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‘However, it’s still not bad!’ After scanning the room, Leylin nodded lightly.
The place was a little small, lacked furniture, and was covered in a thick layer of dust, it would still fetch a sky-high rent in the holy city, where an inch of land was worth as much in gold. Since he could live here for free, why would he be dissatisfied?
What made Leylin feel even more satisfied was that this place was the Stewart family’s property, and Thomas had even specially registered it for him. With Thomas vouching for him, even if the entire city was thoroughly searched in the future, this place would be as steady as a rock.
Leylin had his own reasons for his actions today. They were only performed after careful deliberation. The holy city would be entering troubled times, and without a strong patron a simple search would be very troublesome. Why else would he live here? He had no lack of valuable materials to sell.
For one, he didn’t want to offend Thomas. Another reason was that he was borrowing the Stewart family’s tiger skin [1 Putting on a false facade to intimidate others] to shield himself. Of course, once his plan was exposed it would implicate the Stewart family, especially Thomas. That would be an incredibly sad matter for them, but it was all within Leylin’s considerations.
In reality, the idea had flashed after he saw Aegnis and her brother’s infatuation with the sisters. Once they got him into the holy city, Belinda and her sister had almost exhausted their potentials, and they would just spell trouble in the future. In this dog eat dog world, beauty without strength was the most troublesome.
His options were clear. On one hand he could maintain his relationship with Belinda and her sister, but in the process offend Aegnis and her brother. By extension, he would offend the Stewart family who backed them. On the other, he could renounce his relations with Belinda and gain the family’s understanding and protection. From Leylin’s perspective, the answer was obvious.
Some people chose to head down a path of ruin, refusing to live quietly and even blatantly standing out despite being weak. Only an author sticking out their Golden Thumb1 would be able to save such cases.
Although Leylin couldn’t be considered weak, in the Purgatory World, and especially this holy city, he was as frail as someone who would die to light being shone on them!
Indeed, he could reveal his strength and ruthlessly strike Thomas down. That would be followed Aegnis, then the Stewart family’s position in the top ranks. He could move the entire holy city! All for a single moment, it would be an incomparably glorious scene.
That is, until his origins aroused suspicion. Then, with one glance the Snake Dowager would know immediately that he was the one she was looking for, and he would’ve delivered himself to her on a plate. Then Leylin truly would have lost everything.
And looking back at the root of the problem, it would be for what? Two women? Were they really worth all that?
Leylin had no feelings for Sophie and Belinda, they were simply companions he had met on the road. Belinda had a vaguely good impression of him, and would at most casually joke around from time to time. For Leylin to have to fight for her and ultimately lose everything- wouldn’t that be outrageous?
With the Allsnake Curse on his body, and at a time where he was slowly inching towards death, worrying about trivial matters like affection was just foolish.
‘What I need now is to spare no effort in hiding myself, and conflict with the Stewarts, a tyrannical snake family, is clearly very unwise… And especially over two women…’ Leylin shook his head. Compared to directly clashing with Thomas and finally triggering that situation of completely exposing himself, Leylin simply chose to implement a plan which would minimise his influence and give him the greatest benefits.
‘However, Thomas couldn’t tell that his greatest enemy in getting Belinda and Sophie isn’t me, but his sister Aegnis!’ Leylin stroked his chin thoughtfully, with a trace of an sneer on his face.
With Aegnis at the sisters’ side glaring covetously like a tiger watching its prey, Thomas’ plan could be declared a successful failure before it even began. And of course, once he broke through his bloodline shackles Leylin could naturally make Thomas pay the price for today’s insults.
With this thought, he’d handed Sophie and Belinda over to Aegnis for a while, letting her safeguard them while he received a rare guarantee of safe entry into the city. It wasn’t a difficult thing for him to accept, and in fact he had more important matters to attend to than this.
Without greeting the envious neighbours around him, Leylin immediately shut the door. This two storey apartment building with a little courtyard outside it met his expectations.
After seeing a small flowerbed in the enclosure, Leylin’s face blossomed into a smile.
‘Not bad. It really is decent! All that’s left wanting is for nobody to come and bother me. Unfortunately, that is impossible…’ Leylin sighed, looking at the palm of his hand.
Blue-green veins were revealed under the light, and he could still faintly feel his life force ebbing. His body even looked a little weak.
‘This situation…’ Leylin laughed bitterly, ‘A.I. Chip!’
[Beep! Calculating data on host’s life force…… Analysis completed! The Allsnake Curse’s corrosive ability has been amplified in the holy city. New estimated time: Three years and two months!]
“Even if I seal off my bloodline and soul, this life drain is still unavoidable… It really is too difficult to break through the shackles of a rank 8 existence…” There was a trace of a sigh in Leylin’s expression. No matter how carefully he prepared, how far-reaching his plans were, the effect of a single seal from the Snake Dowager could instantly put him back in square one.
This was the result of an absolute gap in strength. Leylin himself always liked to bully the weak, and what he hated most was a situation where he was forced to challenge those who were much stronger than him.
Those thrillseekers who liked giving themselves heart attacks instead of safely profiting from a situation were all lunatics!
‘Fortunately, I have my experience. Along with my Full Moon truesoul and all the preparations I’ve made, I still have a chance… Ha!’ Leylin coughed, and entered the apartment building.
After spending half a day, Leylin had inspected almost every corner of this shabby apartment building, and had even secretly replaced all the defences with his own.
Leylin couldn’t trust this kind of property that belonged to a family, there could be monitoring and probing equipment inside. With the A.I. Chip’s atomic-level scanning and Leylin’s own sight as a Grandmaster of spell formations, the few devices that had been set up couldn’t escape him.
Naturally, Leylin did not choose to dismantle them immediately, which would cause him to completely fall out with the Stewart family. Instead, he prepared a layer of seals apart from the monitoring devices, to make the family feel that this place was still in their grasp. In reality, not a single trace of Leylin’s actions would be leaked out to them. Once night fell, the fence surrounding the courtyard was covered with a layer of grey runes which slowly vanished from sight.
“Although it’s just a temporary construction, it should be enough to deal with my neighbours!” Leylin muttered to himself, arriving at a completely sealed room with no windows.
The rotten floorboards emitted an unpleasant odour, and there was even a lot of dust on the floor. As it did not have any windows, the entire room looked extremely gloomy.
He immediately prepared a sacrificial spell formation, with a rune depicting a giant bird in the middle. Traces of grey power flowed above it continuously, making the rune of the giant bird seem as if it had spread its wings to fly.
“Almighty Ruler of Chaos! The Wings of the Storm! Free will from another dimension! Your majesty, the Nefarious Filthbird! Your Sacrificer requests that you give me your attention!”
A wave of intent burst forth from Leylin’s body, containing the power of a Full Moon truesoul. It instantly linked up with someone through the spell formation.
“Kemoyin Emperor! You have actually already entered the holy city! Good! Very good! Excellent!” Excitement could be felt from the Nefarious Filthbird, although it didn’t have a body to descend to. After all, they were in the Snake Dowager’s back garden, and they were under strict surveillance.
In reality, were Leylin discovered to be making a Sacrifice to the Nefarious Filthbird, leave alone himself even Thomas would be hunted down and killed immediately.
This was the Hail Continent’s holy city! Only one dignitary could ever rule it, and that was the Snake Dowager. Even an ally like the Trial’s Eye couldn’t spread its influence here, let alone the Nefarious Filthbird.
Consequently, seeing that Leylin had unexpectedly infiltrated the enemy’s frontlines without a hitch, the Nefarious Filthbird’s excited mood was understandable.
“Almighty dignitary, I appeal for you to bestow your chaos power, and conceal all the affairs in this apartment building so that I can escape from the gaze of the Snake Dowager!” Leylin sincerely prayed, but he did not offer any sacrifices.
“Of course! It will be your reward for bringing the power of chaos into the Holy City! If you are willing to sincerely offer sacrifices to me, in the future you will definitely become my helping hand, a rank 6 Sacrificer!”
A gentle chirp could be heard, and shortly after a grey circle began to rise up from the floors and walls, rapidly covering the entire apartment building. Everything was done in the dark and in secret, without emitting any strange undulations or radiance.
Watching the spell formation’s radiance dim, a strange expression flickered within Leylin’s eyes. Although he had not offered any sacrifices this time, the Nefarious Filthbird still magnanimously assisted him in concealing himself, and had even bestowed a great amount of power. This was obviously not just out of kindness.
The Nefarious Filthbird seemed to not have given up on the plan of using his chaos power to thoroughly contaminate him, and for him to finally become its underling. However, they were both currently reluctantly united due to their common enemy, the Snake Dowager. If a difference in opinion occurred in the future, they would very possibly become enemies instead.
“It looks like my success in infiltration excited the Nefarious Filthbird!” Leylin laughed coldly, “Unfortunately the bird has nothing to do with my future plans, and I will never find it again! The Nefarious Filthbird’s plans are destined to be all for naught!”
1. Deus Ex Machina
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