Chapter 489 Lonely Alice
Of course, the river of fate had no consciousness!
That was why these roars of anger were actually the emotions that the world consciousness was sending through the layers of laws.
Each world had its own functioning laws and principles. It wasn't until everything ran according to these laws that the world would be complete and healthy. Yet in the world right now, there were too many powerful existences who were using their strength to disrupt the functioning of the world. They were making the world consciousness bend to their whims.
That was something the world consciousness would not allow!
That was why there was always a massive battle perpetually being fought on a level imperceptible to most lifeforms of the World of Adepts.
Alice, who spent her days in the river of fate in a strange state, was also dragged into this conflict. Countless unexpected dangers had come her way.
Her powers were too weak compared to those existences, and she was insignificant before them. When they ravaged the river of fate and sent monstrous waves everywhere, they might have been able to get away easily. However, most of the time, their actions would result in tragedy for the First Grade Alice if she couldn't avoid them.
Those who had never experienced the vastness of the river of fate could never imagine the tremendous pressure and sheer volume one would face when all the power of a large-sized plane world's fate crashed down upon you.
No one besides Fourth Grade adepts could dream of wreaking havoc on this level of the world. If Alice weren't blessed with the talents of a Witch of Fate, then her meager First Grade powers wouldn't have been enough to protect her from the river of fate; she would have been swept away and absorbed the moment she came into contact with it.
Unlike the Fourth Grade adepts that created storms and waves, Alice was like a tiny ship weaving between the massive swells. A small mistake would cause the boat to capsize, and its crew would die.
One couldn't assume that the river of fate was a hidden intangible existence and a mere manifestation of all the laws. If one died inside there, everything that represented you as an individual would completely vanish.
If you died in the external material world, your corpse would be left behind. At least your relatives, friends, and lovers would remember you. If you died in the river of fate, then the sincerest apologies to you. Your very person–the individual that your name refers to–would be entirely erased by the powers of the laws.
Your person would vanish from the World of Adepts, and no one will remember your name. Every mark you had made on the World of Adepts would disappear with you.
From the beginning to the end, you would never have existed. You would become an existence that had never lived yet had indeed existed at the same time!
One could imagine how it was to enter such a hazardous environment with insufficient power occasionally. Surviving without a heart as steady as a stone was impossible. For the long sixty-seven years in the past, Greem had operated under constant hard work, but he was safe and sound. However, Alice…
Greem tightly folded Alice into his embrace, hoping to use his soul to warm hers. Greem lowered her head and used his chin to caress Alice's silky silver hair lightly.
She was not even a hundred years old, but half of her silver hair had gone white. If one were to look closely, they could see the slight wrinkles at the corners of her eyes.
Witches of Fate pursued destiny on a daily basis. However, they had no means of mastering their own fate!
It was impossible to bring any magical equipment into the river of fate, regardless of how powerful or well-crafted it was. The only thing that was useful in that level of the world was the origin strength that existed within her soul. This kind of strength exhausted as you used it, and there was almost no way to replenish it.
That was why Alice had no choice but to exhaust her own life whenever she wanted to change the trajectory of a future she had seen. By burning her life, she created a series of fate nodes. She then used one accident after another to crash against that determined future.
Back then, to save Endor, Alice had first needed to place several fate nodes in the river of fate. She then returned to the World of Adepts and relied on the efforts of Greem, Mary, and the others to reverse the direction of fate around those nodes. One by one, they added together to finally provide the required strength to smash against the original 'future.'
That was why accurate manipulation over the river of fate didn't just require Alice's powers of fate. It also needed a dominating force that would act according to her will. It was only with the combination of these two internal and external factors that one could hope to steer fate in the direction that one wished it to go.
And in this process, what Alice had to give up was her life force!
Alice was an extremely young witch. Under ordinary circumstances, she had only gone through one-fourth of her life as an adept. Yet the signs of aging on her face clearly showed that she was nearing her middle ages.
As high-energy lifeforms evolved from humans, the adepts might not be able to break free from the lowly organs, senses, and life systems of the humans. However, they could delay the aging of the body with magical energies. Many times, an adept could easily fix their appearance at a certain age of their long life, as long as they paid the price.
As long as they had enough magical energy, and their life system didn't falter, they would never age!
Visible signs of aging suddenly appearing on an adept was likely because their life had entered its final stages. Their magical energies were no longer enough to sustain a complete life system.
Signs of aging had now appeared on Alice. Greem could fully imagine what she'd had to endure during this period of time, and the pain of burning her own life!
"How much longer?" Greem grabbed Alice by her shoulders and stared into her deep blue eyes. He asked softly, "How much longer is your life?"
"Fifty-four years seven months and three days."
"Why is it twenty years less than last time? You…" Greem paused for a second and immediately understood.
"This is your first time initiating a plane war. It is crucial to both you and me. That is why I must guarantee its success!" Alice's words were firm and unmoving. She might be a frail woman, but her actions carried with them a pride and reservation unique to people in ruling positions.
"You saw victory?" Greem held her face as his heart ached.
"You are being an idiot again!" Alice rolled her eyes at him, "That's a foreign plane. My powers of fate can't extend all the way there. I only saw your existence in the future of the World of Adepts."
If he still continued to exist in the future of the World of Adepts, that meant that he would not die in the other plane. That was good news!
Greem mulled over it. Finally, he lowered his face and pressed his lips against Alice's.
Boom. A light thump.
The black mist in the array dispersed.
Greem lightly coughed as he walked out from the fog. A set of small and delicate teeth marks had clearly been left on his lower lips.
Er, they had already been in a relationship for so long, and she was still so bashful. To actually disperse Greem's body and send his consciousness projection hurtling all the way back. Ow, ow, ow. Why do these teeth marks hurt so much? Did that brat cast some special curse on me?
Greem rolled his eyes as his body appeared five steps away with a flash. He had used the fire to reconstruct his body during this flash. He could almost cast aside all damage and curses on the surface of his body through this method.
Strangely enough, Greem was stunned when he reappeared five steps away. He touched his lips and stopped on the spot.
Dammit, those teeth marks were still there! That brat Alice had gotten him good this time!
How was he supposed to meet people now?!
Greem howled several times silently. He had no choice but to form a golden mask out of flame and wear it on his face. It might look a little weird, but it was better than being laughed at by Mary.
Once he returned to his room, Greem began examining all his magical equipment.
The Blaze of Destruction could effectively amplify the power of fire spells. It even attached soul-burning effects to those spells. He could still use this staff after advancing to Second Grade, and there was no need to consider replacing it yet.
The three Ioun Stones, on the other hand, had to be retired. Once Greem became a Second-Grade adept the stones small enhancement would not affect Greem at all. There was no point in keeping them around other than to look cool.
All the rest of his magical equipment had to be retired as well. Their prowess no longer matched Greem's current strength.
The only one of all those that satisfied Greem's expectations was the Soul Equipment– the Scroll of Voodoo.
As Soul Equipment that had followed Greem through his apprentice years, the Scroll of Voodoo was also an accompanying-type magical equipment. It could absorb the power of the host's soul to strengthen itself continuously. Of course, the process of strengthening also cost plenty of rare resources and magical materials.
The Greem of the past had no idea about this and had no concept of where to start improving the Scroll of Voodoo.
However, he gained a clear and definite clue after deciphering the knowledge runes that Mary and the others had brought back from the burial grounds.
Greem allowed a thought flash across his mind, and the magical tome hanging by his waist appeared in his hands. As he caressed the hard surface of the thick book, he could feel a vague sense of power coursing through it.
This power was neither elementium energy nor magical energy. Rather, it was closer to the soul flux that all spirit consciousness possessed.
Greem flipped open the cover. The pages inside were somehow all merged together, leaving only a single page. Drawn on the page was a strange and profound hexagram. A large green jewel was embedded in each of the protruding edges, and a bizarre, doll-like lifeform was slowly crawling around in the middle of the hexagram. It was within the two-dimensional confines of the page, yet it gave people a feeling as if it was a living thing.
Greem looked at the strange array and then at the unknown lifeform. He couldn't help but sigh.
One had to use gemstones compatible with the Scroll of Voodoo's attributes to strengthen it. Six emeralds weren't much for Greem now. However, its six-emerald-per-month consumption rate was shocking, even for Greem.
The Voodoo Doll inside the Scroll of Voodoo had finally formed its body after Greem had fed emeralds to the Scroll for as many as ten years. Moreover, if Greem wanted to turn it into a Spirit of Pestilence, he would have to provide it with large amounts of flesh and life.
Initial estimates by the Chip suggested that a sacrifice of at least, bare minimum, ten thousand lives were required!