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Aaron stood in a spot alone, and no Magi bothered him.
This was his second time experiencing a feeling of loss. The first time? Naturally, it was when his spiritual aptitude had deteriorated, and his engagement was broken off.
Aaron held onto the black ring in his hands tightly. That was the gloomiest moment of his life, but thankfully he found this!
“Grandpa Merlin? When do you reckon I will reach the level of Master Leylin?” Aaron silently asked in his heart.
It had never occurred to him to use his connections. In Dolon City, he was but a small acolyte, whereas Leylin was a powerful rank 2 Magus. The latter would surely not remember him!
“Relax, isn’t it just rank 2?” Merlin had inherited Leylin’s twisted sense of humour. It whispered into Aaron’s mind: “As long as you can find the two children of destiny, and trigger the river of destiny, your cultivation in Sacred Flame will increase exponentially. Advancing to rank 2 or 3 will be a simple task!”
“In that case, I have to increase my speed!” Aaron clenched his fist and looked into the far distance; for an instant he was filled with hope.
To Leylin, what happened to Aaron was but a hiccup in his journey.
Even though Aaron was a chess piece of his, he never requested Aaron to join him. After all, keeping Merlin at his side was enough.
Moreover, he did not want to give Aaron or the others any clues, lest they discover his intentions.
Leylin lowered his head, concealing the bottomless glow in his eyes.
After advancing for half a month, the squadron had entered the central region.
Their journey there had been very peaceful, with nothing happening.
Their squadron was one that was composed of magicians. They had no lack of even peak rank 1 Magi, and Leylin, a rank 2 Magus was leading them. It was already considered pretty good that they had not looked for trouble with others, forget anyone daring to offend them.
With the aid of spells, they travelled rapidly, not being impeded even by rough terrain. Commoners would face difficulties when trying to trek through narrow valleys and scale steep cliffs. Magi just settled any problems with a few spells.
“Is this central Twilight Zone? The quality of life here far surpasses that of the east!”
Leylin had lowered his hood and looked around at the neatly built houses by the roadside. He nodded at the occasional farmer he saw.
The center was the essence of Twilight Zone. Darkness creatures were a rare sight here, and the population density was very high.
However, currently, Leylin could see squires dressed in leather armour running across the region. The farmers mostly looked worried; with north Twilight Zone having fallen, the big war was at their doorstep! The dark elven soldiers and dwarves, gnomes and even darkness creatures from outside the region could all directly arrive at the central region after bypassing the north, which could create a lot of trouble for them.
The central region lacked the strength to repel such raids, especially in terms of magicians. They had no choice but to send out orders to all 4 zones and recruit more acolytes.
At this point in time, a Nature’s Alliance Magus came forth and reported to Leylin: “My lord! The leaders of a few medium-scale guilds have come forth to say their goodbyes; they are going to return to the zones they came from!”
“Let them go! They don’t have to specially report to me!” Leylin coldly ordered.
A large number of orders sounded in the distance. Some of the smaller troops, like the distributaries of a river, left Nature’s Alliance’s side.
“What a pity!” Leylin glanced at the small and medium-scale guilds that were leaving, and let out a sigh.
Even though the resources in the central region were good, they had to be exchanged for with one’s life!
If these guilds could survive the big war, they would naturally get land as their reward. However, if they risk suffering heavy losses, or even being completely wiped out, then leaving would be the best choice.
Though the central region was rich in resources, even it could not support all the guilds that came.
The war would choose the real winners who would end up with the last laugh! Still, many guilds swarmed to the central region. Even though they knew it was all a gamble, they did not hesitate for a moment to stake everything on this wager. They hoped to gain a lot from it.
“After the war, how many guilds would there be left?” Leylin sighed lightly and closed the windows.
“Send the orders down, we are to advance at full speed and rush to our territory as soon as we can!” On the surface, Leylin was still representing Nature’s Alliance’s interests, and hence he had ordered so casually.
“As you wish, my lord!”
The orders were quickly passed down through magic spells , and the sounds of the Earth Salamanders and Wildebeest came repeatedly as the entire squadron’s speed increased a level.
In yet another region, a few haggard travellers entered the boundaries of the central region.
“Is this the central region?” Baelin swept off the dust on his body and looked at the big city ahead.
He was dressed in oversized grey gunny robes, and a spider streaked in gold would pop out onto his shoulders from time to time.
“Yes! Advancing after Tran City should lead us to central Twilight Zone!” Memphis was next to Baelin. However, he had currently lost all resemblance to a dark elf, and only looked like a pale-skinned royal.
“Could you get your Underground Winter Spider Emperor to hide? It’s very easy to attract attention here!” He once again looked at the mischievous spider that climbed onto Baelin’s shoulder, and smiled wryly.
*Hiss* This golden spider seemed to be able to understand human languages, and upon hearing what Memphis said, it let out a threatening screech.
“Aru says that he has restrained his aura, and only rank 2 Magi can see through his transformation; so even if formal Magi were to see the Underground Winter Spider Emperor, they would only treat it as a mutated ordinary spider!” Baelin translated for Memphis, “Also, if you dare to suggest this ever again, he’ll eat you!”
“Alright!” Memphis was rendered speechless.
This Underground Winter Spider Emperor was Baelin’s reward from their excursion into the Dark Elven Empire! Originally, they had planned to attack or subdue the Underground Winter Spider Emperor to halt the war.
However, the Underground Winter Spider Emperor had confoundingly decided to follow Baelin, becoming the Magus’ contracted familiar.
Memphis had not expected that, and after he found out that it could have been the workings of his ancestral amulet, he felt so cheated that he almost went and banged his head against a wall.
Although he knew that his ancestors were royals of a strong clan, he had not expected them to have left such a strong agreement that the owner of the amulet could actually control the Underground Winter Spider Emperor!
That was a being with the strength of a rank 2 Magus! Were he to have gained control of it, the Underground Winter Spider knights would have defected to his side, but now?
Memphis smiled wryly as he looked at Baelin who was standing at the side.
Even though they had the Underground Winter Spider knights, the proud dark elves simply would not admit that a member of another species could exercise control over their sacred objects. On the contrary, they had viewed this as a great humiliation, and had even launched into a relentless killing spree!
Memphis had seen the Dark Elven Empire’s plans fail. He learned through his connections that the dark elves were plotting yet another scheme in the central region, one that could potentially destroy the foundations of the human race!
Upon receiving the news, Baelin had become restless and filled with a strong sense of duty. After ensuring that Jenny settled down, he secretly entered the central region with Memphis.
“What happens to us after this? Do we tell the Magi what we found out?” Baelin suddenly realised that he had no idea about his next course of action.
“Just based on our own merits?” Memphis pointed to himself and smiled bitterly, then pointed to the Underground Winter Spider Emperor on Baelin’s shoulders, “A dark elf and a suspicious man with an Underground Winter Spider Emperor?”
“I’m afraid that, before we even utter a single word, the other side will have started flinging spells at us. Needless to say, this information would only be heeded if a rank 2 Magus passed it on, and Aru’s stealth would not hold up against such an existence!
““Furthermore, upon seeing an Underground Winter Spider Emperor, a rank 2 Magus would even kill us immediately! After all, their bloodlines ensure that dark elves would instantly weaken the moment an Underground Winter Spider Emperor dies. They would even lose their endless supply of mounts! This would definitely be a huge blow to the Dark Elven Empire! What do you think they would choose to do?”
“Essentially, there’s still no way!” Baelin squatted down and felt dejected.
“However, it is not entirely hopeless!” Memphis’ tone changed.
“There’s hope?” Baelin’s eyes lit up.
“Do you remember that I mentioned Magus Leylin earlier?”
“Master Leylin?” Baelin’s voice held a tinge of respect within it. He saw Leylin as a teacher and was grateful and respectful to him.
“Yes! That Leylin! Did you know that he is actually the most recent Magus to reach rank 2?” Memphis lowered his voice. Even though Leylin was a member of another species, he still held a respect for the strong.
“According to the news I received, not only did he help Fendix attack and kill a rank 2 matriarch at Dolon, he had defeated another matriarch before it! My clan’s intelligence has already marked him as a threat with a danger level of 8!”
“Master! He is actually so… strong?” Baelin’s eyes widened. He had personally witnessed the strength of a rank 2 matriarch.
In the Dark Elven Empire, he and Memphis had been hunted down by a matriarch. If not for the protection of the Underground Winter Spider Emperor, they would definitely not have been able to escape.
The matriarch’s unyielding strength had left a deep impression on the minds of the two.
And now, he was being told that the Master Leylin who had taught him before was even stronger than a rank 2 matriarch?
Baelin’s feelings at that moment were very complicated. There was pride, but there was also regret.
“Yes!” Memphis nodded his head: “Though we’re not of the same kind, I admire him greatly as well!
“This Master Leylin is definitely a heavy presence in the Magi world, and even has ties with you. You need only pass the intelligence to him…”
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