Chapter 257 Alice Returns
McThran was dead!
A veteran adept with decent prowess had died for no reason in a completely insignificant battlefield!
This shocking truth was hard to swallow for both sides of the conflict.
Kartia Hills was a territory no bigger than sixty square kilometers, with one mid-sized and two small-sized cities, as well as seven or eight human villages. Even if all of the mansions and villages within Kartia Hills were razed and converted into its worth in magic crystals, it still wouldn't be enough to compensate for the loss of a veteran adept.
The true reason the three adept forces had allied with each other to attack was to test the waters. If the Sarubo Clan had indeed taken huge losses in the plane war, they would take a strategic retreat and voluntarily surrender some benefits that it couldn't defend. They would trade time for space to recover their strength.
In fact, such border wars happened on a daily basis within the Zhentarim area. Countless adept clans and organizations were involved in the various tussles and disagreements. However, it was extremely rare to see an adept die in one of these conflicts.
As the invading party, Carlos of the Mikayne Clan had no choice but to declare their loss. The two parties finally sat down to have a tough negotiation on the war reparations.
The conquered cities had to be returned and the raided villages had to be reimbursed. The Mikayne Clan even had to compensate the losses of the Sarubo Clan with large amounts of rare resources. As long as the Mikaynes had no intention of escalating the tensions into a full-blown clan war, the curtains would be drawn on the incident today.
As for how the Mikayne Clan was to compensate the Black Glove Association for the loss of McThran, that was their problem to deal with.
Greem and Keoghan immediately returned to Feidnan City after hastily concluding the affair.
That said, after this battle, Greem's terrifying moniker as the Flame Demon spread far and wide.
Battling two veteran adepts at once, yet still being able to forcefully exterminate one of them while he fended for himself. Such prowess was almost entirely unheard of in a newly advanced adept!
It was said that numerous adepts had personally hurried over to Locker Castle, after the conclusion of battle, to examine the marks of battle. Every adept that set their eyes upon the place put on a grave face of apprehension!
In all honesty the location was thoroughly in ruins. It was no longer a place fit for humans to live in.
It was as if a violent volcano had erupted there. One could see horrifying magma left behind after the flowing lava had cooled. There were some odd bulging magma rock formations littered across the field. If anyone cracked these open, they wouldsee barely damaged metal armor within. However, the flesh of the soldier within had completely fused with the molten armor. They couldn't ever be separated cleanly.
Locker Castle had also been badly damaged. A large portion of the castle had been melted and softened into a mud-like consistency during the fight. When the heat finally dissipated, and the rock cooled, all of the architecture had solidified into all kinds of weird shapes.
Fortunately, with the amount of reparations the Mikaynes were paying, Viscount Donald would have more than enough to build five castles.
Moreover, after this incident, all of those underlying currents that called for probing the Sarubo had been put to rest. Most of the clans and organizations that had wanted to benefit from the Sarubo's weakness had gone quiet, and resumed their stance of observing rather than attacking.
However, at the same time, Greem also drew the ire and vengeance of the Black Glove Association!
Greem did some basic research after returning to Feidnan. It turned out that the Black Glove Association was a small organization with only seven adepts. With the exception of their Association Head, who was a Second Grade adept, McThran was their most powerful First Grade adept.
Greem smiled to himself and completely disregarded the possible repercussions. That Second Grade adept couldn't possibly try and do anything to him now that he had the support of the clan. Otherwise the Third Grades of the Sarubo Clan would make short work of the Black Glove Association.
On the other hand, in his bloodlust, Greem would never back off from a fair fight between two First Grade adepts. That was why he had no reason to fear the Association.
Given Greem's massive contribution to the Locker Castle fight, Keoghan had personally took out a portion from the war reparations to compensate his losses in battle.
Twenty thousand magic crystals, five clan contribution points, large numbers of adept resources, and three adept-level elementium cores.
With these in hand, Greem chose to turtle up within the adepts' tower and work day and night to recover his fighting strength.
In all honesty, McThran's strange black smoke and Carlos' powerful curses had still left a tremendous effect on him. Greem only managed to recover to his best state after seven days, once he had completely dispelled all of the negative and malignant spells within his body.
Through the battle this time, Greem had very clearly seen his own strengths and weaknesses. This allowed him to plan the path he wished to take in the future.
Fire spells were undoubtedly the strongest in the battlefield. This had been well verified. That said, the tremendous might of fire spells couldn't be unleashed to their fullest in the small skirmishes between adepts.
One could even say that Greem had absolutely no chance of obtaining victory two against one if it hadn't been for the Fire Lord's self-destruction and the powerful instant-cast spells of the Scroll of Voodoo.
Thus, strengthening himself was the only path forward if Greem wanted to ensure his continued advantage in battle.
However, an increase in Spirit was not something that could be hastened. The only way his Spirit could increase would be through persistent daily meditations. Of course, the other way was to go searching for suitable Spirit potions or food materials with beneficial effects.
But this too was a drawn-out process that required a great deal of time!
Greem's best hope of quickly strengthening himself lied in magic golems and the runes from the knights' plane. Moreover, he had already promised the adept in the Underground World that he would visit the Castle in the Sky for the competition. There were only six more months before then.
After some careful consideration and thinking, Greem decided to first deal with those runes from the knights' plane. He would first use them to strengthen the magic runes on his body, as well as his magic golems, before delving into other things.
His trip to the other world had also reaped him plenty of resources and rare materials. He needed a period of time to settle down and accumulate missing knowledge to reinforce his foundations.
And so, for the next month, Greem didn’t show his face outside of the adepts' tower. He hid deep within it, always lingering in the magic labs and conducting his experiments.
Of course, it was not as if he had completely cut off any contact with the outside world. He still had some connections to have people run errands for him. The little loli Alice finally returned from her mission mania on the third day of his seclusion. She immediately went to find Greem.
Honestly, after three or four months apart, Alice's improvement was shocking, even to Greem. At the speed at which she was improving, she might very well advance to adept in a year and a half.
"Hand it over!" Alice extended her small hand the moment she barged into Greem's room.
"What?" Greem was confused.
"My souvenir, of course!" Alice rolled her eyes, "You went to tour another world for a whole couple of months. You couldn't possible have not brought any gifts back, could you?"
Greem was speechless.
"This… Alice, I think I'm your master! Not the other way round. You, a servant girl, want to get something good from me without doing anything? Hmmmm… "
Alice instantly switched from her pouting face to a bright smile when she heard this.
"Oh my dear master, my beloved master, is there anything the cute Alice can do for you?"
Greem's head hurt when he saw Alice's shameless transition. He let out a cold laugh and spoke, "Wouldn't you know what a servant girl can do? You grew up in nobility after all."
"Sleep with the master?" Alice let out an overjoyed laugh as she exclaimed, "Sure! Of course! What do you think about tonight? Your cute Alice will come warm your bed tonight!"
Greem planted his face into palm. He was utterly speechless now.
Even though he knew Alice was a talkative person, Greem couldn't maintain his cool and calm attitude when the one talking had the appearance of a seven-year-old loli.
He did a quick calculation. Alice was almost seventeen already. Still, it was hard to treat her as someone of similar age to himself with this loli body and face.
With how arrogant she was, Greem would have long tossed her aside if she was any less talented. However, having personally witnessed the wonder of a top-tier fate-wielding 'scammer', Greem couldn't help but be intrigued by the title Alice bore on her back. The title of the 'Witch of Fate'.
If… he was able to personally train a prophet that was loyal to his cause, it would have tremendous significance for his future development.
It was precisely because of this thought that Greem had immense hopes for Alice. Greem wouldn't be ungenerous if it meant a chance to forge a good relationship between her and himself.
Greem raised his head and thought for a moment. The only thing he had that seemed to be useful to her yet not appear too stingy would probably be that!
Having come to this thought, Greem waved his hand. All of the magic barriers within his dwelling were instantly activated. A layer of light radiance appeared everywhere on the walls, the ceiling, and even the floor. Now, even the fellows who had absolute authority of the tower couldn't listen in on his secret without alerting Greem's sensory detections.
"You… what do you want… to do?" Alice took a step backwards frantically. Her hands grabbed her collar tightly, and her eyes darted about the room as if she was terrified.
"Hmph! Only ghosts would be interested in that beansprout-like body of yours!" Greem commented in an upset tone, "You wanted a gift, didn't you? Here, this is my gift to you!"
Greem took out a gray pouch and very reluctantly passed it to Alice.
"All's good as long as you are not setting your sights on me! What's this? It looks really ugly… " Alice pinched her nose while picking up the pouch with two fingers.
The pouch clearly was not any sort of magic-infused item. It was just a normal pouch sewn from rough linen. Not only was it old and in tatters, there was even a stuffy and rotten smell coming from within.
Alice instantly lost all confidence in its contents with how unpresentable the pouch was.
She pinched her nose, pushed back her disgust and took out a strange grey stone the size of a fist from within the pouch.
"This is the gift you brought me from another plane? A stupid stone!"
Alice rolled her eyes and threw the stone aside.
However, at the very moment the gray stone left her palm, it drew a brilliant silver line across the air. Before the stone even reached the ground, the silver line started to vibrate, and a small opening had opened in the space in front of Greem's and Alice's eyes. The stone moved as if it had a brain of its own. In the blink of an eye, it had almost vanished into a space wormhole and disappeared from this plane.
Alice's sharp voice finally rang out.