Chapter 1241 The Tower of Observation
Just like the other regions, the Adept’s Association also had vast lands and territories.
However, these lands were not as wealthy or populated as the Central Region.
Flying high above and looking down, everything on the ground appeared small and fuzzy.
There were still many primal forests within the Association’s territory. Many wild animals lived there. It wasn’t as scary as the Black Forest, but many unpredictable dangers still lurked within.
At this height, the human settlements were the size of a fingernail, scattered haphazardly around several white towers. These towers were tall and slender. From a distance, they look like wooden sticks that had been stuck into the ground. They radiated with enchanting lights of various colors.
While Greem stood at the edge of the ship and observed the earth beneath him, the body-refining adept known as Horner stepped up next to him.
“That’s the North Reach. It’s the coldest region in the Association territories,” Horner pointed at the north and described with a tone of awe.
Greem looked to the north. He could very clearly see the forests turn darker as they stretched towards the north. He could also faintly see mountains and forest coated in white snow in the very distant north.
“To the east, 6,500 kilometers away, is the vicious Blackreef Sea…and to the south, the infamous Black Forest,” Horner calmly said. “Several tens of thousands of years ago, a dozen adepts came here from the Central lands and founded the first human settlement. After all these years of hard work, effort, and fighting, we Association adepts have finally made this land our own. It is the cradle and paradise for all adepts. It is something that each and every one of us in the Adept’s Association will always be proud of!”
Naturally, Greem was well-versed in the history of the Adept Association’s development.
However, when he heard an Association adept repeat this same history with a tone of reverence, Greem could finally understand the difficulty of the Association’s development and all it’d had to do to reach its current form.
“Just take a look for yourself! Every single tower here belongs to the Adept’s Association.” A woman’s voice came from beside. Olivia walked out of the cabin and arrived next to the two of them. “Here, clans are not allowed to build their own adept towers. All adept towers belong solely to the Association. Any adept clan that violates this rule will be exiled from Association territory!”
“On this point alone, the Adept’s Association is completely different from your Zhentarim Association!”
Greem smiled helplessly at Olivia’s criticism.
There were reasons behind every rule and means of survival.
The Central lands were the earliest human territory to be established in the World of Adepts.
The land there was rich, resources were plentiful, and the population of humans was high. In addition to their vast territories, it allowed for the birth of many small, self-sustaining clans. The lack of powerful adepts further meant that even ordinary adept clans could fend off high-grade adepts through the use of adept towers. It made the unification of the Central lands a monumentally difficult task!
For the past tens of thousands of years, Zhentarim had remained a loose box of sand. No one had been able to unite the adept clans and form a concentrated force.
Meanwhile, the three major adept organizations in the west, north, and east were all major organizations that were founded by Central adepts that had migrated to these regions. All of them had to go through tremendous difficulties to get where they were today.
Due to the difficulty of the situation they began with, these individuals were unusually united. They had to rely on the strength of the whole to slowly obtain land from the Black Forest’s terrifying magical creatures.
These difficult trials had tempered their will and power.
In combat power alone, the adepts from the three major organizations were far superior to the Central adepts. That was the main reason why the adepts of the Adept’s Association had always looked down on the Central adepts!
In the recent thousands of years, the territories of the three major organizations had expanded. However, the Central lands alone remained unchanged, with no obvious expansion of any sort.
That alone was proof that the lives of the Central adepts were far too peaceful, so much so that they had completely abandoned the idea of fighting for a better future.
The territory in the Central lands was too vast. As such, it had been divided into three dozen regions of completely different cultures and geography. The Adept’s Association only had one-fifth of the land of the Central lands, and they also split these lands into a dozen different territories. However, the actual authority over these lands was firmly held by the hands of the Association.
Meanwhile, the means by which the Adept’s Association exerted their authority was through the tall, intimidating adept towers!
All the adept towers belonged to the Adept’s Association. Any Association adept or apprentice that chose to roam the lands could freely visit the towers and obtain their required supplies.
It was because of such a generous atmosphere of learning and cultivation that the apprentices and adepts felt such belonging and trust in the Adept’s Association.
While they traveled this vast land in pursuit of their studies, they represented the Adept’s Association and the will of all these towers. At these times, the existence of the adept clans felt incredibly insignificant, so much so that they were more comparable to human nobles than the adepts.
Thus, adepts of the east were Association adepts first, and members of their respective clans, second. Moreover, they only took pride in their status as members of the Adept’s Association. Their clan was no more than their background and where they were born.
At this moment, Greem could only smile bitterly in the face of two proud Association adepts.
After all, when it came to a sense of belonging and pride, Zhentarim would never be able to compare to the Adept’s Association!
Seven days later.
After a long journey crossing tens of thousands of kilometers, the skyship finally arrived at the heart of Association territory–the Izar Province.
The Izar Province was the headquarters of the Adept’s Association. It was also the largest, richest region of the eleven provinces. The population of humans here was incredibly dense, with many settlements bustling with life. They were not as cold or harsh as the other settlements at the borders of Association lands.
The first thing that could be seen when the skyship emerged from the forest were the numerous towers. The adept towers here stood in a circle, surrounding the main settlements of Izar and providing people with a sense of security.
Meanwhile, at the center of the towns and settlements, a particularly sizeable adept tower pierced through the clouds, making everyone who witnessed it feel all the tinier.
The heart of the Adept’s Association, the Tower of Observation!
Even if Greem had never been here personally, he had read descriptions and praises of this Tower of Observation in many books.
It was a palace of magic that gathered the intelligence and techniques of all the adepts.
It was a mysterious tower that carried the dreams and ideals of tens of thousands of adepts.
It was the spine that propped up the very world of the adepts.
The Tower of Observation did not appear at all inferior to the Silver Union’s Castle in the Sky. Instead, it was constantly motivating and inspiring the countless numbers of Association adepts.
Many adepts even spread the rumor that a mysterious door of light existed at the Tower of Observation’s highest floor. Once Association adepts had made it past Fourth Grade, they would reluctantly step through that door and venture to the realms beyond to find new lands and new homes for themselves.
Thus, that door of light was imbued with a veil of mystery and wonder by the many adepts.
It was almost as if any adept that had the luck to walk through that door could successfully advance past Fourth Grade and become one of the revered Great Adepts!
Such rumors were, obviously, not to be believed. However, when Greem witnessed the tower for himself, his eyes were uncontrollably attracted to the top of the tower hidden above the clouds. He couldn’t help but wonder what that door of light honestly looked like.
Most flying ships could only land near the towers on the outside. None of them could enter the inner region. Only a few ships could make it past the perimeter of towers and fly straight for that magnificent tower at the center.
In response to the confused look that Greem gave him, Horner smiled and explained, “There are no-fly zones close to the headquarters. Ordinary flying ships and mounts are not allowed to fly here. However, Association elders are exempt. We can fly straight to the Tower of Observation, so there’s no hassle of having to switch to a different transport.”
Greem nodded in understanding when he heard this.
The flying ship casually drifted across the sky, past vast stretches of farms, towns, and villages.
Soon, the giant tower approached!
The closer they were, the more Greem could feel the pressure and intimidation emanating from the tower.
Finally, the ship slowly landed about fifteen kilometers away from the Tower of Observation.
A short moment later, the adepts got onto black carriages that drove them towards the tower’s entrance.
Billis rode on the same carriage as Greem.
Billis appeared exceptionally excited and restless at being in a new place.
His body, curled up in his seat, was squirming without stop. He was almost like a child that had just found a new toy.
Billis turned his head and looked at the faint red light all around them. He knew that Greem’s barrier of fire completely protected them. Thus, he felt safe enough to ask, “My Lord, who exactly won between you and that female adept?”
“No one won, and no one lost. Someone intervened before we could reach a conclusion!” Greem casually said.
“Still…you should have an estimate in your mind! Who would’ve won?” Billis’ admiration and respect for Greem had reached unprecedented heights ever since he advanced to Third Grade. That was why he seemed particularly adamant about learning whether Greem had won.
“Fifty-fifty!” On the other hand, Greem didn’t seem to care. “If it’s a matter of winning or losing, it could swing either way. However, in a life and death situation, I would have better odds– about a seventy percent chance to win. However, she certainly still has some aces hidden up her sleeve. Even if I were to kill her, I would not be able to escape without severe injuries to myself.”
Billis finally licked his lips in satisfaction after hearing Greem’s evaluation.