Chapter 1308 A Storm Stirs
Zhentarim, inside a hidden burrow.
It was a well-concealed location deep underground and one of a dozen secret shelters that the Adept’s Association had established in the Central Lands.
The entirety of the burrows was a labyrinth with winding corridors connected to five of these secret shelters. All sorts of precious resources and materials were stored in these shelters.
At this moment, the burrows were filled with howling cries of agony!
Cerveris tossed and turned in his smoke form inside the largest and most luxurious rooms in these burrows. Occasionally, his twisted and ugly face formed in the black smoke and let out a ghastly cry. The face would then be blasted into scattered smoke by a sudden eruption of golden flames.
Several Third Grade adepts from the Adept’s Association were gathered in a corner of the room, quietly discussing a method of treatment for this ultra-powerhouse. However, before they could come to a conclusion, their ears were filled with a sharp and stern howl.
“Bastards, you are all bastards. The Association cultivated all of you at significant cost, yet none of you can get rid of these fire laws. Tell me, what’s the point of keeping you fools around?” Cerveris reverted to his human form, panting laboriously on the ground. His entire body was covered in scorch marks, making for a pitiful sight indeed.
However, Cerveris immediately started begging instead, “Hurry up…have you all still not come to a conclusion? Hurry…all of you, hurry up…that bastard’s fire laws are about to act up again.”
Before he could finish speaking, another flash of fire appeared from within Cerveris’ scrawny frame, erupting in a warm and fiery blast. His body was instantly blasted into tiny pieces before regathering into a single cloud of smoke.
“Four fire laws. At least four fire laws are all entangled together in him,” The Third Grade elementium adepts had helpless looks on their faces. They could not do anything about this problematic situation before them.
Law powers could not be removed employing ordinary herbs or potions. It required the use of equivalent high-grade powers. There might be potion masters, enchanters, alchemists, and summoners here, but none of them could do anything about the law powers, which only Fourth Grade adepts had mastered and could control.
Eventually, Cerveris managed to endure this new round of eruptions from the fire laws. He reformed and screamed out wildly, “I am leaving for the Adept’s Association. Hurry up and open a portal for me. I want to leave now.”
The Association adepts looked at each other. They had no choice but to work together and open up a portal to the east of the continent. Cerveris hurried through the doorway, practically scrambling and crawling as he did so.
Once the portal had shut, one of the more composed middle-aged adepts frowned and said, “Now that Lord Cerveris has left, what should we do about the Central Lands? We have basically declared open hostilities against the Crimson Clan. If—”
“So what if it’s open hostilities? What is he going to do? Bring people and knock down our doors?” Another male adept spoke up resentfully.
“That just might be a possibility. If they do come knocking down our doors, we can’t allow all the forces that the Association has left here in the Central Lands get caught in one fell swoop. I suggest…that we all go into hiding separately. The entire Central Lands branch is to go incognito!”
“Very well, that is what we will do then. Everyone split up and prepare!”
The Association adepts immediately erupted into mists of various colors and vanished from the room once their discussion had concluded.
The Battle of Stoneshard Valley sent tremors throughout the Central Lands, not unlike an apocalyptic earthquake.
The rise of an ultra-powerhouse had also thoroughly ignited the pride and passion of the Central adepts.
Countless adepts moved around, looking to obtain more information on the historic battle that had come to pass. Numerous versions of the events of Stoneshard Valley were born as gossip and rumors spread around. However, every single version shared a similar trait– they had the same protagonist. That protagonist was none other the greatest adept that had recently come to power in the Central Lands– Greem.
Greem might be a Fourth Grade fire adept, but he still required a long time to train and improve before he could become a peak Fourth Grade adept.
However, that did not stop everyone else from passionately pushing him onto the throne of the strongest adept in the Central Lands.
Ultra-powerhouse. The Central Lands.
For the first time in history, these two words were closely connected.
The significance of this was only genuinely felt by the Central adepts, who had endured discrimination and condescension from adepts of the other lands.
From now on, the Central Lands were no longer a desert of talent. It was no longer a helpless collection of loose sand. It had become the fourth organization that could compare to the three major organizations.
Almost every single Central adept apart from those of the large clans were excited about this change!
It was the hope and blessing of these adepts that caused the Crimson Clan’s prestige and influence to swell like a rising tide. In the blink of an eye, the Crimson Clan had suppressed all voices of objection and become the uncontested mega-clan of the Central Lands.
The circumstances in the Central Lands became increasingly transparent after the conclusion of the battle.
There were many, many free adepts cheering for the Crimson Clan. The cries for unification were deafening throughout the Central Lands. However, the only ones who could decide the future fate of Zhentarim were still the dozen Fourth Grade organizations.
In the past, a single Fourth Grade adept was already an immovable force in the Central Lands!
No matter how severe the conflicts in the Central Lands, the dozen Fourth Grade organizations could remain unfazed, keeping absolute order and control of their lands with an iron fist. No one with ambitions of something greater would ever offend these Fourth Grade organizations, in the hopes of avoiding retaliation.
However, the Crimson Clan’s prestige was at an all-time high. Cries of unification could be heard throughout the land. Meanwhile, the Greem upon whom everyone placed their hopes had also amassed sufficient power to shatter the current state of Zhentarim.
Under such circumstances, even those Fourth Grade organizations that had weathered countless storms were growing anxious!
The skies of Zhentarim were about to turn.
Gaia Clan Leader Mornashen Gaia had retreated back to the Gaia Clan headquarters after the battle of Stoneshard Valley; he had yet to emerge. It was said that he was recuperating from his wounds.
The Dener Clan, which had been the greatest opponent of the Crimson Clan in this war, had suddenly become one of the reasons for their total victory. As such, the Crimson Clan and the Dener Clan’s leaders watched over Stoneshard Valley together as the battlefield was cleaned up.
Freed and the other Fourth Grade adepts who had been badly defeated in the war fled back to their clan territories. They began to recruit forces and form alliances in preparation for what was to come. The four of them put out a unified declaration. They would never approve of the Crimson Clan’s tyrannical rule and swore to oppose the Crimson Clan until their deaths.
Even though they had made their declarations, no military movements could be observed yet. Instead, they all secretly contacted the Fourth Grade adepts who had not participated in the earlier war in an attempt to draw more people to their side.
Freed and the others might have been the losers in the Stoneshard Valley battle, but Legendary Fire Adept Greem was also severely injured after fighting Mornashen and Cerveris consecutively. Freed and his allies spread a rumor behind the scenes that Greem’s power had fallen below Fourth Grade due to his excessive injuries and that he would not be able to engage in combat for another few hundred years.
Freed and his allies claimed that as long as all Fourth Grade adepts in the Central Lands united, they could easily exile Greem from Zhentarim. When that happened, the Central Lands would return to peace and the clans would be able to maintain their former influence and authority.
These claims were undoubtedly very effective at moving those Fourth Grade adepts!
After all, being able to reign over a clan, over a land of their own, was always superior to being subordinate to a more powerful individual. The only thing that everyone was wary about was Greem. They were anxious about the degree of his injuries.
If Greem’s injuries were not as severe as Freed and his allies claimed, jumping out in opposition at this moment would place their clan and all its assets under the blade of an ultra-powerhouse. It was this concern that made everyone pause and hesitate.
At the moment, another crucial piece of news arrived. Finally, no one was able to keep up their formerly calm composure.
The legendary fire adept, Greem, had shown himself once again!
The sun of September was bright and gentle.
Everyone could feel the gentle warmth when the sun cast light down upon them.
Mothership Versailles cruised slowly through the skies.
Greem stood at the bow of the ship, a thick red cloak draped around his shoulders. He stood silently in the face of the chilling winds.
The crude means of treatment had devastated his body, causing his Physique to fall from 34 points to 18 points. However, his Spirit had somehow benefitted from the ordeal and rose by 2 points to a total of 46 points.
From an overall perspective, Greem’s combat prowess had been severely affected. It would be a while until he recovered his peak form from earlier.
However, it was only natural that the outside world had no idea of his real condition.
His action of showing himself before the world again had struck fear into the minds of everyone conspiring against him.
An injured ultra-powerhouse was still an ultra-powerhouse!
Until they figured out his actual condition, no Fourth Grade adept would dare try and pull the tiger’s whiskers.
“It has been so long since an ultra-powerhouse appeared in the Central Lands!” Adept Kerala stood by Greem’s side and let out a sigh, “I remember eight hundred years ago, Adept Sarubo rose out of nowhere and enjoyed an era of glory and power. Unfortunately, out of fear of the three major organizations, he never dared to change the state of Zhentarim. Thus, he could only remain a temporary observer, quickly leaving for the realms beyond after advancing to Fifth Grade.”
Greem tightened his robe around him and smiled when he heard Kerala’s seemingly allusive words, “I am not in a hurry! There’s at least four to five hundred years of slow grinding improvement until my advancement to Fifth Grade. There’s enough time in between for me to do plenty of things!”
Standing on the other side of Greem was the captive Fourth Grade body-refining adept, Fabres. It didn’t seem like there were any shackles on him, but judging by his dejected expression, he had already lost all confidence and ability to continue defying the Crimson Clan.
“When are you releasing me?” Fabres asked dejectedly, “After all that has happened, my clan must be in chaos right now. If I still do not return, I cannot guarantee that my clan members won’t commit to certain extreme plans of action!”
Greem chuckled when he heard Fabres’ tepid threat.
“You are free to leave at any time you like, sir. On this, I can guarantee you: you are always free!”
Fabres hesitated for a moment before turning and walking toward the bow of the ship.
At the edge of the bow, he stopped. He did not turn back, but he spoke in a disheartened voice, “Don’t worry. I, Fabres, will no longer be your enemy! From now on, the Fabres Clan will obey the every whim and will of the Crimson Clan. I only hope that you will allow me to preserve the legacy of my clan.”
Greem’s voice came from the distance.
“You have a deal!”
Fabres nodded silently and leaped off of the Mothership.