Chapter 271 Plan and Preparation
The discussion with Angus lasted through the night.
Greem had managed to grasp a basic understanding of the rules of the duel. In general, there were two ways in which a Golem Master’s Duel could be carried out. The first was the mass melee, where numbers decided the victor. The second was the golem duel, where quality was key to winning.
Every golem master had an upper limit to their Spirit. The number of golems they could control simultaneously was limited by their Spirit. Thus, the mass melee duel was a test of the golem master’s Spirit limit and their control over the golems with the limited Spirit they had.
They second form of the duel, the golem duels, was the one that was most preferred by the majority of the golem masters.
The two opposing golem masters would send a single golem each. The elaborate golems they painstakingly crafted would then battle on the stage, much like a duel between humans. The golem that was more powerful and better crafted would be the victor.
Of course, this was also a test of the golem master’s skill at crafting golems. The more skillful and powerful golem masters would always be able to imbue their golem with more strength and combat prowess. However, it was in truth a test of financial strength. The more money the clan had, the better the quality of the golem.
A terrifying golem crafted purely of Underground Wrought Gold would destroy a golem made of ordinary magical metal, even if the difference in their crafters' skill was astronomical. Even a master wouldn't be able to beat a rookie if he had a colossal amount of rare materials to work with.
According to Angus, the Gerto Clan that had challenged them this year had recently been stockpiling all sorts of rare metals. It was rumored that the opponent was secretly crafting a unique combat golem for the sole purpose of winning the duel this time. That said, the Byron Clan hadn't been able to get any specifics.
After Greem parted with Angus, he immediately locked himself into the stone room. He started an intense research of this profession known as golem master.
Of course, golem master was just the general name for adepts of professions of similar types. If one was to be detailed about the specific professions, they could probably churn out a dozen different branches of golem masters. They crafted a huge range of things. From animated statues, to magical puppets, mechanical constructs, robotic beasts, alchemical lifeforms, biological creations, elementium golems, magic-driven machines and many more…
The difference between each and every branch might not be obvious to an outsider. However, from the perspective of a golem master, every single branch had massive differences in their very nature.
For example, the golems crafted by Greem–who was, frankly speaking, only half of a true golem master–was completely distinct from animated statues and magical puppets.
Usually, animated statues and magical puppets consumed various precious magical metals in the process of their creation. Good magical conductors were used to craft the core of the puppets, while strong magical resistors were used to forge an unbreakable body for the puppet.
Humanoid joints, actuating mechanisms, hidden energy channels and delicate control circuitry… these made a proper magical puppet.
The energy source that powered these puppets was the energy crystal embedded within their bodies– these were the magic crystals so often used as currency.
Compared to the magic golems, these puppets often featured tangible and solid bodies. The true job of a golem master was designing the intricate patterns and arrays that went into the internal structure of the puppet. The better the connection between the core and the rest of the body, the more agile and smooth the movements of these heavy and colossal puppets.
A magic golem was, as its name implied, nothing more than an elementium golem.
They had no tangible bodies before they were summoned, only a summoning core carved full of complex magical arrays. They relied on their core to gather wandering elementium energies to create their temporal forms. The magical arrays would draw from their surroundings, then shape the elementium into the desired form of their bodies.
From a perspective focused purely on strength, a magic golem was clearly far inferior to the animated statues and magical puppets. This was because these animated beings often had actual tangible bodies that were tough and resilient. That said, magic golems had an advantage that magical puppets could never hope to possess– the ease of transport.
Magic golems could disperse their temporal forms when they weren't needed. They could turn into a crystal the size of a pigeon's egg, perfect for carrying about in a pocket. On the other hand, animated statues and magical puppets easily went up to four or five meters in height. They were often gigantic metallic creatures with tremendous weight that reached a dozen tons. Moreover, they couldn't be folded or shrunk in size.
There was no way you could drag them along with you on your adventures, regardless of how powerful they were. A tremendous number of magic crystals had to be burned just for them to walk. The consumption would go up exponentially if they ever engaged in combat.
This was why animated statues and magical puppets were often only used as static defense.
They could patrol and guard castles and towers, and in doing so, prevent enemy attacks. They were much more efficient compared to adepts or human guards when it came to this particular job. They could even recharge using the energy pool within the adept facilities when they rested. This would save a large number of magic crystals for the golem master.
However, Greem had heard rumors of a unique spatial storage tool that could be used to store animated statues and magical puppets. Only the most powerful and skillful golem masters could craft this magical gear. They were known as golem talismans. However, these golem talismans cost a lot to make. They were almost as expensive as the most powerful of golems. As a result, these talismans wouldn't possibly find their way into widespread manufacture and use. They could only be used to carry powerful elite golems.
All of these reasons combined was the reason Greem believed magical golems were more suited to him.
However, when it came to a duel with an actual golem master, cost and transport were no longer factors that mattered. The only important thing was the combat effectiveness of the golems.
Both of the participating parties were First Grade adepts. They couldn't possibly create magical beings that exceeded their own Grade. In this particular case, the lack of a stable and resilient form would be a definite disadvantage for a magical golem when it was pit against a metallic puppet. If Greem wanted to obtain the final victory, avoiding a frontal clash was the only way forward!
Even though Greem was extremely confident in the Infernal Tyrant, he felt it was best to prepare some strategies for the upcoming battle. After all, it was hard to predict what kind of situation might occur during the fight. Otherwise there was a possibility of the Infernal Tyrant losing. Especially if it faced a golem crafted of precious metals that it couldn't damage.
After all, absolute strength would be able to crush any sort of fancy tricks and maneuvers!
Time was always precious for an adept!
Three days of waiting might be tiresome for an ordinary person, but this wasn't enough time for an adept engulfed in his research to even take a nap.
Three days later, a new flying ship arrived, bringing with it fifteen adepts.
And thus, having gathered a sufficient number of adepts, the floating battleship quickly took off!
The battleship had much more room compared to the flying ship. However, most of the room was reserved for the massive amounts of cargo it was carrying. What was left of the space was also used for the much needed war machines. The rooms that the adepts stayed in wrtr still as small as they were on the flying ship.
The adepts were both the guests and the guardians of this ship.
There were only five Silver Union adepts stationed on every floating battleship. Moreover, their job was mostly maintenance and management rather than combat. If the battleship fell under attack during its journey, it was the responsibility and obligation of the adepts onboard to defend it.
Every single adept on board had already signed the relevant magical contract with regards to this.
If an adept refused to help when needed, the Silver Union would have the right to exile them from the ship. It didn't matter how powerful of an adept you were. Your fate would be sealed the moment you were thrown off the ship!
Alice grumbled unhappily when she heard of the terms Greem had to agree to, "Those Silver Unions adepts are way too calculating! Isn't this basically double-dipping? They take your money and make you a free bodyguard for their ship at the same time!"
Snorlax nodded vigorously as well, fiercely expressing his approval of Alice's statement.
Greem smiled and said, "This is their territory. Of course we have to play by their rules. Be a little more careful, you two. Try not to make such offensive statements once we reach the Castle in the Sky. Otherwise, even I can't save you if you anger the Silver-Robed executors!"
Angus curiously observed this trio.
An adept, a pseudo-adept, and an odd green goblin!
With such a massive difference in their statuses, it was hard to imagine how they came together.
In the World of Adepts, only adepts of equal status were worthy of association. The rest could be reduced to servants or human resources. There was no possibility of equal status between different classes.
An adept might appear to be caring and kind to a pseudo-adept. However, this pseudo-adept would have to be his disciple or his direct blood relative. There was no possibility of good treatment outside of this.
As for an adept talking nicely to a green goblin? The only far-fetched possibility where this could occur would be in the case of an experiment. After all, you wouldn't want to frighten your test subject and ruin your experiment!
However, the scene before him was clearly out of the norm.
The newly advanced Adept Greem was clearly interacting with that pseudo-adept girl and that green goblin on a fairly equal level. This was seen as a humiliating act in the eyes of most adepts.
Greem had only just advanced to an adept after all. Perhaps he had yet to discard his past habits and attitudes. He would probably change once he had gotten used to the life of an adept!
Adept Angus told himself so. He didn't step forward to correct Greem’s 'mistake'.
All of the cargo the battleship needed to transport was already within the ship. The moment the number of adepts was sufficient, the passengers started to board the battleship.
This was the first time in his life that Greem had seen so many adepts gathered together.
Even the mobilization of the Sarubo Clan’s full force during the last planar war had not reached such terrifying numbers. Only two or three dozen adepts had appeared on the battlefield back then. Today, however, all kinds of adepts of odd appearance and fashion had appeared before him. They wore clothes of all kinds, leather armor, magic armor, and metal armor, forming a massive crowd. Yet despite their numbers and their status, they quietly queued up in an orderly fashion as they boarded the battleship.
This… was a shocking sight to behold! Greem could feel the dryness in his mouth and tongue as he witnessed this scene!
If you lived like a hermit in a small and rural territory, your status as an adept would afford you an extravagant life of luxury. A life of debauchery that trumped even those of the nobles. You would be the center of attention during the banquets and feasts, the target of affection of the beautiful noblewomen and pretty ladies.
Wine and beauties. Absolute power. All of this would go to your head, causing you to believe yourself to be the ruler of this world.
However, it was only when you stepped out of this cage of your own making, and travel to this place, that you would realize the truth. You were just as insignificant as you used to be as an apprentice adept.