[Edited by: StarFly]
"You mean, the minimum requirement to join this competition is being an official Adept? Could it be… could it be…" Greem spoke hesitatingly, as he recalled some relevant content from the vast information about the Adept World he had stored in his mind.
"That's right. The competition I want you to participate in is the Advancement Competition of Profound Adepts, which will be held in the Sky City in five years. As long as you can help us, the Byron family maintain our selling rights in the Sky City, when everything is over, our family will also reward you with a great gift."
"I see what you mean now, what you need is a promise. As long as I can promise you that I'll become an official Adept within three years and represent the Byron family to participate in that competition, you'll provide us with three years of protection. This is a deal where both of us benefit and fulfills the usual practices of fair deals between Adepts. Hence, I accept the deal!"
"Hehe, excellent! Remember, you will only have three years. Once that Toril becomes an official Adept, the agreement between us will be voided. After all, no one is willing to had a fall out with a Bloodline Adept who is a good fighter."
"I understand. I'll definitely become an official Adept before he does!" Greem pledged with sincerity and seriousness.
Looking at Greem's seemingly sincere expression, Adept Angus waved his hand, and a clump of gray smoke instantly exploded in front of Greem, before condensing into a magical contract within a split second.
Greem took a step forward and seriously and detailedly read the magical contract multiple times. After making sure there weren't any wording or style traps, he carefully inked his magical mark.
Under normal situations, when a spell caster signed a contract, they disliked leaving behind their soul mark. Though that provided a higher binding effect, it made it rather easy for an outsider to obtain his soul aura. Therefore, in order to deal with such situations, Adepts had created the magical mark. It was a special mark formed with the individual's unique Spirit wave and the energy of their element.
With that, not only did they not have to worry about someone obtaining their aura and using it against him, it was also impossible to fake by someone else. That was why it had become accepted by all spell casters.
The magical seal Greem that designed for himself was a tightly clenched fist, covered in flames and soared up into the sky.
The flames surrounding the iron fist represented his element affinity of Fire, while the iron fist represented strength. His magical seal also represented the wild ambitious that starting to burgeoning deep inside Greem's heart.
After putting away the contract, Adept Angus tossed over a chest badge that represented the Byron family over to Greem.
"By wearing this, as long as you're in Dagon Region, no one will take the initiative to provoke you. Alright, you can leave now!"
Upon completing the deal, Adept Angus simply turned Greem and Mary away from his laboratory. For him, this was just one of the backup plans he had prepared for his family. While there were countless other measures he had prepared, it hadn't reached the level where he needed to handle it solemnly.
Hence, before that little guy became an official Adept, everything was just casual preparation!
After Greem and Mary left Angus's residence with great respect, they were shocked to find that more than twenty elite apprentices had gathered outside of Angus' residence. They had split into two groups and were confronting each other. When Greem made his appearance, the leaders of both groups immediately rested their eyes on his face.
When their eyes gazed over the badge pinned on Greem's chest, the leaders of both fractions had their expressions change at the same time. One gnashed his teeth angrily, while the other's face was covered with a bright smile; he even took the initiative to hug Greem's shoulder.
"So? Now you have seen it for yourself." A gloating expression could be clearly seen on Kevin's face. "Greem is part of the Byron family now. Stop wasting your time here and leave. Why are you still standing around here?"
Greem roughly remembered that he had seen the leader of the other group in the training camp before. It seemed like his name was Hamill and he was also a Pseudo-Adept. But judging from his unconcealed Spirit wave, obviously, his overall strength was so much weaker compared to Toril.
"Greem… very good…" With a ferocious manner, Hamill threatened, "You're smart, kid, knowing to hide under the protection of Master Angus. Or else, I, Hamill would have definitely let you known the serious consequences of provoking the Wharton family."
Greem let out a somber smile.
"The reason I joined Byron family is because of the care from Adept Angus, as he didn't want me to be defeated by the crafty plot of a shameless person. However, for someone like you, a coward who only knows how to show his aggressiveness with his mouth, I'll never be afraid!"
"Since you have the desire to seek revenge for that Toril, why don't we find a chance tomorrow and have a fair fight? As long as you can defeat me in a fair match, I'm willing to give up the protection from Master Angus. So, do you have the guts to accept my challenge?"
"This is absurd…!"
For the moment, all those elite apprentices who followed behind Hamill couldn't control their anger anymore. Each of them kept scolding and yelling out with a loud voice. Though Hamill was also letting out furious shouts, his eyes flickered and his face looked gloomy. Obviously, he didn't have the courage to accept Greem's challenge.
Greem laughed scornfully.
"Same goes to all of you. For those who want to seek revenge for Toril, I'm open for a fair bet with anyone. As long as you can come out with a satisfying stake, I'll fight with you right away. So, is anyone willing to have a fair match with me?!"
Greem asked with a severe countenance and a harsh voice. As he glared at this group of guys who appeared to be tough outwardly, but actually were timid inside, an indistinct bright light could be seen flickering in his eyes. Even Kevin, who was standing closest to him, was secretly shocked by the aggressiveness emanating from Greem's eyes.
Though the group had been here to capture the wild kid who had offended the dignity of Wharton family, when they stared into the aggressive glances of their target, those who kept yelling angrily just now actually had shut their mouth. Some even turned their head sideways to avoid being directly gazed at by Greem.
At that moment, tens of Advanced Apprentices and Pseudo-Adepts were stuck in an awkward situation, brought on by Greem who was just an Intermediate Apprentice.
Though they knew by losing their face like this, they would definitely be punished by their family when they returned, no one was willing to stand up and fight this mad guy who was in high spirits.
Now, they were losing their face as a group, which allowed them to still have room to turn the situation around when they returned. But, if anyone accepted the challenge in a moment of madness, the problem they faced would not only be losing their face anymore. It was very likely that they might also have their reputation crushed, which was something they had been building restlessly for the past seven to eight years, and eventually become the laughing stock of everyone.
If their opponent was someone else, they wouldn't have behaved so cowardly, but this kid in front of them was too strange. He… he actually defeated Toril, who was about to hold his advancement ceremony, also… also they heard he had done that in a fair one-to-one fight.
When Toril was severely wounded and thrown to the ground, the official Adept sent by Wharton family and stationed in the Underground Cave was right at the spot, but it hadn't been convenient for him to capture this rascal personally. If this Greem had the courage to directly offended the dignity of an official Adept, no one would stop a Master Adept from killing him personally.
But… but the problem was, this kid actually beaten Toril to coma in a fair match. If the Master Adept struck at that point in time, other families would have definitely been laughing at him, teasing him for not having any other successors in his family, as they even needed an official Adept to handle something as petty as dealing with an Intermediate Apprentice.
Therefore, after weighing and considering the situation, this group had come here together to question Greem and capture him in the name of their family. However, since this guy was now part of the Byron family, it was impossible for them to give him a serious beating without any forethought. But… in order to capture him with a one versus one fight, none of this guys had the confidence.
Depressed, extremely depressed! Indignation, an indescribable indignation!
Tens of elite apprentices from Wharton family had their face turned livid with rage. It was as if their bodies were attacked by hundreds of thousands of ants; it was an extremely awkward situation for them.
"Let's go, we'll settle this score with him in future!" Realizing that the situation was going out of his control, Hamill furiously waved his hand and took all his men and quickly left the scene.
Watching how the group of elite apprentices had come in a threatening and ready to fight manner, but eventually left sheepishly, the members of the Byron family remained at the scene and kept exchanging glances with each other speechlessly. They were all veterans of the training camp. Although because of the competition, both families didn't have a concord relationship, actually, both groups were pretty familiar with each other. If their positions were reversed in this situation, perhaps their performance wouldn't have been better than those from Wharton family.
It was not because they were incompetent, but because this rascal had strange abilities!
Since Kevin was experienced in such scenes, he pushed Greem and brought him out from the place.
"Brother, since you have become a part of us, then as your brother, I'll not regard you as an outsider anymore. Don't worry, in Dagon region, as long as you show the badge of the Byron family, no one will give you any trouble. If someone does, tell me and I'll bring our men to annihilate him!"
A big smile was immediately brought to Greem's face and he expressed his gratitude to Kevin.
Kevin was not bragging, what he had said was actually real.
According to the Chronicle of Adept Families, there were more than twenty Adept Families with the proper name who could be found in this Dagon region. Among these families, the Byron family, which Kevin was working for, could easily be ranked among the top three of all Adept families in this region. Also, the Byron and Mises family had supported a small human kingdom which had occupied a huge area of fertile land in the central area of the Dagon region.
Therefore, the promise of providing him protection within the entire Dagon region wasn't a lie at all.
In fact, not only the entire Dagon region, this kind of situation was common throughout the entire Zhentarim territory. In this world ruled by Adepts, the noble or even imperial families of human were just tools and servants who helped Adept families manage ordinary mortals. If any of them offended the Adept family who supported them, even if he was a king of a human kingdom, he would have to step down from his throne or even die of 'sickness'.
For Kevin, as the nephew of Adept Angus, if he paid a visit to a human kingdom, he would be welcomed with the most luxurious, grandest reception and treatment. As long as he nodded his head slightly, even if he wanted some princesses to serve him on his bed, those kings would personally send them to his bed with a bright smile on their faces.
This was in fact, the most realistic yet cruel reality of the current Adept World!