Chapter 474 Mystical Bug
Greem was busy working in his lab when an insignificant commotion broke out in the Black Forest once again.
His mental space would experience a small-scale collapse every time he completed the tempering of his Spirit. During this period, he would have to gorge on energy substances to sustain the energy being exhausted while his body and mind tried to regenerate rapidly.
Greem couldn't help but feel lucky for his current situation.
Magical resources would never be insufficient now that he was in the Black Forest.
There was such a saying spread throughout the ranks of combat adepts- only the adept who best knows how to feast can become the adept who best knows how to fight!
One could understand the attitude of adepts towards food and drink from this saying.
Adepts didn't feast because they were gluttons that enjoyed the debaucherous pleasures of eating and drinking. It because of the frailty of the human body.
Both elementium adepts and body-refining adepts faced the same problem; the human body was not an aid to the adepts. Instead, it was an extremely limiting restraint.
The higher the Grade of the adept, the more terrifying of an elementium torrent that their body needed to endure when casting their high-grade spells. If Greem hadn't elementiumized his body promptly after becoming a fire adept, he would severely damage his body every time he cast a powerful fire spell.
Just imagine; terrifying lava and streams of fire that measured up to several thousands of degrees coursing through the veins in your body. Without a resilient body, the adept's veins and flesh would be reduced to ashes before they could unleash the spell.
And an elementiumized body had to be sustained with even more massive quantities of energy!
That was why adepts had to rely on alternative meals to support the daily functions of their bodies. They were high-energy beings after all.
The so-called 'delicacies' of human society held no benefit for adepts apart from their taste. Magical energy meals prepared with the flesh of magical creatures were the necessary support that was crucial to an adept's improvement.
Fire Throne naturally had a significant advantage when it came to their reserves of magical creature resources from the nearby Black Forest.
In the mission hall on the first level, the mission that hung year-round at the top of the list was a long-term task purchasing magical creature meat.
Ordinary magical creatures with delicious, quality flesh were also reared throughout the year in the nursery room. However, this magical creature meat would be only open to the higher-levels of the adept's tower. The apprentice adepts on the lowest level had almost no opportunity to taste that meat.
As the reign of Fire Throne stabilized, the number of apprentice adepts residing in the tower started to swell. Apart from studies, experiments, and magic training, their daily activities began to include exploration and adventuring outdoors.
With the expansion of the apprentices' field of activity, Fire Throne gained an additional understanding of the nearby geography.
Not long ago, an advanced apprentice had accidentally stumbled upon the tracks of a pack of Underground Fire Dragons while exploring the depths of the underground. Once he sold this information to the adept's tower, a new main course known as 'Fire Dragon Ribs' appeared on Greem's daily menu.
Of course, this name was a little exaggerated!
A crass creature like the underground fire dragon, which was dumb enough to compare with the ogres, could at best be considered a hybrid dragon creature that possessed the blood of real dragons. No one knew for sure their true bloodline connection to the fire dragons, but it was true that there was a trace of fire dragon in their bloodline.
As the underground fire dragons often remained near volcanoes, they especially liked devouring sulfur and fire energy cores. That was why their blood was also soaked in dense fire dragon aura.
Back in the past, in the elite student camp of the Underground World, Greem had only eaten a single meal of underground fire dragon ribs. Yet, that was enough to boost his powers by several levels. However, now that he had become an adept, this auxiliary magical creature flesh could no longer bring about as much of an improvement to him as before.
Still, if Greem continued to eat these ribs, their subtle effects would still be a formidable help to Greem's body.
If all adepts could allow their body and Spirit to improve at a decent rate by just casually eating and drinking every day, no one would be able to resist the temptation to do so!
An adult underground fire dragon weighed three thousand kilograms. After removing the unnecessary parts and organs, you would have around two thousand kilograms of meat on the ribs. The Chip performed a comprehensive calculation of the approximate energy substance within the fire dragon ribs as well as the needs of Greem's growing powers. It then set Greem up with a necessary amount of fifty kilograms per day.
Fifty kilograms of ribs!
If Greem had been an average person, he would be hard-pressed to eat that much, even if he ended up dying in the end.
However, all this was nothing significant to Greem.
The current Greem looked like he had the appearance and habits of a human. But if one dissected him, they would discover that his muscle structure was far different from an ordinary human's body.
That was something that Greem could do nothing about!
Any human would continuously walk further and further on the path of evolution and change once they become an adept. They would continue until they reached the point of no return. In fact, people like Billis had even discarded their most basic human rationality. He was now bent on the path of bug transformation, sworn never to turn back!
Greem had also tried tasting the blood and flesh of the underground lizards beyond the fire dragon ribs.
Sadly, that sour and pungent taste was comparable to potions that had been randomly mixed by an amateur potions apprentice. They caused Greem to blacklist the dish after one taste immediately.
The next most common thing that Greem did beyond stuffing himself was to soak himself in a tub of herbs.
Currently, Greem's Spirit had steadily risen to eight points. He was almost at the same level as Adept Keoghan, who had progressed for a hundred years. He now belonged to the ranks of the experienced veteran adepts, but his other bodily attributes were all lagging behind.
This deficiency had much to do with the excessively short time since his advancement!
He had been busy with errands ever since he had advanced to adept. He'd found no time to consolidate the new things he learned and make them part of his foundation. If it weren't for all the kinds of auxiliary measures in a battle that he held, Greem would never have been able to reach the height he currently stood.
Greem took advantage of this rare time to commit to his hermit lifestyle and immediately started tempering his body in every aspect. These so-called herb baths were a type of method that low-grade body refining adepts used to strengthen their bodies.
They used herbs with dense energy auras or poison to continuously stimulate their cells and allowed them to achieve a sort of balance between the rapid death and regeneration of the cells. This process continuously stimulated the body's potential and fully realized the effect of drawing out the physical body's power.
Of course, the first problem to deal with when using this method was the prolonged weakness after tempering the body.
That could be mitigated entirely by the consumption of magical energy meals.
However, Greem was simultaneously tempering his Spirit while using herbs to refine his body. Consequently, the two layers of weakness tortured him to no end at times.
It was important to note that, as an adept, Greem was able to know everything happening within the tower through his powerful spiritual senses without ever lifting a finger. In fact, when necessary, he could even manipulate and change the situation around the Black Forest as if it was part of his body.
However, as his body and Spirit were at their worst state, his Spirit couldn't be projected, and his body was unbearably frail at this moment. This feeling of weakness that resembled being a mortal gave him the illusion of being knocked back to his powerless days!
As the leader of a faction, he naturally couldn't allow his enemies or his subordinates to see this weak state of his. Otherwise, unpredictable events were likely to be triggered. That was why Greem hadn't left the fifth floor of the tower over the past few days. Even Gargamel, who personally prepared the herb baths for him, never saw Greem with his own eyes.
Since his body and Spirit were so weak that he couldn't display them in front of others, Greem decided just to shut the doors and carefully start research on some projects he had set aside for a long time.
The project that Greem had been keeping up with for the past two days was the strange bug that he had obtained from Spider Cave!
Unlike the mutated Bug Queen, this live bug still evidently possessed its survival abilities.
If the Queen Bug were said to be pursuing parasitic and mutual success with its host, this strange bug would be purely attempting to rob and strip everything of its host.
Greem had removed this strange bug from Medusa's body. The old spider Tula was the one who had personally implanted it. The spider had hoped that this bug would break out of Medusa's body and become one of his strongest aides. The most powerful part of this bug was its capability to take the host's innate ability for its own and convert it into the nutrition it needed to grow.
This robbing of innate abilities could not possibly allow the bug to reconstruct the host's talents with a 100% accuracy, but it still genuinely shocked and surprised Greem.
A person's innate talent had always been decided the day they were born; this was true since ancient times. One might be able to improve these talents at later stages with copious amounts of rare and unique resources, but trying to change one's innate skills entirely was something that was unimaginable.
Greem had flipped through multiple books and historical records after obtaining the strange bug, but he had not managed to find anything on this insect. At least, all of the tomes and documents that Greem had read never mentioned any related incident.
It increasingly demonstrated the value of this strange bug's ability to rob other creature's of their abilities!
That was why Greem had set up an independent lab for this bug alone the moment he got it. He gave the Chip full authority to examine and cultivate this bug. Greem gained both good news and bad news after a series of magical experiments.
The good news was that this strange bug could indeed rob a host creature of their innate abilities.
The bad news was that the talents it robbed were shattered and non-sequential. There was absolutely no way of putting the talent back together in its complete form through any experimental methods they could think of.
Even Tula didn't know what kind of ability the strange adolescent bug would obtain once it broke out of Medusa. Gaining Medusa's complete petrification abilities was impossible. However, there was a decent chance that a weakened version, in the form of a Paralyzing Gaze, could form.
There probably wasn't an adept in this world who could clearly explain how a strange magical ability like this one had come into existence.
That was perhaps the main reason why the World of Adepts had always been enveloped in a potent, mysterious force!