It was obvious how determined Belinda was, and how adamantly she was against Leylin’s interference. After settling Leylin at the Whiteriver Valley, Belinda regularly headed out early and returned late, seemingly in a hurry as she prepared for something.
Seven days later, she brought a girl who was about fifteen or sixteen, pulling her in front of Leylin. “This is my sister, Sophia. How is she? Do you like her?”
“Lord Nick, good- Good morning!” The girl called Sophia pulled at her skirt and bowed towards Leylin.
“Sister Sophia!” Leylin laughed as he sized her up. She looked similar to Belinda, with long silver hair and eyes that were like rubies. However, there was a hurry and uneasiness on her face.
“You… What’s this about?” Leylin glanced towards her, not knowing if he should laugh or cry in this situation.
“It’s nothing much. There’s stuff I need to do, so I’m hoping you can take care of her for a while…” Belinda ruffled her hair lovingly, “When she was young Sophia was seriously affected by a leakage in an experiment. Her appearance, and even her intelligence have been frozen at age fifteen. I secretly brought her out of the family…
“Sophia, when your sister is not around, you have to listen to Brother Nick obediently, alright?’ Belinda pulled at Sophia’s hand and carefully reminded her.
“Alright, sister, and Nick… Brother Nick!” Sophia ducked her head, and her cheeks flushed. Leylin was left at a loss for words.
The Purgatory World only had four hours of daylight everyday. The sunlight wasn’t burning hot either, instead exuding an extremely rare warmth.
The bright light shone down on the plains. All of Sophia’s fears from coming to a foreign environment had dissipated, and she was cheerfully watching a few butterflies that emitted light. A childlike beam plastered her face.
A distance away, Belinda and Leylin stood side by side.
“I can rest at ease now that I’ve handed her to you!” Belinda spoke as if she had been relieved from a burden.
“I hope you can treat her well. With her bloodline, your descendants will definitely be pure and of the Alabaster Devilsnake nobility…” Belinda spoke calmly, while Leylin merely rolled his eyes.
“It’s like you’re entrusting an orphan to me. Are you prepared to die?” Leylin asked without reservations.
“Die? No, just tying up some loose ends!” Hatred was evident on her face, “With all the years I’ve been making preparations, it should be enough to…”
Seeming to realise what she had said, Belinda hastily stopped, “Of course, I’m only requesting that you take care of her for a period of time. Once everything here is settled, I’ll meet with you. Let’s meet at the holy city.”
“Seems like that was your plan from the start,” Leylin was unhurried, “And your preparations are the petals of the Serpent Intoxicating Flower, as well as the stealth magic equipment you have? Please forgive me for being so direct, but while Serpent Intoxicating Flowers are remarkably effective against high-energy snakes, they’re still lacking if you want to deal with pure-blooded rank 5 Alabaster Devilsnakes. Your magic equipment might have the function of hiding your tracks, but I don’t think your plan will go well. That’s a community belonging to a rank 5…”
“How did you know?” Her expression changed as she subconsciously took several steps back.
“I’m rather well-versed in potions, and I smelled the Serpent Intoxicating Flower on you…” Leylin laughed and rubbed his nose. “Even if you have insiders there, your preparations shouldn’t be enough…”
“No, it’s enough! You don’t need to know what’s going to happen. Anyway, as long as I’m still alive, I’ll definitely meet you at the holy city!” Belinda shook her head resolutely, as if she had returned to her previous state as an unfeeling leader. It seemed like she had made more preparations in that area.
“In that case, I’ll go with you…” Leylin spoke deliberately. He was going to harvest the bloodlines of Alabaster Devilsnakes sooner or later, he could just do it now.
“No! You just need to take care of my sister. Don’t mind any other things. If anything happens to Sophia, I won’t let you off…” Belinda glared at Leylin and disappeared into the shadows, not even bidding Sophia farewell.
“What a staunch resolve!” Leylin’s eyes seemed to smile as he headed towards the sunlight and back to Sophia.
“Brother Nick!” Sophia exclaimed sweetly.
“Mm! Sophia, darling, can you tell brother where your home is?” Leylin now had a smile that was as bright as the sun.
“I… Sophia doesn’t know… there are a lot of strange uncles in there who all look scary… When Sister brought me out here, I couldn’t recognise the way…” She gnawed on her finger, looking dazed.
‘This… is this a natural intellectual disability or a seal that was placed later?’ Blue light flashed in Leylin’s eyes as he stroked his chin. Soul force rippled through the place, and he found that Belinda really had left without bidding farewell.
‘Such a stubborn lass… it’s a pity…’ Leylin’s lips quirked up in a smile. With his strength, it was far too easy to find Belinda even if she was trying to conceal herself. Some stardust bugs or a soul mark would do the trick.
After all, he was using methods of the Magus World, while Belinda would be on her guard against probes and local abilities of the Purgatory World. The huge differences between the two was enough for her previous preparations to come to naught.
“Well then, Sophia! What do you think of Brother bringing you home?” Leylin felt like he was grinning like a big bad wolf.
“I– I don’t want to!” Sophia, however, suddenly paled and grasped his hands tightly, as if recalling something horrifying. Even her body began to quiver.
“But your sister, Belinda, is there. How about we bring her back? How does that sound?” Leylin used a bit more strength in his hands, as if giving her strength and consoling her.
“Sister Belinda!” She looked around and, after noticing Belinda was nowhere to be found, she was now feeling anxious.
“Sister! Sister!” She jogged around and began to call out, tears pooling in her eyes.
“Sister can’t go back, or else Father won’t spare her!” Two rows of tears fell from her eyes, and she looked immensely frightened.
“Is that so? Let’s go and get her!” Leylin didn’t really want to bother with rivalries amongst families. All he knew was that he needed the bloodlines of Alabaster Devilsnakes, and there were purebloods amongst Belinda’s family at Whiteriver Valley. That was enough for him.
“Alright, let’s get sister!” Sophia bit her lips, evidently having made her decision.
“Mm, let’s go!” Leylin had to resist the urge to pinch her exquisite cheeks. A black energy storm formed with a twirl of his fingers, enveloping the two of them within.
After the Whiteriver Valley was a huge plain. There were only a few scattered tribes and towns in the vast region, and it was no small feat to find a specific family. However, Leylin had already placed some stardust bugs on Belinda’s body, so this task was easy for him.
In order for this to go smoothly, Leylin specifically came slightly later and gave Belinda enough time. He followed slowly with Sophia in tow, and even secretly took the time to do some other things.
‘I never thought there’s another race making use of a town as a cover near the valley…’ Using the stardust bugs, after Belinda had made her move Leylin brought Sophia to enter a little town with an obviously foreign style.
The buildings here were made with black rocks and coated with nice colours. The sharp roofs were like upside down awls, and even the pavements were very orderly and even.
Sophia grabbed Leylin’s hands after reaching this place, evidently having thought of something. It was still the wee hours of the morning and the town was quiet, only the occasional sounds of wind resounded in the empty streets.
*Creak!* A wooden door opened, and a resident looking dazed walked out with a basin used to store water in her hands. This resident looked very similar to a human, with numerous triangular scales that formed strange flower petals on her.
Her eyes flashed with some astonishment upon seeing Leylin. But when she saw Sophia beside him, especially her silver hair and scarlet pupil’s, she dropped her basin causing a dull thud.
“Ala– Alabaster Devill! The Alabaster Devil has come…” The woman collapsed to the ground, her sharp voice piercing through the skies.
“What?” “What’s going on?”
A clamour sounded as a peasant holding a metal pitchfork darted outside of the house. However, upon seeing Leylin and Sophia he fell to the ground. “Revered noble Alabaster Devil! Our, our blood taxes this year have been paid…”
‘Blood taxes? So they forcefully demand blood sacrifices or something…’ Leylin shook his head, quickly regaining the calm on his face. Doors and windows creaked open or closed, and an aura of panic gathered in the town.
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