The excitement dissipated with distance from the banquet hall, and the sounds were inaudible from the castle’s dungeons.
Dim light shone against the murky walls and reflected numerous shadows that looked like talons. The place reeked.
“We’re getting there!” Leylin knitted his brows and sized up the rooms and walls of the castle.
The dungeons of Magus castles were, more often than not, laboratories or storage rooms. He had yet to discover anything of value.
Most of the preventive and detective spell formations were unable to discover Leylin, allowing him to strut through the castle without being realised.
And the Leylin that everyone perceived in the banquet hall was obviously just a clone. Anyway, nobody would want to provoke him, and with a clone and the abilities of the A.I. Chip, a double was no problem.
On top of everything, Leylin could move freely without obstruction in the castle due to his Crystal Phase abilities. He could weaken the effects of many detective spell formations, stopping them from locating him.
‘Robin’s sudden emotional outburst wasn’t all that it seemed to be…’ Leylin rubbed his chin in deep thought. ‘Moreover, if the situation outside and this were linked, it would spell even more trouble…’
Robin, despite everything, was still his senior and cared a lot for Leylin when they first met. So it’d be unwise of Leylin to make a move before finding concrete evidence.
And Robin’s attitude was upright. If Leylin continued to be so unwilling to spare him, his reputation would likely go down the drain. ‘Biting the hand that feeds him’ would probably top the list of derogatory comments that would be made against him.
‘A.I. Chip! How’s the progress of the scan going?' Leylin’s figure was engulfed by the pitch black as he looked at the walls and questioned in his heart.
[Blueprint of the castle established, spell array formation analysed: 58%, simulation in progress…] The A.I. Chip intoned.
A three-dimensional image was projected in front of Leylin, showcasing the structures of many castles.
The castle of Robin’s family was comparable to Freya’s impressive Ancient Blood Serpent Castle and there were countless spell formations and bizarre phenomena caused by radiation.
Robin himself might not even know all the secrets within the castle.
The scanning of the A.I. Chip undoubtedly took a while but if Leylin stepped in to explore himself, he would be pretty much familiar with the whole internal layout after walking around so many times.
As for those sections which were yet to be analysed, it was unfortunate that the current capability of the A.I Chip was unable to compute them.
But all this was enough for him.
Under the gigantic projection, Leylin saw another empty construction buried deep underground. And its outer layer was the most Leylin’s A.I. Chip could reach.
The blank spaces were marked out by crimson symbols that prevented any forms of peeping, which surprised Leylin.
The core secret of the ancient castle must have been located there. Leylin followed the directions of the map and came face to face with a huge mural.
The mural depicted a grand historical scene—a horned demon skull was guillotined by armoured cavalry and robed Magi, bloodstains and burn marks painted all over their bodies as evidence of war.
It was realism at its best with a distinct sense of style. The 18 eyes of the demon were wide open and glaring at him, as if it was still alive.
‘The existence of this cellar is barely brushing the surface of Robin’s family’s secret. The true secret is hidden behind this mural…’ Leylin’s eyes lit up as he stroked the mural.
He felt like he could smell the stench of blood and fire as he moved close to the painting. It was as if he was facing the remains of an actual war, where the blood had yet to dry.
[Beep! Ahead is a rank 1 bloodline detector. After thorough scanning, it has been identified to be one that requires a specific incantation and bloodline to pass through.]
The database of the A.I. Chip as of now was as vast as the ocean, just a mere scan could send detailed information to Leylin’s memory.
‘Bloodline detector?’ Leylin touched his chin in deep thought. Since they’d chosen such a defensive measure, it definitely required the bloodline of Robin’s family, or even Robin himself, in order to get past it.
But, of course, Leylin was ahead of Robin in terms of his knowledge on bloodlines for he had dedicated more than one century towards the study of the bloodline experiments of Quicksand. His current situation might have been an unsolvable problem for other Magi, but it was a piece of cake for him.
[Beep! Data is being collected, probing for removal measures]
The A.I. Chip operated at Leylin’s command, and numerous blue symbols floated before him, forming countless dots before entering the mural.
The whole mural began to quiver and buzz as layers of dust collapsed, distinguishing the characters and making them appear more realistic than ever.
Especially the skull of the demon; an eerie green light seemed to be projecting from its eyes.
"Under the ultraviolet rays, the approaching descendant bloodline will come together and return to its origins..."
Leylin chanted a medieval incantation and a strand of black hair flew from his hand.
It was something that Leylin had stolen from the maid, Edda, when they fooled around, and was specially saved for situations like these.
Warlocks possess the most in-depth knowledge with regards to the power of bloodlines and were thus the most confident as well. So, when they set up traps or other preventive measures, all this would be taken into consideration.
Leylin had thus collected a strand of hair from a direct line of Robin’s family for his use.
*Hiss!* A ball of scarlet light wrapped the strand within itself under Leylin’s incantation.
The hair disappeared as the light dispersed, leaving behind a droplet of purplish-red blood that possessed a savage aura unique to Giant Kemoyin Serpents.
“That’s not enough!” Leylin shook his head vigorously and threw out a handful of crimson rocks. These rocks turned into a fine powder in midair and congregated with the droplet.
The powder transformed into a bright silver liquid upon contact with the droplet, helping it expand even as it diluted the colour of the blood to a washed-out red.
Leylin’s eyes glistened all the more as he watched this.
The incantation sounded more mournful with time and the faded red had agglutinated to a dark red blood clot, emitting a dangerously powerful aura.
If the previous bloodline was only Edda's—a low-ranked Magus—then the current ball of blood had already reached the level of a Crystal Phase, and its aura was highly similar to Robin's.
If Robin had installed this bloodline detector, then the key to it wouldn’t be as simple as the bloodline of a Giant Kemoyin Serpent. Otherwise, it’d be easy as pie for any Magus to uncover the secret here.
Surely, Robin would only use his own DNA as the key.
Therefore, Leylin was trying to generate a bloodline aura similar to that of Robin’s through that of his relative.
Though the DNA couldn’t be imitated, Leylin believed that it would be almost undetectable by the spells here given the supreme abilities of the A.I. Chip.
[Beep! Deduction completed for the removal of the spell!] The A.I. Chip alerted and Leylin’s face lit up as he sang the incantation.
[Beep! Wrong aura, starting automated matching!] The deep red ball of blood underwent some changes before changing into the aura of another Warlock.
“This is..” Leylin was confused for a moment. He quickly shook his head and sent the blood ball straight into the mural causing the two to fuse.
A layer of red started rippling on the surface of the mural and it was frightening. The characters in the mural, especially, took an eerie turn and started changing under the crimson light.
Thin scales and cysts started getting embedded their bodies and some of the cavalry even had horns growing on their heads and enormous wings on their backs. The mural had transformed into one of monsters.
The demon head, however, still had a sinister smile painted across his face that made Leylin’s hairs stand.
“There must be more to this mural, this seems foreboding…” Leyin muttered to himself and looked at the demon head again.
“A.I Chip, scan the mural! Find a similar specimen in the database!” Leylin ordered.
[Beep! Mission received, starting scan! Matching similar specimens in database…] The A.I. Chip replied almost immediately while scanning through the database furiously.
[Beep! Similar image found!] The A.I. Chip projected an oil painting in front of Leylin.
Within the painting was the huge image of a demon, its horns and eyes shockingly similar to the one in the mural.
“What is this?” Leylin looked into the information of that particular section almost immediately.
[The year 2315 of the Holy Calendar, a night where crows wept, the clone of Beelzebub arrived in Verdant City and cause a holocaust before being eliminated by an unknown Breaking Dawn Magus…]
The information presented by the A.I. Chip was very simplified. It was a mere few sentences and the image had a few missing portions on the edge.
These were the defects on the ancient book scanned earlier.
“Beelzebub, who represents gluttony?”
Leylin covered his mouth in shock, “Even if it’s just a clone, the only people who could eliminate it were Breaking Dawn Magi!”
Though details weren’t mentioned in the ancient book, the marked calendar system belonged to the ancient era where Morning Star Magi reigned, and there were definitely some in the Verdant City too.
“Amongst those who were injured, exactly how many were at Morning Star or even Breaking Dawn…” Leylin sighed.
And right at this moment, both the incantation and bloodline were stimulated and a crack split the mural from the centre, revealing a passageway that led underground.
The bloodline detector was broken by an outsider in a situation that did not alarm the owner.
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