Sly old Leylin was definitely able to recognise the stifling feeling when a huge war was approaching.
It was not just the mood. The bustling activity in the trading hall, the bloody missions, what had happened when Leylin had last been dispatched, as well as the appearance of the Ancient Forbidden Clock at the Azure Mountain Auction event all alluded to Leylin’s premonitions being correct.
The military strength of the central continent far exceeded Leylin’s experience in the south coast and Twilight Zone. The moment Morning Star Magi began using their final techniques, the damages were devastating.
With such terrifying attacks, it was no longer just about harming innocent commoners. Even lower ranked Magi were nothing but cannon fodder!
As such, Leylin could no longer distance himself from the whirlpool of events.
The volcano that was connected to the Twilight Zone was currently filled with lava, and he was unwilling to abandon the Ouroboros Clan now. After all, he was happier with the lifestyle here.
“For a Morning Star to rise, many choose to pave their way with bloody murder. What I lack now is precisely that, a tempering in fire and blood.” Leylin’s pupils blazed with ambition.
‘In the Magus world, the central continent is the highest layer, the place where all the high-ranking Magi reside. If there is disorder here, it’s likely to spill over into the other regions as well. I cannot have too many considerations that will distract me. The most crucial issue right now is to strengthen myself as soon as possible…’
With that thought, Leylin immediately sent out an order: “Tower genie, close off my bedroom and the main laboratory. Announce that I’m going to be conducting a very important experiment and do not wish to be interrupted in any way. Move all the items from Warehouse 1 to my lab.”
“As you wish, master!” The tiny green genie flapped her wings and bowed midair, disappearing in a flash…
About three months later.
In a quiet room in his Magus Tower, Leylin was seated with a head of messy hair and wrinkled clothes that had picked up dirt. In contrast to his ragged clothing, his eyes were bright, their blackness glorious and intimidating as they sparkled. Beside him were innumerable test tubes piled up, making the whole room look like a messy dump.
“A.I. Chip, investigate my current status.” he ordered, and it faithfully reported back:
[Leylin Farlier. Rank 3 Warlock (Hydro Phase). Bloodline: Giant Kemoyin Serpent, Strength: 30, Agility: 30, Physique: 45.5, Spiritual Force: 349.9, Magic Power: 349 (magic power is in synchronisation with spiritual force)]
This tremendous increase in spiritual force was the harvest Leylin had been looking forward to for the past few months. It was mainly due to the consumption of extremely powerful potions.
These potions, if offered to the Ouroboros Clan, would be enough to last their Warlocks an entire year! Such was the frightening results of piling up his resources.
For the past century while he lived in seclusion, Leylin had resisted the constant temptation of using spiritual force potions. He’d even concocted many himself, saving and sealing them up. Relying only on his bloodline to advance, he had slowly eliminated his body’s resistance to them.
The continuous use of potions would’ve been harmful to his personal growth. Now, however, with his foundations solid, raising his strength to the peak of the Hydro Phase would be as smooth as liquid flowing, with no obstructions whatsoever.
“Three phases to the third rank,” Leylin muttered under his breath, “the Vapour, Hydro and Crystal Phases. Spiritual force needs to reach 250 for the first, 300 for the second, and a whopping 350 for the third. Well, now I’ve achieved it. I can attempt to break the bottleneck to the Crystal Phase!”
The data computation of the spiritual force in the third rank was split into three sub-ranks and and their corresponding abilities had significant disparities.
After all, 100 kilograms of cotton and 100 kilograms of steel might weigh the same, yet their density and durability were completely different.
The spiritual force statistic varied widely between the different phases of the third rank. Between the Vapor Phase and Hydro Phase, a huge difference existed, and with the Crystal Phase, the disparity was even more terrifying.
Magi with such abilities could already be considered as reserve duty for Morning Star Magi. Spiritual force in Crystal Phase was the exact base material for the construction of ‘point mass’!
Once one advanced to the Crystal Phase, they would experience a revolutionary change in their body. Leylin had vague experiences of this change through Toram and number 5. The A.I. Chip too, had been in the midst of diligently exploring such changes.
“Warlocks are different from regular Magi after all. We even need to meet bloodline requirements.” He beamed. Prior to this, his personal progress had far exceeded that of his bloodline. When he was promoted to a rank 3 Warlock, the Giant Kemoyin Serpent bloodline in him had still been stuck in its infancy. Were it not for the purity of his bloodline, every breakthrough would’ve had him requiring a ton of help.
And now, with constant exposure to the Lamia fingerbone, his bloodline had matured, finally catching up to and synchronizing with the progress of his body.
The bottlenecks that had been holding him back vanished without a trace.
With the addition of Vance’s gift of the precious Diamond Jellyfish, Leylin was exceptionally confident in his breaking through to the Crystal Phase.
[Probability of host breaking through to the Crystal Phase: 89.6%] The A.I. Chip, too, agreed with his expectations.
Leylin nodded, evidently pleased. He took out his book of secret imprints and flipped to a particular page.
“Tanasha! Any recent news about the Rolithe Family?” He noticed Tanasha had tried several times to contact him, but he had missed it in the midst of his personal advancement.
“It’s extremely strange. This family was already in chaos from before, and it's said that the reason was that their chief had left without any reason. Three days ago, the whole family disappeared without a trace after a huge commotion… ” Although her voice was steady, Leylin could tell Tanasha’s suppressed fear.
“Who’s the person responsible?” He asked in a low voice.
“I do not know! I cannot find any traces of a high level Magus onsite…” Tanasha smiled bitterly.
No Crystal Phase Magus would be able to hide all traces from another at the same rank. The attacker must’ve been higher-ranked than Tanasha!
Leylin furrowed his brows and fell silent. After some thought, he remarked, ”You are no longer needed there. Make your way back, paying attention to hide yourself well!”
He closed the book. The blood had drained from his face and he’d turned solemn.
The entire Rolithe Family had disappeared overnight. This was much more alarming than if they’d all just been massacred.
He could sense an ever-growing spiral enveloping the whole continent.
The Ouroboros Clan, Lucian, Freya, Robin, Kesha, and everyone else he knew— none would be able to escape. In fact, even he might not be able to escape the same fate as them. At least that was what he’d found out from the Coin of Destiny.
Each time Leylin tried to see further into the future, the coin automatically alerted him that it was exceeding its capabilities. It was obvious that it couldn’t see past that boundary.
“If it is so, I will go ahead and break through now. The more dangerous the situation, the more power is required!” Leylin’s steely gaze burned with determination.
For Magi at his level, refraining from food and water for months would still cause no harm. In fact, there were even some more ambitious Magi who, in a bid to devote themselves further to research, chose to conduct necrosis on themselves to separate themselves from common needs. It was a bitter price to pay; Leylin had no desire to do such a thing.
If he couldn’t find joy in the search for truth, whatever he obtained, be it absolute knowledge or control of the entire world, would not be worth it.
However, although he couldn’t be compared to those necromancers and spirit body types, he relied on his vitality potions and showed no signs of exhaustion himself.
On the contrary, his spiritual force had advanced to a state of perfection. Leylin had a hunch that, were he not to be successful this time, the next attempt was going to be an uphill task. Leylin had always been one to put a lot of faith into his own premonitions.
With a wave of his hand, the test tubes lying on the ground disappeared. What replaced them was a mysterious spell formation.
[Crystal Phase spell formation (improved version): an essential spiritual force item for all Hydro Phase Magi to advance. Capable of enhancing the crystallisation of the spiritual force and eliminating spiritual force impurities.]
On the surface of the spell formation was a blood red rune that resembled a spiralling snake.
The Crystal Phase spell formations used by Warlocks were not the same as those used by regular Magi. Leylin was not impressed by the kind Vance had bought at the auction, and hence decided to use the one Freya had given him.
Some time ago, Freya had used an enormous amount of precious materials, as well as a set of Hydro Phase and Crystal Phase spell formations to exchange for a single item from Leylin— a bloodline crystal. To her family’s relief, it had assuaged their bloodline deterioration.
And by using the resources he had acquired, he had been able to advance quickly. Now, the time had come for this Crystal Phase spell formation to work its magic.
The A.I. Chip had used the original formation from Freya’s family, but had made some improvements.
The effect of purifying of the spiritual force, though, was something Leylin had prepared himself. Spiritual force that had been amassed using potions meant that it needed to be purified and altered.
Leylin had always placed a load of importance on his personal foundation.
“Begin!” Leylin made up his mind. He pulled out the Diamond Jellyfish from his cosmos pouch and bit down on it.
The transparent crystal cracked as it was crushed under his teeth. He ruthlessly bit into the thing.
This was a Diamond Jellyfish, an ancient precious material. It had the ability to enhance the spiritual force and advancements of Magi. He had no idea how Vance had gotten his hands on such a treasure.
The Diamond Jellyfish melted in Leylin mouth, becoming a rush of warmth that flowed throughout his body. It made him extremely comfortable, and he finished it up in a few mouthfuls.
After the last of it was swallowed down, Leylin felt a terrifying heat emerging from his abdomen. Slowly, he began to feel like he was burning up.
[Consumption of essence by host, concluded as Diamond Jellyfish. Spiritual force increasing!] The A.I. Chip responded.
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