Chapter 595 Dragon Auction
Greem, who had sent the entire Ailovis region into turmoil, had appeared once again.
This short message spread throughout the Zhentarim in a single day, as if it was an infectious plague.
The name of a Second Grade adept shouldn't be able to create such massive waves in the center of the continent. After all, there were over five hundred clans of various sizes scattered across Zhentarim. It wasn't as if Second Grade adepts were everywhere, but there were at least a thousand of them.
However, he was the first and only Second Grade adept to crush a decent ranked vampire family with the power of his own clan.
The defeated Vik Family had lost over half of their family members. Even family head Haines had suffered fairly severe wounds. That wasn't the worst of it all. The weakening of the family had also provoked several neighboring vampire families into action.
The newest information revealed that the Aimer, Snowden, and Moen Families had already started conspiring together. They were preparing to split up the Vik Family between them during this period of weakness that the Vik was experiencing.
These vampires had already shut the doors on the southwest of Zhentarim and started their own bloody battle. Plenty of rumors about the deaths of human nobles and changes in territory ownership could be heard from the southwest.
However, the Viks still had a single Third Grade and two Second Grades. As long as they gave up their outer territories, they should have no problem defending Bloodcastle. However, the Vik would probably need several decades of rest and recuperation to rise back up from such a disaster and return to their original ranking.
There was no doubt about it. The Vik Family had most definitely placed Greem and Mary upon their list for revenge. The Third Grade Vampire Haines Vik would undoubtedly use his most cruel methods to flay the two of them alive and mince them to pieces as long as he had the chance to.
When Haines heard of Greem showing himself once more and inviting the nearby adept clans to participate in a banquet hosted at Fire Throne–while he himself was struggling to survive his crisis–he flew into a rage. Haines snuck out of Bloodcastle in the night after some careful arrangements and preparations.
The two Second Grade vampires of the family remained in Bloodcastle.
They had no choice. The Vik Family had now become the most substantial cut of brisket in the eyes of their rivals. If the strength of the clan were completely put to use, Bloodcastle would only have traps and magical defenses to rely on. That was not nearly enough to defend against the combined forces of the other families.
It was only three days until the day of the banquet, yet the surroundings of Fire Throne had already turned lively.
A large group of human adventurers, mercenaries, and wandering adepts and apprentices had gathered around the place, with Fire Throne and Fire Cave at the center. They had their backs against Fire Throne and did not need to worry about their safety. They could boldly enter the Black Forest to explore its lands and harvest its near endless flora and fauna resources.
Fire Throne had discarded its previous isolationist stance ever since Fire Cave was made open to the public. They had also started requiring strict identity checks of all people wishing to stay in Fire Throne. The adepts and apprentices that had left in the previous battle had all been placed on a blacklist. These people were no longer allowed to appear anywhere near Fire Throne.
The new wandering adepts and apprentices that came because of Greem's reputation were only allowed to stay in the tower after having their identities verified. That made it very difficult to recruit enough manpower, but it also suppressed unstable elements to the lowest possible level.
Given Dana and Charon's performance in Lance, Greem signed an official clan directive upon returning to Fire Throne including their tribesmen and subordinates as members of the tower.
From now on, the snakefiends and the manticores would be able to enjoy the welfare and privileges of official Crimson Clan members. They were no longer wild magical creatures that would be chased and hunted by the humans.
Greem brought several of the most powerful clan members with him when he returned from Lance, along with plenty of spoils of war.
Greem even boldly placed the captured Second Grade dragon in Magma Hall to further spread the name of the upcoming clan establishing banquet. Of course, Greem made sure to complete all the necessary preparations.
With a fire prison cast by Fire Throne itself, several dozens of anti-magic chains binding the wind dragon, and the constant surveillance of Second Grade Dragonborn Zacha, there was no chance of this wind dragon escaping.
This way, the first thing that all guests would see upon passing through the long winding tunnels of Fire Cave would be the massive dragon chained to a corner of Magma Hall.
One had to admit that the eye-catching effect of this tactic was exceptional!
The wandering adepts that traveled far and wide to join Greem's cause would instantly sense the power and extravagance behind Greem the moment they saw the mighty and wicked wind dragon.
That was a freaking dragon!
Moreover, it wasn't a whelp or a drake, but a true adolescent Second Grade Dragon!
It was important to note that no dragons had existed on the World of Adepts for over a thousand years. The glimpse of a Third Grade dragon during the battle at Fire Throne had made all adept clans take note of Greem's existence.
Now it was even more so the case. Greem had directly placed a Second Grade dragon before the doors of the tower. The implication behind this was something that only experienced veterans could truly understand.
Disregarding everything else, just the presence of the dragon alone could draw enough attention and marvel toward Greem!
When news of Fire Throne auctioning a dragon got out, the number of adepts in Ailovis increased exponentially over the next few days.
The adepts had plenty of tricks and cards up their sleeves. They quickly figured out the intent of Greem in so hastily hosting an adept's banquet.
The Crimson Clan!
Greem, who had made such a name for himself, could finally no longer suppress his ambitions. He intended to establish his adept clan.
Many adepts across Zhentarim were both surprised–yet not surprised–at this news.
They weren't surprised that Greem wanted to establish his own clan.
With his strength and reputation, leaving his original clan to establish his own clan was well within everyone's expectations.
What surprised people was the timing Greem chose to establish the Crimson Clan.
Most people estimated that Greem would need at least another thirty years to accumulate sufficient resources and power to establish a clan.
After all, the so-called adept clan was made of a group of adepts, not a single adept.
It didn't matter how strong or amazing Greem was. An organization composed of him alone could never be called an adept clan.
He needed to first gradually accumulate sufficient power, recruit enough subordinates, and then construct a clan structure that could positively develop. Only a force like this could be acknowledged as an adept clan.
That was why most neighboring adept clans were not optimistic about Greem's odds with how hastily and hurriedly he was committing to this. Still, with the eye-catching auction of the dragon, Greem had successfully attracted enough attendees to his ceremony.
The location of the banquet was set within Magma Hall.
Long wooden tables had been neatly placed together and filled with all sorts of delicacies and wines. Delicate desserts, drinks, and fruits had all been prepared– a perfect show of the host's goodwill and generosity.
The ones who substituted for maids were snakefiend girls that had been specially selected.
They had perfect faces and explosive upper-body figures. If one had no inhibitions to their snake hair and bodies, then the snakefiend girls were a very attractive race as well.
They stood by the side of each table, using the table and the tablecloth to obscure sight of their snake body as they helped every adept to get the food they wanted with a sweet smile on their faces.
However, the adepts who had an interest in the food and the beauties were still a minority. Most adepts were gathered around the fire prison, holding their wine glasses in hand as they talked about the imprisoned wind dragon with their friends.
It had been too long since the last appearance of a dragon in the World of Adepts!
The large adept organizations had enslaved dragons in their hands, but never before had anyone so publicly displayed and auctioned a dragon as Greem had.
It was a valuable chance, especially for the adepts who were searching for dragon blood, dragon bones, or dragon tendons. In fact, this could be their only chance.
The Wagenhagen, the Congreve, the Juniper, the Plantagenet, the Bahrain; all of the reputable mid-sized clans and small-sized clans of Zhentarim had sent envoys to observe the ceremony.
Of course, their real purpose was still the auction that was to happen after the banquet.
Adept Greem had promised to sell off this Second Grade wind dragon at that auction.
In all honesty, nothing could satisfy these clan envoys as much as this promise alone!
If they brought back a Second Grade wind dragon back with them and adequately broke it in, they would instantly have a powerful combat force within their clan. What quicker way was there to increase the power of the clan.
As for why Greem didn't take this dragon for himself and chose to put it out for auction instead? Everyone had their guesses. The most reliable rumor was that Greem's newly established Crimson Clan lacked the necessary experts in this field. He had trouble taming such a mighty dragon and could only convert it into other useful resources.
Of course, while this theory wasn't complete, it still got half the reason right.
The other reason why Greem had so easily sold the wind dragon away was that there was just too many Second Grade minor dragons in Lance. Even if there weren't a hundred Second Grades like Wind Dragon Cherkes, there would at least be eighty or ninety of them.
The Crimson Clan had established their foothold in Lance. Their Second Grade adept squad had also been formed. They might not be able to provoke a Third Grade dragon, but was it not a simple matter to deal with a Second Grade dragon?
There were three Second Grade dragon lords living within a ten thousand kilometer radius of the metal fortress alone. Cherkes was no more than the first prey to fall in the Crimson Clan's net, and he would not be the last.
Finding a way to sell the wind dragon and making a profit was the best course of action.
This way, the Crimson Clan would obtain a new path to strengthen themselves rapidly, would they not?