Chapter 407 The Tower is Complete
When Greem had seen Alice controlling a tower of her own back in the Northern Lands, he had thought of it as an easy matter.
However, it was only now that he managed an adept's tower of his own that he understood the pain of owning a tower!
He had always lived in the Sarubo Clan's tower in the past. There wasn't an urgent need for resources. He had also frequently been burdened with matters he had to attend. Consequently, he never quite had the time to go around accumulating funds. Now that he held a tower in his hands, the sheer consumption of magical crystals and resources was enough to make his head hurt.
His situation was nothing like Alice's. The Witch of Fate was working alone as of now, but she was still supported by all the accumulated resources of the Witches of Fate! Her starting point was much further along than Greem's. The gap in their power would only grow wider as time passed.
That was Greem's most significant concern!
His first planar invasion experience and the abundant wealth to be harvested had captivated his imagination. Countless times, Greem had fantasized about conquering foreign planes with an army of adepts he had assembled himself. They would obtain vast lands and mountains of resources that would be used to strengthen themselves further.
However, in every single one of his fantasies, he was the leader; only he could be the leader.
But if Alice accumulated more influence and power than him, who would be the leader when they allied? Who was the subordinate?
The question was a simple one, but it deeply troubled Greem.
Once both of their forces had developed to that extent, they would not be able to avoid facing the issue, even with the vague feelings they had for each other. Moreover, adepts were pragmatic beings. Minor romantic feelings could not possibly subvert the difference in status between two individuals.
Alice was the leader of the Witches of Fate, albeit with slightly insufficient power as of yet. Greem, on the other hand, was a mere fire adept with a handful of subordinates he could call upon. When the time came for them to join hands, what was Greem supposed to use to make Alice submit to him? How was he supposed to make Alice subordinate to him?
Alice and Greem each had an adept's tower of their own now.
Alice possessed the tower of origin for the Witches of Fate, one of the most potent adept's towers on the Continent. She didn't have much right now, but as long as she held onto her identity as the Witch of Fate, she would have no problem expanding her influence and might. In fact, it couldn't be said that Alice was starting from nothing. She was only expanding upon the foundation of the Witches of Fate, while slowly restoring the legendary witch branch to its former glory.
She was practically a rich kid born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Greem was the pauper that had to start from scratch!
Of course, Greem could contact Alice at any moment and ask for several tens or hundreds of thousands of magical crystals from her. If he did so, he could solve all the financial problems of his tiny tower!
However, as an adept with wild ambition, Greem would never bring himself to lower his status to ask Alice for help. He knew very well the problems that Alice had to face as well.
The Tower of Fate might have a large reserve of magical crystals, but most of those assets were frozen for the sake of recruiting the magic fairies. What remained was barely enough to support the operation of that massive tower.
Greem was in a problematic position himself, but he wasn't in as dangerous situation as Alice was.
The issue concerning the First Witch of Fate, the attitude of the other witch leaders towards her, and the internal affairs of the Witches of Fate that still lied in shambles; a single mistake in dealing with any one of them plunge her into doom and despair!
The burden that Alice shouldered wasn't any lighter than Greem's. In fact, most of the time Greem was glad that he wasn't involved in those complex layers of conspiracy, where it was hard to tell friend from foe.
The three Silver Union adepts left that night. The slaves and servants that Greem purchased would also reach his tower within fifteen days. Greem had half a month's time to get the tower in order. At the very least, he needed to start its essential functions and operations.
Apart from the magical facilities, the adept's tower was also sorely lacking in the daily necessities for the adepts and apprentices. Replenishing these supplies was an issue that had to be dealt with immediately as well.
After all, Greem couldn't possibly be expected to sleep on a stone bed, gnaw on wild game hunted by the manticores, and drink water summoned from the water elementium plane. It was acceptable if he had to lead a life like this for a few days, but even the most resilient adept wasn't able to endure this lifestyle for long periods of time.
Greem was silently thinking over these problems when he received a message from Snorlax.
Snorlax and his party of a dozen people had reached Pinecone Town. They were hiring mercenaries to escort them to the adept's tower.
Greem paused for a moment. He considered for a moment and handed control of the tower over to Gargamel. He brought the eleven manticores out of the cave and hurried towards Pinecone Town.
Half a day later, Greem was able to meet up with Snorlax twenty kilometers away from the town. He had used his mental connection with Snorlax to locate the party. There were sixteen people in total. The ones leading the way were Love and the others who he had recruited during their last trip.
Greem's black eyes swept over the party members as he leaped off the back of the majestic manticore leader. Apart from Snorlax and the apprentices of his faction, he also saw Meryl amongst them.
"Meryl! Why did you come along?"
An expression of idolization and envy flashed in Meryl's eyes as she looked at the strange lion-like beast, "Teacher, you are amazing! It's only been a few days, and you've already managed to tame such a powerful magical beast!"
Greem wore a simple gray robe. He was tall in stature and possessed a handsome face. His flowing crimson hair fell upon his shoulders, and he held in his hand a mysterious black staff with crimson patterns. He gave the party members a sense of stability and security when he stood before them like this.
"Very well, we can talk about all this once we reach the tower! I've specially brought the manticores to carry everyone over. Let's go!"
Love and his two party members followed the road back to town, while the eleven manticores carried the fourteen adepts and apprentices on their backs. They unfurled their wings, roared, and flew towards the depth of the Black Forest.
To save time, Greem made Snorlax ride along with him so that he could ask the goblin the reason for his visit.
"Master, of course, it's to bring you some necessary goods!" Snorlax excitedly explained, "You've only just constructed your tower; it's certain that you would lack in daily necessities. I went to look for Lady Meryl, and we decided to bring these things to you along with your disciples and apprentices."
A violent gust of wind swept across their heads. Snorlax's large ears fluttered behind his head, and his green hair blew into a quiff. Even so, there was no stopping the goblin's enthusiasm. He continued to wave his hands and eagerly spoke about his actions.
However, near the end of his lengthy speech, Snorlax leaned against Greem's ear and whispered, "Master, apart from the necessities, I have also brought you some magical crystals. The business of the goblin shop has been phenomenal recently. This one took the opportunity to earn as much as he could, all for the sake of master."
"Magical crystals? How much?" Greem asked doubtfully.
"A hundred and twenty thousand magical crystals!" Snorlax yelped with a wide grin on his face.
If Greem hadn't caught Snorlax by the collar, he would probably have fallen off the manticore's back out of sheer excitement.
"A hundred and twenty thousand?" An expression of amusement appeared on Greem's face. He didn't say anything to Snorlax's words.
He wasn't a rookie that had just emerged from some unknown rural place. A small goblin shop relying on the protection of a clan made a hundred and twenty thousand magical crystals in less than ten years? A legendary story like this might be good for the taverns, but it wasn't to be taken seriously.
Greem shook his head and laughed and chose to not think about the matter. Instead, he turned to join his apprentices in appreciating the beautiful scenery beneath them.
Birds flitted through the trees as the manticores flew across the canopy of the vast forest. The entire place was brimming with life.
From high above the skies, all you could see was the endless stretch of leaves and canopy. Black. Perhaps this was the only color in this forest.
The woods were dark and the trees towered above everything else.
When looking up from within the dense forest, the thick branches and dense leaves cut up the sky into pieces of blue ribbons. Spots of light scattered across the ground, flickering and flashing as the leaves swayed in the winds.
The black and boundless forest continued forever, from low bushes to tall trees. This land was a paradise for flora. Ironoaks, firs, spruces, cedars, and all varieties of trees grew straight up to the sky. Thick, nameless vegetation and vines filled the gaps between the trees.
Any outsider would find it difficult to traverse such an ancient and primal forest.
Of course, there were all sorts of forest creatures in such an environment. However, they were not the true owners of the Black Forest. The only ones that could make that claim were the tide of terrifying magical creatures and monsters that inhabited the forest.
The apprentices that could follow Adept Meryl on this visit were all advanced apprentices or pseudo-adepts. They had all ventured into the edges of the Black Forest and fought with beasts, magical creatures, monsters, and corruptors in there. They might be victorious and return with resources and spoils of war, or they might not be, being forced to hide in the swamp or the decaying vegetation, praying to escape the notice of the monsters.
If an apprentice wanted to become stronger, they had to experience such tragic and stressful situations several times. It was because they continued to grow from their victories and defeats that they were able to become stronger.
In their eyes, the Black Forest was the land of the magical creatures and a paradise for monsters. It was also the battlefield from which they obtained resources. Yet, at this moment, they were riding upon the legendary manticore, flying far above all those frightening beasts below. They were freely weaving through the trees, flying across lakes, and making their way past mountains and rivers.
This relaxed and comfortable feeling was a refreshing one to experience!
It was also the real might of an adept. Even a powerful magical creature could only beg for its life and become an obedient slave when placed before an omnipotent adept.
This feeling was pretty goddamn good!