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The sun slowly sank beneath the horizon, the sky a brilliant blend of red and orange. With twilight looming, the town looked shabby and dilapidated.
At the only inn in the heart of the small town, a boiling cauldron of voices could be heard. The aromas of different wines and barbequed meat mixed with the musky smells of sweat and body odour as it permeated the air.
As the night was chilly, the hotel had long shut its windows and doors. Even the cracks were closed up, thickening the smell inside further.
But the drunk patrons with their flushed puffy faces and the exhausted travellers didn’t mind it at all. In such weather, so long as there was a place to keep them warm, allowing them to enjoy some strong wine along with some barbequed meat, they would feel like they were in heaven.
“Master, your meal!” A heavyset kitchen lady efficiently brought forth a few dishes and served a customer. There was only one young man at the table and the kitchen lady only stepped away after stealing a glance at him, blushing with satisfaction.
“A Breaking Dawn Lord! Such a handsome man, he must be a noble lord!”
Leylin couldn’t be bothered by the kitchen lady’s thoughts. His eyes were fixated on the sumptuous meal set in front of him, yet his mind was wandering elsewhere.
After he’d given the orders, and made the necessary arrangements for the entire Ouroboros Clan, he had begun his own journey.
As he wasn’t pressed for time and hadn’t had the opportunity to venture far previously, he planned to take his time to explore the vast central continent, which was filled with a fascinating mix of various odd ethnicities and mixed bloodlines who coexisted with other humans. The geographical landscape was also much more confusing. Coupled with the pollution of the radiation of some high-ranking Magi, it was no wonder that almost every location seemed bizarre and puzzling.
Abandoning the convenience of travelling by his airship, Leylin had to admit that with his current walking pace, to cover the entire central continent, he would have to use at least a century as his unit of measurement!
There were many bizarre scenes along the way. However, as Leylin had already been promoted to the Morning Star realm, his scope of vision was extraordinary. Thus, under the probing of his soul force, the number of scenes that he could not understand were greatly reduced.
His current urge to venture to this small town was to seek out a rumoured marvel.
Leylin’s supposed leisurely ventures were not for recreation. He wanted to research these odd phenomena to strengthen his A.I. Chip’s analysing capabilities by accumulating more information in its database.
Leylin pondered about his current situation:
[Leylin Farlier, rank 4 Warlock Bloodline: Giant Kemoyin Serpent (complete form), Strength: 50, Agility: 45, Vitality: 65, Spiritual Force: 503.7, Magic Power: 503 (magic power in synchronisation with spiritual force) Soul Force: ???]
After advancing to Morning Star, limitations of calculating soul force relatively based on spiritual force data started to surface. As the A.I. Chip lacked the necessary data on soul force, it could not successfully compute the soul force statistics, which somewhat frustrated Leylin.
“Before a Magus reaches rank 4, they depend on their of meditation technique to accumulate spiritual force. However, after rank 4, other aspects of the soul get involved. My Kemoyin’s Pupil can’t be regarded as an advantage anymore…”
Leylin sighed. His meditation technique was way too low-level, and the information that he had gathered was actually from the Wing of the Sun.
As compared to spiritual force, the training of one’s soul force was complicated and profound. Even the Wing of the Sun was not able to completely elaborate on the details, let alone allow the A.I. Chip to reinforced to the highest standards.
As such, Leylin thought of his previous research into spiritual bodies. Through that, he could accumulate statistics and information on the power of souls in an attempt to complete his own database.
After some thought, Leylin couldn’t help but scrutinise the two columns at the sides: [Kemoyin’s Pupil meditation technique level 5 derivation progress: 6.92%. Soul Force database completion: 26.8%!]
“Ugh… Such a heavy burden with a long way to go…” Leylin smiled wryly to himself.
Aside from the derivation of the meditation technique, the Kemoyin’s Pupil had only four levels to begin with. This was the boundary that many Giant Kemoyin Serpent Warlocks failed to break through. Based only on the A.I. Chip’s simulations, Leylin ambitiously wanted to challenge the uphill task of compiling his own fifth level with zero resources.
And the collection of the database on souls was even more difficult.
Once the point mass was condensed, one could purify and advance spiritual force into soul force. Looking back, Leylin’s past research as an acolyte and a rank 1 Magus was such a joke.
The scientific law of life and death of one’s soul was not easily identified. At many times, there would be a theory that ruled the system on one day, yet on the next day, it would become obsolete and be overthrown.
“The rules and regulations of developing one’s soul are really deceptive!” Leylin was evidently upset. In fact, the souls that he met were not exactly souls, just some remnants and unwilling fragments of memories that were the result of energy transformation.
Hence, even if that information proved to be of some use, it could only be a reference.
Only after the promotion to Morning Star and acquiring soul force would he be better equipped to start a further exploration of the soul. And that was what Leylin was striving extremely hard and advancing for.
All in all, the physiques of the humans in the central continent were much stronger than the ones in the south coast and Twilight Zone. Also, with the abundance of energy particles, the probability of dead spirits transforming into souls was greater. Coupled with the mix of radiations of many high-ranked Magi everywhere, this place gave off the feel of a very primitive and complicated place for spirits.
Whenever such an environment surfaced, Leylin would hit the town to collect data.
That was the reason for Leylin’s presence here as well. “Every year during hazy winter nights, a ‘Spirit Wave’ phenomenon occurs at midnight…” he mumbled to himself.
At the same time, he acutely felt many pairs of eyes peeking at him, making him laugh to himself.
Seated alone with a huge spread of delicacies and yet eating none of it, he was attracting the wrong kind of attention.
After some thought, Leylin picked up his cutlery.
The central continent’s standard of living had always been higher than that of the other regions. Even a hotel in a small town served food that was considerably more delicious.
Not only did they serve a glass of honeyed wine, they also served white bread and steak. The steak was tenderised with baking soda and a mallet, making it extra tender. Coupled with some honeyed wine, it tasted rich and mellow.
Observing that Leylin had begun to eat his food, the drunk patrons either shot him a glance or cursed him under their breath and thereafter turned their attention away from him.
A faint light glowed from the depths of his pupils.
Even at this small hotel, there were some Magi present! It seemed like they had been attracted by the same Spirit Wave phenomenon.
With a sweep of his soul force, he was able to immediately identify a few black shadows in the corner. A pair of grandfather and grandson seated next to the counter also caught his attention.
“Hmm! A few rank 2 Magi, and another rank 3 Vapour Phase, not bad!”
As a Morning Star Magus, Leylin was now qualified to scan these Magi. And because he was able to restrain the energy undulations on his body to its point mass, Leylin was regarded by those present at the hotel as an ordinary Knight in training that had happened to set foot in this town. No other oddities were detected.
The pair of grandfather and grandson caught Leylin’s attention the most. After all, for a rank 3 Vapour Phase Magus to bring along his grandson for such an outing, there must be something important.
And if it was indeed related to the Spirit Wave, Leylin was even more interested in finding out about it.
The grandson tagging along with the elderly Magus looked to be about thirteen or fourteen years old. With a pair of wine-red eyes and golden blonde hair, he was very adorable. Judging by the freckles on his face and energy in his darting eyes, it was clear he seldom ventured outdoors.
‘All these Magi can’t be here just to view the phenomenon right?’ Leylin stroked his chin. Although the Spirit Wave was a magnificent sight, he was sure there were no other benefits. With the exception of idle individuals like Leylin, who came specially to collect data and check the Spirit Wave out, the number of Magi who came forth had greatly reduced in recent times, and highly-ranked ones like this old man were a rare sight.
“Hehe… Spirit Wave is about to begin, I am going to strike it rich this time!”
“Mmm! That’s right, I have been waiting for this!”
Wearing shabby clothing, the drunk patrons were yelling at the top of their voices. Some of them were adventurers, some were mercenaries. Others were gold panners and such. They had all gathered to try their luck.
Although the Spirit Wave had no huge instrumental use for the Magi, it was still considered a gold mine for the commoners.
And along with the huge amount of rubbish and remnants left after every Spirit Wave, there was bound to be some good stuff. If one could find it, they might very well have a windfall.
This was one of the reasons why the small town was still in existence.
Otherwise, although the Spirit Wave posed no threat, the commoners would have found it difficult to be neighbours with a mass of spirits. Other than Magi, no other would have such courage.
The oppressive, loud chiming of a copper clock rang. Many of the tourists were jolted awake. Even those blurry-eyed drunkards were nudged awake by their companions.
“The midnight bell has tolled!” “The midnight bell has tolled!”
Many adventurers called out in excitement as they started to wipe and polish their weapons.
These weapons had no effect on the spirits and were also not meant for dealing with them. In the face of such enormous treasure, the ones they had to be wary of would be one another instead!
“Let’s go!” The old Magus picked up a napkin to wipe his hand. His movements were elegant and relaxed, evidently having undergone training. On the other hand, the young grandson was still rather stiff.
Leylin followed the crowd and stepped foot outside the hotel.
At this moment, a full moon hung in the middle of the sky. A thin layer of fog surrounded it and blurred the moonlight, forming a silvery-white halo.
The chilly wind whistled. The northern air in the night was known to be bone-chilling. Gushes of white vapour could be seen emerging from the adventurers’ noses and mouths as they breathed.
Many doors in the small town suddenly slammed open and a crowd started pouring in.
A majority of the crowd were well-built men. Some of them looked ferocious while others were old with multiple scars on them. They were carrying baskets or knapsacks, weapons in hand. In short, they were all well-equipped, one way or another.
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