Chapter 394 Conspiracy and Forest Spirit
Greem betrayed an expression of surprise when he saw the cat move.
It hadn't used any spatial magic, but its body disappeared and reappeared here and there as if it was passing through different dimensions. When Greem closed his eyes to sense the cat's existence, he heard no trace of its footsteps. In fact, he couldn't even detect the essential aura of soul and blood that every lifeform should possess. The cat was like a realistic illusion that had been created through the use of magic. There was absolutely no magical information that Greem could lock onto to keep track of the creature.
No energy flux, no magical flux, no body heat, no soul aura.
This black cat was quite the extraordinary one!
Starting a slaughter in the Black Forest was not a wise decision.
The best course of action when running into a magical creature was to avoid them. The blood stench of killing a magical being would attract all predators within a radius of several dozen kilometers. A peaceful venture into the forest would then turn into an endless butchering of magical creatures.
Greem and the others followed behind the black cat and quickly crossed the land. On their journey, they met several jungle beasts and magical creatures hiding in the darkness. Every time this happened, Gargamel raised the staff in his hand and shook it. A faint yellow light emanated from a small pouch attached to the top of his staff.
All the beasts and creatures would immediately yelp in fear and run away as if they had seen the devil himself.
The feedback from the chip informed Greem of the yellow light's magical effects. However, Greem still had no idea what materials Gargamel had put in that pouch.
Greem already had a fundamental understanding of Gargamel's identity from their interactions along the way. Gargamel was likely a potions master, and Anthony the potions apprentice was probably his apprentice. It was far too unlikely for two spellcasters that had mastered potion studies to appear in the same small town!
Most of Gargamel's magical abilities were probably focused on the use of potions. He presumably had poor combat skills. Otherwise, he would never have brought a pseudo-adept along just to serve as a meat shield.
Still, Greem didn't dare underestimate a wandering adept like this.
Adepts that were able to continue their research without the help of clans most definitely had trump cards hidden up their sleeves. Moreover, the lack of being burdened by a clan meant that these adepts were prone to breaking the rules set down by the Adept Association.
Killing each other, stabbing others in the back, and luring companions into traps was no foreign concept to these wandering adepts. As long as they were smart enough not to leave traces of their actions and continuously switched locations, they could easily prey on new adepts.
Consequently, Greem didn't put too much trust in a person like this. He made sure always to keep the Ring of Fire around his body as they traveled through the forest.
They crossed river after river and climbed mountain after mountain. Even Greem, with his great Physique, couldn't help but start panting. The even weaker Gargamel practically breathed his lungs out. His frail chest worked overtime like a restless bellow. He would likely have collapsed to the ground if he hadn't leaned against Sabrina's shoulders.
Sabrina was relying on her robotic arm to swing from branch to branch. Even so, she only barely kept up with the black cat's swift form. Sabrina was sweating profusely and panting from exhaustion when the black cat finally stopped in front of a black cave.
In an hour and a half, the three of them had traveled forty kilometers away from their camp. The surprising amount of energy needed for this effort was too much even for a robotic girl made of steel!
"Silence!" Gargamel shouted under his breath, "My black cat has managed to track down the forest spirit. It's right here, hiding in this cave."
"What's your plan of action?" Greem didn't attempt to probe into the cave with his Spirit, out of fear that he might tip off the forest spirit to their existence. He whispered his question.
"I will go first! That goddamned monster definitely set up traps inside. That said, I have dealt with it several times. I know full well how to deal with anything it might have in store. Once the fight starts, you two immediately rush in. We will pincer it from two sides and capture it in a single go. Act quick! Make sure it doesn't get away!"
Gargamel's suggestions caused Greem to pause for a second.
Greem had always remained wary of Gargamel on the way here. He didn't expect the wandering adept to come up with a plan this considerate of himself. Gargamel was practically taking on all the risks in doing so. He had reserved the safest position for Greem. Was he wrong in doubting Gargamel?
Greem was still hesitating internally, but he calmly accepted the offer on the outside.
Gargamel quickly ran a check of all the magical equipment on his body. He then sprinkled a cloud of light blue powder all over himself, causing his outline to vanish into thin air.
However, Greem's elementium sight still allowed him to see Gargamel. The wandering adept's body had only blurred slightly. He was currently sneaking his way into the cave at the bottom of the cliff.
"Let's start preparing as well!" Greem calmly gave an order to Sabrina.
He took out three strange stones engraved with mysterious runes. These stones started to float in the sky once his Spirit entered them. The rocks slowly circled ten centimeters above his head, as if there were an invisible orbit there.
Then, Greem took out a long and pitch-black staff. He paused for a moment, and a horrifying elementium flux blasted out from the crimson crystal at the top of the staff. All sorts of strange and wondrous forcefields and magical defenses surged around his body.
Ioun Stones! A scepter!
An expression of envy appeared in Sabrina's eyes.
These were all expensive products, even among magical equipment. Even the weakest of these items cost up to four or five hundred magical crystals. The quality products probably went for a thousand magical crystals.
A pseudo-adept like her was considered filthy rich if she possessed an instant-cast magic wand that cost one or two hundred magical crystals. Magical equipment that required a thousand magical crystals was a luxury item that she could only dream of!
Soon, a terrifying elementium explosion rang out from within the dark cave as the two waited in silence. The entire mountain trembled from the disturbance. Several rocks and boulders began to fall to the ground.
"Come, let's go in!" Greem took the initiative and rushed into the cave.
What the two didn't notice was the faint blue light that glowed beneath two inconspicuous stones on both sides of the cave when they entered.
The cave wasn't too big on the inside. The ground was moist and safe, and it even had a stench to it, as if this had been the den of some other beast.
Greem looked all over the place and found a dark tunnel in the corner of the cave. Several tides of elementium surged out from the inside of the shaft.
It seemed that the fight was pretty intense!
Greem tapped his staff against the ground, and the crimson crystal flared up like a torch. He led Sabrina into the tunnel without any hesitation.
There wasn't much room in here. Water even dripped from the ceiling. However, the elementium particles in the air appeared to be excessively active and lively. There was something wrong.
The tunnel continued to wind downwards as if it was leading straight into the belly of the mountain.
The winds blowing in their faces were chilling. A musty smell mixed with them.
The intense rumbling happened two more times. Dirt fell on them as they moved through the tunnels. Dust would have wholly covered Greem if it wasn't for his cloak and the Ring of Fire.
The two of them awkwardly stumbled out of the tunnel into a massive natural karst cave. A towering stone pillar stood before Greem and Sabrina's eyes, shielding them from the strong elementium tides in the distance.
Shouts and intense elementium explosions came from the other end of the cave.
"Come over quick!" The voice was slightly hoarse and distorted by the echoes of the cave, but Greem could still recognize it as Gargamel's ear-piercing voice, "I've wounded it. Quick! Come here and stop it from running away."
His voice seemed rather urgent. It looked like the battle was extremely close.
Greem strode ahead and was shocked by the scene before his eyes when he walked past the stone pillar.
A frail and withered body stood alone in the middle of the cave. Two large clusters of faint yellow light floated near Gargamel. The two balls of light emitted the sounds of elementium explosions and intense elementium flux.
All the fighting sounds and elementium shockwaves he had heard and felt from the outside had all been fabricated!
Greem stopped dead in his tracks. He tapped his staff against the ground and the Ring of Fire that had been hidden within his body immediately surfaced. Powerful fire elementium swiftly gathered towards him.
"Gargamel, what are you doing?" Greem stared at the frail figure with cold eyes, "Was everything a lie you made up?"
Sabrina stopped by the stone pillar. She looked at every corner of the cave fearfully and slowly backed away.
With how weak she was, Sabrina had no right to interfere in a battle between adepts.
Regardless of whether this was a conspiracy, it would be best for her to hide in the distance!
"Kehkehkeh. It isn't easy to wait for a lonesome adept like you to show up! The five years I have spent waiting here in Pinecone Town hasn't been in vain. Finally, I can reap the rewards." Gargamel couldn't help but let out a sinister laugh. His greedy eyes fell upon the magical equipment on Greem's body.
Greem's face turned dark.
"Gargamel, who gave you the courage to ambush an adept of the same Grade here? Get your companion to come out! I don't believe you would dare to pull something like this off with your weak powers and cowardice."
"Hehehe… " A crisp, sweet voice rang out in the cave all of a sudden, "Gargamel, this guy knows you pretty well, doesn't he?! He even managed to figure out your cowardly personality."
An invisible shape slowly revealed itself on the top of the cave as the voice rang out.
It was a beautiful green phantom that appeared to be translucent. She had a perfect figure with perfect curves, as well as a body that seemed to have been made out of glowing green lights. She was completely naked, but the magical patterns and flowers that grew all over her body were just enough to cover the important parts of her body.
Her hair was soft flower branches flowing in the wind. Four or five intertwined vines formed her hands. Countless roots split off at the ends of her legs. These roots were even waving in the wind as they let out faint green lights.
A forest spirit!
Gargamel hadn't been lying when he said there was a forest spirit!
Greem gasped in his heart when he looked up and saw this strange lifeform.