As the fight progressed, Greem was realizing, more and more, what his weaknesses were.
His below average Physique was one of the biggest weaknesses. Even with the help of the mighty Chip, he found that he was not as strong as he had originally thought.
His Agility of 4 defined the speed of his reflexes, movement, and the flexibility of his body. Although the dynamic vision provided by the Chip allowed him to roughly guess where Mary was moving, his overly 'clumsy' and 'slow' body was having a hard time keeping up with the guidance of the chip.
Therefore, most of the time, even though Greem knew in advance where the attack was coming from, he was unable to defend fast enough. Often when the sharp claws passed his body, his flame was mere inches away, but he still couldn't even touch the tips of the fringes of Mary's dress.
Hence, within the huge Arena, Greem was restlessly waving two huge fireballs and doing everything he could to land even the slightest blow on his enemy. However, it seemed he was unable to do anything except receive wounds and groan as the pain from all the wounds added up. As for Mary, she was like a red ghost who drifted from place to place, seeming to blink in and out of reality as she dashed around Greem. Quite frequently, the dreadful flames almost touched her body, but they were unable to cause her any harm, as she was moving with great speed and agility.
Fortunately, Mary was just playfully evaluating Greem's fighting ability, so all her attacks were only causing minor flesh wounds. If she had been serious, Greem would have long since been sliced into chunks of meat. But even so, having his body scratched by Mary's blade-liked sharp claws, left Greem with countless scratch marks, and blood all over his body.
Although the wounds on his body wouldn't get him killed, they brought Greem a great deal of anger and humiliation.
A month ago, this Mary was only a beginner Apprentice, and she was not stronger than him. Because of that damn mutation, caused by magical contamination, she was now able to twist Greem around her little finger, like he was nothing. This exploding anger was continually suppressed by Greem, as he knew he was unable to defeat Mary, but he was still doing all he could to chase her flashing red shadow with his raging flame.
Inwardly, Greem's mind was still as calm as a glacier, and he was communicating with the Chip without showing any signs externally. Since he couldn't catch Mary with his dynamic vision, he had to find a workaround.
Greem's spirit was draining fast as he kept waving both of his hands restlessly through the air. The dreadful looking fireballs in his hands were becoming bigger and even more violent. While underneath his eyes, a weird looking blue dot was blinking dimly, marking an interception point which the Chip had vaguely calculated.
When Greem sensed Mary was attacking from his front, he slightly separated his hands, blocked off possible attacks from his left and his right, leaving a half meter weak point in front of his body.
Seeing this, Mary, who planned to attack from the left, simply let out a cold snort, stopped and stood straight, swaying slightly to the side to dodge the flaming red fireball. Not only that, she actually slipped into the slight gap in front of Greem's chest.
"Hmm! What a careless boy, should I leave a mark on your face, or on your chest?~"
Mary, who still had time to spare as she lazily fought Greem, pondered why her instincts had hesitated at this very moment.
All of a sudden, her expression changed drastically, and she immediately retreated with an even greater speed than she had attacked with. Even so, her retreating body still couldn't completely escape from the two fireballs that had suddenly changed their courses.
Two frightening fireballs came from the left and the right, slamming into each other and exploding, sending sparks of fire in all directions and creating a sea of flames in front of Greem's body.
What happened made Mary cry out in shock. In the time it took to blink, she had moved herself 10 meters away from Greem, yet she still felt some pain from that attack. She lowered her head and took a look at herself. To her surprise, she found that her red chiffon dress actually been filled with burn marks, as those randomly flying sparks had fallen on her and burned holes in her dress, revealed what was hiding inside.
"You bastard… how dare you to damage my dress…"
Mary's cold and pretty face became angry. With a cruel glance, she stared straight at Greem, who was dancing in joy.
At this very moment, Greem was struck with unspeakable excitement, as he was finally able to force Mary back. At last, he found out a weakness in this girl's fighting style. When facing with this kind of high-speed enemy, who fought like an assassin, a weaker spell that covered a wide area was effective in limiting where they could move, while powerful, concentrated spells were unable to even touch them…
While immersing himself in the joy of his minor success, Greem suddenly felt an ominous killing intent. Shocked, he raised his head and saw a girl with a ferocious look on her face.
Knowing something bad was going to happen, Greem quickly tried to explain his actions, but before he could say anything, a red shadow flashed in front of his eyes, grabbed him, and slammed his head against a nearby stone wall. The brutal and violent force of Mary's hand pierced through Greem's entire body, but, before he could feel the pain, his eyes went black and he fainted.
And the last thought that went through his mind was:
What incredible speed!
When Greem finally regained consciousness, he felt a throbbing pain all over his body, but he also felt a new pain. It seemed he was being dragged by someone.
A little, icy cold hand was holding onto his ankle, pulling him across the floor in a face down manner, which was how he was being brought back to his room. When he finally reached his room, his bare face had been fully covered in blood, which was the result of having his face scraped against the rough floor.
Greem dared not to struggle, as it seems like his last attack had infuriated the moody and petulant Mary. Therefore, all he could do was close his eyes and try his best to endure the pain he felt from all over his body.
Fortunately, he could still feel pain… It was better than having been killed while in a coma!
Greem had the chip perform a self-test, and a huge, frightening, red warning sign showed up on top of the report.
Ugh. He only had a total of 11 Health Points, and he had lost 8 of those. This literally put him death's doorstep. If he lost anymore, he would be in trouble.
Although that damnable Mary hadn't hurt any of his vitals, and just left a few scratch marks on his body in a playful manner, it was more than enough to reduce his Health Points to such a pathetic state. This really showed how huge was the gap between them was.
A moment later, Mary opened up the wooden door of Greem's room and threw him inside. After that, her lovely voice said a very cruel thing, "Rest tonight, we'll continue our training in 17 hours."
So, it seemed Mary had noticed that Greem was awake.
Greem raised his head up, shocked that she had known. What he saw was his half opened wooden door, and the silhouette of the slim, curvy body of a young woman backlit by the candles in the hallway.
17 hours? She expected him to recover in 17 hours?
Greem opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but the wooden door was slammed closed, leaving him in the gloomy darkness of his room.
Half an hour later, with a strong will, Greem finally climbed up from the floor and lit a few candles, so he could take a look at himself.
He took off his short worn-out Apprentice robe and found that his skinny body was full of crisscrossing scratch marks and wounds. Although not deep, they were unexpectedly dense.
Under the dull candlelight, he began to carefully doctor his wounded body.
He had some basic healing medicine in his room. After all, in order to survive in the Tower, medicinal paste and poison antidotes were must have items.
Bearing the pain, Greem applied the medicinal paste to his wounds while grimacing. Immediately, a sensation of tickling that made him crazy came from the wounds, but soon after, it was replaced by a cold sensation that soothed his mind, and the pleasant feeling of having his flesh regenerating followed. Hence Greem started the slow process of healing.
After he finished applying the medicinal paste, Greem decided to look over the other parts of his self-test report.
Surprisingly, the torture he had gone through, just now, had increased all of his attributes, and it even increased his Experience by 12. Greem couldn't help breathing out a long sigh. Did this mean his path to becoming strong was going to be filled with misery?
After wallowing in misery and slightly suicidal thoughts, Greem took a deep breath, then lay down on his bed and started his daily meditation.
Once again, he had arrived in the Spiritual Dimension, which was filled with countless bright specks of light. This time, the light orb representing Greem's consciousness transformed into a ferocious monster which had hundreds of tentacles from its body. Under Greem's control, these Spiritual tentacles kept poking and swimming around, reaching out and grabbing at all the Fire Elementium swimming nearby.
In the past, Greem had only passively absorbed the Fire Elementium that came close enough to him. How could that be compared with his current efficiency, as he was actively absorbing them? With his current speed, one round of meditation would yield ten times what previous meditation had.
It had been a long day for him. So many things had happened and he was too busy to attend to them all. This was the first time he had been able to catch his breath all day and he found himself to be exhausted. Therefore, before he could check the results of his meditation, he fell asleep.
At dawn the next day, Greem woke up to the sound of heavy knocking at his door.
"It's me, Tony. It's time…"
Greem's lips twitched. He realized that six days had passed since his last inspection trip, and that it was time for them to do it again!
As he was getting up, he quickly glanced at the results of last night's meditation. He was filled with joy as he saw that his Spirit had increased from 8.07 to 8.15. A single night of meditation had increased his Spirit by 0.08…. Didn't that mean that, even if he didn't spend any time studying Magic books and just did basic meditation, his Spirit would reach the level of Advanced Apprentice Adept in three months?
This wasn't the only good news.
His Fire Arrow spell would be solidified in 1 hour. In 1 hour, he would become a beginner Apprentice who had mastered more than one Magic Spell. He would no longer be a rookie who could be bullied by anyone.