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In this pre-war period the entire Magus World on the south coast was in a chaotic situation.
Though Leylin had always stayed within the Four Seasons Garden’s headquarters, he had not completely broken off all contact with the outside world.
Every day, he could obtain information about the south coast from his butler Damien, who was still in Nightless City, as well as from other channels.
The appearance of the Eternal River Plains’ secret plane had galvanized the south coast!
All Magi, whether it be the organisations, wandering Magi, or even fugitives, were all rushing towards the Eternal River Plains.
The Eternal River Plains’ secret plane was said to be the largest plane found on the south coast to date.
It had an area of as much as ten million mu and even exceeded the total area of all resource-based secret planes that had previously been found.
Many Magi wanted to reap some benefits from this magnificent discovery.
For this kind of secret plane, just a small part of it was enough to cover several decades of expenses for the average Magus! Magi organisations that could set up such a plane were sure to be outstanding, even in ancient times.
Magi who could obtain an inheritance of this level could definitely break through their bottleneck and allow them to have a chance at advancing to rank 3 or become a rank 4 Morning Star Magus!
Such a huge temptation not only made the idle Magi crazy with desire, even older Magi who had retired a long time ago had decided to act and were rushing towards the Eternal River Plains.
Due to their great numbers, the Magi rushing for the secret plane eventually had conflicts with the large Magi organisations guarding the entrances.
Dramatic scenes—chaos, murders, alliances, and betrayals—were incessantly acted out on the stage that was the Eternal River Plains.
Many small Magi organisations and individual Magi even made an alliance to contend against the large dark and light Magi groups.
In such a disorderly situation, Leylin needed to raise his strength to protect himself as quickly as possible.
Although the Branded Swordsman created in such a short amount of time were only usable once and might be of inferior strength, that was enough for Leylin.
During critical moments he could only rely on himself. As for the other organisations and powers… hehe.
The current situation in Four Seasons Garden wasn’t very good.
The huge influx of Magi into the Eternal River Plains had resulted in a weakening of the security in the area. Four Seasons Garden not only had to deal with attacks from within the secret plane but also had to send out some Magi to maintain order at the entrance. Their numbers were simply not enough.
A prominent example was the obvious decrease of Magi in Four Seasons Garden. The rank 2 Magi leaders could rarely be seen.
It was clear that Four Seasons Garden’s defense abilities were gradually becoming weaker.
Leylin even had the thought of giving this information to Thousand Meddling Hands and gain some benefits from their weakness.
However, this plan was quickly rejected by Leyin.
Other than the restrictions he had from the previous contract witnessed by the Trial’s Eye, the rank 2 Magus guarding the secret plane was still around. Taking over this type of secret plane required at least the rank 2 dark Magus that was controlling Thousand Meddling Hands to act.
Leylin was merely a normal member who had, at most, gained some notoriety. He was not yet qualified to be in direct contact with such a strong being.
Though the old witch had promised Leylin her position as an elder, she was trapped within the secret plane. This promise thus became invalid.
Though Leylin found it a pity, he wasn’t particularly regretful.
In that situation, it was already a miracle that he could escape. Considering the circumstances, it was not practical to think about anything else.
Leylin was still curious. How were the old witch and her daughter in spirit form, Jaye, doing in the secret plane?
And that Gargamel! As an evolution of the Loathsome Evil, this terrifying creature not only had the frightful strength of a rank 2 Magus, it also had many unpredictable techniques.
The destruction of the entrance to the secret plane would not obstruct it for too long.
If it were to be let out, the situation on the south coast would be much the same as it was now, or perhaps even more chaotic!
If that Gargamel found traces of Leylin, it definitely would not let him off. After all, he had basically made a fool of it.
Hence, Leylin had an increasingly intense desire for power.
“The Branded Swordsman! As long as I complete this experiment, I would instantly gain two underlings with the power of official Magi. They would be unafraid of death, and there can be an unending stream of them to serve me!”
Leylin’s blue eyes flashed in excitement.
“A.I. Chip! Scan the data!”
[Beep! Mission established, beginning to collect data required. Microscopic scan ensuing!] The A.I. Chip loyally executed Leylin’s commands.
[Beep! Target’s Data. Strength: 29, Agility: 24, Vitality: 35, Spiritual Force: 19. Has been branded with runes: Flame Extension (for Male use) Effects: Able to store large amounts of flame elemental particles on the surface of the body and use it in battle. Each attack will have an additional damage from flames. All elemental particles can be set off at one go, and the effect is similar to a rank 1 Magus’ Lava Fireball. Estimated power: 30 degrees!] [The brand’s power is operating normally. Parts of it have mild defects, and is estimated to be completely damaged in 1540 hours.]
With the A.I. Chip’s microscope that could analyse on an atomic level, all information about Number 3’s brand was presented in front of Leylin.
“This means that instantly formed Branded Swordsman only have a lifespan of two or so months?” Leylin stroked his chin. “There are also some flaws in terms of agility and spiritual force too…”
“However, as cannon fodder that can only be used once, this is enough!”
Leylin thought to himself.
After which, he made plans to exchange all the contribution points he had gained from his work at Four Seasons Garden for grown male Grand Knight slaves.
On the bodies of these two instantly formed Branded Swordsman, Leylin had also made some preparations beforehand to ensure they were completely under his control.
However, due to limitations in terms of his spiritual force and other areas, the A.I. Chip had calculated that he was only capable of controlling five Branded Swordsman at a time!
Only if a few out of the five Branded Swordsman died, leaving a vacant spot, could Leylin put his abilities to use and fill the spot with other Branded Swordsman.
This was not the optimal situation, but for Leylin now, this was the best he could do.
As a rank 1 Magus, Leylin was able to control five considerably powerful Branded Swordman. If rumours of this got out, it would definitely shock the entire south coast!
After gathering data and finishing his experiments, Leylin pressed a strange looking rune onto Number 3’s back.
Instantly, a large amount of fire elemental particles lingering around Number 3’s body dulled, and the energy waves from his body began to weaken until he was at the level of a Grand Knight.
This was the technique he had made sense of using the information about spiritual force compression method the old witch had given him.
By using external forces to control the energy waves in the target’s body, others’ senses would be confused.
The Branded Swordsman was Leylin’s secret trump card and he naturally didn’t want to be discovered so quickly. Hence, putting on an act and concealing his strength was necessary.
Next, Leylin repeated what he had done to Number 3 on Number 2’s body.
After ordering these two Grand Knights to stay in the laboratory, Leylin left for the Four Seasons Garden’s library.
Usually, there would be a few official Magi or acolytes reading up or conversing. Though there were a lot of people, it was orderly and surprisingly quiet.
The library was now extremely quiet, but it just seemed desolate.
Desks and chairs that would always be filled were unoccupied, and there were the occasional leaves and petals from the garden landing on the seats. It was deathly still and lonely.
“My Lord!” An old manager was still at his post in the library. Upon seeing Leylin, even the decorative items on his body seemed to brighten up, and he bowed in greeting.
“No need for that! There seems to very few people now.” Leylin leaned against the counter and spoke casually.
“All acolytes have left after receiving missions. I’ve never seen so few people in Four Seasons Garden before!” The old manager gave a bitter smile.
“Missions? Now? Could it be to the Eternal River Plains’ secret plane ?” Leylin found that inconceivable.
In the battle between Magi, acolytes were naught but cannon fodder. Other than large-scale spell formations which might be somewhat effective, the acolytes were normally just easy kills for Magi.
This maneuver by Four Seasons Garden was just irrational.
“Of course, they aren’t going to go that deeply into the secret plane!” The old manager quickly explained to Leylin.
“Though many of those heading to the Eternal River Plains’ secret plane are official Magi, there are also numerous wandering acolyte who have no fear of death. They had thoughts of going in to try their luck! The great Magi naturally did not bother with them, and now it’s our turn to be sent out…”
“After all, the Eternal River Plains’ secret plane is humongous. With a bit of luck, level 3 acolytes might not meet with opposing official Magi and make off with plenty of resources safely. Hence, there are some fearless level 3 acolytes who accepted the missions our Four Seasons Garden issued to explore the secret plane.”
It could be seen that the old manager was well informed, as Leylin himself was unaware about some of what he had said.
“Thank you!” Leylin continued, “Set up an entrance card for me. I want to go to the library’s secret room!”
Leylin then placed his identity token on the counter.
The old geezer processed everything quickly, and not long after, he returned the token and gave a translucent crystal card to Leylin.
“The price to read in the secret room is 10 contribution points per hour. Please take note of the time and leave before all your contribution points are used up.”
The old geezer explained some important matters to Leylin.
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