Warlocks were a branch of ancient Magi, and possessed enormous strength as a result of their bloodlines.
Warlocks of a rank not only had all the abilities a regular Magus of that rank held, but also the amplification of their bloodline. Their powers greatly surpassed those of regular Magi.
Why couldn’t such a powerful branch dominate the Magus World? Why, instead, did they lay low in the South Coast and Twilight Zone, with even the central continent only containing a small number of them?
All of this could be attributed to their main problem—the shackles of their bloodlines!
According to Kubler, unlike Magi who could continuously improve, the advancement of Warlocks was largely dependent on the bloodline they inherited.
That was to say that, for a Huge Mankestre Snake Warlock like Kubler, because of the bounds of his bloodline, he was destined to never advance further after being an official Magus! No amount of effort could promote him to rank 2! This, was the shackles of a bloodline!
Similarly, the peak of a Black Horrall Snake Warlock’s development was rank 3! Such a Warlock would never enter the Morning Star realm!
For a Kemoyin Giant Serpent Warlock like Leylin, even though his pure bloodline could support him in his advancement to rank 2 and rank 3, it was of little effect against the obstacles to becoming a Morning Star Magus.
Moreover, after advancing to a Morning Star, he too would lose his potential to advance. It was impossible for a Warlock to alter his own bloodline, and hence there were nearly no solutions to this problem!
In reality, Magi like Leylin could be considered to be quite fortunate. After all, Morning Star Magi still held some clout even in the central continent.
The more miserable ones were Warlocks who could not even advance to become official Magi, due to the limits of their bloodlines! For instance, if Kubler had used a young Mankestre Snake instead of a matured one, then his entire life would be spent with him as an acolyte. No matter how great his talent was, it would be useless!
Having heard all this, even Leylin who had considerable knowledge broke out in a cold sweat.
Initially, if he had coveted convenience and directly used the blood of the Black Horrall Snake to advance, he might have been restricted to being a rank 3 Magus, and lost any hope of progression!
And now? Although Kubler had said that the limits of his potential were that of a rank 4 Warlock, at least it was better than before.
Moreover, even in ancient times, Morning Star Magi were prominent figures. With their strength, they were likely to have interacted with regions on a broader scale than a rank 3 Magus. As a result, there might already have been some solutions to this!
Lastly, there was still the rich resources of the Icy World and the legendary Snake Dowager, which presented a gleam of hope!
Due to Leylin’s confidence in himself, he was only somewhat dispirited before he recovered.
He thought back to what had come up when he obtained the Kemoyin’s Pupil meditation technique: “All those who walk on the path of bloodlines will eventually be shackled by the very bloodline itself...”
The line had baffled him then, and had left him with an ominous premonition. From the looks of it now, though, it was a reference to the shackles of a Warlock’s bloodline.
“At that time, Great Magus Serholm was cultivating the Giant Kemoyin Serpent bloodline. He had conducted a lot of experiments on bloodlines, perhaps this was why…” Leylin thought of this again.
Very evidently, even in the Circle of Ouroboros, Warlocks of different bloodlines have different positions.
The Giant Kemoyin Serpent Warlocks held the highest status, to the point that some pureblood Giant Kemoyin Serpent Warlocks could merely rely on time to elapse and enter rank 3 automatically in a few hundred years. They even had the hopes of becoming Morning Star Magi.
As a result, pureblood Giant Kemoyin Serpent Warlocks like these would be elite royalty in the Circle of Ouroboros. Viewed as future Morning Star seeds, they were protected and nurtured.
On the other hand, the Black Horrall Snake Warlocks had a bloodline limit of rank 3, and would forever not be able to improve. However, in any case, they relied on the strength of their bloodline and did not have any problems advancing to be rank 2 Magi. There was a possibility to become rank 3 as well, so they ranked just after Giant Kemoyin Serpent Warlocks.
As for Huge Mankestre Snake Warlocks like Kubler? They were a bunch with the most miserable status, only slightly better than the acolyte Warlocks. Even rank 3 Warlocks with a slightly better bloodline would look down on them.
This wasn’t intentional. Just a result of differences in strength.
Hence, for higher status and better treatment, many lower ranked Warlocks chose to go under the wings of Giant Kemoyin Serpent Warlocks, forming the relationship of a master and vassal. This was how Warlock clans came to be.
Kubler had detected the bloodline resonance of Leylin’s Giant Kemoyin Serpent bloodline, and immediately sold himself to Leylin in exchange for protection.
Upon hearing that, Leylin sighed internally. “Looks like no matter where you are, as long as any organisations exist, there will be a hierarchy of power and unfairness, exploitation and oppression!”
Having seen Kubler’s nervous and hopeful expression, he laughed weakly: “I, Leylin Farlier, accept you as my vassal! I hope you’ll be able to abide by the rules of our master-servant contract! The prestige and status of the family of Leylin Farlier…”
“As you wish, Master! From now on, your wish is my command, as witnessed by this drop of blood!”
Kubler‘s face was solemn. He cut his hand, and smeared the bright red blood with a tinge of yellow on his forehead, kowtowing low.
*Bam!* After he paid his respects, Leylin instantly felt a contracted connection, the bloodline contract. To him, there were few restrictions, but the impact on Kubler was much greater.
Originally, Leylin could only hint at and impact Kubler to a small extent through his high-level bloodline. With the contract having taken effect, that influence was amplified. Even if Leylin were to order Kubler to die, Kubler would probably have to follow the orders!
“This control of a higher rank has over a lower rank is this strong?” Having seen this point, Leylin did not experience any joy, but instead, fear had arisen in his heart.
Since the Giant Kemoyin Serpent was a species with a snake bloodline, should it meet a snake species of a higher rank, or even the Snake Dowager, the other party could easily butcher it!
“No! Absolutely not! My will is mine alone!” Leylin shouted violently in his head, and even resolved himself secretly.
Even though he had many considerations, from Kubler’s point of view, Leylin was merely mildly startled before accepting his oath.
“Master, I arrived at this point from the spurting of the lava, this is the map and the site of the volcano!”
After Kubler got up, he immediately passed on a map to Leylin with both hands.
“Are you in a hurry?” Leylin looked at the map; at the top, there was labelled a curvy path. In the upper region were more detailed lava sites. The only drawback was that there were damages and stains in some areas, which could not be seen clearly.
“Master, I made use of the dormancy of the volcano to get here. Large amounts of the lava had solidified into pathways to this place. If we are to get out, we must rush to do it before the volcano erupts. If not, large amounts of lava will block the pathways. This conditions will only last a few days. If we miss this opportunity, we will have to wait for at least a hundred years...
Kubler’s thoughts naturally would not be able to keep Leylin in the dark, hence he just said it out directly.
Even though he had just arrived here, he already disdained the nasty conditions of Twilight Zone. Not only was the energy particle concentration here much lower than that of the central continent, the resources were also much poorer.
For instance, the Vitality Fruitvine might not have been common in the central continent, but rank 3 acolytes could get a hold of them. It wasn’t big enough for official Magi to fight each other over.
Seeing his longing to return, Leylin’s anticipation towards the central continent immediately increased.
The prosperity of the central continent seemed to have exceeded his expectations. The description even contained traces of the golden age of the ancient Magi.
“This can come later. First, I’ll go check out where you came from…” Leylin stroked his chin and kept the map.
Even though he had decided to proceed towards the central continent, there were many things to settle in Twilight Zone as well.
After all, in a guild as big as Nature’s Alliance, there were a lot of vested interests. Also, were Leylin to disappear, the human race would be thrown into chaos, and this might even extend to beings of other species.
*Bloop! Bloop!* This was a huge lava lake. Large amounts of fresh red lava continuously boiled to the top, radiating heat. The lava at the central had grown so hot it was golden-yellow, the glow of the ripples captivating even in its danger.
“This high temperature,” Leylin’s face slightly changed, “I’m afraid that even with my defense I could withstand it for ten hours at most!”
Above the lake was a giant hole. It was pitch black, with no exit in sight, but there were traces of wind howls transmitting out from it.
“Above us is the main entrance towards the giant volcanic mountain range. Normally, the lava level is so high that it covers the entrance. Only once in a hundred years, during the short dormancy, does it drop down low enough to travel through...” Kubler explained.
“I know!” Leylin’s body rose into mid-air, as he felt the edges of the cave. A strange feeling of a solid glow with a tinge of heat was transmitted over.
After being immersed in large amounts of lava, the surface of the rock was not composed as it was before. It had become an alloy of metal and crystal.
“We need to make the most of the time we have! If not, we won’t be able to make it back to the surface of the earth before the lava engulfs the area!” Kubler’s expression looked peculiar. Similarly, he had not thought that having just arrived at this place, he would have to journey back again.
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