Although it was impossible to verify in the meantime if the treasure of the Adept that was mentioned by Snorlax was real, it was still totally worth it to take some risks just for it.
After all, for Greem who was giving his all in becoming an official Adept, an item which a Second Grade Adept turned his nose up might be a priceless treasure that he couldn't even buy with a hefty price. Therefore, after roughly determining the location of that ruined Elysium City, Greem started planning on how he could go there and find out the actual situation on site.
Judging from the location displayed on the map, it was located in the innermost area of the shallow layers in the Underground Cave. The distance between it and the surface was just seventeen miles as the crow flies, but it was deep within core area with abundant underground creatures. According to the data on the map, there existed a few large colonies of underground creatures that could be found at the surrounding area of the suspected site, including many powerful underground creatures which wandered around in the Underground World.
(DragonFly: As the crow flies means the shortest path between two points in a map, disregarding the vagaries of intervening terrain)
If he really wanted to explore the area, lacking a proper preparation wouldn't be anything different from putting himself on a silver plate and placing in front of those evil and cruel creatures!
For the past few days, Mary was quite busy in strengthening and improving her overall strength, and had been running her feet off all day. When Greem finally found an opportunity to tell her about his plan, unlike her usual impulsive temper, she didn't jump on board and agree to Greem's idea. Instead, with a very calm manner, she told Greem that she had found herself a way to improve her combat strength, and was currently busy working on it, thus she couldn't join him in this mission.
Therefore, Greem naturally handed over the control of Snorlax to Mary, asking her to keep an eye on this cunning little guy, while he focused all of his attention on preparing the resources he needed for the Underground World expedition.
When he finally had everything ready, Greem paid a visit to Kevin, informing him that he was going to find some Dark Grasses in the Underground World, using it as an excuse to sneak into the Underground Cave.
Honestly saying, the Underground Cave wasn't a place suitable for travel and sightseeing.
For any surface creature who were still mentally sound that stepped into the Underground Cave for the first time, the biggest change in behavior they showed was an extremely oppressive emotion. Whenever they thought of the possibility that there were thousands of tons of dirt and rocks above their head which might collapse and flood them at any moment, no creature could remain calm as they usually do in the surface. Meanwhile, in the Underground Cave, any irrational behavior would have the possibility to expose one's whereabout, which in turn would attract a swarm of predators.
For the sake of this trip, Greem had gone all out. Besides from the Demon Alligator Hunter he was riding with, he also had three Pseudo-Adept level Rock Snakes placed in his waist pouch. If he really bumped into some enemies that he need to fight, he would risk his life and unleashed all three Rock Snakes at once. With that, he didn't believe there would still be any enemy that could stop him from fleeing with his life intact.
As for the two Water element cores and two Wind element cores, Greem was still in the process of refining the design for their magical arrays. He estimated that he would have some results after the end of this trip to the Underground World.
Upon entering the boundary of Underground Cave, Greem immediately summoned the Demon Alligator Hunter and sunk into the soil, following the direction shown on the map and kept venturing deeper into the ground. Every time after he traveled for some distances, Greem would always drive Demon Alligator Hunter to squeeze out into a random dark tunnel, making sure he was still on the right course.
Using such method, in just slightly over three hours, Greem had already reached the depth of about ten miles under the ground. But the deeper he went, the slower the speed he could travel underground.
Huge chunks of metal ores, large stretches of rock formations, all these had become the obstacles that Greem couldn't penetrate through while he was traveling in the soil. Inside the soil where no light was present, Greem's spiritual sense could, at most, cover a distance of nearly twenty meters. Trying to find a path that led straight to his destination under such circumstances was no doubt extremely difficult.
Therefore, after running into rock walls several times, Greem had no choice but leave the soil and enter into a random tunnel. What to do? When traveling in a totally unfamiliar region like this, using the ready-made tunnels that were excavated by the underground creatures was so much more easier than poking his nose randomly in the pitch-black sea of soil.
Inside the dark and wet tunnel, Greem took out his crystal ball, and used it to once again confirm his current position. After that, he continued his journey following the path of a tunnel descending into a path of darkness.
Sitting high up on the flat back of the Demon Alligator, Greem could be seen wearing a thick and sturdy traveler robe, with the Circlet of Nobility mounted on his forehead, while his eyes were hidden behind a pair of strange looking Gnome Goggles. Through the night vision of the goggles and his Elementium Vision that could see through all Elementium, the tunnel had turned into a totally different and bizarre world inside of Greem's eyes.
The background color of his entire field of view was green, and even though everything seemed dark, he could still have a very clear vision on every single object. Within his field of view, everything that had the Elementium aura would glow with their own unique Elementium color, even though they were hiding behind a big stalagmite, or stuck inside some rock cracks. Physically, they might have an excellent disguise, but there was no way they could hide their colorful glows from Greem's eyes.
According to the brightness of their glow that was represented in the Elementium Vision, Greem could easily estimate their strengths even from a very far distance.
Those weaker creatures would be handled by Demon Alligator Hunter. With just a few dirt spears, their concealed bodies would be instantly impaled. When their warm blood burst out of their broken bodies, the last trace of their life aura would soon vanish from Greem's vision. If they bump into stronger creatures, Greem would summon his Rock Snakes, using their extremely strong body to crushed their enemies into meat paste.
That's why along their journey, those underground predators that were scattered around had finally met their slayers. Before they could wait for their prey to get closer, every single one of them would be killed at the place where they were hiding for an ambush.
Although these solo predators were relatively easy to handle, but the underground colonies which gathered in a large group around the passage Greem must pass through were much tougher to deal with. For example, the Tunnel of Gnolls, the Nest of Lizardmen, even Greem wouldn't dare to provoke them easily. Or else, if they come out in full force, even though he could still defeat them, he would have alerted all the monsters who lived in this region.
Yet, without Greem's knowledge, when he stealthily passed through the Tunnel of Gnolls, right at a dark and wet shadowy corner where he just went passed, a skinny body suddenly stood up from the ground.
This was an old Gnoll who had one foot in the grave already. There wasn't much muscle that could be found on its skinny body, and an antique looking black dagger was hanging down on its waist, while its old body could barely stand straight. But when it narrowed its murky yet cold eyes and looked into the direction where Greem disappeared, an awe-inspiring aura of a strength gradually emanated from its body, nearly freezing air in the surroundings.
"Leader, that human has headed towards the direction of the ruins!" A dark figure suddenly emerged from the shadows.
"Let him be! He is just merely an Intermediate Apprentice, there is nothing much he can do there." Two tiny flames could be seen igniting within the bloodshot eyes of the old leader of Gnolls. "Further down is the territory of the Lizardmen. Using their advantage in numbers, these damnable fellows kept us from getting close to the ruins. We'll let this small bug in, perhaps he could cause some troubles for them!"
"I understand! Your subordinate will make the necessary arrangements now, I'll let our brothers at the sentry post to let him pass." The dark figure bowed, and soon dissolved into the darkness again.
Greem was still slowly moving further down in the darkness. For some unknown reasons, he kept feeling a chill on his back, as if a shivering breeze was able to penetrate through his thick coat and entered his body, which caused him to tremble slightly.
Damn it, where did this bad omen come from?
Never once in his life did Greem wished something very much. He wished he knew some magical knowledge about predictions and whatnot. Even if he just knew the tiniest bit of it, he would be able to briefly predict which direction the danger was coming from. That would allow him to make some preparations beforehand.
Greem even secretly took out the Screaming Branch and examined it a few times but he didn't find anything unusual on it. This meant the danger was on its way, but the target wasn't necessarily him. Could the danger come from inside the ruins?
While he was pondering quietly, Greem put up an even more rapid scan at his surroundings that was hidden in darkness.
By right, with the see through ability of his Elementium Vision, no Elementium user could get near him without alerting him. But in this Underground World, besides from those frightening demons, what kind of creature could pose a threat to his life?
Greem's brain was spun at high speed as he kept pondering about his situation. Various data of powerful underground creatures that was stored in the Chip flashed through his mind one after another. Suddenly, a few creatures aroused Greem's vigilance.
Gnoll Hunter… Lizardman Assassin…
It seems that this region is part of their territories. As these two bizarre underground creatures weren't classified as demons, that also meant there wasn't any Elementium energy present in their bodies. However, in the list of dangerous underground creatures of Underground Cave, their names were still listed at the top. This meant even without relying on the power of Elementium, they still possessed enough fighting ability that could make just about anyone tremble in fear.
Greem's heart became heavy.
With regards to these creatures who became excellent fighters just by using their intrepid bodies, it was very difficult for the Elementium Vision to detect them, while night vision fared even worse. Perhaps even Mary's infrared vision would not be of too much use here. So, how could he detect these bizarre and nasty fellows?
When Greem was panicking, the Chip finally came out with useful information.
The ability of Full Matching Field of View!
This was a method of using spiritual sense that only Greem could achieve.
For every short distance he traveled, Greem could always make a backup of the terrain feedback coming from his night vision and Elementium Vision. After that, using the incredible Field of View Matching ability of the Chip, he could find out the slightest difference in two terrain images that were captured in different times.
If there was really a cold-blooded assassin hiding around Greem, so long as it moved along with him, there would be a slight difference in the shadow where it was hiding. Nobody could detect such difference with just their naked eyes, but nothing could escape from the Full Matching Field of View provided by the Chip.
So long as he discover them, the threat they posed to him would be reduced by at least 80%.
At that time, it would not be them who can create trouble from the dark, but instead, Greem would be able to give their arrogance a fierce punishment!
[Edited by: DragonFly]