Chapter 324 Love and Transaction
Several black lines appeared on everyone's foreheads.
Greem, the subject himself, couldn't help but betray an awkward expression. He let out an angry snort. Blinding scarlet light appeared from within his body. The fire elementium in the air quickly gathered, forming an armor of fire over his body.
The air around Greem suddenly became hazy.
Under ordinary circumstances, Greem's actions would have been considered a provocation from a First Grade adept to a Second Grade adept. If Sanazar hadn't been here, Nina would have been able to punish him as she wanted. The Sarubo Clan wouldn't have had a proper reason to pursue Nina for her actions against Greem.
However, now that Lady Sanazar was present, Greem had to be more domineering in his actions!
However, Witch Nina didn't seem to have realized Greem's affront. She raised an eyebrow, and her smile became even broader. There was also a trace of appreciation in her eyes.
It would be a mistake to look down upon the Northern Witches just because they were mostly composed of females. They were well-known fighters, even amongst the three large adept organizations. The reason the witches were able to secure the Northern Lands on the Continent of Adepts, where magical creatures ran wild, had a lot to do with their ferocious talent for combat.
Every leader and head of the witches had attained their position through raw strength and power. All of them were extraordinary fighters in their own right.
It was this kind of mentality and personality that drove Nina's friendly attitude towards Greem. His strong front had bought him Nina's favor!
"Lady Nina, why don't we have a proper discussion now that you are here. Alice is mine! You are challenging the dignity of the Zhentarim adepts in coming here to confront us!" Greem gave a stern warning with proper logic to back his words.
Nina was a powerful and veteran adept after all. His words only fazed her for a moment before she regained her usual cold decisiveness.
"We can compensate you for your troubles!" Nina smiled, "You must be the male adept that took in Alice, aren't you? You must be gravely lacking in resources since you've just advanced. We of the Witches of Deceit will not negotiate. We will fulfill any of your demands as long as it is within our abilities. This arrangement should save you a hundred years of time. You no longer need to run about and risk your life for some meager amount of resources. Why not accept our offer?!"
Greem had yet to react to Nina's words, but Endor's face had already changed.
Anxiety filled her heart as she stared at Greem with her sharp eyes from underneath her hood. As someone who had experienced the same struggle for resources, Endor knew how attractive an offer this was to a newly advanced adept!
The development of all adepts followed a basic pattern on the Continent of Adepts.
Once an adept advanced, they had to find a place to stabilize their Spirit. They would then get used to the lifestyle of an adept, as well as the social circles of adepts. More importantly, they took this time to adjust their attitude from that of an apprentice to one befitting an adept.
This process would happen while the adept's Spirit was stuck around 1 point. It typically lasted ten years.
Once their powers had started to settle, the adepts then began to realize the despair that was meditation. The insignificant increase in their Spirit through meditation was enough to cause any adept to break down. Even a hardworking adept that meditated daily would not be able to feel their Spirit growing at any significant rate.
Some of the more free-spirited adepts performed a little calculation. A minimum of eighty-seven years was needed to raise one's Spirit from 1 point to 5 points if one spent all their time meditating. A minimum of eighty-seven years was required for an adept to advance to the ranks of veteran adepts. Moreover, the process of increasing Spirit to ten points and promoting to an elite adept would require a minimum of two hundred and seventy-three years.
This calculation had yet even to include the time that adepts needed to spend on their experiments, nor their scouring for resources and knowledge.
Thus, it was impossible for a First Grade adept to reach the 20 point Spirit limit purely through meditation.
Those that remained cooped up in their tower and obsessed over their experiments and meditation would never reach Second Grade.
The only thing that could change this was the aid of knowledge and resources.
That was why most newly advanced adept couldn't help but go adventuring in the Continent of Adepts once they had stabilized their Spirit. It was a necessary path to gather knowledge and resources. Nearly twenty percent of newly advanced adepts died in this manner. They fell during their adventures to accumulate power.
If a newly advanced adept were able to get his hands on a giant pile of resources at this moment, they would be spared of the pain of running all over the continent. There would also be none of the risks associated with adventuring and exploration. They could grow and develop their powers in safety.
The Poisonous Witch Endor had already earned a name for herself in both the Northern Lands and the central areas of the Continent. However, even after exhausting most of her life, her Spirit had barely crossed the 10 point threshold. She was just barely an elite adept.
At the speed at which she was improving, she would never be able to reach Second Grade in time. That meant that she had no opportunity to extend her lifespan.
The cause of all this had much to do with the time she wasted on adventuring in her youth.
Endor couldn't help but be concerned that Greem would change his mind with Nina's offer.
After all, this was far too attractive an offer!
Even Endor might not have been able to resist the deal if she had been in the same position in her youth.
Wisdom reflected from behind his eyes. An aura of mystery arose about him as his cool facial features come together to form a wicked smile.
Greem wanted to laugh out loud right now.
Worried about his spiritual improvement being too slow? Haha. His problem was the exact opposite. He wasn't worried about his development being too slow, but about it being too fast.
In less than three years since he advanced to an adept, his Spirit had increased from less than 1 point to the current 6.4 points. While much of this was due to the planar feedback from the invasion of the knights' plane, it also had much to do with his personal accumulation and management.
What he needed now was time to settle down and stabilize his rapidly increasing Spirit. He didn't lack knowledge or resources either. The spoils of war he had gotten from the numerous battles he had undertaken was enough for him to live out the first hundred years of his life in peace. Thus, Nina's conditions were…
"I am extremely sorry Lady Nina, but I'll have to reject your offer!" Greem was extremely straightforward in his reply.
Nina's smile vanished in an instant. She asked coldly, "Are you sure you want to reject the friendly gesture of a powerful witch clan? You should know what you are rejecting. It isn't just two hundred thousand magic crystals worth of items, but the goodwill of the Witches of Deceit!"
"Of course I know what I'm rejecting!" An agitated expression suddenly appeared on Greem's face, "However, I will never hand Alice over, regardless of how many resources you are willing to offer!"
"Why? Two hundred thousands magic crystals to buy a mere apprentice witch and you…"
"My greatest apologies, Lady Nina, but you are mistaken! Alice isn't an apprentice witch anymore. She had just completed her advancement to a witch yesterday."
It wasn't just Nina that was shocked. Even Endor's mouth had opened wide from the news.
How was this possible? She had brought up Alice on her own. Alice had just risen to a pseudo-adept. How had she advanced to a witch in such a short time? Was he intentionally lying to Nina?
Even Lady Nina couldn't help but cast her gaze at the green mist.
Sanazar's ear-piercing voice came out from the mist once again.
"I can verify his words. That little girl successfully advanced yesterday. Thus, we have no apprentice witch Alice here in the Sarubo Clan. What we do have is a proper Witch Alice!"
Nina looked at the green mist doubtfully and turned to look at Endor again. She was still full of suspicion, but she didn't dare doubt the truth of a Third Grade adept's words.
Nina might have been caught unprepared by the news of Alice's advancement, but she only thought of it as a mistake in the information from the clan. She wasn't nearly as shocked as Endor was.
No! The more exceptional she was, the more the reason to kill her off!
A cold gleam reflected in Nina's crystal blue eyes.
"Three hundred thousand. As long as you are willing to give up on Alice, I will……"
"Lady Nina, are you sure that a witch-level candidate for the Witch of Fate is only worth three hundred thousand?" Greem's words were dripping with sarcasm.
Nina's mouth twitched.
"Four hundred thousand!"
Greem didn't reply, but the disdain in his eyes said it all.
"Five hundred…" Nina was already grinding her teeth together. The little bit of admiration she had for Greem disappeared. The ferocious glare she was directing at Greem was like that of a predator in a dark forest.
Five hundred thousand magic crystals! This price was more than enough to hire a Second Grade adept to serve as a bodyguard for two entire years!
Sanazar's sinister laugh rang out from within the mist.
It seemed even she couldn't remain unfazed but the sum of money that Nina offered!
Endor's mouth just opened wider and wider. Her brain couldn't quite process what she saw with how bizarre things had started to turn out.
My good god. Five hundred thousand magic crystals. Even with her fearsome reputation and her station at the Zhentarim area, the Moya Clan only paid her three thousand crystals a year. And this Witch Nina was willing to use five hundred thousand magic crystals to exchange for a newly-advanced witch?
Five hundred thousand magic crystals were probably half of the Moya Clan's annual earnings in the Zhentarim area!
Greem's low, cold voice was once again transmitted to everyone's ears, even as Endor's brain still tried to process the difference between three thousand and five hundred thousand.
"I still reject your offer!"
"Why?" Witch Nina's eyes were bloodshot. She marched forward and stared into Greem's eyes with almost no distance between the two of them. The tips of their noses almost touched.
"Why?" Even Endor mumbled by the side. Truthfully, she also wanted to know why at this point.
"Because I have fallen in love with Alice!"
Greem's words were like a bolt of lightning that split the sky apart. The entire place fell dead silent!
Editor Ryu: For those who don't read the posts, Eris and I are currently running a poll for AoA readers. It's a simple poll, but please take a moment to give us your opinion. Thanks. And since I'll likely forget to take this down, I'd like to say HELLO to AoA readers of the future who will be confused by this ancient poll.