Chapter 1234 The Pain of Affection

 

A wide, bright, and magical hall.

Countless runic crystals embedded one side of the hall. Every single crystal glowed with a faint light, each projecting a unique image of its own. All the pictures put together made for a strange wall of screens.

There was an adept in every one of these images, though it seemed like they were in different locations, judging from their backgrounds. A small half of the images were still black. They didn’t seem to be connected.

An elderly adept stood in the middle of the wall of crystal screens. He wore an old-fashioned wizard’s hat, a pair of tortoise-shell glasses, and white robes. His silver beard flowed all the way down to his chest. The adept tapped his staff against the ground and demanded loudly, “Alright, you’ve all been investigating for so long. You must have a conclusion by now, don’t you? What exactly does the fire adept want from us in coming here?”

Most of the adepts behind the screens were still busy with their own business and were only diverting part of their attention to the conference.

Several high-grade adepts in robes of various colors bowed to the white-robed adept. They then looked at each other before one of them finally spoke up.

It was a strange adept wearing black armor and a clown mask. Judging from his aura, he was Third Grade.

“Lord Domhnall, judging from the recon group and divination group’s information, Greem has come to the east to look for someone!”

“Someone…who? Someone in the organization, or outside?”

“In…the organization!”

“Oh? Who is it?”

Several adepts on the screens seemed to have had their interests piqued by the conversation between the Vice-Chairman and the adept in the clown mask. They started to turn their attention towards the discussion.

“Lady…Lady Olivia!” The adept in the mask couldn’t help but lower his head when he said the name. Cold sweat seemed to seep out from beneath his mask.

“Olivia.”

“Hm? Since when was he acquainted with Olivia?”

“Indeed, Olivia. Have you ever been acquainted with that fire adept?”

For a moment, voices filled the room as the adepts the person in question.

In one of the images on the screen wall, a female adept lay lazily on her bed. She had black hair down to her shoulders, a golden headband, pretty looks, and a slender figure. Before this, she had only been paying some half-hearted attention to the conversation in the hall.

However, when the masked adept said her name, she abruptly sat up, and her pretty, gentle face turned stern and solemn.

“Silence, all of you!” The young adept shut her companions up with a single shout. She then turned her gaze towards the masked adept. Light glowed in her purple eyes, her entire person radiating the terrifying aura unique to Fourth Grade adepts. “You said that the legendary fire adept is here to look for me?”

The masked adept instantly broke out in cold sweats when the Adept of Torture stared at him. He put on a forced smile and said, “My lady, I did not say that. It is the unanimous results of the seven members of the divination group. There should not be an error..”

“Legendary fire adept…Greem…the Crimson Clan,” The young female adept raised an eyebrow and mumbled to herself repeatedly. She was searching her mind for memories related to these keywords.

Unfortunately, no matter how she stirred, everything came out blank.

The only thing related she could find in her memories was hearing of the legends and rumors of this fire adept.

“Olivia, do you…know this fire adept?” The elderly adept in white robes frowned and asked.

“I don’t…we have never made contact before this!” The young adept replied firmly.

“Good!” Vice-Chairman Domhnall was obviously relieved. “This Greem has been stirring up storms in the Central Lands over the past few decades. It’s said that he has amassed a sizeable force and that the Crimson Clan has become the only ultra-clan of Zhentarim. Many people are spreading rumors that he could become the core of the Central Lands. In all honesty, we are discussing within the Association about how to deal with this guy!”

“What do you think we should do then?”

“Since he’s come to the east, we should take this opportunity to contact him. It will be a good chance to observe his potential and power. If he is truly as powerful as the rumors say, then the Association will have to consider suppressing this Crimson Clan.”

“You can arrange the Association’s response. I don’t care. However, if this guy is here for me, I will meet him and see what he wants. If necessary, I can help you test the waters.” The young Olivia confidently and proudly remarked.

“That is good. Then I will arrange for a few people to assist you and help you out.”

“No need. Are you not confident in my abilities? It doesn’t matter if he’s a dragon or a slug. He will be no more than dirt before me!”

Having said that, Olivia’s screen faded into black.

The excited adepts immediately started talking amongst themselves once Olivia had disconnected. Obviously, they couldn’t wait to see the explosive conflict that would break out in the near future.

After all, of the four dozen Fourth Grade adepts of the Association, Olivia was most certainly among the top ten in power.

She was facing off against a mere fire adept from a rural land. Naturally, no one looked favorably on that fire adept’s odds!

…………

Olivia waved her hand and deactivated the magical crystal. She then leaned against her bed and fell into silent thought.

It was a bedroom that had been decorated in an extravagant fashion. The furniture was excessively grand and ornate, the style of which resembled those of elite and wealthy nobles.

Once the silencing barrier vanished, Olivia could hear the loud noise of the crowd and the instruments crashing into her room through the wooden door. She couldn’t help but frown.

Before she could do anything, the solid golden oak doors burst open from the outside. Three young men and women rushed into the room, chasing after one another.

The young adept in the lead was handsome and muscular. The ornate black robe he wore was tailored to fit, making him stand out even further.

It was obvious from the appearance of the robe, its delicate magical seams, and the gemstones that lined its sleeves that this was not the standard robe handed out by the Adept’s Association. Instead, it was expensive goods custom crafted for him. That alone revealed the adept’s overwhelming wealth.

Unfortunately, he did not seem to show any care for such a precious robe. The sleeves and collar of the robe were covered in wine and oil stains. The young male adept was also clearly beyond drunk. He held two pretty female adepts in his arms, one in each hand, flirting with them as he stumbled into the room.

The three of them were no more than First Grade.

The two young female adepts had been laughing joyously. However, when they saw Olivia and the cold expression hanging on her face, they shivered in fright and quickly stood straight. They bowed and remained silent, their faces full of fear.

Meanwhile, even though the young male adept was only First Grade, he showed no fear or panic when he saw Olivia. He pushed aside his two female companions and ran towards the Fourth Grade Olivia, grabbing her sleeves and swaying it side to side.

“Sister…sister…so you’ve been hiding here. I was wondering. Why didn’t I see you in the hall at all?” The male adept was so drunk that he couldn’t even stand up straight. He collapsed into Olivia’s arms as his drunken breath pressed against her face.

“You may leave now!” Olivia coldly said.

The two First Grade female adepts quickly bowed before carefully walking out of the room, closing the wooden doors as they left.

Olivia sighed. She lifted the male adept’s head with both hands. Magic filled the air, and a faint mist of alcohol seeped out of his pores, gathering into a ball of liquid between her palms.

The young male adept shivered when the alcohol was drained from his body; he instantly regained consciousness.

“Sister, it’s you!” Young Wills couldn’t help but clasp his head. It was still aching from all the drinking earlier.

“Wills, you should know that losing our rationality because of drinking is a major taboo for us adepts!” Olivia’s face seemed stern, but her actions spoke otherwise. She was massaging her brother’s temples.

“Sister, don’t tell me what to do!” Wills lifted his head and let out a pathetic chuckle, “Hah! A useless piece of trash like me! What’s the point of keeping my mind calm and rational? Is there even any space for improvement for me?”

Olivia’s hands froze, and a sorrowful expression appeared on her face.

Her brother’s talent for magic was terrible. He was practically an insulator for magic. Even after consuming countless resources, Olivia had only managed to pull him up to intermediate First Grade.

His development had reached its limits now. It didn’t matter how many resources she committed. It didn’t help a single drop or let him improve in the slightest.

“Wills, don’t abandon hope. Believe me. I will find something that can change your talent and allow you to continue living!” Olivia caressed his face while clearly stricken with pain.

Wills let out another pained chuckle and shook his head, “Sister, you’ve said that thousands of times. You know my potential. There is no more room for improvement. None at all. I am three hundred and thirty-seven years old now. If it weren’t for the life-extension ceremony you held for me several decades ago, I would already be a pile of bones. Now…after so many repeated enhancements, my soul has reached its limits. Even if you find better, more useful treasures to extend my life, my soul no longer has any capacity for growth.

“So, sister, don’t make me meditate or research magic anymore; I was not born for this. Rather than that, why not let me use what’s left of my time to enjoy myself thoroughly……”

Having said that, Wills looked at Olivia’s pale face and stumbled out of the room.

Olivia closed her eyes in pain as Wills walked out.