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Chapter 281 Combat Ability Assessment

They sped through the streets.

The carriage afforded them a perfect view of the scenery outside.

Dark and moist caves, twisting and slanted wooden huts, tall fortresses of solid stone, alchemical castles full of mystical elements… everyone felt like they had walked into a city of fantasy. They could see mysterious and strange buildings everywhere along the streets.

There were plenty of people walking to and from some of the buildings. These places were extremely lively. On the other hand, some of these buildings were too scary and grim and there weren't very many customers walking into them. There were even some buildings that had such bizarre designs that it was hard to even determine their purpose…



It was clear that the Silver Union hadn't set any regulations on these lands after they sold them. If someone wanted to turn it into a shop after they bought it, it was their choice! Turn it into a warehouse? They could do as they like! There was absolutely no problem either if they wanted to temporarily convert the building into a haunted house!

As long as you paid your rent on time, and ensured that your business did not, in any way, compromise the Castle in the Sky, no one cared what you did on your own land.

This was probably the main reason for all of the peculiar architecture in the outer circle!

The Castle in the Sky was split into the inner circle, the central circle, and the outer circle. The respective areas they took up was in a ratio of 1:3:6. The outer circle had the most surface area among the three. The total number of shops leased to the non-Union members numbered three hundred and forty eight.

This might seem like a lot, but it was a meager amount when split between everyone on the Continent that wanted one of the shops.

The demand for land was extremely competitive, especially when you considered the parties involved in the competition. There were plenty of terrifying individuals who didn't belong to any adept organization who were looking for a place to settle here. These fellows were often powerful Second Grade adepts who weren't willing to be subjected to the restraints and obligations of belonging to a group. There were even Third Grade adepts among these people.

Thus, it was particularly important to be cautious about every single inconspicuous person and shop you saw in the outer circle. If you had no idea of their background and identity, it was best to not offend them. Manners should always be upheld. A slight misstep and you could offend one of these powerful individuals keeping a low profile. These people had plenty of tricks up their sleeves to kill you without being found out.

The alchemical cart slowly stopped before the Byron Clan's shop.

"Two magic crystals!" The alchemical steed turned around and spoke in human tongue.

Greem was surprised for a moment, but quickly tossed two magic crystals in the horse's direction. They swallowed the crystals and slowly galloped away.

An apprentice was already waiting on the spot. The Byron crest pinned on his chest told Greem that this was the right location. The apprentice quickly led Greem and his party into the backyard. Most of the shops here served several purposes at once. The front of the buildings were stores, while the backs were constructed as residences.

Byron Materials!

The store's name was simple and efficient. The main products of the store were the unique resources from the Underground World. In particular, the most valuable materials they sold were the Nighteye Stones and Ghost Mushrooms.

A middle-aged female adept was waiting for Greem in the backyard. Her appearance was fairly mediocre, but the red robe she was wearing was extremely eye-catching. However, what stood out even more was her strength!

Greem was slightly shocked for a moment when he saw her for the first time. He quickly walked forward to greet her with the proper adept’s greeting.

Even the usually bold and audacious Alice was being respectful. She dragged Snorlax all the way to the other side. She didn't dare to even eavesdrop on the conversation between the two adepts.

"You are the golem master that Angus hired? You seem really young, aren't you?!" The female adept in the red robe asked coldly.

"My greetings to Lady Nunnally! I am Greem, an adept of the Sarubo Clan."

"You don't seem to be an esoteric adept!"

"Indeed, my Lady! I am an elementium adept. It was only because of my unique insights on elementium golem creation that I caught the eye of Adept Angus."

"Elementium golems? Those things probably aren't as powerful as metallic golems, are they? Do you have any confidence in the esoteric duel this time?" Even though the red-robed lady was a Second Grade adept, she was extremely hesitant when it came to these specialized areas of knowledge.

"Adept Angus has already informed me of the situation on the way here. It seems something has happened to the duel… "

"Nothing has changed!" The red-robed female adept replied firmly, "They were far too demanding with their conditions. There is no way we could have accepted them! The duels will continue. Now, I ask you, do you have any confidence of beating the enemy's golem knight?"

"My lady, I wish to take a look at the statistics and abilities of the enemy's golem before I give you my answer." Greem put some thought into it, but didn't give a direct answer.

"This is for you!" Lady Nunnally tossed an image-recording crystal to Greem, and gave a frigid ultimatum, "You have a single night to think this over. Give me an answer tomorrow morning. If you are not confident in beating the opponent, we will have to find some way to get an actual esoteric master to represent us!"

Esoteric masters were specialized adepts. A golem master who was an esoteric master would be someone who had already decided on golem creation as his main profession. These people might be extremely weak themselves, but all of their golem creations were extremely powerful.

Trying to hire an esoteric master within the Castle in the Sky was a very difficult task! The number of resources and favors that needed to be called in was unbelievable. If the Byron Clan had to resort to this measure, their victory would be an agonizing one. They would probably have to give up all of the store's income for the next ten years to pay back the debt they would accrue in doing so.

However, this shop was a crucial existence for the Byron Clan.

Other than the profits from selling resources from the Nigond area, the shop was also a shortcut for the Byron Clan when purchasing resources from all over the continent. All of the adept resources used within the clan would probably be cut in half the moment they lost this foothold at the Castle in the Sky.

It would be ten times harder for the clan to cultivate their adepts then.

This was extremely disadvantageous for the development of an adept clan!

The Second Grade adept of the Byron Clan was understandably nervous and upset about this whole affair.

Nightfall.

Greem hid within the residence that the Byron Clan had prepared for him, earnestly and carefully browsing through all the contents within the image-recording crystal.

Contained within the crystal was an image recording of the opponent's golem knight in action.

The battle didn't last very long, but it was enough for the chip to glean large amounts of useful information for Greem to use.

The chip successfully retrieved the basic statistics and attributes of the golem knight after combing several times through the details.

Golem Knight. 

Combat Golem. Awakened Construct. 

Three meters in height. 

Made entirely with some sort of metal that gleamed a dark black color. The appearance of the golem was that of a knight's. It had heavy armor, a shield in its left hand and a sword in its right. Its melee combat abilities were far superior when compared to ordinary magical statues and golems.

Basic Attributes: Strength 14 Agility 9 Physique 12 Spirit 7 ...... 

This was a combat golem that had undergone several modifications and enhancements. Not only did it have an immortal body made of magical alloy, it even possessed terrifying amounts of strength. However, the most troublesome aspect of the golem was its intelligence insane combat instincts!

Indeed, this cold and metallic golem made purely of magical alloy surprisingly possessed elementary intelligence. Calling such a thing a magical golem was a slight to its true nature. The more suitable name for it was a construct lifeform.

A construct lifeform that had undergone several construct awakenings. A construct lifeform that possessed elementary human intelligence. Of course, if it was able to raise its intelligence that much more, pushing its Spirit from seven points to eleven points, it would immediately go from a construct lifeform to a metallic lifeform.

A unique lifeform with metal for a body and elementium energy for blood– a metallic lifeform!

Construct lifeforms were still considered as servants of adepts. However, a metallic lifeform was of equal status to the adepts.

Ordinary golems couldn't possibly possess intelligence. Their creators would have to mix in some powerful spiritual consciousness during the Construct Awakening to create a certain chance of the golem awakening to elementary intelligence. It wasn't possible to create intermediate intelligence with any magical means known to adept-kind. The golems would have to slowly evolve and improve upon their intelligence to raise it to intermediate.

The Golem Knight shown in the image crystal didn't just seem to possess elementary intelligence. It even seemed to have retained some battle techniques belonging to actual knights. This was a clear indication of the golem’s origin. The spirit consciousness that the opposing esoteric adept had awakened in the body of the Golem Knight was most definitely the soul of a high-grade knight.

Moreover, it would have to at least be a Second Grade knight!

It was virtually impossible to find such a powerful knight on the Continent of Adepts. The soul could only have come from a lesser plane.

Moreover, the enemy spared no cost or resources when constructing the golem. Even the shield and sword it held in its hands were rare, valuable products.

The heavy tower shield was mainly made using Mansordar Alloy, famed for its resilience and toughness. The magical resistant Star Iron was mixed into the shield, allowing it to have fearsome physical and magical defensive abilities.

The knight's longsword was made purely of eternium. It might be slightly softer when compared to the Mansordar Alloy, but it was an extremely good conductor of magical energy. The sword made it very easy for the golem to cast its battle techniques. The edge of the sword had even been plated with a layer of adamantite, giving it basic Piercing and Armor Reduction effects.

Honestly, this sword and shield pair could already be considered as elementary magical weapons. They were so much more powerful than the usual magic-infused weapons.

Even Greem wasn't as confident as he had been after witnessing the impressive performance of the Golem Knight.

Just the rare metals used in creating the Golem Knight would cost at least 70,000 magic crystals. If we were to include the time and effort put into its creation, along with the soul of the Second Grade knight, the golem alone would cost a 120,000 magic crystals at the very least.

The Second Grade Molten Giant Core that Greem had used in creating the Infernal Tyrant couldn't possibly sell for more than fifty thousand magic crystals.

Even though Greem was reluctant to do so, he had to admit that his Infernal Tyrant didn't seem to have a chance against the Golem Knight, even when considering his odds from every perspective and every angle.

Just the amount of resources spent on their creations was enough to tell of the massive difference in their abilities!

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