The Watcher and The Ladybird
“Since that is what Sir Blood Rogue wants, of course it's possible!” This was a small matter, and the rules were flexible enough to accommodate it. Furthermore, Serene wanted to attempt roping in Leylin, so naturally she would give him due respect.
In actual fact, even if Leylin’s quota was full but he still wanted to bring more people, Serene would agree to it.
After all, in her eyes, a Potions Grandmaster was of a much higher status than the Rolithe Family, which only had a single Hydro Phase Magus.
“Really? Thank you so much, Sir!” Nolan immediately expressed his delight. He, of course, did not recognise Leylin who had changed his disguise, and bowed with Jessia.
“Many thanks…” Jessia was slightly reluctant, but she bowed anyway, still feeling wronged.
“Alright!” Leylin nodded in a reserved manner, and was about to enter the auction venue.
“Hold on! Dear friend, my name is Vance Rolithe! Thank you so much for this!” The old man by the name of Vance had been standing by the side, waiting for Leylin to start walking so that he could enter the auction venue with him side by side. The wine red carpet extended continuously under their feet.
“Nothing much, just a bit of help while I’m here!” Leylin replied, but god knew what expression he had under his hood.
He reached out and stroked the round coin on his chest.
‘The reaction is getting stronger! Perhaps what I need is with the other party, hehe… Jessia, you’ve given me a large present!’
Leylin shot a glance at Jessia, who was walking with her head held low. This woman still seemed rather fiery.
The scene outside the auction venue had completely stripped her of her vanity, making her aware of how inferior and helpless she really was.
She did not show the slightest amount of gratitude to Leylin who had given her a hand earlier.
Of course, she didn’t recognise Leylin as well, and was instead cursing and grumbling inside, “Wretched Leylin! If not for you, I wouldn’t be here and suffer such humiliation… You’ll see. Don’t let me bump into you tonight, or else…”
A sinister look flashed across Jessia’s eyes, but was quickly masked. As her head was partially lowered, her expression was not discovered by anyone.
That’s right. The main reason for her being here was Leylin. Ever since she saw Leylin at Azure Mountain City, revenge was all that was on her mind.
Plus, according to the elder that had seen Leylin with them, he was only in the initial phase of a rank 3 back then and hadn’t even entered the Vapour Phase.
As long as they could find him, Grandfather—whose strength had already reached the peak of the Hydro Phase—would definitely be able to help them seek revenge!
But what disappointed Jessia was that no matter how hard she searched Azure Mountain City, even going so far as to stand guard at the pastry shop they had met in, he was nowhere to be found.
Leylin had long since changed his identity to Blood Rogue, and even if they were to meet face to face on the streets, Jessia would definitely be unable to recognise him.
After countless futile attempts, Jessia could only grudgingly give up further plans to continue the search. Instead, she turned to other ideas.
She would strike at the auction!
She was extremely certain that Leylin would appear here, attracted by the auction. Therefore, even if she hadn’t found him for the time being, she would find him at the venue!
As such, her trip here was to relieve her of her troubles. It was why Jessia, who didn’t have even the slightest bit of interest in the auction, had pestered Nolan to bring her here.
However, she seemed to have forgotten something. Not only would there be a huge number of Magi attending the auction, making it impossible to comb through everyone, there was also another problem that would be highly difficult to solve: as long as he was an official Magus, he would definitely have the ability to change his appearance! Once Leylin was in disguise, even if she wandered around the entire venue, it would be impossible to find him.
Jessia might have thought about this were she not filled with rage and fuelled by hatred, making her lose her ability to think rationally.
At this moment, Leylin and Vance had reached a crossroad.
“Haha, it has been a pleasant conversation with you, Blood Rogue. I shall head to my room. Maybe we can each leave our secret imprints behind, and meet again to chat another time…” Vance was deliberately trying to get close to Leylin; after all, he evidently was holding a high position at the Azure Mountain auction.
The more people of high-standing that they knew, the more benefits their family stood to gain.
“Sure!” From under the hood came a laugh that been altered by the A.I. Chip. At the same time, a secret imprint emerged.
After saying their goodbyes, Leylin followed the maid to his room. The room was decorated very luxuriously, but it was rather small, and could only accommodate a maximum of three chairs placed side by side without squeezing them close to each other.
‘No wonder they only allowed two other people to enter, I’m afraid that Jessia will have to stand at the side—oh, no, maybe Nolan will stand at the side, while Jessia takes his seat…’ Leylin let his thoughts run wild.
At the same time, he was sizing up the whole cubicle. The most captivating part of the entire room was the huge screen in the centre, where numerous auction items would appear.
Leylin fiddled with the bidding machine and communication equipment for a while and quickly got the hang of it.
The quality of the sound-proofing between cubicles was excellent, and the entire booth immediately went quiet when the maid left.
“Something doesn’t feel right! A.I. Chip, scan!”
Leylin leaned against the top of the chair and stroked his chin, seemingly meditating out of boredom or deep in thought, but yet a faint blue glow flashed across under his eyes.
[Starting scan, no abnormalities!] A few moments later, the A.I. Chip’s conclusion alarmed Leylin.
“What?! That can’t be true, as an owner of the auction, how is it possible that a basic intelligence-gathering spell formation has not even been set up? Scan again, activate combined tri-unit operation, mobilize atomic microscope!” Leylin immediately realized the root of the problem.
How could such Magi be at ease at an auction? Even though on the surface they said it was for protection, the necessary surveillance was still required.
Perhaps some Morning Star Magi could avoid such treatment, but Leylin clearly did not qualify.
[Beep! Orders received! Mobilizing atomic microscope, starting in-depth scan!] The A.I. Chip immediately began operating again.
This time, a discovery was made within 3 seconds.
[Beep! Discovered traces of microscopic beings, no similar image found in database!]
The A.I. Chip sent the report loyally, and projected an image into Leylin’s brain.
The image was clearly a magnified version of the image from the atomic microscope. In an environment made up of numerous cell-like objects, living creatures similar to ladybirds that were the size of fine particles were patrolling around the cracks. Together, they even formed a spell rune.
“This is…” Leylin’s pupils contracted, “Manlar's Eavesdropping Rune! And what is this creature? It is actually so tiny that an atomic microscope is needed to examine it…”
A chill ran down his spine as he ordered the A.I. Chip to scan his self. After confirming that these ladybirds only stayed on the floor of the room and that there were none in contact with his body, he heaved a sigh of relief.
‘Although I don’t know what other purpose this creature serves, its mere ability to spy by forming runes is extremely hard to deal with and dreadful…’ Leylin’s heart was heavy, but he maintained a drowsy appearance, so no one thought that something was wrong.
‘Looks like the entire auction venue has been covered with these tiny bugs. Also, someone is using their characteristics to build a spell formation… Such a thing can only be done by the Azure Mountain King!’
Leylin was very certain. Although he was well-equipped with knowledge and experience, he had never heard about such a ladybird before, so it was likely to be a creature from a different world that had been captured and made use of by the Azure Mountain King to form a strange spell formation.
A spell formation deployed with utmost care by a Morning Star Magus would not be discovered even by a rank 3 Crystal Phase Magus.
Leylin even suspected that even other rank 4 Magi would not find out easily.
This would also explain why this secret had never been revealed, and why the Azure Mountain auction had been having such good business void of any nasty incidents.
Under the watch of the ladybirds, no matter what plans one had, they would be hard to implement.
‘He is indeed worthy of being a Morning Star Magus!’ Leylin gasped without saying anything else, acting as though he hadn’t discovered anything.
However, this also explained why VIPs were given such tiny rooms. Judging by the strength of the Oakheart Clan, even if they built a spacious and luxurious cubicle for every single VIP, they wouldn’t face any financial pressure. The only possibility why they didn’t was because of such a spell formation.
A surveillance spell formation that was able to cover the entire auction venue was incredibly expensive.
After all, the entire venue accommodated a huge number of Magi! The current surface area that it occupied was the maximum, and could not be expanded further.
As the boundaries of the spell formation ended there, if the compound was further expanded, there would be blind spots in the surveillance, which would obviously not be permitted by the Azure Mountain King.
At this moment, a voice sounded, as though it came from right in front of Leylin. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Azure Mountain City. We thank you for being here at this distinguished event. I am honoured to be your humble host, Leo Oakheart…”
Soon after, many images appeared on three of the walls, revealing a humongous platform on which a gold-haired middle-aged nobleman wearing a swallow-tailed coat was making a speech.
‘A 3D hologram technique?!’ Leylin almost yelled, but immediately came to his senses; it was only an effect achieved by spells.
It seemed as though Leylin was sitting in the best spot, directly facing the host of the auction. Certainly, the Magi in the other cubicles felt the same.
A row of words appeared on the screen in the centre of the room. “The first auction item will now be presented, a Fiery Gemstone...”
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