Chapter 424 Bountiful Spoils
How significant were the benefits of robbing a magical creature lord?
Greem didn't want to answer this question, because he was practically having a stroke from laughing.
Tula had excavated many independent caves in the deepest parts of its spider cave. Assorted valuable metal ores and precious resources were split up in hidden caches within these small caves.
It was Tula's hundreds of years of toiling collection. The value of all the resources added together was enough to shock Greem!
Of course, the magical creatures lacked a detailed and perfected system of refining metals. That meant that most of the stuff they collected were natural metal crystals and magical gemstones of the highest quality.
Greem also discovered large amounts of natural Magic Iron in Tula's warehouse. This metal was one of the fundamental materials that adepts used to make magic alloy. Apart from Magic Iron, Greem also found thorium, mithril, khorium, wrought gold, eternium, shadow stones, opals, unrefined emeralds, topaz, and many other magical gemstones.
Naturally, Tula also had an entire warehouse of magical stones.
Magical stones were similar to magical crystals; they were a product of arcane energies. However, magical stones were of inferior quality. Magical stones formed when rocks in nature absorbed excessive amounts of elementium. That was why magical stones shattered into pebbles and rock pieces once the magical energy within was extracted from them. Magical crystals, on the other hand, were crystals formed from concentrated elementium that was subjected to immense pressure. The amount of magical energy that a single magical crystal could store was far higher than that of a magical stone.
In conclusion, magical stones had a more stable structure, but they absorbed and retained less magical energy. They also left behind impurities. Magical crystals were less stable, but they contained far more magical power and left nothing behind when consumed.
That was why high-grade runic and magical arrays required magical crystals as a power source. Magical stones were only suited for use in inferior products. The exchange rate between the two types of resource was ten to one.
The magical creatures of Black Forest could not extract and refine the stones into magical crystals. That was why they mostly stockpiled magical stones that they had dug out themselves. Greem performed a basic calculation; Tula had amassed about seven to eight hundred thousand magical stones. Converted to magical crystals, this amounted to seventy to eighty thousand crystals.
Even though it didn't completely negate the cost of the war, it was still a great relief to the tower's finances.
Moreover, Greem wasn't the only search party. If the other two parties were able to reap similar rewards, they might be able to make up for their losses. In fact, they might even have a little extra!
However, of all the discoveries, there was one that excited Greem the most. A rare bottle of the Blood of Ley Lines.
This substance was extremely beneficial for earth-attribute bloodline adepts. It could, at the very least, fetch thirty thousand magical crystals if put on the market.
Furthermore, there were also large amounts of associated resources in metal ores. For example, there were the shadow crystals, smoky quartz, dark jade, elementium earth. There were even flora resources unique to the Black Forest, such as Thousand Year Tree Hearts, Giant Tree Roots, magic vine seeds, sunflowers…
Greem had also found a small laboratory as he was searching through this extensive list of resources. All sorts of strange samples were inside. These were things like spiderified creature specimens and unformed fetuses. After a detailed search, Greem even found a knowledge crystal in a hidden box inside the lab. Its contents seemed to be Tula's centuries of thoughts on its biological experimentations. Tula had also imparted some knowledge about the soul to the crystal.
The magical creatures might not have had a comprehensive and excellent legacy system as the adepts did. However, a magical creature with any ambition at all would research its own. That said, most of their research was isolated and hidden away from the eyes of others. There was almost no exchange of knowledge between them.
Every magical creature would have to start from scratch if they wanted to embark on a topic of research. There was no readily available body of information or techniques they could draw inspiration from.
Consequently, the results of the magical creatures' research were always fragmented and superficial. Even though they could sometimes be inspired and genuinely insightful, most of it was merely too shallow due to the lack of understanding and technique. The research hardly even delved deep enough to reveal the hidden secrets of the world!
One could tell what Tula's passion was just by looking at the sheer number of mutated spiders and spiderified creatures. The old spider loved breeding and modifying its own descendants. However, the descendants it had changed were all weak in combat. It meant that Tula wasn't all that talented and well-versed in the arts of biological modifications.
Still, Greem wasn't a picky person.
He pressed the crystal against his forehead. In less than five seconds, he had perfectly copied the massive amount of data stored within. Then, under the chip's careful filtering and selection, seventy-eight percent of the mistakes and irrelevant information were excluded. The rest was then carefully sorted and saved.
Greem didn't dare touch the parts about utilizing spider eggs and powerful beings to birth spiderified creatures. However, there was plenty of exploration into the soul in Tula's research. This knowledge had great significance for Greem.
In truth, Greem had been trying to purchase knowledge related to the soul for a long time. However, he still hasn't managed to obtain any news of a seller. It seemed that all the large adept organizations were furiously trying to get ahead on research about the soul. Everything related to this area of study, including the progress made in the area, had been sealed and was on lockdown.
Ordinary adepts had no means of obtaining related information, let alone conduct valuable and relevant experiments.
That was why Greem had nearly no information about the soul in the chip's data library. Tula's research was mostly superficial and often mistaken, but it still had immeasurable significance in guiding Greem's own analysis!
In particular, Greem loved the two or three minor soul spells stored inside the knowledge crystal; Greem was barely able to suppress his excitement. If it weren't for the timing and location, he would already be trying to get firsthand information about these spells.
After all, only new knowledge and spells could interest an adept. These were the most significant factors that drove their improvement!.
There was far too much wealth in the spider cave. Just Greem and Unguja alone couldn't possibly take away much of the treasure. That was why Greem left Unguja to keep watch over the place while he brought Dana back to the tower on the manticore. He then had Am lead a group of disciples and a few manticores to the cave to perform the heavy lifting.
The most powerful creatures in the area were already dead. There was no real need to be concerned for their safety. Thus, Greem left matters out of his hands once he passed the coordinates of the spider cave to the apprentices. He then holed up in his tower to slowly investigate the contents of the knowledge crystal.
Dana the Medusa, as one of the severely wounded casualties, remained in the tower to regain her strength.
Of course, Meryl and Gargamel also returned soon.
There were upsets and difficulties along the way, but they also brought back abundant lists of resources and rare items.
Much like Tula, the other magical creature leaders had secretly stashed plenty of resources in their private storerooms and warehouses. The two parties couldn't bring too many of the stores along with them, so they only picked the rarest of them all to bring back. The rest of the stuff had to be slowly moved back to the tower over the course of the next few days.
The more common resources were all left to Gargamel's discretion. They were to be stored in the warehouse as fundamental resources for the tower's day-to-day use. The more valuable and precious resources were also left to Gargamel to deal with after Greem got to pick from them. The most expensive and rarest of them all, Greem kept in his private quarters.
Greem had left the Demon Hound's and the Medusa's dens untouched and left it for them to deal with themselves. This gesture was to strengthen their loyalties to him. Most of the housekeeping was centered around the dens of Tula, the Giant Berserk Gelada, the bird demon, and the snake fiend.
While the bird demon and snake fiend had also surrendered to Greem and pledged themselves to his cause, they were too weak. Therefore, Greem didn't see the need to provide them with better treatment. They had no choice but to suck it up and offer all their property to Greem. They were only allowed to keep some resources for themselves and their tribe members.
The transportation took several weeks. When the Silver Union adepts hurriedly arrived with the construction team, they weren't sure if they had reached the right place. Plaguewood, no, the pile of rocks was too lively.
Plaguewood had utterly vanished, replaced by a three-kilometer-wide field of rocks. Black dirt mixed with pebbles and rocks, as well as broken branches from fallen trees. These were the last signs of Plaguewood.
At the moment, a massive hole had been dug out in the center of the enormous pile of boulders. A new tunnel had also been dug out. Other than the manticores, who were carting things to and fro, there were also plenty of low-level magical creatures working at the entrance of the cave.
They were the most hardworking laborers, continuously carrying stuff off of the manticore's back and grunting as they heaved them underground.
A flock of bird demons took to the skies when the 'outsiders' suddenly appeared. They held crude throwing spears in their hands as they formed a perimeter. Seven or eight snake fiends with male human torsos and snake tails slithered across the ground and surrounded the outsiders. They held long and gleaming spears in their hands.
The silver-robed adepts had arrived here on a sort of floating disc unique to the Silver Union. The platform couldn't fly as high as a floating ship, but it was agiler and more suited for short distance flying of sixty kilometers or less.
"Could the adept's tower have fallen to the magical creatures? Has this place turned into a monster's playground?" A silver-robed adept couldn't help but exclaim.
"No. I'm afraid it's quite the opposite!" Adept Eugene was the one to speak, "Look at the cave entrance."
The esoteric adepts turned to look, and indeed, they found two apprentices standing there. They weren't the slaves or prisoners of these magical creatures. Instead, they seemed to be the overseers of the place, arrogantly commanding the magical creatures.
Kodar quickly called the bird demons and snake fiends back when he saw the silver robes on Eugene and the others. He personally rushed ahead to greet the adepts.
"May I ask if you are the respected adepts from the Devinni Trading Company?"
"That is right. We are indeed from the Devinni Trading Company."
"That couldn't be better news. My teacher has been awaiting your arrival in the tower. Please come with me!"
The adepts looked at each other in suspicion before silently following Kodar into the tunnel filled with the smell of fire and sulfur.
Editor Ryu: We're now into July (2018 for those who are reading this in the far future), so please stop by and check out the to find out what's coming up this month, including how we'll do bonus chapters this month (we're trying something different this month).