In the face of the Eye of Petrification, the man in the trenchcoat suddenly froze and an ash grey coat of stone formed across the surface of his body.
*Ka-cha! Ka-cha!* His entire being turned into a giant statue and particles of dust fell endlessly from him.
“Icy Blades!” Under the manipulation of the Green-skinned Barbarian, numerous blades formed a tornado, enclosing the statue within as eerie noises rang constantly.
Moments later, the blades dispersed and the statue that once stood there had vanished, leaving behind a bed of fragmented rocks.
“It’s finally over...” The Green-skinned Barbarian heaved a sigh of relief.
“No, not yet!” Kesha laughed bitterly instead.
Soon after, to his terror, the Green-skinned Barbarian saw the fragmented rocks explode, exposing pieces of flesh within.
Many of them grew tentacles and started amalgamating to reform the man in the black trenchcoat from before. Even a single tear could not be seen on his clothes.
“Goddammit!” The Green-skinned Barbarian cursed, “Where in the world did you infuriate this darned thing? Not only is it immune to spells, even physical attacks are useless!”
“I have no idea!” Kesha’s face spelled despair.
After entering Quicksand Castle, she had only charged through a few levels before the man in the black trenchcoat set his sights on her. With her subordinates being lost one by one, the current situation seemed to bode ill.
Under the immense threat of death, the last Green-skinned Barbarian in pursuit was compelled to join forces with Kesha to defeat this creature together. But by the looks of it, they were at their wits’ end.
*Chirp chirp!* A piercing sound sliced through the air. Violent whirls of wind were brought about as the earth was engulfed in darkness and shadows.
With a wing-spread wide enough to envelop the land in darkness, a Blood Vulture descended in the heart of an enormous mountain range that bore the appearance of a honeycomb, landing in the highest and largest cave.
Somewhere in the mountains, Leylin’s eyes sparkled with a blue glint.
“Left at 4.47pm, and returned again after an interval of 23 minutes and 45 seconds!”
He was currently recording the King Blood Vulture’s travel statistics with great detail. Over the past few days of observation, he had managed to reap some returns.
This King Blood Vulture had at least the strength of the Crystal Phase. The bulky physique of the creature and the terrifying spiritual force on it was sufficient to completely destroy Leylin’s plans of seizing anything.
Besides, the King Blood Vulture had no need to leave its nest to hunt. It received sacrifices from the entire pack of Blood Vultures. Every day, numerous Blood Vultures would return with food and deliver them into the cave.
Hence, it rarely left the cave throughout the day, unlike the average Blood Vulture Leylin had seen earlier, which usually spent half its day flying around outside.
However, every afternoon, at this particular time of the day, the King Blood Vulture would leave the cave for a period of time, likely to patrol its territory.
This was the very chance that Leylin had been waiting for.
“The Blood Vulture is indeed a creature from the ancient era gifted with the bizarre ability to sense any bloodline treasures....” Leylin exclaimed.
Apart from the King Blood Vulture’s cave which he had not dared to pry into, he had explored the lairs of the other average Blood Vultures and discovered many bloodline treasures which would be useful to Warlocks.
The accumulated value of these items were enough to make even Duke Gilbert lose his mind.
“Everything will hinge on tomorrow!”
Leylin watched the cave at the highest point with caution, and slipped into the darkness.
The next day, in the afternoon.
Following a cry, the gigantic King Blood Vulture stepped out of its cave once again, casting a shadow upon the earth. Terrifying vibrations swept the area, intimidating the other formidable creatures that watched over the region.
“The time is now!” Leylin’s glance froze.
“Shadow Stealth!” “Darkness technique!” In a split second, his physical being vanished and was concealed within the shadows, surrounded by thick fog.
With the help of the concealing effects of the spell, Leylin fumbled his way to the cave right into the central cave.
‘The King Blood Vulture’s lair is guarded by two Blood Vultures that are already at the Hydro Phase! Whenever the King Blood Vulture is out on patrol, they are responsible for guarding his lair’
Leylin crawled onto the protruding top of a black rock and watched the two huge blood-red silhouettes in the cave closely. He furrowed his brows.
“According to my current abilities, I might barely be able to handle a single Blood Vulture at the Hydro Phase, but it would definitely cause a ruckus! There’s a high possibility that the entire pack might surround and annihilate me, or that the King Blood Vulture might even return unexpectedly!”
Leylin took a glance at the silhouettes of the two guards, gritted his teeth, and passed through to the other side while hidden.
Two Blood Vultures at the Hydro Phase would be too much for him to handle with his current abilities, but the detection abilities of the powerful creatures might not be as acute as that of a human Magus. This was his chance.
Having already wasted too much time here, Leylin did not dare to continue waiting.
Even if it was risky, he wanted to give it a try!
In the shadows, everything outside was overcast. It was as if the world had been soaked in thick glue and every step he took, Leylin had to expend a great amount of energy and magic power, while at the same time taking note of how the two Blood Vulture guards reacted, making it a terribly tiring job for him.
Just when Leylin carefully arrived at the entrance, and was about to walk past one of the Blood Vulture guards...
“Chirp chirp!” The guard seemed to have discovered something and became alert, glancing around its surroundings with vigilance.
‘Even for a powerful creature, once it has passed rank 3, no matter how dumb it was originally, it would evolve to have the intelligence of a human!’ Leylin exclaimed.
He immediately commanded in his head: “A.I. chip! Begin the plan B!”
[Beep! Command received. Starting plan B.] The chip responded faithfully.
At the halfway mark of the mountain, a miniature model of a spell formation suddenly exploded, revealing a shadow servant within.
The shadow servant zoomed into a cave that was guarded by an adolescent Blood Vulture and grabbed a few pieces of bloodline crystals before escaping swiftly.
“Chirp chirp!!!” The Blood Vultures were left enraged, and numerous blood red figures flew out too, circling in the sky.
Before the shadow servant could run out of the perimeter of the huge mountain, it was torn to pieces by the explosive might of the Blood Vultures.
Although the two Blood Vulture guards did not take action, their attention was obviously taken away by the scene there. Seizing the chance, Leylin immediately took out a black crown.
This crown was very small and exquisite, and the design was not too flamboyant, as though it was specially made for females.
“Dark Elven Crown!”
This was Leylin’s war trophy. After completely defeating the dark elves, they who submitted to him offered the crown along with their powerful meditation techniques.
This crown was also the first magic equipment that Leylin had obtained, and was at a higher rank than his Meteor Sword.
The Dark Elven Crown was a sacred legendary weapon, which possessed the strong ability to mask auras. The then-queen of the Dark Elves, Anya, used it to enter the core of central Twilight Zone in a single motion. If not for Leylin’s secret interference, she might have emerged victorious over the humans and unified the entirety of Twilight Zone.
As a piece of magic equipment, the Dark Elven Crown had no doubt a hidden function, but as it had been used once recently, it took decades for it to be available for use again.
After getting hold of this magic equipm, Leylin had been constantly analyzing it using the A.I. chip, and had learnt many useful techniques and spells.
What made him especially interested was that the A.I. chip could forcefully stimulate a portion of the functions of the Dark Elven Crown when charged with a certain amount of magic crystals!
Although it only possessed a portion of its full powers, the Dark Elven Crown was still a piece of magic equipment! Its effect was limited only to Leylin himself. The scary thing was that it could even escape the perception of a Morning Star Magus.
This went without saying for the two Blood Vulture guards.
With the shadow servant outside holding their attention, along with the protection of the Crown of the Dark Elves, Leylin successfully infiltrated the lair of the King Blood Vulture.
Although the lighting in the cave was poor, it did not pose a problem to Leylin.
The floor was covered in dark red blood stains and the remains of other creatures which had varying degrees of decomposition; likely the food that the King Blood Vulture had consumed recently.
The entire cave felt eerie to Leylin, as though he was being watched closely by something.
Leylin reached out his hand and felt the wall which was black and studded with metal grains.
When his hand came into contact with the black wall, countless tentacles extended from above, but were quickly burnt his black flames.
“By the looks of it, this pack of Blood Vultures has been living here for a long time; even the mountains have been affected by the radiation and have come to life!” Leylin exclaimed.
Such materials that had been given life were very precious. Not only could they be added to self-defense spells, they could also confer the ability to heal oneself. Architecture that was built mainly with these materials usually could last for more than a thousand years without collapsing.
If such materials could be added to Leylin’s Magus tower, its degree of stability would definitely go up a notch.
“What a pity that plans to exploit this area would certainly be too unrealistic!”
Leylin continued walking, deeper and deeper, until he reached the end of the cave, where laid a gigantic Blood Vulture nest.
Gold animal fur and the metal itself were laid out to form a sturdy mat, upon which there was a depression from years of use. Yet, there wasn’t a single thing on the mat.
“Hmm?” Leylin was shocked, but followed with a bitter laugh.
“The bloodline items are only effective for the young of the Blood Vultures. It looks like the King Blood Vulture hasn’t laid any eggs, so naturally there would be no need to collect these items…”
‘I have to evacuate as soon as possible, and ransack all the other Blood Vulture lairs before that!’ Leylin was determined.
He made a prompt decision on the spot; if there weren’t any new discoveries, he would choose to leave immediately, and hardly did a sloppy job.
“Who would have thought that I would meet a comrade here!”
An exclamation sounded from a distance, causing Leylin to freeze in his steps.
He turned and firmly stared at a corner.
There, an illusory figure slowly came into view.
“A soul?! No! An even more powerful being!”
Leylin watched the figure that had suddenly appeared, as though he was about to face an enemy.
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