“You reek of blood, young man.”
The old witch cried out in exaggeration.
“You are a dark Magus, am I right?”
“Is there anything wrong? I don’t know of any rule in Nightless City that states that you can’t sell to dark Magi.” Leylin’s brows furrowed.
“Hehehe… Don’t worry, I’m a dark Magus too, though that’s a matter from over 200 years ago. Ah, just remembering those times makes me feel nostalgic…”
The old witch chuckled, which sounded like an owl hooting.
“For you young people who want to take shortcuts, the price of crystallised Darkness energy particles is not something a newly advanced Magus can afford. I doubt you have that many magic crystals, so as a favour as your senior, I’d like to offer you another option…”
Leylin furrowed his eyebrows even more. “What option?”
“A trade! You should be aware that once we get to this level, all ordinary resources mean nothing to us. Only fellow Magi on the same level as us have the supplies we require…”
“What do you need?” Leylin didn’t have a good feeling about this.
“One thousand! I need a thousand spirits brimming with energy! If you provide me with them, all of these Darkness crystals will belong to you.”
The old witch’s eyes shone with excitement.
“Are you out of your mind? If you want me to collect a thousand spirits within the light Magi domain, you might as well be telling me to commit suicide!”
Leylin replied indignantly.
Extracting spirits was a meticulous task, and in order to obtain the amount that the old witch desired, at least ten thousand people’s lives would be consumed.
If Leylin were to harvest such a gargantuan amount, he would definitely be on the death list of white Magi!
“I’m not asking you to harvest spirits here. You can do it in the dark Magi’s domain!” The old witch’s face was nonchalant.
“That’s much too far, and will consume too much time. Furthermore, I do not wish to incur the wrath of more dark Magi forces!”
Leylin immediately shook his head and rejected the old witch’s request. “Since you posted a notice at the trade centre, I imagine you still require some magic crystals. It’s not as if there aren't any spirits sold in the Nightless City. At most, you’d have to spend more time to amass them…”
“Alright then. However, young man, I have to remind you that the price of the Darkness crystals is not to be underestimated!”
The old witch had an internal struggle for a while, before realising that her requirements were a little too much, while walking back behind the counter.
*Ping Ping Pang Pang!*
After rummaging through the drawers for quite a while, the old witch finally placed a conical glass bottle on the counter.
At the bottom of the glass bottle was a layer of semi-solid crystals. It let off a mysterious lustre as if wanting to suck in the souls of those peering at it.
“300 grams of crystallised Darkness energy particles. Every gram will cost 100 magic crystals!”
“Kiddo, I’ll still reiterate my earlier suggestion. As long as you bring me 1,000 spirits, these will all be yours!”
The old witch tried her best to tempt Leylin.
“No need for that!” Leylin shook his head. However, the given price did surpass what he could pay.
Most of his magic crystals were earned from selling potions that he had brewed. After the bloodbath in the academy, he also managed to earn a huge amount, obtaining many magic crystals and precious ingredients.
However, to offset the amount he spent yesterday, those resources were mostly diminished.
Leylin did not plan to be so foolhardy as to harvest 1,000 spirits just for the sake of this small amount.
Even amongst the dark Magi, if one were to massacre large amounts of humans and harvest their spirits, he or she would be seen as the evilest of existences.
Leylin did not wish to live the life of a street rat[1. TL Note: Unanimous hostility from everyone] in the south coast, receiving animosity from everyone.
“Can I use other ingredients to compensate for the remaining amount?” Leylin asked.
“Yes!” The old witch nodded. “However, I only accept ingredients pertaining to spirits. As for those kinds of items, I will only offer a 90% rate for them!”
Leylin suddenly understood that this old witch was a Magus who was most likely specialised in spirits. Right now, her experiments had reached a critical point, and she required large amounts of materials for her conjectures and theories.
Leylin did have plenty of precious ingredients on him, but many were still useful to him, and he did not plan on letting go of them anytime soon. Upon the realisation that this old witch was also researching spirits, Leylin’s eyes flashed as he came up with an idea.
“How about... Advanced information regarding spirits? Will you accept that?”
“Advanced information? Let me have a look first!” The old witch’s expression brightened.
Leylin chuckled, withdrew a pearl the size of a thumb, and handed it over.
This pearl was a special tool used to store memories. While conducting his research as an acolyte, Leylin had recorded some information regarding spirits and stored it within the pearl.
Although Leylin was only an acolyte at that time, with the help of the A.I. Chip, his research on spirits was extremely profound. It could even surpass the knowledge of his academy’s professors.
Moreover, Leylin only intended to reveal some of the information that he had discovered in his earlier stages.
As for the experiments such as optimising the Blood Vengeance Potion and the bit of information that he had obtained from the Book of Giant Serpent, he was prepared to keep it for himself.
The old witch gave it a once over, “It seems to be research materials at an acolyte level. I won’t reject…”
However, with the passing of time, her expression turned solemn, and she even seemed to be entranced.
“Such exquisite experimentations! Also, the unique perspective! How about the rest of the information! Hurry up and show them to me!” The old witch snarled, looking slightly deranged.
However, upon seeing this scene, Leylin smiled confidently.
“So then, we should be able to discuss and work out the price of this information…”
A dozen minutes later, Leylin left the old witch’s shop smiling.
The glass bottle containing the Darkness crystals was nested safely within his robes.
He had somewhat underestimated the zealotry that the old witch had for spirit research. The information earlier had been sold for a price of 20000 magic crystals almost immediately.
After Leylin withdrew another 100 high-grade magic crystals, the Darkness crystals were immediately sold to Leylin.
Moreover, after looking through Leylin’s experiment research, the old witch seemed to have a complete change in attitude. She became extremely affectionate towards Leylin and even invited him to collaborate in an experiment.
This was quite a sensitive matter, and Leylin eventually rejected after giving it some thought. However, he did leave his secret imprint with her. Although her craziness made Leylin rather reluctant to befriend her, it was undeniable that she had quite a few useful items. Moreover, Leylin had a plan that required a partner like her to carry out.
“Magus Leylin, it’s you again. How was your afternoon?”
Under the flickering lamps of the street, Leylin returned to his villa.
Along the way, he coincidentally met that red haired geezer, Crew.
This old geezer was resting on his couch with a contented look on his face. Beside him were several maids with voluptuous clothing, who fed him delicacies time to time.
“Does this old geezer have a fetish for being the target of voyeurism?”
Leylin was somewhat speechless regarding Crew’s nonchalance about seeking pleasure out in the open.
However, he still smiled on the surface. Resting against the fence, Leylin said, “It went okay. I managed to purchase some of the items that I yearned for…”
“Haha… After staying here for a long time, you will realise that Nightless City has everything you need!”
The old geezer chugged down the grape wine in his glass, before grabbing a maidservant beside him and smooching her out in the open.
As for the other maidservants, they chuckled, as if it was a common sight.
Although Leylin knew that after advancement, some Magi would give up on further improvement and turn lewd, engaging in wanton ways, it was still a first for Leylin to see such a sight. It had somehow widened his perspective. After exchanging several more sentences with Crew, Leylin returned to his villa.
Leylin laid on his bed upon returning to his bedroom, recollecting the day’s events.
After obtaining the old witch’s crystallines, Leylin saw that there was still some time to kill. At the same time, he contacted the Magus that wanted to trade the Darkness crystals for the egg of the Fire Ingesting Bird with wishful thoughts, wanting to purchase it off of him through other methods.
However, Leylin did not succeed, as the other party only wanted the egg of the Fire Ingesting Bird. Even though Leylin offered a 50% increase from the market price, it still did not move the seller.
Finally, Leylin could only reluctantly spend several hundred more magic crystals, and put out a notice at the trade centre saying that he wanted to purchase Darkness crystals, before returning to the villa.
“A.I. Chip! Show me my stats and simulate the best way to absorb the Darkness crystals!”
Leylin thought inwardly.
[Mission establishing, gathering Host’s data, beginning model simulation!]
After receiving the command of its host, the A.I. Chip began to rapidly calculate, and rows of data began to flash past Leylin’s eyes.
The next day, Leylin relaxed while strolling throughout the city, finding a restaurant to have a sumptuous feast before returning to his villa.
The basement of the villa had been remodeled, and a large spell formation had been carved into the surface of the floor.
Leylin placed the Darkness crystals that he had recently acquired at the centre of the formation.
“Based on the A.I. Chip’s calculations, the crystals’ absorption rate will achieve an efficiency of 94.7% when placed within this formation.”
Leylin murmured to himself, as he came to the centre of the formation.
“Activate!” He said the opening command in the ancient Byron language.
* Buzz buzz! *
The entire spell formation vibrated, emitting a bright light.
In the heart of the formation, the Darkness crystals began to melt. First, they shifted from a half-solid state to a liquid state and filled in a bizarre rune. Immediately after, a bright red light flashed, and the liquid within the rune vaporised into black smoke, which circled within the basement.
The black smoke converged, and seven indistinct snakes with red eyes emerged, twisting around Leylin’s body.
Ice cold and slimy, the little snakes formed from the smoke resembled a real snake in every way, giving Leylin a bizarre sensation.
Leylin breathed in deeply.
Two tiny snakes were immediately sucked into his nose.
Leylin felt as if his body had expanded, and he felt tipsy as if he was drunk.
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