Chapter 527 Greem's Resolve
Mary wasn't the only one who had gotten into a fight at this particular moment.
The goals of both parties were the same. As such, the chances of them running into each other was immense.
As the invaders, sweeping aside all obstacles was a task they had to complete. Thus, almost four or five of such battles had coincided in the black underground tunnels.
Of course, without exceptions, the adepts were the ones who emerged victoriously.
The power difference between both parties was obvious!
The dragonborn might all have possessed First Grade powers at the very minimum, but that was only their innate power manifested by their muscular bodies and powerful bloodline. As a result, the way they fought leaned more towards the basic instincts of a wild beast.
The adepts were vastly superior to them in this particular aspect.
Almost eighty percent of all adepts came from frail and lowly humans. They underwent untold suffering and wandered near the gates of death again and again. It was only after enduring a terrifying journey as an apprentice that they ascended to become a terrifying adept that stood above everyone else. Compared to the natural abilities of the Dragonborn, all of the adept's powers were won with their own two hands. Or rather, seized with their own two hands.
Only a minority of people could successfully go from apprentice to adept. Most of these successful individuals had to step upon the bones and corpses of their companions to reach the peak of their life. Of course, there were a generous sprinkling of schemes and conspiracies mixed up in this journey of theirs.
That was why every single adept would possess trump cards and an ace in the hole that outsiders were not privy to. These were secrets they would never easily expose unless it was a moment of life and death. Adepts nurtured in such a harsh and unforgiving environment naturally possessed a greater chance of winning against a bunch of dragonborn who relied on their innate talents and physical might.
Not to mention the factor of equipment.
If Mary's crimson longbow didn't have a piercing effect, it would have been hard for her to so easily murder a dragonborn scout, regardless of how fast she might be. Apart from Mary, Poison Witch Endor, Mechanical Adept Sabrina, and Berserk Witch Sofia also obtained victories of their own.
Bug Adept Billis, on the other hand, wasn't so fortunate. His scorpions couldn't do much against a thirty-ton hulking monster wrapped in hard scales. That was why he had no choice but to give up on these mouth-watering blood treats after a couple of unsuccessful attempts. Instead, he turned to the goblins for his needs.
Greem and Alice didn't encounter any enemies. They easily reached the core area as if they were merely strolling through a market.
Things became a lot more difficult when they reached there.
Both the goblins' important facilities and the hall guarded by the dragonborn were very well-defended. Trying to find another path without an enemy using Alice's abilities was impossible.
Alice looked at the three paths that silently extended before them. She appeared just as unfazed and calm as she always was, even if she was deep in enemy territory.
"Three roads going in three directions. Which one do you choose?" Alice fell silent for a short moment before turning to ask Greem.
"You've got to give me at least a hint!" Greem spread his palms open, "I don't have that divination ability of yours."
"The path to the left is where Princess Vanessa has been hidden. Fate feedback suggests only moderate danger.
"The path down the middle leads to the space furnace. There is where Gazlowe is conducting his immortality ritual. Fate feedback suggests extreme danger.
"The path to the right leads to the planar hall. The planar door guarded by the dragonborn is located there. Fate feedback suggests… "
"No. Certain death! We are very likely to run into fearsome Third Grade dragonborn there."
"Bingo, you are right! Let's go!" A joyful smile appeared on Alice's face. She skipped towards Greem and led him down the middle path.
For some reason, the massive shadow that had been weighing on Alice's heart had suddenly vanished when she had left the World of Adepts. She no longer had that feeling as if her every action at every moment was under someone's scrutiny.
Even though she knew this reaction was a ridiculous one, and very possibly an illusion, she couldn't get rid of the feeling. She had given herself up to Fate, but Fate didn't belong to her alone.
It didn't matter whether it was the top-tier powerhouses standing at the pinnacle of the plane, or even the previous Witch of Fate. They were all linked with a delicate and mysterious connection. Every pulse of the powers of Fate in the World of Adepts could affect their souls and Spirits. Any action that one of them took in the river of Fate could not be hidden from another master of the laws of Fate.
The Alice of the present was still too weak. She couldn't yet be called a master of the laws of Fate. However, this didn't stop her from detecting the strange activities of the others blessed by Fate. She could still trace these phenomena through the movements of the laws of Fate and other, more subtle hints.
If one were to think of Fate as a poker table, then presently Alice only had the right to observe and spectate; she didn't have the power needed to play the game itself.
She needed the time and space to allow herself to grow.
As the Witch of Fate, the thing that Alice liked doing most was collecting powers of Fate. An ordinary life spent in an adept's tower accumulated powers of Fate at an excessively slow rate. It was only when she regularly threw herself into the tumultuous crossroads of Fate that she could rapidly gather large amounts of the power of Fate.
Moreover, this was not the World of Adepts. She didn't need to be concerned about being scryed upon by the other individuals blessed by Fate.
By following at Greem's side, she would always be able to come into contact with those blessed by Fate who could profoundly affect the Goblin Plane. People like Gazlowe, Princess Vanessa, or even Tigule had all been dragged right into the Goblin Plane's unstoppable vortex of history.
At this moment where Fate intensely clashed at every turn, an adept like herself that had learned divination abilities could very comprehensively sense the movements of Fate behind each battle and each conspiracy. To better experience the power of Fate, Alice had actively involved herself in the operation. She then used the powers of Fate she had gathered to exert weak yet delicate forces upon the general flow of events in order to adjust the trajectory that history was going in.
Apart from obtaining large amounts of power of Fate, Alice could also experience the movement patterns and methods of manipulation of the laws of Fate during this process.
The powers of the laws of Fate were too massive and subtle in the World of Adepts. It was hard for her not to be crushed and cut to pieces when she tried to intervene with her weak powers. However, here in the Goblin Plane, most of the Fate backlash would be shared by the so-called 'blessed ones of Fate,' thanks to delicate means of redirecting the powers of Fate. She could swim between these events, relying on Greem to protect her and keep her safe.
It held indescribably significant benefits for Alice's growth!
Alice deeply understood all of this.
What was breeding behind the battle today was a tremendous opportunity and an enormous danger for the Goblin Plane!
If the Goblin Plane could successfully digest the invading adepts and Dragonborn as gifts, then the goblins would be able to progress. There was a chance the plane itself could grow and become part of the 1%; the mid-sized planes. However, if the goblins failed, then the Goblin Plane could turn into the backyard of the adepts and the Dragonborn. Their plane would become a place exploited for its resources.
Boon and bane came in pairs. Fate worked behind each of these possibilities!
The immense danger that had appeared in the Goblin Plane might seem to have been caused by Gazlowe's selfishness and recklessness. However, what truly directed and pushed things in this direction was still that intangible power of Fate.
The appearance of magic energy. The debut of the space furnace. Even the conflict between that old goblin and the goblin royalty; traces of Fate could be vaguely seen in all of these events.
An ordinary person would have no other option but to sigh in resignation and launch themselves into the turmoil, even if they saw the flow of Fate. It was their world, and this was their life. They couldn't possibly sit by and watch as their loved ones were swept away by the river of Fate. Involving themselves and throwing themselves into the flow became their only option.
Only outsiders like Alice could ride the waves of Fate with a stance that was both detached and involved. People like her could recklessly change the direction the river of Fate flowed.
Much like the three paths that Alice had pointed out to Greem, the choice of each distinct tunnel meant pushing the Fate of the Goblin Plane on entirely different paths.
Choosing to save Princess Vanessa would undoubtedly be choosing to support the conservatives of the Goblin Plane. That would allow the conservatives to retain a bit of their former strength in the flood of Fate. This way, even if Gazlowe's ritual succeeded, two separate goblin factions would still exist in the Goblin Plane.
However, Greem had no attachments to the Goblin Royal Family to speak of. He couldn't be bothered to help them.
Choosing to attack the planar hall would undoubtedly incite an irreparable conflict between the adepts and the Dragonborn. When that happened, the only one to benefit would be old goblin Gazlowe. Not only would he gain the most significant chance of extending his lifespan, but he would also be able to devour the two intruding forces and allow him to become the true heir of the plane.
However, the possibility of such a scenario was almost zero. Unless Greem experienced a stroke, there was no way he would be dumb and generous enough as to offer himself up as a sacrifice for that greedy goblin.
After much consideration, the only thing that fit the adepts' benefit was to confront Gazlowe, the temporary 'heir of the plane.' As long as Greem and his party were able to defeat Gazlowe and successfully route the dragonborn army, they would be able to obtain rule over the Goblin Plane through this battle.
You pay the price for what you wish to obtain!
There was no such thing as an unearned victory in this world.
Even with Alice's help to choose the best path, what awaited him at the end was still a risky and bloody battle.
Thus, when Greem walked down that path with Alice's hand in his, he had already resolved to fight to the death. Even if what awaited him there was a wall of steel and iron, he would smash a way through with his life and blood.
That was because this was the path that he had chosen for himself!