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“I feel great! Be it restoring my spiritual force or during cultivation, high-grade meditation techniques are leagues beyond the simplified versions,” Aaron told Merlin as he stood up.
“But what about the aura that I’m giving off? If any of the guild members find me, I’ll definitely be caught and interrogated…”
“Haha… Don’t worry. This magic ring that I’ve smelted can conceal your aura and create artificial fluctuations in your spiritual force. With your current strength, even an official Magus won’t be able to discover you!” Merlin was very confident.
“Really?” Aaron’s eyes brightened.
“Of course, don’t you know who I am? Furthermore, this is a magical artifact! A magical artifact! Do you know what that means? You’re far too weak right now, or else you’d be able to display more of its power…”
“Not really, but I’ve heard about them before.”
Aaron scratched his head. “What do I do next?”
“Keep killing our enemies and accumulate merit points! I took a look at the reward list yesterday, and the potion there that can suppress your spiritual force will be of use. You absolutely must get that!”
“I understand!” Aaron clenched his fist tightly, eyes showing his resolution. “That lowly woman and the Botelli Family, I’ll be back!”
Two months passed by.
Outside the walls of Dolon, the war raged on. Numerous armies of dark elves had stationed themselves across from the city, their camps stretching out along tens of miles. Several golden tents stood at the center of their army camp, the aura within enough to cause even Leylin to furrow his brows.
Under organized command, the battle power of the darkness creatures and elves had risen by several levels. Dolon City was embroiled in intense battle, with the weakest rung suffering the most casualty.
However, there was a steady supply of cannon fodder from the eastern region which allowed them to hold on.
Under such high pressure, the atmosphere in Dolon City grew increasingly heavy. A sense of an impending crisis enveloped everyone’s hearts.
Aaron was now a little famous, the limelight finding him after he beat up a few acolytes who had been sent to make trouble for him.
Given that Magi valued strength more than anything else, his residence had now been shifted. This one was bright, clean, and much larger than before.
Aaron was currently sitting on a blue striped bedsheet with beads of sweat rolling down his face. Leylin, in the meantime, was monitoring his actions from within the black ring.
This was the first time he was using the unique spiritual force born from his new meditation technique, Sacred Flame, to explore the tides of destiny.
Leylin paid close attention to this and ordered the A.I. Chip to periodically collect data and accumulate information in his database.
The Sacred Flame Aaron trained in was obviously not the one which the A.I. Chip had perfected. This version had been modified by Leylin using the chip, and many manipulative portions had been added in.
“It’s here!” Leylin laughed, and black undulations filled his eyes.
Immediately after, the visions were intercepted by the ring.
Above the city, Aaron rose his arms and shot out a fireball, causing a huge wild boar to roll down, while a grin appeared on his face.
But at this moment, an anomaly occurred. A large black monkey jumped out of the retreating horde. It had three eyes, and the centre one shot out a red beam. The monkey itself exploded forth with a power that equalled an official Magus!
Without any time to dodge, Aaron was blasted into smithereens!
Such scenes flashed across Leylin’s eyes but were rather blurry and unordered.
“So that’s how it is! At this rate, Aaron will die in the siege three days later?” Leylin touched his chin.
[Information from the meditation technique has been intercepted! Allow transmission?] The A.I. Chip’s robotic voice intoned.
“Yes!” The moment Leylin spoke, Aaron’s body trembled on the bed, his two eyes losing focus and rolling back as if he had seen something terrifying.
Leylin’s had implemented backdoor changes to the Sacred Flame. By coupling these changes with the limited AI in the ring, any premonitions Aaron had would be intercepted and first seen by Leylin. Only with his approval would these scenes from the future enter Aaron’s mind.
Besides interception, Leylin could modify these bits of vision at will. In other words, Aaron only saw what Leylin had wanted him to see.
After all, it was better to be cautious towards acolytes whose training in this allowed them to see the future. If not, what was he to do if they got a hold of his plans through their prophecies?
Of course, Aaron did not have a strong cultivation in this technique yet. He was only capable of prophesying events at the ability of a level 1 acolyte, which kept him from being able to sense anything about Leylin.
Even if he advanced to become an official Magus, with Leylin intercepting first, he would not sense anything.
To become cognizant of the interception, he needed to, at the very least, equal Leylin in power. This meant he could not predict Leylin’s actions and prepare against them until he was promoted to a rank 2 Magus! Unfortunately, Leylin would not give him the opportunity to do so.
“Although the A.I. Chip could not upgrade Sacred Flame past rank 3, at least it’s no longer restricted to only females.” Leylin touched his chin.
“There aren’t enough guinea pigs yet!” He turned around and glanced at the colourful necklace and incomplete notebook on the table.
These were at most special magical objects. He only called them magic artifacts to fool acolytes like Aaron.
But it was enough.
“On the battlefield, one cannot control their own life nor death. If I put out this bait, they’ll have to bite no matter how suspicious they are.!” Leylin beamed confidently.
As for why he had not bought slaves or chosen people from Nature’s Alliance? It would be too obvious that he was the mastermind, which was not conducive to Leylin’s plans.
Meanwhile, Aaron was scared stupid by the prediction.
“Hah… I’ll die three days later, at the hands of a darkness creature with the strength of an official Magus,” he huffed roughly. He had visibly paled and was trembling in the aftermath of that premonition.
“What are you afraid of? This is just a possibility in the river of destiny. I’ve already predicted my death tens of times, but haven’t I gotten through alive and well?” Merlin appeared, looking disdainful.
“Yes, yes!” The light in Aaron’s eyes brightened. He now knew the many benefits of being able to make use of the power of destiny.
“What should we do now?” Aaron began to ponder enthusiastically.
“It’s simple! Just apply to leave this region or pretend you’re injured and hide for these few days!” Merlin seemed to be very experienced in this.
The dark elves’ offensive was not limited to just the eastern region of Twilight Zone.
The northern region had also suffered the charge of the dark elves. City after city fell until a few rank 2 Magi struck out, finally stabilising the situation. Still, they had been able to push the battlefront inwards by a few hundred meters. They had even dispatched elite Underground Winter Spider knights who seemed to be scouts sent for reconnaissance.
The eastern region was comparatively quiet. The tripartite defense of Dolon, Wakeshire, and Sadoor, with the continuous supply of troops, maintained an uneasy stalemate. Even so, capitalising on the endless darkness creatures as cannon fodder, the dark elves had caused many injuries to the Magi defending the posts.
It was a given that numerous acolytes would die, but even some official Magi had fallen. As for regular soldiers and knights? Too many of them were lost to even count.
In the blink of an eye, ten years passed. Leylin had been relieved a few times and periodically returned to Nature’s Alliance.
In this period of time, however, he kept a low profile and seldom did anything flashy. Hence, he did not have a large reputation.
Only he knew how much he had improved during this period of time.
“Leylin! I’ve received the heart of the Earthen Fiend. There are fifty here, and I’ve sent them to your lab!” A rune lit up and transmitted Fendix’s voice.
“Thanks a lot! I’ll get in touch with you later.” Leylin answered delightfully. “I’ve finally gotten it! Now all the requirements have been met!”
He hurried to the laboratory, where a Magus dressed in black robes was waiting for him. The man respectfully bowed his head, saying, “This is the heart of the Earthen Fiend that Lord Fendix wanted me to pass on to you. Please sign here to show that you received it.”
“En!” Leylin nodded and took the ingredients. After checking every single one, he nodded in satisfaction. He waved his arm over the piece of parchment the Magus in black robes proffered, and a black snake imprint formed immediately.
Seeing this, the Magus bowed and respectfully left.
Leylin entered his laboratory and activated spell formations for isolation and defense. A layer of various lit runes began to circulate outside.
“With all the ingredients here, I can finally attempt to brew potions!” Smiling, Leylin looked at his stats.
[Leylin Farlier. Rank 2 Warlock, Bloodline: Giant Kemoyin Serpent. Strength: 21.1, Agility: 14.4, Vitality: 29.9, Spiritual force: 127.9, Magic power: 127 (Magic power is in synchronisation with spiritual force).]
He had spent every day of the past ten years training in his high-grade meditation technique, slowly tempering his spiritual force. Over the course of his training of Kemoyin’s Pupil, he began to feel that the issue of irritability that was caused by his premature advancement was slowly corrected.
Given the quick pace of his advancement last time, an unstable foundation was only to be expected.
However, all of that was made up for in the past ten years.
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