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Inside the hall.
Blinding crimson light shone from the blazing fire in the giant’s chest, roasting the hall and turning it bright red.
If not for the layer of light emanating from the tens of thousands of runes carved into the hall’s walls, ceiling, and the floor that blocked the heat and light, the room would already be melting like a candle.
The traces of crimson aura that Mary and the others had seen on the outside were, in fact, emitted from this hall. Greem had tremendous trouble restraining this sudden, newfound power of his!
Gargamel felt like a beached whale in this room, breathing in the scorching air. He had to tear apart several Scrolls of Fire Resistance to feel slightly more acclimated. On the other hand, Meryl was very comfortable in this environment. She took deep breaths of the dense fire elementium. A bright halo of fire had gathered around her, and she appeared to be much more lively than before.
Mary might not like the dry and warm environment either, but her magic resistance as a Third Grade adept allowed her to endure the corrosion of the fire elementium.
“Master, master, are…are you Fourth Grade now?” As uncomfortable as he felt, Gargamel still screeched and asked this crucial question.
Mary and Meryl’s ears straightened as well.
“Mm,” Greem hesitated for a moment and said, “According to the adept’s definition of a Fourth Grade, I should indeed be considered a Fourth Grade now!”
It was a simple sentence, but its effect was like thunder in bright daylight. Gargamel and Meryl were stunned, confused, and unsure of how to respond.
Fourth Grade. The Crimson Clan finally had their own Fourth Grade!
Such a joyous event was enough to drive them mad with happiness, which is why they failed to notice the hesitation and doubt in Greem’s voice earlier.
The excessive flux in emotion caused the poison halo that Gargamel had gathered around him to become unstable. Some of the crimson aura seeped into the halo during this time, scalding his scales upon contact.
“Wonderful, this is great ne…owowowow. That’s a good burn…congratulations…ouch…” Gargamel might be beginner Second Grade now, but he still winced in pain just from being within Greem’s now incredibly enhanced Burning Domain. He couldn’t even finish speaking his congratulations.
“Gargamel, your innate elementium attribute is ill-suited for this environment. I will send the three of you out now! I will leave the logistics and internal affairs of the clan to the two of you. Try your best to obtain as many resources and territories for the clan members. I believe that at this moment, no one will dare step in your way!”
Gargamel and Meryl’s eyes instantly lit up when they heard Greem’s instructions.
The clan leader had given them the right to declare war.
There were hundreds of adept clans in Zhentarim. As long as they avoided the more difficult targets, as long as no Fourth Grades were involved, they should have an easy time taking down some of the less powerful clans.
There were almost no adept organizations in Zhentarim that could fight the Crimson Clan head-on, given the massive military force they had accumulated over the years. It was only due to Greem being at a critical moment of his advancement that the clan had no choice but to restrain the clan members and prevent them from stirring up any conflicts.
However, now that Greem had advanced to Fourth Grade, the shackles around the Crimson Clan’s neck had vanished. It was time for them to move and make some ‘proper’ acquisitions for the clan!
Greem waved his hand, and there was a flash of red light. Gargamel and Meryl were ‘banished’ from the hall by the fire elementium.
Only Mary and Greem remained. It was at this moment that Mary beat her wings and circled around the flame giant. Faced with the hundred-meter tall fire giant, Mary was like a sesame seed placed beside a watermelon. She was incomparably tiny.
Mary was a feisty girl too. She bit her lips and hesitated for a moment when she approached Greem’s waist. She got even closer out of curiosity, seemingly intent on seeing what was inside that blinding red light.
“Girl, what are you doing?”
Greem’s flustered voice suddenly rang out in the hall. An Inferno Shield suddenly appeared in front of Mary.
“Tch! What’s there to be shy about? I just want to see whether ‘that thing’ is still there now that your body’s gotten so big.” The light of curiosity flickered in Mary’s ruby-like eyes as if this was what she should be doing.
“……” Greem couldn’t help but choke up before saying, “You are already a high-grade adept. There’s no way you wouldn’t know that magnified bodies are the combination of personal consciousness projection and magical elementium. Of course…of course that thing’s there!”
Mary rolled her eyes and replied with disdain all over her face, “Projecting ‘that place’ probably exhausts more of your energy, doesn’t it!? To think you would project this thing when it’s utterly useless in combat, just for your vanity as a man. Tch! I thought you would be more rational and practical than that!”
“You…you…you…” It had been so many years since Greem had seen Mary. He had kept her here, expecting them to exchange sweet words of romance. Who would have expected her to tease and ‘humiliate’ him so? Greem’s temper couldn’t help but flare.
The fire energy radiating from the hall intensified as his mood became enflamed.
The dense fire elementium within two kilometers of Fire Cave started to gather into larger clouds of fire, and Meteor Showers begin to rain down on the land. Fireballs crashed downwards, scarring the air with their long tails of smoke and ash.
They would explode wherever they land, spilling hot flames onto the surroundings and purging everything from existence.
The ground was burning, the green was fading, and even the tough rocks were melting into liquid beneath the fire, gathering into a slow stream of lava.
For a moment, it was almost as if the entire world had been plunged into an apocalypse!
And all this had happened due to the flirting between a pair of young adepts.
Mary finally stopped fooling about in the hall. She asked Greem a question with a serious expression on her face.
“Why do I feel like you were being vague when you said you advanced to Fourth Grade earlier. Did something unexpected happen?”
“Something did happen, but the effects are not tremendous. Even if Freed and the others were to come here now, they would have to acknowledge that I am a true Fourth Grade adept.”
“What exactly happened, then? Is it not convenient for you to tell me?” Mary asked curiously.
She was advanced Third Grade now and only a step away from peak Third Grade. As such, she was particularly interested in the topic of Fourth Grade.
“I can talk about it. My Burning Domain already engulfs this place. Nothing from the outside world can detect or sense what is happening in this hall. Even the powers of Fate cannot reach us.” Having said that, Greem hesitated for a moment, “My condition right now is a little special. It’s hard to explain in just a few sentences. More specifically, my advancement this time wasn’t complete. All the origin substance was absorbed and assimilated by my Heart of Flames.
“As such, in reality, the one that advanced this time is my Heart of Flames. I, on the other hand, remain a bit short of Fourth Grade!”
“The Heart of Flames advanced?” Mary didn’t fully understand. Her confusion could be seen on her face. She beat her wings and rose to Greem’s chest to look at the heart. She couldn’t help but gasp in surprise when she felt the overwhelming yet strangely tame power coursing within the flames. “Then what is it now?”
“The Heart of Principles!” Greem seemed to have been reflecting on this question for a very, very long time. As such, he was able to answer without any hesitation.
“Heart of Principles? Then, it won’t…it won’t disobey you, will it?” Mary asked worryingly.
“Hahaha…you underestimate my power. Such a situation will never happen. It is part of me now. How could it ever go against me?!”
“That’s good. Then what are you worried about? As long as you can unleash the power of a Fourth Grade, none of the old fogeys of Zhentarim will dare to bully us! Speaking of which, when is this massive body of yours going to return to normal? I…I miss you!”
“Er…there’s a way around this!”
Greem smiled as a red laser shot out of his eyes, forming a body of fire beside Mary. By the time the flames cooled down and extinguished, a person who looked just like Greem appeared with a smile on his face.
It had been difficult for Greem to create fire clones of himself while he was at Third Grade. However, after advancing to Fourth Grade, creating a fire clone was as easy as eating beans.
Moreover, if one were to approach the clone, they would be shocked to find that this mild-mannered ‘Greem’ had the might of a beginner Third Grade.
The smile on Mary’s face turned wider, and the trace of desire in her eyes was more obvious now. She reached out and caressed Greem’s familiar face. The next second, scarlet light flickered as Greem’s body was sliced to pieces by a sharp golden dagger.
“Keep this in your mind, Greem. The only person that gets to climb onto my bed is your actual person. You send another clone to trick me…believe it or not, I will chop you along with that useless little fellow of yours!”
Having said that, Mary lifted her head and instantly vanished from the hall.
Er…alright, that’s the Mary I know!
The fire giant chuckled slightly and waved his hand to seal off the hall once more.
The violent, swarming fire once again veiled his towering body.
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