Chapter 1396 Forced into Retreat

 

This principle battle had benefitted Greem greatly.

Even though he had lost a tremendous amount of planar feedback due to the battle, it was all worth it.

At the very least, Greem now understood exactly what principle battles were.

Throughout the annals of the adepts’ millions of years of history, nearly ten thousand Great Adepts had been born in the World of Adepts. Nearly two thousand of these Great Adepts walked the path of principle adepts.

The number of principle adepts would soon approach its limit. Other adepts that came after them would only have more difficulty advancing into principle adepts. It would be no easy task.

Bloodline adepts prioritized their bloodlines heavily. They sought to purify their bloodline powers and restore them to their most primal, undiluted forms. They tried to recover the glorious and ancient powers of their source bloodline. Back when the universe had just been created, the principles were undefined, and all sorts of creatures were born. There were innumerable beings who could have destroyed worlds with a wave of their hands in those times. Each of them was incredibly powerful.

The ultimate pursuit of bloodline adepts was the restoration of this ancient glory!

Body-refining adepts were known for their durable bodies; they were a classic example of brawns over brains. Their pursuit was the refinement of their bodies through any means possible- to turn their flesh and blood into an immortal body capable of enduring any assault.

They might call themselves adepts, but what they did made them not much different than martial artists. Their so-called magic was little more than a tool to aid them in battle!

Esoteric adepts, on the other hand, pursued the pinnacle of alchemical creations. They did not think much of their own bodies, nor did they give too much weight to nurturing and strengthening their soul origin. Instead, they focused all their efforts on the creation and enhancement of alchemical products and magical golems.

They often used these esoteric golems as their bodies while hiding their true selves in a subordinate lesser dimension.

It was said that the founder of the Silver Union, the Creator and almighty Ninth Grade Esoteric Adept, Patrick, possessed an esoteric golem body that was as powerful as the primeval monstrosities. The golems he created all possessed horrifying might and were so intricate that it was impossible to differentiate the golems from actual living creatures.

The main reason the Silver Union had survived throughout the tens of thousands of years was primarily due to him!

Meanwhile, principle adepts were an extreme amongst the spellcasters that were the adepts.

Magical elementium was only the very tip of the energy system. Its power was vastly inferior to its source- the principle powers.

That was why any individual that studied and manipulated elementium would eventually walk down the path of principles!

However, there were only so many foundational principles and derived lesser principles in a perfect planar world. 

The planar laws were an even more inferior existence. They were a sort of supplementary force derived from the lesser principles.

Foundational principles, lesser principles, and laws. These things were interwoven together in their own unique fashion, giving rise to the countless beautiful and varied planar worlds.

Thus, principle adepts were the most powerful existences that the World of Adepts could give rise to!

The source of every principle adept’s power was their origin plane. While much of their growth later relied on raiding other planar worlds, the very source and core of their power were rooted within their homeworld.

That was precisely why the numerous principle adepts that had stepped out of the World of Adepts to explore space would often be the first ones to return to defend the World of Adepts. They weren’t too passionate about the World of Adepts’ internal affairs, but they would not hesitate to return when it was in danger.

After all, if the World of Adepts was destroyed, their roots would be severed. It was undoubtedly a terrifying notion for those Great Adepts who had already attained great power.

That was also why the Adept’s Association was the strongest of the three major adept organizations!

Why specifically?

Because the Adept’s Association was home to the most significant number of principle adepts, and these people were the ones who cared most for the World of Adepts’ welfare.

Principle battles were a new form of combat derived by the principle adepts. Using their principles as a medium and their mental consciousness as guides, they took full advantage of the intimate connection between the various principles, roaming the principle system like expert surfers.

The power of an individual was negligible, after all!

However, if one were able to borrow a world system’s power, they could magnify their individual power by hundreds of times. That kind of power was not something that a mortal being could hope to survive.

Everyone’s mind was different, and so were the principles they had grasped. When coasting and weaving between the different levels of principles and laws, the principle adepts would often run into principles they were more acquainted with and those they were less proficient with. A battle of principles did not just rely on brute force. In fact, it required more technique and demanded that the adept be able to track and suppress their opponent using the principle layers that were beneficial to them.

That leveled the playing field for principle adepts to some extent, allowing even weaker principle adepts to win over stronger ones!

However, this was only the case due to the upper limit of power within the World of Adepts.

If Greem had been banished from the World of Adepts, the elderly adept would not have had to resort to such a complicated and exhausting means of battle. Who cared about the strength of principles? Who cared about the techniques of utilizing the principles? All he had to do was crush Greem’s body and disintegrate his soul with overwhelming power. When that happened, no number of fancy techniques would be worth anything.

How were the principles supposed to manifest if their host no longer existed!?

Consequently, Greem couldn’t help but be impressed by the wonders of the world. Without the blessing of the World of Adepts, he would not have been able to fend off this fearsome enemy, no matter how talented he was.

Of course, that was also because he didn’t want to expose his devouring-fish bloodline prematurely.

He was already the center of attention. Who knew what other enemies were lurking in the shadows looking to strike at him? Greem could only feel confident in reigning over the Central Lands if he kept a hidden ace up his sleeve.

The elderly adept clearly had the initiative in this principle battle. He was able to pull his Spirit out of the conflict upon command, instantly breaking free of his tussle with Greem.

Greem frowned and shouted out, “You get to decide when we stop? Why don’t you stay now that you’re already here!?”

Greem gave no chance for the elderly adept to reply. He opened his mouth, and a torrent of golden flames pressed down against the elderly adept.

The adept was furious. He wanted nothing more than to instantly summon his true self from space and destroy this annoying brat with a single slap. However, he knew his limits. Great Adepts like himself had to practically smuggle themselves into the World of Adepts every time they returned. The amount of power they could bring back with them each time was minimal.

Since there was no way of quickly defeating and killing this legendary fire adept, he should flee now.

Should he continue fighting, something might happen to this clone of his; his reputation in space would be smeared.

A Sixth Grade Great Adept had sent out his clone, only for it to be killed by a brat that had not even advanced to Fifth Grade? If news of this got out, it would become a permanent blemish to his reputation.

Douglas shivered at this thought. The water giant roared and turned into a raging stream, blasting Greem’s curtain of fire apart and carrying Douglas away into the distant horizon.

Greem did not attempt to chase after the adept. Instead, he stood silently on the spot as if thinking about something.

The Chip was silently communicating with him in his mind.

“Have you managed to find out anything about that old man?”

[All known information on Great Adepts has been investigated. No corresponding file discovered.]

Greem brooded in silence. He wasn’t surprised.

At the level of Fifth Grades, adepts would have lifespans lasting for thousands of years. The more stubborn individuals could even live up to ten thousand years if they resorted to extreme measures. Thus, obtaining a census of all surviving adepts that had stepped out of the World of Adepts in the past tens of thousands of years was a nearly impossible task.

Even as a Fourth Grade adept and the de facto ruler of the Central Lands, Greem only had information on twenty or thirty Great Adepts in the Chip’s database. Moreover, most of this information was incomplete.

The Great Adepts that he had on record also had not contacted the World of Adepts in hundreds of years. No one knew where they were or if they were even alive. If these Great Adepts had died quietly in some ancient ruins or somewhere deep in space, there was no way the World of Adepts would find out about their deaths.

The Great Adepts who were verified and in close contact with the Central Lands numbered fewer than five. That included Sixth Grade Great Adept Sarubo, who had stepped out of the World of Adepts only eight hundred years ago!

The amount of information that Greem had available was minuscule compared to the ten thousand Great Adepts out there. It was only natural that he could not find the results he wanted.

“Then what are the characteristics of the principle he has grasped?” Greem asked solemnly.

After that long battle with a clash of their principles, it was only natural that they had gained an understanding of each others’ powers. Analyzing the characteristics of the opponent’s principle was only a reasonable conclusion.

[A lesser branch of the water principle. Manifested characteristic is the Pressure of Water. It is able to transfer weight using the unique attribute of water elementium, causing tremendous pressure on localized regions.

[Moreover, the water giant created by the opponent was not composed of ordinary water elementium; it was highly extracted and refined water essence. Said substance possesses a tremendous magnification effect on water principles.]

Water essence?

Greem contemplated for a moment.

That could be considered a high-grade material in the laboratories of most adepts!

Judging from how casually he had just summoned that hundred-meter-tall water giant, water essence was hardly valuable to him. A hundred-meter-tall water giant would have to weigh forty tons at the very least. If it was made entirely out of water essence, it would be ten times heavier.

No wonder the water giant was able to clash with his gigantic body despite being ten times smaller!

While Greem was deep in thought, Fourth Grade Adept Andrew flew out of his tower and cautiously approached him.

The devastating principle battle from earlier had clearly terrified Andrew.

Andrew didn’t know when it started, but he could no longer see this legendary fire adept as merely an equal. Even a Fourth Grade like himself trembled before Greem.

“Mm? What’s the matter?” Greem asked solemnly.

Andrew nodded hastily and waved the parchment in his hand as he said, “Big trouble over at the Adept’s Association!”