Chapter 1273 Am’s Death

 

Just as Greem expected, the appearance of Horton Magic Academy instantly caused a massive commotion in the Central Lands.

There had never been a magic academy that could put together such a large department of high-grade adepts and powerful otherworldly creatures as their instructors. There had never been a magic academy have their lessons and trials spread over a dozen different lesser planes. There had never been a magic academy that had ever recruited students with such low barriers for entry.

Consequently, when the list of Horton Magic Academy instructors was made public, the entirety of Zhentarim and the Central Lands bubbled with noise.

Acceptance of students with no discrimination of race, sex, bloodline, or any other limitations. High-grade knowledge and resources with no binding contracts were required to be signed. Fair education with no discrimination, excellent magical facilities, and those eye-catching and powerful instructors.

Horton Magic Academy had borrowed many aspects of its education system from the Adept’s Association’s cultivation system. The ultimate goal of the academy was not the cultivation of clan adepts for a clan’s personal use. The academy had opened up the excellent resources of the Crimson Clan to the general public. It was a magic academy that had been established solely for the benefit of the people.

It allowed Horton Magic Academy to become a wild melting pot of free adepts that remained outside of the Crimson Clan’s governing system, despite being established by the Crimson Clan.

Horton Magic Academy cared not for a student’s background. They would even accept students that already belonged to other clans. Moreover, they would provide such students with the same basic resources available to everyone else.

As long as you had the magical crystals to pay the tuition, as long as you were willing to remain in the academy, its doors would always be open to you.

No contracts of servitude, no compulsory missions, no discrimination based on bloodline, no difference in nobility and peasantry. It was equality of opportunity and freedom.

It was undoubtedly the most attractive aspect of the academy!

It was important to know that most adept clans in the Central Lands were barely getting by.

Apart from a few clans who could invade and raid foreign planes for incredible profits, most clans were lucky to have a single lesser plane, providing them with a stable income stream.

The rare resources in every clan also had to be tilted towards exceptionally talented individuals. Ordinary adepts and apprentices were often in tough situations, economically speaking.

These ordinary adepts and apprentices, who made up the majority of the adept population, would have no choice but to negotiate with their clans for better resources. The terms of these negotiations were often contracts of servitude or recruitment onto planar battlefields.

Either sell yourself, or sell your life.

There were no other options for these people.

After all, all the adept resources available out there were monopolized by the various adept clans!

However, Horton Magic Academy now offered them a different choice.

Free and wandering adepts could choose to apply as instructors at the academy. They could earn a wage through means such as providing lectures, brewing potions, writing scrolls, and creating voodoo beasts or golems. They could then use their salary of magical crystals to purchase high-grade knowledge that the academy offered to the public.

They were free adepts and could leave if and when they chose to. They were not bound or limited by any organization and, consequently, did not have to risk their lives in any manner. Moreover, if they became instructors at the academy, they could enjoy the privilege of using some of the magical facilities at no cost.

It was tremendously good news for the free adepts who possessed plenty of materials, but no laboratories in which they could process and use them!

Moreover, the Crimson Clan was incredibly wealthy. The core tower of Horton Magic Academy was one of the best towers ever constructed. They had every facility imaginable within the building, all of the highest quality, comparable to some of the Central Land’s best towers.

At the very least, the small magic academies that could be found throughout the Central Lands were utterly inferior to Horton Magic Academy in every respect, be it in terms of wealth, staff, or resources. That was why every free adept and apprentice in the Central Lands rushed toward Ironwood City when they heard of the academy’s unbelievable standards.

In just six months, Ironwood City had been forced to expand three times. Its population had also swelled exponentially from six thousand to one hundred and twenty thousand.

This nameless city that stood at the border of Ailovis had instantly become a massive adept city in the Central Lands, simply because it neighbored the Horton Magic Academy.

 

…………

 

Feidnan City, Sarubo clan outpost.

 

Am, dressed in a gray robe, walked through a dark and silent magical tunnel and passed a faintly glowing barrier. He arrived at the public corridor of the Conjuration Department.

A broad stone corridor stood in front of him. Several apprentices were hurrying to the hall with books in their arms. It was three minutes until Adept Am’s public lecture on conjuration. The students were rushing as fast as they could. They did not want to miss out on this free lecture that was available once a week.

As the adept responsible for this lecture, Am would obtain a certain number of magical crystals and points from the clan as compensation to support his expensive experiment.

However, when Am arrived at the entrance to the hall, he was surprised to find three apprentices standing at the door. They seemed to be waiting for his arrival.

Am hesitated for a moment.

These three apprentices were all disciples of his. They were all talented individuals, and all of them were at the advanced apprentice level.

The three apprentices surrounded Am when they saw him arrive. They looked at each other, nervousness written all over their faces. They were obviously hesitating about speaking about something.

“What are you doing here? The lecture is about to start. I don’t have time to deal with any of your problems. We can talk about it after the lecture is over!” Am frowned as he spoke.

Natalie, the pretty, petite female apprentice with freckles on her face, finally found the courage to speak up.

“Teacher, the three of us are here to say our farewells!”

“Farewell? Are the three of you going on an expedition?” Am frowned even more. “Your Spirits are barely at the advanced level. It will be a while until you reach the pseudo-adept level. There’s no need to be in such a rush to go on an expedition.”

“We aren’t going out on an expedition.”

“Not an expedition? Why are all three of you leaving together, then? Tell me, did something happen back with your families and clans?” Am asked solemnly.

“Nothing has happened to our families. We just…wish to leave and go to another place to continue our education. That place offers incredibly lenient conditions. Many of our companions from the tower have already left! We only wanted to bid you farewell before we departed.”

Am fell silent.

His face turned pale, making him appear even weaker and elderly than he was.

His life in recent years had been tremendously depressing and upsetting.

He was a traitor of the Crimson Clan, after all. Even though the Sarubo Clan treated him appropriately as one of their adepts, many people mocked him behind his back.

Even those pesky, insignificant apprentices would hide a trace of sympathy and disdain behind their respectful gazes when they met him in the corridors.

Am, one of the first five disciples of the legendary fire adept, Greem, and the only one among them to possess fire affinity. To think he had betrayed his own teacher out of ‘loyalty’ to the Sarubo Clan.

If Greem had simply died, Am would have been praised as an individual with exceptional foresight. His status in the Sarubo Clan would have skyrocketed, and he might even have become an authority of great importance. However, no one could predict the future. The script of life would never go according to the expectations of the weak!

Greem had managed to rise like a blazing star despite being repeatedly suppressed by the Sarubo Clan. In fact, he was so powerful that he had defeated the Third Grade Lady Sanazar, who currently ruled the Sarubo Clan.

Lady Sanazar had been humiliated by Greem in a battle between the most powerful adepts of the Zhentarim Association. She had been forced to retreat to a lesser plane to recover and mend her wounds. At the moment, the individual managing the Sarubo Clan was none other than Lord Violeteye, who held the same reputation as Sanazar as a Third Grade of the clan.

However, just as the clan had been preparing to exact revenge on Greem, terrifying news returned. Greem had advanced to Fourth Grade!

When news of this arrived at the Sarubo Clan, the entire clan fell silent.

Fourth Grade…Fourth Grade…Fourth Grade.

Fourth Grades were the most powerful entities in the World of Adepts!

If Greem insisted on waging war on the Sarubo Clan, it would not have mattered that a Sixth Grade Great Adept stood behind them.

After all, Great Adept Sarubo was far out in space. He might want to help with the clan’s affairs in the World of Adepts, but there was nothing that he could tangibly do.

Fearful and afraid, Am had hidden in the Sarubo Clan’s outpost, never daring to take a single step out of Feidnan City.

Even though he chose to isolate himself, news continued to stream in from the outside world.

In the past one or two hundred years, the Crimson Clan and its legendary fire adept leader were the most popular topic in the Central Lands.

An explosive piece of news would emerge every so often, causing a commotion in the Sarubo Clan. However, what made Am the most regretful was news of Red Dragon Adept Meryl advancing to Third Grade.

Am had smashed everything in his room and lab when he heard of this news. He got himself blind drunk and screamed in agony amidst the mess for the entire night.

He had always believed himself to no longer care about anything happening in the Crimson Clan. However, on that night, he completely understood the truth. He still cared!

However, time was the best cure. After a hundred years of silence and work, he calmed down and became the most diligent and hardworking First Grade adept of the Sarubo Clan.

Indeed, two hundred years had passed, and Am was still no more than an ordinary advanced First Grade adept. Half of his life was over, and even his looks and body were starting to fade.

Today, he was stopped in his tracks by three of his very own disciples and was told that they had to take their leave. For some reason, something in Am’s heart was telling him that this had something to do with that devil of a bastard again.

A vicious beast howled in Am’s heart.

He gritted his teeth, smiled, and asked.

“Tell me. What is this place that has managed to attract you to pursue education there?”

Natalie fell silent.

It was another apprentice, Russel, who found the courage the speak up.

“Horton Magic Academy. It’s…it’s established…by the Crimson Clan!”

Crimson…Crimson, just as he expected!

This damned, curse of a name again. Had he been cursed by a demon? Why was it that he would hear this damned name wherever he went?

Am felt his head ring. The last trace of color faded from his face, and he felt a sweet taste in his mouth. His body trembled. He pressed his hand against the wall and slowly collapsed limply to the ground as his apprentices cried out in surprise.

The last trace of life faded from his elderly shell of a body.