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It was as if he had gone through a long fall. Leylin felt like he was in another world when he finally touched the ground.
‘What… is this place?’ Observing the dusky fog of the mountains and the black forest in the distance, he sank into deep thought.
*Caw! Caw! Caw!* A crow with three blood-red eyes spread its wings and took off from a tree branch beside him, leaving behind a few fallen feathers. Its piercing shrieks spread far and wide.
‘A.I. Chip!’ Leylin subconciously commanded.
[Beep! Beginning scan of surroundings. Scan completed! Begin…]
The A.I. Chip’s voice was normal at first, but near the end, it suddenly grew rough as if it was facing some strong interference.
”AAH! AAH! AAH!” After some time, the voice changed to become piercing feminine shrieks. They grew higher and higher in pitch until they threatened to blast Leylin’s eardrums apart, at which point he had no choice but to order it to halt operations.
“Wind probing…” Leylin stretched his arms out, and light green wind elemental particles gathered around him, the slight green wind elemental particles gathering extremely slowly, causing his brows to furrow. Soul force appeared, causing a light green gust of wind to spread in all directions.
‘This seems quite familiar, but I just can’t put my finger on it!’ Leylin frowned, feeling as if his memories were shrouded by some fog. Yet he managed to remember a lot of things, such as his magic. Still, he seemed to have forgotten something important, and it gave him a bad premonition.
Soon enough, the scattered wind gave him some results which let him know of his current location. He was outside a forest, and there was even a dark red river flowing nearby. There was a wooden house not far away, with what seemed to be a human figure inside.
‘This range…’ Leylin’s brows furrowed, ‘Not only is it difficult to use spells at all, even their effects have been suppressed to a large extent. Could this be some high-ranked World?’
The temperature of the forest lowered with the setting sun, and the fog around him grew denser. It even turned a dark red, which sent a chill down Leylin’s spine. He quickly got out of the area and arrived at the wooden house he had discovered.
Golden roses were in full bloom behind the fence, and traces of grey smoke rose from within that allowed Leylin to feel some warmth. The wooden door creaked open, and a kindly woman walked out. The woman seemed rather young, around twenty years of age at best, but the intelligent glint in her eyes made Leylin feel like she was someone with abundant experience.
“Little brother! You’re back!” The woman chuckled after seeing him, the brilliance of her smile leaving Leylin intoxicated. It was as if the flowers surrounding her bloomed with her laugh.
“Who are you?” Leylin couldn’t help but ask.
“Me? I’m your sister. This is your home!” The woman’s face was beautiful, and the brilliant golden strands of hair that blew in the wind felt familiar to Leylin.
“My… home?” Leylin mumbled.
“Yes, your home! Welcome back!” His gentle sister spread her arms wide open, as if wanting to give him a warm embrace.
“You’re my… sister?!” Leylin kept repeating it over, and the beautiful woman’s face gradually matched to one in his memories.
“Yes! Little brother, you’re finally back!” There were tears in the woman’s eyes. And yet, he suddenly felt immense terror as her arms approached him for an embrace. An unknown malicious intent caused him to quiver in dread. ‘WAIT!
‘I’m Leylin Farlier, a bloodline Warlock from the Magus World. Why am I here?’ a voice kept shouting out in his mind, but Leylin could no longer control his body. His limbs moved automatically, and he was only one step away from pouncing into a hug.
“Defiant Ring of Fire!” “Shadow of Quandary!” “Dark Serpent Tendrils!”
Spell models flashed one after another in front of Leylin’s eyes, but his spells that had already been suppressed to a large extent seemed to lose all their abilities. No energy was emitted at all.
“Come back!” “Come back!” “Come back!”
The faint voice caused Leylin’s eyes to show further perplexion, and the surroundings of the wooden house underwent a huge change. The dark red fog grew more dense, and the bright golden rose gradually wilted to reveal white skeletons below. A few small snakes slithered out of the occasional eye hole.
The wooden house had changed behind the roses, becoming a coiled up bundle of snakes. A few triangular serpent heads popped out from it, spitting out a dark red poison. In an instant, the peasant home had turned into a terrifying hell.
‘This feeling of suppression is familiar…’ Streams of dark red fog automatically invaded Leylin’s body, and it caused the familiarity to grow more intense.
Finally, light flickered in the depths of Leylin’s eyes.
“It’s dreamforce! This is Dreamscape! I’ve been dragged into a dream!”
[Beep! Host determined to be in Dreamscape!] As if the fog in his memories had been completely swept away, the A.I. Chip’s voice was no longer that of a shrieking woman; it grew clear once more.
Feeling his elemental control and his soul force being isolated, Leylin’s thoughts flashed to something, ‘Dreamscape is a profound world that rejects all powers that are not dreamforce.’
“Come back!” At this moment, the fingers of the woman nearby were about to touch Leylin’s face.
“In that case,” a spell model was abruptly transferred to him by the A.I. Chip, “rank 4 dream spell— Illusory Scepter!” Large amounts of dreamforce waves gathered in Leylin’s hand, forming a strange ancient scepter.
“Go away!” Leylin pointed the scepter at the woman, and dark red demonic flames sprayed out of it.
“AAAHH!” The woman screamed, covering her face and retreating.
“Who are you?” Leylin’s expression was very serious as he watched the woman who stood up once more.
A large portion of her face had disappeared, but strangely enough she had no reaction to it. There wasn’t even any blood at the site of the injury.
“I never thought you’d have already altered yourself for Dreamscape and grasped control of dreamforce…” The woman spoke dully, but the familiar voice made Leylin’s pupils shrink, “You’re… The Snake—”
*Rumble!* The scene broke apart, revealing an astral river that stretched through the void. A starlike bundle of snakes opened up in the river, revealing the Snake Dowager within.
“My child, return to my embrace!” The Snake Dowager’s voice held within it some bizarre attractive force, causing the blood in Leylin’s body to boil, out of his control.
A voice inside urged him to submit and fall at the knees of the Dowager. Large numbers of giant snakes were hissing and roaring at him, the sound waves causing his expression to change. “This is not Purgatory World, but a dream.
“My free will shall not be controlled by anything else! Snake Dowager, your biggest mistake today was dragging me into Dreamscape!” A decisive look immediately appeared in Leylin’s eyes, and an even more illusory, dazzling spell model formed in his hands.
“Rank 5 dream spell— Distrait Dream!” Strange undulations shrouded the region…
Feeling wetness across his cheek, Leylin opened his eyes to find a strange large beast looming over him with its mouth wide open. Its scarlet tongue licked at his face, and a terrible stench assaulted his nostrils.
“The central continent’s Bone Grey Badger? Then this is the real world, which means I’ve escaped?” Leylin’s eyes regained their radiance as he easily chased the monster away, glee apparent on his face.
He took a look around, and found skid marks on the ground, greenish yellow soil peeking through the tracks made in the grass.
“That’s right. I was on the way back to the Warlock Union, but the Snake Dowager pulled me into a dream, which is why I suddenly fell…” Leylin touched his chin, guessing what had happened.
“Darkness and dreams share a strong connection. It’s no surprise that she can use the power of dreams. The only thing she didn’t expect was that I’d already undergone Dreamscape alteration and be able to use dreamforce…” Cold sweat streamed down Leylin’s back. If not for his prior experience with Dreamscape, the consequences of being pulled into that dream would have been disastrous.
There was a huge gap between the Magus World and Purgatory. With the added limitations of protective spheres, the Snake Dowager would not be able to attack Leylin so easily.
Yet, Dreamscape was different. Space itself was muddled there, and everything was everywhere. An attack through dreams would be the most energy efficient.
Though there were some limitations, it should have been enough for the Snake Dowager to suppress Leylin. Perhaps the only thing she hadn’t considered was that Leylin had already made contact with dreamforce, and his body was used to it. This allowed him to snap out of it automatically, and even use a rank 5 dream spell.
While he could do little to her, the time he had gained was enough for him to escape.
“Snake Dowager…” Leylin muttered, his eyes flickering with light. Her attack had made it clear to him that she would not tolerate any descendant escaping her control.
The more outstanding he was and the faster he progressed, the more intense the conflict of interest would grow.
‘I never expected that a tiny existence like me would catch the attention of the Snake Dowager.’ Leylin’s lips quirked up in a bitter smile. He’d already felt like he was being watched when he’d evolved to become a Kemoyin Emperor Warlock. He just hadn’t expected this day to come so fast.
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