Chapter 1400 An Unexpected Decision
The Central adepts weren’t fools.
They could see that the battle at Inkdeep Valley had transcended the scope of an ordinary planar invasion. It was slowly sliding in scale toward a principle war.
The biggest difference between a principle war and a planar war was that a principle war was more direct and devastating.
An interplanar war might concern incredible benefits, resources, population, and knowledge, but a principle war was a pure battle between factions.
The adept civilization was seen as one of the sources of evil in the multiverse along with the disaster creatures, abyssal creatures, underground creatures, and undead creatures. However, at their core, the adepts and the disaster creatures were two fundamentally distinct factions.
The adepts and the undead were representations of lawful evil. They did not have reservations in what they did in pursuit of their ultimate goals. However, they obeyed strict classifications and hierarchy amongst themselves. When there wasn’t a conflict of interest, the more powerful would have an obligation to shelter and protect the weaker adepts, while inferior adepts were required to obey the will of superior adepts.
The disaster creatures and the abyssal creatures, on the other hand, were classic examples of chaotic evil. Superiors held absolute authority over those weaker than them, and the weak had no individual rights to speak off. It was a simple, bare relationship of a tyrant and their subjects.
Moreover, chaotic evil beings did not behave in any predictable fashion. Sometimes, even they did not know what their next action would be.
At the very least, the adepts upheld basic principles such as ‘fair trade’ and ‘equivalent exchange.’ Abyssal demons and Scourge Lords believed only in the barbaric law of power. Whoever was strongest could take everything with them. They refused to engage in any negotiations or agreements.
Slaughter and raiding were the only things on their minds!
There was no hope of any negotiation or mutual agreement when the Abyssal World invaded planar worlds. They didn’t care about how much territory they had conquered, nor what plentiful resources they could excavate from the land they had taken. Their only purpose in risking their lives to invade other worlds was to kill and pillage.
They would kill everything that could die and take everything that could be taken with them!
Everything from lives to souls- they would take it all.
They would take and take until the land had been reduced to a wonderland of death where even the planar origin was gone. Eventually, the broken plane would be dragged back to the Abyssal World and converted into part of its vast territories.
The Scourge Lords were not too different from the abyssal demons.
They liked invading one planar world after the other, using their powerful and evil willpower to corrupt the planar origin and create a new land belonging to them. Corrupted planar origins would lose all control over their planar world. The world would start corrupting all living beings within it into horrifying mutated beasts.
Through this method, the Scourge Lords would create new sources of military power!
They would herd these newly gained subordinates to even larger planar worlds, endlessly expanding their reign of chaos like a growing snowball.
Thus, the Scourge Lords’ invasion of the World of Adepts was ultimately a conflict between the principles of chaos and order!
Individually-powerful adepts might choose to collude with certain Scourge Lords in hopes of obtaining bountiful benefits. However, in the face of this clash of alignments, neither side could or would back down. The only thing left was to muscle through and see who was superior in strength.
Even though the Central adepts weren’t passionate about helping the Adept’s Association, they could not resist the World of Adept’s consciousness’ intense hatred and anger toward the disaster creatures.
Influenced by the planar consciousness, every single adept held endless hatred toward disaster creatures. In addition to the promise of rewards by the Association, eight of the thirteen Fourth Grade Central adepts supported reinforcements.
Andrew, Mirva, Mila, Ashton, and Roderick were the ones who strongly opposed the idea.
At a single glance, everyone who objected was facing trouble within their own clans.
Andrew had a giant spatial rift in his territory. He would remain anxious for the remainder of the magic surge, never daring to let down his guard.
Mirva wasn’t in a much better position either. His Annemdor Academy was currently engaged with the Underground World. The evil creatures that hid in the darkness underground had been affected by the magic surge and were trying to get to the surface to raid for resources.
Annemdor Academy, which sealed off their path to the surface world, became their primary target of attack.
It was said that the two parties had already fought two or three times, with losses on both sides. However, Annemdor Academy had ultimately managed to keep the underground creatures contained with the magical facilities and endless traps they had laid down in the past couple hundred years.
However, no one knew how much longer Annemdor Academy would be able to hold back the entirety of the Underground World with their power.
Meanwhile, Mila, Ashton, and Roderick were all unfortunate individuals facing severe stampedes and otherworldly invasion in their territories. Until they had extinguished the fires burning in their own backyards, they were unwilling to invest forces in Inkdeep Valley.
Invasion of disaster creatures? Let them in?
At any rate, the Adept’s Association was holding them back. As scary as the Scourge Lords were, they could not possibly cross tens of thousands of kilometers to arrive at the Central Lands to create chaos.
It was due to such sinister thinking that they all made the choice that best benefitted them.
Eight of the thirteen Fourth Grade adepts had chosen to join the fray, while five objected. The decision now rested in Greem and Mary’s hands.
As the leaders of the Central adepts and the most powerful individuals here, their decisions were the only ones that could represent the Central Lands.
Greem’s eyes swept past the adepts one by one. A mysterious smile appeared on his face. He knew that almost half of the eight adepts that supported reinforcing the Adept’s Association didn’t believe in that course of action.
They did not actually want to help the Adept’s Association. Instead, they believed themselves to know Greem well enough that they were sure he would never agree to the Association’s terms. That was why they had so boldly supported the proposition, as they wouldn’t actually have to engage in battle if Greem simply rejected the idea.
By doing so, they could earn favor from the Adept’s Association while keeping themselves removed from the situation!
Greem couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. His expression then turned solemn as he said, “With consideration to the development of the World of Adepts, letting the disaster creatures invade freely is clearly going against the benefit of the adept civilization. Thus, I’ve decided…to reinforce the Adept’s Association!”
It was almost as if a giant bomb had been thrown down a chilling abyss. The expressions of all the adepts changed almost instantly.
“Since the majority of people here are in support of this motion, I will now assign your missions.
“The mega-rift must be defended. While I lead a sortie to the Association, Mary and Andrew will stay behind and be responsible for the rift’s stability.
“Mirva, I don’t care what you do, but do not allow any underground creatures to the surface while we are out at the Association.”
“Understood! I will defend the entrance with all I have!” Mirva hastily wiped off the sweat on his forehead. He was glad he didn’t choose to support the proposition just because of the benefits offered by the Association.
Annemdor Academy’s situation in recent times was not looking good. The underground creatures were assaulting the entrance as if they had all gone mad. If he, the leader, were to be assigned to the east, the academy would probably no longer be able to suppress those creatures of the darkness.
“Mila, Ashton, and Roderick; remain in your clan territories and fend off the stampedes. Do not allow them to break through the defensive lines and ravage the Central Lands, no matter what.”
“Understood! Understood! Understood!” The three of them nodded, sweating just as profusely as Mirva.
“Mornashen Gaia, you might have chosen to join the battle, but the Central Lands lack a powerhouse to defend them. You will be responsible for the security of the Central Lands while I’m gone. I will have Meryl and Emelia work with you!”
“Understood!” The leader of the Gaia Clan stepped forward and nodded in acknowledgment.
“As for the rest of you,” Greem looked at all the adepts once again and said, “Since you’re all so passionate, you will be going to war with me!”
The adepts looked at each other and could only nod and acknowledge the orders.
The weaker ones, including Matthew and Nicolas, had bitter expressions on their faces as if they had just swallowed something nasty. The resentment and anger in them boiled so hard it felt like it was searing their souls.
If they’d had another chance, they would never throw themselves into this terrifying clash of factions just for some ‘insignificant benefits’ promised to them.
Goddamn…that Germaine bastard! He put them in such a terrible position!
Wait, didn’t Greem have a grudge with the Adept’s Association? Why would he agree to a request for aid? Could there be something they didn’t know?
“Everyone prepare. We will set out tomorrow! You may all leave now.”
The Central adepts bowed and returned to their towers upon hearing this. Judging from the bitter looks of resentment on their faces, it was obvious that all of them couldn’t wait to show that damned Adept Germaine some hearty ‘hospitality.’
As for the few other adepts who were sharper than their peers? They couldn’t help but become curious about Greem’s decision. They gathered together once the meeting was over and repeatedly discussed the meaning behind Greem’s actions.
Was Greem an idiot?
If Greem were an idiot, then that would make them-the Central adepts he defeated-absolute donkey brains worse than an idiot.
Did the Adept’s Association promise incredible recompense?
If Greem had not gone mad, then he wouldn’t have given up on this opportunity to weaken the Adept’s Association just for some insignificant material benefits.
What did wealth count for in the face of greater influence? Even if the Adept’s Association offered mountains of magical crystals, treasures, and resources, it could not compare to the benefit of watching it lose its military power! After all, that would be a historic chance for the other major organizations to fill the power vacuum!
No matter how they analyzed the situation, they could not find a reason that would be enough to move Greem to help the Adept’s Association!
What were his motivations? The Central adepts could not help but agonize over the issue.