[Edited by: StarFly]
Mary had become a Pseudo-Adept?!
Though everybody was surprised that Evil Bugs Acteon had a breakthrough, it wasn't something unexpected. After all, he had been one of the strongest three in the Swampy Tower!
However, Mary's breakthrough had confounded these people, and they simply felt it hard to believe.
Therefore, overshadowed by Mary's huge glory of becoming a Pseudo-Adept, the fact that Greem had also made the leap and become an Advanced Apprentice was merely discussed among the Beginner and Intermediate Apprentices. For those Advanced Apprentices who held the discourse power of apprentices, they just locked their gazes onto the two brand new Pseudo-Adepts.
Virtually overnight, the power structure of Swampy Tower was going to change!
As the newly appointed Apprentice Leader, Ellen had prepared a long welcoming speech full of beautiful words and affection. But when he stood right in front of the evil looking Acteon and the ghostly Mary, he was instantly pressured by the shivering aura emanating from both of them. His body started to tremble, and he couldn't utter out a single word that would be fitting for the atmosphere.
"We're tired, and we need rest. Everybody just go back to where you belong!" Mary, in the same self-centered manner, said with a cold voice.
Only when she was facing her prey would she let out a pretty and coquettish smile that came from the bottom of her heart. As for these people of no importance, to be honest, even if they stretched their neck and placed themselves in front of her, she would be too lazy to take a bite.
Faced with such an overbearing 'subordinate', Ellen's overall strength was simply not enough for him to do anything. As a result, he wittily moved aside, clearing the path that led to the entrance.
Following behind Greem, Snorlax was seen having six to seven fully packed waist pouches tied around its waist, and carrying a huge bag on its back, as it also staggered into the Swampy Tower.
According to Adept Anderson's temperament, it was obvious that he wouldn't waste any time in welcoming the apprentices' return. Of course, if he was informed earlier that two of his apprentices had successfully become Pseudo-Adepts, perhaps he might have changed his mind and showed his face, trying to win over their hearts.
After all, Pseudo-Adepts were a unique group of apprentices! If someone was lucky enough to make the breakthrough, that Pseudo-Adept would instantly become an existence of the same grade as him. If Sarubo family knew he had conveniently 'wasted' drawing in Pseudo-Adepts, those advanced Adepts of the family would have definitely invited him for a 'polite' discussion.
Therefore, in this isolated and private resource site, even Advanced Apprentices were mere targets he could torture and bully as he like. But when it came to Pseudo-Adepts, it would be a totally different case. Any damage done to Pseudo-Adepts was behavior that strangled the future of the Adept Families.
Instead, as long as Anderson reported the news about the two Pseudo-Adepts to Sarubo family, the management of the family would definitely reward him handsomely for the 'cultivating' credit he had put out. Also, the yearly resources, materials he received from the family would also be increased significantly.
Of course, if Acteon and Mary wished to gain a further support in resources from the Sarubo Family, they would have to sign a magical contract with them, using the years of service they could provide to the family after they became an official Adept in exchange for a portion of resources. The longer they served, the more resources they would receive. If they were willing to join the family, they could even receive the best cultivation conditions from the family.
Hence, the same night after Greem and the others returned to the Swampy Tower, Acteon and Mary were called up to the fifth floor of the tower by Adept Anderson. There, they met another official Adept from Sarubo Family, Adept Keoghan.
From the introduction given by this Adept Keoghan, both of them had roughly learned the basic situation of Sarubo Family.
One thousand three hundred years ago, Sarubo Family was established by a great Fourth Grade Element Adept, Sarubo. During that period, Sarubo was the deputy chairman of the Zhentarim Association and had a great reputation in the center region of the continent. And just five hundred years ago, this founder of the family had even made a breakthrough and became a Fifth Grade Principle Adept. After that, he had traveled to the Ocean of Stars and was never seen again.
As the matter of fact, in the Adept Continent, this was the most common situation for the nearly all Adept Families!
Every single Adept Family was founded by a mighty Adept. If this Adept stepped into Fifth Grade successfully, he would inevitably have to travel to the Ocean of Stars, searching and conquering those weaker planes in the vast ocean of stars. Any Adept who failed to attain Fifth Grade would have to face his death one day.
When an Adept Family lost the deterrent force coming from a powerful Adept, their inevitable fate would be devoured by other Adept Families. Those families who had a Fifth Grade Adept conquering the weaker planes elsewhere were considered stable, after all, though the Fifth Grade Adept wasn't allowed to return to the World of Adept personally, he could still supply the family with the resources he found at the outside world.
With these premium resources coming from other planes, the family would be able to maintain their power, while constantly cultivating new blood to supply the vacuum left over by the departure of the family's experts. On the other hand, the reason those Fifth Grade Adepts were willing to supply the hard earned resources to their families, was so that the family could cultivate more Adepts that he could use to conquer new planes.
When they were on a major scale conquering mission at another place, the Adepts coming from their family would be the main force used to expand their kingdom.
Therefore, when Acteon and Mary signed the family contract with the Sarubo Family, after they became an official Adept, unavoidably, they would have to participate in the plane warfare initiated by the Sarubo Family.
According to the introduction by Adept Keoghan, currently Sarubo Family didn't have any Fourth Grade Adepts. They only have one Third Grade Adept, one Second Grade Adept and seven First Grade Adepts. Among the regions ruled by Zhentarim Association, an overall strength like this was only considered an intermediate force.
Sarubo Family was stationed at Feidnan City, two thousand six hundred miles from the Swampy Tower. Meanwhile, this place was just one of the four major resource sites of the family and was stationed by Adept Anderson.
After briefly explaining the situation of the family, Adept Keoghan started to ask about their decisions. They had to choose between exchanging their portion of resources with the years of service, or joining the family in order to receive full fledged support. Unexpectedly, Acteon chose to join the family, while Mary went for ten years of service.
Actually, if there were shorter years of service, Mary would have rather chosen that, as that was also the decision that she made after discussing with Greem. But too bad, the minimum years of service Keoghan gave her was ten years!
Soon, both of them left their own magical seal on the magical contract drafted by Adept Keoghan. From now onwards, their status and position would be completely different than that of other apprentices.
As they had made different choices, the treatment they received was also completely different!
After Evil Bugs Acteon made the decision, he was immediately given a family chest badge by Keoghan, and was urged to move his residence up to the fourth level of the tower as soon as possible. That was a region that no ordinary apprentice could set their feet on! Though Mary was also allowed to temporarily stay at the fourth floor, she had to pay a fee of two magic crystals every day.
As for the reason, the density of a particular Elementium at the fourth floor's residence could be controlled, which had a tremendous benefits for their meditation and the modification of their body. As Mary was only employed by the family, obviously she couldn't enjoy this benefit exclusive only to the members of the family.
After Adept Keoghan left, Mary and Adept Anderson carried out an in-depth discussion. And through a tedious bargain, both of them eventually came out with a fair deal where both parties were satisfied.
After agreeing to give a huge bucket of her own blood, Mary got herself and Greem the right to move their residence to the fourth floor. Along with that, Mary also promised after she became an official Adept, she would not seek revenge against Anderson. She also promised to provide her Adept level blood sample, allowing Anderson to complete his research.
Strictly speaking, the experiment Anderson carried out on Mary was in fact, a bloodline experiment that couldn't be known by the public. Thanks to Mary's good fortune, she was able to survive the painful bloodline modification that could get her killed, and was lucky enough to become a mutated vampire.
She was a mutated vampire because the vampire bloodline Adept Anderson possessed wasn't of pure blood, and the source was somewhat dubious. Therefore, after repeatedly being preached at by Greem, Mary expressed her willingness to forget the grudge from the past, but with the condition that she needed some samples and data of the source bloodline.
As a result, everybody was happy with the outcome, and both parties had obtained the things they wanted the most.
Mary vacillating and staggered her way back to Greem's residence, threw the things in her hand over to Greem before she threw herself onto the bed and fainted. What to do? She had lost a huge amount of blood, even with her body constitution, she would need a good sleep before she could recover.
After settling Mary in a good position, Greem calmly sat back on his wooden table and started to give the small test tube in front of him a careful and serious examination.
It was a glass test tube the size of a human finger, and wasn't too long either. Bringing it in front of his face and staring at it seriously, Greem could only see some nearly dried up blood at the bottom of this test tube.
Actually, that Adept Anderson was a half-baked bloodline researcher. During an occasion, he was sent to investigate a haunting event in a territory ruled by Sarubo Family. He was met with a vampire who had hid deeply in the human society.
Though three Adepts of the family were working hand-in-hand, they still couldn't defeat this powerful vampire. At the end, the Second Grade Adept of the family struck personally, only then they were able to expel that fellow from their family's territory. When they searched through the mysterious castle where this vampire lived a secluded life, Adept Anderson accidentally found a test tube containing highly concentrated vampire blood.
Obviously, that escaped vampire was also carrying out some kind of secret research related to bloodlines.
Hence, Adept Anderson secretly concealed this war trophy, and hid in this remote and desolate Swampy Tower. Without anybody else's knowledge, he conducted research regarding the mutated vampire.
But too bad, most of his initial experiments had failed miserably. All the creatures injected with the vampire blood were dead because of the disintegration of their genes. Among all bloodline creatures, the bloodline gene of the vampire was considering tyrannical. When any other bloodlines tried to merge with it, they would always become nourishment to it, and it was impossible to have the situation where both would co-exist.
Initially, Anderson thought it was because those test creatures he used had an overly weak body constitution, making them unable to withstand the violent bloodline modification. Therefore, he used the authority he had and started to run the experiment on apprentices of the Swampy Tower.
Three Intermediate Apprentices were injected with the source vampire blood sample; Mary was the only survivor. Undoubtedly, she had become the key to his future experiments.
When it came to vampires, locking them up and conducting the research would yield no results. Because vampires needed to keep sucking the blood of experts to purify and cleanse their own bloodline. That was the reason why Anderson had set Mary free, with the intention that she could evolve by herself and complete the purification of her vampire bloodline.
It was worth mentioning that his view on this matter was accurate. At least, Mary's current progress had gone way beyond his expectation. Presumably, through analyzing and experimenting with both the old and new vampire blood, he would be able to make a step forward in his research of mutated vampires.
Therefore, since he was given with new experimental material, Adept Anderson generously gave Mary a drop of the source blood. Nevertheless, this drop of source blood was almost reaching the end of its life expectancy and would soon lose all its gene activity!