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Chapter 979 Betting His Life
This great battle between the adepts at Gangsas Volcano did not cause too many casualties, mostly because of its remote location.
However, since the adepts had started camping there, Gangsas Volcano had erupted every three to five days. It expelled thick black smog and ash into the air, covering the skies and rendering all the land within hundreds of kilometers dead.
As Gangsas Volcano was located in the center of the Zambez Empire, the commotion there could not have gone unnoticed by the rulers.
However, as if they were blind and deaf, the Empire pretended not to see or hear the commotion coming from the volcano, regardless of how much of chaos the adepts caused. In fact, large groups of imperial soldiers even evacuated the civilians staying near the volcano and turned the entire area into a restricted zone.
Of course, their explanation for the evacuation was that Gangsas Volcano had entered a period of frequent activity. Only some of the higher-ups of the Empire and some high-grade knights were privy to what was happening at Gangsas Volcano.
Allowing a group of foreign adepts to fight as they wanted within the land they ruled sounded embarra.s.sing. However, considering that the scourge of witches in the southwest had yet to be eradicated, the leaders of the Empire and the holy knights unanimously agreed that it was not wise to involve the adepts as well.
Thus, time pa.s.sed by just like that, one day at a time.
Five days…ten days…one month…two months…three months.
On the twenty-fifth day of the eleventh month of the calendar, six months after Greem and the others had arrived in Henvic through the wormhole, the witch’s tower at Dabyrie Highlands finally collapsed.
Greem had caught wind of this news through Remi, who had been wandering around the Empire.
Ever since Greem gave him the order to move about freely, Remi had chosen to wander the borders of the Zambez Empire, occasionally raiding a village to maintain and increase the number of his plague zombies.
Over the past half-year, Remi had raised a plague army of over one thousand zombies. Unfortunately, a large target often attracted attention. The holy knights were quick to descend upon the undead horde.
Remi was ill-suited for direct confrontation, to begin with. He scrambled away in terror in front of the holy knights and their Purify spell as quickly as he could. There wasn’t even a need for a Third Grade Gold Knight to persecute him. He led his last remaining one hundred elites into the forest and raided the local magical creatures of Henvic Plane.
There were none amongst the magical creatures who were capable of using Purify as the knights could. As such, Remi was like a fish in water and quickly rebuilt the scale of his plague army.
With an endless source of new soldiers, Remi established the vast forest as his base, occasionally emerging from the forest to hara.s.s nearby human towns to train his servants. In just two months, Remi managed to create a Second Grade plague subordinate subservient to him alone– the Plaguebringer.
A Plaguebringer was a strange sort of creature that excelled at concocting, creating, and spreading plagues. Their individual combat ability was nothing worthwhile; they were even weaker than low-grade poison zombies. However, they had the ability to create plague spores endlessly and could also adjust the magical traits of the spores based on the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy.
This ability made them Remi’s best helpers when it came to managing and expanding the plague army!
Most of the time, a Second Grade Plaguebringer would be able to quickly raise a decent plague army without Remi’s help if left in a region bountiful with life.
These Plaguebringers all appeared exceptionally hideous on the outside.
They had sickly, dark-green skin covered in viscous slime. All sorts of blisters swelled and throbbed throughout their bodies, green and yellow plague viruses breeding within. Every time one of those blisters popped, a lethal plague was released into the air.
One could say that the terrifying yellow clouds permanently hung in the air wherever the Plaguebringers traveled. The plague would forcibly modify all lifeforms infected by the yellow clouds. Those with weak Physiques would be decomposed and turned into even more plague spores, while the stronger ones might be modified into hosts of the virus if they survived the process.
These hosts were the low-grade poison zombies!
These plague creatures that had been created with a furnace forged of tens of thousands of native lives started to become stronger and more elite as more and more incidents of slaughter were committed across the land. Groups of holy knights, imperial soldiers, militia, mercenaries, and all sorts of local armed forces; Remi’s plague army fought to the death with these enemies in various towns, villages, plains, forests, and swamps.
The weak were eliminated, and the strong remained, growing and evolving ever stronger through their slaughter!
One could responsibly say that all the plague creatures that survived in this environment became elite leaders of the pack. There were even ruler-cla.s.s plague creatures that had evolved four to five times.
It was this army of plague creatures that allowed Remi to become a ma.s.sive threat at the northwestern border of the Zambez Empire. If it weren’t for the Deceit Witches occupying so much of the Empire’s forces, there would probably be high-grade knights arriving to hunt him down.
However, on the twenty-fifth day of the eleventh month, Remi’s good days came to an end.
The witch’s tower that stood upon Dabyrie Highlands fell before the Fourth Grade Holy Knights. All the Deceit Witches stationed there took to the winds, scattering in every direction like a pack of stray dogs.
Remi immediately sent Greem the news via their soul connection before leading his army deep into the forest, not showing himself again. If he dared to continue lingering within the borders of the Zambez Empire, the next to persecute him would include those terrifying Fourth Grade Holy Knights.
These were existences that even his master didn’t dare provoke. It was best that he avoided their wrath!
During the past six months, Greem had been tragically blockaded within Gangsas Volcano by the four hunter adepts. With the volcano behind him, the four hunters didn’t dare rush in to find trouble with him. Yet, on the flip side, Greem didn’t dare to take a single step out of the volcano either.
This frustrating standoff between the two parties continued!
Upon hearing that the witch’s tower had fallen, Greem finally calmed down from his constant restlessness to push back the four hunter adepts. He hid deep in the volcano and went into seclusion.
Since he could not beat his enemies, nor leave the volcano, any further fighting had lost all its meaning. He might as well calm down, take his time, and see how long these d.a.m.ned b.a.s.t.a.r.ds were willing to wait it out.
To Greem’s surprise, these four hunter adepts were unexpectedly resilient.
They kept close guard of the volcano crater, always keeping at least one adept on guard. Meanwhile, the other adepts hid in their campgrounds to rest or go to a nearby human town to purchase food and water.
Though a Third Grade adept’s need for such things had been driven down to an unbelievably low extent, food and water were still a necessity for their lives.
These four hunter adepts had intended to force Greem out of the volcano with his lack of supplies, but they never expected how much fire dragon’s meat Greem had carried with him in his storage ring. If Greem was frugal with his eating habits, the meat could last him for as long as ten years.
Greem also carried a Wand of Conjure Water with him. There might be very little water that could be conjured in the lava cave, where fire elementium was at its densest, but it was more than enough for his consumption.
Thus, the two parties continued their stalemate, one outside the volcano and one inside!
Since Greem’s path of retreat had been cut off, he stopped thinking about it.
Instead, he took this rare chance of seclusion to conduct his projects. He hid in the cave and once again severed a piece of his soul, which he placed into the soul-gathering crystal.
This action caused his soul aura to weaken abruptly!
According to the Greem’s estimations, Greem’s souls had shrunk by nearly one-third, severely affecting his combat prowess.
However, the higher the risk, the greater the reward!
The soul-gathering crystal was filled with hundreds of soul consciousnesses that were now insentient cl.u.s.ters of pure, holy light. Greem’s split-off soul was like a tiger among sheep when placed into the crystal. It could devour all of that unowned holy light power.
Greem’s split soul consciously devoured the holy light of the Iron Knights first. Once it had gotten stronger, it slowly started to attack the holy light of the Silver Knights. Its final target was naturally the only golden holy light contained within the crystal.
While his split soul devoured the holy lights, Greem actively initiated another fight to conceal his abruptly weakened soul, sending the large army of fire creatures he had ama.s.sed to a.s.sault the enemy’s camp.
However, Greem’s ‘abnormality’ couldn’t escape the powerful senses of the psionic adept. The four hunters disagreed on their plan of action when faced with the fire adept’s suddenly weakened Spirit.
Blade Princess Katherine and Psionic Adept Benija both believed that the fire adept had caused the weakness in his soul due to his own mistake during meditation. They wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to attack. Meanwhile, Serpentine Adept Natagu and Poison Hag Guinevere agreed that this was a trap that the fire adept had set to lure them in.
Otherwise, which Third Grade adept’s soul would suddenly weaken for no proper explanation!?
It wasn’t their fault for being too suspicious and skeptical of what they were seeing. After all, no adept would be as daring as Greem to sever his soul with the precarious situation he was in.
If his opponents were rougher and more compulsive, they would have charged right into the pool of lava. Greem would then have immense difficulty fighting them off in his weakened state.
However, the daredevil Greem had slowly gotten to know the traits and personalities of the four hunter adepts over their past six months of ‘interaction.’ After the Chip performed some in-depth a.n.a.lysis of their characters, Greem found the courage the commit to this near-suicidal act.
Very fortunately, he bet correctly!