Entering the Nest
Upon seeing the blood fluids, the Blood Vulture’s eyes shot our rays of excitement as it started to shriek hysterically. A blood-coloured glow shone from his body.
Concurrently, large amounts of fresh blood spewed out of the Snake-Necked Turtle’s neck like water from a fountain. It coagulated in mid-air and eventually formed lumps of blood clot which were swallowed by the Blood Vulture.
Soon after, the Blood Vulture stretched out its long sharp black claws, and easily lifted the shell of the Snake-Necked Turtle. Using its claws, it separated the fresh flesh into segments of meat and started devouring the meat. His motions were smooth, as he nonchalantly ate a Snake-Necked Turtle in front of its counterparts.
The majestic beast presented a perfect combination of grace and bloodshed.
“Moooooo...” As they watched their companion being brutally murdered, the rest of the Snake-Necked Turtles mourned but did not dare to take a step outside the lake.
Leylin quietly watched this scene and maintained a neutral expression.
That was but a common occurrence in the natural world. Before the advancement to a stage where one could survive purely based on the injection of energy, such predatory acts were not considered to be good or bad. The survival instincts were merely the rules of life, meant to be followed and respected.
“Its ability to control bloodline!” On the contrary, Leylin was actually very interested in this specific ability of the Blood Vultures.
Furthermore, differing from the Snake-Necked Turtle, a mature Blood Vulture was at least at the standard of a Rank 3, the minimum criteria to achieve the Pure Ancient Blood! Leylin was extremely interested in the origins of these bloodline creatures.
‘It’s just… Should I go?’ Leylin stroked his chin.
The King Blood Vulture could be of Morning Star rank, and under its detection, Leylin’s stealth spell would not be of any effect. However, should the King Blood Vulture still be of rank 3 status, even if it was at the apex of the Crystal Phase, Leylin would still be confident in his ability to conceal himself.
‘The number of choices we humans have is very troublesome!’ Leylin thought. He sighed feeling like he was at a crossroads in life, with a dense fog shrouding his destiny.
In fact, this was a choice people would have come across many times in life in which their final choices can result in different outcomes, both good and bad.
‘Do I go, or not?’ Leylin debated with himself.
*Trrring!* Leylin tossed a dull golden coin and it landed on the back of his hand with the Luckbird staring back at him.
Even after a long while, the coin was not badly damaged, causing Leylin to heave a sigh of relief.
“Since the Coin of Destiny did not crack, this means that the Blood Vultures don’t have a rank 4 in their midst. I can take my chances!” Leylin’s eyes burned with passion.
The Coin of Destiny was Leylin’s biggest accomplishment in Twilight Zone. It would, however, bring about huge misfortunes if it were to be utilised to predict the abilities of Morning Star Magi. But despite this flaw, it still benefitted Leylin without a doubt.
Since not a single crack appeared on the coin when he made the prediction, this suggested that there were no Morning Star beings blocking his path. That was good enough for him. Even if he used everything he had, he could not bridge the gap between himself and a Morning Star power.
As long as the opponent was not at the Morning Star realm, Leylin was willing to take the risk.
*Choo!* At this point in time, the Blood Vulture on the ground had already finished its meal. Leylin was stunned, as he looked at the Blood Vulture fly into the sky with the remains of the Snake-Necked Turtle in its mouth as if it wanted to bring the remains back into its nest.
“This is my chance!” Leylin’s eyes flashed brightly, as he initiated his Shadow Stealth. He concealed his figure in the crevices and stealthily entered the carcass of the Snake-Necked Turtle.
The wind howled unceasingly. The Blood Vulture took off at a high velocity, the friction created by the turbulence had caused sparks to be created with the corpse of the Snake-Necked Turtle.
Fortunately, the collision of airflow ceased after it reached a certain height.
The Blood Vulture travelled at a high velocity, causing Leylin’s view of the landscape below to be that of a blur. About 10 minutes later, they arrived at their destination.
Leylin could barely hide the shocked expression on his face as he saw the huge shadows not far from him.
Ahead of him was a huge mountain, solitary and upright. There was not a hint of vegetation, instead, it gave off a dark glow that made it seem as if it was some kind of metal structure.
Scattered all around were huge caves, of which Blood Vultures could be seen squawking in.
They were synchronized in their cacophony. Not only were their penetrating screeches ten times as strong as those of the individuals, they caused Leylin’s Kemoyin bloodline to have a weird reaction, as if it was about to leave his body. Fortunately, this was just a momentary hallucination. Under the suppression of his Vapour Phase spiritual force, it disappeared without a trace.
“The Blood Vulture’s ability to control bloodlines is truly terrifying!” Leylin muttered.
“Furthermore, this Ecological Garden is far too vast and wide!” Leylin developed doubts towards his previous judgement. “Don’t tell me that this place is not simply an Ecological Garden or a Magus’ garden, but a pocket dimension... A pocket dimension within another!”
Rumour had it that, among the various pocket dimensions that the ancient Magi left behind as a legacy, some even contained additional pockets of their own.
This sort of layering was extremely difficult, as it was impossible to shift a dimension into another. Even though Leylin possessed quite a few spatial items, he was unable to place his storage ring into his storage pouch.
But it was very obvious that the ancient Magi had methods to successfully break through this restriction, thus building this pocket dimension within a pocket dimension!
This kind of pocket dimensions were known as cores. It required the huge affluence and power of the ancient Magi to be able to build such a core. And in this core were stored all kinds of resources, many of which would make Morning Star Magi turn green with envy.
“Since the Sun’s Child was within the Quicksand Organisation, then their powers would be considered top-notch even in the ancient times. Such organisations would hence possess the ability to construct these!”
Leylin guessed as such as he looked up at the entirety of Quicksand Castle, which was, in fact, an extraordinary pocket dimension!
*Choo!* At this moment, the Blood Vulture with Leylin let out a harmonious hoot and descended into one of the huge caves.
*Bam!* The carcass of the Snake-Necked Turtle was thrown to the ground, following which, the Blood Vulture started squawking. A few small pink Blood Vultures ran out from the cave, gnawing at the flesh.
It was obvious these small Blood Vultures were only children. Not only were their bodies shades of pink, they were completely bald, having yet to grow feathers. They were similar in strength to level 3 acolytes.
“After these Blood Vultures grow into adulthood, they are able to reach the level of a rank 3 Magus. Furthermore, they are able to control bloodlines. Since they were capable of flight too, their eggs, if sold, would definitely be able to obtain a high price!
Leylin looked at the baby Blood Vultures, which were as small as chicks, and thought that it was a pity.
Since they were born, these Blood Vultures would only succumb to the first creature they saw after they exited their shells, and could never be tamed by anyone else.
Taking advantage of the Blood Vultures eating the carcass, Leylin secretly exited the carcass of the Snake-Necked Turtle, and went to a corner of the cave.
“Shadow Technique!” Leylin used a complicated magic rune on himself. The darkness immediately shrouded him and Leylin vanished into the shadows.
The Blood Vultures were driving Leylin up the wall and at the same time, Leylin felt a terrifying life force fluctuating from the centremost cave.
That was definitely the King Blood Vulture, a peak rank 3 Crystal Phase creature!
Under the detection of so many high-ranked creatures, his Shadow Stealth could not hold out for long, hence Leylin had used yet added another spell.
The Shadow Technique was not exactly a spell but a special technique. When Leylin was in Twilight Zone, he had collected many rank 3 spell models. Even though the majority of them were flawed, there were still a few which were in good condition.
So with these models as a starting point, he developed his own special technique that was compatible with Shadow Stealth! Amongst everything, many of the ancient records of the Dark Elves gave him a lot of insights in his development of the special technique.
[Shadow Technique: Can be used on its own to hide the user’s physical body, or can be used in combination with the rank 1 spell Shadow Stealth, increasing its strength, in which case the final strength will be similar to that of a rank 3 spell!]
It was very difficult to develop a rank 3 spell independently, but Leylin found Shadow Stealth an easy spell to cast. It was rare to come by such a combination of compatibility with both bloodline and aptitude. Hence, Leylin customized this Shadow Technique to amplify Shadow Stealth’s ability, elevating it to rank 3 status.
The combination of the Shadow Stealth and Shadow Technique immediately produced a frightening end-result.
Leylin could clearly feel his own shadow being engulfed by a layer of dense darkness. He had been kept on edge before as he felt that he would be discovered anytime, but now, those feelings of trepidation had completely disappeared.
“So... Blood Vultures do like metallic surroundings. This is something the books never mentioned!”
Leylin ignored the exchange of the family of Blood Vultures, and without consent, looked around the nest of the Blood Vulture.
The cave was huge and gloomy, dimly lit, and had the foul smell of a certain creature. Of course, this didn’t matter much to Leylin.
Following the path to the bottom of the cave, Leylin saw a huge bird’s nest made with chunks of gold. Beside it were multiple smaller nests weaved with other unknown golden stalks and roots, radiating a faint light.
“This is….” Leylin walked closer and immediately widened his eyes as he was attracted to the objects inside the golden nest.
“Bloodline Crystals, Dragonroot fruits, and dried up bones of bloodline creatures!”
He was immediately able to recognize a few items.
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