After discovering that the food tonic could bring great benefits to an apprentice Adept's body, the magical energy meal which he only eats once a day became an essential part of his daily life.
After being inspired and guided by him, it didn't take too long for Mary to become a slave of this "delicacy" as well, accompanying him in indulging in a frenzy eating spree. If not for having to carry out appropriate 'exercises' after each meal to help in the digestion of bioactive element substance, Greem would surely change all of his regular meals into magical energy meals.
For the following days, every morning was spent on studying for magic knowledge, be it rain or shine. Greem utilized fully the help of the Chip, instilling the huge amount of knowledge he learned into his brain, then saved them in a systematic manner.
Noon time was the most important time of the day, being the time to enjoy the various delicacy available to them. Both of them had already tried every single one of the magical energy meals that was provided by the Adept Tower, but chose to eat the one that suited them the most. Greem still preferred the Fried Heart of a Flaming Hound while Mary enjoyed drinking the blood of a Wyvern.
The insanely high daily meal expenditure of fifty magic crystals had caused their Physique to skyrocket. Currently, Greem would have daily increase of 0.3 to his Physique. As for Mary, although she didn't experience such an incredible development, she was still euphoric, showing a look of satisfaction and contentment.
After they finished eating, it was finally time for appropriate "exercises" where Mary would give Greem a good beating. Greem practically turned into a high quality human punching bag, brutally tortured by Mary.
Facing Mary who had used her full speed from the get-go, Greem was forced to wear his Circlet of Nobility and only then can he barely make out her flickering figure. Whenever his palms holding scorching flames moved slower, he would be rewarded with five bloody shallow scratches on his body.
For the first three days, Greem's body would be full of wounds after every fight. His body which had just grown a bit sturdy looked like it had been used as a scratching post by more than a hundred catwomen at the same time, was full of crisscrossing scratch marks.
Greem had a sorrowful discovery that, without the help from his Golems, fighting Mary all alone was as if he was inviting torture. Mary could even use the gentlest 'touch' to reduce his health points to one, while his flaming palms couldn't even touch the corner of her dress.
Initially, he thought of suddenly changing the direction of his flames to give Mary a surprise attack, but the same technique had become useless the second time around when dealing with Mary, who was an agility type assassin Adept. Without a suitable defensive magic spell, Greem would never be able to withstand Mary's attack just with the Burning Hand alone.
As for the reason why he didn't want to use Fire Arrow and Flaming Spear, the answer was too obvious. Even the Burning Hand, the type of magic spell that could be casted with just a thought, couldn't intercept Mary in such a close distance, how much more for the Fire Arrow and Flaming Spear which required three seconds of casting time.
In order to save a little bit of his face, Greem was forced to break his personal vow, secretly ordering the Chip to perform a scan and save Mary's attack pattern and habits. After that, he asked the Chip to construct a mini battlefield spellcasting assist system. With the help of this system, the Chip could capture Mary's movements, using its incredible calculation speed to derive possible positions she would appear, and also the possible spots she would attack.
Later, Greem followed the calculations of the Chip and finally caught Mary.
Unfortunately, Greem's temporary success angered Mary, and he received a continuous and brutal beating from a red figure who suddenly rampaged. Greem didn't even last for five seconds with his body fully bathed with blood.
Greem couldn't help but admire Mary as she could actually control her attacks at a very precise level without the help of something like the high-precision Chip. This… this shows fully how perfect her control over her enemy's life is, and her aggressiveness that can overwhelm the enemy with grief.
The Adept Tower's arena also comes with various functions beyond an outsider's imagination. Any apprentice Adept who fought inside it could choose between two modes: Training Match or Death Match.
Under the training match mode, once an apprentice Adept had their health reduced to a dangerous level, any attack from their opponent would immediately trigger a defense mechanism of the arena, putting up a strong protective barrier that would protect the wounded apprentice inside. Meanwhile, the death match mode didn't come with any life-preserving defense mechanism.
This was where Mary's remarkable control stand out. Every time they fought, she could make Greem be covered in blood all over with her ferocious attacks, while never triggering the automatic defense mechanism of the arena. This really frightened Greem!
Therefore, every afternoon had become the hardships of Greem's painful journey. The match would always end with him being covered in blood and being dragged out from the arena by Mary. The only difference was how long he could last.
The first day, he lasted for seven minutes.
The second day, he lasted for fifteen minutes.
The third day, he initially had a chance to last for much longer but since he provoked Mary, he was defeated close to five minutes.
The fourth day, he lasted for half an hour. It was also the first time he and the Chip worked together flawlessly.
The fifth day, he managed to last for one full hour without being hurt at all because his Fire Shield had finally appeared.
That's right, it was really a surprise!
Under the tremendous pressure from Mary, the frightening Blood Queen, Greem actually managed to master all of the preliminary knowledge required for Fire Shield one day ahead of schedule, and he was also successful in casting it before the match began.
The Fire Shield was a shield-shaped defensive magic spell that was composed entirely of Fire Elementium. When successfully casted, it would automatically revolve around Greem's body in a radius of one meter. The area the spell can defend covered 1.5 meters tall and 1 meter wide. Not only does it provide an excellent physical and magical defense, it also has the Reflect Damage effect during a melee battle.
Mary had once tried it. Using her super high agility, she came closer to Greem from the side but no matter how hard she tried, her razor sharp claws couldn't break through the defense of Greem's Fire Shield. The small Fire Shield actually had its own intelligent sensor capable of automatically moving by itself to the appropriate positions to block all attacks.
So far, Mary hadn't master any close combat skills that had a name. Her offensive methods were primitive, mostly relying on her high agility, attacking the enemy with her strong body. If we were to talk about any special ability that was worth mentioning, it would be the the ability to infuse her blood element magic energy into her claws, making her every attack draw blood from her enemy that can also replenish herself.
But the damage inflicted by that kind of offensive method would never be great. In fact, each strike would always inflict just nine to thirteen points of damage. Meanwhile, the defensive strength of the Fire Shield was thirty five points, making it obvious that it would take more than a single strike from Mary's attacks.
That's why when Greem mastered the Fire Shield, he was able to turn the tables of the battle to his favor.
Originally, it was Greem who tried hard to defend, having his health reduced bit by bit from the raging attacks of Mary. The situation would've been better if he didn't try to counterattack since he could last longer. But once he gave up on his defenses in order to have a chance to hit Mary who moved swiftly like a ghost, he would be defeated by Mary instantly, resulting to a miserable ending for himself.
But now with the help of the Fire Shield, not only did Mary fail to break through his defenses even after multiple tries, she also had her claws burned by the sudden explosions of flames from the Fire Shield. Her dress which didn't come with any defensive magic wasn't spared from being burned causing it to have a few large scorched holes.
Finally! He finally got the upper hand for once and this brought great joy to Greem.
While comfortable appreciating Mary's hot and seductive body, he was reciting the chant of Fire Arrow with a loud voice, manipulating the explosive flames to chase after her. For the first time ever, he never had to worry about suddenly getting scratch marks appearing on his body.
Greem's relaxed method of attack greatly angered Mary. That's why, after thirty seven seconds of complacency, he was once again bloodied all over after receiving the furious attacks of Mary. Surprisingly, the defense mechanism triggered this time. A transparent protective barrier tightly covered around Greem's body. Mary was knocked away by it, showing her skin that had turned black because of the flame.
Looking at the bloodshot eyes of Mary who kept gazing at him savagely through the transparent barrier, Greem couldn't help but sigh deeply.
As always, Mary would never let herself be outdone by someone else!
With the current strength of Mary's melee attacks, there wasn't any possibility she could pierce through the Fire Shield. It was at least correct according to theory!
But when Greem met Mary, a girl with a tremendous desire to excel over others, even the theory calculated by the Chip had become unreliable.
Driven by anger, Mary actually withstood the fire element damage from the Fire Shield and didn't even back off. She also withstood the double fireball attacks from Greem's Burning Hands and used an attack that was beyond anyone's imagination. Forcefully hitting thrice on the same spot of the Fire Shield and took advantage of the cumulative damage to successfully break through Greem's tough protective shell.
What happened afterwards was a terrifying experience for Greem!
The pain of having one's flesh burned by elemental fire wasn't something anybody could endure. Although Mary could use her incredible regenerative ability and blood sucking to restore her health, there was no way she could avoid the pain from using those methods, and thus, she could only endure using her strong will.
It was all due to her stubbornness, not wanting to let Greem suppress her in their daily practice. Even if it was just once, she refused to accept that. This mentality made her willing to endure such a tremendously painful torture, her firm and outrageous attitude had deeply moved Greem.
Looking into his own heart, if he was in her position, he would definitely be unable to achieve this!
Having to face this firm girl who was fierce to her enemies but even fiercer to herself, Greem could only secretly admire her inside his mind!
But at the same time, Greem secretly gave the Chip another research topic to work on.
How to manipulate the Fire Shield using his Spirit, so that he would be able to avoid the cumulative damage caused by the enemy's multiple attacks on the same spot?
Unfortunately, ever since the fifth day of their training, Mary had stopped dragging Greem over to the arena. Contrary to her normal behavior, she immersed herself in the public library of the Adept Tower, spending every day and night reading through books, searching for the possible methods of breaking through Elementium magic shields.
This made Greem's heart fill with anxiety once more!
Edited by: DragonFly