Unlike the eternal darkness, the Underground Cave was never a calm place.
Because most of the regions had only been vaguely surveyed, even the native underground species who had occupied this domain for a long history, didn't own a completely reliable map.
The underground tunnels could stretch for miles; sometimes they expanded into massive caverns more than a thousand meters wide and sometimes they narrowed so even the Cave Dweller couldn't squeeze through. The biggest cavern was like a miniature surface world: there were hills, valleys, an underground river, and lakes. In this three-dimensional environment, most of the species could utilize the cavern ceiling and walls, using their innate ability or a magic spell to fly, hover, or even ride on some of the creatures who could walk on walls (like the giant spiders or some kinds of lizards) and travel freely in this domain.
As the only city built in the Underground World by the exiled Adepts, the location of Elysium City was top secret. The rock stratum, rich in metal, could easily isolate any ill-intentioned probes from the outside world, and, together with the dark and deep caves scattered across the entire Underground World, the creatures of darkness hiding in the tunnels, Golems, and underground natives, made it so no outsider could distinguish the single passage that led to Elysium City from countless winding tunnels in the darkness without being led by an Elysium City resident.
Some said the mighty Second Grade Fallen Adept of Elysium City had set up a massive formation of illusion outside of the city, and it was able to wipe out every single trace of Elysium City's existence. With that, even if an enemy really did find his way to the area, he still wouldn't be able to identify the exact location of the city, even if he left no stone unturned.
Elysium City, Catsear Tavern.
When the huge firestone hanging high up on the cavern ceiling started to go off, the tide of darkness flowed on.
For the Fallen Adepts who lived in the dark Underground World, there wasn't a clear difference between day and night. Without using something to reference the time, their life would become muddled and it would become tough to arrange everything in a regular manner. Thus, having inherited some habits from the surface, the Fallen Adepts with powerful abilities and a bagful of amazing tricks mined a huge number of firestones from the underground and used a magical array to make them light up according to the time on the surface world.
Thus, Elysium City finally attracted a large group of Apprentice Adepts who had been driven into a corner and made them the city's first batch of loyal residents.
When the night screen was down, the streets and alleyways of Elysium City lit up with torches and bonfires and a dimmed oil lamp hung on the door of Catsear Tavern.
Pushing the dilapidated and dirty door open, a long-faced Langdon came through the door. Having entered, the noisy and lively atmosphere immediately brought a frown to his face.
It was only seven in the evening, but the tavern was fully packed with drunkards of all species. Basically, all of the famous underground species had representatives here. Of course, this didn't include the lower class species.
Inferior species like Hooked Horrors and Petrified Lizards would definitely not have the status of an Elysium City resident. Instead, there were mostly demi-human or intelligent species, who looked human. For example, Lizardmen, Gnolls, Dwarves, and Ratmen.
As he stared at a group of large-size rats walking upright in front of him, looking at their ugly hairy faces, Langdon's mind filled with disgust. He was a genuine human being, after all.
Of course, an ordinary human wouldn't be able to survive in Elysium City, which was dominated by demons and monsters, but Langdon had no fear at all. He even ferociously kicked away a Ratman who got in his way. He could do this because he was an Apprentice Adept, a Pseudo-Adept.
In Elysium City, aside from the Master Adepts who rarely showed themselves in public, a Pseudo Fallen Adept like him was considered a supreme existence. Wherever he went, countless underground natives would give way to him in a rather flattering manner.
His light blue apprentice robe was decorated with countless mysterious and undecipherable golden runes that blinked sometimes as he moved, giving him a magical and mysterious air. Combined with a handsome appearance and his cultural and elegant bearing, Langdon looked like a noble. But too bad, the once elegant face looked extremely gloomy right now.
After he kicked away the Ratman who got in his way, and totally ignoring the squeaking protest, Langdon strode to the counter, forcefully slapped the counter-top, and let out a raging roar.
"Give me a bottle of Flaming Wine!"
The noisy and lively tavern suddenly became dead silent.
Old John, who was leisurely cleaning wine glasses on the other side of the counter, rolled his eyes, murmured, and pulled out a bottle of wine from under the counter and slid it over the smooth counter top.
Once the bottle was uncorked, the strong, spicy smell of wine immediately filled the air inside the packed tavern. Countless hairy faces poked their nose into the air and their shining saliva started to drip from their lips.
Breathing heavily and with a pair of bloodshot eyes, Langdon, who rarely drank, threw his head back and ferociously gulped down a few mouthfuls of the hard liquor. The spicy liquor rushed into his stomach like raging flames and made it so he couldn't hold it and burst out with a few dry, hoarse coughs.
A splash of liquor danced in the air.
Most of the liquor he had drunk was coughed out.
The Ratmen, who dressed in old cloth, mimicked humans, and walked upright, immediately flocked up, lay down on the floor, and stick out their big wet tongues, savagely licking the liquor spilled on the stone floor. Though normally they behaved like humans, once they saw something that was good and cost nothing, they would immediately throw away their deceiving behavior and once again expose the true instinct as low-intelligence creatures.
Elysium City was under strict governance: only intelligent creatures were allowed to become its residents, and they had to appear human. In order to get themselves status in the city, many Ratmen, Gnolls, Lizardmen had no choice but to dress in dirty cloth which they simply picked up from piles of rubbish, stand upright, and walk with strange and staggered steps, as if pretending they were some demi-human.
In this mini city ruled by Fallen Adepts, these creatures had no means or methods to earn their living. They ate the rubbish of the Adepts. Of course, sometimes they would resort to dirty businesses like stealing from someone; only by that could they gain a better life.
Looking at Ratmen punching and biting each other for his vomit, Langdon clenched his jaw tightly and wished he could kill them all with an Acid Pool spell.
He was a distinguished Pseudo-Adept; how he had he ended up spending his days with a group of demons and monsters?! An unspeakable feeling of grief and hatred filled his mind with anger that couldn't be vented. Langdon threw his head back and gulped the remaining Flaming wine in a swallow, casually tossed out a magic crystal, and staggered out from the tavern.
"What happened to master Langdon? I think this is the first time we've seen him behave abnormally like this?" In a dark corner, two shadows whispered to each other.
"What? You don't know?" Another shadow said under its breath. "I heard that his partner is dead."
"Demon Vine Lady?" The first shadow let out a shocked cry. "You said the Demon Vine Lady is dead?"
"Quiet…" The first shadow looked around uneasily, realized no one was watching them, and then warned with a low voice, "You just came back from the west, that's why you don't know. The east region was rather lively in the past few days. I heard quite a few Pseudo-Adepts were having a fierce fight there. They even collapsed a few tunnel levels."
"Just now you said the Demon Vine Lady was dead? Who killed her?"
"Who else? Of course she was killed by those bastards from the surface. I hear those Adepts on the surface had nothing else to do, so they sent a group of apprentices to our world to seize our resources. The Demon Vine Lady was killed by this group of rookies. Rumor says…" The shadow paused and looked around, lowered its voice, and continued, "Rumor says that she was killed by a Beginner Apprentice whose name is Greem! She…"
Before the shadow could finish its words, a ground shaking boom drowned out its voice. The rock wall beside them had been punctured by a frightening fist and a large hole was left.
A huge figure, over three meters tall, dashed through the large hole. With both hands, he forcefully pulled up the two shadows, who had been conversing secretly in the darkness.
Light from the blazing stove in the room shone onto these two shadows. They were Gnolls.
"You damn inferior creatures, who gave you the audacity to secretly talk about the matters of me, Langdon? I hate hearing the name of Greem. Whoever dares mention it again, this will be an example!"
After the angry roar of the huge figure, an azure ice energy started to gather within his palms. Within the time of a breath, the two Gnolls froze into two ice statues. Right after that, the huge figure used all his strength and threw both ice statues onto the ground, shattering them into tiny pieces and splashing throughout the entire floor of the tavern.
"All of you damn dregs, hear my words and remember. Nobody mention that damn name again! Anyone fails to obey this, I, Langdon, will remind them with their own death!" Langdon, who had transformed into a frightening giant, roared out furiously.
"Greem! You damn bastard, I'll be waiting for you in the darkness of the underground…"
Having no knowledge of what happened in the remote Underground World, Greem was extremely busy for a few days.
He had finished reading all the books from the Swampy Tower. Only the long-drawn-out process of magical knowledge accumulation and magic spell model analysis were left.
For the first defensive magic spell he was going to possess, Greem poured in a hundred times the enthusiasm.
Fire Shield, that was the first defensive magic spell he chose for himself. But, in order to truly master it, Greem first had to master four to five elementary subjects and a huge amount of magic spells. From the
Greem was required to master dozens of magic spells knowledge and techniques before he could learn Fire Shield. Though he was assisted by the Chip, it was still an extremely tough mission in order to thoroughly master them one by one.
But according to the calculations and estimations of the Chip, Greem was delighted to learn that he would be able to bag this Fire Shield magic spell before his next trip to the Underground World.
This was a great news!
Edited by: LemonFly