Chapter 1161 Clan Framework

 

The lich had invited Greem to an exploration.

According to him, the world he had invited Greem to was a world of ice and frost. There appeared to be an unusually rare frost dragon in there.

However, Lich Kanganas’ target wasn’t the frost dragon, but the frost artifact that the dragon had hidden deep in its den– the Ancient Reliquary of Deep Winter.

It was said that the ancient frost giants forged this reliquary. It contained the terrible frost and chill of the Kingdom of Death and could bestow its owner with the laws of ice and portions of the laws of death.

Solely judging by its attributes, it was extremely compatible with Kanganas’ origin attributes.

That was why it was no wonder that Kanganas was recruiting allies everywhere in an attempt to break into this world to obtain the reliquary. The reason he chose Greem was obviously to borrow his incomparably powerful flames to neutralize the frost dragon’s home field advantage.

However, upon knowing that Greem was injured and required time for rest, Kanganas indicated that he wasn’t in a hurry. He still had to invite other party members for the venture. Thus, they agreed to set out in eighty years.

The injury to Greem’s soul should have been healed by then.

One had to admit that liches had a completely different perception of time compared to most planar creatures. Eighty years, which was precious in the eyes of others, was no more than an afternoon tea for a lich.

“A lich’s invitation can make you have such strong thoughts on the nature of humans?” Alice seemed to be in a state of slight disbelief. “I have also heard of the name Kanganas. He seems like a fairly terrifying individual. However, as long as you can defend against their death magic, liches aren’t exactly the most difficult opponents to deal with!”

“You might not know this, but creatures like liches, evil gods, and demons used to be the representation of extreme power in my mind. I could only look up in awe and terror at these creatures before I advanced to become an adept. Yet, now…I am fighting by their sides as equals or clashing with our wits. I can’t help but feel like all this is a ridiculous dream!” Greem sighed and lamented.

Alice’s long, silk-like hair scattered behind her back. Sympathy and understanding appeared on her gentle face as she slowly walked in front of Greem and wrapped her arms around him.

“It’s not a surprise you would think and feel like that. The speed of your advancement is simply too fast. So fast that even you can’t get used to it! Which of those Fourth Grade adepts out there didn’t manage to obtain their current status and position after three to four hundred years of toiling away? Yet, you have always been fighting, struggling with barely a chance to take a breath.

“The Crimson Clan is just like you. It is too young compared to all other Fourth Grades. So young that it is lacking in so many aspects, so young that it cannot match the status and position that it currently holds! Did you know? Ever since the Crimson Clan became a Fourth Grade organization, how many adepts have stood outside the doors hoping for an audience, how many clans and organizations have wished to join under our flag, and how many major forces have tried to form an alliance?”

Greem shook his head at Alice’s question.

He had been hiding in Fire Throne to heal his wounds all this time while also dealing with the treasures and resources he brought back from the other world. He honestly had not asked a single question about the specifics of the clan’s management and had no idea how its development had been proceeding.

In his mind, the Crimson Clan would only continue to grow and prosper as long as he, the Fourth Grade adept of the clan, sat behind it. No one would dare to start any trouble against them!

Alice lifted her head and saw Greem’s lost expression. She couldn’t help but start chuckling.

“Out of fear of your power and position, even your disciples and direct subordinates don’t dare to bother you with such annoying and trivial matters. However, have you ever thought about the Crimson Clan in its current situation? Its foundation is still far too frail! For instance, all those adepts that come to our clan to discuss cooperation and agreements are easily powerful adepts of Second and Third Grade. Meanwhile, your disciple and trusted subordinate are only beginner or intermediate Second Grade. Can you imagine the tremendous amount of mental pressure they have to endure while negotiating with these people, with their inferior power?”

Greem listened closely and started to think in silence.

Much like Greem, the Crimson Clan was somewhat bloated now.

Not in terms of their attitude, but in terms of their power.

The Crimson Clan might have Greem, but the Third Grade members that would serve as the backbone of the clan had yet to be cultivated despite all this time. At the moment, the only Third Grades of the Crimson Clan were Alice, Mary, Soros, Oliven, and Brain Monster Gazlowe.

As the Fate Witches’ leader, Alice naturally couldn’t remain in the Crimson Clan to manage their affairs. Meanwhile, Mary and Soros were vampires and were busy dealing with Seawoods Plane and expanding the Crimson Clan’s territory.

Oliven was a dragon devourer and was, at best, a Third Grade houseguest of the clan. She wasn’t willing to participate too deeply in the clan’s internal affairs. Meanwhile, Brain Monster Gazlowe had been sent to Camp Exodar to establish a base in space.

With all these assignments, there was not a single Third Grade left in the clan that could serve as its spine.

That also meant that despite being a newly advanced Fourth Grade major clan, the Crimson Clan was being propped up entirely by Second Grade adepts. Though Greem didn’t want to put down Meryl and Gargamel’s effort and achievements, their grades certainly did not hold enough on certain occasions.

It would cause the Crimson Clan to lose out on many benefits during negotiations unknowingly.

After all, the clan leaders that came over for negotiations and discussions were mostly Third Grade adepts. To have them lower themselves to negotiate with a bunch of Second Grade adepts was demeaning, and they were naturally reluctant to do it. Given the number of resources being negotiated and the nature of their discussions, even a small difference in the benefits obtained would add up to a sizable amount.

As such, increasing the clan’s overall power was a matter of utmost urgency!

With her fire-dragon bloodline and her status as a disciple, Greem would likely be able to help Meryl advance to Third Grade if he played favorites and tilted some resources in her favor. However, Third Grade was the limit of her potential. It would be incredibly difficult for her to advance even one grade further.

Meanwhile, Gargamel’s potential was even worse than Meryl’s. Second Grade was already his limit.

The more heartless clans wouldn’t even waste any effort on a ‘hopeless’ adept like Gargamel. For the Fourth Grade organizations, adepts that did not have the potential to reach Third Grade were not even worth cultivating. Moreover, anyone that wanted to be a core adept of Fourth Grade organizations would at least need to have the potential to reach Fourth Grade.

Of course, having the potential to reach Fourth Grade didn’t mean that they were guaranteed to succeed.

But if they had no potential, then they didn’t even have a chance to succeed!

At this point, as the leader of the Crimson Clan, Greem had no choice but to start considering the replacement candidates for Gargamel. It wasn’t cruelty, nor repaying service with disloyalty, but…practicality.

Of course, out of his personal feelings, Greem could still find some way to further improve Gargamel’s talents. However, the resources and effort he would invest into Gargamel would be enough for the Crimson Clan to cultivate two to three adepts of the same level!

Which choice to take was something that Greem had to mull over and properly consider.

“Do you think there is still value in cultivating Gargamel?” As Greem was seriously considering the question, he couldn’t help but blurt it out loud.

Alice closed her eyes and thought. She then opened her eyes and stared into Greem’s own black eyes as she smiled and said, “He’s reached the limit of his potential. He might be loyal and willing to work himself to the bone, but his power is a huge limiting factor! Given his age, he would be an appropriate manager of the clan for another two to three hundred years if the Crimson Clan was still the Third Grade organization it used to be. 

“However, he’s not suited to be the core adept of a Fourth Grade organization.”

“You mean we should replace him?” Greem’s eyebrows unknowingly knitted into a frown.

Alice extended her hands and rubbed Greem’s frowning forehead. She smiled. “Gargamel’s been serving you loyally for over a hundred years. Would you actually be okay with replacing him at the drop of a word like that? Moreover, the current situation of the clan was forged with Gargamel’s blood and sweat. If you replace him freely with an outsider, there would most certainly be turmoil within the clan!”

“Then, you mean…?” Greem was a little confused now.

“There’s definitely a need to replace him! However, our choice of replacement has to consider Gargamel’s feelings, as well as the opinions of his subordinates. It has to assuage them and not cause any instability. You understand who I’m talking about now, don’t you?”

“You mean her? She’s just a little brat still, isn’t she? Would she be able to prop up the clan’s affairs?” Greem instantly understood Alice’s meaning, but he was still hesitating.

“You…always running about outside and never caring about the clan’s internal affairs. It’s no surprise you have no idea how much that kid has improved!” Alice pursed her lips and smiled. “You probably still don’t know, do you? That kid is already advanced Second Grade. Also, she’s already a hundred and forty-three years old. She’s not that kid in your mind anymore!”

“Advanced Second Grade. Doesn’t that make her more powerful than Meryl?” Greem was shocked.

“Yeah, the kid’s speed of advancement is no less than yours. Who would’ve thought that a wandering adept like Gargamel could have given birth to such a talented daughter. If you promote Emelia, Gargamel will not only not hate you, but he would be more grateful than ever before.”

“Gargamel and Eva have practically invested all of their efforts and hopes into Emelia. Emelia’s lived up to their expectations as well. Much of the foundation that Gargamel has established in Ailovis over the past years can be attributed to Emelia’s contributions. Even Gargamel’s subordinates trust and believe in her!”

“Emelia’s background is a little strange.” Greem still had not made up his mind.

“What difference does this make? Isn’t it just the assimilation of the soul of a spore princess? Are you actually afraid that the spore people would come looking for trouble when you are a Fourth Grade adept?”

Greem started laughing at ease when he heard Alice teasing him.

“Then find a time and call Emelia over. I will bestow her a treasure and confirm her position!”

Alice immediately started laughing.

“I am real close with the kid! I will go and inform her right now.”