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Within the Magus Tower’s secret room, at the side of the Pond of Lamentation. The silent Zegna was in a daze, only turning back after he left and lifting up the sleeve on his right arm.
On his right arm, crests and troughs formed on what should’ve been smooth skin, taking on the shape of a mysterious female face.
“What should we do about the Ouroboros Clan?” Zegna asked.
Two cracks opened in the skin, rolling apart to form a vivid pair of eyes. “You are now at the advanced stage of the transformation. Your main body will probably not be able to…” the mysterious woman’s voice sounded.
“You mean we should let go of this opportunity?” Zegna raised his eyebrows.
“No! We…” The woman’s voice grew softer and was quickly concealed by the waves of water in the black pool.
Above the troposphere. The large amounts of white clouds gathered to form a boundless white sea.
A black streaking was soaring through this see, a private airship with a smooth structure. Currently on its surface was a faint layer of defence, allowing the interior to be silent.
Leylin sat cross-legged on a platform in the bedroom, a phantom Kemoyin Serpent slowly taking form behind him. Light flickered on the phantom causing it to seem illusory, and it looked more regal as fine red stripes appeared on it.
Meditation was something Leylin did every day. Even though he’d already reached the peak of Morning Star, he would not set this task aside.
After he absorbed a large amount of darkness and fire elemental particles, the phantom behind him shrunk down and entered his body.
*Whoosh!* Leylin’s eyes opened, and it seemed like large amounts of lightning streaked past the room.
“Mm. With the A.I. Chip’s optimisation, the fusion between Fireplume and Kemoyin’s Pupil is now half a fold more effective than before!” This was the most precise number he could come up with through his own personal experiments.
Having a top-grade meditation technique such as the Wing of the Sun for reference, Leylin knew fully well that other than not having enough levels, Kemoyin’s Pupil was rather similar to a top-grade meditation technique.
At this thought, Leylin could not help but focus on the A.I. Chip, “How is the progress on the fifth level of Kemoyin’s Pupil?”
[Beep! 76.5% completed! The remaining path is being optimised.] The A.I. Chip’s robotic voice intoned loyally.
“It seems like the fifth level will be completed soon.” A hint of glee appeared on Leylin’s expression.
The bloodline shackles had ensured that no Kemoyin Warlock had ever broken past the Morning Star realm. Hence, Kemoyin’s Pupil which was specialised for his bloodline only had four levels to it.
This was a type of bloodline shackle. The meditation technique itself would hinder a Kemoyin Warlock from breaking through!
Now, Leylin could hope to destroy these shackles! The meditation technique may be just one part of them, but it had a hole in the bloodline shackles. Now, all he had to do was pry it open.
Leylin believed that, one day, he would manage to break through these shackles as long as he persevered.
‘Meditation techniques are only one tiny aspect of the Warlocks’ bloodline shackles. The fundamental issue is still the bloodline, as well as restrictions on the spirit…’ At this thought, Leylin turned gloomy. Though he was confident in his future, that did not mean he thought the troubles ahead of him were easy to deal with.
‘The limit of a Giant Kemoyin Serpent is rank 4. I, who have fused with its blood and soul, am now bound to rank 4 as well.’ The limits imposed by a bloodline would extend to the soul once one reached the Morning Star realm. This was the true issue of the bloodline shackles.
The soul was just too complicated. Even Morning Stars could only graze the surface in researching it.
’How do I break through the restrictions on the soul?’ Leylin touched his chin, ‘Do I have to begin experimentation on synthesising and altering bloodlines?’
Leylin, equipped with large amounts of information from the ancient Quicksand Organisation, was no stranger to all this. He also had much experience under his belt.
Leylin was perhaps the only one in the central continent in altering Giant Kemoyin Serpent bloodline or form a new one!
‘However, artificially-constructed bloodlines always have defects. They are less lively in comparison to those that have gone through the order of survival of the fittest, shaped by nature and history.’
This was the disadvantage of artificially-made products. The only other option was if Leylin was willing to expend much time and wait, allowing the formed bloodline to grow in nature for up to several tens of generations and slowly ripen. However, the amount of time required far exceeded Leylin’s lifespan.
Besides, though altering bloodlines could result in the creation of more powerful types of bloodlines, the chances of failure were equally high. Leylin was not going to gamble on his future.
Hence, this very attractive train of thought lingered in Leylin’s mind but was eventually abandoned.
“If this doesn’t work, I can only rely on the plan the ancient Wisdom Tree came up with! It’s a pity… At my level, I can’t use it yet…” A deep wrinkle appeared on Leylin’s forehead.
In terms of just intelligence and knowledge, it was impossible for him to measure up to the Wisdom Tree which had lived since time immemorial. He knew that it’s suggestion was definitely viable.
The A.I. Chip had also performed many simulations and verified its feasibility.
It was a pity that these plans were still far away for Leylin. His current strength was insufficient for him to carry them out.
“Besides, the method it gave me can take care of this issue once and for all. If I use it now, the effects definitely won’t be as good as me employing it in the future! I must use it as a trump card, because this might be the only thing I can count on when I meet the Snake Dowager!”
Leylin’s eyes glinted. “Perhaps… My ideas were wrong from the start. Rather than finding other forces to contaminate the bloodline, I should focus on developing my own bloodline. I might even get some results from that!”
Leylin made up his mind.
[Beep! Reached vicinity of Sky City! Arrival in 1h, 24min, 13s.] the A.I. Chip prompted.
“Hm? A month has already passed?” Leylin was puzzled, but then looked through the time records the A.I. Chip had created and could not help but burst out in laughter as he shook his head, “I’ve long since heard that high-ranked Magi have experiments that go on for years or even decades. When they come out, nothing will seem to have changed but that would be untrue. I never expected to find myself in this situation. Just meditating a few times and going through a few conjectures and proofs on experiments had time passing so quickly…”
To outsiders, Magi possessed great strength as well as an enviably long life. Even rank 1 and 2 Magi could live for hundreds of years, which seemed endless.
However, Leylin knew that their time was short, much too short. Besides meditating, they had to conduct experiments and embark on explorations. Each incident of these could take up decades, even centuries! Hence, even after reaching rank 4 and acquiring a lifespan of over a thousand years, he still felt that there wasn’t enough time.
‘This is why so many Magi transform into undeads or become spirit bodies. However, that’s merely struggling at death’s door. The body cannot do anything about the death of its soul, and there will be huge side effects, even going so far as the degeneration of their intelligence.’
Leylin could not help but shiver at that thought. Even if he was at the end of his lifespan anyway, he would not choose to use this method. While he could live for a longer period of time, the price to pay for that would be becoming slow-witted, a fool or lunatic. He would rather return to the astral plane with a clear mind.
*Buzz!* At this moment, the Colossal Serpent began to tilt upwards.
‘Am I finally there? Sky City, the holy land of the Magi of the central continent, said to be the cradle of truth and knowledge!’ Anticipation glinted in Leylin’s eyes as he walked to the deck of the airship.
The great wind and atmospheric pressure did not affect the defence of the Colossal Serpent at all. Leylin, who was inside, felt nothing.
At this moment, the head of the airship tilted further, climbing upwards rapidly.
From the troposphere where the weather was peaceful, he had broken through the stratosphere, arriving even higher than that.
[Beep! Air pressure around host has dropped, oxygen supply dwindling.] The A.I. Chip prompted.
“Hehe, not yet!” Leylin shook his head, and the Colossal Serpent became a flaming arrow as it began to shoot up almost vertically.
[80 km altitude. 200 km. 500 km!] The A.I. Chip rapidly refreshed its prompts.
“If I was in another world, I’d probably have broken through the warm layer and arrived above the ionosphere, right?”
Leylin looked at the A.I. Chip curiously. He noticed that besides the strange reduction in temperature and a change in the behaviour of ions, there were no other changes.
“No!” Leylin looked up. He did not see a universe, but just the sky from before. However, the sunlight seemed more vast and dazzling.
“The Magus World it just a world amongst many others. It naturally can’t be the same as in my previous world!” Leylin seemed to mock himself as he laughed.
At this moment, dark clouds appeared above the Colossal Serpent, as if shrouding the whole sky.
When he got closer, he realised that these gigantic dark clouds even had lightning snakes within, thunder booming constantly inside.
“The thunder layer of Akev! Sky City’s first line of defence!”
Leylin chuckled, piloting the Colossal Serpent and charging straight in.
*Whoosh!* The lightning seemed to be enraged and struck downwards suddenly!
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