The Weave and its spells cost a lot of energy to maintain. Even with the World Origin Force to support her she wouldn’t use it recklessly. This was why she’d adopted a system similar to the World of Gods. Every cast of a spell extracted a small part of the caster’s spiritual force.
“But this place takes much less from the caster…” Leylin smirked in disdain. “A.I. Chip, begin analysis!”
[Beep! Mission established, analysing 3d structure of the Shadow Weave…]
A stream of data ran past Leylin’s eyes. Compared to the World of Gods, the analysis of the Weave here was much faster and more accurate.
[Beep! ETA: 68 hours 23 minutes and 19 seconds.]
[Beep! Level 3 spells and above sealed. 78.55% chance to breakthrough without alerting anyone. Proceed?] The A.I. Chip voice intoned.
“Not necessary. I can just go and take a greater skill test…” Leylin shook his head and denied the A.I. Chip’s prompt.
After toying with the Rapid Shadow, Leylin immediately opened his computer and browsed the sea of information that was available on it. The entertainment and leisure section was skipped as he moved onto the empire’s map, governance, military news, and various related issues. With Leylin’s processing abilities now, he managed to quickly browse through the information on the internet. Slowly, everything in the empire was revealed to him.
“Hmm? What’s this?” Leylin witnessed something strange amidst the sea of information. He opened a new page, entering a forum.
“Explosive news! Extreme beauty found in City A! I’m flabbergasted after looking!” This thread attracted many fans, and even many had applied to follow it closely. However, many of the replies were ‘seeing is believing’ and the like…
“I wanted to take a picture too, but I did not bring my communicator device!”
“I brought mine, but the communicator device was spoilt. I couldn’t take any photos, but she was really gorgeous, even causing a few car accidents on the streets…”
“Yea! That woman mysteriously left soon after that. Many rich people in City A have been offering sky high prices to catch a glimpse of her…”
“Could it be a ghost?”
Leylin gave that post a downvote. Many of the posts on the thread were similar to comments like ‘OP is trolling’ or ‘Absolute bait’, until a cocky guy posted a new image.
“Haha… Those above me are retards! I happened to have the latest Rapid Shadow there, and I managed to take a photo!”
A rank 8 existence wouldn’t leave behind an electronic image even if she suppressed her own aura and radiation. The forcefield around their body could contort the space around them, and even if a photo was actually captured or their true name discovered it would come with unimaginable power or even curses!
The person posted a blurry image on this thread, faintly revealing an extremely seductive figure. Even the corner of her dress left people wanting more.
“A photo from the front! I beg you…” Many online ‘wolves’ were asking for more on the thread, but there was no more response from the person who posted the image.
‘Hmm. City A. huh? But the Snake Dowager should have moved quickly, not wanting to meet Shar…’ Leylin could only silently pray for the Snake Dowager. After all, Thousand Bears City was extremely far from City A, and required him to travel across half the empire.
Furthermore, with the Snake Dowager drawing all the attention to herself, he would be less likely to be found by the Mistress of the Night. He only had a partnership with that woman, so only after his own safety was assured along with an equal exchange did he even consider helping her.
As for now? The Snake Dowager used to live here in the Shadow World. No matter how much it had changed, she could surely adapt to it quickly. Were she to fail at even that, Leylin would choose to walk away from the place right away. After all, lousy teammates were extremely scary creatures who could cause the party to be wiped.
“The Snake Dowager is a rank 8 existence after all… I should believe in her…” Leylin shrugged his shoulders and began pulling the window curtains apart. From his position, he could clearly see Xavier’s two-storeyed home. The study room’s light was still on, which meant that Xavier was studying hard.
“Hmm! The skill test begins in three days huh?” Leylin took out his communicator and also signed up for the test. He’d wanted to obtain greater authority with the Shadow Weave, as well as higher status.
‘Once I get a mid-grade Rapid Shadow even some extraordinary abilities won’t attract attention from the central neural net. It’ll let me do quite a bit…’
The three days passed very quickly, and the day for the greater skill test had arrived.
Xavier exhaled loudly and looked at the mirror after packing his things. Ever since that mysterious change in him, he’d matured greatly in his looks. His skin had grown smooth and glossy as well, causing even his sister Jill to be jealous.
“Okay, I need to succeed this time!” Xavier cheered himself on as he looked at his reflection, before walking out of the house.
“All the best, Brother!”Jill saw him out of the house, and prayed as Xavier’s figure left. Her voice reverberated through the alley.
“Woah… There’s so many people in here…” Even if he’d prepared himself mentally, Xavier was still taken aback at the sheer number of people at the examination venue.
“The greater skill test is one of the most difficult tests in the empire. Once one qualifies they can use middle-rank spells, equivalent to holding gun rights. Apart from that, many organisations will clamour to hire you… It’s pretty normal to have so many people apply…”
A familiar voice sounded from behind Xavier, and he turned around. He saw a young man standing there, his long sideburns causing him to look middle-aged.
“Why? You don’t recognise me anymore?” The young uncle patted Xavier’s shoulders and laughed.
“What? Un...Uncle Crowley!” Xavier immediately recognised the man from the aircraft.
“I told you not to call me uncle….” Crowley touched his own face. “My beard and sideburns are a little thick, but in fact I’m still very young… I’m only twenty five! Twenty five!”
‘But isn’t twenty five already considered an uncle?’ Xavier disagreed inwardly, but he still changed his form of address.
“Mm. I remember Big Brother Crowley already has his license? Don’t you already have the latest version of the Rapid Shadow?” Xavier asked.
“Indeed. I’m not a candidate today, I’m exam staff.” Crowley placed an exquisitely made license in front of his chest, “Even if we know each other well, don’t think that I’ll go easy on you… Each and every test is invigilated by a computer system as well as the authentication of the Shadow Weave. There’s no use in cheating…”
After speaking, Crowley swept his gaze at the surrounding candidates. Some of them held gazes of unease, restlessness and jealousy.
“The authorisation of middle rank spells requires technical skills, and extremely strong concentration. People who don’t meet these two criteria can go home now… If you turn into an idiot in any case, we don’t need to take any actions because you have signed the indemnity form…”
However, this advice did not bring about any effects. Crowley could only sigh as he bid Xavier farewell before entering the hall.
“Drats…” After Crowley left, Xavier felt the fervent gazes concentrate around him, as if able to melt his body. His senses had been magnified by the Snakebite Fist, causing him to feel uneasy.
“So...Sorry!” he muttered, before running to the side where less people were gathered.
‘There aren’t as many candidates here, surely they didn’t overhear my conversation with Crowley?’
*Bang!* As he was looking down on the ground, Xavier knocked into someone, and the supple rebound force sent him falling backwards as his bottom hit the ice cold floor.
“Are you alright?” This was a black-haired youth with black pupils, more handsome than even superstars. That apologetic look on his face was so warm it seemed like spring had bloomed. He reached his hand out and pulled Xavier up.
“I’m fine, thank you!” Xavier couldn’t deny this man’s looks, and they even aroused his ire. He refrained from punching that face.
“Hmm, you have great strength…” Xavier responded quickly and saw the physical appearance of the youth before he praised him.
Xavier had already mastered the Snakebite Fist. Even if he suppressed his own strength, and the technique itself didn’t excel in raw power, he had a good idea of his current physical prowess. He’d be fine even if a car crashed into him, but now he’d been knocked down easily.
“Yup, I like to train my body regularly!” The youth smiled and revealed a tidy row of white teeth.
This person was naturally Leylin. His appearance had not changed much from before, and was the exact same one on his identification card. Currently wearing jeans and a jacket, he'd decided to greet Xavier 'by accident.'
“I’m called Ley, what’s your name?” Leylin asked rhetorically.
“Xavier! I’m Xavier!” Xavier answered only after he patted the dirt off his body and inspected his belongings.
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