Chapter 429 The Accumulation of Power
Greem spent six whole hours in the alchemical lab before coming out of the room.
His formerly plentiful Spirit was utterly exhausted when he stepped out. He was even swaying about on his feet when he walked.
Greem started his daily meditation as soon as he reached his room on the fourth floor.
The five hours of deep meditation quickly replenished his Spirit and also brought about a minor Spirit increase of 0.0005 points. It was an extremely slow increase, but his powers would still grow considerably if he kept it up.
However, the development of Spirit through daily meditation wasn't always constant. The effect of meditation would gradually decrease once his Spirit grew to a certain extent. That was why adepts who wanted to advance to Second Grade through daily accumulation were many, yet those who succeeded were few.
Why else were there so many First Grade adepts with lifespans of two to three hundred years, but only a few Second Grade adepts? The most important reason was the limits imposed by the planar laws!
Every adept had to form their consciousness core when they advanced. The compatibility of this core with the planar laws determined the upper limit that an adept's Spirit could reach.
Meditation was a gradual process of assimilating the consciousness core through the use of the planar laws.
However, this process had its limits. It was significantly affected by the structure of the laws within the consciousness core itself. If the adept themselves didn't further their understanding of the laws that governed their powers, then the consciousness core would stop growing once it reached its limits. That was why working hard to comprehend and master the laws was the only way to improve the capacity of the consciousness core continuously. It was like digging a pond. The more profound and comprehensive your understanding and mastery of the laws, the larger the pond.
Daily meditation was the act of pouring water into this pool. One could see and feel the increase of the water level. However, if the pond remained untouched, there would come a day when it became filled. That would be when the adepts had to deal with the stagnation of their powers.
Still, the comprehension and mastery of the laws was no easy matter.
The laws had always been, and will continue to be, intangible. Some might have been able to sense the presence of the laws through the repeated use of magic, while others were able to verify the existence of the laws through rigorous experimentation. Some might even be able to feel the existence of the laws directly.
Magical chants could be memorized and mastered through repetition. Occult knowledge could be recorded with books and knowledge crystals to be passed on to others. However, only the comprehension of the world's laws lacked proper means by which to pass along to another individual.
As of today, the only method that was capable of achieving this was the bloodline legacy of the bloodline adepts.
Individuals with bloodline talent were incapable of receiving the world's laws and passing it down within their bloodline legacy. However, they could pinpoint and insert vague fragments of their consciousness into their bloodline. For tens of thousands of years, many adepts of the same bloodline continued to contribute a piece of themselves in this manner. Their descendants were then able to be guided by their bloodline and quickly gained access to this precious legacy of consciousness.
It was natural that the bloodline adepts were able to improve so quickly when they had guidance and instruction from their ancestors.
This ability was also what allowed the bloodline adepts to continuously remain the most influential individuals in the World of Adepts. If it weren't for their bloodline limits, the bloodline adepts might very well have become the largest faction in the World of Adepts.
Sadly, they were unmade by their bloodline, just as it made them!
The bloodline limit was like a noose hanging around the neck of every bloodline adept. It was a noose that slowly tightened as the adept's powers improved. One day, they would stagnate at a certain level, never progressing no matter how much they struggled and suffered!
Compared to the bloodline adepts, elementium adepts placed far more importance on the comprehension of the planar laws. While it was true that they had nothing to guide their journey, they also didn't have an unsurpassable threshold to deal with. That was why Greem had so eagerly joined the ranks of the elementium adepts back then.
He needed to do two things now. First, he had to continue to meditate and accumulate magical knowledge. Second, he had to temper his Spirit regularly. The half-elementiumization of his body had allowed him to advance to First Grade easily. However, if he wanted to progress to Second Grade, he would first have to elementiumize his Spirit as well.
And this feat could only be achieved by drawing upon the powers of the mysterious sea of lava below the tower!
However, the conditions were not ripe yet. For the moment, Greem couldn't use the sea of lava to temper his Spirit. The main reason for the delay in his actions was the sudden change that had occurred the last time he unsealed the Flame Fiend's Heart; foreign energies had assimilated his body of flame.
He was still carefully assessing the effects of this change, and consequently, his plan to elementiumize his Spirit had to be put aside for the moment.
Greem raised his right hand and slowly called upon the energies within the Flame Fiend's Heart. He attempted to guide the power into his right hand. A short moment later, a layer of a black substance with a metallic gleam covered his deft right hand. His hand now looked just like that of a demon.
The mysterious substance was hard to the touch. It resisted the stabbing and slashing of sharp-edged weapons. It even withstood elementium attacks below fifteen points of power. Greem's right hand started to swell like a continuously mutating monster as more and more energy was channeled into it. His fingers also became thicker and longer, crackling as they did so. The most apparent change happened to his fingernails. They started to transform during the rapid growth of his hand size. The tips of his nails turned sharp and curved as the most wicked of daggers.
Greem took out a dagger with black patterns and thrust it at his palm. Sparks went flying everywhere from the friction, but his black palm remained unharmed. It wasn't until Greem stabbed his palm with an enchanted dagger that he could feel a mild pain from his hand.
Judging by that test, his body would be entirely immune to attacks from conventional weapons once the mutation to his body of flames was complete. Only enchanted weapons would hurt him.
However, the foreign energy didn't just bring about benefits!
Greem took out a mirror and opened his mouth wide to look into it.
White and jagged fangs had replaced his white and orderly teeth, and a thick smell of sulfur spread throughout the room when he opened his mouth.
The strange mutation only went away a long time after Greem had dispersed the energies.
"Chip, you recorded everything? Have you found any solutions?"
"Beep. Mutation process recorded. Now analyzing the elementium change in the host's body during mutation. This mutation is beneficial and hasten's the host's adaptation to the pure fire energies from the Flame Fiend's Heart. It is recommended that the host not stop the mutation. That will lower the compatibility of the host's body with the fire energies."
Greem was speechless when he heard the chip's recommendation.
The chip wasn't him after all. It always prioritized optimal functionality in its decision-making process. For the first time, the chip had a completely different view than Greem. It didn't understand its host's insistence and attachment to his human body.
Perhaps this was the frailty of humans!
Greem mocked himself helplessly and left his room. He once again headed to the laboratory area on the fifth floor.
This time, he didn't go to the alchemical lab. Instead, he entered a small facility used for biological modification surgeries.
Compared to the delicate and neat alchemical lab, the bio-modification lab appeared to be much more sinister and terrifying. All sorts of lifeforms of different species and sizes were spread across several large stone platforms. Most of them were missing parts, and their corpses showed visible signs of surgery.
A platinum-colored, human-shaped golem standing one hundred and eighty centimeters in height walked in front of Greem when it sensed his arrival. It then respectfully stood as it awaited orders.
Greem couldn't help but ask a question when he saw the bloody knives and saws on the robotic arms of the auxiliary golem, "How is the treatment of Subjects One and Two coming along?"
"Subject One has been completely cleaned up. Subject Two's life force is still decreasing. At the moment, only 87% of their body functions remain."
The robot and its master walked as they talked. They soon arrived before a massive stone platform.
A humongous magical spider laid across the platform. Its head was gone, and the large abdominal sac on its rear had also withered. However, its massive body and sharp limbs remained on the platform. It was an intimidating sight to anyone who saw them.
Tula might be dead, but its body still held tremendous value!
Its eight limbs were all sharp enough to compare with magically-enhanced weapons. Their power could be further maximized if they were handed over to enchanters or alchemists and modified into proper magical armaments.
The old spider's shell was also flexible, sturdy, and magic-resistant. Greem didn't know what material it was composed of, but there was no doubt it was an excellent one. If the shell was crafted into a small shield, it would be light enough that even adepts would be able to hold it up.
Greem also found a large poison gland, a poison sac, and a considerable silk gland within Tula's body.
These items would have radically different effects in the hands of different adepts. However, Greem was not at all experienced in the treatment of magical materials. He had no choice but to give them all to Gargamel. After all, Gargamel was a potions master. The poison gland and poison sac would undoubtedly increase his reserve of poisons and further improve the efficacy of his poisonous potions.
Gargamel didn't disappoint Greem either. He soaked the silk gland in a mysterious solution, and it started to produce the same silk and webbing that Tula used. Even though it barely produced one meter of silk over ten days, Gargamel confirmed that this silk was not only soft and comfortable to the touch, but was also exceptionally tough and resilient as well. An ordinary magically-enhanced weapon couldn't sever it.
Apart from that, this strange silk could also absorb elementium of fewer than ten points of power, as well as obscure mental probes.
That meant that an undergarment woven from this silk would allow an adept to possess ten points of elementium resistance and enable them to become immune to an adept's passive spiritual senses.
In doing so, the wearer no longer needed to worry about exposure of their mental state, even if they were standing near an adept with superior Spirit.
After all, the passive probing would be obscured by the undergarment, and active mental probing was unlikely to happen; it was considered an extremely hostile act between adepts!
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