[Edited by: LemonFly]
Etching magic runes on one's own body was not something that could be easily accomplished!
It required special magic rune ingredients, a Master of Magic Runes who possessed peculiar innate talent, exclusive drawing experience and skill… and not a single requirement could be omitted. However, Greem didn't have even one of them.
Inside of the Alchemy Laboratory of the Swampy Tower.
The radiance from dozens of illuminating crystals had made the laboratory as bright as day; not a single shadow could be seen. Unlike in the past, Greem didn't stand in front of the Alchemy Station. Instead, he was lying down on top of the Alchemy Station. Today, he was both the operator and the target of the operation!
He didn't have any of the special ingredients required for the drawing of magic runes, so Greem could only use the method of crafting golems to carve the magic runes; he couldn't hire any professional Master Magic Runes, so Greem could only do it himself, drawing on his own body; he didn't possess any of the experience and skill in drawing magic runes that were passed down for generations, and he was solely depending on the optimized combination and simulated experiments carried out by the Chip in his Spiritual Domain…
Today, it was destined that Greem would become a bull in a china shop, as he would throw every single pot and bottle that represented all of the previous expectations and rules onto the ground and then break a new path that belonged solely to himself.
In a normal process of magic runes drawing, the Master of Magic Runes would usually need the aid of some medicines, so that he could reduce the recovery ability of flesh and blood in a particular region. Every single rune array that functioned properly was composed of hundred and thousand of runes and magical lines. If the target of the drawing was someone with high Physique, before the last line of rune could be drawn, the first line of rune would have completely self-healed.
This would completely destroy the entire process of magic rune drawing!
Using a special medicine to anesthetize and repress the recovery ability of blood and flesh on a particular region of the target's body, and using the magic rune ingredients meticulously concocted to etch the corresponding magic runes on the skin of the target, and finally, interconnecting them with the magical energy organ inside of the target's body. This was the elementary theory that let magic runes stimulate the human's body, which could make the target unleash a special ability.
It was because of this tedious and complicated process that the importance of a Master of Magic Runes was so significant. There had been some fellows who wished to save the hefty amount of magic crystals that one cost, and fancied that they could use the simplest method of drawing magic runes on themselves. They thought such magic runes could bring them some effects for a short period of time, and following the self-recovery of the body, every external change made to their bodies would eventually fade away.
And very soon, they had realized that they were just drawing water with a bamboo basket - it achieved nothing. Not only would the magic runes not be solidified forever, it also cost them a dearly expensive amount of ingredients.
Unfortunately, the magic rune suit of the Flame Fiend that Greem was custom making for himself was an example of that mentioned above. Nevertheless, relying on his extremely high control over his Flame Body, the process of losing effectiveness would definitely be slowed down. Also, he had never had the hope that the magic rune suit could be used forever; so long as it could support him in making his way through this 'calamity,' it would be enough.
Greem lay flat on top of the Alchemy Station. Using his Spirit, he activated the alchemy equipment.
As the needle-sized heat beam hit his body, Greem started to smell a pungent burning scent coming from the burning of his muscle and fat and he heard the hissing sound of boiling fat. The heat beam moved slowly across the surface of his body, scorching his skin and turning it black, leaving behind lines like shallow trenches.
Expressionless, Greem silently endured the burning from the heat beam. At the same time, he had to pour in all his effort to repress this Flame Body's instinctive defense and counterattack against the heat beam. In addition to that, he had to hold down the regeneration speed of his flesh. Before those shallow trenches could recover, Greem controlled the other alchemy arm, using it to inject the filler that he had prepared beforehand into them.
The strange hissing sound of the heat beam burning his flesh, the pungent stinking smell that came from the filler slowly corroding the muscle of a human body… the weird sound, the strange smell, both filled the entire Alchemy Laboratory almost immediately. It would make someone feel like he had come to a dark, ugly room of torture!
Greem was trying to draw a rune array composed of complicated, hard to understand runes, and full of numerous winding lines onto a random part of the body. At the same time, the core nodes of the rune array had to perfectly overlap with the magical nodes found on the body itself. During this process, any slight deviation would cause the total destruction of the entire rune array.
Therefore, even though the severe pain coming from the surface of his body kept stimulating his nerves, Greem still retained the same expression and focused his vision on the tiny light beam that kept jumping over his skin. With an attentive gaze, he watched the entire process as his skin turned red, softened, collapsed, turned dark, and eventually, became coke.
There would be a total of fourteen rune arrays drawn on his body, each of them an independent entity, and all possessed the effect of stimulating the body function of that particular region. But when they were interconnected and activated, they would create an extremely complicated, profound and mysterious magic rune suit - the transformation of a Flame Fiend.
And this was the direction of advancement Greem had set for his Fire Element magic spell!
The Flame Fiend was a dreadful creature of the Abyss that came from the lower tier plane. They usually possessed a huge and menacing body, however, their combative strength actually came from their terrifying flame ability that was beyond any comparison. Once they flew into a rage, their entire body would ignite, turning them into a horrible flaming humanoid. Any living beings that got too close to their body would have to withstand a constant fire damage.
Without high fire resistance, ordinary enemies didn't even have the qualifications to fight a battle with it, and would be turned into coke by the constantly burning flame. As for the enemies that had the qualification to stand face to face with the Flame Fiend, they would have to deal with raging Fire element magic spells that blotted out the sky and covered the earth, and the hand-to-hand combat skills of the Flame Fiend, which were not weaker than those of ordinary demons.
Flame Fiends may not be the strongest creatures among all of the experts of the Fire element, but they were definitely the creatures that stood out from the rest who practiced Fire element magic spells. That was why Greem had drawn fourteen rune arrays on his body; he wanted to use them to fully arouse his potential and mimic part of the Flame Fiend's abilities.
This was also the main reason this magic rune suit was called 'the transformation of a Flame Fiend!'
Of course, all of this was based on Greem's first and earliest assumptions and speculations. If he really wanted to transform into a true Flame Fiend, the best and most straightforward method would be to pay a visit to the lower tier plane, slaughter, and dissect a real Flame Fiend himself. As for now, he could only mimic and improve his design.
The process of drawing the magic runes lasted for one whole day and night, until noon of the second day. Only then did Greem drag his exhausted body back to his residence. Meanwhile, Mary, who had just come back from outside, had been waiting for him in his room.
When she saw that Greem was completely exhausted, yet still trying his best to keep up his spirit, a saddened expression emerged on Mary's pretty, travel-worn face.
After she helped Greem lie flat on his bed, Mary gently touched his face and softly said, "Sleep well! I'll guard you right here!"
Greem was barely able to give her a smile before he sank into deep slumber.
Inside another room.
Within the faint, transparent force field of a barrier, Alice could hardly tear herself away from the Adept level element crystal core; she kept turning the summoning core over and over in her palm. The fist-sized, transparent crystal core was emitting an enchanting glow that could grasp the soul of one who looked at it.
With each turn and new angle, the transparent crystal core reflected another gorgeously bright and colorful, yet extraordinarily beautiful halo. Alice's gaze rested on it, and her face had an expression of obsession; for a very long time, she couldn't pull herself away from such emotion. With her vision, of course she could peer onto the surface of the crystal core and see the mysterious magical arrays that were as tiny as cow hair, but extremely complicated and profound.
No matter how you looked at it, it was no doubt a great work of art produced by a skillful Grand Master.
Relying on the exceptionally designed magical array, the unique power stored within the element core was guided and unleashed; by combining this power with the vast element energy gathered from the outside world, it gave birth to a frightful Adept level element golem that was capable of causing a major catastrophe!
Whenever she recalled the fact that she was miserably defeated by this crystal clear, extremely beautiful, little object, an indefinable flame of anger immediately surged up from the bottom of Alice's heart. But immediately after that, the flame of anger would melt away bit by bit under the strange, fantastic elemental halo of the element core.
Oh right, I had promised that rasca… ouch… master one thing. It looks like I need to make the best use of my time and practice!
While rolling about on her bed without care over her own image, Alice slowly stretched out her Spirit. Through the slight spiritual sense brought to her from the magical contract buried deep in her soul, she quietly confirmed the current location of her master.
That… he was in his own room now, and he hadn't fully activated all of the defense mechanisms. Also, it was obvious that his Spirit was on the low side, and he had sunk into a deep state. He should be sleeping now. Wow, isn't this a great opportunity? As long as I can teleport one object into his hand, then I'll have this precious thing accompany me for a few more days!
Her mind filled with a restless excitement, Alice stretched out her hand and drew a magic rune in midair. After that, she took out an earring and tossed it over. The magic rune was covered by an extremely complicated magic ring; when the earring traveled through it, it was like penetrating a layer of transparent water mirror. Within a split second, it disappeared without a trace.
Meanwhile, inside the other room, some enshrouding runes suddenly appeared on Greem's right palm. Following the vibration of these runes, an elegant earring slowly penetrated through the spatial distortion; in the next moment, it would fall into Greem's palm.
Pap! Mary stretched out her hand and swung gently; the earring was instantly slapped into the corner of the room.
"What a nuisance, it must be that little girl again! Hmph, trying to secretly give her earring to Greem, I knew she was up to something bad!"
As the earring was slapped away, Alice immediately sensed it. "Eh, what happened? It is obvious I'm going to succeed this time, why was it slapped away suddenly? Could it be some kind of new defense mechanism? No way, I have to give it another try!"
It wasn't an accident; the second time, the third time… all of Alice's attempts were interrupted by some kind of unknown defense mechanism. Instead of giving up, it actually aroused her anger. "What's all this about? It is obvious that guy is sleeping now. Why there is still such a strange defense mechanism? You're the one who forced me now!"
Gnashing her teeth in anger, Alice started to move both her arms quickly in midair. She actually unleashed a total of four spatial magic runes at the same time. However, before she had the time to teleport anything through them, all four spatial magic runes that had appeared on different part of Greem's body vanished at the same time.
Damn it, you're challenging me right now!
Alice, who had her competitiveness evoked, immediately started continuous and endless attempts, but to no effect. Unsurprisingly, every attempt was interrupted by something or someone. This made her even angrier, and she poured in more effort to try harder.
At the same time, inside of Greem's room, Mary was seen yawning and stretching her back while moving her fingers to quickly poke the air. Whenever a new spatial magic rune was formed, before it could establish a stable minor spatial tunnel with the other room, it would be instantly broken by Mary's finger, which had been injected with Blood element energy.
Therefore, unknowingly, Alice had started to play a game of 'cat and mouse' with Mary!