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Leylin was slightly disappointed after listening to Gillian’s story. It would be excessive of him to expect any good power system or training method from such a weak race.
‘However, they are the natives after all. There should be some valuable items or information…’ Leylin stroked his chin.
‘Furthermore, Dreamscape can’t be judged with common sense. Perhaps the next time I come, she’ll have turned into a terrifying existence. Of course the chances of that are so meagre they’re negligible, but even if she’s more likely to die instead there’s some hope…’
“No… No… Don’t go…” Gillian seemed to be restless in her dreams, her hands clutching the blanket and her brows deeply furrowed. Her eyeballs were rolling around under her eyelids, and she looked miserable and pitiful.
“DON’T LEAVE ME… Hah… Hah, it was a dream…” She suddenly sat up, looking bewildered. It was only after she saw the bonfire blazing constantly that she huffed out a long breath.
“Nightmares?” Leylin laughed and pushed a piece of roast meat in front of her. Grease and roast meat combined to present the most tantalising of scents, one that caused Gillian to swallow.
“This is… for me?” Gillian’s stomach growled, much to her embarrassment, but she still questioned in disbelief.
“Of course!” Leylin’s smile was very gentle. There had not been any unhappiness between them, and was giving her roast meat and bread considered a waste? This bit was nothing at all to Leylin, so he obviously wouldn’t mind being gentle and kind.
Experience told him that such a pretence was very effective in concealing him in an unfamiliar environment. On top of that, Leylin didn’t mind showing benevolence to stray cats and dogs.
“Thank- Thank you!” Gillian spoke in a low voice, and immediately grabbed the meat and began to bite at it ravenously. Halfway through, she suddenly sounded like she was choked with emotion and began to sob.
“There’s no hurry, I still have a lot of food. Finish eating first, then I’ll bring you to your companions.” Leylin understood what she was feeling very well. He comforted her slowly, and the girl eventually calmed down.
*Ka-cha!* Withered branches snapped when stepped on. Leylin and Gillian carefully skirted the theme park, pushing through the primitive forest.
“Those terrifying monsters never leave the scope of the node. As long as we don’t go there, there shouldn’t be any problems…” Gillian was wearing the hunting attire that Leylin had given her, her cleaned face revealing a vigorous spirit that made her seem pretty.
“What’s truly scary in Dreamscape are the wanderers and masters! They can cause tempests to descend at any time, destroying homes and crops, resulting in massive casualties on our end…”
Her voice became low. “If not for them looking down on us and treating us like ants, we would probably have all died long ago…”
At this point, she gazed at Leylin. From what she could remember, the methods Leylin used were very similar to those employed by the masters.
“No need to worry, I’m not anything like that. I’ve only just studied some other methods. Haven’t any of you met with other intellectual lifeforms and interacted with them before?” In front of Gillian, Leylin did not conceal his identity as a foreigner.
“Yes! It’s not just in the forest, but even in the nodes. There are existences that we can communicate with, but they seldom appear. Normally it’s just monsters that only know how to kill.
Gillian tilted her head as she thought it over, “I heard from Father that long, long ago, a giant castle appeared at a node. An old grandpa with a white beard lived inside, and he was like the masters with the ability to control lightning and fire. He even passed down methods to manipulate these powers to Uncle Morin…”
“Hm?” Leylin’s interest was aroused, for this sounded quite similar to a Magus, “And then?”
“And then…” Gillian’s eyes grew dazed, “After grasping the tremendous power, he said he would take us away from the forest to see the outside world… and then, he disappeared… never to return…”
“What a sad story… Oh, my apologies!” Leylin had nothing to say in response to that.
“It’s nothing!” Gillian seemed rather strong, and after seeing a sign by the road, she even cheered excitedly, “We’re quite close to our camp!”
*Whizz!* A bone arrow landed in front of Leylin, the arrow’s feathers still shaking.
“Who is it?” A deep voice sounded from the forest. Leylin laughed, not answering. He had actually noticed the other party long ago, but it was obviously better for Gillian to deal with him.
“Uncle Mark! It’s Gillian!” She happily yelled into the depths of the forest.
“Little Gillian!” The trees on the opposite end began to shake, revealing a middle-aged burly man with sideburns. This man, who was clothed in animal hide, spoke out, “I heard that you’d fallen into a node. I thought you’d died! Do you know how much I cried for you…”
“Uncle Mark!” Gillian went forward and hugged him tightly, “I’m sorry for making you worry! Here, let me introduce you. This is Mister Leylin who rescued me from the node!”
Gillian pulled at Mark’s hands and dragged him before Leylin. Evidently, the lack of purple patterns on Leylin’s skin left the man on guard.
Leylin chuckled, not minding at all. It was fine as long as he found the place. After all, given his abilities, could the natives even block his attacks?
Of course, Leylin did not dare overstep his boundaries due to the mysteries of Dreamscape. It was best not to use violence when it could interfere with him obtaining any harvests.
After all, this was a world filled with the unknown. The warped reality and complexities in here far exceeded his expectations.
Perhaps the next time he came here, these natives would have undergone a tremendous change. If he were to invest some effort here and strike up a good relationship with them, it would be worth it in the future.
What happened next was obvious. After Leylin displayed his kind intent, and with Gillian’s vouching for him, Mark brought Leylin to their camp.
Leylin took a look around. This was evidently a temporary base, with many wooden piles that had been cut down and were yet to be tidied up in the surroundings.
At the back of the camp were traces of a large fire, as well as a small plot with vegetables and the like.
‘These farming methods are rather ancient.’ Leylin shook his head, but he knew this was inevitable. These natives could find the next time they woke up that their land had lost all fertility, turning into an arid desert, a forest, a river, or even a volcano. There was no need for more effort than this.
Such simplicity extended even to the buildings. A wooden house was made with a few trees put together. Many of the natives chose to rest out in the open or found a hole in a tree. Leylin felt that the tent he had brought along could be considered a palace compared to this.
In the simple and crude wooden house, Leylin met Gillian’s father. He seemed like a haggard middle-aged man, hard work over a long period of time making him look as if he already had one foot in the grave.
“Cough cough… thank you, guest from distant lands! Gillian is my everything. I really don’t know what I can do to show you my gratitude. There’s this food as well… this…”
The middle-aged man surveyed the white bread, biscuits and other food piled in front of him, a flush rising on his face. Such first-rate food was something he could not normally enjoy.
“Please don’t mind it! Gillian is a very lovable girl. Nobody would want to watch her come in harm’s way!” Leylin smiled gently.
“Please forgive my bluntness, but based on what Gillian has said, you… are a Magus?” The man coughed for a while before asking suddenly.
“Yes!” Leylin’s astonishment was outweighed only by his curiosity, “Have you seen a Magus before? Where did you make contact with them?”
“Cough cough… It was Morin who told me this…” The flush on the middle-aged man became even more serious, to the point that Leylin sensed that the fires of his life were about to be extinguished.
“Morin was once viewed favourably by a Magus and studied under him for a period of time. We were told many epic stories, but unfortunately…” Leylin had heard about what happened after from Gillian before.
“May I know if the node where the castle was still exists?” Leylin was rather curious about his kind.
“No. On a certain day, the entire castle and the node completely disappeared. If not for Morin spending the night elsewhere that day, I’m afraid…”
The man shook his head, and seemed to think of something. Shivering uncontrollably, he produced a portion of animal hide and respectfully placed it in front of Leylin.
“This is what Morin left for me. Though I can’t understand it, it’s definitely got to do with the Magus. Take this gift as my thanks!”
“This…” After taking the skin, Leylin’s pupils suddenly shrank.
Atop the animal hide were some brown designs and runes. It was no wonder that the man couldn’t understand it; the real information was concealed by spiritual force within the hide.
[Beep! Discovered data interface. Information being transmitted!]
The A.I. Chip’s voice was transmitted as well, and a look of glee appeared on Leylin’s face.
‘I am Morin, what Mentor calls an inhabitant of Dreamscape. If you see this information, please treat my clan members well. What you will see next is the path that Mentor has come up with after spending decades studying my body — A Magus…’
The information on the animal hide gave rise to a look of elation on Leylin’s face.
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