Light-grey clouds moved quickly while the winds blew through them. The ocean lost its beautiful blue hue, and darkness prevailed as the clouds thickened. An isolated island was quietly taking the angry waves slamming onto its shore. The gloomy look lingered around the ocean for miles.
There was a decent sized house at the very center of the island. Yagor, one of the top ten archmages in the Pan Continent, stood in the basement working on his self-invented magic array.
A long incantation was chanted to start the ritual. Various runes suddenly appeared in the air around him and swirled rapidly along the magic array. A pale-looking young man was trembling and shaking inside of the array. He stared at the runes approaching him as if seeing an approaching demon, his eyes filled with desperation and sadness.
Soon, Yagor finished chanting and tapped the ground with his wand. A cloud of deep darkness materialized, seemingly able to swallow anything close to it, and engulfed the young man.
Yagor took a deep breath, then gathered his power and yelled out the incantation one more time. The light-grey clouds had already turned dark. Silver lightning bolts were lashing out with vicious, destructive attacks. Waves rushed towards the shore. However, the waves seemed to get scared of something, backing out even before reaching the sands in front of the house.
After a while, the anger from the sky and ocean seemed to fade away, the cloud of darkness gradually disappearing into the array. The young man started to emerge, as if the darkness finally let him go.
Yagor gripped the wand tighter with his right hand, took out a scroll-like amulet, and stared at the young man, unblinking. He would throw out the scroll instantly if anything went wrong.
Yagor, one of the top ten archmages, didn't hesitate to give up his fame and power to live on this isolated island. He practiced his skills, hoping to break through the bottleneck of his career. Yagor was over fifty years old, but he was still unwilling to give up the power, wealth and beautiful women. He could only set them aside temporarily because he believed he was nobody without his achievements in magic. He would be the leader in the mages' world of the Pan Continent if he could break through this bottleneck. His power would double, and his fame triple.
No pain, no gain. Not just the joy he would obtain in the future, even his name would be worshipped well after his death. With this hope, everything—including wealth and fame—could be temporarily set aside. Yagor hoped to be able to understand the myth of death, achieving immortality. The array he set up was a path to the Evil Abyss.
When Yagor saw that the young man wasn't moving, he whispered, "Ajia…" Ajia definitely wasn't the first one to be used for these kinds of experiments. There were hundreds of young men buried in the backyard, the products of failed experiments. Yagor's fame could undoubtedly attract some young men with dreams of wanting to learn magic from him. Even if he couldn't get enough young men to come voluntarily, he could still purchase slaves to do the job.
For the past seven years, hundreds of experiments were conducted, but they all failed. However, Yagor was a man with great willpower, and he understood that there were no true geniuses in the world. The achievements he had now were because of his persistence and hard work. He endured unbearable pain and worked extra hard to gain his fame.
Yagor was initially a fire archmage. He started to learn dark magic only a few years ago, and he also had some understandings of space magic. He learned that there was a limit to the space he lived in. When another alien power came entered his space, it would be constrained. But when the alien power was strong enough to break through the space, it would cause the entire space to crash. Therefore, no matter how determined he was to do something, Yagor could not utilize all of his power, as the scroll in his hand would limit his power in the affected area. Unfortunately, there were only three scrolls left. One scroll had been used by Master Richard to capture the orc leader, Ahdibaijan. The battle of the God of Law and the Sword Master against Demon Harold had become a legend. Scrolls couldn't be made by anyone anymore. If nothing sudden occurred and his life was not threatened, Yagor would never ever use this scroll.
"Ajia…" Yagor called again. The young man named Ajia slowly opened his eyes, clearly confused. He turned to Yagor and said with great sadness, "Master…"
"Are you all right?" Yagor asked. He was upset with another failure, but he was intrigued as well. Ajia was the very first one that could talk after an experiment. All the other human subjects from his previous failures could not talk at all. They all lost consciousness during the experiments. His array first extracted the human subject's spirit, to allow an evil spirit to enter their bodies. Was there anything wrong with the array? Yagor checked the array with his power. Everything seemed fine, which made Yagor even more curious.
"I am fine." Ajia touched his own body. "Master, what happened? Anything abnormal?"
"No, as long as you are okay." Yagor smiled affably. "What did you see? Did you feel anything?" He focused on Ajia and scanned him all over, finding that Ajia was a lot weaker. Yagor eliminated the possibility that the evil spirit had entered Ajia's body. Even though evil spirits were powerful, they were merely stupid, furious creatures, only knowing how to angrily rage at their surroundings. They were not capable of using strategy. Moreover, due to the experiment, the human subject's body would get many times stronger. In the last experiment, the human subject couldn't take much of the evil spirit's power and collapsed. With how weak Ajia was right now, there was clearly no trace of the evil spirit in his body.
"I felt I was flying in a dark tunnel, flying, flying… I couldn't see any light. Then I heard you calling me, and then I was awake," Ajia murmured.
It seemed something was wrong with the array, Yagor thought.
"Master, what time is it now? It should be time to make your dinner," Ajia said, but he could barely stand up.
"Don't worry about it, it's still early. Go and take a rest." Yagor was somewhat touched. Among the young men he had used his tricks on to bring to the island, Ajia was the most caring. The leaders in Tumen Commercial Union had been alerted because so many young men went missing, and it would take Yagor a long time to retrieve test subjects from the Maho Empire. Otherwise, Yagor wouldn't have had Ajia go through these experiments.
"No, Master, you should go and have a rest," Ajia said firmly. "In order to make me become a mage, you are using your power to build this array to rebuild my body, I… In my mind… How can I be your student if I cannot even take care of you, Master?"
"Rebuild the body" was an excuse Yagor used to make those young men voluntarily undergo experiments. When Yagor heard what Ajia said, he was not touched, but rather satisfied. He nodded and smiled. "Ok, I do feel tired, however… Ajia, you should rest a little bit first and prepare dinner later. Don't forget to take the wine out of the cellar. You can have some wine to relax."
"Yes, Master." Aja bowed respectfully.
Yagor smiled at Ajia, then he turned around and walked out of the basement. He did not notice the coldness and hatred in Ajia's eyes.
Yagor believed that the evil spirits were just furious creatures without brains. In fact, Yagor was one of them. This was a common phenomenon among living creatures, when the powerful ruled the world. They liked to simply use their power to battle. There was a tremendous power difference between Yagor and the young men undergoing the experiments. Even if all the young men united, Yagor could easily kill them. Because there was no need for Yagor to set up any traps, his excuses and attitudes had many flaws.
Whether or not the other human subjects could see through Yagor was unknown, but Ajia could. Otherwise, he would not have been so sad and desperate after seeing the array start.
For the past few months, Ajia was trying to escape the island. He wanted to tell the world the truth. He wanted to take revenge on Yagor for those young men who died in the experiments.
But Ajia was a smart kid. He knew that flying over miles of ocean would be nothing to Yagor, who could easily use his medium-level power to do it. However, it would be very, very difficult for Ajia.
Ajia had been waiting for an opportunity to escape, but that opportunity did not come; instead, the time for the experiment arrived. Ajia understood well that reality did not permit him to fight back, so he bet everything on an evil spirit helping him take revenge on Yagor. He was willing to pay for the deal with the evil spirit with everything he owned. Of course, what Ajia did not know was that, after the array started, his spirit would be extracted to make room for the agent of the Evil Abyss. His hope was doomed from the start.
Ajia dragged himself back to the room and fell into the bed with great exhaustion. In fact, Yagor's experiment was already a success, and a huge success at that.
To be more accurate, Ajia should not be called "Ajia" anymore, instead he should be called "Anfey"!
Anfey used to blame God for treating him unfairly. He never ever did anything to hurt anyone. All the people he killed deserved death sentences for the sins they had committed. How come he got killed by a spike and fell into the Evil Abyss? However, the Evil Abyss had turned into a promised land for him, after a while. There were several rulers in the Evil Abyss, and Anfey learned to kiss their asses. He used strategies to make them feel as if he was only loyal to them, despite being a spy to another. Unforeseeably, after he'd grown accustomed to the Evil Abyss, a strange suction pulled him out and returned him to the earthly world.
Was there really a God? Maybe he was afraid of Anfey breaking the messy-but-organized balance of the Evil Abyss? Anfey pondered these questions with his eyes closed. The rules of survival in the Evil Abyss were really simple. The first was self-protection. The second was to become stronger and stronger! Anfey had made it his goal to become stronger than any of the rulers in the Evil Abyss. It was not impossible to think he could control the whole Evil Abyss one day, since it was a place where everything would fall into the hands of the most powerful.
Never mind… There was no point thinking about matters of the past. For now, he'd better think about himself. Anfey opened his eyes. The coldness and hatred appeared again. He had absorbed a fraction of Ajia's spirit and, through it, learned of this world and Yagor.
Anfey had a strong learning ability. In the Evil Abyss he was like a sponge, absorbing all the knowledge he'd never had a chance to learn, and thus receiving all kinds of information about different aspects of the world.
As the saying goes: "take things as they come." First, he had to kill Yagor, who definitely had some evil plans. Otherwise, it was unknown whether Anfey's spirit would survive sitting in the array again. Yagor thought Anfey's spirit could be used as an agent to another world with strong power, but this might allow countless evil spirits to come down to earth. For the people on the earth, he had to kill Yagor. Anfey had always been putting himself on a higher moral ground to convince himself that a person deserved to be killed. This was Anfey's thought process before he planned to kill anyone.
What was bothering him now was his weak body. He had to be daydreaming if he thought he could kill Yagor with this weak body; it was much more likely that he would be killed instead.
Another matter bothering him was that he was very likely to give the game away, since he had only absorbed fractions of Ajia's spirit, and thus only understood some of Ajia and Yagor's habits. He had to kill Yagor fast; it was best done within three days.
There was a crystal formed at the time he accumulated his power in the Evil Abyss. It was just like the crystals in the warriors. The difference was that the warriors knew how to use these crystals, but Anfey didn't. The reason he couldn't use it was unclear, but he had no time to ponder this. He needed to kill Yagor in a very simple fashion.
Finding the simplest approach to killing a master archmage with his weak body, and it needed to be done fast… "F*ck!" he blurted out.
To be a master archmage, it meant that one could use his low-level power within one to two seconds, and medium-level power within two to ten seconds. High-level power was not even something Anfey could comprehend. Even though Yagor was merely a stupid pig, he wouldn't waste his time chanting for several seconds to use high-level power when someone was going to kill him. Everyone knew that it would not be a quick battle.
As a successful assassin, Anfey liked to systematically plan his time in detail. No matter how well he could plan, the odds he could kill Yagor were slim. Anfey continued to search the fractions of Ajia's spirit for any possible weaknesses Yagor might have.