After having lived in the south coast for so many years, Leylin now had a basic knowledge of the situation there.
Geographically speaking, though the south coast was said to be a coast, it was a huge continent that covered mountain ranges, marshes, plains, snowy areas, and all sorts of topography. There were even a few concealed, savage ruins that even official Magi did not dare explore.
The largest population on this continent consisted of the native people. There were around 100 million of these regular human, and were divided into hundreds of dukedoms in various sizes. Behind these dukedoms were the dark and light Magi controlling them.
The nobility and lords who were in power were basically the descendants of many official Magi! Every once in a while, large Magi organisations in the south coast would test the spirit and talent of these noble families and recruit them to become acolytes. They would provide them with knowledge for them to continue governing for generations.
Though these academies would also bring in peasant acolytes, the percentage was very low. Only those of exceptional talent would be considered, and most of the times, their lives could not be guaranteed.
Some light Magi academies would not even recruit peasant acolytes, only the dark Magi were willing to do so!
Even with such a large population, the number of peasants with spiritual talent was simply too small.
Out of over ten thousand plebeians, only one would be lucky enough to be born with talent to become an acolyte and a Magus.
Even amongst them, their talent was nothing exceptional. If one talked about third or fourth-grade aptitudes, one really needed quite some luck.
Hence, a lot of academies and schools disappeared not due to enemy invasions, but from not being able to find a successor. This resulted in the gradual diminution of their power and their eventual demise.
The dark and light Magi both divided their powers well and forbid the recruitment of acolytes at certain boundaries. Due to their conflicting ideas about management, the population that was under dark Magi jurisdiction and their prosperity could not compare to the light Magi.
Hence, the method of recruiting acolytes from outside their region became another way for dark Magi organisations to gain more acolytes.
In Abyssal Bone Forest Academy, this was also the case. They eliminated so many acolytes every year and were not able to steal people from the light Magi domain. This sometimes resulted in a lack of new students to recruit, and they had no choice but to try getting students from the Chernobyl Islands.
Though there were so many methods that could be employed, there were still few official Magi in the south coast.
In addition to this, the difficulty of the process of advancing to a new rank made this problem even worse.
Those acolytes with grade one or two aptitude would basically be unable to advance. Their limit would be becoming a level 3 acolyte.
Advancement to an official Magus was even more difficult, and the method to being promoted was controlled. Acolytes who were peasants had not even heard of a high-level meditation technique, and even if they were lucky enough to advance, they would be mediocre at best.
Rank 2 Magi were even more rare. In the entire south coast, there were only less than a hundred!
For this reason, the Light Magi Alliance’s might was diminished after the loss of four rank 2 Magi, and caused the dark Magi to be stirred up.
If it was said that a rank 2 Magus was the highest level that could lord over rank 1, then rank 3 Magi were basically the real owners of the entire south coast!
Based on what Leylin knew, rank 4 Morning Star Magi had virtually vanished, and rank 3 Magi were truly the ones in control.
This was so much so that of all the rank 3 Magi who had had notable achievements, there were less than ten, and every one of them were leaders at the level of Magi from the Lighthouse of the Night.
From Kemoyin’s Pupil and descriptions from the Book of Giant Serpent, after a Magus entered rank 3, one would awaken a lot of mysterious abilities. The difference between rank 3 and rank 2 was like that between heaven and earth.
If he was pursued by a rank 3 Magus, no matter what preparations Alistair had made, then all of them would come to naught.
“That Alistair is probably being pursued by a rank 3 Magus, and has been fleeing in this direction!”
Leylin felt like he had deduced the truth.
“That scamming inn actually dared to fool me with false news! If I ever see them again…”
When comparing the inn and Iron Crown, Leylin was naturally more inclined to believe that local tyrant.
In addition, he was quite interested in that exchange meeting.
“An exchange meeting held by the Iron Crown? I think I really should go take a look.”
Leylin pondered, and turned in a corner. Next, a silver-haired old man walked out, quickly vanishing into the market.
Three days later.
Not far away from the Brambles Iron Door., at an overhanging cliff.
The high black cliff seemed to cross the horizon. In the air, there was a little platform that was formed from a large protruding rock. On its surface was some soil, and weeds as well as vines and flowers that nobody knew the names of were growing.
A black ray of light shot out from a distance away, arriving on the platform.
*Rumble!* A pit appeared in the soil, revealing a middle-aged, burly Magus.
“Based on the directions provided by the A.I. Chip, this should be the place!”
The burly man took out a black card and came beside the rock stratum. The simple methods used by regular Magi to conceal things were easily seen through, and the burly man laughed, sending out spiritual force waves towards a layer of rock wall.
The rock walls were separated like waves, revealing two Magi in uniform, a metallic insignia on their chests.
At the sight of the man, they were extremely polite, “So it’s Lord Black Snake! We are the Black Iron Guards of the Iron Crown, and we’ve been here waiting for you!”
Upon seeing him tossing out a card, these two were even more respectful as they bowed, “Please come with us!”
They then entered a hallucinatory spell formation, and the burly man expressionlessly followed them.
Within the spell formation was a flight of stairs, and after walking hundreds of metres, the Magi respectfully guided the burly man into a luxuriously decorated room.
After sending away the servants, the burly man surveyed the area.
In front of him was a huge crystal glass, through which one could see a large dome of spectator’s seats and raised platforms.
There were a few Magi already seated, and the energy waves on their bodies were concealed well. However, under the eyes of this burly man, nothing could be hidden. This might was that of a peak rank 1 Magus, on the verge of breaking through!
Recalling the many passageways and large number of Magi, the burly man could not help but sigh, “Iron Crown has really worked hard to open up a passageway for us rank 2 Magi!”
This burly man was naturally Leylin’s disguise.
After receiving the invitation, Leylin lost his desire to look around Brambles Iron Door., and found a random cave. He spent the day training in his high-grade meditation technique, and quietly waited for the time of the exchange meeting to arrive.
For Magi, meditation was something that had to be done everyday, and this was even more so for Leylin.
Kemoyin’s Pupil was a meditation technique that was extremely compatible with him. Everytime he meditated, he could feel his power increasing bit by bit, and this speed was basically astonishing!
Based on his estimations, his current speed was several times faster than those rank 2 Magi that also had high-grade meditation techniques.
The reason had already been analysed by the A.I. Chip, and it had to do with his bloodline of the Giant Kemoyin Serpent!
After his heart had been remodelled, Leylin thoroughly fused with this bloodline. The mysterious strength held within was beginning to be activated by Kemoyin’s Pupil, thus increasing his strength.
Each high-grade meditation technique had a different nature. As a Magus trained more, this could even increase a Magus in a certain area, raising one’s elemental resistance or even creating a mysterious ability!
In Leylin’s eyes, a high-grade meditation technique like Kemoyin’s Pupil allowed one to modify one’s body and strengthen it through training. A Magus’ body would draw closer to that of the ancient Giant Kemoyin Serpent.
As for that incomplete Sacred Flame, a Magus would train and produce a special spiritual force. It did not have any uses other than to extend into the extensive consciousness of the continent, and from the huge amount of historical information, pick out useful fragments and get some premonition.
However, this ability had a large amount of uncertainty, and were sometimes ineffective. The technique was also incomplete, which Leylin found to be a pity.
Behind the crystal glass covering, there was a comfortable white sofa, as well as a communication device that was covered in runes beside it.
Leylin sat without a word, dull silver spiritual force instantly connecting with the communication device, and instantly understanding the way to use it.
This was a communication device, which was also used to send the quoted price to Magi. Magi could manipulate their spiritual force to proceed with all sorts of exchanges, and avoid being recognised by people they knew.
The south coast was not that big, and there were plenty of rank 2 Magi who held resentment against each other. If they were to flare up and fight, then Iron Crown would definitely be in a difficult position.
Hence, they did not dare hold this exchange meeting at the headquarters, but rather set up this place.
For rank 2 Magi, Iron Crown was even more eager to please. On the little table beside the sofa, all sorts of snacks and fruits were placed. Some of them even had the ability to increase spiritual force and the effects of meditation, and their value was something that would even cause regular official Magi to become green with envy All these items were silently displayed here, letting Leylin pick as he pleased.
“Metal-Leafed Fruit!” Leylin easily picked out an apple that was emitting a metallic lustre, and bit into it.
The Metal-Leafed Fruit was truly the specialty from the secret plane that the Iron Crown controlled. It had the ability to condense spiritual power and increase the effects of meditation, and was highly sought by some official Magi. However, Leylin almost could not feel any effects.
After advancing to become a rank 2 Warlock, most of these resources that were useful to rank 1 Magi had lost their effectiveness. For items like this, the Iron Crown’s special product, it was only a means for him to quench his thirst.
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