In a grassland filled with blood-red pastureland.
An old male Magus with a head of white hair and a kind smile was guiding a few acolytes along the pasture. In their hands were a few metallic items used for harvesting.
“The reason for our existence is to seek truth! The path of a Magus is a continuous search for the truth, researching about phenomena and objects, and finding the rules in them and applying these concepts to ourselves. This is the source of motivation and strength for Magi!”
While walking, the old Magus taught the acolytes who were following behind him.
“I’ve already told you about the unique characteristics of the Bloody Grass. However, you’ve only seen pictures and samples. Now, I’ve brought you here, where it is naturally grown…”
“Arnold! Take a look at this. Is this Bloody Grass any different from the rest?”
The old Magus asked a male acolyte with freckles on his face.
“Yes! It’s thinner than others of its kind, and the veined pattern of blood on the surface isn’t very clear. It might have met with some natural predator, specifically… specifically…”
Arnold was still a large boy, with some hair growing above his lips. He walked ahead and extended his right hand towards the Bloody Grass, wanting to take a closer look.
In that instant, a red shadow shot out from the Bloody Grass, heading straight for Arnold’s face!
“Ah…” Arnold staggered and fell back, alarmed.
*Pak!* A black flash of light was shot out from the old Magus’ hands, striking the shadow down.
It was a red beetle-like organism with grey spots on its back. Its sharp mouth let out cold glints, its teeth that were half the size of its body still moving.
“This is the Sawtooth Beetle, the natural predator of the Bloody Grass! It loves to gnaw at the roots of the Bloody Grass. If it is cultivated by hand, one must patrol every day and eliminate this sort of insect!”
“Arnold! You didn’t even perform the most basic defence before observing the grass. This carelessness will cost you your life in the future!”
The old Magus shook his head and then headed off into the distance.
Arnold turned a little red as he rubbed his head, quickly stood up and caught up.
“Hey, big guy! You really are lucky! The spiral sawtooth attack of the Sawtooth Beetle is something even level 2 acolytes might not be able to take on! If not for mentor, you would now be a cold corpse…”
A female acolyte approached him, snorting in disdain.
“Hehe…” Arnold scratched his head, making him seem even more thickheaded.
“Let’s go! How could you even become an acolyte with that level of intelligence? It’s basically a disgrace to us and to our mentor!” A boy wearing fancy clothes and seemed to have received education on the etiquette of the nobility walked past, leaving Arnold far behind.
“Mentor! The Bloody Grass can strengthen one’s body to a certain extent, and is a huge temptation to some high-energy beings. It is usually found in places where high-energy beings hunt, so should we be a little more careful?”
The acolyte of nobility ran in front of the old Magus.
”You’re on the right track, but I’ve already scouted the area. The only high-energy being here is just a Gale Shackled Weasel, which is about the limits of what you are able to handle with your abilities!”
The old Magus nodded, praising him.
“Though Bloody Grass can strengthen the body to a certain extent, its poison is too strong for us humans. It needs to be processed before it can be turned into a potion! Your mission now is to harvest enough Bloody Grass to brew a standard portion of body-strengthening potion, as well as remove the poison within!”
The old Magus began to issue the task.
“Understood, mentor!” A few acolytes immediately brought out their apparatus and separated, with the old Magus at the centre so that he was able to help every one of them in time.
“Good!” Seeing this, the old Magus nodded in satisfaction.
*Xiu!* A Sawtooth Beetle shot out of the Bloody Grass, brushed past Arnold’s face and scared him so much that he fell.
“Haha! Look at that idiot! Mentor had already demonstrated that there could be beetles hidden in the Bloody Grass that looked less healthy, and yet you still try to harvest it!”
The acolyte of nobility coincidentally walked past. He raised his hand and chanted a few syllables, and a corrosive ball shot out, putting an end to the beetle before mocking him relentlessly.
“Look! I’ve almost gathered the required amount of resources, and you haven’t even filled the bottom yet!”
The acolyte opened his bag and proudly showed it to Arnold.
“Don’t bother with him! Levi, come help me! The roots of this Bloody Grass are too hard!” The girl from before hummed in dissatisfaction.
“Alright, alright, I'll be right there!”
Levi quickly cast Arnold away, approaching the girl and being particularly attentive to her.
Though they were still children, the youngsters of the south coast usually matured early. There were already indications of this early on.
Upon seeing this, the old Magus reminiscenced, “This is youth…”
He mumbled to himself, producing a pipe with golden decorations on the surface and beginning to smoke. White circles of smoke were constantly puffed out and appeared in the air.
However, while he was recalling the past, a slight tremble of the ground began.
“Huh? This is?” The old Magus immediately put out his pipe, this peculiar situation immediately arousing his interest.
In the next few seconds, the tremors became more intense till the ground began to shake substantially.
From a distance away, a group of strange beings, such as two-headed wolves, four-legged mutated elks and all sorts of high-energy beings, normal beings, carnivorous and herbivorous animals banded together that formed a wave that was hard to avoid.
At the very front, the old Magus even found a few large terrifying beasts that gave him a sense of danger!
“Assemble! Assemble here!” The old Magus yelled, his voice a little hoarse from his nerves.
“What the hell is going on?”
The acolyte of nobility, Levi, raised his head and stared at the scene, stunned. All of a sudden, he was drowned by the large numbers of Sawtooth Beetles that flew out from the Bloody Grass. The girl with him could not escape the fate of death either, the sound of flesh and blood being gnawed on constantly being produced.
The group of beetles were like grey spots constantly rising from the Bloody Grass, forming a cloud that entered the wave.
“What’s going on? Why are there animals fleeing from danger in this season? Is there some extremely dangerous being chasing after them?”
The old Magus wondered to himself, not even sparing a glance at Arnold who had been running pitifully.
A human figure streaked through the sky at an incredibly fast rate, creating two air waves that had long ripples trailing behind.
“You can’t escape!”
A massive voice travelled from behind the figure. Following the sound, a large bundle of white light immediately appeared in front of the black figure, turning into a large shield.
“Scorching Touch!” With a wave of his hand, two streaks of red rays shot out from the shadow and created two large holes in the shield. Under the constant shimmering of the white rays, the shield quickly returned to its prior state.
Under the hindrance of the shield, the black figure stopped, revealing the appearance of a young Magus. He had black hair, his features handsome yet sinister.
Behind him, a line of white light brought with it immense pressure as it burst towards him.
*Weng!* A formless energy boundary dissipated in all directions with the light at the centre. A fantastical land of light and beauty suddenly descended upon this region.
“This is… the domain of a highly ranked Magus! It’s a rank 3 Magus!”
The old Magus gaped, his eyes on the verge of popping out, “Who in the world is he chasing after? Is it also a rank 3 lord Magus?”
The rays dissipated, revealing the figure of a blonde Magus.
“Poison King Leylin! You dare kill my blood! Even though Jajone was just trash, our family name must not be tarnished!
Countless rays were emitted from his body, forming a huge pike made of countless other pikes.
“Heavenly Pike!” The large numbers of pikes shot towards Leylin like raindrops.
“Toxic Bile!” Leylin spread his arms and a wave of toxins rippled towards the pikes. *Tss tss!* A large amount of white gas sizzled out, and the sounds of corrosion was produced from the pike formed of heavenly rays. It quickly began to fill with holes.
However, though the pike’s power seemed to have been weakened, it still charged towards Leylin.
“Kemoyin’s Scales!” From the surface of Leylin’s skin, countless black scales with incomplete runes on it emerged. The black light exploded from the scales, forming a huge shield in front of him.
The pike penetrated the shield with black runes, focusing on Leylin’s body and created a large number of sparks.
An unnatural flush appeared on Leylin’s face, and he retreated. While flying backwards, he waved fiercely.
Large amounts of black flames wrapped the shield of light from before, combusting fiercely.
The shield of light had become slightly thinner after the attack of the Scorching Touch. Now, with the attack from the Latent Fireball, white rays constantly flickered and eventually exploded, turning into little milky-white lights that were burnt till nothing was left by the black flames.
“Light Domain!” The blonde rank 3 Magus suddenly spread his arms, looking ready to give a hug.
*Boom!* The boundaries of light shifted such that it increased in area, including Leylin within.
A huge suction power exploded from the light Magus, and Leylin was involuntarily dragged closer to him.
“As expected of a rank 3 Magus! Though this light domain is but an imitation, it is still slightly able to suppress my strength!” Feeling the rapid increase of the number of light elemental particles in the air and the huge decrease in dark elemental particles, Leylin’s expression became grim.
A white bundle of light carrying with it a terrifying destructive power rose from the rank 3 light Magus’ hand, advancing towards Leylin.
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