Chapter 210 Meeting
Even though Phantom looked like an alluring beauty with a seductive figure, Greem knew that she was a master of illusions. Therefore, his brain consciously ignored her beauty when he looked at this female adept.
Who knew if she was hiding a fat, ugly body beneath that shell of seductiveness and beauty!
Greem could have used the unique penetrating ability of his elementium sight to look at Phantom's true face. However, an invasive probe against an opponent of the same grade was undoubtedly offensive, and was very likely to invite hostility from the opponent.
Whenever there were other adepts around him, Greem would consciously shut off his active probing abilities, only allowing the chip to do passive auxiliary information gathering.
Furthermore, the reason Greem recognized her as a female adept rather than a witch was because the term 'witch' was a very specific term in the world of adepts. 'Witch' referred to those female adepts who possessed ancient legacies. A witch was most definitely a female adept, but a female adept was not necessarily a witch.
Adept Phantom, who stood before him, walked down the path of an orthodox elementium adept. She had absolutely nothing to do with the bunch of witches that lived on the northern side of the Continent of Adepts.
There were many adepts who specialized in illusion. However, most of them were better in an support role. Not many of them were suited for the bloody battlefield. After all, any adept would be embarrassed to go out if they didn't at least have an illusion-breaking staff or spirit concentration necklace on them. With the common usage of such auxiliary tools, the combat ability of adepts that specialized in illusions naturally took a severe blow.
However, the fact that Phantom was one of the adepts invited here was sufficient to prove that she had her own unique ability and mastery within the domain of illusions. Otherwise, it would have been absolutely impossible for her to be invited to this group of combat adepts.
Greem shifted most of his attention to that "Boss Hyde" after quickly assessing Phantom.
It was obvious that Hyde chose the path of an Esoteric Adept. His two meter tall body was large and burly, but there were obvious signs of mechanical modifications on his body. His left forearm had been completely amputated and replaced by a mechanical arm glowing with a bronze sheen. No artificial skin had been placed on top of the arm, and from the exterior, one could see the metallic chains, gears, axles, and countless other mechanical parts inside.
Just one look and you could tell that many parts of Adept Hyde's body had been modified. Mechanical arm, mechanical legs, metal eye, numerous strange mechanical equipment fitted on the surface of the body...
If Greem was allowed to define Adept Hyde's existence, he would have said that Hyde was most definitely an intricate machine, a... robot that had bits and pieces of human flesh and blood attached onto the surface of the machine.
Greem was quite curious. If he split apart Hyde's chest, would he see warm flowing blood or layers of turning gears and rods?
The prowess of people that went through such cruel bodily modifications lied in their energy output that far outclassed any normal adept, as well as their numerous peculiar abilities that dazzled their enemies.
Moreover, it was important to note that the bodies of most adepts were still considerably weak. Without any spells cast on them, they were a bunch of individuals with weak bodies and poor strength that needed to gasp for air after climbing several floors. However, once they were enhanced with spells, they would suddenly become omnipotent gods that could control all within their reach.
Mechanical adepts, on the other hand, could replace their weak bodily organs with magic-infused machinery that possessed amazing strength through various artificial modifications. In doing so, their bodies would naturally possess magical effects, even without casting spells. Moreover, these effects would last forever.
Mechanical adepts might lose the appearance and pleasures of a human, but they gained supernatural prowess in exchange!
It was rumored that large numbers of Esoteric Adepts gathered at the Castle in the Sky, in the Continent of Adepts western seaboard, and that most of them were mechanical adepts. The Castle in the Sky, the adepts' city that floated ten thousand meters in the sky represented the highest achievements and the peak of magic-infused machinery.
Even though Greem wanted to find out more about this Adept Hyde, a light mechanical hum rang out and a strange flux appeared around Hyde, obstructing further probes from him.
Greem smiled awkwardly and nodded at Hyde and Marionette before walking to the side and waiting patiently.
They didn't wait long.
A moment later, thunder rumbled in the skies, and Adept Thunderbird appeared in a flash of lightning. Bloody Mary and a strange adept cloaked in a black robe appeared behind him.
Seeing that everyone he invited had arrived, Adept Hyde cleared his throat and began with an odd mechanical voice, "Everyone, I gathered you here today for the sake of those damned radiant knights. If we let them safely break out of the envelopment we created, all the sacrifices and prices we had to pay would have been for nothing."
All the adepts chose to remain silent in the face of such a cliche introduction.
The fight turning sour would likely cause the clan's expansionist plans to fail, and when they were chased out of the plane by the natives, the clan's promise of rewards and resources would not be fulfilled. However, if the adepts present were forcefully pushed onto the battlefield as cannon fodder, they would only put out a perfunctory effort, never giving their all and prioritizing their own survival.
Adept Hyde, who intimately knew the nature of adepts, quickly changed the topic of the conversation.
"I intend to launch an ambush specifically against that radiant knight. If you wish to participate in this operation, then stay and we will discuss the specifics. If anyone here is unwilling to participate, you may leave now! The only thing I can guarantee, if this plan succeeds, is that everyone will get what they want the most!"
The expressions on the adepts faces finally changed!
As adepts upholding the principle of equivalent exchange, they would instinctively choose to avoid any task that proved without benefit or too dangerous to themselves. Ambushing a Second Grade knight was undoubtedly a dangerous task that landed well beyond their abilities!
However... if they could get the resources and knowledge that they wanted the most by doing so, taking a little risk seemed acceptable.
The light in everyone's eyes brightened for a second, as if they were silently thinking about something.
The Hyde's mechanical eye swept around and lingered for a moment. He was slightly relieved when he saw that no one had left. Everyone here were powerful adepts that he had chosen after careful consideration. They had strange magic abilities that could not be comprehended by outsiders.
If anyone here had left, it would have caused disturbances and flaws in his plan. If needed, he would have to lower his criteria and pick people from the remaining adepts who could substitute for those who left.
"Since no one left, that means that everyone is willing to participate in this plan. Very well, let us begin discussing our wants and needs!"
No adept would be willing to tell the public such private information. What happened next was one-on-one negotiations between Adept Hyde and each participant. Hyde's lips moved slightly, but no sound came out. It was evident that he was secretly conversing with an adept.
After approximately seven minutes, Greem got a notification from the chip in his mind.
"Detecting unique mental connection. Initiator: Adept Hyde. Requesting instructions from host. Authorize connection?"
The next second, the odd metallic voice belonging to Adept Hyde appeared in Greem's mind.
"Greetings, Adept Greem. Time is short and I'll be direct. If I invite you to participate in this dangerous hunt, what do you want in return?"
"......" Greem hesitated for a bit before slowly speaking, "I wish to obtain the portion of knowledge that concerns the merging of runic energies and life energies!"
"Uhh... this request is a little tough! After all, complete knowledge about the merging of energies is most likely in the hands of the massive force behind the witcher-knights. Even if we obtained some fragments of runic knowledge after we kill the radiant knight, trying to reverse-engineer the merging of energies from that is still extremely difficult... "
"If my judgement is not incorrect, Sir Fügen captured a live radiant knight previously. Surely we must have obtained plenty of internal secrets from his mind."
Adept Hyde's body twitched oddly in the distance. His mechanical eye glowed with a bright red shine as he once again earnestly assessed Greem.
"I do not have the authority to reveal internal information from the base."
"If I cannot directly obtain knowledge on the merging of energies, I wish to know how I may obtain such knowledge. In other words, I wish to know who else on the Continent of Knights possesses complete knowledge on merging. Of course, it is best if it's someone I can deal with!"
"You are truly an adept with foresight! If I'm not wrong, putting aside valuable resources, the most valuable thing on this plane is their runic knowledge. Lord Sarubo has classified the energy fusion knowledge you are requesting as a Class Three strategic resource. It's impossible for it to be handed to you. As for the people here who possess the knowledge you seek- even though they have not been classified as supervised figures, you will need to hunt them on your own. I can only provide a list of individuals!"
"That is enough! I accept these conditions."
The next second, a magical contract woven from Spirits appeared in Greem's mind.
The chip dutifully completed a detailed scan of this contract. After eliminating all logical, linguistic and magical loopholes in the contract, the chip presented a detailed contract to Greem. Greem had a quick look, and having verified that there was no distinction from the contents they had just discussed, cautiously left his magic emblem on the contract.
It took another seven minutes before Adept Hyde signed contracts with the remaining adepts. Everyone started to become more friendly with the contract now in place.
To ease cooperation later, Adept Hyde had everyone do a basic introduction of their magical abilities. Adept Hyde was naturally the first, as he had to encourage everyone else to speak.
"Hyde, mechanical adept, specializing in close quarters combat. Magic abilities roughly includes Energy Lightsaber and Awl of Slaughter... "
The second to speak was Thunderbird.
"Thunderbird, elementium adept, specializing in lightning magic. Currently possess the spells Lightning Storm, Lightning Blast, and Lightning Teleportation... "
"Marionette, bloodline adept, specializing in plant modifications. Mastered spells include Puppet Strings and Substitute of Wood... "
"Evil Bugs, bloodline adept, specializing in bug-body modification. Mastered spells include Bug Manipulation, Splitting Attack, and Damage Sharing... "
"Phantom, elementium adept, specializing in illusions. Mastered spells include Realm of Dreams and Spell of Dream Departure... "
"Flame Demon, elementium adept, specializing in fire magic. Mastered spells include Flame Fiend Transformation and Ring of Fire... "
"Bloody Mary, bloodline adept, specializing in blood magic. Mastered spells include Bat Demon Transformation and Bloodsucking... "
"Demon Shadows, elementium adept, specializing in curses... "
Naturally, no one would reveal all their cards in such a situation. Thus, the introductions of their spells and magic were incomplete. However, given that Adept Hyde had gathered everyone here, he most definitely had some kind of understanding as to everyone's abilities.
Everyone kept silent and listened to Hyde describe his hunting plan in detail!