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The dark elves were rather quiet in this period of time.
Although they had managed to take over the north, navigating through territorial disputes with the dwarves and gnomes consumed most of their energy.
Hence, although central Twilight Zone was under immense pressure, the situation seeming dire, all they had to deal with till now were a few scouts and wandering riders.
Balanced on this razor’s edge, the central region had still remained peaceful. The preparations for the competition even made it seem like it was flourishing. As more and more Magi rushed over, it had gained fresh blood and increased strength.
After seeing this, Leylin suspected this was another intention of the war council. They wanted to attract more Magi over to increase their fighting strength
In a shady swamp.
A toxic purple fog permeated the place, the rotten sludge concealing the bones of various darkness beasts. Occasionally, a few three-eyed crows would caw as they flew past, which was jarring to the ears.
In a dimly lit cave.
The walls were lined with spells that made them impermeable to the sludge and fog.
A black-haired old man was running his hands through the hair of a young Magus, his touch containing affection. “My child! In the ten years you’ve been here, you’ve learned everything I have to offer. Now, you are free to explore…”
“Gom has brought back some information. The holy land for us Magi, the central region, is holding a competition for young geniuses. Not only can the champion obtain great rewards, they can even meet with the Guardian of the Realm, a rank 3 existence. What’s more, they could even get the opportunity to become his inheritor…”
“A rank 3 Magus?” The youth, who had until then not looked in the least bit serious, suddenly turned solemn.
“Yes. You are the most formidable genius I’ve ever seen, and I believe there are few who can match you in the entirety of Twilight Zone. I believe the victor shall be you, though I’m afraid I won’t get the chance to see it…”
The old man sounded slightly regretful, and his hands halted in mid-air.
His originally smooth and tight skin began to age rapidly, layers of wrinkles forming as if an old branch that had lost all its moisture. His black hair gradually greyed out.
His body withered at a rate that could be seen by the naked eye, ending up a dried corpse.
“Master? MASTER!” The young Magus was dubious as he looked at the master who had always accompanied him.
*Thud!* The old Magus turned into a withered, dried black corpse.
*Poof!* The youth bumped into the Magus’ arm, and the corpse turned to dust in front of his eyes. Ashes spread out, leaving a complete set of Magus robes on the bed.
The young Magus was dazed, and only recovered after a long while.
Even if Magi could manipulate the radiation of energy particles to obtain a longer lifespan than regular humans, there was still a limit.
Even with dangerous modifications to the body, Morning Star Magi could only extend their lifespans by a few decades. It was difficult to succeed, and could cause Magi to end up with a strange, terrifying appearance.
This old Magus’ life energy had been exhausted, and he had reached the end of his life.
Regular rank 1 Magi, those that were not of ancient branches like Warlocks, had 200-year lifespans. This old Magus had lived for a very long time, and had not advanced in his meditation technique. His time was now up.
“Master!” The youth stood there silently, images of the times he spent with his master flashing across his mind. A long while later, he turned and left.
*Rumble!* After he left, the earth caved in, forming a void that allowed the surrounding sludge to enter.
“Master, don’t worry! I will definitely be the glorious victor!” The youth swore to the heavens, and left without hesitation.
As he left, a tear fell from the corner of his eye.
“The family’s honour is in your hands.”
In the southern region, in an ancient Magus’ castle.
Dim rays of light fell on a long, rotten table. This black wooden table was about ten metres long, and extended from the head of the hall to the door.
On the tablecloth, there was a silver lampstand and all sorts of fruits and delicacies. A few figures were seated sparsely around it.
The old woman at the master’s seat, who wore a black high-hat and multiple red gems and emerald rings, was giving a young girl a reminder.
She was silent for a while, and then spoke resolutely, “I understand, grandmother.”
Only she knew that, under the cover of luxury, this family was already waning.
The wooden table was already rotten, and the castle had not been repaired for decades. Even their defensive spell formations were deactivated due to a lack of magic crystals. Among the aristocratic Magi, they were basically a joke.
The silver lampstand and delicacies at this table, too, had been gathered with some difficulty. The ornaments on her grandmother’s fingers? Fake trinkets! The originals had long been pawned off.
The girl was silent, knowing that in order to raise a Magus like her, they had paid a large price.
“I’ll definitely become the victor of the young Magus competition and revive the family!” She vowed.
“Good! Let us drink to Lilina’s promise!” The old woman laughed and raised her cup.
“Cheers!” The rest of the relatives all cheered and finished all the alcoholic drinks in their hands. After, they pounced on the delicacies on the table.
Even though they were the descendants of a Magus family, fruits were not things they could have often!
Upon seeing this, the old lady had a bitter expression. This caused Lilina to be even more resolute in her convictions.
In the faraway northern region of Twilight Zone.
Groups of human slaves were tied up with thick ropes, and herded towards a city.
There were countless humans, and the one similarity between all of them was the shared expression of despair and numbness.
All of them were originally people of the northern region, but after it was attacked, they lacked the time and strength to move and all turned into slaves.
They would be lucky to be enslaved. Most captives only had one choice, which was to become offerings to the various matriarchs!
At the highest point of a city built in corundum, an absolutely beautiful dark elf maiden was staring on coldly.
“Human’s reproductive ability is too powerful. Their population is tens or even a hundred times ours! How should we rule them? The only way is to kill them until they are fewer than us or to the brink of extinction. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about any instability.”
A command that was cold, detached and inhuman was produced from her lips.
Behind her, elite dark elven secret guards drew back respectfully and passed down the order, resulting in the formation of a red sea.
What was more terrifying was that the corpses of these humans would be recycled to be used as army provisions for the gnomes, dwarves and even dark elves!
“How is it going with the Underground Winter Spider Emperor?” She asked indifferently.
“Through investigations, we can confirm that the mother body is not dead, and we’ve also appeased our elite knights. However, in the holy land, the disappearance of the mother body’s aura is still causing a disturbance amongst the Underground Winter Spiders.”
Another matriarch with a gold crown on her head in black leather revealed a great amount of skin as she bowed and reported.
“Trash!” A cold glint flashed in the maiden’s eyes, “Sacrifice the original head guard of the holy land!”
“Yes!” The icy intent behind those words caused the matriarch behind her to quiver.
“That mere human dares profane the holy land of us dark elves? We need to use his flesh and soul to scrub off this humiliation!” The maiden vowed.
“My lord, here is the newest intelligence from Longbottom!”
At this moment, the door opened. A dark elf shrouded in translucent black muslin held a brass circular cylinder and knelt, offering it to the maiden with both hands.
The girl laughed slightly, and a slight wind blew the cylinder over to her hands.
After seeing the letter, she bit her lips, her reddened lip providing a stark contrast to her pale skin, causing the guards around her to gulp.
“A genius competition in the central region?” She muttered to herself again and then ordered, “Gather the matriarchs. I to convene a meeting of Dark Nobility!”
She felt that this was a turning point that could give her the chance to take care of the Magi in the central region in one go.
However, she had a sense of extreme danger from the will of the darkness.
After pondering over this for a long while, the maiden sighed and decided to put this question up for discussion.
After news of the genius competition spread, the entirety of Twilight Zone and even the surrounding dark elven, gnome and dwarven empires all responded to the news.
All sorts of Magi, regardless of race, hurried towards the central region.
In that moment, there really seemed to be a sense of instability.
Leylin, who was meanwhile waiting for the fish to bite, patiently waited for the competition to begin. As he had been the person to suggest this and was plenty strong himself, he was able to get a position as a judge.
As for the people in Nature’s Alliance? All of them had been sent off on miscellaneous missions.
As Leylin’s number one subordinate, Iren was nowhere to be found every day, and nobody knew what Leylin had ordered him to do.
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