Now that he had decided on the mission he was taking, he needed to sign up quickly.
After all, every mission noted how many apprentices were currently applied to the mission, and how many could take the mission total. These were listed in the parenthesis. Once a mission had all its slots taken, it would disappear from the list. If he was too late, his preferred mission could slip away right in front of his eyes.
After making the announcement, Adept Anderson disappeared without saying anything else. Of course, all the secretarial work would be left to Apprentice Leader Ellen.
As expected, Ellen instantly took the garrison mission of the Swamp Tower, which was also the only Green mission on the list. His 'minions' had gotten in on that mission as well. Although the mission could still fit in few more Apprentices, Ellen had taken the dominant position, showing a look that said whoever paid the highest price would get a place on the mission.
Feeling indignant, but not daring to speak out, some weak Beginner Apprentices crowded around Ellen, lowered their voice and tried to bargain with him. Some rather good looking female Apprentices even gave him appreciative looks, squeezing themselves closer to Ellen. But most of the Beginner Apprentices actually gathered around the three strongest, chatting amongst themselves as if they were discussing on something. Obviously, they couldn't make up their minds on what to do.
Mary grabbed Greem and approached the crowd gathered around Ellen. Raising her brows, those soft-speaking fellows immediately moved to the side, revealing Apprentice Leader Ellen, who was sitting comfortably in the middle.
Though Ellen portrayed an aloof look in front of these Apprentices, when faced with the three strongest and Mary, he didn't dare act tough.
The three strongest were Advanced Apprentices, acknowledged by all Apprentices. If a confrontation erupted, Ellen, who was barely an Intermediate Apprentice, even with the help of magical items, would never be the match of them.
As for Mary, Ellen was truly freaked out by her.
Even though he had become the Apprentice Leader, whenever he thought of his previous encounter with Mary, with her ferocious, frightening face and her blood splattered body, Ellen just couldn't stop the shivering sensation that went down his spine. Besides, after being taken away by Adept Anderson, Mary was safely released. Obviously, she was being raised by Adept Anderson in the Tower. Without sufficient excuses and reasons, Ellen would never want to confront Mary.
Staring at Mary, who was now approaching him, Ellen tried his best to keep a calm exterior, but his pale face and wandering eyes betrayed what he truly felt. When faced with this terrifying Vampire, he felt intense fear in his heart!
"I am signing up for the Underground Cave investigation mission. Sign me up now!" Mary never took him seriously, and behaved with a domineering attitude.
Without saying any word, Ellen took out the Apprentice Leader's magical talisman, infused it with his Spirit energy, and a small screen immediately light up on top of it. The content showing on the screen was the Underground Cave investigation mission Mary chose.
Mary took out her magical talisman and pointed it at the screen. Immediately, the number showing how many Apprentices had signed up for the mission had changed from (4/10) to (5/10). It looked like four Apprentices had signed up for this mission before her.
It was now Greem's turn to sign up.
"I would like to accept the Apprentice Alchemist of Klage Training Mission!" Greem spoke in a calm voice.
Ellen briefly gazed at him, then, remaining silent, he adjusting the content on the screen. Following with the swaying of the screen, the mission Greem chose was shown.
Greem didn't say anything either. Without hesitation, he took out his magical talisman and pointed it toward the screen. But, something out of his expectations happened. Right when the magical talisman as about to touch the screen, the mission on the screen suddenly flicked in a bizarre manner, and reverted back to the previous mission, which Mary had chosen.
Not expecting this change, Greem's magical talisman touched the screen.
In next second, the number of participants for the Underground Cave investigation mission had changed from (5/10) to (6/10).
This never seen before occurrence startled everyone at the scene, and even Ellen seemed puzzled by it. With a wry smile, he said,
"Aiyaya... what's going on? It seems the magical equipment broke! What should we do now... Uh.... Do you want to go and see the Master Adept? Maybe he can cancel this mission for you?"
While everybody was still in shock, Mary exploded.
Without warning, Mary's sharp nails started to glow as they piercing through the air toward Ellen's heart with a jarring noise. It was a short distance, and, together with the huge gap between their Agilities, perhaps Ellen wouldn't even realize he was being attacked until Mary was crushing his heart in her hand.
But, when Mary's death-dealing claws were about halfway to Ellen's body, a huge, dark hand, shining like plate mail, suddenly stretched out from the side, both hands instantly colliding.
It looked like the two hands had only collided once, but, for some unknown reasons, in an instant, the huge hand, which looked like the claw of a monster, shattered. In fact, it was sliced into pieces by Mary's razor sharp nails. Although it seemed Mary was in the advantageous position in this exchange, there were no pieces of flesh or blood to be found in the shredded hand, the tiny fragments having transformed into countless black scorpions, quickly clinging onto Mary's arm.
Mary took a step back and swiftly moved her arms, quickly killing all the scorpions that had been trying to attack her. At this moment, Evil Bugs, whose body was fully covered by a cloak, was seen standing beside Ellen.
The huge hand belonged to him.
Flying around while making buzzing noises, the swarm of scorpions soon returned to Acteon's sleeve, like bees to their hive. Over the next few seconds, peace returned to this place. A bizarre scene had played out before them, and it had shown the frightening abilities of Evil Bugs.
The paled-face Greem took one last look at the screen, turned around, pulled Mary, who behaved like an overprotective mother cat, and left quietly. Strangely, the aggressive Mary didn't behave recklessly this time. This was because, with her sensitive senses, she had noticed the other two Advanced Adepts had quietly stood up, and were approaching the scene as stealthily as possible.
No idiot could become an Apprentice Adept, and those Advanced Apprentices were all as crafty as foxes. Except for a few weird guys, most of the Advanced Apprentices knew how to restrain themselves in order to protect their own skin. Mary, a girl who had suddenly skyrocketed to Advanced Apprentice, clearly posed a serious threat to the position of the three strongest. Thus, intentionally or unintentionally, the three of them had grouped up in an attempt to elbow Mary out.
Before they separated in front of Greem's room, Mary looked like she intended to say a few words to comfort him, but stopped when she saw his sad smile.
Stepping back into his room and gently closing the wooden door, Greem silently stood in the dark for a long time.
He was clear about what happened today, and it wasn't entirely Mary's fault. If he really thought about it, Greem was sure that it must have been Evil Bugs who had ordered his mission be switched to Mary's. Although he wasn't sure whether this was because of the intruder incident yesterday, or if the three strongest were just trying to cause Mary fear, but, in short, Ellen's little trick must have been authorized by Evil Bugs.
Conflict between the powerful brought disaster to the powerless!
A situation like this was, in fact, the sad reality for the powerless.
Greem totally had no intention of seeking the truth in today's misfortune, because he had decided to work hard for his future.
The red Underground Cave Investigation mission was a dangerous mission. If he was a Pseudo-Adept, it would be a challenging mission. If he had the ability of an Advanced Apprentice, it could be life threatening. But he was only a Beginner Apprentice!
Mixing himself in with a group of Advanced Apprentices while being so weak... although Mary would definitely take care of him, he would still need to have some usable abilities. Yes, maybe Mary did appreciate his kindness during her difficult days, but that wasn't enough for her to risk her life to save him.
Considering all that he was about to face, what Greem really needed was an ability that he could protect himself with.
In the dark, Greem took out the freshly crafted Clay Golem from his waist pouch. The thumb-sized core was shining indistinctly with the glow of Earth Elementium. The four energy nodes carved on top of it could continually absorb the Earth Elementium in the world around them, turning it into usable energy and storing it for future use.
Out of the four energy nodes, two were illuminated, showing that it was 2/4 charged with Earth Elementium, which should be enough to run some tests.
Greem tilted his head to the side and listened for any movements outside his room. Then he gently opened up the door and stealthily left his room.
At this moment, most of the Apprentices were still gathered in the lecture hall, dealing with the frustration of the compulsory mission. Therefore, Greem didn't meet with any Apprentices as he left.
Fifteen minutes later, Greem was, once again, walking along the familiar stony trail outside the tower.
The fierce battle between Advanced Apprentices yesterday had clearly killed many of the demons in this swampy land. Along the way, as he saw the demons scattered about, a rare feeling of pity actually emerged in Greem's mind.
Although these demons look really frightening and evil most days, once they were faced with Apprentice Adepts who were stronger than them, they immediately became trembling cattle, unable to fight against the oppressive forces of the Adepts.
Perhaps, in the eyes of these demons, those Apprentice Adepts were the real monsters, and were even crueler than themselves!
Traveling quickly on the stony trails, Greem soon arrived at the testing field he had chosen - the Muddy Swamp.
Sinbad was dead, having been transformed into the Clay Golem in his hand. Now the Ghost Nannies had no leader, which meant it was the perfect time for him to train here.
Standing firmly at the edge of the Muddy Swamp, five steps away from the filthy and stinking pond, he could indistinctly sense the weak soul ripples of three Ghost Nannies hiding underneath the muddy water.
Greem casually tossed the Clay Golem summoning core at the edge of the pond. When the light yellow core touched the mud, a vague vibration reverberated from it.
Being guided by Greem's Spirit Energy, no activation spell was required, so a huge amount of earthy yellow smoke started to form around the core. Driven by strange forces, the clay on the ground starting to twist itself together, quickly molding itself into a shape that was roughly human.
Greem closed his eyes and sensed the Clay Golem, quickly finding the core he had crafted on the chest of the clay being.
He opened his eyes and gave it an examining look.
He was trusting that this Clay Golem would change his fate!