Since the last compulsory mission had been completed, the Swampy Tower was like a clogged up water channel that had suddenly opened up. In a natural way, the fresh water from the outside world started to influence the life within the isolated world.
And obviously, Adept Anderson wasn’t happy to see such changes. However, when he was faced with the will of the entire Zhentarim Association, which was a clan that even the Third Grade Adept from Sarubo Family dared not disobey, there was just nothing he could do to change the situation!
Therefore, when the apprentices that had attended the training mission made their return, the Mission Hall of the Swampy Tower, which had not been used for a very long time, once again opened up. Every day, the mission board placed in the hall refreshed with countless new missions, from advanced missions like hunting feral demons of Adept level, which only Pseudo-Adept could participate in, to petty missions like gathering resources, expelling demons, and investigating abnormal events. It all refreshed in real-time.
Put it this way, even at the center of the continent, the well-developed region and the primary colony of human society, every day there would be hundreds of thousands of bizarre incidents happening. Either it was the discovery of demon traces near a small town located at the border, or a village near the wilderness was attacked by some unknown beings, or some expedition team had discovered an uncultivated resource site.
Without exception, whenever something like this happened, the Zhentarim Association would bring the matter in, and announce a time-limited mission to all the Apprentice Adepts within the entire central region of the continent. With this method, they could bring all the apprentices within the center region into play. Not only could they train these apprentices, they could also solve the problem occurring at the border of their territory. In another way, they used these apprentices to shoulder the heavy burden of defence missions instead of official Adepts.
Greem could hole himself up in his residence and improve the foundation of his magic spells bit by bit. But, Mary and Snorlax couldn’t behave like that. Hence, during this time, they were like prisoners who had bloodshot eyes, hanging around all day inside of the Mission Hall, quietly filtering through the missions and finding ones they like the most.
After all, Mary had taken the path of a Bloodline Adept, and it would slow her progress to just rely on the accumulation of magic spell knowledge. Only by constantly devouring the blood of experts would ensure her quick progress. Therefore, she had shown enthusiasm when picking her missions, and she had been working hard in completing them. Within just a month, she completed two missions and earned herself twenty merit points.
But it was too bad that all the missions she chose were located within the perimeter of the Swampy Tower. It was a region where human society was well-developed. Though sometimes demons intruded into the place, it was just impossible to have any Pseudo-Adept level monsters. Therefore, she had no alternative but to look for a distant location.
Very soon, a suitable mission jumped into her eyes.
At the Timbermaw Hold, located seven thousand miles away, a camp of Lycanthropes who moved from the depths of the jungle was suddenly discovered. Therefore, the local authority had announced a mission to recruit Pseudo-Adept or Advanced Apprentice and was preparing to eliminate this camp.
When Mary enthusiastically invited Greem to join her in this mission, she was turned down straightaway.
As an Element Apprentice who prepared to take the path of Focused Fire Element, Greem felt he needed to be more focused on the mission of his choice. Last time, he had gained tremendous benefit by soaking himself inside the underground lava pool in the Underground Cave region, so he wished to find another place which had a similar environment like the volcano, so he could make further progress with his Inferno Body.
He had a feeling that in order for him to advance into the realm of official Adept steadily and surely, the Inferno Body played a very important role.
Fortunately enough, on the third day after Mary left excitedly, Snorlax, who had been spending all day in the Mission Hall, rushed back to Greem. The mission that suited him the most had appeared!
It was a mission to gather resources, which had a rather low risk, and the location of the mission was right within a volcano which would erupt on a fixed interval. Cotopaxi Volcano was located near the border, east of the Sidney region. It was a place rich in Fire Diamonds of premium quality, and was one of the main incomes for the local Adept Family.
Cotopaxi Volcano was a very powerful active volcano. Out of the twelve months in a year, it would be in a dangerous active period for nine months. During this period, even Adepts wouldn’t risk their life by stepping into it. Only during the three-month resting period would the Cotopaxi Volcano calm down slightly and give the nearby Adept Family a chance to harvest the Fire Diamond that could be found underneath it.
Even during the resting period of the volcano, the temperature inside was still incredibly high. Also, as most of the Fire Diamonds were found at the edge of lava pool or floating inside of the pool, no ordinary humans could harvest them, and only Advanced Apprentices who had element resistance could achieve this seemingly impossible mission.
Therefore, in order to increase the productivity of Fire Diamonds during this resting period, aside from sending their own family members to harvest the Fire Diamonds, the local Adept Family would also announce a mission publicly. Any apprentice that entered the Cotopaxi Volcano just needed to submit a fixed portion of Fire Diamonds at the end of their mission, and they could keep the rest as a reward for their mission.
As a result, every year before the volcano entered its resting period, it also was the time to announce this mission!
Greem rushed to the Mission Hall. Without hesitation, he immediately undertook the mission of harvesting Fire Diamonds. Looking at the message of the mission, it was only open to twenty apprentices and Greem was the nineteenth apprentice who undertook the mission. Nearly at the same time that he accepted the mission, it disappeared from the mission board.
The quota of twenty apprentices had been completely filled up!
The mission required Greem to report to the mission site located in the Sidney region within fifteen days. Time was pressing, so Greem immediately started to arrange all the necessary matters.
The first issue was how to settle Snorlax.
Snorlax had a timid and cowardly character, which made it not fit for a fighter’s position. Instead, it showed great interest in becoming a goblin merchant. For this reason, Greem decided to leave Snorlax in the Swampy Tower and gave it all of the resources he wouldn’t be using temporarily.
The magical gemstones he had brought back from the Underground Cave, the magical equipment he stripped from the dead bodies of Fallen Apprentices, and the remaining four Mind Concentrating Potions he had – none of them fit in the path Greem was currently taking. So he simply handed them to Snorlax, making them the highest quality treasures for the newly opened Goblin Shop.
In the eyes of the Pseudo-Adepts that came from some big family, perhaps the items were worth nothing. But when they were placed in Swampy Tower, a place where all resources were scarce, nearly on the first day that the Goblin Shop opened for business, it became a mystical place passionately sought after by all Beginner and Intermediate apprentices.
Mind Concentrating Potions?!
What kind of miraculous item were they? Why they never heard of it before? A bottle of it could bring an increment of 0.5 – 0.7 in their Spirit? This… how could such miraculous magical potions exist in the world?
As for the side effects of the Mind Concentrating Potion, in the eyes of the apprentices who could go to every extent just to improve their overall strength, it was simply nothing! After all, inside of the Swampy Tower, through their daily meditation, most Apprentice Adepts could only obtain a tiny fraction of increase in their Spirit.
In the end, only a handful of apprentices could enter a deep meditation state every single time like how Greem was able to. Thus, an increment of 0.5 in Spirit would also mean three months of restless meditation for most of them.
In the past, they had to laboriously meditate for three months in order to achieve the same result, but now, it could be obtained with just one single bottle of potion. How could a miraculous result like this not attract their craziness?
Unfortunately, the high price of it had made them shrink back at the sight of it, and they could only jealously watch as Hawkeye purchased all four Mind Concentrating Potions in one go.
Clearly, the results brought by the Mind Concentrating Potion to an Advanced Apprentice weren’t as significant as when it was used by an Intermediate Apprentice, however, for Clutha, any tiny bit of increment in his Spirit was extremely valuable. It was because he had eighteen points in his Spirit now. So long as he could increase it just by a little bit, perhaps he could become a Pseudo-Adept.
Most of the Beginner and Intermediate Apprentices couldn’t get their hands on a top grade product like Mind Concentrating Potions, but their eyes were dazed by the dazzling arrays of magical resources and materials. Perhaps Greem only put his concern towards the Fire element magical equipment he could use but Snorlax was never picky.
Using the first pot of gold it had saved, Snorlax purchased a lot of local products from the Underground Cave. Now, by putting them on display in its own Goblin Shop, they immediately attracted a crazy spending spree from the apprentices within the tower.
Ironwood Branch that brought the effect of +1 in the speed of vitality restoration, the Mantle of Intelligence that brought the effect of +1 in the speed of Spirit restoration, Ogre Gauntlets that brought the effect of +1 in Strength, Boot of Haste that brought +1 in Agility, Minor Antidote, Gem of True Sight that could detect any invisible creature…
Although the magical equipment wasn’t of a high grade, they were perfectly suitable to be used by Beginner and Intermediate Apprentices, and their price was within a range they could afford. As the result, once they were put on sale, a great rush for them broke out within the Swampy Tower.
With that, Snorlax was catapulted into the limelight!
A Goblin that was able to possess such a ‘massive’ fortune, of course, it attracted jealousy from outsiders. However, anyone with a sensible mind would know that behind this goblin was a Pseudo-Adept and an Advanced Apprentice. So long as their brain wasn’t damaged by fever, they would know that by offending this goblin, they would also provoke the Bloody Queen and the frightening malefic Greem.
Therefore, after settling with Snorlax, Greem packed his luggage and left Swampy Tower without alerting anyone.
If Greem traveled 7000 miles by foot or coach, he would be lucky to arrive at the mission site before the mission ended. So, after Greem left the Magical Swamp, he found himself a public flying site at the nearest city.
There, he could get a ride on a flying boat!
The so-called flying boat was a vehicle that was at least few times inferior to the flying ship used by the Adept Association. However, it was the most common and convenient method of travel within the center region of the continent. When Greem saw the flying boat for the first time, his facial muscle twitched uncontrollably.
This… wasn’t this the hot air balloon back on Earth in his previous life?
A huge, long, cigar-shaped balloon was floating above. Apparently, it was made from the leather of a unique demon beast. A large cabin was hanging under the balloon: the bottom level was used to house cargo while the upper level was the place where the travelers would stay. Nevertheless, it did send forth a mystical aura.
Of course, the fee of riding the flying boat wasn’t cheap either, and ordinary cargo wouldn’t be shipped using the flying boat. Same goes with the travelers. The only ones who could afford to rent a whole room on the flying boat and experience a luxurious and romantic flying trip would be either the nobles from human society, rich merchants who traveled between places, or Apprentice Adepts who were rushing to different mission sites.