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In front of Leylin and the rest of the exploration team.
A passage made of jet-black metal had opened up to three pathways, each leading to a different direction.
At each of the entrances, there were no obvious signs at all, causing a wave of foreboding to go through the four of them.
“Since it’s a laboratory, how can there not be a sign for it?”
Brass Ring took the initiative and asked.
“There might have been one that had been destroyed by someone, or the Magi here had another method of communication that we’re unaware of!”
The old witch shot a glance at Brass Ring. “What’s wrong? We’ve come all the way here, are you thinking of backing out of our deal?”
“Of course not!” Brass Ring shook his head like it was the most obvious thing to do.
Not only were the rewards that the old witch offered extremely generous, there was a large possibility of there being large amounts of profit from within the secret plane. Neither of these were things that Brass Ring was willing to give up on.
“In that case, should we split up into teams and search, or do it by ourselves?” Leylin asked a very practical question.
“Of course, we’re going to go in as a group! This is the ruins left behind by ancient Magi! Traps and other defense mechanisms are not easy for us to dismantle even as a group! It’s much too dangerous for us to act alone!”
As the initiator of this operation, the old witch was resolute and made the decision for them.
“We’ve set up everything in the town already, and in the next ten days, there will certainly not be any people compelled to enter. This is enough time for us to clear up everything in the laboratory!”
After hearing her words, Jaye quickly agreed. Leylin thought it through for a while and also nodded.
Hearing Leylin’s agreement, Brass Ring had no choice but to curl his lip and approve of this suggestion.
The four of them chose the path that was on the far right and entered.
Black leather shoes and the metal flooring met, the friction causing a very piercing sound.
“Be careful. The methods of the Ancient Spirit Slaying Sect are much more difficult to deal with than Spirit Devouring Moths…” Leylin reminded as he glanced at the surrounding walls.
A bright sound was constantly travelling through the passage, and there were also some echoes.
Leylin suddenly paused.
Only his figure was left in the entire passage. The old witch, Brass Ring, and Jaye had all disappeared!
“What happened?” Leylin fixed his attention on the red reflection on the metal wall.
“Did I unconsciously activate some trap? Even the A.I. Chip didn’t detect it!”
A hint of a smile appeared on his lips. “Looks like this expedition isn’t going to be so simple…”
Leylin’s sudden stop seemed to have triggered some sort of mechanism, and behind him, the metallic walls seemed to have lives of their own as they converged, thus blocking his retreat.
Both of Leylin’s palms turn blood red once again, crimson flames burning from the claws as he pressed them directly on the converging walls.
As if cold ice had been directly thrown onto a blazing inferno, a sizzling sound of evaporating water was heard.
Under Leylin’s hands, the unknown black metal turned completely red and constantly melted, forming puddles of liquid metal that stained the floor.
Over ten seconds later, the metallic walls that had suddenly emerged had a hole that was about one metre deep, and yet there was no sign of the end.
It seemed that in that moment, Leylin’s path of retreat had been completely blocked by the black metallic wall.
[Based on the data taken so far, estimated thickness of metal wall: 45-47 metres. There is also a huge amount of the Manker Alloy found in the middle. Estimated time required for Host to entirely break through: 30 Minutes 56 Seconds!]
The A.I. Chip projected blue lines of data in front of Leylin.
“Half an hour. That’s much too long!”
Leylin wasn’t so naive to think that the Magus who had designed the trap would be so kind as to give him time to escape.
Sure enough, the longer amount of time Leylin stayed in there, the black metal in front of him also started to distort and gather in the centre as if it had a life of its own.
The passage became increasingly narrow, to the point that only one person would be able to pass through.
“I can’t let this go on any longer. Otherwise, I’ll be stuck in the middle of a huge metal sphere. It’ll take too much magic power and spiritual force to get out!”
Leylin glanced at the wall that had a large hole in it and rushed forward.
With the help of his burly physique and his magic, Leylin’s speed was already past the limits of a regular human. All that was left of him were a few long after images.
The passage ahead seemed to sense Leylin’s approach and converged at an even quicker rate!
“Hah!” Leylin breathed in deeply and quickly spat out a few punctuated syllables!
In a split second, the blood-red layer on his body expanded, the flames’ range achieving half a metre, emitting a fervent heat.
Leylin seemed to have been possessed by some ancient flaming creature, and with his body cloaked in crimson flames, he darted quickly towards the small crack left between the black metal!
The entire passageway jolted slightly, and the sound of corrosion sounded.
Right as the metallic walls were about to converge, Leylin had forced his way out, leaving behind a human-shaped gap. Droplets of liquidised black metal were still dripping incessantly.
Leylin’s charge had lasted for almost an entire minute, and he only stopped the flames when his field of view opened up.
“What a troublesome passage!”
Leylin looked at the black passage behind him that had completely closed up. This sort of passageway might not be able to kill a Magus, but it was able to make the opponent waste large amounts of spiritual and magic force, and just the slightest bit of hesitance would entrap the Magus within it. It would consume a lot of magic power to fire a spell, and by the time the Magus’ spiritual force and magic power had been mostly used, coupled with the curses and traps, it was enough to inflict serious damage, or even kill the intruder!
“This trap should have several parts to it, which implies that this is the area where the next part will be activated!”
Leylin surveyed his surroundings.
This used to be a garden or a place where plants were cultivated. It had a large area, and streams of man-made sunlight shone upon the land. Those were the Sunbeam Moss, which were tenaciously exhibiting their usefulness. There was also evidence of plants wilting.
“Though this is just a small-scaled garden, it seems to have been well taken care of. It’s such a waste that it was abandoned…”
Leylin constantly swept his eyes over the garden.
His time at the Four Seasons Garden’s secret plane had allowed him to identify a few plants from their remnants.
“The Three Horned Flower, Spirit Breaking Grass, as well as the Half Bodied Bat, Upside Down Lizard- These four are the main cultivators of this garden!
“The Three Horned Flower pollinates with the help of Half Bodied Bat, and the excretion from the Inverted Lizard is the best fertilizer for the Spirit Breaking Grass! In the middle of the region where the Three Horned Flower and Spirit Breaking Grass are located, there also seems to be a Star Fruit. This is what the Half Bodied Bat and Inverted Lizard feed on!
“This method of growing them…” A light flashed in Leylin’s blue eyes.
“This can increase the output of the Half Bodied Bat by 50%, the Inverted Lizard by 40% and the Three Horned Flower and Spirit Breaking Grass by 10%…”
Constructing a garden outside a laboratory must have been to make it convenient to make potions and other items that would be useful in experiments.
The reason why Leylin was calculating the output of the plants and animals so carefully was because he wanted to probe and find signs of experimentation.
Just based on these clues, brilliant Magi could deduce the scope of experimentation and the laboratory’s uses in ancient times.
With the knowledge that the A.I. Chip had gathered from the Four Seasons Garden’s library, Leylin’s knowledge was very profound. With the added aid from the A.I. Chip’s calculations, he would also be able to make a fairly accurate guess.
“A.I. Chip! Search for similar ancient potion formulas that primarily require these four ingredients!”
Though the number of formulas that Leylin had received were few, the ingredients required to make ancient potions were made public. Only the steps to brew the potion had been written in code on the formula, and as a result, the A.I. Chip had gathered quite a lot of information.
[Beep! Entering simulated data! Searching database for compatible potions!]
The A.I. Chip loyally intoned.
Rows of data flowed, finally stopping on a few columns.
[Spirit Fusion Potion. Similarity: 79% Effect: Able to boost fusion between different spirits by a large margin, producing a new consciousness from a fused body.] [Rejecting Spirits Removal Potion. Similarity: 56%. Effect: Able to eliminate confusion between spirits while fusing and stabilise the new spirit body.] [Wolfiporia Potion. Similarity: 34%. Effect: Able to boost the power of the spirit by a large margin! Side effects: Spirit’s consciousness will be expelled to a certain extent.]
Leylin examined the information pertaining to these potions, and the look on his face became more serious.
A period of time later, he sighed slowly. “These potions all complement each other. From the looks of it, I seem to have discovered something amazing!”
Just when Leylin was thinking of exploring further, a low and hoarse voice sounded, and an enormous and warped figure appeared in the line of Leylin’s sight.
It was a huge monster that was about 10 metres tall.
There were numerous frightful wounds that were sewn together, and it looked to be the result of putting different body parts together.
This stitched up monster’s right hand was twisted in a weird shape and had eight fingers. In the palm of its left hand was a large axe that was dotted with rust.
Other than the two large arms, there were many slim arms grown on its upper body and back which were continuously trembling.
“This is a type of vengeful spirit… the Loathsome Evil!”
Leylin sucked in a cold breath. “Such a huge physique! How much blood and flesh had to be sacrificed for its body to still be so solid?”
[Alert! Alert! High levelled creature approaching with a strong contamination of spirits! According to the Host’s level, the threat is at a Grade 5!]
The A.I. Chip frantically warned.
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