Chapter 284 The Unpredictable Witch
"Beep. Detecting intrusion of unknown forcefield. Host's Spiritual senses are rapidly weakening."
"Beep. Detecting dangerous high-energy magical lifeform closing in. Recommending the host keep distance from said lifeform."
"Beep. Detecting foreign mental-suppression-causing intimidation effects on the host. Requesting instructions from host. Counter-attack?"
"Beep. Detecting… "
Liana's death threat rang in his ear, and the chip in his mind continued to beep ceaselessly. Repeated alarm bells went off in his head, almost driving him insane.
However, it was precisely the danger and urgency of the situation that caused Greem's Spirit to become even sharper and more focused.
Greem was surprised at what he was seeing. His elementium sight provided him feedback based on the enemy's hostility. The entire Mushroom Cottage was painted a bright red, as every single possible minion of the witch was glowing crimson. However, only the old witch's crooked and short body was reflected in his vision as… a huge yellow spot!
Red represented hostility. The deeper the color, the greater the hostility of the enemy. Green represented friendliness, while yellow was neutrality. Yellow meant that the opponent didn't have any strong opinions towards him.
How was this possible!
The old witch was literally placing him at the brink of death. It seemed like she was able to kill him the very next second. How was it possible that she was neutral towards him?
As Greem was still stuck hesitating, the yellow spot quickly started to turn red.
It seemed Greem's hesitation had angered her and cause her to slowly become more and more hostile towards him!
No. No. This old witch's goal isn't as simple at this. She wasn't too keen or eager on killing him, even after discovering that Alice had signed a slave contract with him. She was still neutral. It was only when he started hesitating that she actually contemplated killing him...
Greem's mind rapidly turned as he scoured his heart for every single tradition and secret of the Witches of Despair that he knew of.
Greem asked probingly, "Will Lady Liana let me go if I willingly let go of this contract?"
The old witch might have the odd ability to force the magical contract to materialize, but there was no way she had any way to change the contents of the contract.
After all, magical contracts were fundamental rules protected by the planar laws. It was only when the two parties involved in the contract willingly gave up on the contract that it could be dispelled. Even a Great Adept had no means of bypassing the planar laws to modify or get rid of the contents of a contract.
Greem had merely expressed his intent to give up on the contract and he could already see Liana turning into a bright red spot under his hostility vision.
"Very good! Very good!" The old witch's voice suddenly became gentle, "You can let go of the contract now. Once the contract disappears, the girl stays, and you can leave with the Dead Soul's Water!"
If it wasn't for the chip's amazing hostility sensor, Greem might actually have been tricked by her facade. The old witch might have expressed approval, and even squeezed out an ugly smile, but Greem knew the truth. He could feel the shivers running down his spine as he gained a perfect understanding of her true feelings.
Now that he knew what she was looking for, Greem immediately acted without hesitation.
"Uelr Ar!" Greem made a grabbing motion with his left hand as he shouted. The Scroll of Voodoo silently appeared in his hand. The thick grimoire instantly opened, and its tough kraft paper pages rapidly flipped over and over. Soon the book stopped on a certain page.
Scarlet light glowed on the book. One by one, each and every rune, symbol, line, and image on the page started to glow. The shape of a boiling fireball rapidly appeared above the page. Crimson radiance gathered about and filled the shape. The silhouette slowly turned into a real fireball. A fearsome, one meter in diameter fireball.
Greem guided it with his Spirit, the Explosive Fireball instantly locking onto the old witch and her sinister smile. It whistled as it was launched across the air.
There was less than five meters between the two. The fireball was fast and furious. It had appeared before the ugly witch almost the very instant it was fired.
At the same time, Greem waved his left hand and pushed Alice towards the door of the Mushroom Cottage. He whispered silently and quickly, "You leave first. I'll follow after you as soon as I can. Hurry… "
Alice was completely stunned and confused by what was happening.She turned around to look in a daze as she ran towards the door.
All of these actions might have seemed extremely complicated and lengthy, but it lasted no more than two or three seconds for everyone involved.
The adepts were known for their Spirit. The speed of their thought processes were much faster than the average person. The extreme detail their Spiritual senses could go into allowed them to think and move extremely quickly. While the ordinary person might still be stuck in thought, an adept would already have gone through seven or eight lines of thought and would already be putting those thoughts into action.
Greem continued to monitor the old witch's reaction through the chip's sensors.
There was a powerful forcefield around the witch. There was no way the chip could see through the forcefield and observe anything about her intent. However, when the witch was using every bit of her Spiritual strength to suppress and beat down Greem's Spiritual senses, the chip was able to use the minor and subtle changes in the Spirits and elementium around them to do a quick, basic analysis on her intent.
An ability that afforded Greem such detail might not be very useful in an actual battle.
With how powerful the Second Grade Liana was, Greem couldn't possibly endure a single Second Grade spell. Even if he was able to analyze the enemy's intent, would it matter? He still wouldn't be able to block or dodge the attacks.
The difference in their strength remained!
Combat techniques and experience only mattered in a battle between equals. A battle with someone above his Grade? That was an act of pure suicide!
Greem's use of the chip to monitor Liana's hostility wasn't for the purpose of winning the fight. It was to verify his theory on the witch's actions!
As expected, when Greem 'courageously' attacked Liana, the hostility coming from her quickly dissipated. And when Greem tried his best to 'protect' Alice and let her leave, all of the remaining hostility disappeared. The yellow color was even starting to shift towards a light green, indicative of friendliness.
Bingo. He made the right gamble!
Greem was rejuvenated by the sight of this. He immediately turned and ran without hesitation.
Now that the stage had been set, it was up to the old witch on how to conclude the act!
A short moment later, Greem and Alice were bound by the terrifying black python and brought back to the witch.
To Greem's shock and horror, the fearsome black python was also a Second Grade magical creature. Moreover, it seemed to be Liana's magical pet. It shook and its tail, and its black and scaled snake's tail extended up to a dozen meters. It easily bound Greem, who had lost all his spellcasting ability, and dragged him back along with Alice.
The Explosive Fireball that Greem fired from his Scroll of Voodoo was swallowed by the black python in a single bite. The fireball exploded, and the only thing that happened was some slight black smoke came out of its nostrils.
It had swallowed and devoured an explosive fireball and had not sustained a single injury. Greem was utterly terrified. His confidence that came from killing a Second Grade knight on the knight's plane was instantly shattered into a million pieces.
Dammit! Why was there such a massive difference between Second Grades from the World of Adepts, and the Second Grades of other planes!?
"Not bad! Kehkehkeh… " A frightening smile appeared on the old witch's face, "To raise a hand against a Second Grade adept for a little brat. No wonder this little brat was so willing to be your slave! Not bad. Not bad. Not bad at all… "
Confused expressions appeared on Greem's and Alice's faces. They were completely dazzled by what was happening.
However, only one was truly confused. The other one was just putting up an act!
The old witch Liana looked at the two people staring at her in confusion and leapt off the wooden bench with difficulty. She walked to the wooden table. She held a long staff in one hand, and lifted the black robe dragging against the ground with the other. She narrowed her eyes as she assessed the two, before nodding in satisfaction.
"I know both of you are extremely confused. Still, this old hag doesn't have that much time to explain to either of you. Hey. Kid. Your little maid will need to stay here at my place for up to ten days. You can come and fetch her ten days later! I'll properly educate her on how to become a true witch in this time! And you… can leave."
Witch Liana waved the staff in her hand and Greem felt light flash before his eyes.
He found himself standing alone at the entrance of the swamp the very next second.
With a black pot in his arms!
Greem raised his head. The mist was getting heavier. It was hard to see through the Swamp of Darkness anymore. A complex and indescribable feeling was betrayed in his eyes.
A short moment later, he shook his head and left.
Seven days later.
As a specialized arena for esoteric duels, Guriad Arena was famous throughout the outer circle. Many esoteric adepts loved to come here and settle their disagreements with a good duel.
Today, the Byron Clan from the Zhentarim Dagon area and the Gerto Clan from the north of the Silver Union's territory were using a golem duel to fight over possession of the right to stay in the Castle in the Sky.
If the Gerto Clan won, the Byron Clan would lose their last outpost in the Castle in the Sky. They would no longer have any ability to purchase resources from the very center of the Silver Union. If the Byron Clan won, the Gerto Clan would have to pay massive compensations as the challenging party.
It was said that the amount of resources at stake was enough to bankrupt a small clan!
That was why this particular golem duel had drawn the attention of numerous shop owners and adepts stationed in the city.
Some of them wanted to personally witness the fall of the Byron Clan, while others only wanted to collect some data on the battling golems. The fight hadn't start yet, but already the seats were sold out.