Half a day later, Greem and Mary finally returned to the Adept Tower.
Upon their arrival, they were notified that their compulsory task force had lost another member, Shila, while the rest of the team were all wounded. The team suffered a great losses.
What caused all of this was four Fallen Pseudo-Adept who suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
After they were ambushed, Sabrina and the other two Pseudo-Adepts fought against three of the enemies, but the remaining Fallen Pseudo-Adept put up a fierce fight with Shila, causing them to be at a disadvantage. Because of that, Shila and the other three had to flee in desperation. Shila was killed during their escape by her enemy.
Before those Fallen Pseudo-Adepts attacked them, they were told that they were here to seek revenge from Greem and Mary. Therefore, after they managed to escape to the surface, the team members who were still suffering from the shock had pushed all the blame to the both of them. A few Advanced Apprentices even kept asking them to be responsible for Shila's death, wanting the duo to bear all of the responsibility for their failure in completing their mission.
Thus, when Adept Angus, who came to receive the mission item, arrived at the main hall, Isaac started to jump up and down furiously.
"Master Adept, it's all because of them… they insisted on leaving the team, which eventually attracted the revenge of four Fallen Pseudo-Adepts, that is the reason why we failed in this mission. You have to punish them!"
Leander and Bruce were also yelling out loudly, filled with righteous rage.
As for the other two male Pseudo-Adepts in the team, both of them were having long faces while not saying a single word. Even though they didn't try to pin the responsibility to others, in their minds, they were still filled with dissatisfaction towards Greem and Mary. Due to the difference between their levels, they were defeated in a fair fight with those underground Fallen Pseudo-Adepts, and returned with bodies full of wounds.
The only team member who was able to return unscathed was Sabrina.
"Hahaha…" Adept Angus responded with a cold sneer then said, "Stop playing your childish tricks in front of me. I've seen too many internal discords between team members all these years, I have no time for your petty thoughts and plots. What I really care is, what have you brought back to the Adept Tower?"
Everyone's heads turned to Sabrina at the same time.
Wearing an indifferent expression, Sabrina stretched her hand out and handed over four mission items. Out of all four of them, only one mission item was lit.
"You only completed one mission? Where's the other mission item?" Adept Angus's expression turned cold in an instant.
"It's with me!" Mary took a step forward and extended her palm.
A brightly lit mission item was revealed in front of everyone.
"Out of five missions, you only completed two. According to our agreement, you're spared from the punishment of failing the mission. But you can also forget about the rewards."
When they realized that they were spared from the punishment, some of the Advanced Apprentices of the team relaxed their expressions. But what Adept Angus said afterwards came as a shock to them.
"Also, I want to announce an internal decision of the Adept Tower Council. Considering that Greem and Mary showed outstanding performances in the elite mission of the training camp, the council had decided to transfer them into the training camp. From now onwards, they don't have to participate in any more compulsory missions."
Although Adept Angus said it with a deep and hoarse voice, it sounded like a sudden thunder clap in the ears of all team members, greatly stupefying every one of them.
"This… how can this be?" Seized by terror, Isaac yelled out loudly, "Master, this is unreasonable! Our team is left with only eight members, if you transfer two of them away, how are we going to complete the remaining missions? We want to protest…"
Before he could finish his words, a black chain suddenly shot out from the void, tightly tying Isaac up in a bundle.
"What? Is there anyone else who dares to challenge the authority of the Adept Tower Council? Kid, let me tell you, no matter what, don't challenge the authority and dignity of an Adept. This is a lesson for you, next time, I will not be as nice today and won't spare you as easily!"
Following Adept Angus's stern warning, the black chain suddenly turned red, transforming into a long chain of scorching hot metal, burning Isaac's skin and flesh making them produce hissing noises. When Angus's voice turned louder, the chain started to tighten, digging deep into Isaac's flesh, causing his bones to produce cracking noises as well.
It was as if Isaac's magic resistance had suddenly disappeared, making him unable to withstand the fire chain punishment from Adept Angus. After letting out a few miserable shrieks, Isaac fainted as a result of severe pain.
With a snap of a finger, the fire chain vanished out of thin air, just like how it appeared.
Adept Angus then moved his dazzling eyes across everybody's faces. When he did that, every team member felt a sharp pain in their eyes, and couldn't help and lower their heads.
"This is just a small punishment to all of you. Your purpose here is to train yourself and complete missions assigned to you, not blaming each other and putting up a stupid show of internal discord! If you're lacking in strength in order to crush those black bastards, then be smarter, use your strategies and unite to defeat the enemy to complete your task. You don't have enough manpower? Then go to the main hall in the first floor and get some new recruits! See for yourself if any fools are willing to be hired by you!"
After a rare long-winded speech, Angus turned his eyes to Greem.
"Kid, I heard you're really good in hiding your ability! Haha, looks like you know how being lowkey is important in keeping your life safe. But sometimes, burying your strength too deep isn't good as well. A strong man should show his bearing and dignity. If you showed your ability earlier, perhaps all the members of this team are now your minions, and the girls would've been your exclusive sleeping buddies, isn't that more meaningful than laying low all by yourself? Come, show me your loot this time!"
Ugh… Looks like Adept Angus was also a restless guy when he was still an apprentice.
While helplessly complaining inwardly, Greem and Mary took out their war trophies from their underground trip. Two people brought back two heads of Fallen apprentices, and both were at the level of Advanced Apprentices.
An unsightly expression surfaced upon the faces of the others who were watching quietly beside them. Only Adept Angus laughed out loud in satisfaction.
"Not bad, not bad at all! You only visited Underground World twice, yet you brought back two heads already. Indeed, you possess the magical ability that is suited perfectly to the Underground Cave. Kid, you have a bright future, I have confidence in you! Now tell me, what kind of reward do you want to exchange for these heads?"
The near death experiences of this trip had filled Greem's mind with great anger. A Pseudo-Adept level Rock Snake he just crafted had been destroyed by the enemy. This, without a doubt, deeply angered him!
"Elementium core with life aura, it's better if it's of the Earth element, and it should also be at Pseudo-Adept level." Greem gritted his teeth and decided not to hide his talent in crafting golems. After all, he had already exposed the Rock Snake previously. So long as someone paid enough attention to him, that alone was more than enough for them to make some assumption.
If he still laid low like how he did previously, perhaps he wouldn't be as lucky on his next trip to the Underground World.
"Hahaha… two heads, you can exchange them with two Pseudo-Adept level Earth element cores, here you go…" Angus grabbed the two heads, and casually tucked them into a bowl-sized spatial crack that suddenly opened up in front of him. He then pulled out two Earth element cores flashing brightly and tossed them over to Greem. After doing all that, he turned around and left.
The host was now gone, leaving behind the group who were gazing at each other awkwardly.
Greem nodded his head to Sabrina, pulled Mary away, and returned to his very own residence.
Their last journey had made Greem and Mary realize their weakness. Therefore, for the following days, both of them started to get busy on their own, trying all they could in order to supplement their weaknesses.
What Greem could do now was feed himself with the best food, strengthen the foundation of his constitution, and consume a bottle of Mind Concentrating Potion every three to five days so that he can restlessly increase his Spirit. As for the two Pseudo-Adept level Earth element cores, they had long ago turned into two brand new Rock Snake Golems.
Mary on the other hand, felt the lack of power behind her attacks and the vulnerability of her resistance. Thus, she spent a huge amount of magic crystals to purchased a pair of 'Cruel Claws', using it to improve her offensive power.
This pair of Cruel Claws was a set of melee finger-cot magical items. The effect attached on the left hand was tearing, while the right hand gave her attacks the effect of bleeding. They were considerably a perfect match to Mary's current abilities. In the middle of a fight, Mary could inject her Blood element energy into these finger-cots, giving them a +2 effect of sharpness.
Besides that, Mary was also wringing her brain out concerning her magic resistance.
It would take a long time for her to train to increase her magic resistance, that's why Mary purchased some small decorative items that could bring her additional magic resistances. If she had an Electric Resistant Necklace which could bring her +2 in electricity resistance, she wouldn't be burned into a big piece of charcoal when she forcefully penetrated through the lightning web in the Underground World.
Greem had given all his magic crystal cards to Mary, therefore Mary, who had her desire of spending unleashed completely, used this fortune and brought back a lot of magic resistance jewelries and magic potions. While Mary was crazily spending Greem's magic crystals, Greem was having a 'passionate and friendly' conversation with the Snorlax in his room.
Snorlax still looked like a green-skinned goblin. The only change it had was a magical collar on its neck, which a few runes could vaguely be seen on top of the collar. It was a special magical item used specifically for imprisoning those demi-humans who refuse to obey its master's command.
A ring of runes was engraved on the inner side of the collar. Three tiny needles that poked into the wearer's neck were present, slowly drawing the magic energy of the wearer in keeping the collar's normal functionality. Any action that causes any damage to the collar would immediately trigger a powerful lightning attack. The same effect applies to the wearer if it moved too far away from its master.
The only way to remove this collar was for the caster to recite a magic spell according to a specific order.
Therefore, after putting the collar on Snorlax upon their return, Greem finally had his mind relax.
It was clear that this extremely intelligent goblin named Snorlax had long gotten used to the life of being a slave, and for that reason, it didn't show any resistance to what Greem had done to it.
[Edited by: DragonFly]