Chapter 466 The Greem Faction
Two beeman squads that had gone out hunting went missing in a single night.
It immediately caused unease in the nest.
The silent bee nest started bustling once again when the sun rose. Squads of fully armed beeman soldiers charged out of the nest and began a close and careful search of the area where the team had gone missing.
They quickly discovered the battlefield, but the signs of conflict that remained at the location were shockingly few.
Apart from some burn marks and snapped arrows, they could not find any corpses or even flesh or blood. That was extremely rare in a battle between magical creatures!
One was able to deduce that the hunting squad had run into a flaming tiger based on the clues left on the ground. However, the situation perplexed the beeman officer. If there had been too many flaming tigers for the hunting squad to take down, they had only needed to flap their wings and hide in the canopy to escape; there was no need for confrontation.
Since the hunting squad had initiated a fight with the flaming tigers, it meant the leader of the team was confident in being able to take them down. But where were they now?
One could tell that the site of battle had been carefully cleaned up. It was so clean that it was hard to find even a shred of meat or a drop of blood. If it weren't for the unique body odor of the flaming tiger that lingered in the place, the beeman commander would have suspected that a human adept had broken into their territory.
The signs left behind didn't seem like the actions of a human adept.
Those greedy human adepts were not cruel and bloodthirsty magical creatures. They would only extract their prey's organs, which contained their life essence, after killing them. They wouldn't act like savage magical creatures and strip the victims of every piece of flesh.
While the beeman commander was beating its wings and moving through the scene of battle in hopes of finding some clues, a beeman soldier came rushing to his side, panting.
"There… there's a demon's nest…" The beeman soldier racing back from the distance to send this message was obviously in shock. He stuttered even as he spoke.
That made the commander's heart tighten with unease.
A short moment later, the beeman commander hurried to that 'demon's nest' with a large troop of beeman soldiers behind him.
It used to be the den of a terrifying gray bear. However, this twenty square meters large cave had forever lost its owner with the arrival of the Aba beeman.
However, it was clear that this place had been taken over by some horrible demon since last night.
This place looked like an abandoned bug's nest. The floor, walls, and ceiling were all covered in a layer of strange moss. Erected in the middle of the cave were five or six dirt piles that resembled anthills. However, these piles of dirt had already been taken apart and pushed over. One could no longer see how it had looked when they were still intact.
The beeman commander was immediately disgusted by the thick scent of blood when he stepped into the cave. He could no longer suppress his rage when his eyes fell upon the crumbled piles of dirt.
These goddamned bastards!
This damned anthill-like bug's nest was constructed with a mixture of beeman flesh, wood splinters, and mud. The beeman commander could see the remnants of wings and beeman stingers in the crumbled dirt pile.
Judging by the scene before him, this place was an accursed nursery for bugs to devour the corpses of the beeman soldiers!
They had been one step too late. Those damned insects had already hatched and moved out from their nest.
"Send out all patrol squads. I want them to comb every inch of the forest nearby. We must drag out those evil bastards from hiding." The beeman commander's sharp roar rang out in the cave.
Squads of beeman soldiers swarmed out of their nests at this order. They instantly turned the Black Forest into a riotous and chaotic swamp.
All that was occurring in the distant woods didn't affect the daily routine of Fire Throne.
Greem had just finished an instance of tempering his Spirit. He received a magical message from Billis when he returned from the underground sea of lava.
Billis had successfully gained a foothold in the Aba beemen's territory and had succeeded in hatching five Stinging Scorpion larvae.
After assimilating with the Queen Bug, the difference in Billis' elementium affinity and talent caused Billis not to hatch carcass beetles. Instead, they were the Stinging Scorpions that possessed the twin attributes of darkness and earth.
Thanks to the message Billis sent to him, Greem was able to obtain an elementary understanding of the scorpion larva's basic abilities.
Sadly, these scorpion larvae had lost the beetle's flying ability. In exchange, they obtained the ability to tunnel rapidly and the use of earth and dark attacks. Their central strategy was to tunnel below the enemy's feet before launching terrifying melee attacks. Their primary weapons were the large pincers and wicked jaws at the front of their body, and their poison stinger.
They could cast a weakened version of Quagmire and trap the enemies around them in a thick, swamp-like pool of earth elementium. Their attacks also had strong shadow damaged attached to them.
Of course, once these larvae managed to mature into adolescence, they would be able to use Earth Spikes and Shadow Assault while hidden in the ground. As long as the enemy couldn't drive them out from under the ground, they would be undefeatable.
If they went one step further and evolved into elite-level magical creatures, they would awaken to even more numerous and terrifying magical abilities. However, Greem could not predict the capabilities they would get without reliable data and information.
The tough shells of scorpions would protect them from most physical damage, while Quagmire and their shadow attacks would allow them to keep a large group of enemies close by. From this perspective, Billis' future army of stinging scorpions would likely become an army of meat shields that specialized in chaotic up-close fights.
That would significantly relieve the pressure of defending from the elementium golems, and allow them to display the full extent of their power as long-ranged cannons!
Greem had vaguely started forming his thoughts about warfare after the last planar war.
The so-called planar war was no more than an embellishment of planar invasion. The invaders had to face both the suppression of the planar consciousness and the tides of natives. A lone invader would be committing suicide in trying to start trench warfare against the enemy under these circumstances!
That was why the key to victory was possessing a method to raise an army while maintaining mobility and stealth quickly. Greem's elementium golems, Mary's vampire army, and Billis' stinger scorpion army were all critical and irreplaceable components of this strategy.
Of course, trying to invade a mature plane with their current ability was immensely difficult. That was why Greem, after considerable thought, decided to set the operation date for after he became a Second Grade adept.
Greem was sure that their servant army strategy would have come to fruition by then. It wouldn't be like now, where everything was only in the early stages with just bare bones to show; he couldn't even pick out a commander or general that could hold his own.
Greem quickly shifted his attention to himself after thinking about Billis' message. It was his second time tempering his Spirit!
The last Spirit tempering had caused his Spirit to fall from seven points to six points. Greem had only managed to return his Spirit to the limit of seven points after a period of rest and adjustment. He had also used multiple methods to hasten the recovery of his Spirit.
However, his second time tempering had caused his Spirit to once again fall to 5.8 points. Intense and continuous quakes had appeared in his mental space as well.
This trembling on the mental level had both benefits and drawbacks.
The benefits were that these tremors could shake the already solidified mental space. They would detonate the hidden troubles that were detrimental to the growth of Greem's mental space and allow him to have a wider area for future development. The downsides were that these mental quakes involved Greem's body and mind. Greem would be unable to cast any spells before they resolved. He would need to be careful when drawing upon his Spirit, to not affect the adjustments happening in his mental space.
Of course, the spells stored beforehand in the Scroll of Voodoo were a different matter!
According to Greem's estimates, he would require five to seven days to eliminate these mental quakes, even with sufficient potions and resources to waste. If he took into consideration the limits of his physical body and the need to nurture his Spirit, Greem felt like it was most suitable to determine a Spirit tempering period to be between ten to fifteen days.
In this state, he would lose almost all of his casting abilities. He could only rely on the tower and its tight defensive arrays to protect himself. If the enemy discovered this weakness of his, Greem's life would be in danger!
Two days later, Adept Keoghan arrived at Fire Throne as planned, bringing with him plenty of materials. Snorlax and the many disciples under Greem had also tagged along with him. They were a lively party of over two dozen people.
These were all the apprentices that the Sarubo Clan had assigned to Greem over the past ten years, and they had all been sent along on this trip.
It was clear that the attitude of the Sarubo higher-ups towards Greem had changed drastically after the new contract was signed. Their previous suppression had turned into the current support. It was apparent that Lady Sanazar had plenty of confidence in being able to wear away Greem's ambition. So much so that she didn't mind giving Greem an advance of benefits.
Greem knew very well what was happening.
Under the management of Meryl and Gargamel, Fire Throne hosted a grand banquet to welcome Adept Keoghan. They were also using this banquet to provide the apprentices that had been stationed in the tower a chance to interact and meet the newcomer apprentices.
After all, for a long time hence, Fire Throne would be the place where they lived, studied, and trained.
The current members of Fire Throne included three adepts- Greem, Meryl, and Gargamel (Eva and Mary were yet to be included). There were also five pseudo-adepts, eleven advanced apprentices, thirty-four intermediate apprentices, and many more beginner apprentices.
A tiny faction belonging to Greem had silently appeared in the center of the continent just like that!