Chapter 1364 Greem’s Growth
While everyone was worrying about the otherworldly intrusions, an even more concerning matter occurred.
Information returned from various watchpoints revealing that the magical creatures residing in the depths of the Black Forest were rapidly gathering. It seemed like they were preparing for a stampede that was about to happen soon.
Moreover, these weren’t the actions of individual magical creature lords; it was a seemingly conscious act of mobilizing across the entire Black Forest. The magical energy entering the planar world during the magic surge contained traces of chaos and savagery. They had stimulated the magical creatures, turning them much more ferocious and vicious than usual.
It wasn’t hard to imagine what would happen soon. Such terrifying magical creatures had all gathered together and would be herding an even more massive number of ordinary beasts forward. Their impact on human society once they charged out of the Black Forest would be immense!
If the adepts’ response was inadequate, it could shake the very foundations of the adept civilization.
Moreover, the unrest among the beasts and magical creatures was not an independent, localized incident. Rather, every creature across the Black Forest of the World of Adepts was stirring.
The adepts had suppressed and slaughtered the magical creatures lords with far too much impunity in the past tens of thousands of years. With the aid of the magic surge, the magical creature lords finally believed it was time to wrestle back control from the adepts!
One had to admit that the adepts had been far too lenient in recent years. It had been a long time since they had exterminated high-grade magical creatures in the depths of Black Forest. Consequently, a new generation of magical creatures lords had grown and matured without their knowledge. These magical creatures were eager to advance and become rulers of the Black Forest.
Launching an assault against the adepts was the simplest and easiest way for these magical creature lords to establish themselves and become magical creature rulers!
Of course, they were careful about their choice of targets as well. The Adept’s Association was far too powerful to even think of touching.
The golem armies of the Silver Union were unbreakable, making them an unviable target.
The Northern Witches were slightly weaker, but they were incredibly unified when fighting against a common enemy. It was best not to attack them either.
Thus, the disunited Central Lands became the only target of the magical creature lords seeking to sharpen their fangs!
Even though stampedes also occurred with the three major organizations, their scale paled in comparison to those that would appear in the Central Lands.
Information relayed back from scouts who had risked their lives revealed that the scale of the stampede this time would be far greater than ever before. The number of magical creature lords that had come together was shocking. Once their numbers were sufficient, they would charge out of the Black Forest and inflict a devastating blow upon human society in the Central Lands!
This revelation instantly drew the attention of all the adept clans, making them even more fearful than before.
Stopping a stampede wasn’t as easy as sealing off intruders from space.
There were only so many rifts in the planar barrier. All they had to do was guard the rifts and kill every intruder that passed through them. It was difficult work, but it had been very effective so far. On the other hand, the Black Forest surrounded the Central Lands. It was nearly impossible to determine where the stampedes would come from.
Of course, the adepts could also rely on astrologists and diviners to foresee the magical creatures’ movements. However, after so many years of conflict with the adepts, the magical creatures had developed their own systems of stealth and counter-divination.
It was said that the magical creature lords of the Black Forest had specially raised a Crow Emperor with divination abilities to counter the divination of the adepts.
Since the adepts had failed to realize the magical creature lords’ movements ahead of time, plans to assassinate the ringleaders were now incredibly unlikely, given that the magical creatures had all gathered together.
If dispersing the stampede was impossible, then the only option was to wait until the charge rushed out of the Black Forest. Every region of the Central Lands, especially those bordering the Black Forest, was soon filled with anxiety, dread, and fear.
Regions guarded by Fourth Grade organizations were holding up better. Everyone felt safer being protected by at least one Fourth Grade powerhouse. The regions without Fourth Grade clans and jointly managed by an alliance of smaller clans could only shrink their defensive line. Their only hope was to defend the core territories of their clan.
In doing so, waves of refugees broke out in the human kingdoms they had abandoned.
No one was willing to sit and wait for their eventual deaths at the jaws of beasts. The civilians hastily packed all they had and fled their homes, streaming toward the relatively safer center regions of the Central Lands.
For a moment, the entirety of the Central Lands was filled with fear and panic!
Greem was naked, soaking in a giant wooden barrel bigger than himself. The barrel was filled with a sort of pungent blue liquid.
There was no need for a fire to heat the water. Greem himself was a furnace.
His body appeared dark red and luminescent. You could faintly see the slow-moving blood under his semi-translucent skin. It was blood, but in truth, it was not much different from boiling lava.
The blue liquid in the wooden barrel started to boil as the temperature rose within his Burning Domain. The viscous blue liquid roared and bubbled like a raging monster, bubbles appearing and popping over and over.
Greem’s entire body was soaking in the liquid. The pores of his skin were open as they absorbed the unusual medicine simmering in the liquid. Simultaneously, the energy poison and impurities that had accumulated in his body were also being expelled.
He remained in the bath for five hours. Greem eventually climbed out when the blue liquid had turned completely black.
Shockingly enough, despite emerging from such a sticky and filthy liquid, Greem’s body did not pick up even a drop of the filth. It remained immaculate and spotless.
He stood silently in his room, his wickedly charming and powerful masculine figure on full display!
[Beep. Mission accepted. Self-examination began.]
A series of mechanical whirring sounds could be heard as a flood of information appeared within Greem’s view, forming into a three-dimensional humanoid model.
Greem’s attributes flickered and appeared beside the model.
[Greem. Male. Fourth Grade Semi-Principle Adept (Fire Specialization). Starbeast Bloodline (97%). Chaos Physique (Excellent Magic Resistance). Heart of Principles (Fire Principles 89% complete).
Bodily Attributes: Strength 21 | Physique 15 (+2) | Agility 16 | Spirit 46 (+5). Bloodline Talent: Energy Blackhole, Fire Principle (Undying Flames).]
Greem couldn’t help but shake his head and sigh after seeing his attributes.
His Strength had dropped by 6 points compared to before, his Physique by 16 points, and his Agility by 3 points.
He might have won at Stoneshard Valley, first defeating Mornashen Gaia, then Adept’s Association ultra-powerhouse Cerveris, but it was a tragic victory.
The severe injuries he had suffered had lowered his Physique significantly. Even his Strength and Agility had been affected by this decrease in his Physique.
However, there were always two sides to a coin. The constant fighting had helped Greem’s Spirit increase by 2 points, from 44 to 46 points. Even though it was only 2 points, he could feel the effect of the improvement clearly. His mind was clearer than ever before.
He was now officially advanced Fourth Grade. Having risen by a minor grade, he was only one step away from peak Fourth Grade!
The enhancements provided by the Orb of the Fire God and the Tome of Corruption magnified even one point of increase in his Spirit by a dozen times. Moreover, with the experience from these past few battles, Greem was slowly starting to discern his future path of development.
The deciphering of the starbeast bloodline had reached 97%. Just a little more, and Greem would possess a bloodline transformation ability of his own. The Chaos Physique was only a passive racial trait of the starbeast bloodline. It could not truly be considered one of his powers.
The reason the starbeast bloodline had been deciphered to this extent was that Mary had sent over a fish-shaped starbeast awhile ago.
Greem soaked daily in a medicinal blend made with the starbeast’s blood and several unique herbs. It was the body-refining adept means of strengthening the body. As expected, his Physique had recovered by 1 point. However, the bath’s greatest effect was the improved assimilation of his body with its starbeast bloodline.
Greem had relied entirely on his fire magic in battle all this while. He had barely ever shown the power that his starbeast bloodline should possess. The fundamental reason for this was because he had not found the correct path to allow his bloodline to grow and thrive.
He was only a fumbling rookie that had barely started on the path of bloodline magic!
He might have a starbeast bloodline, but he did not even manifest the most basic of bloodline traits apart from Chaos Physique and Energy Blackhole, two of the more insignificant abilities of the starbeasts.
That did not match his status as an advanced Fourth Grade adept!
However, the corpse of the starbeast that Mary sent over had allowed Greem to find a means to improve his bloodline.
Devour, devour, devour.
The classic characteristic of the starbeasts was their constant path of devouring. They devoured everything, from high-grade creatures, intelligent lifeforms, souls, and even planar origins.
These things were all fuel for the growth and evolution of the starbeasts and the source of their strength.
Since Greem had chosen a starbeast bloodline for himself, he would have to strengthen his bloodline in the ancient and classical way that all starbeasts did.
However, as a principled and intelligent individual, devouring other intelligent species would undoubtedly leave a horrid taste in Greem’s mouth. That was why he decided without any hesitation to consume other starbeasts.
Starbeasts all grew in weird shapes and sizes. They were monsters amongst monsters. Greem felt no psychological burden devouring any of them.
Of course, Greem wouldn’t actually be devouring the flesh of the starbeasts. Rather, he would be consuming the unique genetic sequence within their bodies. Greem could use the Chip’s powerful computation powers to strip beneficial gene fragments from starbeast corpses and assimilate them with his own body.
However, given his bloodline’s current state, only starbeasts of Fourth Grade and above could help further his growth. That said, there were no weaklings among such starbeasts. Each and every one of them was a ferocious predator capable of slaughtering an entire plane.
That was why Greem would have to work hard if he wanted to feast upon their flesh!