Chapter 386 Alice's Goodwill
News of the Flame Demon's return spread throughout Feidnan City within half an hour of his arrival in the city.
A couple of hours later, half of the Zhentarim area had received news of this as well.
Greem should never have received this much attention with his status and power. However, it was a known fact that his acquaintance, Alice, had become one of the Northern Witch leaders.
It was important to note how powerful the witches were. Most of the witch leaders were Fourth Grade witches. Only the Coldwinter Witch leader was a Third Grade witch.
It was undoubtedly immensely advantageous for the Sarubo Clan to be able to become allies with an influential witch leader like those. Thus, everyone treated Greem's return as that of a messenger sent back by the Witch of Fate.
If these two forces joined hands, it would bring about enormous trouble for all the enemies of the Sarubo Clan!
These things tended to be less public news hidden from the people. No more than fifteen days had passed since the Battle of Fate, not to mention how isolationist the Zhentarim area was. Reports of the Northern Witches couldn't possibly have spread to this place so rapidly. However, under the intentional efforts of the Sarubo, this information disseminated through the center of the continent like a plague. Consequently, many looked well upon the future development of the Sarubo Clan.
The Sarubo Clan was only a mid-sized clan right now. It had always wanted to break into the ranks of the large-sized groups.
However, they needed to fulfill two necessary prerequisites before that dream of theirs could come to fruition.
The first was the existence of a Fourth Grade adept within the clan.
The previous clan leader, Lord Sarubo, had possessed the power of a Sixth Grade. However, the cultivation of the clan adepts hadn't been sufficient to produce a new Fourth Grade adept.
Consequently, while they had an influential leader outside the World of Adepts, they were hard-pressed to obtain a decisive advantage within their homeworld.
Currently, the most powerful individuals below Lord Sarubo were the two Third Grade adepts- Lady Sanazar and Lord Violeteye. It was impossible for them to advance within the next one hundred or two hundred years. It would considerably benefit the clan if they were able to entice a Fourth Grade powerhouse to join them.
The second condition was, naturally, the overall strength and influence of the clan.
This condition included two portions. The overall power of the clan adepts, and the number of resources that the clan could draw upon. These factors influenced each other. Together, they decided the clan's potential for development.
The Sarubo Clan was lacking in this regard as well. It had been far too short a time since the establishment of their organization.
That is why they prioritized external help so much.
Once he returned, Lady Sanazar dragged Greem into a private room to have a secret discussion.
Lady Sanazar was excited over the news of Alice's advancement to Witch of Fate. However, her passion quickly cooled when she heard the whole situation from Greem.
"You said Alice completed her advancement as a First Grade Witch of Fate?" Sanazar couldn't help but ask again. She emphasized the word 'First Grade' in her question.
Even the reckless and ruthless Sanazar fell into a period of contemplation when she saw Greem's solemn nod.
"So be it!" Sanazar sighed, "It doesn't matter how you put it, you still managed to draw a new and reliable ally for the clan. This matter has greatly increased our influence in the north. Being able to have connections with a witch leader means that we have some degree of influence in the Witch Council, no matter how little. The clan will definitely reward your efforts!"
"All for the clan "Of course, Greem knew how to put up an appearance of basic courtesy.
"Mm… " Sanazar nodded, "A banquet will be held in the tower tonight in celebration of the clan's alliance with the Witches of Fate. A few of the neighboring clans and organizations will be attending the feast. You had best prepare a little! Keep the fact that Alice is only First Grade a secret for now. Don't let the public know of this yet. Everything will have to wait until my representative meets Alice."
Greem nodded his head obediently before taking his leave.
All the apprentices and disciples of his faction were already waiting for him at the door to his room. They all congratulated this mentor of theirs. Meryl was not behaving as an adept should at all. She was in the crowd with her apprentices and congratulating Greem in the same fashion.
Snorlax, on the other hand, had also hurried over here as fast as he could. He was a striking sight in the crowd.
Greem smiled as he nodded and acknowledged everyone. He then extended a hand and invited Meryl to enter his room together with him.
As Alice had always been an influential and popular witch among the apprentices, everyone wanted to listen to the story of her advancement. Greem gave a simple description of everything that had occurred in the trip to the Northern Lands.
Of course, Greem hid the part about the First Witch of Fate's soul projection when he talked to Lady Sanazar, but he did tell her everything else. This time, he completely skipped the Battle of Fate, using his position outside of the tower as an excuse to gloss over the details.
Greem only smiled when the apprentices excitedly asked about Alice's current Grade. He didn't give them an answer.
After satisfying everyone's curiosity, Greem brought up the banquet that Sanazar had mentioned. He left the matters related to this in the hands of Kodar, Am, and the others.
The disciples and apprentices were more than glad to do such tasks for an adept.
After all, Greem's increasing influence within the clan had caused apprentices like them, who served under Greem, to receive better treatment. They had far better mission options, more resources, and superior welfare compared to apprentices of the other factions. Even though Greem didn't have any time to train his apprentices with all the tasks he was busy with, his apprentices were still a very harmonious and united group.
Of course, there was the factor of Meryl's help in all this!
Once Greem's disciples left with the other apprentices, only Meryl and Snorlax were left. It was only now that Greem leaked a limited amount of the critical information that he knew.
Meryl's face turned a pale white when she heard about Alice's situation. Her First Grade powers, and the scheming high-grade witches that surrounded her. All the plots and conspiracies. Just the thought of it was frightening.
Meryl recalled her time as an apprentice. Even the malicious infighting between the apprentices back then had been enough to strike fear into her. There were far too many unpleasant memories that she preferred not to think about. Who knew? All these troubles still existed, even after one advanced to adept. In fact, they had gotten more numerous and complicated. Meryl felt fearful and worried for Alice.
By now, Greem could tell that Meryl genuinely disliked conflicts. She only wanted to complete her obligations and tasks, then use the remaining time to perform experiments and research on topics that she liked. Meryl just wanted to walk through her long and modest life in peace.
She was also wholly untalented when it came to combat. That said, she was a decent managerial adept.
There were quite a lot of female adepts like her. Most of them needed to find shelter under stronger male adept to ensure that their safety was guaranteed. Otherwise, they were likely to become the prey of other adepts with their gentle personalities and weak combat prowess.
Green quickly communicated with Snorlax while Meryl was worrying over Alice. The majority of their conversation concerned Snorlax's trade with the goblin Grand Duke. Greem only barely asked about the management and income of the arcane shop.
After all, it wasn't much of a problem. With the help of Feidnan and the others, as well as Greem's influence, Snorlax's business was becoming bigger and bigger each day. At this point, it was already able to sustain the daily expenses of Greem's faction.
Greem bitterly smiled when he saw Meryl still fussing and worrying about Alice's situation. He had no choice but to take out the Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal and pass it to Meryl. Meryl immediately went back to her room while holding the Crystal as if it was the greatest treasure in the world. It seemed she couldn't wait to talk to Alice.
Greem activated the room's magical defenses once everyone had left. He then took out a storage bag.
It was the item Alice had gifted him before his departure. He had suppressed his curiosity and not opened the bag all this while. Greem now had the time to assess the contents slowly.
"Tormanta, by the name of the winds."
The red string on the dimensional bag unraveled on its own after a short magic chant. Intense elementium light shone from within the container.
Greem sent his Spirit into the bag in curiosity as he took the items out one by one.
Three Ioun Stones: one red, one purple, and one blue.
The red one provided two additional Spirit when activated. The blue one could forcefully absorb an elementium attack below eighty points of power. The purple Ioun Stone was even more precious. It shielded the soul with a barrier of a hundred and twenty points of power. If the enemy's attack didn't exceed this limit, Greem would be completely immune to its effects.
Blaze of Destruction. A reasonably famous elementium scepter among adepts. It was two meters in length and completely black. It appeared to have been forged from a unique magical alloy. Fitted into a groove at the top of the scepter was a fist-sized crimson crystal.
Greem knew this crystal. The Star of Destruction. It was a mutated crystal that had been taken from the edge of the World of Destruction. It could turn any fire energy and convert it into Flames of Destruction. These were flames that naturally possessed a trace of the powers of destruction.
These Flames of Destruction were exceptionally effective at destroying elementium defenses, and were an immensely offensive power!
For an apprentice, the Fire Lord's Scepter had been a mighty scepter. However, the power of the Fire Lord's Scepter became irrelevant once Greem had advanced to an adept. The pseudo-adept level Fire Deity that it summoned was also incapable of helping him deal with adept-level opponents. Greem very rarely used the Fire Lord's Scepter these days.
Acquiring this new adept-level Blaze of Destruction unquestionably helped Greem with his awkward lack of a useable scepter!
Apart from that, Greem also found a strange crystal in the dimensional bag, along with a small note.
The crystal was about the size of a fist. It was a dark green color, with purple liquid flowing about within it. A surge of magical flux immediately pressed against Greem when he held the crystal in his hands. There was even the uniquely ferocious aura of ancient beasts mixed within.
This item was the crystal core of a Second Grade dragon!
Judging from the color and magical attribute of the crystal core, this was a wind-attribute dragon crystal.
He had invested far too many resources into Alice, most of which had been lost in the Battle of Fate. He could tell that this was Alice's way of compensating him for his losses. Even though all these items moved Greem, the one gift that touched him the most was still… Alice's kiss.
He slowly opened the note as he recalled that private moment with Alice.
It was Alice's handwriting, but only a few words were written on the paper.