Once again Greem returned to the Underground World. He was no longer nervous like the first time, instead, he was filled with anticipation.
For all the elite apprentices of training camp, every single progress they made on the path of maturity was made by stepping on the bones of those Fallen apprentices. Therefore, if Greem really wanted to rise up in rank as soon as possible, he needed to feed on the flesh and blood of his brethren who lived in the Underground World. This was the only way he could make himself stronger.
After grouping up in the mission hall, the team of nine members once again set out on their dangerous Underground World journey.
The accidental death of Matthew and the severely wounded Leo had let the team to realize how dangerous the Underground World really was. Thus, while having a temporary rest at the front line camp, the team had an intense quarrel over how to accomplish their mission.
Currently, Leo was still burdened with injuries.
Of course, those flesh wounds had long been recovered. But, some of the treacherous curses were deeply rooted inside his body. These had caused him to suffer badly. Nevertheless, after spending the last couple of days healing himself, he had finally dispelled all the curses. But still, it was tough for him to restore his severely damaged body to its peak in such a short period of time.
This also meant that the team had one less Advanced Apprentice. In addition, currently, Pseudo-Adept Leo could only be considered as an Advanced Apprentice.
The weakening of the team's overall strength had shaken their courage. A few of the conservative members kept voicing their desire of finishing the mission as one whole team. Even though it would mean tripling or quadrupling the time to finish, it would no doubt be the safest approach.
Presumably, those underground black bastards wouldn't have the courage to ambush a mission team consisting of three Pseudo-Adepts, and five Advanced Apprentices.
This suggestion was voiced by Isaac, and the majority of the Advanced Apprentices immediately agreed.
The dancing light of the temporary bonfire shone onto the faces of each team member, leaving behind patches of shadows on their finely chiseled features. Everyone was hiding their facial expression behind the shadows, leaving Isaac alone expressing his opinion in an impassioned tone.
"… We cannot take any more reduction in our overall strength again. If we lose another team member this time, our situation would be worst next time. So, wasting some extra time is necessary. It is only with that that we have a guarantee of finishing this mission properly! …"
"I think Isaac is right!"
Three Advanced Apprentices, Shila, Leander and Bruce quickly approved the suggestion. Meanwhile, the only Advanced Apprentice who hadn't voiced her mind was Mary. She was standing soundlessly and motionlessly in the shadow of a large rock, where the light of bonfire could never reach.
Hence, everybody couldn't help but turn their glance to Sabrina, who had been acting as the team leader.
Sabrina raised her head and looked around. As she rolled her eyeballs, mechanical noises could be heard.
Compared to last time, it was rather obvious that some minor and strange transformations had occurred to her. They could be traced to her head, which had gone through some mechanical magic spell modifications. However, no one seemed to be able to identify where the transformation was, and which part brought them the strange feeling. It was more of a subtle feeling they had!
Sabrina retracted her glance. Just when she was about to announce something, a rather strange voice suddenly rang throughout the temporary camp.
"If you wish to carry out the missions in a big group, go ahead. But Mary and I will only carry out a single mission."
The voice was clear and firm, but, when everyone turned their eyes to the source of it, they were all struck dumb. This was because the speaker was a burden they had never regarded as one of the team. It was Beginner Apprentice Greem!
No, they could no longer address him as Beginner Apprentice Greem. It should now be Intermediate Apprentice Greem.
In regard to Greem's improvement, no one seemed to be bothered at all.
In this gloomy and bizarre Underground World, even an Advanced Apprentice couldn't keep himself safe when facing a dangerous situation. Let alone an Intermediate Apprentice who just broken through. Perhaps he couldn't even escape the shock wave coming from the battle between those stronger apprentices. That's why the group had always excluded him from the discussion.
Mary, who hid in the darkness, still didn't say anything. It was clear that she had tacitly approved Greem's answer. No doubt, this had puzzled the rest of the team members.
"Are you sure you know what you're saying?" The deep, strange voice of Sabrina rung through the scene. Although what she had said didn't sound menacing, but it was clearly accompanied by a tyrannical aura.
"Kid, keep your mouth shut and stand aside. This is no place for you to talk. If you really wish to carry out the mission alone, why don't you go to the deepest cave?" Isaac wasn't as reserved as Sabrina and roared at Greem in a threatening manner.
"Fine, we'll go to the deepest cave!" Greem's answer was simple and direct.
"You… what did you just say?" A bewildered expression emerged on Isaac's face.
"I said, Mary and I will complete the mission in the furthest cave. We'll return to Adept Tower straightaway after completing the mission. You guys can take your time and slowly visit all the other four mission sites!"
Now not only Isaac, but even the other two Pseudo-Adepts had raised their heads. They once again carefully examined this Intermediate Apprentice who was shamelessly bragging. But, no matter how they probed with their senses, the spiritual ripple feedback from this young kid seemed pretty weak. It was totally not like the disguise of a random strong man.
Was there something he could rely on, or was there something strange with that Mary?
Finding no answer from Greem, everyone couldn't help but turn their glances towards Mary, who was hiding in the shadows.
'Hmph. This bastard only know how to put up a show, using me as his cover every single time!'
Deep inside her mind, Mary was roaring furiously, but on the outside, she still looked calm and peaceful. Nevertheless, it was hard for the three Pseudo-Adepts to see under her foggy, blood red aura, and was near-impossible for them to use her blood element magical energy to see her overall strength.
"You agreed to his suggestion?" Although Sabrina was sitting on the floor, an aggressive aura began to emanate from her and began crushing towards Mary.
"Yes! Give us the mission object!"
Mary left the shadows and moved towards the Pseudo-Adept, Sabrina. She spread her dazzling, pale right palm outward.
After remaining silent for a brief moment, a magical item, that looked like a magic wand, was tossed into Mary's palm.
Mary focused her mind and verified the genuineness of the item, before nodding her head satisfyingly. She put the item away, turned around, and walked towards the dark, winding tunnel in front of her.
"Hold on! Take this as well."
What Sabrina gave her this time was a crystal ball.
Mary once again focused her mind and verified it. But, upon realizing what it was, her beautiful face startled. She nodded her head at Sabrina with a meaning only both of them could understand.
"Thanks! I owe you a favor." Saying nothing else after that, Mary brought Greem and dissolved into the darkness in the far distance.
As the left side of her face was covered by a silver mask, no significant expression could be found on the other side of her face. Despite this, a scorching hot glow was seen shooting out of the left eye that had been modified with a mechanical eyeball.
"We should be moving now! There's a long way ahead of us."
After a long moment of silence, the deep voice of Sabrina once again rung throughout the scene.
At the same moment, Greem and Mary were traveling the Underground World in a total darkness.
For the first time, the Demon Alligator Hunter actually swallowed both of them at the same time, before submerging itself into the total darkness found underground. Following the indication given by the magical item, it started traveling through the numerous dark caverns and tunnels.
Fortunately, Mary wasn't someone with an oversized body. Instead, after holding her in his arms, Greem actually felt that Mary was overly slim and soft. Nevertheless, the silky smooth feeling came from his touch, and the fragrance that filled the darkness brought him an amazing experience.
What to do? The Hunter could only create a limited space inside of its body, thus both Greem and Mary had no choice but to tightly hug each other.
Perhaps their current posture might seem romantic and erotic to an outsider, but in fact, Greem was unable to take advantage of it. All ten of Mary's razor sharp nails were moving around his back. In addition to this, her tiny yet frightening fangs were placed against his neck. If Greem had any evil intentions, Mary would probably move without thinking and definitely leave Greem with a profound memory permanently engraved in his mind!
Perhaps, this was the personal code of conduct which Mary had been implementing on herself: I can flirt with you, but, if you tried to move recklessly, I'll leave you with a bone-deep memory!
So, although their bodies were tightly pressed against each other, Greem had to clench his jaw tightly. He was scared that slightly losing control would bring about an undeserved catastrophe. But, thankfully, there were plenty of things that could distract his focus. Therefore, when he focused solely on the unique vision of the Demon Alligator Hunter, he was able to temporarily forget the awkward position he was in. In addition, he was able to devote himself to controlling the traveling direction of his Golem.
The crystal ball, Sabrina had given Mary before they left, stored the route she had verified in their previous trip. It also stored the underground creatures they might bump into and the distribution of demons.
With the help of this clear three-dimensional map, along with the precise direction control from the Chip, the trip was uneventful. Most of the time the Demon Alligator Hunter would travel through underground holes, and, if there was a rock in-between, it would choose to travel through the dirt. It was only when they bumped into a large area of solid rock would they would consider taking a longer route.
Therefore, the mission site that took Sabrina twenty-seven hours to arrive last time, only took Greem four hours this time.
The Demon Alligator emerged from the ground within a small, dark and quiet cave. Greem scooped Mary up in his arms and jumped down.
They used the magic item once to verify the exact location of the mission site. They only set their minds at ease when they realized it was indeed only two hundred away from them. But, soon after that, both of them quickly returned to a vigilant state.
Those underground black bastards knew countless strange and bizarre magic spells. Who knew if they had set up some traps around the mission site? If Greem's trace was noticed by them, then his return trip would be ten to a hundred times more dangerous.
But Greem was rather unperturbed by this.
For today's trip, besides from the completion of the compulsory mission given by the Adept Tower, there was another more important mission he needed to accomplish.
The elite mission of training camp!
Besides from fighting each other for rare underground resources, the elite Apprentice Adepts would normally try to ambush and kill the opponent's other teams.
Within the deeper region of the underground, apart from rare resources, there were many other unique metals that were rarely found in the surface world. However, most of these mines and resource sites were controlled by Fallen Adepts, with each site being heavily guarded by five to ten apprentice teams.
Today, the elite apprentice mission Greem received was: 'Raid the mine pit number seven!'
Edited by: KiwiFly