Chapter 961 Sudden Enemy
Ever since stepping upon the path of an adept, the difficulty of advancement had constantly tortured Greem.
Before becoming an adept, the lack of the necessary means to obtain resources meant that all apprentice adepts had to rely on what little fell through the fingers of the adepts to empower themselves.
After becoming an adept, meditation techniques were no longer as effective in improving their power. Most of the time, the adepts had to emerge from their laboratories to develop themselves more quickly and efficiently. They would have to travel through barbaric wastelands, ancient ruins, and hazardous places, risking their lives to obtain the resources they needed.
Perhaps staying within the safe sanctuary that was their adept’s tower might have allowed them to survive until the moment their lifespan came to its end. However, the slow increase in their primary attribute would be like a noose around their necks, slowly tightening day by day and year by year.
If they couldn’t advance to the next grade before their lifespan ended, then what awaited them was a withering body, exhausted Spirit, and a rotting soul. Compared to an ordinary person, this process toward their death would last for a dozen years until their soul had dispersed entirely.
This process of awaiting death was so long and terrifying that most adepts that approached the end of their lifespans often became more evil, madder, and more hysterical in their actions.
Time might be plentiful for adepts, but it was still like a terrifying Grim Reaper that would punctually visit you. This Grim Reaper would use the world’s dullest, slowest blade to slowly sever your connection to this world until eternal darkness finally arrived.
That was why scheming to obtain resources and finding ways to increase one’s primary attribute became the one constant theme of every adept’s life!
The path of the elementium adept that Greem had chosen was a difficult path with Spirit as its primary attribute. Every additional increase in his base Spirit was significant to him. That was because every point of the base attribute would become ten times, even a hundred times, more significant when paired with proper magical spells and powerful magical equipment. It made him noticeably more powerful in combat.
It was not hard to imagine how significant base Spirit points were to Greem!
Now, the Chip’s data told him that there was a method to rapidly increase his Spirit that did not require year after year of meditation. How large of an impact was this to Greem?
Greem had the Chip conduct a deep scan of the crystal at least three more times. Each time, he got the same result. It was only then that he completely believed the Chip’s report.
Meanwhile, he paid no heed to the side-effects that the Chip mentioned at the end of the report.
Greem wasn’t arrogant or reckless; he simply knew how difficult it was to increase his Spirit.
Year after year of meditation with a still unchanging Spirit attribute. Breaking into perilous ruins to find suitable resources, serving large clans and organizations for decades on end to obtain some resources that they had monopolized…
Compared to all these, a bit of spiritual backlash and side-effect was nothing at all!
Any adept in Greem’s position would choose to strengthen their Spirit without any hesitation. That small side-effect was a matter to consider after his Spirit had been increased!
After all, greater power meant more influence and more resources. Would one be worried about a lack of means to deal with an insignificant side-effect like this one?
Of course, the pure holy light stored within the soul-gathering crystal still needed to be purged of the remaining soul shards before it could be used. The soul shards of the holy knights were like impurities mixed within the light of faith. If they were not purged ahead of time and were absorbed by Greem into his consciousness, it would cause fearsome consequences.
There were many adepts in the World of Adepts who researched evil spells that absorbed other’s Spirit for their own benefit. However, these spells all required the user to face the terrible calamity that was a spiritual backlash.
Much like a shirt sewn from numerous threads of varying colors and materials, it might look perfect and new on the outside, but any slight pressure would cause it to fall apart instantly.
That was why these adepts invented some unique spells or special magical equipment to suppress the backlash deep in their soul. The consequence of doing so was their constant need to manage their mental state. If their minds were severely wounded, there was a possibility for the split personalities hidden within them to take over control of their bodies.
However, the plan that the Chip had provided Greem with was distinctly different. In fact, it was even somewhat unbelievable.
According to Chip’s scans and analysis, the holy light that Greem had collected was utterly different from the souls of the dead that other adepts collect. They were more similar to unowned and ‘free’ power of faith. Moreover, they could wear away at all outside energy and external consciousness.
If such holy light were stored away as is, the remaining soul pieces of the holy knights contained within would be able to continue existing for a long time with the holy light as the medium. That was clearly not beneficial to Greem’s intentions of absorbing the light.
The Chip suggested that Greem split off a portion of his mental consciousness and place it into the soul-gathering crystal, where it would fight with the souls for control over the holy light. If the holy light within the crystal had consolidated firmly, then Greem would undoubtedly be committing suicide in doing so.
However, the light within the crystal was in a state of disharmony. The souls of all the holy knights were tattered and incomplete. They were only capable of attaching themselves to the light in an instinctual fashion, howling day and night over their tragic future fates.
This situation was undoubtedly suited for Greem to pick them apart, one by one.
Greem’s split-off soul only needed to defeat them one after another. He could then rob them of their holy light and gradually become stronger. Once the split soul had devoured all the other souls and gathered the holy light together, it could then choose to disintegrate. The enhanced split soul would become nutrition to be assimilated by the holy light.
In doing so, Greem would not experience any side-effects when assimilating the holy light to improve his Spirit!
Meanwhile, the issue of purity in absorbing external spirit energy was a different problem entirely. At any rate, with his influence and wealth, hosting a spirit purification ceremony every so often would not be too much of a burden on the clan’s financial circumstances.
However, it was difficult to split off a portion of his soul in such a crude and rural place. He would have to return to the World of Adepts and use the alchemy labs of the tower to do so.
While Greem held the crystal in his hand and planning his future operations, a slight movement came from within the depths of his soul. He was drawn away by a strange scene far away from here.
It was a forest path located fifteen kilometers east of where Greem had hidden himself.
A transparent apprentice-level wind spirit hovered in the air, slowly patrolling on a specific path. Just then, three silhouettes of varying sizes appeared on the road in the distance.
They were all wrapped in thick black traveler cloaks. Even their faces were obscured by the hoods, making it impossible to discern their identities or professions. However, given from their vague outlines, it was two women and a man. The trail they were taking was strange.
The wind spirit that Greem had left there as his eyes and ears immediately and subtly lowered its height. It landed on the canopy and silently gathered a light wind before blowing it at these three individuals.
Just as the breeze was about to reach them, the smallest person of the three–the one trailing at the rear–suddenly lifted her head. Her pair of bright and blinding eyes glared coldly at the wind spirit.
A light flickered as the wind spirit in the distance lost its soul connection to Greem.
Supposedly, these wind spirits that Greem had scattered were remotely controlled by the Chip. Their daily patrol paths and scouting duties were left to it. If there were no emergencies, the Chip typically filtered out irrelevant information on its own.
However, now that the Chip was projecting a scene from a wind spirit in Greem’s mind, it meant that the situation had exceeded the threshold of a typical crisis. It required intervention and action on Greem’s part.
“Chip, can you confirm their identities? Are they holy knights or adepts?” Greem asked solemnly.
In all honesty, Greem would rather fight against two Third Grade natives than one Third Grade adept. After all, the spells of the adepts were far too complex and mysterious. Most of the time, even if an adept was stronger than another adept, it was still possible for them to lose their lives to some particularly sinister spells.
The Chip quickly displayed the final image captured by the wind spirit before its death. It also started to zoom in on the image.
The appearance that had initially been obscured by the dark shadow of the hood slowly became clearer as the image was enlarged.
It was the face of a pretty, seductive woman. She had beautiful features and smooth skin. The red that ran beneath her face showed her bountiful life force. Even the fine hairs on her skin appeared to be even and smooth, without a single imperfection. However, what drew Greem’s attention wasn’t her beauty, but her glowing eyes and the strange crystal on her forehead.
After repeatedly examining and appreciating this pretty face, Greem’s heart became heavy with concern.
Adepts. There was no doubt. They were definitely adepts from the World of Adepts!
A few more enemies aiming to kill him had broken into Henvic Plane. Moreover, the mastermind behind all this might still be planning to stuff even more hunters into this plane!
The exposed witch had to be Third Grade. Judging from how her abilities functioned, she appeared to be a psionic– a special adept profession that could use mental and spiritual magic.
However, were the other two Third Grades, or Fourth Grades? If they were Third Grades, then what were their abilities?
Greem, who had been getting a little carried away over his bountiful spoils, was immediately put in an uneasy mood by these sudden enemies.
The enemies had already started exterminating the scouts he had placed outside. Moreover, given the direction they were coming from, they were traveling from Hakans; one of them had to be an expert at tracking.
It seemed like a battle against them in the future might be unavoidable!
After wrapping up his thoughts, Greem immediately started packing up and preparing to run.