[Edited by: LemonFly]
It had been more than 300 years since Anderson had become an official Adept!
Due to his timid and prudent disposition, he hardly participated in any conflicts or battles among the Adepts. As a result, the improvement of his overall strength was very slow. In the last 100 years, he had even fallen into the terrifying situation of having his overall strength nearly stopped from progressing.
But a new round of the family's interplanar warfare was going to begin soon. According to statistics obtained from analyzing all of the previous data, the minimum fatality rate of First Grade Adepts in interplanar warfare was 50%. For an Adept like him, who was not good at fighting, the rate would be even higher. Therefore, in order to bring his overall strength up another grade before the warfare began, Anderson had no choice but to take the risk and cast his evil eyes on to the few Pseudo-Adepts under him.
Initially, the magical array had only been prepared for Acteon and Mary. But following the debut of Greem and Alice, Anderson felt like he might need to give the magical array some modifications so that he could include the latter two in his evil scheme.
By devouring three Pseudo-Adepts cultivated by the family in one go, even if Anderson succeeded in making an advancement, he would still receive punishment from the Sarubo Family. However, as he would be a Second Grade Adept at that point in time, so long as he was willing to give up more of his rights, presumably, the punishment coming from the family would not be that severe.
After all, anyone could easily tell the difference between the value of a Second Grade Adept and three Pseudo-Adepts.
Currently, the only high-end Adepts owned by Sarubo Family were one Third Grade and one Second Grade Adept. If they could have a new Second Grade Adept, the overall strength of the family would definitely take a huge leap. With that, their position and interests in the Zhentarim Association would also rise accordingly.
Under such circumstances, who would really take action against the wrongdoings of a Second Grade Adept?
After he finished checking the magical secret room, Anderson wasn't tired, so he continued by checking on the situation of Acteon, Mary, and Greem. As he was the highest authority in the Swampy Tower, he could examine and observe every single nook and cranny within the tower and within a three mile radius of the tower. In addition to that, the subject of his surveillance would not notice his presence at all.
By relying on this method, Anderson was able to get a detailed grasp of the recent developments among those few apprentices.
Despite that, Greem entered his line of sight only once in awhile, so Anderson understood him the least among all three Pseudo-Adepts of the tower. For the sake of safety, Anderson felt that he should just devour Acteon and Mary.
As for Greem, once Anderson gained control over his body, Anderson would force him to make an advancement. If Greem managed to breakthrough, he would become one of Anderson's food items. If he failed, then he would be given to Mary and she would suck his blood, increasing the success rate of Mary's advancement. Acteon was aided by a huge amount of Mary's source blood, which had greatly increased the success rate of his advancement. Though Mary's overall strength would suffer major decay because of that, with the nourishment from the blood of Greem and Alice, she too would have the possibility of making a breakthrough.
If necessary, he could even throw Intermediate and Advanced Apprentices over to Mary, making them her tonic!
In addition to that, what he needed from them wasn't a normal breakthrough. At that point in time, he could just use some prohibited magical medicine to stimulate them, causing their Spirit to boom, and the success rate of forced advancement would be at least 80%. He just had to devour their blood and flesh before they were killed by the backlash of the magic spell. The path of advancing into Second Grade Adept was still bright and dazzling!
Trying his best to hold down his restless excitement, Adept Anderson repeatedly pondered every single step and flow of his plot for advancement, thinking carefully about any possible event that might happen during its execution and arduously patching up the loopholes.
According to the news leaked by Master Herbert, the Second Grade Adept of the family, in just one year the founding ancestor of the family would open the door of the plane, sending all the family's Adepts, including Anderson, into the war zone. Therefore, he was only left with a short half year!
Through the mirror, Anderson covetously ran his eyes over the images of all three Pseudo-Adepts, who resided in different locations within the tower. He moved his dried, thin lips and murmured under his breath, "Work hard and grow stronger, my fruits! Once you reach your mature stage, you'll have the right to merge together with me… hehehe…"
The day after Alice had her bet with Greem, the Poisonous Witch, Endor, once again appeared in front of Greem.
Greem was pretty sure that if killing him would release Alice from the bounds of the magical contract, he would be a dead man already!
After Endor gave Alice's soul a thorough and detailed examination, her face became so dark that one could even squeeze out some black water from it. Under the restriction of that powerful magical contract, Alice had virtually become Greem's contracted slave and she was the one who was being controlled.
More importantly, Alice was a descendant of the Northern Witches and the blood flowing through her body was from the clan of Destiny Witches. The attention this clan attached to a contract was heavier than all the other few clans of witches. Hence, the matter had become rather tricky to solve.
In the center region of the Adept Continent, when one was referred as a witch, she was usually a female Adept. But in the northern region of the continent, where the heart of the Northern Witches was situated, the title of witch usually referred to those mysterious existences who owned the bloodline inherited from the ancient era. Every single one of them possessed extraordinary power from their bloodline, and the source of their bloodline would always trace back to Salem, a Ninth Grade Witch, and the first existence who had stood at the pinnacle of the Adept World.
With regards to this Ninth Grade female Adept of the Adept World, she was commonly referred to as the Witch Queen. Since she had left the Adept World, she had left behind thirteen different witch clans among her descendants. And through the historical changes of more than ten thousand years, many of them had withered away. Currently, only seven of them remained in the territory of the Northern Witches.
As for the six clans that had withered away, under the influence of the mighty Will of the World, they wouldn't vanish totally. Every once in awhile, some random descendant of the witch would suddenly awake with some special powers, and was able to revive the witch clans that had nearly vanished from the world.
According to some rumors, the reason behind this was because the Witch Queen Salem had an agreement with the Will of the Adept World. The overall strength of someone like a Ninth Grade Adept was too formidable and she was able to cause tremendous distraction in the normal function of the plane. Therefore, in order to kick these 'burdens' from the Adept World, the Will of the World had no alternative but to compromise to their requests.
Since then, anyone who became Fifth Grade Adept or above would be 'squeezed' out of the Adept World. In return, the Will of the World allowed these Adepts to include part of their own principles in the functioning system of the Adept World.
Although the Witch Queen had left, she had also left behind thirteen World Principles in the Adept World, all of which carried her unique mark. With that, as long as the system of the world kept functioning properly, it was impossible for her followers to vanish completely! Even if some formidable Adepts killed off all of her descendants, as long as the World Principles still existed, as time went by, when a suitable vessel was found, the principle that carried her mark would still light.
Therefore, in the Adept Continent, the Adept Family that possessed a principle inherited from the ancient era was a monument that would never collapse!
Alice belonged to the clan of Destiny Witches. A few thousand years ago, due to some unique reasons, the clan had withered away. However, in the last few hundred years, a large group of witches from different places around the Adept Continent had awakened with special innate talents. As a result, the leader of the Northern Witches had dispatched many of her subordinates to bring these witches back to their sacred land.
With regards to these newly awakened, some witches took them as a new hope and some looked at them as troublemakers, and neither side could come to a mutual agreement. Because of this, the task of bringing them back had become a rather awkward situation.
The Poisonous Witch Endor came from the clan of Dark Witches, and this clan had a very good relationship with the clan of Destiny Witches. That was why, when Endor discovered that Alice had awakened the bloodline of Destiny Witches, she took initiative and assumed the responsibility of Alice's return ceremony.
But too bad, before the ceremony was prepared, Alice had become a contracted slave of someone else. If it was any other witch, perhaps she would have long strangled Greem to death. Even if it might kill Alice at the same time, the witches would never allow the bloodline of a witch to be contaminated by any outsiders!
Nevertheless, considering the bloodline abilities of the Destiny Witches possessed by Alice, Endor felt that it was an omen given by the Force of Destiny, which led her to give up the idea of killing Greem. Instead, she dragged him into a secret room and carried out an in-depth discussion.
Endor gave Greem a warning. If he wanted to bind Alice to his side, the only way was to make her bloodline abilities grow as quickly as possible and bring her to the territory of Northern Witches within ten years, so that she could complete her baptism of destiny. During this round of large scale awakenings, Alice had not been the only one who had possessed the bloodline of the Destiny Witches, but only one of them could survive after going through the baptism.
If Alice couldn't make it to the ceremony, once another witch completed her baptism and became the Destiny Witch, then, under the influence of the World Principle, Alice's power would become a sacrificial offering for that particular witch. In the end, Alice's existence would be completely wiped away by the Will of the World!
For no apparent reason, Greem had been dragged into an unnecessary conflict, from which he felt tremendous pressure. But, considering that he would need help from Alice in the upcoming mission of self-rescuing, he had no choice but to accept this 'hot potato' while sighing.
Yet, when he vaguely hinted at the situation with Endor and asked if he could borrow her power in solving a 'small problem' of his, Endor simply turned around and left!
Though Endor didn't embrace Destiny, she still held reverence toward Destiny.
It was because of Greem that Alice was able to become a Pseudo-Adept smoothly. This also meant that the Force of Destiny had tightly tangled both of them together. Before she could tell whether her help with Alice was positive or negative, Endor would never get involved in the natural selection of a Destiny Witch.
With regards to the explanation from this 'Poisonous Witch', inwardly, Greem just gave her two huge middle fingers to express his despisement. If you don't want to help, just say so! Why are you giving me such a 'refreshing' reason in order to shirk the burden? Greem couldn't help but admire her excuse!
Therefore, drawn by the mighty Force of Destiny, this future 'Destiny Witch' had come to Greem, like she was supposed to, and become the fourth member of Greem's camp!