediately approach the patients, but first spoke to the old woman.
“You are an expert in this field. If you are unable to solve this problem, then I don’t even know who I should approach.”
She gave a bitter laugh.
“Alright! I’ll give it my all!” Hyder nodded. Usually, he definitely would not take on such jobs. Not only were they dangerous, it was easy to offend the Magus who had produced the curse.
However, he was on good terms with this family and owed them a few favours. Hence, he had no choice but to come.
Hyder went forward and looked the ice coffins up and down, and then nodded.
“When unable to treat a condition, freezing the victim is a very good method!”
He shifted his focus past the layer of ice, and upon seeing the curse runes within, he gasped.
Hyder’s expression immediately became serious, and a stifling atmosphere pervaded the air.
He produced several bizarre items from his clothes, which seemed to be useful in testing the nature and effects of the curse.
The old woman behind him stood behind him in bated breath, not daring to even speak a word.
A good while later, Hyder put down the stethoscope in his hands and rubbed off the cold sweat on his forehead.
“How is it?” She immediately inquired.
“It’s troublesome! No, it’s extremely troublesome!” Hyder looked abnormally solemn.
“From this rune I felt an ancient aura. It’s possible that this was a curse passed on from ancient times, and there are basically no other models of it to be found on the south coast. Furthermore, this technique is very complicated and without large amounts of experimentation, trying to treat it at this point will only result in the curse going berserk in the body. The end result is something none of us want to see…”
Now, after seeing how demanding and crafty this curse was, even Hyder regretted his decision. Was it worth it to repay a favour and, in turn, offend a terrifying dark Magus?
“An ancient curse… hss…” the old lady gasped.
As a family with a long history, she naturally understood the difficulty in dealing with this curse.
Forcefully breaking the curse would only result in death, unless the Magus who had set the curse decided to stop pursuing the matter.
“Are there no other methods?” With a hopeful glint in her eyes, she stared at Hyder.
“It would be best to make a trade with the Magus who set the curse. Other than that, I would need large amounts of guinea pigs and practical tests to find a way and break the curse.”
Hyder slanted his head and thought for a moment, before speaking.
“Also, there is a time limit for the curse. Based on my test, there is at most one more month before it will completely erupt!” Hyder dropped another bomb on her.
Upon hearing this, the old lady trembled and then she breathed in deeply, a resolute look on her face.
“It doesn’t matter what happens to Manla, but nothing can happen to Jenna! That is my final threshold!”