Chapter 1245 Difficult Negotiations
In a special, secret room.
Greem sat down calmly to begin the actual negotiations with Adept Domhnall.
“Sir Greem, did you really come here to the east only for that Lightfire stone?” Domhnall was the host, after all. Naturally, he was the one to initiate the conversation.
Even though Domhnall was the only person in the room, Greem could clearly sense over two dozen mysterious consciousnesses carried on Domhnall’s person. Frankly speaking, apart from the elders who were occupied with vital matters or stuck in other worlds, all the Fourth Grade adepts were observing this negotiation.
“I have truly learned of the Adept Association’s might and prosperity since coming here: the knowledge, the planar coordinates you possess, your otherworldly slaves, and high-grade resources. These are all things I am interested in. However, before we discuss trade on those items, I want to seal the deal on the Lightfire stone.” Greem might be alone, but he was not relenting at all.
“The Association only has this one Lightfire stone in our possession at the moment. What price do you intend to pay to obtain it?”
“I recall that this Lightfire stone is in Olivia’s hands. You—”
“You don’t have to worry about this, Sir Greem. The Lightfire stone was given to Olivia as a mission reward to begin with. As long as you agree to our conditions, I have the means to make her hand it over!” Domhnall narrowed his eyes, his expression sly and cunning.
Greem brooded in silence for a moment before speaking.
“As you should know, Lord Domhnall, I have in my possession some unusual mushrooms from another world. They can increase the base attributes of an adept by a certain degree, and they are effective even on Fourth Grade adepts. If you are willing to hand over the Lightfire stone, I can provide you with three people’s portions of magical mushrooms!”
“Those mushrooms are only some resources used to increase base attributes. Your offer doesn’t carry sufficient weight yet!” Adept Domhnall proudly retorted, “We have many other similar adept resources in our possession after the tens of thousands of years of accumulation since the establishment of our Adept’s Association. Besides items that can improve attributes, we even have plenty of resources here that can improve an adept’s talent and potential.”
Greem frowned. He couldn’t help but become slightly nervous.
If it were anyone else, Greem would be confident that they were only bluffing to improve their position in the negotiation. However, faced with this old man who had lived for a thousand years, Greem genuinely believed that everything he said was the truth.
With the size of the Adept’s Association and the endless amount of time they had to stockpile resources, it only made sense that they had such deep pockets. However, these items were considered strategic resources. The three major adept organizations would never let them fall into the hands of their competitors easily unless they were already on the ropes.
On the other hand, Greem and the Crimson Clan were still too poor. Otherwise, they would never trade away a resource as vital as the mushrooms.
“Then…what is that you want, Lord Domhnall?” Greem asked solemnly.
“I want you!” Domhnall stroked his wispy beard as he casually said.
“Yes! As long as you are willing to join our Adept’s Association, I can make the decision to give you this Lightfire stone as a welcoming gift!”
Greem narrowed his eyes and smiled as he replied, “My lord, you should know that I am currently an elder of the Zhentarim Association!”
“Elder of the Zhentarim Association,” Domhnall repeated after Greem, laughing madly as he did so. “You can repeat that again! We will see if Freed is as insistent on you being an elder of the Zhentarim Association as you are!”
Having said that, he let out another boisterous laugh!
A flash of anger flickered across Greem’s face as Domhnall laughed. However, his expression quickly turned into one of awkward frustration and, finally, dejection.
Domhnall couldn’t be blamed for mocking him. Greem’s position in the Central lands at the moment was quite awkward indeed. He had kept a low profile and hidden within Fire Throne for the past eighty years. One reason for that was to heal the injuries to his soul, but also, he was concerned about further provoking the adepts of the Central lands.
If it weren’t for the alliance he had formed with the Fire King and the agreement for his method of purifying the law fires, Greem would never have emerged from hiding and appeared in public again.
The only thing he was relying upon on this trip was the Orb of the Fire God, which he had now finally gained some measure of control over.
It was thanks to this Fifth Grade origin magical equipment that Greem could suppress Olivia, much to her chagrin.
“Since both of us are willing to have an honest talk, there is no need for any more smoke and mirrors. Your position in the Central lands at the moment is very awkward. There’s really nowhere to go for you. If you truly intend to unite Zhentarim, we three major adept organizations won’t be your first concern. Retaliation from within the Zhentarim Association will be very intense, indeed. Do you have the confidence to suppress the united retaliation of a dozen adepts?
“Even if you were to wait a few more years to further bolster the clan’s power, it simply won’t work. Do you expect the three major adept organizations to watch silently when you finally possess the power to unite the Central lands?”
Greem fell into a speechless silence.
“I hear that you have four Fourth Grades in your clan now. You, Mary, Alice, and a powerful thunder dragon from another world. Truly, a formidable force if given more time to mature and grow. However, that is still nothing before our Adept’s Association.
“Rather than stifling your growth by remaining amongst those talentless adepts of the Central lands, why don’t you come to our Adept’s Association? At least here, we have broader skies, free for you to grow and explore. Moreover, our Adept’s Association has a far superior reserve of knowledge and resources than the other two major organizations. Practically day and night compared to Zhentarim.
“If you want to continue advancing and rise to Fifth Grade, coming to our Adept’s Association is the wisest decision!
Vice-Chairman Domhnall’s combat prowess was utterly unknown, but his persuasive ability was indeed impressive. Even as determined as Greem was, he felt his heart waver slightly when he heard Domhnall’s words.
Just then, the Chip’s cold voice rang out in Greem’s mind.
[Detecting the presence of an unusual mental forcefield. Initial estimates suggest its effects to be mental contamination, resulting in the victim becoming more receptive to suggestions. Reminding host to remain alert!]
Shit! It was mental magic. No wonder his mind was wavering from a few words.
Greem cursed furiously to himself, all while calling upon the fire laws to protect his mind.
Nothing seemed to have changed in his appearance, apart from a strange fire rune suddenly lighting up deep in his black eyes.
Domhnall, who had been keeping a close eye on Greem, believed himself to have guided Greem’s thoughts onto the right track. As he prepared to deal the final blow and seal the deal, the suddenly ignited fire rune abruptly burned a massive hole in his intricate web of Spirit.
Domhnall was surprised and instantly lost all control over Greem’s mind.
“Thank you for your concern, Lord Domhnall!” Greem’s eyes burned passionately as he smiled coldly. “My life is in the Central lands is going quite well. In fact, I have no plans for migration to the east at the moment. So, I believe it’s best we get back to discussing our terms!”
Seeing as Greem had managed to free himself from the mental manipulation, Domhnall could only let out a sigh and put on a smile once more.
“Since you have no intention of coming to our Adept’s Association, we won’t be pushing the issue either. If that’s the case, we will have to settle this business the proper way! Ten million magical crystals, in addition to the spores of those magical mushrooms, and the cultivation method.”
Olivia’s voice shouted out in objection within the mental network the moment Domhnall gave the offer.
“Olivia, this deal concerns the benefit of all elders of the Association. We can’t let you do whatever you want on this matter. In the end, isn’t extending your brother’s life what you want the most? Very well. We will send an invasion team to an elven kingdom immediately and take their Tree of Life off their hands. Your brother should have no problem living for another hundred years with a Tree of Life as a sacrifice. That’s enough, isn’t it?”
The Tree of Life of an elven kingdom from a mid-sized plane was still not as valuable as the egg of a Fifth Grade divine creature. However, Olivia knew that this was the old man’s final offer. She had no choice but to agree to these terms.
Olivia gritted her teeth and replied sternly, “I want to lead that invasion team personally. My brother doesn’t have long left. We can’t afford to proceed slowly with the invasion!”
A bloody war in another world had been decided in a matter of a few sentences, exchanged between two of the most powerful adepts in this world. All of it stemmed from no more than a desire to allow the relative of a Fourth Grade adept to live a few years longer!
Greem had no idea that this negotiation was happening behind the scenes. He frowned deeply, considering the terms that were being offered to him.
Ten million magical crystals, and all the magical mushrooms.
These two terms put together represented an unbearable burden to the Crimson Clan as it was! Greem had to consider all the consequences on the Crimson Clan’s future development before he could decide.
Finally, fifteen minutes later, Greem took off an unusual ring from his ring finger on the right hand. He weighed it in his hand solemnly as he said, “This is Sodden’s Holy Ring, a Fourth Grade treasure I found in a holy knight plane. It can convert one’s powers into non-attribute holy light power. There shouldn’t be any problem if I use this to discount some of the magical crystals, would there?”
Having said that, Greem poured fire energy into the ring, creating a holy light shield and holy light arrow in front of him.
All of a sudden, Domhnall raised an eyebrow. Adept Geraldine’s excited yelp rang out in his mind.
“That ring is mine. Old man, help me get that ring!”
Greem finally smiled when he saw the slight change in Domhnall’s gaze.