Chapter 460 Assimilation
The third level of the stone tower.
Greem slowly walked to a hidden room after completing his daily meditations.
At the moment, Beginner Apprentice Billis was sitting inside a large wooden bucket in the room. His expression was twisted and wicked as if he was silently enduring intense pain. A pungent, unknown purple and black liquid filled the wooden bucket.
Billis struggled to get up and greet Greem when he saw the adept enter. However, Greem stopped him.
"How is it; is the assimilation process going well?" Greem asked caringly.
"Everything is going smoothly, Sir!" Billis endured the intense pain and replied with much difficulty, "I will definitely succeed in this assimilation!"
Billis pushed aside the long robe draped over his shoulders and revealed his bony chest and pulsating tumor there.
As a wandering apprentice, Billis wasn't particularly fit. Still, it wasn't as if he was underweight and skinny either. However, in the span of two to three days, he had lost a shocking twenty kilograms. He looked as if his life was burning out. The culprit for his terrible state was that parasitical tumor in his chest.
Embedded in Billis' chest was a tumor the size of a fist. One could vaguely see a strange bug squirming in there through his skin. The bug's head had firmly planted itself in Billis' chest. Only a small portion of its body and abdominal sac remained on the outside.
Billis' pain became even more intense as the bug slowly edged closer to his heart.
Greem bent down to examine the progress of their assimilation. He then straightened his body and advised Billis solemnly, "The Queen Bug has come into contact with your heart. Next, it will find a way to infest your heart and try its best to assimilate with the organ. So, I ask you one last time; do you regret this? If you regret it, I can still interrupt this process. Otherwise, once this phase starts, obvious bug transformations will happen to your body in a short period of time. By then, even I can no longer do anything for you!"
"I know that my talent will never allow me to become a true adept without Sir's help. That is why I do not regret this choice of mine. Aaaaaah!" An intense pain shot through Billis' heart the moment he finished speaking. He couldn't help but grip the sides of the wooden bucket and howl in agony.
He didn't scream for much longer. Large mouthfuls of blood poured out of Billis' mouth like a fountain. Judging by the amount of blood, his internal organs must have been severely wounded.
Inside the bucket, the bright red blood was immediately absorbed by the purple liquid when they came into contact. The blood was then directly sent into Billis' body through his skin. The purple and black liquid started bubbling during this process, and an oddly fragrant smell filled the hidden room.
A seductive and phantom-like singing started alongside the smell.
The singing was like the voice of angels, sweet and refreshing. It was inspiring and moving at times, clear and crystalline at others, and even profound and reflective at certain moments. Several beautiful sirens the size of a palm floated above the purple liquid and sang in unison.
However, as they continued to sing, all their flesh started to rot and fall apart, turning into pools of purple-black fluid and joining the rest of the liquid in the bucket. Only lonely skeletons remained, their jaws moving up and down, letting out strange creaking noises.
At the same time, the touching song suddenly turned into a hateful curse uttered with bloody tears. A mental flux filled with hatred and vengeance rippled through the air before surging into Billis' body.
Billis' grip continued to tighten. Splinters started flying everywhere from the strength he exerted on the sides of the bucket. He gouged deep marks in the hardwood.
Inside his body, the accursed Queen Bug was furiously devouring his heart. Outside, the curse of the sirens was continually surging into him, eroding his soul without stop.
Billis dove into the purple-black liquid when the pain reached its limit. He suppressed his disgust and started gulping down the revolting material.
The liquid in that bucket was fresh blood taken from living sirens.
Judging from the amount in the bucket, they had to have wholly drained ten sirens of their blood. The sirens were a type of magical sea creature that could compare to human adepts. Ten advanced apprentice-level sirens had cost Greem a hundred and fifty thousand magical crystals.
The assimilation process between Billis and the Queen Bug was a manner of mutual devouring. In this process, the Queen Bug's body needed to become Billis' new heart, and the Queen Bug's soul needed to reside in Billis' soul successfully.
The Queen Bug did not possess any ability to improve and grow on her own. However, when it infested Billis' body, it could become stronger along with Billis' personal growth. That was a unique method of growth that belonged to their species!
However, the assimilation process itself was far too cruel and bloody. If the host failed to endure through the entire thing, both man and bug would die.
That was why Greem had no choice but to purchase the siren's blood to increase the success rate of the assimilation.
Just like the Water of Life of the elves, siren's blood also possessed astounding regenerative properties. However, this blood was already soaked in the hatred and curses of the sirens at their deathbeds. That was why one had to endure the power of these curses when using the blood.
The reason Greem chose Siren's Blood over the Water of Life was due to the clash of attributes. Both the Queen Bug and Billis had the unique twin attributes of darkness and earth. These were opposed to the Water of Life. Consequently, Greem had no choice but to choose the siren's blood, even if there were potentially severe side-effects.
Fortunately, getting rid of these curses would be an easy matter as long as Billis successfully merged with the Queen Bug.
The intense torture of both soul and body brought Billis to the edge of life. He curled into a ball and soaked himself in the siren's blood, silently enduring the terrifying pain of having his heart eaten out.
Red blood continued to pour out of his orifices before being transfused into his body with the siren's blood. It was this cycling of his life force that ensured Billis wouldn't die of exhaustion during the assimilation process.
Greem silently stood by the side of the wooden bucket during the entire process, carefully watching over every step of the assimilation. With his subtle soul connection to the bug, along with the Chip's x-ray vision, Billis' body was like a transparent sack. Greem could see everything happening within.
Greem didn't just examine him without doing anything. He occasionally drew a small blood sample from the bucket to keep. After this, he could analyze the secrets of the Queen Bug's assimilation through the composition of Billis' blood.
While Greem anxiously waited, the Queen Bug had managed to squeeze all the way into Billis' chest. She had also managed to devour all of his heart.
Under ordinary circumstances, Billis would have been a dead man at this moment!
After all, as a beginner apprentice, he was still incapable of using magical energies to sustain the cycle of life within his body.
However, the siren's blood had provided Billis with additional life force. It allowed him to hang on to his life until the Queen Bug managed to replace the heart's function, even while he was missing a heart.
Splash! Water went everywhere.
Billis emerged from within the blood. He grabbed onto the sides of the bucket and panted intensely.
A pair of strange dirt-yellow pupils resided within his eyes!
Three days later.
Sabrina walked into the hidden room with a large plate of mutton steak. Traces of blood still clung to the meat.
This place was on the second level of the stone tower.
Apart from the few pseudo-adepts, no apprentices were allowed on this level. Beginner Apprentice Billis not only had a room to himself, he even had the privilege of having five daily meals personally sent to his room by pseudo-adept Sabrina herself!
This kind of treatment undoubtedly invited the fervent jealousy of the other apprentices.
However, only Sabrina knew the truth. It was hard to tell if the person that had locked himself in that hidden room was still that Beginner Apprentice Billis!
Under Greem's strict orders, Billis had moved from the first level to the second level of the tower. He had not left his room since. He only hid within that dark and enclosed space, spending most of his day eating and devouring food with an eager passion.
At first, Billis only ate those well-roasted and juicy steaks. However, even with the two chefs sent over by the city lord cooking non-stop, they were still unable to appease Billis' bottomless appetite.
Three meals a day turned into five meals a day, then continuous feasting. Sabrina was reduced to a busy worker. She was constantly bringing large platters of meat to and from the hidden room and the kitchen.
Afterward, Sabrina realized that Billis didn't seem to be picky about the taste of his food or even if it was fully cooked. She decided to have the chefs do away with the fine cooking and marinating process. All they had to do was cut the meat into appropriate portions before quickly cooking it and sending it to Billis.
In the end, Sabrina even decided to throw the bloody corpses of cows into the room with her mechanical claws.
Finally, Greem was no longer able to stand the sight of all this. He called Sabrina over for a few words.
The next time Mechanical Girl Sabrina visited Billis' room, she brought a live cow with her!
No one knew whether it was intentional or not, but most of the apprentices in the tower had been sent out on errands.
Sabrina extended four or five mechanical appendages from her waist and lifted a three-hundred-kilogram cow, which she easily carried into Billis' room.
The room was dark and without light.
In truth, Sabrina should have been able to see everything within this room. She had a strong mechanical eye capable of infrared sight and low-light vision.
However, this room was different. It seemed as if a magical effect had been imbued in the darkness of the room. It didn't matter how wide Sabrina opened her eyes; she couldn't see anything. She only had a vague feeling that a terrifying secret hid within the darkness.
Sabrina didn't dare to take more than one step forward. She stood in front of the door and sent the struggling cow into the darkness with her mechanical arms.
Every time this happened, she would feel a strong pulling force on her mechanical appendages. If she didn't let go of the cow promptly, she might have been dragged into the darkness with the unfortunate prey.
When she retracted her mechanical limbs, the cow had vanished, and some pale, green, and stinky slime clung to the appendages.
Then the terrifying sound of tens of thousands of biting bugs would echo from the darkness of the room!