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There was a cave that used to be dark and damp.
However, after some simple modifications, Greem turned it into a simple, yet comfortable, underground home.
Since leaving Hakans, Greem had found a safe place nearby. He then had the stone serpent dig thirty meters downward before excavating a crude fifty-meter-square cave.
The humidity underground was no problem. A simple barrier of heat turned the damp dirt into hardened earth. Greem then placed an illumination stone in the ceiling and imbued it with magical energy, making the cave bright.
He released the elementium magical machine as a lookout before making a bed of stone in a corner of the cave and lying down to sleep.
It had been twenty-seven days since he broke into the Henvic Plane. Greem had not had any proper sleep over the past month due to the constant harassment of that annoying Blade Princess. Even deep meditations were rare. Though he was a Third Grade adept and his body was as tough as most magical creatures, spiritual exhaustion was still unavoidable.
The constant running and fighting, the spiritual backlash from having his fire clone destroyed, and the energy he had exhausted in the battle of Hakans; all of these factors added together had worn Greem down. He immediately laid down on the bed once the safe house was completed and fell into a deep, deep sleep.
Indeed, sleep was the best way to relieve exhaustion and mental pressure for humans!
After a long, sweet rest where all his mental fatigue faded away, Greem finally woke up. He sat up in confusion, yawned, stretched, and shook his head before finally coming to.
“Chip, how long have I been sleeping for?”
[40 hours, 37 minutes, 52 seconds.]
“Er…that was long!” Greem rubbed his starving stomach and said with a bitter smile, “No wonder I’m so hungry.”
In truth, the Physique of a Third Grade adept should allow him to not feel starvation after a month of going without food. The only reason Greem felt hunger was due to the excessive exhaustion of his energy.
The Flame Fiend’s Heart that he had modified and transplanted into himself when he was First Grade was a Second Grade magical organ at the very best. The energy output and power enhancement it brought to Greem while he was weak was undoubtedly immense. In fact, Greem’s ability to transform into a Flame Fiend only manifested through the Flame Fiend’s Heart by guiding out the demonic aura within it.
Now that he had advanced to Third Grade, the fire spells that he used and cast were easily four to five hundred points in power. The Second Grade Flame Fiend’s Heart could no longer sustain such energy levels. The power enhancement of the Flame Fiend’s Transformation was also much less significant than before.
Against a Third Grade enemy, the Transformation that had helped him prevail against so many opponents had become an awkwardly useless magical ability. It was not as flexible as the Body of Flames, nor as agile.
It was precisely the ‘incapability’ of the Flame Fiend’s Heart that caused Greem’s combat prowess to be lacking. He was no longer capable of dominating the entire battlefield with an overwhelming presence as he always had before.
If he didn’t need to fight, his body’s need for fire energy would remain low, and the energy output of the Flame Fiend’s Heart was still somewhat sufficient. However, in an intense fight, the fire energy from the Flame Fiend’s Heart became lacking, requiring Greem to exhaust much of his Spirit to absorb and gather the wandering magical energy in the air.
It was the main reason why Greem’s fire energy reserves had plummeted so quickly!
Where did energy come from? Naturally, it came from high-energy food!
That was why, much like Blade Princess Katherine, Greem chose to feast as a means to replenish his energy.
However, while Katherine only got so much from some First Grade Earth Maulers, Greem took out Third Grade fire dragon meat from his pouch. He roasted it in a simple fashion and immediately started feasting.
The energy difference between the two was incomparable!
After devouring five kilograms of fire dragon meat and feeling the warm sensation in his stomach, Greem let out a belch of satisfaction. His mind was now as clear as it had ever been.
After some proper sleep and a decent meal, it was time to inspect his rewards from the fight at Hakans.
The Fourth Grade Sodden’s Holy Ring was undoubtedly a high-grade magical item that was far beyond Greem’s power level. With the ring, Greem possessed the overwhelming ability to crush other ordinary Third Grades, despite only being a beginner Third Grade adept himself.
To avoid exposing its power too early, Greem cast Concealment on it to make it less ostentatious.
After playing with the holy ring for the better part of the day, Greem finally placed it back onto his right little finger and turned to examine the other items.
The next second, the Spirit of Pestilence that had merged with his soul climbed out of the air. It then ran around in front of him like a delicate doll.
Greem wasn’t the only one that had profited from the battle of Hakans. The Spirit of Pestilence had also advanced to Third Grade. Moreover, this advancement had allowed its state of existence to undergo some strange changes.
At First Grade, this Soul Equipment had existed entirely in the form of a magical tome.
At Second Grade, it transformed into a wooden doll whose body was carved full of strange runes.
Now, at Third Grade, it had become increasingly closer to an actual lifeform. At the very least, the Spirit now looked just like a strange boy with dark green skin and ghostly green eyes. It stood one meter tall, naked, and without a sexual organ between its legs.
Its every action appeared somewhat dull and slow, without the grace of an actual lifeform. However, when ‘he’ started running around Greem gleefully, Greem had a fleeting, wrong impression that he had a ‘son.’
“Master, I want a name, too.”
While Greem was smiling and thinking about the situation, a childish voice rang in his ear. The Spirit’s request couldn’t help but strike him with a strong impression.
“Name? Why do you want a name?” Greem asked with a smile on his face.
“Because Master has a name, Alice has a name, and Mary also has a name. That’s why…I want a name too!” It was obvious that this was the first time that the Spirit of Pestilence had initiated interaction with another individual. It stuttered a little at first, but its speech quickly became fluent and natural.
Greem noticed something. The Spirit of Pestilence had a mental connection with himself, and they could understand each other’s thoughts in an instant. There was no need for it to use speech– this ‘clumsy’ and ‘ancient’ means of communication.
Yet, it had still insisted on communicating in this fashion. Moreover, it was using Zambezian, the language of the Zambez Empire. The Spirit of Pestilence had access to Greem’s massive knowledge reserves through the fact that it was assimilated with Greem’s soul.
Though its own talents and attributes restricted it from casting fire spells, the magical knowledge organized and assembled by the Chip was shared with the Spirit.
Greem let out a long sigh.
After putting in so much effort and exhausting such a tremendous amount of resources, he had finally raised the level of this soul-bound entity to Third Grade. From now on, it would no longer be an awkwardly unhelpful existence, but a powerful Third Grade assistant that could genuinely aid him.
However, wasn’t one meter a little too short? Also, what other abilities did it have?
Seemingly picking up on Greem’s questions, the Spirit of Pestilence opened up its mind and revealed its secrets to Greem.
[Target Creature: Spirit of Pestilence (Temporary Name)
Target Species: Magical Contracted Spirit
Target Grade: Third Grade
Target Bodily Attributes: Strength 3 | Physique 8 | Agility 5 | Spirit 31
Target Magical Attribute: Poison
Target Innate Abilities: Poison Halo, Plague Spores, Soul Toxin, Plague Modification
All sorts of abilities with strange names and effects filled the list of skills projected by the Chip. These were the basic abilities that the Spirit of Pestilence now possessed. They would continue to increase in power as it grew stronger.
Greem looked at the Spirit’s attributes and couldn’t help but fall into thought.
It was evident that the Spirit of Pestilence was a unique contracted creature that could only unleash its real strength while under the protection of someone else. Its Strength, Physique, and Agility were on the lower side and were barely comparable to First Grade adepts who had just advanced.
Most of its power was concentrated on Spirit alone.
The only question now was, how did it fight? That was probably something that it would slowly figure out and correct through a long journey of combat.
“From now on, your name will be Remi!”
The green boy cheered in joy upon hearing Greem’s words. He leaped about before running over to play with the big guy (the elementium magical machine).
Meanwhile, Greem hesitated for a moment before taking out the strange soul-gathering crystal at his waist. He lifted it to his eyes.
“Chip, scan and examine the crystal!”
[Beep. Scan starting.]
As his Spirit drained away, blinding blue light shone out of Greem’s black eyes and onto the soul-gathering crystal. Thousands of sharp shrieks rang out faintly from the crystal; the noise was so loud that it made Greem’s head hurt momentarily.
Fifteen minutes later, the Chip’s scans finally came to an end as a new examination report appeared before Greem.
[Scan Target: Soul-Gathering Crystal
Target Classification: High-Level Energy Amalgamation
Target Number: A total of 175 higher energy units detected. The total energy level is at 7963 Pato. There is 1 Third Grade unit with an energy level of 4214 Pato, accounting for 51.92% of the total energy. There are 18 Second Grade units with an energy level of 2946 Pato, accounting for 36% of the total energy. There are 156 First Grade units with an energy level of 803 Pato, accounting for 12% of the total energy.
[Upon deep scan and analysis, such high-level, pure faith energy can be absorbed and assimilated to increase host’s Spirit.
[Host has to purify Spirit energy regularly after absorbing said faith energy. Otherwise, unpredictable Spirit mutations may occur. Resources required for Spirit energy purification ceremony are as follows: ……]
Greem eyes lit up upon seeing the information projected by the Chip. His interest had been piqued!
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