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The ‘Astral Plane Devourer’ dragged its enormous body ahead on its path. Merxiname’s two tails swayed without the slightest care.
Devouring a broken fragment of a plane, this enormous ‘streetsweeper’ of the astral plane roared out like a tiger, causing the surroundings to tremble. The space in front of it cracked apart, causing a pitch black tunnel to emerge.
“An astral wormhole!” The Snake Dowager looked at the spatial tunnel with some excitement, “I smell the unique aroma of the world’s ridge at the end of the tunnel. It’ll help us save nine astral days on our journey.”
“That’s really lucky, given how random the Merxiname’s wormholes are. Being able to find a useful one by coincidence… this is rather fortunate indeed. It seems to be an omen of good luck,” Leylin echoed.
“Speaking of spatial techniques for the astral plane, the Magus World’s astral gate is the most outstanding of them all. Pity it’s not suitable for our ranks, it would require ten years’ worth of resources for a single trip…” The Snake Dowager spread her fair and tender fingertips, her alluringly red nails bright and glittering.
“The World Spring technique is probably the most suitable transportation method for those of our rank. With Merxiname’s astral wormholes combined with a shortcut through Dreamscape… Such a pity, Dreamscape is currently exhausted of origin force…” As she spoke of it, the Snake Dowager’s bewitching eyes were pointedly fixed on Leylin.
“Oh? My lady’s information truly is extensive, I’m ashamed of being so inferior to you…” Leylin’s skin was currently so thick that he posed with a modest expression.
“After I wrest back control of the Shadow World, I would be quite willing to spend some time with Your Excellency. I have many secrets from ancient times that are worth sharing with you…” The Snake Dowager laughed in a silvery girlish tone. However, it was filled with the enchantment of a mature woman, able to drive all male creatures crazy.
Leylin scratched his nose and did not say much in reply, instead diving directly into the astral wormhole.
Having experienced the astral wormhole and the magnificent world ridge, Leylin and the Snake Dowager arrived near the boundary of an enormous world.
“I have returned… This time, no one will be able to banish me!” The Snake Dowager looked at the enormous murky world in the distance, the shadow force surging above it causing her eyes to fill with determination and desire.
“My opponent is very good at concealment, and my enemies that are hidden in the shadows have a sharp perception. Follow me…” The Snake Dowager took the initiative and led Leylin by hand, fleeing to a different location.
The space here was empty, in a region a little smaller than a semiplane. It seemed to be rooted outside the Shadow World, yet strangely isolated from it. Without the Snake Dowager actively leading him here, Leylin would have spent a long time trying to find this place.
He withdrew his hand, reflecting on the soft satin-like skin of the Dowager as well as the connection of their bloodlines.
However, he soon turned his attention elsewhere. Several existences had been waiting for them within this secret space.
On the left was an enormous vertical eye wielding the power of trials and laws. It was the Trial’s Eye, someone Leylin was intimately familiar with. There were two other beings of law beside it, an old fellow dressed in luxurious black robes and a sphere of smoke.
“Let me introduce everyone. This is Leylin of the Magus World,” the Snake Dowager took centre stage and warmly introduced Leylin, “You’ve met the Trial’s Eye before. This is Yuri the Conqueror of the Thunderstorm World, and Lady Massa of the Dark World…”
When her finger moved from the imperial old man to the sphere of smoke, the Dowager added, “My apologies, Lady Massa is a little shy in front of strangers.”
‘How did such an exotic flower bloom amongst the beings of laws?’ Leylin thought to himself. Still, he didn’t show any of this on his face. The two experts’ strengths hadn’t been disguised.
Yuri looked at Leylin with an exacting glance before turning his attention to the Snake Dowager, “A rank 7 Warlock? I suppose he barely qualifies as this elder’s ally. Only, Snake Dowager, you should tell us what happened since we are all here now. I don’t want to cross swords with an enemy that I know nothing about…”
“Ah, I wanted to discuss that now anyway,” The Dowager looked all around her with a rather bitter smile, “My enemy is not a native of the Shadow World. She’s an outsider!”
“An outsider!” Leylin cried out in alarm. This had surpassed his imagination, and it was no wonder that the Dowager had been so reluctant to loosen her lips on the matter. It was inconceivable that the World Origin Force would favour an outsider over an existence of laws that it had nurtured itself!
Since it was an outsider, the information on this enemy was very sparse, especially since they grasped the laws of concealment…
“Yes… The enemy was like an incarnation of shadow, receiving the favour of the entire world,” the Dowager slowly stated.
From her description, she had the advantage of having a soul native to the Shadow World, which meant that she would easily obtain the favour of the World Will. Once she reached rank 8, she waited until she had grasped her own path and refined shadow force to advance to the peak of rank 8.
At that time, perhaps she would have chosen to fuse with the entire World Will and become the avatar of the Shadow World. From then on, she would be eternal with the world. It was a shame that it had all changed after the outsider had arrived.
“When I discovered the outsider at first, I felt that their aura was very strange. Although it had been concealed by concentrated shadow, it still felt a little weak…” The Snake Dowager’s beautiful eyes were a little distant, as if she had sunk into her memories.
“Once the outsider entered the Shadow World, the entire World Origin Force seemed to cheer, as if it had found its true master. It was in such high spirits that no one could comprehend. I never thought that a World Will could be so fond of a living creature…”
“With World Origin Force pouring into the outsider, they seemed to recover quickly from their weakness. They advanced at unthinkable speed to rank 8. I began to grow impatient, and chose to fight over the authority of the Shadow World, and all of you know the outcome already…”
Although he couldn’t see her face, Leylin felt the Dowager’s soul aura begin to fluctuate, filled with resistance and resentment.
‘According to the Dowager, the outsider had received the great favour of the Shadow World. Perhaps they surpass the Nightmare King with his Nightmare Absorption Physique already. Then, that is to say that the World Will approves of the outsider and feels that their path is the most suitable for the Shadow World?’ Leylin thought to himself and involuntarily sighed. He felt that things had gotten a lot more complicated.
Even though the outsider did not have other existences of laws to help them, once a World Will got involved, they could become very powerful.
Fighting at close quarters in a world brimming over with hostility, with the child of that very world? Leylin would not do something this stupid. The unfortunate Lord of Calamity Salilus had been the best example of the problems with that.
Leylin saw that Salilus could perhaps flee in another world, but in Dreamscape Leylin used the World Will as an unstoppable weapon to slay him. Winning against his enemy in such a way was awfully entertaining, but being challenged himself like that was quite frightening instead.
“Dowager! According to what you said, when we fight the outsider, won’t the entire Shadow World support them against us? Since it’s like this, are you still choosing to fight the enemy from the shadows?
“Even if we are allies who have signed a contract, we still have the authority to retreat when faced with such danger!” It was clear that the World Will of a great world had the Trial’s Eye feeling fearful.
None of the beings of law here dreaded the World Will of planes, they themselves could easily steamroll it. A small world’s World Will would call for a little more power, while a medium-sized World Will would surpass the power of an existence of law. Two or three, however, would be sufficient to win.
But the Shadow World was a large world. One would need peak rank 8 strength to contend with it! Sadly, none of those gathered here possessed that power. In other words, if the Dowager used to have a helper of that rank she wouldn’t have been banished so easily.
“You can be rest assured on this point. I’m a native of the Shadow World, my innate soul approved by the World Will. The opponent, on the other hand, is an outsider. Their soul of laws has been branded differently, and cannot be changed. With the hundred thousand years I lived here before, I still have some authority in this world.”
The Dowager stood there and tried to comfort the others, otherwise the group of members would immediately flee.
“It isn’t possible for the Shadow World’s World Will to give up on the outsider, but it’s possible to force the other native beings of laws into a neutral position, which means that the Shadow World won’t especially target us. We still have a chance of success. My impatience was what originally led to the opponent gaining the upper hand!” The Snake Dowager gritted her teeth.
“Mm, then it should be possible if this is the situation. Right, what is the name of your enemy? What form do they take?” Leylin stroked his chin and soon asked.
“She enjoys hiding in the shadows and darkness, and no one has seen her true face. Her public form is that of a strange elven girl, so she’s called the Mistress of the Night!” the Snake Dowager said softly.
“The darling of the shadows? The Mistress of the Night?” Once Leylin heard of this description, he immediately reacted with thoughts of the World of Gods.
‘I remember very clearly that there was a Mistress of the Night who controlled shadows in the pantheon before the dusk of the gods. Shar disappeared mysteriously after the incident, so it can’t be a coincidence!”
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