Chapter 408 Bad News
The arrival of Meryl and the others certainly made the tower more lively than before.
Moreover, they had brought plenty of daily necessities and supplies along with them, replenishing much of what the tower sorely lacked.
Greem gave the apprentices access to the first and second levels and had them slowly develop the two floors. Meanwhile, he brought Snorlax and Meryl to the meeting hall on the fourth floor to discuss other matters.
Snorlax took out his sack and handed it over to Greem in front of Meryl. The one hundred and twenty thousand magical crystals he mentioned were inside. However, this time Snorlax honestly admitted that Alice had sent them through a witch's trading company.
"Alice would never send such a huge number of crystals without any reason. Did she say anything else?" An ominous feeling rose in Greem's heart.
"The messenger she sent had a message. 'Be careful of the assault of the magical creatures!'" Meryl replied.
Her words shocked Greem. The young fire adept lowered his head in contemplation.
Assault of the magical creatures?
Other people might not understand the implications of this sentence, but something flashed through Greem's mind when he heard this reminder; an 'interesting' story that he had read in ancient tomes arose in his mind.
There were plenty of examples of magical creature attacks when adept powers had tried to encroach upon the Black Forest.
It was almost as if the magical creatures had a stubborn belief that human expansion into the woods would profoundly affect and deteriorate their living environment. That was why they would launch reckless assaults on the humans whenever they tried to move into the Black Forest. Sometimes the magical creatures even gathered together to coordinate a siege effort against human settlements near the Black Forest.
In the past, Greem had only thought of these as battles between human adepts and powerful magical creatures. He thought these were battles for territory. He felt that as long as he was cautious not to infringe upon the lands of the powerful magical creatures, he would never be in serious trouble.
However, Alice's reminder made it impossible for Greem to not reconsider the possibility of an assault by the magical creatures!
He had rarely gone out from the underground since he arrived in Plaguewood. Naturally, it was impossible for him to have trespassed into any creature's territory. Then what was it that made his existence intolerable to the magical creature lords?
Others might not be able to answer this question, but Greem had a vague idea.
The adept's tower!
With the establishment of the tower, the wandering magical energies would unavoidably be extracted from the surroundings to maintain its daily functions. This function resulted in an artificial drain of magic!
The distribution of magical elementium varied from place to place. The more energy the tower extracted from the air, the thinner the density of elementium in the surroundings. This minor change wasn't significant to the ordinary woodland beasts, but it was as plain as day to magical creatures who possessed supernatural abilities.
Truthfully, the magical creatures were magical beings born from immersion in the dense concentration of elementium. They were very sensitive to the flow and change of elementium particles. How could they possibly allow an outsider to do as they wanted in their land? To rob them of the elementium that they relied upon to survive?
That was why the tower had become the target of the magical creature lords' hostility the moment the elementium altar had activated!
Greem promptly called upon Gargamel once he understood what was happening. He had Gargamel contact Eva the forest spirit. As expected, Eva sent back news of disturbances among the magical creatures. It seemed they were all gradually gathering towards Plaguewood.
It was only now that Greem understood why Alice had taken the effort to send a messenger and a hundred and twenty thousand magical crystals to him. It wasn't to help with his construction of the tower, but to help with the defense of the tower!
The elementium altar had been functioning for a day and a night at this point, but the liquid magical energy in the pool wasn't even enough to completely cover the bottom of the pool. That also wasn't taking into account the secondary elementium pools and tertiary magic pools. The magical energies in those pools still existed in the gaseous state. They weren't dense enough to be converted into liquid yet.
Most of the wandering elementium that the tower absorbed on a daily basis was being used to maintain and modify the environment within the tower. Only a small portion of the energy was directed towards the elementium pool. If the magical creatures attacked, the tower would have to activate all of its defense systems. When that happened, the wandering elementium particles wouldn't be enough to sustain the consumption of energy.
Greem had the chip do an elementary calculation.
If the tower shut down all unnecessary magical facilities and runic arrays, then the elementium altar would probably be able to generate twenty-seven to twenty-eight magical crystals every day. However, in doing so, it would expose the adepts and the apprentices to the harsh conditions of the environment around them.
The underground world was a dry, warm, and desolate place to live in without environmental control. No one could tolerate living under such conditions!
On the other hand, activating the tower's defenses would take twelve to fifteen magical crystals per day. If they wanted to run the necessary magical facilities, the consumption of magical crystals would go up to twenty to twenty-two magical crystals per day.
After all, there were many magic doors, defensive arrays, alarm arrays, and detection crystals within the tower. All these things consumed magical energy when they were activated. If one were to take into consideration the voodoo beasts, golem constructs, and the magical garden that were to be added afterward, the consumption of energy was going to increase further!
Trying to rely on an adept's tower as the sole means to procure magical crystal was a childish and absurd line of thought.
It was also why most adept's towers only activated the lowest degree of defenses during peaceful times!
Once war erupted and all the defenses were activated, the tower instantly became a money pit. The rate at which it devoured magical crystals was enough to make any adept cry in anguish and grief.
Greem was in a disastrous situation right now. Other adept's towers might have several decades and even a century's worth of magical energy reserves. However, his adept's tower had absolutely nothing. His warehouse and treasury were so empty a mouse would starve to death if it were trapped inside. More importantly, Greem didn't have anything resembling a magical crystal reserve. His entire tower was practically operating stark naked!
Was he going to use a tower like this was for war?
As he held them in his hands, Greem immediately understood the significance of the magical crystals that Snorlax had given him.
These weren't magical crystals! These were the lifeline of the tower he was standing on right now!
Greem would probably have grabbed his head and cried out loud if he were the only one in the room right now. However, at the moment, two of his subordinates were looking at him. Greem had no choice but to hide the feelings in his heart, regardless of how upset he was.
Greem smiled. (Even though he really wanted to cry!)
"Things aren't all that bad!" Greem rested his head against his hand as he thought, "First, this tower isn't up on the surface. It won't be easy to siege, even for a horde of magical creatures. Their numbers won't matter if they get lost in this dark and sprawling labyrinth. That's the best and most convenient place to set up the first line of defense!"
"Second, this is only the edge of the Black Forest. The possibility of a Second Grade magical creature showing up isn't large. If it's only a group of First Grade magical creatures, we can rely on the tower's defenses to hold up against them. If things go well, we might even be able to counterattack and make a profit out of this."
"Most importantly, we have a sea of lava beneath our feet. If anyone angers me, I can draw upon the tower's powers and extract the lava from below to flood this cavern. What can those creatures do when that happens?"
After a logical analysis of the situation, Greem slowly listed all the advantages and disadvantages they had on their side. To his surprise, he found that they weren't in an entirely passive position. It was only now that Greem realized the reason Alice had so strongly supported his construction of a tower here.
This location was an excellent place that was entirely compatible with his future development!
There were no large adept clans nearby, and there were no terrifying magical creatures. It allowed Greem to avoid being harassed and troubled while he expanded his influence and power. Furthermore, there was a hidden sea of volcanic lava beneath Plaguewood. This resource had incredible significance to Greem's personal growth and development.
He only needed to resist this attack by the magical creatures. When the light of his tower shone upon the nearby forest, this small stretch of the Black Forest would become his territory. If the magical creatures were unable to drive him away, then they would have no other option but to leave this place, migrating to foreign lands to find a new home.
However, there weren't that many safe territories for these creatures to migrate to in the Black Forest. For the sake of their tribe and their species, these magical creatures had to band together to launch a frenzied attack at Greem's adept tower.
Soon, Greem would face a tough defensive battle!
A forest of stone pillars shaped by weathering throughout the ages, fifteen kilometers east of Plaguewood.
Eva the forest spirit stood alone atop a tall stone pillar. The stones here had been shaved away and worn by wind and rain. Some were thick, while others were thin. Some were tall while some were short; not one of them looked alike.
Looking from above the stone pillar, Eva saw that everything around here was a dull world colored in only yellows and black. Countless valleys, caves, and stone forests had been covered by the towering black trees, forming the complex geography of this place, as well as creating the perfect shelter for various magical creatures.
Who knew how many dangerous fellows lurked in the shadows and the caves here, silently observing everything?
All the adept-level magical creature leaders had gathered here today, answering the call of the most senior of them all- Tula, the Demon-Hunting Spider. They were aggressively discussing the presence of the human adepts that had appeared in the manticores' territory.
They had all felt the change in magical energy around the Plaguewood.
The strange trembling and drain of magical elementium posed a dire threat to all the magical creatures present. Many of the oldest magical creatures instantly determined the existence of an adept's tower; there was no other way to explain the phenomenon.
The expressions on the faces of all magical creatures changed when they heard this name.
This…this was a name that all magical creatures hated and feared!
Because hearing that name meant that a considerable price had to be paid.
Their land, their hunting grounds, and even their lives!