Right when everyone was praising Greem, a red figure flashed by. Mary had returned.
Upon her arrival, she forcefully flung an ugly and haggard head in front of everyone.
Although Kevin was just an Advanced Apprentice, he was able to command two Pseudo-Adepts. This showed that he was a man who possessed special abilities. However, today's situation had put him in a rather awkward situation.
The elite apprentices, who were specifically trained by the training camp, had only managed to get one head. This was out of all six of them. However, both new recruits had brought back one each. This made Kevin, the elite leader, secretly remark about the new recruits' aggressiveness!
Half of the six Fallen Apprentices who were guarding on this mine pit had been eliminated. This was a rare result and deserved praise. However, as they had spent more than an hour in battle, they didn't have much time left to plunder the resources in this mine.
After all, this mine number seven was located deep in the Underground World. It was tough for them to protect it. Once reinforcement from Elysium City arrived, perhaps a new round of catch and kill would occur.
In regards to the arrival of Kevin's team, those Ratman miners showed no sign of fear. Their queen even flung herself at the team for negotiation, suggesting that if any apprentice was willing to spend the night with her, she would exempt all of the mining fees, and even give them a small 'treasure' that the Ratman tribe had saved for one whole year.
But when they stared at the small and furry face of the Ratman queen and eyed her plump body and pair of big, saggy breasts, all these elite apprentices couldn't help but feel disgusted. When her bean-sized, flirting eyes rested on any apprentice's body, the apprentice would instantly feel a chill run down his back. They couldn't help but feel like vomiting.
As the result, after Kevin paid a double price of five hundred magic crystals, they finally received twenty-six Blood Garnets from the Ratman queen. Each of these Blood Garnets was the size of a chicken egg. They had an estimated worth of about four thousand and eight hundred magic crystals. If they could bring them back smoothly, each member would be able to receive two to five hundred magic crystals.
The amount they earned was directly proportionate to the contribution of the person. People like Greem, Mary, and the other Pseudo-Adept, who had each brought back an enemy's head, would have their income definitely be more than others.
After Kevin and the other two Pseudo-Adepts had a discussion, they quickly decided on a solution. Pseudo-Adept Grimm received three Blood Garnets, Kevin two, Greem two, Mary two, and the remaining three Advanced Apprentices received one each. As for the remaining twelve Blood Garnets, they had to be submitted back to the training camp. Hulk would have the Turlock Merchant who supported him purchased all of them. The profit would then be equally split amongst the team members.
As for the Blood Garnet they received, they could settle it by themselves. Presumably, those filthy rich Adept families would definitely find them to discuss purchasing these precious treasure.
Since they had completed the mission, it was now time to worry about how they would safely return to the surface.
According to their past experience, the return journey would be the most dangerous journey. Most of the casualties the mission team had suffered were from this period. Thus, whether they could stay alive to enjoy their hard-earned fortune was still a very cruel question!
Should they traveled together in a big group and returned to their camp? It was a rather objectionable thought, as there was no doubt that they would be ambushed by the enemy. No matter if it was those treacherous underground devils or the Fallen Apprentices who had gotten wind of their arrival, all who would make their return journey would have to face risks and obstacles.
Therefore, the best solution was to split up and return to the surface using their own means. If they failed to return, they could only blame their own lack of strength. By doing it this way, it was no one's fault but your own!
Hence, once they were done with sharing their loot, they wished each other luck and went their own ways. After all, there were plenty of passages that led to the surface. So long as they were not struck by bad luck, their chances of bumping into the enemy would be low.
Once everybody dissolved into darkness, Mary leaped onto the Demon Alligator. She gazed around with her bloodshot eyes and shouted impetuously, "We better get moving quickly! I keep feeling that there are some risks to this mission. It's as if someone is keeping an eye on us. We better be careful during our way back!"
Greem's heart suddenly sank. He couldn't help and knitted his brows in a tight frown.
In this era where sense topped everything else, Greem never dared to neglect any symptom of danger. Especially one from Mary, who inherited her ability from a mutated bloodline of an ancient species. Her grasp of the Principle of Plane was much more profound than his. If even she had a bad feeling about the mission, then it was almost determined that something bad going to happen.
Greem once again carried Mary in his arms and merged into the body of the Hunter. He controlled the massive body of the Demon Alligator and slowly sunk into the ground, disappearing without a trace.
By utilizing the Earth element magic energy of the Demon Alligator Hunter, Greem gave the surrounding terrain a brief scan. But he didn't find anything suspicious. After eliminating the possibility that this mine number seven was a trap, Greem had no choice but to half skeptically drive his Demon Alligator Hunter towards home.
If he followed how they came here, Greem would travel through the underground tunnel at a high speed. He would only travel in the ground once they bumped into terrain which required a long detour. With that, he could minimize the consumption of the Demon Alligator Hunter's Earth elemental magic energy.
But since he was warned, he didn't mind wasting more magic energy. He chose to travel underground for the entire journey, stealthily ascending to the upper layer.
As their journey back was full of large stretches of metal ore or solid rock, they were required to keep making detours. This made it so they couldn't travel at a high speed under the ground.
Three hours later, they had traveled more than half of their journey. Greem finally relaxed his mind a little bit.
But, right when he drove the Demon Alligator Hunter through the soil between two huge rock layers, he felt as if the body of the Demon Alligator Hunter had just passed through a quiet water surface. The Earth element magic energy that ran through its entire body suddenly became berserk.
It's a trap!
He felt something amiss almost instantly. But, right after the Earth element magic energy started to rampage, the pressure coming from the huge amount of soil around them suddenly became stronger.
Greem's expression suddenly changed dramatically. He quickly drove the Demon Alligator and squeezed into the nearest underground tunnel.
It was a dark, quiet and oppressive tunnel.
The tunnel meandered gently into the darkness. It was as if it was the intestinal canal of an enormous monster and full of unknown danger.
Most of the tunnel was excavated between the rock layers. Only a tiny portion was made up of wet and black soil. But right at this moment, this patch of soil wall suddenly began to boil. With a loud boom, a massive object invaded this quiet tunnel. It came with a large amount of dirt that splattered around.
Soon, two human shaped shadows dashed out from this massive object.
"What's wrong? What happened to your Golem?" Mary's urgent voice came through the darkness.
"We're being ambushed! There is a special magic array in the region we passed through just now. It messed up the Demon Alligator's Earth element magical energy! We have to get out of here as soon as possible!"
Mary was stunned, her bloodshot eyes looked dazzling in this total darkness.
"Which way should we go?"
"…" Greem's eyes flickered under the cover of his goggles. He glanced over to the ends of the dark and unpredictable tunnel. He couldn't make up his mind.
"Hmph!" Mary snorted coldly, saying, "Let me do this!"
She suddenly stood up with her back straight. She faced one end of the tunnel, took a deep breath and let out a loud roar. Her voice was piercing and sonorous. Greem felt a buzz strike his brain before he lost his hearing totally.
Following the strange sound wave that quickly rippled through the tunnel, Mary stood quietly with her eyes closed. It was as if she was focusing her mind on listening to something.
"The tunnel's length is three hundred and twenty-seven meters, heading upwards. There is a small cavern at the end of it, and inside of the cavern…" Mary paused for a brief moment, before her voice suddenly turned shrill, "Two men! There are two men coming our way at high speed!"
Greem's eyes instantly turned fierce and aggressive.
Two men? They were rushing their way here brazenly? Needless to say, they must be thinking that they got two easy targets. Even without meeting them face to face, Greem was sure that they must be the two Pseudo-Adepts.
Since the enemy was so well-prepared, it was highly possible that the few surrounding tunnels weren't safe either. Greem waved his hand and disintegrated the Demon Alligator Hunter. He picked up both summoning crystals from the dirt pile and turned around. He then sprinted towards the other end of the tunnel while dragging Mary.
The ground of the tunnel was always rough and wet. The uneven surface and small rocks that were scattered around made Greem, a guy who had less than five Agility, stumble along his way. One would be able to slip even when walking at a steady pace in a passage like this, let alone running at full speed.
In fact, not only the ground was uneven, there were also obstacles that came from above.
Numerous stalagmites of all sizes hung down quietly from the roof. If someone was only looking at the ground, it was very easy for him to knock his head into one of these obstacles.
Therefore, for the first half of their fleeing journey, it was Greem who dragged Mary and ran at full speed. But before they reached a ten-meter distance, it became Mary who carried Greem in her arms while running full speed.
The wet and cold air brushed against his face. It entered his mouth, nose and reached his rapidly pumping lungs through his windpipe. It brought down Greem's body temperature, yet made his mind calm down. Under his low-light vision, the dark passage flashed by in an incredible speed. One after the other, stalagmites appeared right in front of Greem's eyes, however, before he could cry out, Mary dodged them.
Mary had transformed into a ghost who traveled through the darkness. All it took was a brief step with her soft and agile feet to make both of them glide through the air at an amazing speed. Every single overhanging stalagmite and every narrow passage was like a broad, smooth highway. She could always pass through noiselessly and agilely with just a gentle step of her feet.
Perhaps Mary had gotten used to such a high speed. However, for a rookie who only had less than five Agility, Greem's mind was filled with panic. This panic was stronger than the type one gets by riding on the craziest and riskiest roller coaster. If not for the wind pressure that filled his throat, he probably would've vomited by now!
Right when both of them were running through the dark underground at high speed, the tunnel in front suddenly contracted. It became so narrow that only one person could pass through. And, at the narrowest part of the tunnel, a lightning web suddenly appeared and stopped them from moving further.
This lightning web covered the tunnel from the top to the bottom. It completely sealed up the entire passage. At the part where the lightning web connected with the cave wall, dazzling arcs of lightning could be seen dancing around violently.
The popping noise of the electricity was clear and audible.
It was a dead end!
[Edited by: KiwiFly]