Chapter 428 New Golem
A new assault of beasts?
Didn't this mean that any investment in this area could end in disaster?!
The ambassadors of both parties quickly retracted their offers without another word. They then produced a more conservative proposition after a secret meeting with their leaders.
In the end, Greem decided to accept the Zhentarim Association's offer after several rounds of discussion and negotiation.
The first phase of the plan would span ten years. The Zhentarim Association would construct a mission site at Fire Throne to encourage and more adepts and apprentices to initiate their trial locations here. It would strengthen the tower's power.
Greem's responsibility was to properly manage the adept's tower and try his best to ensure the safety of the surrounding area.
Adept Hatch continuously emphasized to Greem that he had to protect the stretch of forest to the south of the tower with everything he had, even if he didn't have the power to expel the magical creatures invading from the north. That was because the Association would try and establish a large base in between the tower and Pinecone Town. This base would serve as the foundation for future human settlements.
The Association would station adepts and apprentices at a post like that. However, if a horde of magical creatures assaulted them, Fire Throne would have to provide them with magical support.
Gargamel represented Fire Throne and went through difficult negotiations with Adept Hatch. The two of them had even broken off talks several times until they sat down to resume discussions at the behest of their superiors.
After a dozen rounds of haggling, the forests to the north of the tower had once again transformed into a place fraught with danger. It was only then that they came to a basic agreement.
Apart from the previous deal, the Zhentarim Association would also fund the construction of two teleportation arrays in Fire Throne. One would be a public-use large-scale teleportation array. They would construct it in the Magma Hall and Zhentarim adepts would maintain and run it. The tower would provide the energy consumed by the array. As payment, twenty percent of the fee collected from every teleportation would be given to the tower.
Furthermore, the Association would also construct a small teleportation array on the fifth floor of Fire Throne. This array would be a facility of the tower itself, and the Association would have no right to interfere with its usage.
Greem was happy about the results of this negotiation.
Even though they had to hand over a hundred kilometers of forest to the south of the tower, along with all of its associated income, they still held on to the sovereignty of Fire Throne, as well as the broader territories to the north of the tower.
Greem had no choice. He was working all by himself here. It was too easy for other clans to harass him and interfere with his affairs. The Fire Throne would likely soon be facing the Kamala Clan's blockade if he hadn't invited the Zhentarim Association into his lands.
The Sarubo Clan, on the other hand, had never been a possibility. Greem had never considered borrowing their strength in establishing himself.
He might have faced significantly less pressure if he requested help from the Sarubo Clan. However, when he eventually decided to leave the clan, it would be hard to distinguish what belonged to whom. The benefits and ownership over the lands would be a complicated issue to resolve.
The elders of the Sarubo Clan seemed to understand this clearly. They had never offered any help to Greem. Not only did Greem's private invitation to Adept Keoghan go without reply, but even Adept Meryl was also forcefully recalled by the clan two days ago.
Meryl also took nearly half of the apprentices along with her departure. This action undoubtedly weakened Fire Throne severely. Gargamel was a sly and smart person. He had expected this problem and recruited a bunch of wandering apprentices. However, these outsiders who were mostly of no more than intermediate-level were far weaker than the elite apprentices that the Sarubo Clan had cultivated.
Thus, Fire Throne currently only had two adepts on the surface: Greem and Gargamel. The Forest Spirit Eva had to be kept under wraps still.
There were three pseudo-adepts. Am, Toril, and Sabrina.
As a veteran pseudo-adept, Kodar had already failed his advancement once and was now preparing for his second attempt. He had returned to Feidnan City with Meryl in search of better resources.
The other veteran Pseudo-Adept Am was still a bit lacking in the growth of his Spirit. He would probably have to wait another two or three years before he could attempt advancement.
If Greem wanted to keep them within his grip, he would have to help them prepare the necessary resources. His usually gentle guidance would not be entirely enough. There was a limit to loyalty and emotion between an adept and apprentice. Resources and benefits still decided the majority of their relationship!
And then you had two advanced apprentices– Lena and Anthony.
Anthony was a potions apprentice that Gargamel had taken under his wing during his travels. He had a reasonably outstanding talent at potions studies.
The other apprentices were mostly of intermediate and beginner apprentice level. They had only come here because they had nowhere else to go. The most common characteristic among them was their lack of innate talent, and there wasn't much value in cultivating and training them.
Other than the humans, Fire Throne also had a group of magical creatures serving as its guardians.
The nine manticores were the strength of the tower visible to the world. An additional thirteen bird demons and seven snake fiends had later been added to the roster. In secret, the 'Two-Headed Demon Hound' Unguja and Dana the Medusa, who were active in the forests to the north of the tower, were also chess pieces under Greem's direct control.
It was because of them that Greem could put on a facade of danger and threat such that he could keep a tight hold on Fire Throne.
Under Greem's instruction, Dana had positioned herself to become the new lord of the woods nearby. She was actively contacting the two other magical creature leaders that had escaped Magma Hall to 'plot' the counter-attack against the humans.
Dana's reports indicated that the Wyvern King had taken the bait. However, the Dark Tentacular was still nowhere to be found.
After sending away many ambassadors and messengers from various clans, Greem once again placed the tower's matters in Gargamel's hands. He retired, exhausted, to the fifth floor of the tower.
Greem had chosen to have his personal laboratory expanded during the last series of renovations. This way, he could fit in even more experiment rooms.
Here was a restricted area of the tower that only he could access. Not even Gargamel could enter the fifth floor of the tower, even with all the authority that he held.
A clean and bright tunnel unfolded before Greem.
There were robust metallic doors on each side of the tunnel every dozen steps.
A complicated marking had been drawn on the middle of the doors with an unknown magical material. The markings were composed of circles and chaotic patterns. Runes were carved in-between the spaces of the symbol.
These magical doors connected to the core array of the tower. The tower's alarms would be activated if anyone attempted to break in through with force. As the tower lacked guards, as well as defensive measures, Greem intended to purchase a couple of high-level tower guards from the Silver Union.
After all, there was still a possibility that a magical creature would betray him or become negligent at its job, regardless of how loyal it was. However, a simple-minded mechanical golem would always defend this place faithfully.
Greem hurried ahead a few steps and stopped in front of a door scrawled full of golem runes.
He gently put his hand into the ring in front of the door and silently chanted the password. Mitura, Door of Magic. The door finally opened after confirming the password and his soul aura.
A small alchemical laboratory was inside the room. The alchemical platform in the middle of the room was small and delicate, but there was no doubt it was the best model for sale. Of course, it was also the most expensive.
A brilliant, wind-attribute dragon crystal hovered above the alchemical platform, letting out an enchanting glow. Several parchments with mysterious pictures drawn on them littered the platform beneath the crystal. There were even more parchments on the floor. They were wasted parchments that had been crumpled and thrown aside.
Greem's expression turned solemn when he arrived here.
He had obtained the Second Grade dragon crystal for a long time now, but he still had no idea how to add it into his strength.
A top-tier crystal like the dragon crystal naturally possessed a trace of planar law within it. It was an excellent challenge for Greem to uncover and exploit every bit of potential hidden within a dragon crystal like this one!
If he succeeded, the crystal would instantly become a mighty golem that outmatched even the Infernal Tyrant; it would be an immeasurable improvement to his powers. Greem also had the confidence to fight back against a Second Grade adept if he joined forces with the new golem.
However, the higher his expectations for the crystal, the more cautiously he would have to treat the new golem.
That was why Greem needed to perfect and optimize the runic array designs of the new golem down to the most delicate detail before he could start carving. Of course, he required vast amounts of time for the hefty task of refinement.
He had performed a complete scan of the dragon crystal long ago. Greem now perfectly knew the thickness and orientation of every cluster and line on the dragon crystal. The chip had also been working day and night to construct and refine the details of this three-dimensional runic array.
Greem even had to use other elementium cores to verify certain parts of the array's design, as well as to confirm their actual functions.
Greem planned for the new golem to possess both the ability to fight and the ability to fly.
As a fire adept, Greem only possessed a single mobility spell in the form of Fire Teleportation. This single spell was insufficient when it came down to a fight between high-Grade adepts. His inability to fly was undoubtedly one of his major shortfalls.
He could solve these inadequacies by auxiliary means such as a wand imbued with Fly, a Ring of Flight, or even a Flying Carpet.
Still, these solutions didn't tackle the heart of the problem. In instances of emergency, Greem might not have the extra time to activate these auxiliary tools. That was why Greem intended to make the new golem his flying combat pet. He had wanted to solve this problem that had troubled him for such a long time.
The biggest issue he now faced was how to correctly merge the innate talents of the wind dragon with his fire adept powers!