Chapter 453 Approval
Greem almost hadn't recognized Mary when he first saw her.
The ten years of battle in the other plane had produced a tremendous change to Mary's appearance and composure.
Her skin was still as white as ever, her face as delicate as before, and her eyes still glowed the crimson color of blood. However, this once incomparably beautiful young girl had now become a cold, decisive, and capable leader. Her every action carried a commanding aura of intimidation that silenced all doubts.
The arcane hall was now filled with apprentices that had caught wind of the news!
Even though they knew the intruder was a terrifying adept, they didn't seem scared at all. They held magic wands in their hands, holding their scrolls at their waist while downing several bottles of resistance potions. They worked together and took up all the advantageous positions in the room as they stared at this beautiful intruder with fierce looks.
Sir Flame Demon was now within the tower. That undoubtedly filled the apprentices with boundless courage and bravery. If Sabrina hadn't suppressed their eagerness, apprentices would have already struck at the intruder.
"May I know where you have come from, Lady? Why are you trespassing here in the property of the Sarubo Clan?" Sabrina was nervous, but she still acted as the chief of the apprentices and stepped in front of this mysterious female adept.
Before the intruder could even speak, Greem's voice rang out in the room.
"Everyone put your wands away," Greem arrived promptly by the spiral staircase, "Allow me to introduce our guest. This woman is the famous Adept Mary of our Sarubo Clan!"
Adept Mary? The Bloody Sorceress?
The apprentices opened their mouths wide in shock. They stared at Adept Mary with complicated feelings. She didn't seem as scary and terrifying as the rumors claimed. She had an infamous reputation within the clan for being violent. Almost all of the apprentices had already heard of her feats. She was a combat adept that had risen to prominence alongside Adept Greem, and she possessed powerful vampiric talents.
She had been sent to a planar battlefield right after she had advanced to adept. Consequently, not many apprentices within the clan had seen her before. Why else would the apprentices do something as ridiculous as not recognize one of their clan's adepts?
"Mary, when did you come back? Let's go to my room and talk!" Greem clearly sensed the changes Mary had undergone after such a long time away.
However, things didn't unfold the way he thought they would. Mary didn't seem too happy or excited to see him. Instead, she narrowed her crimson eyes and silently assessed Greem. After a long pause, she proudly spoke, "I killed Acteon!"
Greem's face twitched. He couldn't help but ask a question in return, "Evil Bugs Acteon? You killed him?"
The Bloody Sorceress killed Evil Bugs?
This explosive news came as a massive surprise to all the apprentices. None of them could hide the shock that their faces betrayed.
The one who was most affected by the news was Greem!
Others might not have known difficult of an opponent Acteon was. However, he had personally fought against him multiple times. He knew just how annoying and powerful his magic was. Acteon's abilities might not be the most powerful, but they were certainly the hardest to deal with!
Moreover, Acteon was also a powerful adept that could punch above his weight.
If given a chance to raise his army of carcass beetles, he would have been able to crush any ordinary adept. The bugs would have devoured them before they even had a chance to get close. One couldn't measure Acteon based on his attributes as a newly advanced adept. With the numerical advantage of the carcass beetles and his own undying body, Acteon could wear away at an elite adept and drag them to their grave.
"I officially challenge you now!" Mary was destined to surprise some of the apprentices into a coma today. Another massive bomb had come out of her mouth when she spoke, "Come with me!"
Bloody mist rose behind Mary. A pair of large leather wings with a clear outline opened up. She slowly levitated off the ground and charged out of the stone tower, flying towards an empty area to the west of the city.
Dammit? What was this?
An expression that was neither upset nor happy appeared on Greem's face. He was completely baffled.
Even he didn't always understand what Mary was thinking with her temperamental personality.
"All of you listen to Sabrina's orders. Watch the tower and make sure nothing goes wrong before I return!" After leaving some simple instructions, Greem activated all of the defensive arrays using his authority as the stationed adept. He then quickly followed behind Mary and hurried towards the east of the city.
Five kilometers from the eastern outskirts of Gilneas City.
Mary had already been waiting for a while by the time Greem arrived.
Mary beat her wings and floated fifty centimeters above a small mound of earth that resembled a grave. Her crimson eyes were fixated upon Greem.
Her skintight armor covered the upper half of her body. Crimson patterns flashed on the armor, occasionally forming blood-red roses. Her exposed arms and feet were white and smooth, and her skin glistened with a certain radiance.
Mary's small face was still as delicate and perfect as before. Her seductive red lips paired with her blood-red eyes to create an unforgettable sight.
She carried a longbow on her back that glowed with the same crimson light.
Greem couldn't be more familiar with this armor and longbow. In fact, Greem could even describe every marking, pattern, and rune on them. That was because he was the one who had personally modified the equipment for Mary.
"What is it, Mary?" Upon arriving, Greem stopped in front of Mary and asked in confusion, "We haven't seen each other in so many years. Shouldn't we be catching up? What's with all this?"
"What's our relationship?" Mary suddenly asked.
"Relationship?" Greem tilted his head and thought for a while before answering with complete seriousness, "Friends!"
"Adepts have no friends! There is only knowledge, benefit, and one's self in the eyes of adepts!"
"Calling you a friend might be unacceptable for you, so why don't we define our relationship as a companionship!"
"There is still the dominant and the submissive in a relationship! What do you think about us? Who's the dominant one, and who's the submissive one?" Mary continued to stare at Greem, completely emotionless. Her words surprised Greem.
A battle for power?
In the past, both Greem and Mary had always treated each other with sincerity when they had worked together. The enemies they had faced were almost always too powerful. The two of them had to treat each other as sincerely as possible to work together and deal with every difficulty that came their way. That was why they had never honestly figured out the pecking order between them.
"I just returned from the Knight's Plane five days ago. I heard some problems have happened between you and the clan. Adept Meryl has also told me about everything that has happened in the clan during this period. I can tell. You are not a person that would only live in the present. It doesn't matter whether it's your adept's tower or the investment you made in Alice. All of this is a clear display of your ambition."
Greem didn't speak. He silently listened.
"You wish to go independent! You want to build a force and organization of your own!" Mary continued to press the issue and finally arrived at the most important question, "What position would I take up in the organization that you envision?
"Your concubine? Or your subordinate?"
The pitch of Mary's voice suddenly rose at the end.
"If you want me to serve you, you will have to beat me first! Otherwise, you should be the one to kneel before me and call me Queen!"
Mary let out an ear-piercing scream, and her bat wings unfurled to their fullest. Four bloodsucking bats suddenly flew out as crimson mist enveloped her body. The bats landed on the ground and transformed into three muscular knights wearing crimson armor, and one noble youth.
Three radiant knights?
Greem immediately recognized the identities of the three Blood Knights. He couldn't help but be surprised by the extent of Mary's power.
If this conflict hadn't come up, Greem would have been happier the stronger Mary was. However, Greem felt his head start to ache from how powerful Mary had become.
Damn! Trying to subdue a proud female adept would have been a freaking daydream if he didn't have a little power! It was even more so when it came to someone as competitive and headstrong as Mary. It would be impossible for her to willingly become his woman if he didn't convincingly overpower her.
Greem knew it was no time to shrink back when he saw Mary reveal the full extent of her powers. Even though this fight came upon him in an extremely confusing manner, it would all be worth it as long as he could make Mary submit.
Having understood all this, Greem cast away his hesitations. He too brought out everything he had.
He casually took out a brilliant golem crystal core from his belt and tossed it into the air. Meanwhile, Greem himself started to swell in size as he let out a cold laugh.
The surging fire elementium poured out from within his body, instantly turning him into a blazing flame being. The earth beneath his feet scorched and melted under the extreme heat. The ground soon came together and formed a roiling pool of magma.
The red lava crawled up Greem's legs and extended towards his body. The substance covered the terrifying flame humanoid with a thick layer of magma armor wherever it flowed.
Crimson magma, red lava, and frightening flames. The three manifestations of heat mixed and formed Greem's four-meter tall Flame Fiend body.
Deng! Deng! Deng!
Seven Fire Shields formed in midair. They started to spin around the Flame Fiend's body, each of them one meter wide and two meters tall. These shields were composed of red and yellow flames.
A dull ringing sound.
Two massive Lava Shields formed from magma and fire quickly sprang up and appeared in front of and behind the Flame Fiend.
Finally, a light, red egg-shaped barrier shot out of Greem's body. It instantly engulfed an area of over a hundred meters around him.
All the grass within the radius of the Ring of Fire burst into flame.
The whole place became a sea of fire!
Editor Ryu: Here are the of our third voting goal this month.