Greem left the Alchemy Laboratory. Originally, he had planned on sneaking out and testing on combat strength of the Clay Golem in the Swamp, but he was distracted by a large crowd of people rushing through the hallways of the tower.
Not once in Greem's memory had the Tower been so lively before.
Normally, everyone was busy with their own matters. Those who had been given tasks would carry on with their own business; those who didn't would be meditating, copying books, or working on some magical experiment… Every day in this Tower, except during meal time, very few sounds could be heard. Even when two Apprentices met in a corridor, they would just nod to each other and move on.
But today was an exception, as nearly every single Apprentice Adept was out and about, rushing down the hallway in the same direction.
Greem felt surprised and bewildered. He called out to his 'friend' Benson, who he barely knew, who was also a Beginner Apprentice.
"What's happening? Where are you going?"
Right after Greem asked this, Benson responded in a surprised voice, saying, "You don't know? Haven't you checked your magical talisman? Master Anderson is summoning all the official Apprentices to a meeting in the lecture hall. Don't be late!"
Benson hurried down the hallway after saying that.
Adept Anderson called a meeting?
Greem was struck dumb by this rare event.
According to the unified proposal of the Zhentarim Association of the Adept Continent, as the stationed Adept in this Swamp Tower, Adept Anderson was required to provide a free magic class every three months to the Apprentices in the tower. And, normally, if an Apprentice had any questions regarding magic, they would have to pay knowledge points or magic crystals in exchange for the right to ask Adept Anderson questions privately.
But too bad, in this Swamp Tower, which was nearly cut off from the outside world, Adept Anderson was the ultimate master. Thus, he simply ignored all the rules and regulations set by the Zhentarim Association.
Throughout the past six years that Greem had lived in this Tower, Adept Anderson only held a handful of open lectures… In fact, it couldn't have happened more than four times. The rest of the time, he would hide away on the upper floors of the Tower, rarely interacting with any Apprentices.
Therefore, after receiving this news, Greem was simply amazed.
Hastily pulling out a magic talisman on his neck, Greem noticed it was blinking with a red glow, and felt slightly hot to the touch.
Ugh… it seems that when he was performing the alchemy experiment just now, in order to avoid any interruption, it seemed he had temporarily shut off the communication ability of the talisman. When he turned it on now, a deep, hoarse voice immediately came out of it.
"Every Apprentice Adepts who hears this message must go to the lecture hall at once! If you fail to reach it within fifteen minutes, I'll revoke your Apprentice status!"
Greem violently shuddered. He quickly put away the magic talisman and joined the crowd rushing to the lecture hall.
The seating of this lecture hall was similar to Earth's thrust style theaters from his previous life, but the round-shaped raised stage, located in front of the seats, had been replaced with a tall platform. With this arrangement, no matter where an Apprentice was sitting, he would have to tilt his head up slightly to look at the Adept who was lecturing.
Apparently, the guy who designed this lecture hall refused to allow any Apprentice to sit higher than the Adept, even though it was just a physical position in a space.
The spacious lecture hall could hold more than two hundred people, but the Tower only had around fifty Apprentices, thus, everyone was sitting spread about. Three clear-cut groups were seen, with the three strongest apprentices in the center of each group. Besides that, a fourth group had gathered around the new Apprentice Leader, Ellen. The rest of the Apprentices were sitting alone, showing their status as 'lone wolves'.
If it was in the past, Greem had been one of these 'lone wolves'.
While he was observing the situation in the lecture hall, Greem saw a figure that stuck out from the rest of the crowd.
A striking red dress. A cool and arrogant, yet beautiful and seductive face… The owner of this face was beckoning to him to join them.
Naturally, Mary, sitting alone by herself, was the focus of almost everyone in the hall, and, no doubt, her action had made Greem the enemy of most of the male Apprentices in the hall.
Countless glances were resting on Greem, causing his expression to shift.
This Mary really knew how to stir things up!
But at this moment, he had no room to hesitate. He strode up to Mary and sat beside her quietly.
"Remember, you're my subordinate. Next time come earlier!"
Mary had leaned toward Greem, placed her charming face beside his ear, and whispered her threatening speech. Greem felt a terrifying killing intent as she did so. It seemed Mary was really satisfied with this result. Having an expression similar to that of a cat who just ate a canary, she sat straight back in her seat.
Her green eyes ran down the entire hall, charming all the male Apprentices who met her glance, then causing them to shudder, lowering their heads hastily and avoiding her eyes.
Right at this moment, Greem sensed another 'strong' glance come to rest on his personage, causing his hair to stand on end.
Shocked, he raised his head, and realized who it was!
The man who was staring at him was one of the three strongest, Evil Bugs, whose real name was Acteon.
Two bizarre looking green lights could be seen underneath his hood, coolly gazing at Greem. Although no words came from him, an invisible pressure started to fill the air around Greem.
Facing a guy with 19 Spirit, Greem was, obviously, at a complete disadvantage. If they were to fight, Greem couldn't guarantee that he would be able to complete a magic casting under such powerful spiritual pressure.
But, when he recalled the tough battle that happened yesterday, and the look of panic in Evil Bug's eyes, as he fled for his life from the frightening Alice, the fear in Greem's mind immediately subsided.
"You covered your head and scurried away like a rat to its hole, but I saw her flee before me. Perhaps you haven't even fully healed your injuries! Covering yourself so tightly in that hood, I think you're just trying to hide all the scars on your body, right?"
Inwardly, Greem was giving himself some motivational speech. Whenever he thought of Evil Bug's broken face hiding behind the hood, a proud feeling immediately surged up in his mind, and that boosted his confidence and allowed him to return Evil Bug's glare.
Evil Bug's glance became even cooler.
Although no words were exchanged between them, both of them could clearly sense the slightest changes in the opponent's emotions. Acteon could even see the mocking smile hiding behind Greem's mock stern expression.
In an instant, two shivering green flames erupted under the shadow of Acteon's hood, and condensed Spiritual energy began to violently surge around him, nearly spewing out into the surrounding area.
But in next second, Greem, who was exchanging glares with him, disappeared, replaced by an enchanting face.
Mary stepped in front of Greem and relentlessly glared at Acteon. Her lips moved, but no words could be heard. Although there were a dozen meters between them, but Acteon could still read her lips.
"He is my man! If you dare touch him, I'll kill you!"
It was a short speech, but it clearly portrayed her fierce and overbearing character.
Evil Bug's eyes became even colder.
Judging from all aspects, this Mary, who had just arrived at the level of Advanced Apprentice, was not his match. Most of her abilities were constrained by him. But… apparently Acteon was not at his peak form currently. To be bluntly honest, his combat strength was pathetic right now.
He would need a few more days to restock his dead scorpions. If he was forced to fight Mary now, even if he could win, his vitality would be greatly reduced.
However, Evil Bugs was a patient man who knew when to stay low. He turned his eyes away and avoided Mary's challenging glance, pressed down all thoughts of anger and staying quiet.
"You're a real troublemaker! How dare you to offend Evil Bugs!" Satisfied that she had forced the opponent back, Mary turned to Greem and teased him in a faux-threatening tone.
Greem smiled wryly to himself.
I was forced into that situation, ok?
But, when faced with the domineering Mary, he had no resentment or complaints. Because, between the two of them, he could sense an unspeakable trust and… dependence.
Greem shook his head, once again feeling his thoughts were absurd. Mary depend on him? It must because he had depleted his Spirit in his alchemy experiment. That must be why he had such a ridiculous thought.
Obviously, the delicate interaction between Evil Bugs and Mary had attracted the attention of the other two Advanced Apprentices, as they kept running their eyes between Mary and Greem.
Like a mother cat who was trying to protect her territory, Mary kept showing her fierce and dominating expression to these guys, giving them a look that said she would never give in to any threat.
As the atmosphere of the hall had tensed, due to the interaction between Evil Bugs and Mary, a shadow was suddenly seen swaying on top of the tall platform. Soon, the skinny form of Adept Anderson emerged from the shadows.
Holding the Magical Staff in his hand, Adept Anderson gazed around the hall with his uncaring eyes. After a brief moment of silence, he finally spoke.
"Today, I have good news and bad news for you!"
Everyone in the hall immediately held their breath and focused on Anderson.
"The good news is all of you are going to receive a batch of resources, which will be the most generous gift you had ever received in your entire life." Throwing a wicked glare around the hall, he noticed that these Apprentices stayed focused on him, even though he had said something shocking. Anderson nodded his head, satisfied, then continued saying, "And the bad news is… every single one of you is going to have to take on a compulsory mission!"
Adept Anderson hit the ground with his staff, and a half-transparent image was immediately projected on top of the platform. Numerous green characters were seen flickering on the surface of this projection.
Investigate an abnormal creature in Redwood Village.
Acquire a Tower Bell Flower.
Defend Fort Fir.
Guard the Twilight Valley.
Eliminate an enemy of the Humming Hunting Ground.
Line by line, most of them were the Apprentice level missions within the territory controlled by Zhentarim.
Originally, as the Apprentices of the Swamp Tower, they were only required to complete the inspection mission of this resource site, thus they were considered living in a relatively isolated clique. But now, Adept Anderson had actually opened all the Apprentice level missions of the entire Zhentarim territory to them… Could this mean there were some big changes in store for them?
Some of the more veteran Apprentices couldn't help it, and their eyes clouded over as they became lost in thought.