Chapter 438 Stone Tower
This small city with a population of under ten thousand people was nothing when compared to cities in the center of the continent.
As one of the Sarubo's territories on the outer rim, there wasn't a multipurpose adept's tower here. There was only a tower made of stone.
The Sarubo Clan's adepts had been decreasing over the past few years. Most of their forces were gathered in their core territories. For example, the stone tower in Gilneas hadn't seen an adept stationed within it for thirty-seven years.
The lack of maintenance had caused the outer walls to become completely covered by vines and the like. The two-meter iron fence was also rusty and had holes large enough for a man to crawl through.
The garden had also been abandoned. Only a dried up pond and weeds remained in the flowerbed. Withered leaves and dirt covered the stone path from the entrance to the tower. It looked as if no one had walked through here in a very long time.
This sight was the desolate scene of ruin presented to Greem when his black carriage stopped before the garden.
"Sir, why don't we find an inn to stay in first while we hire some people to clean up this place?" Sabrina's appearance was a little weird, so she always covered herself with a black robe when she went out. She talked as she helped Greem down from the carriage.
Billis, on the other hand, had acted as the groom along the way. He now stood beside Greem, respectfully bowing and waiting for orders.
Greem wore a black adept's robe. No powerful spells had been cast upon the cloth, but it did have an elementary energy shield. The three Ioun Stones were kept in Greem's pouch, now that he wasn't engaged in combat. Greem held the Blaze of Destruction in one hand as he walked into the garden in the front.
Greem felt a weak probing flux scan his body when he walked past the garden gates.
Hm? There were still magical facilities here that functioned?
Greem doubtfully walked forward. Just then, a vine that had been intertwined with another vine suddenly came to life and moved away for Greem to pass.
Deng. Deng. Deng.
Greem tapped the stone path with his staff rhythmically as he quickly strolled through the way hidden by the weeds and vines. All the strange magical vines moved away as he stepped forward. White bones appeared on the exposed stone path every so often.
Broken daggers and rotten ropes were visible beside the corpses.
These had been robbers that had set their eyes on an adept's wealth. They had tried to get rich by breaking into the tower while no one was in it.
These ignorant fellows didn't know the terror of an adept. Even if this tower was in disrepair, it was still not a place that mortals like them could step foot on!
Planting magical vines and bloodsucking plants near their homes was a popular defensive measure employed by many adepts. These magical plants were not only bloodthirsty and cruel; they also had an enduring vitality and wouldn't easily die, even without regular care.
For the common man, these carnivorous plants were as terrifying as magical creatures. For the adepts, they were the tamest and cutest 'watchdogs' you would ever find.
Greem arrived in front of the doors of the tower after passing through the winding garden.
He knocked on the heavy door with his staff, and the face of an old man appeared on the door.
"You have five seconds to speak the password or face the punishment of the adepts!"
"Light of Yeru!"
"Password correct! Welcome, sir adept."
The magical servant disappeared, and the long-sealed doors finally opened amid a lot of groaning and creaking.
"Sabrina, take my identity token and go activate the core array beneath the tower!"
"Billis, go and pay a visit to the manager of this place. I want them to report the latest situation to me by tonight."
Greem started surveying the tower after handing out tasks to his two subordinates.
The stone tower had three floors. The first level was where the apprentices and servants lived. The second floor had a crude library and alchemical lab, and the third floor was the location of the adept's quarters. A spiral staircase connected the three levels in the corner of the tower.
It wasn't hard to tell that this place had last been home to an adept several decades ago. The tower had some defensive measures. While apprentices occasionally came over to replenish the supply of magical crystals, the energy pool remained in a state of depletion.
Consequently, most of the temperature and environmental controls were no longer functioning. The years of dust and corrosion had rendered most of the facilities useless. Vines had even grown over some of the rooms. It seemed this place needed a thorough tidying if he intended to live here.
Greem pushed upon a wooden door and arrived in a room resembling a bedroom.
A table, a chair, and a wooden bed.
This room was about as crude and plainly furnished it could get.
Greem's sharp eyes quickly swept through the room. He walked to the wooden desk and wiped away the thick layer of dust on top of it. A line of strange words that resembled magical patterns was revealed.
"Death be with me!"
Gilneas' authorities immediately sent someone over to the tower upon hearing news of Greem's arrival. They arrived in less than half an hour.
Inside a dim hall on the first floor.
Most of the rotten and ancient furniture had been cleared out.
A beautiful Geronggang dining table had been temporarily placed here. Greem casually leaned on his chair, enjoying the delicious foie gras as he assessed the smiling Viscount Alvar before him.
Viscount Alvar was the manager appointed by the Sarubo Clan to oversee things here in Gilneas City. He was the lord of this city.
The viscount currently held a thick stack of parchment in his hands as he reported the development of the city in recent years. Greem wasn't interested in this information at all, but he didn't interrupt the man.
After all, they were both waiting for the actual 'stars' of tonight!
One hour later, when Viscount Alvar's voice was going sore from all the reading, the crisp sound of hooves against stone rang from outside the tower.
Two dusty and exhausted apprentices walked in.
They were the two apprentice captains that the Sarubo Clan had stationed in the mine and the resource site.
The apprentice captain stationed at Iron Ring Mine was a pseudo-adept named Yuri. He had just filled the position of the troublemaker Sak from two months ago. The person posted in the Second Class resource site was a guy called Morse. He was also a pseudo-adept.
The smiling Viscount Alvar immediately stepped aside when he saw the two apprentice captains arrive. He left the stage to them.
The two pseudo-adepts might have been stationed away from the headquarters, but they had long heard of the Flame Demon. Thus, the two of them immediately bowed and greeted Greem when they saw him.
Greem stifled the idea of intimidating the three people when he saw that they were all respectful towards him. He started asking the apprentice captains about the situations on their end.
"Things are still fine on my side. There are twenty-three apprentices and seventeen servants at the resource site. I have already forbidden them from going out during this period, so nothing troublesome has happened!" Morse fawningly smiled as he spoke, "Sir Greem, your two apprentices reported in last month. I have already arranged for them to stay at the inner court. There should be no problem with their safety."
Greem didn't speak and only nodded at the apprentice Captain.
A few months prior, three out of four advanced apprentices under Greem had been sent here by the clan. Thus, be it for official matters or the trouble he just caused for his men, Greem had to come here. He had to protect these unfortunate subordinates that had been caught up in the clan's warning against him.
"An advanced apprentice also arrived on my side. I have already arranged for him as a mine overseer. The job is a little heavy, but there's no problem with regards to safety," Yuri hurriedly explained the situation on his side as well. Hesitation then flashed on his face, "Someone went missing from the mine a few days ago. Even though we didn't find any clues, I suspect..."
"Viscount Alvar, you have lived here in Gilneas City for a dozen years. Have you discovered any shady characters in the past few days?" Greem had only just arrived and had known nothing about the circumstances here. All of his information currently came from the three people before him.
"Sir, as you know, Gilneas City has no decent adept resources. Thus, it is rare for an adept to stay here. That said, a few apprentices are staying here. I have already sent people to spy on them, and nothing unusual has occurred!" Viscount Alvar frowned and truthfully described everything he knew. It didn't seem like there were any problems on his side.
"Mm, you people need to cooperate with all your effort in regards to local matters. Yuri, Morse, keep a tight hold on your territory. Make sure the enemy doesn't manage to sneak in. Alvar; put more effort into observing all movement in the area. Immediately send any information you get to me if something happens. I'll be staying in the stone tower for now."
"Sir, this tower hasn't been cleaned in several decades. Would you like to come to my castle to rest for a few days while I get people to patch up this place?" A fawning smile was plastered across Alvar's face, "Gilneas City might be small, but the nobles here have already heard of your name. They are all waiting for you to grace them with your presence. Would you like to..."
A suggestive smile that all men would know appeared on Alvar's face.
"The likes of entertainment will be considered after things are a little more settled! The only thing we need to do now is to ensure that we fulfill our duties! We will see how things progress over time and act accordingly afterward." Greem calmly rejected the Viscount's offer.
He could sense a mild flux in the apprentice captains' Spirits when he rejected the viscount's invitation to his banquet.
It seemed they were a little disappointed.
It appeared the two apprentice captains had quite the intimate relationship with the castellan.
Greem called upon Sabrina and Billis once the three of them had left.
"The two of you find a room on the first floor and stay there tonight. Sleep well and don't come out if you have no business to deal with!" Greem raised an eyebrow once he was done speaking. He asked coldly, "Do you hear me?"
Sabrina and Billis hurriedly bowed and answered.
For some reason, their hearts tightened. They felt as if something was about to happen in the tower tonight!