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“Darkness? What darkness? Hasn’t Longbottom’s scheme been thwarted?” Baelin was doubtful, but he no longer had the time to think. He scooped Aaron up in a hurry, preparing to treat him.
Strands of green rays emerged from Baelin’s fingers, and merged with the horrifying wound on Aaron’s body, helping him stop the bleeding and mending his tissues.
“Aaron, Aaron! Are you alright? Hang in there!” Baelin constantly cried out, large amounts of tears spilling from his eyes.
“Longbottom! Lord Longbottom is dead!” At this time, in the middle of the competition venue, the revolutionary army and dark elves who had just lost their leader all fell into a state of chaos.
*Cough Cough!* Aaron coughed violently and opened his eyes. “I… I’m still alive?”
“Of course, you’re my prophet. How can you die without my permission?” Baelin covertly brushed away his tears and laughed.
”Oh no!” Aaron suddenly started to struggle.
”What’s happening?” Baelin hurriedly helped him stand up.
“Danger is still near! In fact, it’s in our immediate vicinity!” Aaron’s face showed increasing terror, “He… He is…”
*Bang! Bang! Bang!*
A person wearing an exquisite black robe emerged amidst sudden applause. Every move of his held an inexplicable aura of authority and grace, and he slowly entered their field of vision.
“As expected of a Magus practicing Sacred Flame. Once you reach rank 2, even I cannot escape your prophecies!”
“Master Leylin! Weren’t you…” Baelin looked at Leylin. At first, he felt joy, but then he noticed the nine statues erected in the center.
“A mere Ice Seal of Eternity, what can it do to me?” Leylin laughed casually, not revealing that he had known about Longbottom’s plan from Ernis. Even if he hadn’t known, though, his frightening power and affinity with frost would have let him escape quite easily.
*Bang!* As though to verify Leylin’s words, one of the nine ice sculptures suddenly exploded, revealing the silhouette of a puppet which quickly dissipated.
“What… What’s happening? Ah! Haha… Haha… I get it! Master Leylin, this is just a prank, isn’t it?” Baelin laughed forcefully, but the unease in his heart had reached its peak.
“Prank? Oh! Yes, I love cracking jokes with you, just not today. I was just excited by your performance and wanted to excuse myself!” Leylin snapped his finger.
*Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish!* Light flashed everywhere, and a large number of Nature’s Alliance Magi appeared. Some came out from beneath the stages, some from behind the seats, and some just materialised from the shadows.
These Magi all had their concentration and powers intact, and embarked on a ruthless massacre the moment they entered. The dark elves and Twilight Zone Magi all fell at their hands, and were swept in a matter of seconds.
“Second level seal enhancement begin!” The leader, Iren, immediately tossed out a scroll.
*Bzzzt Bzzzt!* A frightful wave of energy dispersed, and an even larger fleet of Magi appeared at the center of the competition venue, reinforcing the gigantic spider cocoon.
“Lord Leylin? Why?” Baelin kept retreating, looking as though he was on the verge of breaking down.
“You are one of the higher-ups in Twilight Zone, and also someone I look up to. Why…”
“No particular reason, after directing a play for so long, it’s time I came to wrap things up!” The corners of Leylin’s mouth turned into a sinister smirk.
“Play? What kind of play?” Baelin did not dare to think further.
“A comedy about a silly hero, and a group of foolish Magi!” Leylin smiled subtly, and pointed at Baelin’s neck.
Boiling hot! Scalding hot! Baelin felt an unnerving heat exuding from his neck, penetrating through his armor, roasting his skin and muscles.
*Boom!* A streak of gold light emitted from his neck and returned to Leylin’s palms.
It was a peculiar gold coin, one face of which had a lucky bird and the other a skull. The sides of the coin also had elaborate patterns and prints on them.
“This was the gold coin you gave me, was it all planned from the very beginning?” Baelin laughed pathetically.
“No! I did not have such plans back in Potter Town, but on the way to the Eastern Capital, I found out that you were the Child of Destiny, so I decided to do this!” Leylin looked at the gold coin in his hand, excitement written on his face.
“Hehe…… You are all liars! Liars!” Baelin laughed hysterically. Rays of silver light burst forth from his body, and he charged forth, Meteor Sword in hand.
*Pow!* A fist of immense strength landed firmly on his cheek, causing the Meteor Sword to be swung out of his grasp even as he was sent flying.
Alas, the Bio Boosting armour on his body failed to hold any longer and disintegrated midair.
“Your destiny was to become the victor of this revolution in your battle with Longbottom! And after Longbottom was taken care of, how do I put it… You are no longer of use to destiny. And without destiny on your side, you are but a dead dog to me…” Leylin ruthlessly attacked Baelin.
It was the truth. Before Baelin completed his mission, were Leylin to have made a move, he had a premonition that something would inexplicably block his path. But now? There was nothing that could stop him.
This was the very reason why many accomplished heroes never got another chance to take risks and could only choose to live in seclusion among the commoners…
“Coin of Destiny, step one accomplished!” Leylin turned around and looked over at where Aaron was.
*Pew!* At this moment, a stream of light also emitted from Aaron’s ring, and in front of him appeared the Great Magus Merlin.
“Little Aaron, what did you promise me then?”
“I promised that other than collecting your shards, I’ll have to help you complete another task!” Aaron’s expression was a mix of terror, alarm, and agony.
“Now, I request of you, to return to me the Sacred Flame!” Merlin’s voice was extremely calm, but Aaron couldn’t help but turn pale at his voice. “Grandpa Merlin, I’ve always been respectful to you as though you were my own grandfather…”
“But, the moment you advanced to the second rank, you realised it, no?” Merlin’s illusion transformed continuously before settling on the image of Leylin.
“So all of this; me gaining the inheritance, practicing Sacred Flame, meeting with Vinas; it was all your doing?”
Aaron turned around and looked at Leylin, his pupils pitch black.
“At first it was, but the melodrama at the end was something I couldn’t predict either. It looks like the stability issues with Sacred Flame still have to be solved!” Leylin’s voice was extremely cold, “Now, hand it over!”
“AH!” As soon as Leylin voice sounded, Aaron felt as though his consciousness was split open by someone who wanted to extract something.
The extreme horrifying pain caused him to roll around, and his face contorted into demon-like expressions.
Shortly after, Aaron felt the spiritual force he had so painstakingly cultivated with the Sacred Flame was drawn out from him entirely.
Strands of silver spiritual force formed a vortex in midair, and Aaron who lost his meditation technique had his powers depleted progressively, from rank 2 to rank 1 before hitting rock bottom—an acolyte.
“The spiritual force of Sacred Flame!” Leylin’s smile broadened. He sang with excitement, “Along with the sacrifice of a Child of Destiny!”
With his deep voice sounding, the surface of the Coin of Destiny shone with a thin layer of light and was lifted into the air.
“With the magnanimous power of destiny, along with the foundation and spiritual force of the Sacred Flame that split apart and then merged together!”
Leylin pulled out a crystal already full of golden liquid, and threw it into the spiritual force vortex.
All of a sudden, a surge of silver white flames emerged from within.
“There are still three broken and unwilling souls!” Leylin’s smile became even wider, and two items flew out from Aaron’s body.
They were a worn-out notebook and a five-colored necklace. At this moment, an illusion flickered on each of the two items.
“Vinas! Vinas!” Aaron struggled as he saw the face of his lover on the five-colored necklace, however, Vinas’ expression was ever-changing, from tenderness, to detachment, to distraught…
“You can join too!” Leylin pointed at Aaron’s forehead and it exploded like a watermelon. The black ring in his hand also flew into the air, joining into a triangular formation with the other two items.
“With great power from the fragmented souls as the main body, the Sacred Flame meditation technique as the core, and finally injecting a large amount of the power of destiny…”
Leylin’s voice grew in fervency.
Following the chanting, the triangular formation and meditative vortex grew closer, giving off small explosions.
“AHHHHHHH……” Baelin hissed violently and charged forth once again, but before he got close, he was already thrown out by the airwaves.
“Seal!” A complex and awkward-sounding ancient incantation finally fused into two short seals.
*Boom Boom!* A gigantic vortex formed, compressing the vortex and triangular formation into the Coin of Destiny like a funnel.
When everything ended, flashes of light appeared on the Coin of Destiny, yet it seemed as though nothing had changed.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
Leylin let the gold coin float in midair and with a wave of his arm, the Meteor Sword voluntarily flew into his hands.
“You did all this, just for those two items?”
Baelin was beyond miserable, his eyes with a tint alike to flames.
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