As he walked in the direction that the daggers pointed, his surroundings became increasingly remote. The liveliness of Pirates’ Cove was gradually left behind, and Leylin began to feel a pervasive sense of eeriness and desolation.
This feeling grew even more obvious after he walked down a flight of stone stairs. The terrifying senses of wizards allowed him to notice that there were three pairs of eyes spying on him in the shadows.
“It really feels like I’m walking down to hell!” Leylin chuckled. The sun was covered by vast dark clouds, projecting tremendous shadows.
He pressed his palm onto a gray rock covered in moss, and a gap immediately appeared in a wall nearby. He did not hesitate as he quickly ducked into the gap, simultaneously feeling many astonished gazes directed at him.
There was a very short path behind the wall, and at its end was a wooden door with an iron ring.
*Thump! Thump!* Leylin used the ring to knock loudly on the door, and it let out a distant sound.
The door creaked open slightly, revealing the face of an old man holding an oil lamp. He had practically no facial muscles anymore, looking like a withered corpse under the flickering light of the lamp. His two eyes looked dazed, the eyeballs completely motionless.
“The night is always lonely,” The old man said in a hoarse voice, as if he had not spoken for a long time.
“For those who are seeking brightness and hope!” Leylin smiled slightly, a dagger flying into his hand and beginning to dance through the air as elaborately as a butterfly.
The old man gave Leylin a probing look and opened the wooden door, “Come in, brother from the Underdark!”
With the light from his oil lamp, Leylin could see a deep and pitch-black passageway that seemed to go all the way to the core of the earth. A distant sound increased in volume as he made his way across it, until it turned into what seemed like a market bustling with life.
*Pak!* Two enormous gates opened, revealing an even more expansive underground world.
What entered his sights was a hall formed from a deep cave, with sinkholes in the floor and underground streams trailing off to numerous others. People from all walks of life populated this area, most strangely covering their faces with shrouds. Only pairs of vigilant eyes were revealed.
In the distance were a few wooden constructions and a large announcement board towering ahead. Below were many masked people gesticulating at it. While they tried to lower their volume, the sounds of discussion from the whole crowd joined to form a buzz.
“Welcome to the Thieves’ Guild! Is this your first time, kid?” A slender and tall person like a bamboo stick closed in, trying his best to create a stiff smile, “Need a guide? I…”
“No!” Leylin rejected resolutely.
This was the dark world of Pirates’ Cove. How could there be good people here? Even if one looked to hire people, just showing the slightest of weaknesses would cause these people to pounce on you like wild wolves, dividing everything amongst themselves after murdering you.
“Scram!” Leylin glared at him, and the murderous aura born of indiscriminate slaughter forced the man several steps back.
Having killed people meant nothing. Everyone here had the blood of at least one or two people on their hands themselves, but Leylin’s own murderous aura was far more powerful than that. It was that of someone who’s truly honed themselves on a bloody battlefield, not someone to be trifled with.
An important part of being a thief was knowing oneself well. The slender bamboo stick of a man laughed awkwardly and disappeared into the darkness. He had a feeling that if he were to continue staying here, what happened next would be something he would regret.
“Is this darkness…” Feeling the blood and violence lingering in the air, as well as the pure malicious intent, Leylin revealed a nostalgic look. He was originally a dark Magus after all.
He ran his eyes over his surroundings casually, and began to head towards the large announcement board. The thing seemed to grow bigger the closer he got, until it was the size of a small hill.
Numerous enchanted words flickered on it; just maintaining this effect would require at least tens of gold coins everyday. The extravagance caused Leylin to nod to himself.
‘Mission: Track down whereabouts of a batch of silk cloth!’
‘Mission: Investigate reason and happenings for the fall of the Half Merfolk Island!’
‘Mission: Assassinate Viscount Lorraine’s wife!’
‘Selling information: The recent shipping route of the cargo ships of the Heigel chamber of commerce!’
‘Selling recipe for poison: Tears of Molin! Interested parties must come for a face-to-face meeting!’
All sorts of information and news flickered on the announcement board. The missions for investigation and assassination caused Leylin to let out an involuntary sound of surprise, ‘I didn’t expect news of Half Merfolk Island to travel here so quickly, and… Missions for the assassination of nobility put out here in public…’
The only impression that Leylin got was that as long as money was involved, these assassins could do anything. He gazed steadily at the board as the A.I. Chip rapidly scanned everything, collating the information on all these missions into one system.
While it was only the names of the mission, Leylin grew to understand the outer seas better from it.
‘Crimes and chaos… I like it…’ Though he only saw a corner of this dark world, Leylin knew that things were definitely not all quiet and tranquil in the region.
Many rebellious powers lay low in the shadows, preparing to deal Marquis Louis a fatal blow at any time. This would completely destroy the market dominance that the Baltic archipelago enjoyed, allowing them to plunder the riches and resources there!
Once the A.I. Chip showed a prompt that it had recorded all the information, Leylin walked straight to the wooden house at the back.
Many roads immediately showed up like a dense cobweb. Some fellows with dangerous auras occasionally appeared in Leylin’s senses, but there was only a very fuzzy image of them there.
‘This feeling… Is it a protective layer due to some divine force? In addition, this seems to be from a god I know well…’ Leylin snickered and strode inside.
*Pila!* The void was torn open at this moment, and an icy glint of steel was aimed straight at Leylin’s neck like a poisonous snake’s tongue.
The rank of this assassin seemed to be rather high, and he had almost escaped Leylin’s senses. It was only at the moment of the other party’s attack, that instant when their murderous intent surged out, that Leylin located them.
‘Mage Armour! Fragile Barrier!’ Two layers of protective spells immediately appeared with a thought.
But at the same time, he saw an icy look in the assassin’s eyes. The rays of light from a divine spell shone out.
Dispel Magic! Under the glittering light, Leylin’s protective spells instantly crumbled, revealing his astonished gaze. The dagger in the assassin’s hand ruthlessly swiped at his neck, and he evidently would not stop until it was all over.
Most wizards would need a period of time to recover their senses and contact the Weave after being hit with Dispel Magic. This slight moment would be enough for the assassin to carve Leylin into multiple pieces. After all, a wizard that had lost all ability to cast spells was just a regular human.
[Beep! Host affected by divine spell, suffering a temporary loss of ability to sense level 2 and 3 Weave. Countdown: 5 seconds!] The A.I. Chip’s prompt arrived in that instant, but strangely enough, there was no mention of the level 0 and 1 Weave. Leylin could sense that his ability to use that still existed.
‘I see. So after I complete the analysis of the Weave, I’m immune to isolating skills?’ Leylin could now cast rank 0 and 1 spells in an instant, drowning this assassin. However, he immediately gave this idea up.
An ability that was too unexpected would give rise to suspicions, which was not beneficial to him at the moment.
‘Since it can seal the magic abilities I have, then…’ A magic scroll instantly appeared in his hands, emitting terrifying light.
“A rank 4 spell!” The assassin produced a sharp cry. Meanwhile, he could feel his dagger piercing into what seemed to be the most solid granite, unable to penetrate through it even by an inch.
“Rank 4 magic, Stone Skin! You despicable maggot, you even made me use such a precious scroll!” Leylin feigned fury as he was completely covered by a layer of stone skin, as if he now wore armour of stone. This was Stone Skin, a rank 4 spell. Its defensive power was outstanding even among other spells of its kind.
This scroll was something that Ernest had given Leylin while he had still been in the manor just in case. He hadn’t used it during the previous times of danger, but he’d done so now.
This was a rank 4 magic scroll! Even if its value wasn’t enough to equal that of a city, it was very precious, and the fury on Leylin’s face was understandable.
“You should not have come here!” The assassin’s voice was hoarse as he hurriedly retreated.
“Trying to leave now?” Leylin’s expression was filled with fury as he swung his fist.
*Thud!* The tip of the dagger was broken off by the stone fist, but it did not stop there. It crashed into the assassin’s body with great power.
*Crack!* A layer of his defence was destroyed, and the assassin’s body was sent flying backwards, the imprint of a fist clear on his chest.
“Never… Never has someone been able to treat me this way. I will kill you…” The assassin pulled his mask down, revealing a sullen face, with blood trickling from the corner of his mouth.
“Let’s see who dies first!” Leylin strode closer, a murderous aura apparent on his face.
“Esteemed guest, please forgive him!” At some point, a figure dressed entirely in a black robe came to the centre, a streak of divine force flying to the assassin’s body.
Under the light, the assassin’s wounds healed at a startling rate.
“Cure Serious Wounds! A rank 3 divine spell!” Leylin’s eyes narrowed as he saw the emblem on the other party’s chest.