Age of Adepts

Age of Adepts – Chapter 23

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There was a saying, no thief left empty handed!

He only arrived in this place after much risk to his own life. If he just turned around and left, wouldn’t that be a waste of Sinbad’s ‘wonderful hospitality’?

Greem initiated his Elementium Vision and started to scan the cave.

Within the odds and ends that were piled up like a mountain, Greem only found a few items he thought were useful. For these Ghost Nannies, who were trapped in the swampy area, there weren’t that many opportunities for them to find any good loot, hence, although it seems like there were quite a lot of ‘treasure’ gathered here, only a handful of it was valuable.

Seven to eight high-grade blood sacks, which looked like red beads; a broken piece of magical equipment, which had degraded so much that no one could tell what it originally was; a fist-sized metallic ore that glowed an odd blue; a strange egg-sized white stone… without thinking twice, he took all of it and tucked it into his waist pocket.

All of them were accurately picked up by Greem, as he could sense indistinct Elementium ripples they gave up. As for the other dirty and messy items, he simply ignored them. After all, he was in the middle of running for his life. If he carried too many things, the chances of him escaping would become much slimmer.

As the hidden nest of the Ghost Nannies, there was more than one tunnel that led to this cave. Clearly their leader, Sinbad, knew the saying ‘a cunning rabbit has three holes into its burrow’. However, this clever arrangement benefited Greem, the part-time thief, greatly today. He took a brief second to orient himself, then squeezed into a wet tunnel that led away from the muddy pond.

Quite a while later, a weird looking human-head emerged from a small muddy pond in the swamp. As the slimy mud slowly slid off his head, Greem only exposed the upper part of his head, silently watching for movement in the distance.

Originally, there should have been some Ghost Nannies living in this muddy pond, but, obviously, they had been drawn to the massive battle happening in the distance, answering the furious and angry calls of Sinbad and joining the fight. Hence, Greem could freely move around and no one was around to put up a resistance. He took a breath and started making his way to get out of the pond.

As the battle in the distance was happening underneath the thick and slimy mud pond, the only signs were the roars and cries of Ghost Nannies and the bubbles exploding to the surface. Greem never wanted to see that frightening Little Lolita ever again. He turned away from the battle and swam toward the banks of the muddy pond.

He bet the Ghost Nannies were suffering under Alice’s bizarre and unpredictable Spatial Attacks!

But, just as he had almost reached the edge of the pond, and was getting ready to climb out, an explosion occurred in the muddy water behind him, revealing a Giant Alligator with its mouth wide open, biting down at Greem. Everything happened so suddenly, and the harsh environment was the best cover for the Giant Alligator, thus, until the very moment before it struck, the only warning Greem received was a sudden beeping from the Chip.

After performing a series of flailing rolls and twists, Greem barely managed to avoid the deadly bite of Giant Alligator by a matter of millimeters. The massive mouth, filled with sharp teeth, slammed forcefully together beside his waist, creating a small breeze that sent forth a rotten smell which made Greem’s hair stand on end.

If he had not been warned by the Chip, with just one bite, this ferocious Giant Alligator would have easily broken his body in half. If that really happened, all of his great ambitions would have been for nothing.

Taking the opportunity when his enemy missed its attack, Greem crawled on his hands and knees and rushed to the edge of the pond. He turned around and quickly summoned a Fire Arrow, striking right at the massive mouth that had just opened up for the second time.

The ‘Fire Arrow’ spell, which had previously been going through a solidification process, was finally ready, thus he was able to smoothly complete his attack.

The Fire Elementium Spell exploded, swallowing the entire head of this Giant Alligator. The fiery explosion was followed by a heavy downpour of broken teeth and chunks of flesh around the edge of the pond. Suffering from intense pain, the Giant Alligator’s body thrashed around crazily, creating a mud wave that was a few meters tall and turning the surrounding area into even more of a muddy mess.

The main reason why Greem chose Fire Arrow, and not Fireball, as his first long-range offensive spell was because it also caused physical damage when it hit something. This characteristic was especially significant when he was dealing with wild creatures who had a high-resistant toward Elementium based attacks.

Of course, Greem would never admit it, but the real reason he gave up learning the Fire Ball spell was the extremely difficult 54 Magical Syllables he would be required to memorize and intone correctly to cast the spell.

Going back to his current situation, Greem’s attack had, obviously, exposed his current location.

“Oh. So you were hiding there! Don’t you even think about running away from me again…”

A jarringly high-pitched female voice suddenly came from the distance. Inside her Protection Barrier, the frightening Alice struggled her way out from the muddy pond and let out a furious roar in Greem’s direction.

Unfortunately for her, in next second a long whip, made from some native vine shot up from the water and coiled tightly around Alice’s invisible barrier. Thus, the little Lolita only able to show half of her body, and was trapped in the pond, unable to leave the surface of the water.

Countless Ghost Nannies kept slamming into the Protection Barrier, like wild beasts. However, their sharp claws and aggressive attacks could do nothing to the Protection Carrier, hence, more and more Ghost Nanny simply hung themselves on the barrier, trying to use their body weight and drag this foul human, who had slaughtered many of their sisters, back into the muddy pond.

Like pouring dumplings into a pot of boiling water, one after the other, Ghost Nannies kept swimming around the invisible barrier, stepping on their allies bodies and leaping out from the water, crazily and recklessly knocking at Alice, who was struggling to free herself from the horde. All of this only made Alice become even more furious.

Not caring anymore, numerous Spatial cracks, which could be seen with the naked eye, appeared, slicing up everything that came closer to the barrier. Whenever a Ghost Nanny touched these Spacial cracks, no matter whether it was their arm or their tough and strong body, whatever encountered these cracks would be cleanly sliced in half, causing sticky, black blood to be thrown all over the place.

Even so, these Ghost Nannies still rushed in, wave after wave, never showing any signs of stopping.

Not only that, but even Sinbad’s Giant Lizard rushed forward to attack Alice. Using its massive tail, it slapped down onto the indestructible barrier, forcing most of her body to sink back into the muddy water again. The massive impact transferred to Alice, causing blood to come out from her nose and mouth.

Thus, a fierce battle once again erupted between Alice and Ghost Nannies, who rushed in like a swarm of hornets. Meanwhile, Greem was trapped in a dangerous fight with the Giant Alligator.

Although his Fire Arrow just now had severely injured the Giant Alligator’s mouth and caused a bloody mess inside, it was a ferocious demon who possessed a very strong vitality. This kind of damage was far from taking its life. As a result, the furious Giant Alligator channeled all of its pain into fury, and focused all that fury on Greem, pulling its massive body, which was covered with hard scales, from the mud and continually launching attacks at Greem.

Fearing the Giant Alligator’s ‘Slow Ray’, Greem restlessly ran for his life. Most of these damn swamp demons had Earth Elementium abilities, and, with their thick skin, powerful bodies, sharp claws, and pointy teeth, fighting with them in this muddy swamp was just asking for death.

Meanwhile, thanks to a warning from the Chip, Greem learned that there were some underwater creatures sneaking their way toward him.

Damn it. Why had he decided to come to a nest of these cursed demons?

While nagging and cursing in a voice only he could hear, Greem followed the cues of the Chip, narrowly dodging the continuous attacks of the horrifying Giant Alligator behind him.

Rather than referring to the place he stood as the edge of the pond, it was more like a narrow, sloppy dirt ridge in between two muddy ponds. The ground was soft, and each step he took was arduous, as his feet kept sinking down deep into the mud. Thus, it was extremely tough to escape from these Giant Alligators in this environment. Too bad he couldn’t fly like Alice.

At this very moment, it was too late to regret never trying to learn the Wind Elementium Levitate Spell. Greem struggled forward, doing his best to stumble his way to safety. Watching the quickly approaching movements of the sneaking underwater beasts, his heart was now filled with misery. He had activated the Magical Talisman in his hand multiple times, but it just didn’t seems to have any effect.

In a more normal situation, the deterrent effect of an Adept enormous on these swamp demons. But the aggressiveness of these demons had been stimulated by the smell of blood, which made it really difficult to scare them away.

A foul wind caressed his face.

The surface of the water exploded as two massive Giant Alligators jumped out at the same time, widely opened their huge mouths, which each could swallow Greem whole in one bite.

Looking at the huge mouths that were well within reach, gazing at the glimmering, disordered teeth, and staring into the throats which lead to a digestive hell… the warning tones of the Chip had gone haywire in Greem’s mind, but it seemed like there was no way he could rescue himself from this dire situation.

Right as Greem closed his eyes, preparing himself for death, something suddenly slammed into him, then he began to fly through the air.

A heart-stopping sound came from the snapping of the massive mouths of the Giant Alligators, but Greem had, once again, narrowly escaped their bloody mouths. He opened his eyes as he heard their furious roars coming from far behind him. He was flying an inch above the water surface at an incredible speed.

Ugh… what was going on?

His heart was pounding fast, being filled with fear and uncertainty as to his current situation. Greem was able to clearly see something through the reflection on the surface of the muddy water under him, and the sound of flapping wings could he heard from above him.

He strained his head, struggling to see what was above him. To his surprise, a huge humanoid bat was carrying him while flying strenuously.

Yes, it was having trouble flying!

This humanoid bat had a massive pair of fiery red leathery wings, which were about 4 to 5 meters long, but it had a rather skinny and small body. Of course, its wings could carry it perfectly, if it was flying all by itself. But, when flying together with Greem, clearly its strength was insufficient.

A new species of swamp demon? Of course not. Greem could sense an indistinct magical aura and a familiar smell from its body. With the help of the Chip, and by seeing its strange, yet familiar face, a certain girl appeared in Greem’s mind.

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Jack Nathaniel Mikhail

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