As far as Leylin was concerned, he had collected high-level meditation techniques to supplement the A.I. Chip’s information bank and to further understand the contents of the Kemoyin’s Pupil and Sacred Flame.
With the A.I. Chip’s formidable computation abilities, even if the data was somewhat incomplete, it did not matter. Difficulties regarding advancement were not the issue here, and in any case, Leylin himself would not be practicing all these techniques.
"Good! I am already aware of your sincerity!”
Under Celine’s somewhat stunned gaze, Leylin threw a light-gold leaf, the surface of which acted like a memory crystal, back to Celine and indifferently told her, “I now want to enter the icy cave by myself...”
"My lord! The icy cave’s terrain is complex, so even though you have a map, would you allow Obo or Ilya, or even Celine herself to guide you personally?”
Anxiety was present all over Celine’s face, as this was an opportunity for her relationship with Leylin to become better, and she did not want to miss it.
"No need for that!”
Leylin immediately rejected her suggestion.
In addition to the fact that Leylin had many secrets that were inconvenient for him to reveal in front of others, bringing along people would bring no benefits. According to the A.I. Chip’s analysis, the higher the rank of the Icy Jade Scorpion was, the better the quality of the Icy Jade Scorpion Breath would be, and therefore, Leylin desired to penetrate deep into the depths of the Icy Jade Scorpions’ lair in hopes of finding a higher ranked beast.
For the commonly found, dangerous adult beasts, which were equal to an official Magus in terms of strength, two level 3 acolytes would simply be like food delivered on a platter.
Even if Celine were to go, it would bring more demerits than benefits.
"In that case, I request that my lord informs me when he comes out. Celine has not brought my lord to have a look at the guild.”
Celine bit her lip, and finally issued her invitation.
"I will!” Seeing her wanting to speak more but hesitating, Leylin smiled inwardly, and immediately complied.
Then, following behind Celine, Leylin arrived at the entrance to the icy cave.
"Here the Nature’s Alliance, Eight Clawed Spiders, the Teal Vine, other guilds and factions guard this place together. They have jointly formed a council of Elders to oversee this place. In the past, our Nature’s Alliance naturally held a vast influence within this council of Elders, but it is very unfortunate that ever since my teacher passed away, Nature’s Alliance’s power has been reduced, and now, we have been pushed aside to the lowest authority.”
While Celine brought Leylin inside a huge building, she occasionally enlightened him as to the current situation of the Nature’s Alliance.
Along the way, Leylin could often see many Magi and acolytes, all wearing different kinds of Chinese gowns with different symbols on them, pass by him on their way in and out.
"This place is known as the Ice Fortress. The 6 guilds jointly vested some funds and built the fortress, and the guilds’ members defend it. Also, many other guilds have set up their own special laboratories here, and they analyze the various materials obtained from the icy caves…. Although our current authority is not much, escorting my lord inside is not a problem.”
Celine spoke as she led Leylin to the base of the fortress.
Within the man-made fortress, Leylin saw a huge white crevice.
A cold wind blew out constantly from the crevice, causing the temperature inside the cavern to drop by several degrees, to the point that even the white wind was condensed into cold ice and white snow which formed a thick layer that covered the entire crevice.
"The icy cave is filled with this type of ice wind all year long. Incidentally, the cold air and sharp ice ridges inside the cave are thorny nuisances even for our official Magi. After many years of exploration, we discovered that this crevice here is the least harmful, and is a most suitable entrance. Other places are either a dead end or it requires a long period to withstand the chilling cold air. Even a rank 2 Magi cannot necessarily withstand it….”
"En!” Leylin nodded.
There were also other giant surface cracks outside the icy cave, but by seeing how all the magicians paid no attention to them, he knew that these entrances simply were deathtraps, and that here lay the safest path.
"Isn't this Magus Celine? Do you want to enter the icy cave to explore?”
At this time, the Magus guarding the entrance greeted Celine with a smile, a warm expression in his eyes.
When Leylin saw that this Magus had a floor-length white beard, he somewhat speechlessly sneered inwardly.
"No! I am only escorting our guild’s honorary instructor to the entrance,” Celine replied with a smile.
"Honorary instructor? Him?!”
The old man was startled first, but then immediately began sizing up Leylin, this newly arrived Magus.
Although with Celine’s ability, she couldn’t attract an extremely formidable Magus, some comparatively shallow official Magi had willingly become members of Nature’s Alliance guild to get close to this beauty but were ultimately rejected by her.
Based on the facts that she had revealed, Celine had tried to find at least a semi-converted elemental Magus to join the guild. It was obvious that among her admirers, only Skrill had met these requirements, but Celine would not agree to that.
"Hello, Young Magus! I am known as Old Madre!” The elderly Magus was carefully measuring Leylin up, but he nevertheless spoke very politely.
"I am called Leylin. Nice to meet you.” Leylin smiled but remained very reserved.
Because of him frequently being in the habit of compressing his spiritual force, Leylin’s aura and fluctuation of energy waves were concealed, and thus, Old Madre was unable to discover Leylin’s true strength.
However, even this alone was enough to catch Old Madre’s attention and cause dread, as the unknown was often feared and considered dangerous by all, particularly the Magi.
"Since he is the honorary instructor of your guild, he can certainly go in!”
After confirming Leylin’s capabilities, Old Madre reverted to his business-like appearance.
Immediately, he pulled out something that looked like a metal ball, from within which a red light radiated, and submerged into the entrance.
*Po*! Within the void, there were faint trembles; these invisible distortions blasted out unceasingly, revealing a red coloured network of rays that covered the entire entrance. This network was clearly a previously-arranged defense mechanism, but it was unknown how it concealed things so that there was not even a leak of any magic waves.
"Such an arrangement...” Leylin hesitated and inwardly muttered. “If I did not know what it was beforehand, perhaps my identity would have also been discovered by it!”
"It is dangerous within the icy caves. A cold wind that is comparable to a level zero magic attack blows everywhere, and there are also many high-energy organisms that gather in some places. Hence, I request that you please not go in too deep!”
Old Madre exhorted a couple of sentences, and then immediately gestured an invitation to Leylin.
"My lord! The cold air attack of Icy Jade Scorpion is of an extreme Yin nature! I am begging you to be careful!” This was the last sentence Celine said to Leylin.
This scene caused old Madre, who was standing to one side, to be somewhat envious, but he did not say anything.
But he was different compared to Skrill. Old Madre only had warm feelings of admiration for Celine; his attitude did not change to one of terrifying possessiveness.
Therefore, when saw that Celine’s intention was to cherish Leylin, he had only chosen to observe this scene.
"I will be careful!”
Leylin smiled in agreement, and after that, he signalled to Old Madre with a nod and then submerged himself within that cold wind and snow.
The cold wind howled in Leylin’s ears as it violently blew about while he hurriedly slid down.
Finally, along with a light sound, Leylin steadily stood in a snowy area.
"How is it so deep? Aren't I already at least 3 kilometers underground?” Leylin surveyed his surroundings.
With the howling icy wind, there was much noise, like 10,000 musical instruments are being played at the same time.
The illumination contrasted greatly in here against the Fortress, as it was pitch black within the underground icy cave.
"Illuminate!” Leylin lifted his right hand, and a ball of light that was like a bright, incandescent light bulb calmly appeared on his palm.
"Let’s go!” As Leylin lightly shouted, the light ball rapidly rose in mid air and rotated.
The ball of light immediately illuminated this place.
Leylin took a quick look all around him. He was currently within a semicircular, underground icy cavern, the surroundings of which had countless densely packed holes in the walls. It was as if he was within an anthill.
All around on the walls was a thick, translucent layer of ice. The light from his illumination technique fell upon this ice layer and was immediately refracted into multi-colored light that made for a magnificent feast for the eyes!
Sounds of wings beating against the air resounded massively, as if tens of thousands of sparrows were trying to free themselves from a bag, waking Leylin who was standing awestruck while observing his surroundings.
Immediately, massive black dots welled up from within the underground cavern.
Upon taking a closer look, these black dots all had a pair of transparent, fleshy wings, forked tails that were similar to what swallows had, and tiny eyes and sharp ears that brought about an eerie feeling.
"Sun Chasing Bats! There are at least 10,000 of them!” Leylin quickly estimated the number of these bats.
“Chiiik...Chiik” The numerous bats cried out, and as if black clouds were blotting out the sun, they revolved around that light ball and projected a shadow upon the ground.
“Chiik!” After the colony of bats had surrounded the light ball, as if they had obtained a command they suddenly started to mindlessly attack that light ball. Their wings continuously smacked that ball of light, and like that, they wrapped up the entire light ball causing not even a sliver of light to be seen.
The entire cavern was once again plunged into darkness.
A moment later, the fluttering of wings once again echoed and the numerous Sun Chasing Bats scattered, but there were no traces of the light ball.
"Oh” Leylin sighed: "Igniting light in a region shrouded in darkness is clearly dangerous...”
In the subterranean world, the Twilight Zone’s human race made up only a small portion of the living organisms, and most darkness creatures had already been thoroughly exterminated, and because many of them were weak, they had no option but to hide upon seeing light.
However, in some desolate places outside of Twilight Zone, such light rays would instead stimulate the terrifying characteristics of these creatures of darkness leading to a relentless barrage of attacks!
The creatures of darkness outside of Twilight Zone and the ones that Leylin had just encountered were entirely different matters.
The tide formed by the massive amounts of foreign creatures of darkness were also something that even official Magi generally avoided.
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