Chapter 216 Underground Maze
Greem was finally able to melt away a thin layer of ice on the ice pillar after fifteen minutes.
He was doing the burning, but the one performing a detailed analysis of the ice pillar's contents was the chip.
After all, the chip was tens or even hundreds of times better than him at data collection and analysis. Moreover, this was only because the chip had been restricted by the limits of his Spirit. The chip's ability would continue to improve and expand as his Spirit slowly increased.
Thus, Greem gave up on comparing himself with the chip and focused on melting the ice pillar bit by bit. Then he focused on analysing the contents of the ice crystals, the peculiarities of the arrangement of spirit elementium, as well as the forms created by the combination of the spirit elementium with the material elementium.
Greem could feel the existence of spirit elementium everywhere inside the ice pillar.
From his past understanding, material objects were material objects, while elementium were elementium and Spirit was Spirit. All three were distinct units with different forms of existence, different characteristics, and different ways of functioning. However, after the analysis of the ice pillar before him, Greem was shocked to find that his past understanding and distinction of these substances had been shattered.
These three didn't seem to be independent units that could never assimilate or merge!
In Greem's understanding, material objects were visible, tangible objects that existed in the physical world. From anything as small as dirt, firewood, rivers, to something as big as lakes, seas, mountains, or entire continents. These were all parts of the material world, and were objects that could be sensed with human senses. Thus, material objects were the foundation of the material world!
The Earth in his previous life was similar in this regard with the alternate world he was currently in.
On the other hand, elementium was a mysterious substance that was invisible and intangible. It existed everywhere in the entire universe, like a boundlessly vast sea, engulfing the entire multiverse.
From the perspective of the multiverse, all elementium was at a perfect balance. However, if one were to just observe from a limited area, elementium behaved like tides, ebbing and flowing. They varied in quantity and density, never quite the same in different parts of the multiverse.
In truth, the multi-faceted portrayals and features of the material planes had a very direct connection to the density of elementium particles in the area they existed in.
Earth differed entirely from this alternate world in this aspect.
Many mysterious and amazing ancient myths and legends about gods and deities existed back on Earth. Those ancient gods and deities seemed like they were omnipotent, capable of ravaging seas and claiming the skies. However, in the Earth Greem used to live, no one had such amazing ability.
If Greem had remained in the past, he might have only thought of these ancient stories as fantasies and dreams of people in the past. However, he no longer thought so!
It was very likely that Earth in the past was a world filled with elementium energy that allowed the people of that time to possess the chance of overcoming their weak physical bodies to master and manipulate great power. However, with the ebbing of the elementium tide, the elementium energy on Earth started to fade once more. Humans were once again cast back to their mundane selves, forced to abandon arcanology and go back to the path of technology.
Thus elementium, this mysterious substance, was the true reason behind changes in material planes!
But what exactly was elementium?
Normal humans had no way of observing elementium particles with the naked eye. Even if you spent every day soaked in elementium particles, and countless particles entered and exited your body with every breath you took, you still wouldn't have the means to sense and verify their existence.
The only way humans could make contact with elementium particles was through meditation. By doing so, they used their Spirit as a bridge, allowing their tangible physical bodies to contact the intangible elementium particles.
It was precisely because of the existence of elementium particles that Spirit became a source of power!
Normal humans could stare all they wanted or move about all they wanted, but nothing they did would cause a change in the world. Their weak and feeble strength was insufficient to do anything to an entire material world. However, when a Great Adept just stared or stomped even once, the elementium directed by his Spirit would form into a force that could shake and challenge planar laws, change the colors of the sky, and shift the paths of mighty rivers.
In the past, Greem had very clear distinctions for the three, and came up with detailed lines and traits that distinguished each of them. However, when he vaguely sensed the existence of Spirit elementium in the ice pillar, the knowledge construct he had created in the past unavoidably started to fall apart.
He was fortunate that he was able to successfully transform his body into elementium when he was still an apprentice adept with the help of the Fire Lord’s Scepter. This caused his mastery over fire elementium particles to become even more skillful and practiced, allowing him to ultimately become an adept and rapidly improve into a powerful fire adept.
Many books mentioned the term ‘Spirit elementiumization’ in their discussions of future advancement for adepts. However, none of them mentioned anything on how Spirit elementiumization was supposed to be done. At one point, Greem had suspected that this was the doing of the adept clans. By cutting off access to such knowledge, the clans would be able to use it as a means to attract talent to serve them.
The only way First Grade adepts could hope to improve was to join clans with ancient adept legacies and obtain this missing knowledge from them. Otherwise, the only other path left to them was to waste year after year slowly exploring the endless darkness, trying to find a path forward.
Even though adepts had extremely long lifespans relative to mortals, their lives were still limited when compared to the infinite and endless pursuit of arcane knowledge!
Supposedly, given that Greem had only advanced to an elementium adept, he would probably have to waste the first hundred years on completing and reinforcing the elementiumization of his body. It was only one hundred years later that he would be able to start exploring the issue of the elementiumization of his Spirit. However, he had miraculously completed his body's conversion and was already starting to worry about the elementiumization of Spirit a hundred years early.
Greem would naturally expend all his efforts to explore and research when he got ahold of such a rare chance to examine Spirit elementium.
Greem's compatible attribute was with fire elementium particles, while the compatible attribute of Second Grade Adept Sir Fügen was clearly the mutated ice elementium. The massive difference in both of their attributes caused Greem to clearly feel the backlash of the plane's laws of ice when he extended his Spirit, and probed into the spirit elementium released by the ice pillar after it had been melted.
When he held the ice pillar with both hands and slowly burned it, an icy force that chilled him to the bones also started to pass through his Spirit connection and started to manifest on his body. When Greem finally let go of the ice pillar and concluded today's research, his legs had already been frozen to the ground. If he even moved a little, countless ice crystals would fall from his body.
Disregarding these external effects, even his Spirit had become visibly slower and weaker. This was clearly the effect of the chill's suppression on his talent for fire.
This was only the remnants of a spell cast by a Second Grade ice adept, yet it could already obviously suppress his talent for fire. If the opponent that Sir Fügen had fought then wasn't a Second Grade knight, but him instead, then Greem would probably have been frozen into an icicle before he could even cast a spell!
First Grade elementium adepts were only using their bodies to sense elementium particles and guiding them with their Spirit. What about Second Grade elementium adepts? What was the form of their spells and how did they cast them?
For Greem, these questions were mysteries with almost no solution!
Greem couldn't help but let out a long sigh, "I really wish I could dissect a Second Grade adept right now!"
Almost immediately after he had spoken, he shut his mouth and looked around. It was only after Greem realized that he was in the underground maze that he dug himself that he finally let out a sigh of relief. At the same time, he silently reminded himself that watching their speech was the only way the weak could protect themselves in this mysterious alternate world!
Greem quickly went into the second stone room after he exited the first one.
A tall, large human lied on this stone platform, his chest already spread apart for the world see and every hidden part of his body exposed for curious eyes. Greem had also modified the stone platform itself into a unique magic array, causing the platform to slowly guide all sorts of elementium energies into the different internal organs of that man.
Now what Greem had to do was to continuously observe and record daily the effects and changes caused by the elementium energies on the bodies' organs.
The one lying dissected on the platform was a spellbreaker knight. If he had been put into the World of Adepts, one would see him as an existence that was on par with adepts.
If Greem had dared to so boldly dissect and research an actual adept in the World of Adepts, the only fate awaiting him would most definitely be being pursued and hunted by all adepts. It was only in such an alternate world that he had the chance to capture an adept-level existence, much like himself, and dissect him like a white rat with no worries of any consequences.
He would even be allowed to conduct some of the more secretive and taboo experiments.
This might be the most appealing part of planar wars for the adepts!
Meanwhile, numerous armor fragments and some unrecognizable objects filled the entire stone platform of the third room. The knight's armor was placed at the very center of the stone platform, and it was obvious what the runic arrays within them were.
After so many bloody battles, the number of witcher-knights and spellbreaker knights that the adepts had killed and captured had reached a certain level. They were finally able to have a basic understanding of this plane’s unique runic knowledge.
In conclusion, the runic knowledge of the knights' plane was far more primitive when compared to the World of Adepts. It was only in the one area of merging runic energies with the physical body that the knights had their own unique understanding and improvements.
If the adepts were able to make this knowledge their own and performed some minor modifications and improvements, it would undoubtedly be able to allow adepts that manipulated powerful elementium powers to also possess the same durable and resilient physical prowess of the knights. This could also, in a way improve, the combat ability of the adepts themselves. As a result, this was most definitely knew knowledge that everyone sought and desired!
However, the rune shards that Greem collected only reached as high as the level of spellbreaker knights, and there was not much new knowledge that was worth analysing and building upon within them. Greem could only replace quality with quantity, collecting all sorts of different runic arrays and attempting to rely on the chip's powerful data analysis and deductive abilities to help him access a higher level of runic mystery.
Of course, this was only a side project. If he truly wanted a complete set of the knowledge about merging runic energies, he had to personally travel to the knights' kingdom to collect them.