“Marsha! My beloved Marsha, is that you?”
Agitation filled James’ voice as he skipped lightly towards the woman in the black dress, reaching out his hands to pull her shoulders back.
Leylin stood on the horse carriage while observing, yet he did not stop James.
The situation right now was extremely strange, and he needed a guinea pig to test the waters.
James used some force to turn the woman in black dress around.
Suddenly, all he saw was a face with no orifices, but only a black swirl on it.
*Xiu!* Horror filled James’ face as he seemed to be pulled into a long black string and was continuously swirled as he was absorbed into the woman’s face.
The whole process was extremely quick, ending just as Leylin was about to lend a hand. However, through a replay, he could clearly see how James was stretched and distorted bit by bit into more than a dozen metres and eventually absorbed into the woman’s swirling face.
This time disorder left Leylin feeling so disgusted that he wanted to puke.
At the same time, his heart sank.
“This is definitely not any sort of spirit body, but a more terrifying existence that I am still unable to comprehend…”
In an instant, Leylin recalled from the A.I. Chip’s database that back in ancient times, battles between two high ranking Magi would often devastate the earth and seas around them. At the same time, they could separate the dimensions of space and time, causing others to perceive things incorrectly.
Especially in such places, there would often be strange beings with terrifying powers.
Some of these existences were extremely weak, such that even a level 3 acolyte could easily eradicate them. However, some others were so terrifying that they could even surpass the powers of the Morning Star Magi, directly causing the stars in the sky to fall!
“This black clothed woman is but an apparition. Once certain conditions are fulfilled, the swirl on her face activates, swallowing any objects that come close to it…”
Leylin made his conclusion in an instant. “Right now, my power is still lacking. Against such an apparition, which obviously isn’t weak, choosing to engage without any further information is simply a foolish act. Run!”
His body instantly turned into black mist and vanished into the thin air.
With the flicker of black light, Leylin’s body appeared several hundred meters away with a black arc that followed behind.
However, the ear-piercing screams still sounded in Leylin’s ears, the pitch of which was even higher than before.
Leylin was stupefied as he found himself changing directions and flying towards the woman in the black dress.
The woman stood up and her skull split open into two halves. From that gaping hole, rows of razor sharp fangs were revealed, as though her face had turned into the jaws of a creature.
*Bang!* The giant jaw snapped shut, and darkness enveloped Leylin.
Leylin felt as if he had fallen from an extremely high place and hit the ground before his body shuddered as he regained consciousness.
“I seem to have been swallowed by that woman earlier!”
“Where is this?”
Leylin rubbed his head as he looked at his surroundings.
The room was dark and small, with many spiderwebs at the corners. There was not a single piece of furniture, nor even windows or a door.
It seemed to be a small, sealed basement of the sorts.
Besides Leylin, there also lay Baelin and Jenny. Their eyes were shut tight as they were unconscious. It seemed like they would need a long while before regaining consciousness.
“An even deeper illusion!” Leylin was extremely solemn.
“If the three pitched forks of the road were the superficial layer of this illusion, the women in the black dress was the second layer, and this, the third!”
An illusion! Also, Leylin did not have much interaction with the dreamland, but in ancient times, the Magi had once conquered another large world, in which the inhabitants had wielded dream and illusory powers. Through the powers of the dream realm, they could easily accomplish anything, and were even revered as gods by the ignorant inhabitants of the other planes and dimensions!
Also, through a short paragraph recorded in antique books, Leylin knew that the further one threaded into an illusion, the more difficult it was to escape.
“I’ve got to get out! The third level of an illusion is dangerous enough!”
Black flames ignited in Leylin’s palm, “Latent Fireball!”
The black fireball struck a corner of the basement, creating a deep hole.
“First I must understand the constructs of this illusion!” Leylin rubbed his chin. He had no better solution against such a power, so he could only test things out before searching for other methods.
Leylin jumped into the dark hole he created.
“It’s the 193rd time, yet I’m back at this place!” Leylin looked at Jenny and Baelin who were still unconscious, his expression looking extremely severe.
“Through my experiments, I have already understood the three-dimensional constructs in here. As expected, the deeper the level of illusion, the less sturdy the dimensions within are, which will finally turn into chaos…”
If the dimensions here were to collapse, there were only two possibilities. Either one would enter a deeper levelled illusion, or if their spirit was unable to bear the brunt of it, they would directly be swallowed by the caster of this illusion.
“I’ve tried all other places, so I am only left with this now!”
Leylin kicked the unconscious bodies of Baelin and Jenny away, revealing the dusty grey floor beneath them.
With a fireball, the ground was shattered…
*Pop!* The floor of the basement cracked opened, and Leylin jumped into it.
“It’s still the same basement as before, but Jenny and Baelin have already disappeared. Good! Very good! There is finally some change…”
Leylin’s eyes swept over the surroundings. It was still the same cramped basement. However, what was different than before was that Jenny and Baelin’s bodies were no longer here.
“Signs of repair that cannot keep up with the damage done huh? Next, I’ll have to…” As if plucking the strings of a zither, both of Leylin’s hands streaked across the void, creating circles of ripples.
Under the movements of his fingers, the texture of the underground basement resembled water with light ripples.
The greater the area the ripples covered, the more the void contorted, until finally, a pop sound was heard!
The space of the underground basement shattered, and Leylin’s body dropped downwards once again.
Mirrors! Bright mirrors were everywhere, reflecting the appearance of a black haired, noble youth.
“This should be the interval between the two levels of the illusion!”
Leylin touched the ice-cold mirror and made a deduction.
Right now, he had momentarily escaped from the illusion. This would definitely draw the attention of the caster.
However, this was the effect he desired!
At this moment, the weeping voice of an adorable girl traveled over.
Leylin abruptly turned his head, and in one corner of a mirror, he saw a little purple haired girl wearing a red dress with white socks who was crying.
“Wuuuu… Alice has lost her little bear! Big Brother, can you accompany me to search for it?”
The little girl stopped her crying and looked at Leylin with imploring eyes.
“My apologies, but I cannot!” Leylin shook his head.
”But why?” The little girl was puzzled. “Alice is extremely obedient! Don’t you like Alice?”
As she spoke, more mirror images appeared in the surroundings.
“I want to, but let us speak first!” Leylin tried his best to speak calmly.
He did not have much experience dealing with such strange entities. Furthermore, the other party was a higher dimensional creature. Their trains of thought and level of thinking would be different than humans. Leylin himself did not know if he could convince it to let him go.
“Won’t you accompany Alice to find her little bear?”
“No!” Leylin shook his head his head resolutely. It was rumoured in legends that similar things had happened before. Once one agreed to such a request, it would be treated as them having signed some sort of bizarre contract, and they would fall under the manipulation of others. Some were even indefinitely sucked into other dimensions.
Although there were a few lucky ones who had obtained mysterious strength through such encounters, Leylin was never one who relied on gambling, especially when his life would be at stake!
Just as Leylin rejected her, countless beetles poured from the mirrors and engulfed him like a tide.
“I’ll still have to attack!” Leylin’s brows furrowed. He knew that he had to demonstrate his strength before the other party would acknowledge him.
“Latent Fireball! Eyes of Petrification!”
In an instant, his whole body was covered in scales, and black flames continuously billowed from his hands. Even his eyes had a mysterious light that shot outwards.
Many of the black beetles were petrified as they fell to the ground, turning into a pile of dust. As for most of them, they were burnt into nothingness by the black flames.
However, the beetles still poured out continuously from the mirrors, and what Leylin had managed to get rid of was but one hair from nine oxen.
“The strength of my opponent has far exceeded my imagination!”
Leylin smiled wryly as he tossed a red powder out, “Scorching Touch!”
Two scorching rays of light were released, clearing the path in two directions.
However, Leylin’s face turned pale immediately, and his consciousness wavered. The crystallised spiritual force had even more cracks opened, almost shattered.
Scorching Touch was a rank 2 spell, and right now Leylin only had a portion of his spiritual force solidified. With the strength of a rank 1 Magus, he would naturally receive backlash from recklessly using a rank 2 spell.
This backlash was considered relatively light. If he were to use the innate talent of a rank 2 Magus, it was very likely that his sea of consciousness would undergo drastic changes.
The sea of beetles cried incessantly, once again pouring towards Leylin.
Leylin, whose spiritual force was already depleted, could only watch as layer after layer of beetles engulfed his body.