Chapter 1278 A Battle Looms

 

Ice dragon heart, a Fourth Grade material.

It was the heart of the skeletal ice dragon, Nax, which it had preserved before modifying its body and soul origin with the Ancient Reliquary.

One could tell that Nax had put a lot of effort into preserving their vital organ. It was more than evident from the materials and techniques used to seal the heart in ice. They were all expensive, rare resources.

The result of Nax’s action was…that Greem obtained a very high-quality Fourth Grade magical material.

That was all the heart could be now– a magical material!

In the hands of a high-grade alchemist, an ice dragon’s heart could be processed into a treasure like a Heart of Frost, which, when equipped, could provide its user with additional ice damage and freezing effect.

Meanwhile, in the hands of a golem master, the heart could be turned into a high-grade component for a golem, or even as an auxiliary tool for the adept themselves. The heart would probably be modified into a source of power.

Apart from these, the heart could also be grafted onto a voodoo beast or a mutated beast to create an exceedingly powerful magical servant.

Meanwhile, Greem himself, after consulting the Chip’s calculations, believed it was most optimal to simply sacrifice the dragon’s heart as a Fourth Grade material to nourish his starbeast bloodline.

At his current level, Greem had already maximized all aspects of his combat prowess. Almost everything that could be improved upon had already been improved. From now on, the improvement of his powers had reached a plateau.

The only things that could still effectively improve his power were improvements to his Spirit, his soul origin, and his bloodline talent.

Among these, Spirit could only be raised by constant daily meditations. The effects were minuscule, but at the very least, his Spirit was still improving, as slow as it might be. The deep meditations, which had been so effective in the past, only saw some trace results after one to two months of meditation.

However, Greem could also read the Tome of Corruption as another means to improve his Spirit. In this regard, the rate at which his Spirit improved was ten times that of the ordinary Fourth Grade adept.

The improvement of the soul origin was also something that could only be left to luck.

According to the Chip’s estimates, Greem first had to collect a sufficient number of fire laws. Then, he had to refine those fire laws into his unique law fire through the method provided by the Fire King. The moment his law fire was ignited would be the moment he advanced to Fifth Grade. It would also be the instant his soul origin would ascend to another level.

There was no other solution apart from this!

Meanwhile, the only way to improve Greem’s bloodline talent was to constantly devour the flesh of high-grade creatures, particularly those filled with law aura.

Wild starbeasts spent their lives roaming the endless space, searching for the next planar world they could invade. Their only purpose in invading planar worlds was to devour flesh, steal souls, and extract the planar origin leaking out from the breaking plane.

However, at their core, what the starbeasts devoured were actually shattered pieces of the planar laws.

While ordinary creatures saw planar law shards as a deadly poison, the shards of law were the best delicacy the starbeasts could ever ask for. The starbeasts could not only eat these laws; they could also digest and absorb them, extracting the corresponding powers from the law shards and distorting them for their own use.

The reason starbeasts were so powerful was that they were law creatures from the moment they turned into adolescents. The nature of the lifeform and the level of their souls were far superior to most planar creatures.

That was why Greem had to find highly valuable and highly nutritious flesh to nourish his starbeast bloodline if he wished to improve the Chaos Physique.

The ice dragon’s heart undoubtedly matched this requirement!

The blood ritual that he had prepared for the Feathered Serpent’s egg hadn’t come to fruition. However, it was the perfect ritual to be used on this heart.

While Greem was carefully preparing the special items required for the blood ritual, urgent news from the outside world forced him to put his work aside and emerge from his lab.

The news came from Emelia.

Gargamel and Emelia knew Greem well enough to know that he hated being disturbed while he was in seclusion. That was why Emelia’s decision to send an urgent alert through special channels was evidence that something significant had occurred. It was something that Greem had to deal with personally.

Thus, Greem quickly took a look at the information sent to him. A stern expression flashed across his calm and composed face.

“…conflict at the borders…conflict continues to escalate. The Dener Clan has begun to mobilize their most of their forces. Border City Andman has fallen into enemy hands…Crimson Grand Duke Antoneil has been captured along with the city.”

The Dener Clan.

Greem couldn’t help but brood in silence.

That was the powerful adept clan that Fourth Grade Adept Kerala belonged to.

His relationship with this Kerala had been fairly amicable since his advancement to Fourth Grade. Even though they weren’t intimate in any fashion, they still tolerated and respected each other’s organization, out of respect for their status as Fourth Grade organizations.

In the past hundred years, all of the Crimson Clan’s expansions had intentionally avoided Dener territory. They did not even lift a single finger against their subordinate forces.

To think, the Dener Clan had started trouble, even under such circumstances! Even though he had no evidence or information that informed him so, Greem could already smell the scent of a conspiracy in the shadows!

It seemed like Horton Magic Academy’s establishment had been a sharp stimulant to specific individuals, so much so that they couldn’t help but reveal themselves from behind the curtains. It seemed to have given them the courage to tear aside their facade and fight with the Crimson Clan.

Moreover, these people had even detained a Grand Duke. It was apparent that they were trying to provoke the fury of the Crimson Clan.

Ever since the massive Crimson Kingdom was founded, there had already been three generations of kings. However, there had only been five officially titled Crimson Grand Dukes. These Grand Dukes represented the five subordinate forces branching out of the Crimson Clan.

Even though these Crimson Grand Dukes were only ordinary human nobles that were completely insignificant within the clan, they represented the Crimson Clan’s reputation and dignity to the public.

Since the enemy had detained a Crimson Grand Duke, they were clearly trying to mar the reputation of the Crimson Clan.

They were leaving no room for the Crimson Clan to remain uninvolved, yet still keeping enough room for negotiation and to prevent war. Otherwise, detaining a Second Grade adept would have been a much more effective military measure than capturing a Crimson Grand Duke.

What was Kerala planning, exactly? Was she willing to be used by the Association’s old fools and become a sharp knife to be used against the Crimson Clan and him? Hehehe. Don’t they think it’s too late for them to act only now?

Greem thought to himself as he strode into the teleportation room.

Since these enemies did not intend to let him live in peace, then it was time for the Crimson Clan to retaliate with all its force. He would warn these ambitious conspirators that he, Greem, was not a force to be messed with, not by clowns like themselves. He would do so with fire and fury.

 

…………

 

Andman City. A small, insignificant city that lay on the southwest border of Ailovis.

The fires burning all over the city had not been completely extinguished. Black clouds of smoke rolled above the sky, staining the horizon grey.

The typically quiet city was dead silent now. All the doors and windows of the buildings within were shut tight. Confused and terrified gazes came from between the cracks in the windows as the citizens peeked at the strange army marching on the streets.

It was an adept force belonging to the Dener Clan. Robust and muscular apprentice adepts rode on towering mounts, covered in thick, runed armor as they patrolled the streets.

The apprentices would occasionally charge into the houses, chasing their residents onto the streets and making them kneel along the road like slaves. Anyone that dared resist them was executed on the spot.

The corpses pinned to the walls and roofs were the fate of anyone that rebelled!

The apprentices were hunting for the Crimson nobles and adepts that were hiding in the city. All suspects were sent to the jail and locked up.

Several adepts riding on massive, two-headed eagles circled in the air, keeping a close eye on the city and making sure no one entered or exited.

A large group of Dener clan adepts walked in and out of a fine villa a few hundred meters outside of the city. They were using this spot as their outpost.

The villa itself was a three-story wooden building. At the moment, it was closely guarded by many voodoo beasts and guards.

 

The second floor.

In a very secure room.

 

Antoneil closed the wooden window and turned his gaze away. He paced the room impatiently.

Adept Sterling, who was quietly reading a book on a couch, couldn’t help but chuckle when he saw this. “Grand Duke, no need to be so frustrated! With how far things have gone, the affair is no longer within the control of people like you and me.”

Antoneil suddenly stopped walking. He put his ear to the wall to hear for movement in the corridor before complaining to the adept, “Aren’t you a free-spirit? Well, I can’t see things the same way you do! The two of us walked into a trap and fell into the hands of the Dener Clan. Who knows how the clan will respond? If war breaks out……”

The Crimson Clan and the Dener Clan were both famous Fourth Grade forces in the Central Lands. The Crimson Clan was even a one-of-a-kind ultra-clan. If war were to break out under such circumstances, the consequences were unimaginable.

Even a Crimson Grand Duke like himself could not bear the responsibility for such an event.

As Antoneil’s advisor, Sterling had a much broader worldview than his employer. He casually asked, “What is it, my lord? Do you still think, at this point in time, that this conflict started because of some mistake on our part?”

“Is there any other reason than that?”

“Hehehe,” Sterling chuckled and said, “You think too highly of you and me! Let me be honest with you. Even the two of us put together don’t have the required weight to start a war like this. This is an adept war, not a worldly war for territory. The players of this game aren’t you and me, but……”

Having said that, Sterling stopped speaking and turned to look towards the northeast, his gaze piercing through the walls and the villa.

There. In that direction lay the holy land of the Crimson Clan, home of the legendary clan leader, Greem!