Chapter 403 Personal Adept's Tower
The Witches of Fate didn't have enough manpower to maintain and manage all the territory that the witch branches had returned to them. Thus, when the Sarubo Clan finally established contact with her, Alice happily gave away plenty of the spare resources she had on hand.
The Sarubo Clan would use their human resources to help the Witch of Fate to operate and manage these territories and resource sites. All they had to do was hand over some of the resources that they collected every so often. This collaboration was immensely beneficial for both the Sarubo Clan and Alice!
While the resource sites and lands that the witch branches returned to Alice were the most insignificant portions of what they owned, it was still a massive amount of resources, especially in the eyes of a mid-sized adept clan. It was even somewhat questionable whether they would be able to manage so many assets at once properly. The Sarubo Clan had no choice but to come to agreements with the local clans to start the development of these assets as soon as possible. Even so, they were barely maintaining operations across the board.
The Sarubo Clan needed these lands and resource sites to expand their relations and trade in the Northern Lands, while Alice needed a pre-existing source of labor to help her manage the massive, sprawling assets of the Witches of Fate. Naturally, the two fit together like pieces of a puzzle and were quickly discussing the next stage of their collaboration.
For the past few days, Sanazar had been busy communicating with their ambassador in the Northern Lands. They were laying out the specifics of the agreement with the Witches of Fate as well as figuring out the assignment of manpower over the various assets.
Alice was practically alone as a witch leader. She barely had two or three subordinates around her that could help with her work, and none of them were people she could entirely trust. This amount of power was not even sufficient for her to establish a small clan in the Zhentarim Area.
Still, a witch leader was a witch leader! The rights bestowed upon Alice by the ancient rules meant that she was entitled to resources and lands that were enough to put to shame even ancient clans with legacies spanning tens of thousands of years. Of course, that was in future. That was why the Sarubo Clan had much to gain if they were able to establish a friendly relationship with her!
It was these factors that caused Sanazar to view Greem in an extremely favorable light.
Those who were not privy to the situation might think that Greem and Alice were only involved in an exchange of interests. Sanazar, having associated with both of them, knew better. Their relationship was definitely something more profound. In fact, the dynamic and nature of their relationship was likely the exact opposite of everyone else's expectations.
Sanazar couldn't make things difficult given these circumstances. She didn't want to ruin their close working relationship with the Witches of Fate. Not to mention, there was no real reason to deny Greem's request.
According to their promise, the Sarubo Clan was responsible for helping Greem construct an adept's tower in a suitable location. Based on Greem's understanding, even the lowest-tier three-level tower would cost a minimum of two hundred thousand magical crystals. This cost didn't even include all the facilities that a proper adept's tower needed!
When Greem entered Sir Fügen's room, the Second Grade Adept quickly activated a long distance communication crystal.
A short moment later, the crystal projected a middle-aged adept in elegant attire.
"Welcome to the Silver Union's Devinni Trade Company. Architect Hani is at your service! May I know how I may be of service, Sir Fügen?"
"Adept Hani, this is Adept Greem of our Sarubo Clan. He needs to construct a personal adept's tower. All the cost incurred will be shouldered by the clan. As for the model, use the most basic and common one. I'll leave the specifics for the two of you to discuss on your own." Having said that, Fügen stepped away and left Greem alone in front of the screen of light.
"Congratulations, Adept Greem!" Adept Hani sincerely exclaimed.
"Thank you!" Greem nodded his head and acknowledged the compliment.
Usually, the clan only constructed an adept's tower at major clan territories and resource sites. That was to increase their control over the region and to make it easier to manage and rule. Constructing personal towers for individual adepts was a substantial privilege only reserved for the few core adepts of the clan.
While this tower was only a fundamental tower of the lowest tier, Greem still possessed complete authority over the structure. He was not like those adepts stationed in the clan's towers. They only had secondary control over the tower. The structure remained in the hands of the group itself.
The benefit of owning a personal tower didn't need too much elaboration.
A personal tower was a place for an adept to rise to prominence and a place for them to establish themselves. Most adepts would invest everything they had into their tower, and pass it on to their descendants or their beloved disciple upon death, treating it as if it was part of their bloodline.
Naturally, Second Grade Adept Fügen and Third Grade Adept Sanazar both had individual towers. They conducted the majority of their essential or secret research there. The Adept's Tower in Feidnan City was more of a public tower that belonged to the clan. Fügen and Sanazar only returned here once in a while to deal with the clan's affairs. They preferred to spend most of their time in their own towers.
The clan would actively help high-grade adepts construct an adept's tower of their own, but this was not the case for First Grade adepts. Even someone as close to the inner circle of the clan as Keoghan was not qualified to own a personal tower.
Of course, if you could hand over the two hundred thousand crystal construction fee, you were free to build it of your own accord.
However, an ordinary adept would take sixty to a hundred years just to save up that number of crystals.
Someone like Keoghan had a steady crystal income from the clan's territory and resource sites. Moreover, his skill at voodoo beast creation was a respectable expertise that brought him quite a lot of additional income from commissions throughout the years.
Yet, Keoghan still didn't possess an adept's tower of his own!
"Adept Greem, may I know if you have chosen the construction location for your adept's tower?" Hani continued politely.
"It has been decided. The coordinates are as follows." Greem reported the coordinates of the Plaguewood.
Hani started flipping through and checking his maps on the other end of the light screen. He frowned when he finally found the location that Greem had given him.
"Adept Greem, are you sure you want to construct your adept's tower there? You should know that this is an area within the Black Forest! Even though this is only the edge of the Black Forest, you are still taking an inestimable risk in doing so."
"I am sure! I am a fire adept, and I found a small fire-attribute Lung of the Earth there. It is most suited for my future development!"
Both Fügen and Hani paused for a moment when they heard Greem's words. They couldn't help but envy the young adept for his fortune.
If there was a Lung of the Earth near the adept's tower, the architects had methods to connect it with the tower's energy room. In doing so, the tower would possess a far greater supply of energy compared to other towers. Furthermore, this particular tower would possess fire energy, the one element that was the most compatible with its owner. Once the tower was built, Greem could maintain a meditation efficiency and energy regeneration rate that was several times that of his peers.
"Congratulations, Adept Greem! Your luck is amazing!" Adept Hani couldn't help but sigh once again, "But there are some things that I have to tell you beforehand. A basic adept's tower like this one doesn't possess a teleportation array. If you want to construct one, you will have to pay an additional cost. Of course, if you are willing to offer up the teleportation array to be part of the Zhentarim public teleportation network, the Zhentarim Association might be open to bearing this cost for you."
"How much does it cost to add on a teleportation array?" Greem asked curiously.
"The bare minimum will be a hundred thousand magical crystals!"
Greem fell silent.
Although he already had some degree of understanding about the difficulty of constructing an adept's tower, he was stunned by that exorbitant pricing.
Fortunately, the construction of this tower was mostly for the benefit of training and refining his Spirit. He didn't require such an intimate connection with the outside world. Temporarily giving up on the teleportation array wasn't too much of a loss.
The two adepts talked over a bit more of the specifics, and eventually cut the connection on the crystal once they had come to an agreement.
"It seems the most likely one to advance amongst the adepts of the clan will be you." Adept Fügen voiced his thoughts right as Greem was about to leave.
In the end, Fügen couldn't help but feel a strong sense of amazement at the speed that Greem had improved ever since he brought the young adept into the clan.
Greem expressed his thanks once more.
He then promptly returned to Pinecone Town and silently waited as Adept Hani had asked him.
The three adepts of the Devinni Trade Company reached the town two days later.
Greem still held great respect for this trade company that the Silver Union had stationed in the Zhentarim area. The trip to the Castle in the Sky had allowed him to see, firsthand, the power and strength of the Silver Union. The army of war statues that could blot out the sky was so fearsome that seeing it almost made you feel despair.
The Silver Union's monopoly over the esoteric adepts had indirectly allowed them to corner the market over all sorts of construction techniques. The craftsmen that were esoteric adepts were the only ones that could arrange things like adept's towers and teleportation arrays. While most clans did cultivate support adepts such as array masters, architects, potions masters, alchemists, and golem masters, they still had no choice but to rely on the scholars of the Silver Union for the core technology.
On the other hand, those smaller clans that were not able to cultivate their own support adepts had to spend enormous amounts of money to purchase the services of the Silver Union.
Devinni Trade Company was a unique organization that the Silver Union had stationed in other lands. They were singularly responsible for the construction of adept's towers.
Greem had already made his preparations by the time the Devinni's array master, architect, and the combat adept that had been sent to protect them finally arrived in Pinecone Town.
Five manticores waited outside of the town; their existence surprised the three visitors.
It wasn't odd to see magical creatures retained as guards and transportation. However, most of these magical creatures were reared near the headquarters of the clan itself. The fact that Adept Greem was so easily able to conjure up five adept-level manticores to transport them near the Black Forest spoke volumes about his influence and power in this region.
Of course, the various wounds on the manticores that had yet to heal was a clear sign that Greem had only recently tamed them.
That caused the Devinni adepts to be even more curious and expectant of the fire-attribute Lung of the Earth that Greem had described to them!