Chapter 713 The Bug Adept Returns
Billis was one and a half months later than his companions in arriving at Shadow Island.
As a ship crashed into the reefs at the shoreline with a resounding thud, a massive hole opened in the right bow. There was the ear-piercing sound of the ship's hull grinding against the sand at the bottom of the sea. The salty seawater surged in from the damaged spots as the boat gradually started tilting. Large numbers of splintered planks, barrels, and other miscellaneous objects became scattered on the surface of the sea.
Billis turned into a cloud of black smoke and rose from the deck of the ship, crossing a hundred meters of the sea and landing heavily upon the beach.
Several dozen muscular sand giants with undefined faces emerged from the beach, surrounding the bug adept the moment he landed.
"Give your name, intruder!" A cold voice boomed from above.
From the shadow of his lowered hood, Billis lifted his head slightly as his four green eyes-two large and two small-locked onto the strange witch floating on her flying broom twenty meters above him.
Perhaps because she sensed the familiar magical flux around the intruder, the patrolling Pale Witch did not have the golems attack.
"Billis, Crimson Clan adept. We came here with the Fate Witches!"
A few months away had only thickened Billis' aura of malevolence and savagery. His body, cloaked by the robe, also seemed to be fatter than before. The black robe was still wiggling where the Pale Witch's vision could not reach as if the body under it was not that of a human's.
"Billis?" The hovering witch took out an inspection crystal and started to scan Billis with it. As expected, the aura she extracted from Billis matched with the one stored in the crystal.
"Very well, your identity has been confirmed. You may enter the island now! That said," The witch had just announced the result of the inspection, and her tone immediately turned, "The ship you are riding on has been registered with Shadow Island; it is protected by the Pale Witches. Why is it that I can't sense any trace of life on that ship now?"
The stranded ship was tilted toward one side on the beach not far away.
No crew members had jumped into the sea, and no humans called for help. Apart from the dull thuds of waves crashing against the hull, everything was eerily quiet!
"Well, you know, the journey here took a bit too much time! I…I can't quite control these…precious babies of mine." Billis shrugged with a trace of resignation. A black substance fell from his black robe, plopping on the beach and quickly dispersing into thousands of black insects. They promptly dove back under his clothing.
"Your excuse is not accepted, foreign male adept!" A trace of dissatisfaction appeared on the face of the Pale Witch, "You have publicly attacked a native organization under the protection of my Pale Witches. You must receive the corresponding punishment. One hundred magical crystals! We will deduct one hundred magical crystals from your profits as punishment and warning!"
"A hundred magical crystals? It's only thirty-seven native mortals. They weren't even actual professionals. How could it be so expensive? You guys are so unfriendly to your allies." Bug Adept Billis immediately started grumbling unhappily when he heard of the punishment.
"Male adept, if you refuse to accept your punishment, I have no choice but to expel you from Shadow Island in the name of the Pale Witches! Choose. Will you accept or reject your punishment?!" The Pale Witch insisted.
"Very well, very well. I accept! You people that stay behind to guard the base dare treat your allies fighting on the frontlines in this manner; I will be complaining to the high-grade witches in your clan." There was no helping the situation. Billis might be dissatisfied, but he had no choice but to accept his punishment.
"Follow it inside! It will bring you to the island center. Also, your companions have already returned to Shadow Island. You will find them on the fifteenth floor of the adept's tower at the island's center." The patrolling witch turned and left on her broom after saying that.
The sand giants surrounding Billis also collapsed into the sand once more. Only one giant remained to lead Billis into the depths of the island.
Not much longer after it left the beach, the sand giant fell apart, and the job of guiding Billis was left to a Shadow Mastiff hiding in the shadows. They passed through a small swamp, where the task was once again passed to a Chaos Lasher.
It was an odd magical plant that resembled man-eating flowers. A human face was Imprinted upon its sunflower-like disc, and two vine-like appendages extended out of its two-meter-long stem. Hooks and slimy, green liquid covered these limbs.
The roots beneath it split into two strands, much like the two legs that humans had. The Lasher shambled across the ground with a weird gait.
These plants were magical creations that most adepts loved to farm near their homes as scouts or guards. They not only had long lives but could also feed on their own and did not require an adept's daily care.
Billis got a proper look at all the classic voodoo beasts and magical plants in the adept's handbook on this trip.
Under the guidance of these creatures, Billis passed through the multiple outer areas and successfully entered the island center after retrieving a strange crystal that resembled an identity plate.
Billis met his master in a room on the fifteenth floor of the tower. The master that had abandoned him on Garan- Second Grade Fire Adept Greem.
Greem was visibly thrilled to see Bug Adept Billis' successfully return as well. After some customary welcomes, Greem tossed a knowledge crystal into Billis' hands.
"You did very well on Garan! As a reward for your bravery, this knowledge crystal is yours. That's just my personal reward! As for the portion that all clan adepts get, you can find Snowlotus to retrieve it. Well then, if you don't have any other matters to pursue, then just take the time to relax and rest on Shadow Island. I still have a magical experiment I need to complete."
Almost as if he was racing for every second, Greem breezed through the welcome ceremony and vanished from the room in a blast of fire.
In the World of Adepts, even within the same clan, there were no intimate relationships between individuals. Everything depended on material benefit!
It was the ability of the Crimson Clan to give them the benefits and knowledge they needed, as well as its ability to guide their rapid growth that caused so many ambitious adepts to submit themselves to Greem willingly. Meryl was Greem's student and might have some personal feelings invested in the Crimson Clan. However, it was mostly knowledge and benefits that prompted the other clan adepts to join.
That was why conversations between adepts tended to be so cold and straightforward!
A light of confusion flickered in Billis' eyes. He weighed the crystal in his hands and threw it into his lotus-shaped mouth before swallowing it in a single gulp.
Hm? It was the poison knowledge and related magical knowledge that that Poison Hag Endor had organized.
He had tried to buy this stuff from her many times and had been rejected time and again. Why had she so generously handed everything over this time?
Still, he quickly cast this trace of doubt aside.
With this poison magic in hand, Billis had a new direction with the creation and breeding of his insects. In the future, the massive swarm that he commanded would probably be most aptly named Calamity Beetles.
Billis quickly strode out of Greem's room as he fantasized about the future.
All of his past resentment about being abandoned vanished in an instant upon obtaining this knowledge crystal that was well worth hundreds of thousands of magical crystals. His only thought was on the methods to collect the necessary poison resources and the search for suitable ritual items.
Snowlotus' room was on the seventh floor of the tower.
Billis only found out about what had happened to the clan during this period after finding and talking to her.
The flying ship had been destroyed, Endor had died in combat, and Alice had successfully advanced to Second Grade.
All of these events frightened Billis to the very core when he heard about them.
For some reason, he felt as if him being surrounded by the enemy alone wasn't that unacceptable anymore. The two First Grade adepts shivered in fear when they thought of the terror of the Fourth Grade powerhouses, even as they were within the absolute safety of Shadow Island.
Billis successfully obtained his clan reward from Icelady Snowlotus.
A knowledge crystal containing portions of the otherworldly knowledge that the clan had obtained from the forest elves.
Twenty thousand magical crystals.
Fifteen elven slaves (First Grade profession owners).
Three magical equipment (First Grade).
These rewards added up to a total of a dozen, but the ones that Billis most prioritized were the first five. His present self, after the wild carnage and evolution in Faen, had increased in power to the peak of First Grade.
He should start thinking about the matter of advancing to Second Grade in three to five years after he returned to the World of Adepts!
Billis immediately collected some of the smaller rewards from Snowlotus, but he would have to claim things like the slaves, the equipment, and the treeheart from the tower's public depository.
After bidding Snowlotus farewell, he made his way to the third floor.
In all seriousness, this was a market that the tower had specially set up to store the slaves and equipment that the witches or their clans had obtained as loot.
Compared to the silence of the other floors, this place was lively beyond Billis' imagination.
Inside were crowds of people brushing past each other, clothes and species of all sorts, dazzling products, goods, as well as a myriad of plaques and shops.
The black-robed Billis froze at the entrance to the floor. His green eyes swept across everything in an instant, and for a moment, he had no idea where to go.