Chapter 540 Secret Passage
The atmosphere in the room quickly turned awkward once Thunder Dragon Arms had charged into the underground hall like a whirlwind.
Less than eleven dragonborn warriors had managed to make it here with Arms. Naturally, they stayed with Zacha once Arms had left for the underground hall.
Zacha's attitude toward the adepts had slightly changed now that he had more leverage than before.
The dragonborn and the adepts were unquestionably opposing factions in the end!
It wasn't a good thing to leave the adepts to do as they liked on the battlefield while the master of the dragonborn was fighting with the Third Grade monster. After Zacha obtained a new group of warriors, the first person he had to deal with was Greem.
In the end, Greem had saved his life once.
That was why Zacha chose not to fight with him. Instead, he had his subordinates keep a close eye on the adepts and seal off the entrance to the underground hall. It was as if they were trying to prevent the adepts from doing anything suspicious while their master was fighting.
Greem didn't protest at all. Instead, he calmly gathered his subordinates and escaped into a tunnel.
He might have saved Zacha once, but Zacha had also helped protect the entire group of adepts with his words. They had settled their debt. Greem could perfectly understand why Zacha was treating them in this manner.
There were still quite a few magical machines around, but strangely enough, they ignored the adepts. They charged past the adepts and recklessly threw themselves at the dragonborn's line of defense.
At this moment, a great rumbling came from the underground hall in the distance. The entire Steel Capital seemed to be quaking. Waves of mental fluctuations that appeared to belong to Giant Brain Gazlowe reverberated throughout the underground network. There were pained howls and cries for mercy mixed within these mental fluxes.
"Follow me!" Alice's morale seemed to be at its highest at this moment. She stepped up and led the party through the winding tunnels as if she was familiar with the labyrinth-like network.
Their destination was a secret underground room!
There, they found Goblin God of War Tigule, who was crying as he cradled the corpse of Princess Vanessa.
Tigule couldn't be any more filled with hate and anger than he was at this moment. He immediately leaped up and lunged at the adepts when he saw them arrive.
Sadly, Tigule was no more than an adept-level goblin without his magical machine. Any of the adepts in the party could easily kill him, let alone Greem.
Endor especially disliked ignorant fools like these. She took out a green frog and was about to toss it at Tigule. However, Alice stopped her before she could do so.
Sofia strode forward under Alice's instructions. The berserk witch grabbed Tigule's stubby neck and lifted him into the air. Tigule couldn't reach Sofia no matter how frantically he punched and kicked. Moreover, there was no chance he could break free of Sofia's grip with his meager strength. He started crying and wailing after a bit of resistance.
"You love Prince Vanessa?" It was only now that Alice walked to the front of Tigule.
"……" Tigule was dejected, but he lifted his head and stared at Alice with hateful bloodshot eyes.
"If I help you resurrect Princess Vanessa… " Alice's narrowed her eyes and smiled at the goblin.
"Gah," Tigule gasped. He then asked in disbelief, "You…you can really resurrect… the princess?"
"Don't you forget, we are adepts from the World of Adepts! The means that we have our up sleeves are beyond the imagination of natives of lower planes like you."
Tigule chose to ignore the disdain in Alice's words.
He gritted his teeth and asked in a soft voice, "What…what do I have to do to get you to resurrect the princess?"
"I need a secret passage that leads to the underground hall."
Tigule's eyes froze for a moment. He lowered his head and thought for a moment before finally and reluctantly speaking, "As long…as long as you can prove that you have the ability to resurrect the princess, I can provide you with a secret passage that no one will even think of. Even that Gazlowe might not have realized the existence of this passage."
Alice was relieved when she heard this, and a huge smile appeared on her face once more.
"There are two ways to resurrect Princess Vanessa. The first is through the Spell of Life Transfer. We will transfer all of your life force to Vanessa and resurrect her. However, if we did that, you would die without a doubt!"
"I'm willing to do it!"
"Don't get impatient. You should hear the second option first. The second option is the Spell of Soul Parasitization. We will extract Vanessa's soul and graft it into your soul. This way, she will form a parasitic relationship with you. She will become an accompanying spirit that outsiders cannot easily see, and only you can touch. Moreover, from then on, she will always be obedient to you and listen to only you."
The same strange smile appeared on the faces of all the other adepts at the same time Alice said those words. However, Tigule failed to notice this in his cascade of emotions.
"Now that you know of both options, why don't you tell me which resurrection option you wish to choose?"
"I… " The previously resolute Tigule suddenly started stuttering. He didn't know what he was saying even after mumbling for several minutes.
A small spark of light flashed in the dark underground tunnel.
Tigule held a magic energy lamp in his hand as he led the way, limping as he walked. Six adepts followed behind him, their footsteps completely silent as if they were phantoms. All of their elementium auras had withdrawn into their bodies.
This place was not an ordinary tunnel like the rest. It was a maintenance passage.
Metal pipes and wires of various sizes spread all over the narrow corridor that was hardly even two meters in size. Half a meter of black liquid had pooled beneath their feet. Its temperature was approximately negative fifteen degrees or so and should have been a mixture of underground water and condensate liquid leaked from the pipes.
The adepts didn't seem affected by the harsh environment at all.
After all, all of their Physique had undergone tremendous change when they became adepts. There was a fundamental improvement to their natural abilities. The weakest of the adepts here was Alice. However, even she had two points of Physique, and those two points were more than enough to allow her to tear a living tiger apart.
Alice shouldn't be looked down on just because she was a frail young witch. An environment like this one was still no trouble for her!
They walked in the pitch-black maintenance passage for a long time until finally arriving in front of an open hall. A five-meter-thick metal pillar rose from the ground all the way to the ceiling above.
Everyone could hear the strange rumbling sound of a surging flood within the metal pipe when they got close.
"This is the main pipe that connects the space furnace to the surface layer of the Steel Capital. Gazlowe intends to use the energy in the space furnace to power the entire Steel Capital. Here is the main vein of power. Gazlowe's magical machines have blockaded all the underground tunnels. This is the only way you can get close to the space furnace without him noticing!" Tigule put down his magic energy lamp when he reached this place. He turned and stared at Alice, "I have already shown you the passage you wanted. What about your promise?"
Alice raised her slender hand, and a golden birdcage appeared in it.
Tigule moved closer. He could see a tiny corpse of Princess Vanessa lying peacefully within. Even more peculiar were the magical golden runes surrounding her body. An intangible and phantom-like Vanessa was slowly pulled out from the body. She stood on the spot with a blank expression.
"What's happened to my Vanessa? You… don't you trick me!" Tigule shouted agitatedly.
"You need to trust us, now that you have decided to help us. I can only temporarily bind Vanessa's soul to this cage right now. It will take a lot more rare resources if I wish to graft her soul onto yours. These resources can only be found in the World of Adepts. So, if you want to obtain the complete soul of your lover, then you will have to go back to the World of Adepts with us!"
Alice's words were like the murmurings of the devil in Tigule's mind. Even though he knew there was poison in them, even though he knew he was being led by the nose, there was no choice for him but to do as Alice said.
"Fine, I will trust you!" Tigule could only submit helplessly, "This pipe is currently filled with magic energy; the energy storm will devour anyone that goes into it. Are you sure you want to sneak in from here?"
Since he had already become an 'accomplice' of the adepts, Tigule had to start worrying for their safety, even if it was only for the sake of Vanessa's soul.
"This is not a problem you will have to worry about!" Greem stepped forth at this moment, "The rest of you bring Tigule with you and leave at the fastest speed possible once Alice and I enter. The faster, the better. The further, the better."
Alice put her lips together and smiled. She didn't oppose the plan.
"Why is it you and her? Why can't it be someone else?" Mary frowned and couldn't help but ask.
"Adepts with weak defenses can't even make it to the end if we were to enter the space furnace through this pipe. The reason I'm bringing Alice with me is because of her teleportation abilities. She can instantly bring us out at the most dangerous moment." Greem gave a quick explanation.
Alice didn't seem nervous about the whole operation at all. She only handed over a silver-gray metal ball to Endor.
Only Greem and Alice were left once the rest had departed.
"How did you know I would be willing to take the risk along with you?" Alice spoke as she gently laughed.
"Because this is the path you pointed out to me. If it wasn't you accompanying me, who else could it be?" Greem returned a gentle smile. He stepped forward and wrapped his arm around Alice's soft and slender waist.
Alice couldn't help but shiver slightly. She rolled her eyes at him unamusedly.
Greem didn't say anything else. He pressed her against his chest and crashed backward. Pure elementium fire instantly spread all across his back.
The metal pipe quickly melted and softened under the intense heat, much like a red-hot piece of metal thrown into the snow.
Greem instantly dove into the pipe with Alice in his arms.