Chapter 298 The True Essence of Fate
A follower of the Witch of Fate didn’t believe in fate?
This question might seem like a ridiculous one, but it struck Alice like a thunderbolt.
"Of… Of course… I… believe… in fate… "
Alice stuttered, her voice growing fainter.
Ever since she obtained her unique spatial talent, she had always considered it as her own innate ability. She had never considered the idea of having to discover the source of her talent. Alice was occasionally reminded of this intangible 'fate' that granted her this talent and praised it when she did. However, she had never considered 'fate' as anything more than a non-existent deity. Se had never truly thought about it.
There were less than nine years until the Witch of Fate selection. When that happened, all of the witches who had awakened the bloodline of the Witch of Fate would gather in the Northern regions. A final showdown would decide the identity of the true Witch of Fate.
And there could only be one!
Once the ceremony crowned a candidate as the Witch of Fate, all of the other potentials would die in untold suffering. The power of fate would be robbed from their cold dead corpses and bestowed upon the true Witch of Fate. That was why Alice would either be dead or alive in eight years.
She would face the first trial of life and death in her journey of fate!
What, then, decided her fate?
Strength and power? If Alice had power rivaling a Second Grade adept eight years from now, she would be able to sweep through the other candidates with no trouble. There was no chance anyone could take the title of Witch of Fate away from her at that point.
But was this possible?
Eight years. It was neither a long nor short length of time.
If Alice put in the effort, she would likely advance to an official adept, but she had no chance of leaping all the way to Second Grade adept! It was expected that many candidates should be able to become adepts by then. How was she to distinguish herself then?
Her spatial talent was exceptional, and her powers sufficient, but how weak were the other candidates compared to her?
In this brutal competition, no candidate ever willingly gave up their lives to save another. The Witch of Fate selection would be steeped in blood and death. The unprepared were doomed to become stepping stones for others.
They would writhe in pain and look on as someone else ascended the throne of fate, robbing them of all that defined to them… their talent, their bloodline, and their powers!
Alice's face drained to a pale white at the thought of that fearsome scene.
For the first time in her life, she felt her body filled with motivation. She gripped her tiny fists and cheered herself on.
"Alice, you can do it. Go, go! Work hard! I'll become the greatest witch! Ow… "
She didn't manage to complete her self-encouragement speech; Greem had hit her on the head.
"If your goal is only to become the greatest witch, I can guarantee you that you will not be the Witch of Fate!" Greem glared at her, "It seems I need to reconsider investing in you!"
"Why?" Alice angrily flashed her canine teeth, "How am I supposed to beat them without becoming the best?"
"Use your brain, idiot!" Greem shook his head, as if he couldn't deal with Alice, "You are fighting to be the Witch of Fate! The Witch of Fate! The core of your profession will always revolve around that one word. You don't need to be the strongest. You need to be the one closest to fate!"
Alice's body was no more than eight years old, and her mental age was no more than fifteen or sixteen. She was smart, intelligent, and possessed a good grasp of profound knowledge due to her talent. Still, she was unable to comprehend the concept of fate whenever they talked about it.
"So I don't need to busy myself with strengthening anymore? I should just use all my time to research fate?" Alice asked hesitatingly.
He hit her head once again without warning.
"Why did you hit me again?" Alice grabbed her head with her hands and pouted. She was on the verge of crying, "Didn't you say that the Witch of Fate relied on fate rather than strength?"
"Why can't you understand?" Greem looked at her, "Strength is your guarantee for survival, while fate is the key to your victory! You must first strengthen yourself to ensure your survival so that you have a chance at victory. I can assure you that the first batch to be eliminated from the selection will be witches who have yet to reach adept level."
"And if those adept-level witches can't do anything about each other, fate will be the only thing they can rely on!"
"But how do you increase fate?"
"That's simple! Just advance to an adept first to make sure you survive. Then, work hard on divination! That is the true factor that determines your fate!"
"Then what do I need to do now?"
"You just need to do one thing now. Try and convince yourself to truly believe in fate. Not lip service or superficial faith, but a true, unreserved belief in faith. You can lie to me, but you cannot lie to yourself, and especially not fate! That's why… little brat, from today onwards, try your best to become a believer of fate!"
Alice nodded, her hands still protecting her head.
Greem returned to his wooden desk once Alice fell asleep again. He took out the crystal brooch talisman and examined it.
This was the golem talisman that Piro had given him.
With this item, Greem could bring his metallic statue around with him once he created it. When he first obtained the talisman, he had dreamed of using the chip's scanning and analysis abilities to see through its secrets, reverse engineer it, then mass produce it.
However, this impractical dream was shattered after the last few days of research!
Dammit! This golem talisman wasn't what he expected. Instead of a massive lesser-plane where a metallic golem could be stored, it was an odd spell. This talisman that could stow away a ten-meter-tall war golem wasn't a spatial tool! Rather, it was a sealing spell!
Greem became furious upon discovering this fact.
He originally thought that he would be able to clone and copy the golem talismans once he overcame the technological barrier. This would have been easy with Alice's spatial talents and the spacestones in his possession. But who knew? It still ended up as a failure.
Greem couldn't help but be amused by his past fantasies.
If the golem talismans were so easily reverse-engineered, the Silver Union wouldn't have been able to maintain a monopoly for several thousand years. Even today, the high-grade adepts of the other major forces still had to traverse billions of miles to request help from the Silver Union if they wanted to carry their golems with them.
So many powerful adepts gathered at the Adept's Association in the east of the Continent, but they too were unable to see through the sealing spell used in the talisman!
Greem gave up after two days of research and confirmed that he wasn’t able to see through the spell as of yet.
He kept the golem talisman and began considering his journey forward.
His main mission on this trip had already been completed. Even though he wanted to stay for a little while longer in this territory, where esoteric adepts gathered like flies, he worried about the spacestones in his possession. He felt like it was safer if he returned to Feidnan City as soon as possible.
Now that Greem had made up his mind, he quickly contacted Adept Angus and had him reserve a ticket back to the Zhentarim Association ten days from now. He and Snorlax then took this opportunity to go on a shopping spree. They swept through the shops in the Outer Circle and frantically collected everything useful to them.
Greem received a sizeable crystal reward for winning the Byron Clan’s duel. He went all-out and bought everything he wanted. He exchanged his entire reward for innumerable materials, resources, and knowledge.
When Greem had first started shopping, he had hoped to purchase a stock of potions that could help increase his Spirit. However, he quickly gave up after going through a couple of shops.
It was simply too expensive! Way too expensive!
Eris' Nightmare. A Spirit potion that was extremely effective, even for adepts. Every dosage would bring an increase of 0.12 Spirits.
The base price was set at 1400 magic crystals per vial. It had severe side effects as well.
As implied by its name, the adepts that consumed this potion would find themselves trapped in a bizarre dream realm every night. They would not be able to break free with their own strength or external stimuli.
They endured a nightmarish experience that lasted two hours before they could wake up.
Such a horrifying side-effect brought about severe safety concerns for adepts that drank it!
The other potion, the Evil Spirit Water, was even worse.
Adepts would be swarmed by wraiths and undead for a lengthy period of time after consuming this potion. If they didn't prepare the necessary defense procedures, then it was very likely they would be possessed by evil spirits.
This was why most adepts that drank the Evil Spirit Water never dared explore old ruins and graves. They became a living undead magnet, attracting all the souls nearby towards them. Any sane adept felt chills running down their spine at that very idea.
The other adept potions were the same. All of them had high prices and negative side-effects. If Greem wanted to raise his Spirit with potions, he would have to increase his wealth ten times over.
Just like that, he spent his remaining days moving through the various stores and shops. Soon, the date of departure arrived!
Editor Ryu: Sooo... becoming the Witch of Fate is like Highlander? Bonus points if the witches have to cut their opponent's heads off to absorb their powers (which I could totally see being a thing in AoA).