Chapter 1330 A Hall Full of Guests
Mary didn’t appear alone!
As the clan leader of the Crimson Clan, Greem wore an intricate black robe when he appeared with Mary hand-in-hand.
Despite his fame as the legendary fire adept and his striking physique, Greem could not steal the attention from Mary, whose aura was bright and burned as if it was on fire.
At the moment, the soul aura radiating from Mary was resonating with the Nightmare Castle. Their powers were intertwined and, even now, were growing stronger and brighter, like a rising crescendo. The very sight of her thoroughly stunned all the adepts present.
It was precisely because Mary’s radiance was too blinding that Greem had been unintentionally overlooked. The prideful, beautiful woman lifting the hem of her skirt with one hand was the only thing that remained in the guests’ eyes.
Bloody Queen Mary.
Since when had she also become so powerful!?
Mary was the second-in-command of the Crimson Clan and a powerful Fourth Grade adept in her own right. However, her radiance had been outshone by Greem’s blinding brilliance all this while. The fact that female adepts in the Central Lands were generally weaker than male adepts also further caused people to underestimate Mary’s status and position.
The moment Mary appeared in the hall, her overwhelming aura, crushing Spiritual pressure, and forcefield resonance that seemed to control the heartbeats and minds of every adept in the room here left an indelible mark in their hearts!
“Welcome…welcome, my guests!”
Mary’s smile was even brighter now, but it was obvious that her greeting wasn’t directed at the guests already present in the hall.
Just as everyone was confused about who her words were directed at, a light flashed in the shadows. An individual with a powerful aura appeared in the hall, his deep voice booming as he spoke.
“Congratulations, Adept Mary! And congratulations to you as well, Lord Greem!”
It was a stout and muscular middle-aged man who walked out of the shadows. He had a face full of beard, and his head was bald on the top with three black and white braids running down the back. He wasn’t wearing robes, but a seemingly ancient leather armor. There were no signs of any other magical equipment on his person.
Gasps rang out in the hall when the man appeared.
“It’s Declan Fabres.”
Everyone’s expressions tightened as they hastily looked down and bowed.
It was their instinctual respect and fear of Fourth Grade adepts. Intermediate adepts like themselves had trouble even breathing within the presence of a Fourth Grade adept.
“I heard you defeated Freed, so I took a special trip here to take a look,” Declan lifted his head and carefully examined the forcefields around him, as well as Mary herself. There was a hint of surprise on his face as he let out a soft sigh and said, “It seems like you have indeed gained a lot in this battle. Congratulations, Lady Mary!”
The World of Adepts had always been a world where power decided status. Now that Mary was enhanced by the entire castle’s power, she was heads and shoulders above Declan. He was an easygoing person and immediately shifted attitudes, even changing the way he referred to Mary.
Mary immediately smiled and waved her hand. A black-and-red rug appeared abruptly, extending all the way from Declan’s feet to the doors of the hall.
This ability to instantly materialize energy into solid objects caused the other adepts to gasp in awe.
Declan sighed silently and stepped onto the soft rug, slowly walking toward the two hosts.
Even though they were ‘allies’ now, Declan still didn’t want to step within ten meters of Greem and Mary. In fact, for Fourth Grade adepts like themselves, ten meters was already far too close. Most people would be anxious to be within such distances.
For some reason, the closer he got to Mary, the more severely Declan’s spiritual senses were suppressed. Once he was within ten meters of Greem and Mary, Declan refused to take a single step forward.
It couldn’t be helped. Declan had a feeling that an unpredictable and terrifying retaliation would occur if he took even one more step.
While the three of them were ‘intimately’ exchanging greetings, Mary turned her head and cast her gaze into the darkness beyond the doors of the hall.
“We have another guest!”
Greem and Declan couldn’t help but smile bitterly.
After all, as long as they were within range of the Nightmare Castle, their spiritual senses would be severely affected and disrupted by the powerful forcefields. They did not have as much of a sensory range as Mary while in this castle.
“Hehehe, I’m not late this time, am I? Who would’ve thought you would appear before me, Declan?” A hoarse female voice rang out as Adept Kerala slowly stepped out of the shadows and approached them.
“You are truly beautiful!” Kerala examined Mary carefully, her face full of envy and reminiscence as she exclaimed, “How I miss the days after I had just advanced to Fourth Grade. That was probably the most memorable and beloved period of my entire life!”
Mary was clearly an amiable and sociable person as well. Seeing as Kerala was humbling herself and speaking kindly of her, Mary had no reason to put on and an arrogant and hostile front.
The forcefield fluctuations that were suppressing Declan and Kerala lightened by half.
Mary even took Kerala by her arm and started chatting happily with her at her side.
It was undoubtedly a show of attitude from Mary as well!
It was an evident demonstration that Kerala was far more important to her than Declan.
This move undoubtedly caused Kerala to be relieved as well, having been anxious at how their past hostilities should be resolved.
“How could I miss out on all this if all of you are here!”
A red light flickered in the darkness, and a towering figure appeared before the crowd.
“Castellan Alfred! Welcome, welcome,” Greem’s expression relaxed, and a gentle smile spread over his face.
Due to practical needs and requirements, Molten Fire City and the Crimson Clan had formed a very intimate relationship over the past two hundred years. The personal friendship between Alfred and Greem had also improved with each passing day.
Of course, in the face of tremendous benefit, that kind of personal friendship was no more than a performance both of them were taking part in!
Even so, Greem still welcomed Alfred very warmly. After all, his appearance meant that another heavy weight had been placed onto the scales on the Crimson Clan’s side.
Five Fourth Grade adepts were a fearsome group, no matter where they were situated. In particular, in the disjointed Central Lands, this alliance already had more than sufficient influence to quash any voice of opposition.
If those who opposed them had the courage to retaliate, then Freed wouldn’t have been the only person standing within Kerslin Castle when the Crimson Fleet arrived.
Spineless scheming, endless calculations, inaction, hesitation, fear.
Zhentarim was just as the three major organizations expected it to be, a bowl of loose sand. Even when Greem had pushed them to the wall, they remained watching from the fence, wondering and thinking about their best move. Consequently, they watched as the Crimson Clan forcibly conquered Kerslin Castle.
In truth, Greem had already prepared himself for the eventuality of an invasion of Ailovis and for the headquarters to be under siege the moment the Crimson Fleet set off. He had only brought seven of the Motherships with him, leaving behind three of them to defend the headquarters against any enemy offensives.
Freed had to be dealt with regardless of the cost. He was the leader of the voices of opposition, after all. Greem was willing to let Ailovis burn if it meant that Freed was defeated.
As long as the Crimson Clan could defend the clan’s few key locations, it would be fine if they lost all of their other territories. The moment the Crimson Fleet returned, victorious, all the territory that their enemies had stolen would have to be returned with interest.
The Crimson Clan would finally settle the debt between them when that happened!
To Greem’s utter surprise, Mirva, who had been intentionally left behind in the Crimson Fleet’s path, did not make any movements at all. He did not take the opportunity to attack the Crimson Clan’s headquarters, nor did he attempt to reinforce Freed. It was almost as if the entire battle had nothing to do with him at all.
That was what surprised Greem the most!
However, upon reviewing the information on this former vice-chairman of the Zhentarim Association, Greem had a vague understanding about the motivations behind his actions.
Mirva did not have long to live!
If Freed had two hundred more years of lifespan left, then Mirva only had a hundred years left.
A hundred years. That might sound like a long time, but it was nothing to high-grade adepts. They couldn’t conduct more than one or two significant experiments in that amount of time. Once Mirva had passed away, the Annemdor Academy that he managed would become the target of all his rivals and enemies.
At the very least, Greem had never heard of any particularly exceptional successors in Annemdor Academy. Medium Adept Dante also seemed to have suffered tremendous injuries in the battle between the four Third Grade adepts back then. Ever since then, no news of him had appeared again. Who knew if Mirva would be able to help him reach Fourth Grade before Mirva died himself.
If Dante could not advance to Fourth Grade, then Annmedor Academy would likely be demoted to a Third Grade organization soon.
It was a common state of affairs in Zhentarim!
The Central Lands might be rich in resources, population, and land, but it was ultimately a hierarchy dictated by clans and bloodlines. Too many resources had been provided to the main family adepts who had insufficient talent.
Meanwhile, even adepts who were known as prodigies from a young age had tremendous difficulty collecting knowledge and gathering resources if they did not have a formidable background or clan to rely on.
These prodigies could only survive between the cracks of the various clans, toiling hard day after day to obtain resources and knowledge. They even had to face oppression and exploitation from the adept clans regularly.