Chapter 445 Dominating Appearance
Second Class Resource Site.
As a mysterious area controlled by the Sarubo Clan, this place had plenty of magical plants.
For the adepts, these adder's tongue, dog stinkhorns, bloodveils, ancient lichen, nightmare seeds, plagueblooms, giant-eye flowers, human-faced mushrooms, bloodsucking vines, man-eating flowers, and more were no more than exotic plants with very few magical properties. Cultivating them was only an act to procure necessary enchanting materials.
However, for the mortals near the resource sites, these magical plants were all monsters that slaughtered without remorse. Apart from their lack of mobility, they were just as dangerous as the magical creatures in the Black Forest. Even the apprentice adepts in the resource site had to rely on the powerful arrays left behind by adepts to trap and contain these things before harvesting them.
Any lapse in concentration could spell death for them. That was why the lowest level of worker in a resource site had to be an apprentice adept. Ordinary mortals had no chance of survival.
The reason most resource sites were located in rural areas was to ensure that disaster didn't happen. If something went wrong with the defensive arrays and individual magical plants managed to escape, it would spell catastrophe for the human settlements nearby.
Extreme examples of this had occurred in the history of the Continent of Adepts.
A leakage crisis had happened in the laboratory of an adept clan. A specially cultivated magical plant took the opportunity of the defensive array being offline to turn its main body into a small spore, before proceeding to escape. It then polluted and took over a human town. The entire population of one thousand people turned into terrifying sporeloks without any sense of self.
This plant did an exceptional job of hiding and keeping things under cover. For a while, no one discovered the abnormality in the town population. Surprisingly, for two months, these sporeloks were able to continue going about their lives with their human shells. If it weren't because the plant grew greedy and started seeking new victims in travelers and merchants, it would not have been discovered. In the end, it ran into an adept that happened to stay in the town.
The adept clan responsible for the incidents sent out large groups of adepts and apprentices to participate in its extermination. It was only then that they discovered that the sporeloks had infected almost four thousand individuals, including some advanced apprentices.
Only a few sporeloks managed to escape the purge and run away into the underground. The rest were all killed. Ever since then, all adept clans had become stricter and more rigid when overseeing their laboratories and resource sites. It was all for the sake of preventing the same thing from happening again.
Here in Sarubo's Second Class resource site, all the magical plants were of common danger. Even if they managed to escape, they would not be able to cause a widespread disaster like the sporeloks. However, the site still posed a massive threat to nearby mortals.
Now, with the destruction and damage done to the defensive arrays, some magical plants had managed to escape this place. Adept Flandre, who had taken over this place, didn't seem to mind. Instead, he watched with interest as he forced a group of a dozen apprentices to commit destructive harvesting acts on these plants.
Adept Sicha even broke into the warehouse and started robbing the place of all its magical materials. On the other hand, Lamure never showed herself. Only a flock of red-eyed crows flying in the sky indicated her presence.
Hill, whose right hand had been severed, slipped up. A bloodsucking vine wrapped around his leg and slowly dragged him into the woods. Hill struggled with all his might with his life on the line as he cursed and swore at Flandre.
"Goddamned sissy. You are a freaking pervert. Go and find my teacher in the tower if you are so capable. You don't dare deal with my teacher, so you come and deal with us apprentice subordinates. You are a…"
Adept Flandre had always been proud of his handsome face. His expression soured when he heard these words. He made drawing motions in midair, and soon a rune shot into the forest of magical vines. The wild bloodsucking vines immediately became even more savage.
Several sprouts emerged from the tip of the vine that had entangled itself around Hill's leg. The shoots then twisted together and formed a humanoid mouth. The sharp edges of the leaves were like flashing teeth, viciously tearing into Hill's flesh.
The serpent-like vines even dug into his blood vessels. You could hear the gulping sound as the vines swallowed and absorbed his blood.
The destructive actions of the vines brought immense pain and damage to Hill. The torturous throes of the apprentice adept were an appalling sight to behold. The other captive apprentices lowered their heads fearfully. They didn't dare watch this happen. If it weren't for fear of provoking this wicked adept, they would have even covered their eyes and ears to avoid the knowledge of what was to follow.
A red-eyed crow flapped its wings and landed on a tree beside Flandre. It tilted its head and laughed disdainfully, "Are you not afraid that the Flame Demon will come after you with all he has once you kill this disciple of his?"
"Come after me?" A sinister smile surfaced on Flandre's face, "Does he even dare step out of that stone tower? He still refuses to come out after all we have done. I say, most of his past 'feats' were only flukes. Hmph! Just a coward."
"Caw caw," The red-eyed crow cried, "Don't blame me for not warning you. If our two clans establish a truce in the end, your actions will bring down a terrifying enemy upon yourself!"
"Hmph! Since when did you care about my wellbeing?" Flandre laughed coldly, "Not to mention that I have nothing to fear from a cowardly adept that doesn't even dare to fight me head on. He…"
Just as Flandre planned to mock his opponent and boast a little bit more, something happened. He lifted his head abruptly and stared into the distance with unsure eyes. The feathers of the red-eyed crow bristled. It beat its wings and took the skies, its red eyes fixating on a black dot on the distant horizon.
Even Adept Sicha, who had been pillaging the warehouse, had detected the abnormality. He immediately ran out with his companions and stared at the horizon.
There, on the edges of that cloudy horizon, a tiny black speck was quickly becoming larger.
A cluster of flames was also approaching rapidly behind that black dot.
Even though there was still a distance between them, that powerful aura caused even the elite Flandre to frown. A brilliant light flashed in his eyes.
"It's… him?" Flandre quickly recognized the approaching person.
All this while, the three of them had been trying to force Greem out of his tower. It was natural that they would acquaint themselves with his aura. Yet, at that moment, the terrifying god-like individual that was storming towards them with that oppressive aura still caused them to gulp slightly.
That was the enemy they wanted to deal with?
Dammit! Why is he so powerful?
A violent gale pushed against their faces like a crashing wave. The black dot had reached within one kilometer of them in the blink of an eye. Its wildest and most savage side was displayed before everyone's eyes.
That...that is a dragon?
Even the three adepts couldn't help but stare in stunned silence, despite their cumulative knowledge and experience. They had no idea what to do when looking this creature in the eye; this strange dragon whose flesh, muscles, and bones were all formed from tempestuous wind vortices.
The World of Adepts had not seen a live dragon in many, many years. There were rumors that the Adept's Association on the East Coast had once created mixed-blood 'faux-dragons' by combining the bloodline of ancient dragons with the sea dragons in the Boundless Sea. However, here in the Zhentarim area, far from the sea, it was rare for anyone to witness anything that resembled a dragon.
The three adepts had to look closely multiple times before they confirmed that this proud green dragon with the recklessly arrogant aura was no magical creature. It was only an elementium golem– a wind-attribute elementium golem!
It was only when the wind dragon neared that the three of them noticed the towering silhouette riding on its back.
This was a powerful and unforgettable adept!
He wasn't old at all. In fact, there was even a trace of youthfulness that hadn't faded from his handsome face.
He wasn't a body-refining adept, yet he had a perfect body with the ideal ratio. Tight muscles, radiant skin, and the strange long, crimson hair that rested on his shoulders and extended to his waist. With the crimson light glowing beneath his black eyes, he radiated a strikingly seductive aura of destruction and unbridled power.
This man was far too noticeable. It was almost easy to miss out on the three Ioun Stones circling above his head, the strange and powerful staff in his hand, and that even more unknown tome that dangled by his waist.
What was even more shocking to the three adepts was the realization that the cluster of flames was no magical spell. Instead, it was a massive cape of flame flowing behind his back due to the excessive speed at which the dragon was traveling.
The faces of the three adepts became solemn when they made this discovery.
Dammit! This Flame Demon only has the ability of a veteran adept. How was he able to impose such great psychological pressure on them?
In particular, Soul Adept Lamure, who had once fought with Greem, couldn't suppress her shock and surprise. She had not sensed such astonishing power when she struggled with him before this!
This nineteen-meter elementium dragon emanating a violent and savage aura suddenly stopped in the skies above them as the three adepts looked on. It remained a hundred meters above the ground.
Greem lowered his head and looked down at the forest. A blinding red light shone from his eyes when his vision fell upon his still struggling disciple, Hill.
"How bold!" A chilling smile appeared on his face, "You all deserve nothing less than death!"
A crimson magma fireball shot out of his hands and crashed into the forest of magical vines.
Resounding flame shockwaves ravaged the entire garden. Half an acre of the magical vine forest was swallowed by a sea of fire that reached into the skies. All the magical vines curled and struggled in the shockwave, desperately twirling left and right.
Sadly, nothing they did mattered!
The elementium flames ended as quickly as they came.
Once the sea of fire dispersed, a field of carbonized magical vine remnants was all that remained.