Chapter 464 Report
The meeting in the teleportation room was somewhat awkward.
Eva seemed to be slightly oversensitive. She displayed quite a lot of hostility towards Billis, who cloaked himself under his robes.
If it weren't for Greem and Gargamel being present, she would likely have failed at suppressing her instincts and struck at Billis. Even with Greem here, Eva was still openly hostile towards Billis, as if she didn't want to get close to him.
When he saw Eva's response, Billis let out a sinister laugh while hidden under the thick black robe. The pale green compound eyes under his hood were a chilling sight to behold.
In comparison, Meryl and Gargamel could also sense Billis' potential danger, but they weren't feeling the same intensity as Eva was. After all, Billis' intermediate apprentice-level of power was too deceptive!
In less than half a month, Billis had managed to rise from beginner apprentice to intermediate apprentice. It was only because his regular presence was too weak that Gargamel and Meryl had rarely taken notice of him before this. That was why neither of them had realized the change in his power.
Billis' actions had become increasingly inconspicuous ever since he assimilated the Queen Bug. He had become more mysterious and never showed his face in public locations. Even today, he was wearing a black robe and hiding in the corner furthest from the rest of the party. Meanwhile, he was silently looking at everyone from under the shadows of his hood.
"Go and find a suitable room for yourself on the fourth floor. I have something to tell you tonight." Greem picked up on the awkward atmosphere in the room and turned to give Billis an order.
Billis bowed and acknowledged the order with a harsh voice, before leaving ahead of everyone else.
Meryl and Gargamel looked at each other. Their eyes filled with utter incomprehension.
The fourth level of the adept's tower was the rest area for the stationed adepts. Even the more favored pseudo-adepts were only allowed to stay on the third level. They were not to set foot on the fourth level unless otherwise permitted. Yet now, Greem had given this privilege that belonged to adepts to an intermediate apprentice. This…
"Let's go to my place!" Greem nodded at the other three people, "A lot has happened to the situation outside. We will need to rework a lot of our arrangements."
Gargamel and Meryl nodded in silence.
Eva was utterly disinterested in these trivial chores, but she didn't dare to go against the will of the tower's master. She could only follow along with the rest.
Half an hour later, Gargamel finally understood everything that had happened in Gilneas City during this period, thanks to Greem's narration. However, an expression of pity appeared on Gargamel's mouse-like face when he heard that Greem had been chained with heavy shackles by the clan due to his ability to craft golems.
After all, he had become a wandering adept precisely because he despised the exploitative actions of clans!
His wrinkled forehead scrunched up further when he heard that Greem had promised to hand over two elite-level elementium golems to the clan every year.
As a potions master, Gargamel had personal experience in crafting adept-level magical items.
One could disregard apprentice-level potions. Three or four days were enough to brew a batch of those, especially those that they were already familiar with. On the other hand, adept-level potions often required ten to fifteen days to be completed. That was due to the number of materials needed for the creation process. Every one of those materials had to undergo complex procedures of selection, filtering, treatment, extraction, refinement, and much more.
Moreover, the failure rate was relatively higher!
Gargamel, at his current level, couldn't craft potions of any higher quality than that.
His Spirit was no more than seven points at this point. Such weak Spirit was incapable of sustaining the creation process of high-quality potions that took long periods of continuous and precise mental manipulation.
It was because of how well Gargamel understood this that he could understand the difficulty of crafting two elite-level golems in a single year.
An elite-level golem would require two to three months to complete. If the crafting process failed, this time could multiply by several times. Even if Greem were hugely successful in his efforts, he would need four to six months to complete the clan's assignment. That left him with only half a year to improve his abilities.
However, if Greem failed one of his attempts, he would only have three months of free time left. If he failed twice in a row, he would have to spend his entire year in the lab!
Day after day, year after year, perpetually staying in the cold and silent lab, repeating the same monotonous work; that kind of life would be enough to crush the passion and ambition of most esoteric adepts!
It also caused the esoteric adepts to be one of the slowest-improving groups among adepts.
Gargamel hesitated for a moment and finally expressed his thoughts. He didn't understand. Greem had always been a brilliant and sharp individual. How could he have not seen through the trick that the Sarubo Clan was pulling on him? Why would he instead agree to these harsh conditions?
Was he blinded by the reward of those Second Grade elementium cores?
Meryl also looked at Greem with concern when she heard Gargamel's question.
In finding the determination to come with Greem to Fire Throne, she had essentially severed her ties with those in the clan. If Greem's power were suppressed at a certain level and never improved, then they, as his followers, would not end up much better. Thus, Meryl was also concerned with Greem's answer.
"Don't worry!" Greem knew very well how the two of them felt, "I have my plans on this matter, as well as sufficient countermeasures. Also…"
Greem paused for a moment when he reached her.
"…I have already figured out the method and path to advance to Second Grade. I happen to need this period to accumulate and condense what I have learned. Thus, this thing is only beneficial for me. There is nothing bad about it!"
Advancement to Second Grade?
Expressions of shock appeared on Gargamel and Meryl's faces when they heard Greem's reply.
Greem was their master (teacher), and he had power enough to impress and convince them. However, it had only been eleven years since he advanced to adept. Yet he was already thinking about progressing to Second Grade.
How could this not cause them to feel as if lightning had struck them!
In particular, Gargamel, who had advanced to adept seventy years ago, felt like his entire worldview was falling apart. Was the difference between one person and another that large? Had he been living a dog's life for all these years?
"It's not as exaggerated as you think. I just understood where the path forward lies." Greem never expected a casual sentence from him would cause his two subordinates to put on such exaggerated expressions. He couldn't help but explain, "Even though the path is clear, it's still a long journey ahead. I estimate that I can't reach the threshold to attempt to advance to Second Grade without another eighty to ninety years!"
So that's how it was!
However, thinking about it some more made Gargamel experience that terrible feeling of despair and being abandoned by fate. Greem had still managed to find his path so quickly.
"Alright, alright. You've asked your questions; it's time for mine," Eva was already impatient from waiting at the side: "Gre…master, what was with that black-robed person earlier? Why..."
Eva's questions immediately dragged Gargamel and Meryl out of their thoughts. They once again cast their eyes upon Greem.
"His name is Billis. He used to be a beginner apprentice. Gargamel, you personally accepted him into the tower." Greem slowly started speaking.
"Billis…" Gargamel stroked his wispy goatee as he muttered to himself.
This name sounded familiar to him, but He couldn't reconcile the person he saw today with the person from his memories.
"Was he the first apprentice to want to join the tower? But his aura…" Gargamel had already recalled the person in question, but he couldn't be sure yet.
Things like retentive memory and recollecting past things were child's play with an adept's Spirit. However, an adept typically relied more on the aura of a soul to recognize an individual apart from just the physical characteristics.
Everyone's life force and soul mixed to form their own unique aura. This aura could be stronger or weaker, and it could even change with advances to the soul origin. Still, for a person's soul aura to completely change within such a short time was virtually impossible.
At least, an apprentice adept shouldn't possess such a strange ability to do so!
"Just a while ago, Mary came back from the other plane. She killed Evil Bugs Acteon and gave the Queen Bug he assimilated with to me after wiping away his soul brand. Thus, I had Billis assimilate with it!"
They were just a few short sentences, yet they hid a shocking story behind them. The twists in the plot were many and unexpected. It would be hard to describe them all even if they were written in a book.
Meryl had some idea of the tensions between Greem, Mary, and Acteon. She could only whisper to Gargamel and Eva what she knew when she saw their confused expressions.
"Then, is Lady Mary our mistress?" Gargamel voiced what he thought since it was the first time he had heard of this.
Greem's face froze.
Meryl was giggling from aside, "This isn't certain, you know? Teacher still has Sister Alice. She isn't an easy one either. Lady Mary's paying a visit to her. Who knows whether the two of them will still have a vicious fight between them!"
"Why's there still an Alice? " Gargamel was clearly a person who loved gossiping. He immediately asked with gleaming eyes, "Who is this Alice? Why haven't I heard Master mention her before? Quick, tell me, tell me…"
Greem hastily interrupted his subordinates' gossiping and asked with an expression that was neither crying nor smiling, "Gargamel, you haven't given me a report about the situation near Fire Throne! Are the magical creature leaders still quiet? Did they bring any trouble to the tower?"
Gargamel finally remembered something when Greem asked him.
"This isn't good, Master. I almost forgot to tell you," Gargamel's expression turned solemn and grave, "Something huge has happened in the Black Forest."