A gale carried up the sand, bringing about a glittering gold color.
On the endless Golden Desert filled with death and danger, a pack of six large wolves padded across the soft sands at a relentless speed.
Upon the backs of the wolves, there sat a couple human silhouettes.
"We are here! Before us is the Golden Oasis!" The old geezer studied the map and exclaimed brightly.
"Are we here at last?" the rider of a Seated Lupin Wolf raised his head slightly and said. With his astonishingly powerful eyesight, he looked into the distance and saw a blanket of green.
Ever since their encounter with the Golden Giant, Leylin, and his party had been on edge, and had been easily startled by the slightest of things. They had only just started to relax after having been on the run for more than ten days. As a result, they also reached their destination at a faster time than they had originally planned.
This was the Golden Oasis, the only large water source in the Golden Desert.
Also, it was the only traversable path through the Grand Canyon Margaret. The other paths were wrought with dangers that far surpassed the capabilities of a rank 1 Magus.
Leylin spotted a few large bird-like creatures in the far distance that were taking off and landing at the oasis.
They were the Kary Vultures, the main culprits that occupied the land.
The six Magi stopped and stationed their Seated Lupin Wolves at a sand dune not far from the Golden Oasis.
The Seated Lupin Wolves were great against some of the lower level life forms in the Golden Oasis. However, against the adult Kary Vultures, which were comparable to a rank 3 Acolyte, they had no chance of surviving once trapped in their kill zone.
The Seated Lupin Wolves were still needed for the journey ahead. Furthermore, the wolves were borrowed. If the Wolves perished, a huge sum of magic crystals would be needed to compensate the handlers who were supposed to take back the wolves on the other side of the Grand Canyon.
"We can't press on anymore! The Kary Vultures are capable of flight. We will surely be spotted by them from the air!"
The old geezer surveyed the surroundings, "We need to conceal the position at which the Seated Lupin Wolves are situated as well!"
"I might be able to help in this aspect!" Leylin let out a faint smile and waved his two hands at the shadow of the sand dune.
Under Leylin's hand, the black shadow warped and swiveled. As if a giant behemoth hiding in the shadows, it opened its maw and swallowed the entire sand dune.
"Darkness is the natural friend of concealment." In the shadow of the darkness, the large wolves vanished.
"Good job!" Lancey praised Leylin.
In her eyes, although Leylin was still just a budding Magus, she admired his nimble mind and weak, but practical spells.
However, this was just a false front by Leylin.
Upon hearing Lancey's compliment, the big bloke incessantly let out a cold snort, "If it were up to me to do it...."
"Ok, ok! We are a party after all, why the need for that?"
The old geezer interrupted the big bloke, "Our enemies at the moment are the Kary Vulture flock and their King!"
"Lancey, you shall explain the situation to the party!"
Lancey stepped to the middle of the party and produced a blue gem from a small crevice in her chest region.
"This magic artifact is modelled to act as a spying eye, and can examine images within a ten kilometre radius!"
Lancey finished her explanation and placed the gem in her hands. She dripped a few drops of water from her water pouch onto it and chanted a few incantations.
A beam of light blue light was emitted from the gem. The light warped and stretched until it looked like a mirror's surface.
On the mirror like surface, a beautiful lake could be seen. Green shrubbery and coconut trees grew around it. Occasionally, large red birds could be seen ascending and descending from the forest.
The vision on the mirror surface continued to pan in. Leylin could see the true appearance of the Kary Vultures.
The Kary Vulture's wingspan spanned 5 metres and was covered in scarlet feathers. Its talons looked cold and sharp. The pink bald patches on its head were a disgusting sight. A tumor-like muscle bulged on its curved and completely bald head.
There were more than a hundred of these Kary Vultures in the oasis. If they were all fully grown and under the leadership of an official Magus-like Kary Vulture King, the band of Magi stood no chance.
"More than a hundred? This amount is too much! Can we see the Kary Vulture King?"
The old geezer hastily questioned.
"I will try my best!" Lancey was uncertain but continued to pan the mirror in the direction of the flock of Kary Vultures.
Over yonder, there stood a gigantic tree with a peculiar hollow that looked like a den. Hidden in it was an incomparably massive Kary Vulture.
While Lancey was trying to zoom in the mirror to get a closer look, the massive Kary Vulture seemed to notice her presence and let out an angry screech.
It sounded like a crow, but somehow unexplainably different. Suddenly, the surrounding Kary Vultures in the flock were agitated and stirred up.
Following the angry cry, a terrifying sonic wave swept towards all four directions.
"No way! It discovered my presence!" Lancey's complexion changed for the worse.
*Pa!* The mirror shattered into pieces like a broken crystal. It turned into a blue glow and dropped onto the floor.
"Ga Ga!" The Kary Vulture King's screech echoed from the distance. The Kary Vultures shook their large red wings, and like trained soldiers split up into sections. They spread out like carpet that covered the sky and searched the surroundings, not missing a single area.
"Sorry!" Lancey apologised with a look of embarrassment on her face.
"No problem! At least we saw the situation clearly, didn't we?" The night shift Magus replied quickly.
"That's right! That's right!? The old geezer replied with a brief flash of shame across his face. It was him that allowed Lancey to search for the Kary Vulture King.
"Ga Ga!" The large Kary Vultures patrolled the sky for a long period of time, but it was to no avail. At last, they violently attacked some of the land creatures in the area. The Kary Vultures swooped up what looked appeared to be large lizards, and flew back into the oasis.
For Leylin and the official Magi, it was an easy task to hide from the pursuit of the Kary Vultures.
"Ok! Let's discuss how we should deal with that goddamn flock of bastard birds.
Below the ground, in a temporary hut crafted using magic, the six Magi regrouped.
"A hundred Kary Vultures with power levels similar to level 2 or level 3 acolytes, plus a Vulture King whose power is far beyond what we expected!"
The old geezer looked at the other Magi.
"What else is there to do? Let's follow the earlier plan and observe their hunting paths and patterns. We will then kill off the small hunting packs before mounting an assault into the oasis!" The big bloke was the not even the least bit concerned as he waved them off with his hands.
This was the plan that was discussed earlier - simple and practical.
However, after the incident with the Golden Giant, the people in the party started to have a pressing sense of urgency and were unwilling to waste time on such plans.
Furthermore, the Golden Desert was the Golden Giant's habitat, and they did not wish to bump into it again.
"Alright! However, we have to increase the frequency of our attacks, and get through here quickly!"
Having observed Leylin and the rest of the party approving this plan, the old geezer grudgingly agreed to it...
A black scorpion-like creature guided by the darkness stealthily crawled along the desert floor. Its hooked tail swung from side to side as it moved along. There was an unusual bright red colouring on it, which was obviously an indication of it being poisonous.
All of a sudden, a muddy yellow tongue lashed across at speed unseen by the naked eye and pulled the scorpion into a sand dune.
*Boom!* The sand dune split open, revealing a muddy yellow lizard. The lizard was covered by bits and pieces of fish scales and had a large beautiful comb growing on its head.
*Zi Zi!* The lizard opened his mouth, and with one gulp and a movement of its neck muscles, the scorpion was eaten.
After ingesting its food, the lizard swayed its stocky body and used its front limbs to rapidly dig into the sand and bury itself in it.
Almost immediately after the lizard buried itself, an unpleasant vulture screeching echoed in the night sky.
*Whoosh!* Following the vulture's cry, a violent gust of wind swept by.
The large Kary Vulture swooped from midair, and using its black talons, it knocked the sand dune apart and clenched its claws.
*Kacha!* The sharp black talons directly hooked into the flesh of the lizard, and the lizard let out a howl of pain violently flipping its stocky body.
"GaGa!" The Kary Vulture let out a screech of delight and pecked at the lizard with its hooked beak.
*Pu!* The mud yellow lizard's skull had been split. Its brain matter and blood left a mess on the sands.
The Kary Vulture grabbed onto its prey tightly and began to fly back to its den.
Although normal vultures liked rotting meat, the Kary Vultures obviously preferred to ingest fresh and living mammals.
The mud yellow lizard was two metres long, but in comparison to the Kary Vulture's stature, the bird looked like it was grabbing a small fish.
Somewhere from within the darkness, several black colored fireballs suddenly appeared and struck the Kary Vulture that was carrying its prey.
In a flash, the black fireballs were all over the Kary Vultures body.
*Bang!* Without a sound, the Kary Vulture, along with its dead prey, were reduced to ashes.
The following fireballs did not decrease in intensity. They shot right up into the sky and killed the remaining Kary Vultures.
Following his attack, the ground vibrated and the sand parted, revealing Leylin's face.
"A.I. Chip! Present the degree of attack!"
For these few days, he had been on watch in the area to hunt down those Kary Vultures that had swooped down looking for food.
Just now, Leylin had been experimenting with the rank one spell that the A.I. Chip came up with.
Long before, when he was a rank 3 acolyte, Leylin had tasked the A.I. Chip with simulating a rank 1 defensive spell model.
However, after receiving the teachings of the great Magus Serholm and advancing to a Warlock, this task had been delayed.
Entering the Golden Desert left him feeling that his attack techniques were lacking. As someone who lacked a conventional attack technique, Leylin decided to place the task back on the agenda.