Chapter 277 Arrival at the Union
The harpy head witch was extremely fast!
There was no way Greem could possibly escape her grasp at the speed at which she was lunging at him.
Thus Greem stopped moving. His fire elementium started to boil and surge around his body. Just half a second more, and Greem would be able to turn into elementium and teleport from the spot.
Unfortunately a stunning scream found its way into his ears right as he was about to complete his spell.
Greem stumbled as he lost control over his body, which had just turned into flames. He had failed to escape in time.
The head witch's cool hand gripped his body before he could calm himself down and think of anything else. Violent lightning energies surged into Greem's body, instantly crippling him and taking away every ounce of strength he had left in his body.
The head witch grabbed his body and quickly dashed towards the crumbling space rift.
Greem barely managed to regather his scattered thoughts during this short buffer. He looked at the space rift right before his eyes and used what was left of his strength to wave his Fire Lord’s Scepter. He then activated the small spell he had prepared in advance.
Boom. A muffled explosion rang out.
The Fire Deity suddenly appeared on the deck.
Before it could even announce its arrival upon this realm with a massive roar, its flaming body was replaced by Greem's tall figure. The Fire Deity mysteriously appeared in the witch's hand and was brought along into the spatial rift.
Fire Deity Summon!
This wasn't a teleportation spell of the spatial magic series. Rather, it was a flame golem substitution that was completed using the mental signature left on the Fire Deity.
The head witch almost seemed to have realized the change at the moment she charged into the spatial rift. However, she could no longer stop the momentum of her body. She and the other harpy witch disappeared into the spatial rift, and the pitch-black vortex finally closed.
The hole on the defensive barrier had finally disappeared as well.
The floating battleship shook vigorously for a moment. Ferocious and violent runic energies surged out of the core of the ship, reinforcing the defensive abilities by a hundred, even a thousand fold, completely wiping out the spatial disturbances left behind by the harpies.
The harpies outside the boat seemed to have received an order. They quickly scattered in every direction, screeching as they did so. They beat their gray wings and flew every which way as they retreated from the battle.
For a moment, the entire sky was filled with gray silhouettes. The mutated harpy witches were mixed within the crowd, making it hard for the adepts to identify the culprits of the earlier attack!
Peace returned to the battleship a short moment's latter. The shrouded sun once again shone upon the adepts.
They looked at each other aimlessly, still stunned from the terrifying attack that had occurred earlier.
What happened just now?
Everything was going smoothly! They were doing their best to slaughter the reckless harpies, how did… how did a couple of harpy witches break inside of the barrier and kill… no, abduct six of them?!
Greem was in shock as well. Even the Flame Fiend's Heart that had been sealed in his chest started to beat rapidly, causing his blood itself to boil intensely. He had to expend a lot of his energy before he was able to suppress the fiery riot happening within his body. It was a long time before he calmed down.
When he turned his head to gaze at the distance, he could no longer see the harpies’ fleeing silhouettes on the horizon. The adepts looked around the deck. There were six less adepts on the ship, and some of them were acquaintances of other adepts that were taking this trip.
Greem was still confused about the harpies abducting the human adepts, but the chip quickly filled in the details with its large library of knowledge.
The harpies were an usual race. There were only females in their tribe, but never males. This meant that the harpy kingdom was a kingdom of females. There wasn't a single guy that lived with the harpies. Thus, they had to rely on other races if they wanted to mate and leave offsprings for the tribe!
The harpies were usually isolationist creatures. It was only when an individual harpy had reached mating season that they would go out to hunt for males of other races. They would then catch them and bring them back as mates. The harpies might seem absolutely weak and pathetic, but their genes were extremely strong and resilient. It didn't matter what sort of odd race they mated with, the offspring would always be a harpy of pure bloodline.
Of course, some adept scholars believed in another theory; a theory that the offspring of the harpies were of mixed descent. However they would abandon all the offspring with impure bloodlines, choosing to rear only those with pure bloodlines. This was how they managed to retain the purity of the tribe's bloodline!
According to ancient texts, the offspring of harpy witches and human adepts were more likely to have magical talent.
As such, there were many cases of human males being abducted as mating tools in areas close to harpy settlements. However cases like today, where they actually succeeded in abducting adepts, had never been heard of!
All the adepts on board couldn't help but cast their gazes at the coordinating Silver Union adept.
"Are we not pursuing them? Are we letting them take away our companions just like that? " An adept couldn't help but demand angrily.
"How do we chase them? Where do we chase them to?" The face of the Silver Union adept instantly soured, "These are the depths of the Black Forest! Any change to the flight path could spell doom for this ship. Do you really think that we should invade the harpy kingdom for the sake of some unfortunate fools? There are over ten thousand harpies and over a thousand harpy witches there… "
The adepts fell silent!
Everyone was upset about the situation. Yet the moment that the thought of death crossed their minds, any dissatisfaction or ideas of saving their allies quickly vanished.
The Silver Union adept turned and eyed Greem. He nodded and said, "You are very lucky!"
He then announced loudly, "The Silver Union will be responsible for the compensation of the clans and organizations those adepts belonged to. However, all of you should already have prepared yourself for such an outcome the moment you stepped on this ship. We will try our best to fix the loopholes in our defensive barrier. We assure you that such a thing will not happen again! … "
The silver-robed adept continued to ramble on with an encouraging and motivating speech, but all of the adepts were still frowning deeply. They had lost all their confidence for the journey forward.
Just then, the Second Grade adept of the Silver Union emerged from under the deck. He took a long cold look at everyone.
"I know what you are afraid of! I can represent the Silver Union in giving you our word. The same thing will never happen again. To think that two mutated harpy witches had appeared amongst the ranks of the harpies, and that one of them was the rarely seen space caster. This was completely out of our expectations. I have already made the necessary modifications to the array. It is absolutely impossible for them to launch another attack like that one. So everyone can put aside your concerns, and we can continue on our way!"
Having said that, the Second Grade adept went back under the deck, returning to the core control room.
The adepts could only look at each other helplessly. There was nothing they could do but accept the reality before them. One by one they returned to their rooms to rest.
Greem smiled as he listened to Adept Angus' words of care and concern, before silently returning to his room.
It was only when Greem locked the door and sealed the room with a simple magical array that he betrayed his true feelings. His face fell, and the smile was replaced with a frown. He sat on the crude wooden chair as he recalled the fight earlier.
If he had been slightly weaker, or even without his preparations in advance, all of his ambitions would have gone down the drain. He would be reduced to the terrible state of being a mating tool of the harpy witches!
A massive kingdom of over a thousand harpy witches. There didn't need to be too many adolescent witches amongst their ranks. One tenth of them would mean a hundred harpy witches waiting to mate with you. Moreover, the rate of pregnancy with adepts was never high. They were beings with extremely low rates of birth. Thus, if once wasn't enough, then twice, and thrice…
Just thinking of the nightmarish hell of being a prisoner and mating slave was enough to make Greem cringe in fear. He could feel the muscles on his face start to twitch uncontrollably. An unrestrained anger filled his heart. He was so frustrated that he just wanted to go out on a killing spree.
Greem instantly identified this as a side effect of the corruption from the abyssal aura. He didn't dare to delay. He quickly took out several vials from his belt and swallowed their contents.
These were all potions that could calm the nerves and suppress his emotions. Even though drinking them in large doses would cause certain side effects, Greem knew his emotions were running out of control, and was not going to fret over some insignificant consequences.
Perhaps the accident in the harpy's territory hadn't been an accident, but a premeditated attack. This was why the battleship's journey was unusually smooth and unobstructed after the harpies had succeeded in their abduction. The adepts quickly and successfully left from the harpy kingdom.
Fifteen days later, the floating battleship passed by the territory of the Forest Spirits.
Both parties clashed in a tremendous fight, and the battleship managed to charge through the place, suffering some damage in the process.…
One month later, the floating battleship passed through the Frost Giant's territory.
Once more, they were able to forcefully make their way across using the resilient defenses of the ship…
Two months later, the battleship was attacked by a large flock of thunder rocs at the final danger zone along their flight path.
The defensive barrier had even been breached twice.
Two adepts died before they managed to drive away the enemies…
Finally, on the seventy second day since the adepts boarded the floating battleship, they passed through the Black Forest. They had finally arrived in the territory controlled by the Silver Union.
The floating battleship dragged its broken body across the sky, slowly cruising out of the Black Forest.
Greem stood at the bow of the ship, gazing at the plains in the distance. The everlasting stretch of black was slowly fading away, replaced by the long-awaited green plains and brown earth.
A tall adept’s tower stood silently in the horizon. The striking brilliance of magical arrays flowed along the length of its structure. Several magical ripples scanned the entire area. A small watchtower had been placed every few kilometers along the edge of the Black Forest. A weak magical flux could be felt emanating from them.
The massive adept’s tower and the smaller watchtowers worked together, forming a defensive web to protect this land that humans so desperately needed to survive.
Several black shadows appeared in the distant skies, as if they had discovered the ship.
A group of adepts riding on gigantic eagles were hurrying over!
The Silver Union adept appeared in front of everyone once again. He announced loudly and excitedly, "My friends that have come from faraway places, and journeyed over such long distances, welcome to the territories of the Silver Union.
"The Silver Union welcomes your arrival!"
Editor Ryu: Alternative Bad End to Age of Adepts- Greem is captured by harpies and sentenced to Death By Snu Snu. Real Old Wolf ends AoA and starts his spinoff series, Age of Acteon. Gross bug action abounds.