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“You won’t be able to do things like that easily on your own, you know.” Leylin chuckled as he sat beside Isabel, pulling at her arm.
“Don’t…” Isabel began to struggle.
“Sit properly!” Leylin’s thunderous expression made Isabel’s momentum to flag. Even the strength she possessed seemed to weaken greatly.
Leylin rolled Isabel’s sleeves up. What he saw was not the pale and exquisite skin belonging to a young girl, but a strange arm filled with scales. On the upper arm, there was a curved injury that had been caused by Steve.
“Demonification? And it seems to be a rather high-level conversion ritual…” Leylin raised his shoulders, and then skilfully used magic energy to heal her wounds. He then bound them.
“It’s ugly, isn’t it…” At some point, Isabel turned away, her voice choked with sobs.
“No, in fact it’s still alright,” Leylin answered seriously. He didn’t look much better when he transformed as a Warlock, and became an existence which had practically abandoned its human form.
“One more thing…” Leylin appeared to be focused on healing her, and he spoke softly, “I want to set up a private fleet. I hope for your help.”
“Become a pirate? Why?” Isabel was dazed for a moment. A private fleet was only a dressed up way to refer to a pirate crew.
Leylin smirked at the question. “They’ve come and bullied us, it’s only fitting that we repay the favour.”
“As for the people to be used… I was planning to use my status as the master of the territory here to hang the Black Tiger pirates. Let’s just consider it recycling our trash!”
“In addition, I’ve found a pretty good first mate for you. Robin Hood performed well today, and more importantly, he is used to the ways of pirates. With our people as the backbone and the pirates at our foundation level, we can use the pirate ship we seized and Steve’s wealth to quickly assemble a crew. I’ll need you to control them tightly…”
Leylin swiftly bound her wounds in gauze, and Isabel wiped away the tears on her face, regaining her robust and healthy image. However, Leylin felt that the crying girl from before more suited the memory of his young cousin.
“Why do you think I will agree?” Isabel looked at Leylin.
“Because it’s a request from your dear cousin!” Leylin chuckled, resulting in a flush on Isabel’s face.
“I’ll consider this matter. Go out first!” Evidently, Isabel was feeling cramped in the narrow hull alone in a room with Leylin.
“I quietly await your favourable response!” Leylin headed out, closing the door politely. In reality, he knew that she would agree; this was also good for her.
‘A high ranked demon? Goodness…’ Leylin stroked his chin, his eyes twinkling.
Controlling a pirate crew may seem slightly immoral on the surface; after all, it was dishonourable for a noble to do something so sinful. However, Leylin knew that under the cover of glory, sophistication and grandeur, the nobles of this world all concealed some sort of evil within them. Every gold coin they used was stained with the blood and tears of innocents.
Even his father, Baron Jonas, had always wanted to obtain support from some pirates, or create a raiding fleet to attack others himself. He had been working hard on this, but he had been a noble for far too short a time. It was difficult enough to just get his own territory organised, so he had yet to fulfill his wishes.
As for offending pirates? Heh, no noble was going to care about that!
‘This outer sea was discovered recently, so there aren’t a lot of great powers operating here. It’s still a piece of blank paper. How could Marquis Louis alone get all the benefits on the sea?’ Leylin snickered. Whether it was purchasing high-grade spell materials or creating a wizard tower, everything required a huge amount of resources and gold coins. How could he surrender the profits he could get on the outer sea?
On top of that, he wasn’t one to take beatings without retaliating. He would definitely ruthlessly pay the Marquis back for his ‘favour’. He was just someone with control over the Baltic archipelago, a trade fleet, and a few pirate groups, so was he that amazing? If not for having apprehensions about the families on Faulen Island, Leylin alone could take him on in a war, and give him a huge headache.
‘After establishing a pirate group, cousin will have a place to take shelter. After all, the gods don’t focus much on a place like the outer sea where crooks mingle with honest folk. The occasional sacrifice can be hidden as much as possible…’
Whether Isabel could understand the reasons behind Leylin’s painstaking efforts was another matter. Leylin was sure that as long as he was the one making the request, she would not reject him.
The waves kept crashing into the body of the ship, shaking it slightly. A few seagull-like birds were soaring in the sky, producing cries from the distance.
“This isn’t too far from Faulen Island. It’s a short journey, so this shouldn’t be a problem…” Leylin held onto the railing, watching the dark sea below him. The sea was never a peaceful place. Tsunamis, storms or even numerous deep-sea creatures could destroy a whole fleet in an instant.
Hence, for sailors on the outer sea, it was like treading on thin ice every single day with the possibility of entering the embrace of death at any moment.
‘There seem to be countless gods with dominion over the sea, like the Storm Goddess that Steve worships.’ Leylin began to look serious.
Steve surprisingly had some abilities as a cleric. While he could only cast low-ranked divine spells, that was enough for Leylin to be on his guard.
Fortunately, the Storm Goddess was known for being temperamental. She regularly caused tsunamis and storms, destroying numerous ships and fishing boats. Her faith stemmed from the terror she induced.
As a result, Steve must have made the Storm Goddess feel delighted during a certain ceremony or while praying, which was why she had made an exception and bestowed some divine force to him. If not, no matter how Leylin looked at it, he could not link Steve to a clergy.
Even so, that was still very troublesome. No matter how much of a bastard Steve was, he was a cleric, and Leylin could not get rid of him easily.
If he was alone outside, he could eliminate him easily. As long as news did not get out, all was fine. However, there were too many people here and so many prisoners. There were also the escapees. There was no way to dispute the fact that Steve was in his hands. If he were to die, things would be difficult to handle.
Leylin did not want to attract even attention of the church of a real god, much less hostility.
‘What a pity. He’s a rank 10 warrior, and a cleric at that…’ A hint of red light appeared in Leylin’s hands. The Devilblood Dagger flew between his fingers, rippling with a dangerous luster that quickly died down.
While he could now transform the flesh devoured into spiritual energy and hasten his advancement as a wizard, it wasn’t without any requirements.
He needed to completely digest the energy he absorbed between successive devourings. In addition, this sudden increase in power would be a great test in his control as a wizard.
If a rank 1 wizard rapidly became a Legend, he would first be destroyed by the berserk, uncontrollable magic in his own body. Thankfully, Leylin had a huge advantage in this area. His main body was already half god, and his control of energy was exquisite. Magic was similar both here and in the Magus World, and his strength as a wizard was only equivalent to that of a rank 1 or 2 Warlock.
This set of worries was why Steve had been lucky enough to survive this far. Otherwise, Leylin would have long since reduced him to a pile of bones.
Leylin had specific requirements when it came to flesh now. Only Professionals or powerful demonic beasts met his requirements for life force. As for those pirates? They were nothing to Leylin, and even if he were to devour all of them, they could not be compared to Steve. This was even ignoring the impurities in their energy.
“The ranking of energy in this world is very strictly regulated…” Leylin took a look at his stats. As he had not used the Devilblood Dagger, they stats were the same as before.
“For an adult, 1, 10 and 20 are all thresholds!” Leylin had a greater understanding of these numbers.
It was difficult for a normal human to break past the value of 1 in any stat, becoming a Professional. And these difficulties compounded in the future the stronger one became.
10 points was a huge threshold to break through. Leylin’s own greatest stat was his spirit at 7. Based on his calculations, it was only after he became a rank 10 wizard that he could break through this barrier.
‘Wizards above rank 10 are considered experts in the World of Gods… So is this the boundary line that divides us? Just one stat breaking past 10 makes one an expert…’ Leylin had a feeling that increasing his stat points in this world would be very hard, increasing in difficulty the further he got. Once his spirit reached 10, and especially after he became a great wizard, perhaps even the Devilblood Dagger could only give him light support.
‘A stringent world that suppresses power that is out of the ordinary. Even the gods have to abide by the rules of the world…’ Leylin’s eyes burned with fervour, eager to give this a try.
At this moment, he heard cheers elsewhere, “We’re here! I see the lighthouse at the harbour!”
Leylin raised his eyes and looked into the distance. As expected, there was a yellow light seen from within the fog. It represented the warmth of the Faulen Harbour, and Leylin could not help but reveal a smile.
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