Chapter 354 The Essence of the Adepts
The witch that Alice wanted to visit lived in the northeast.
It was right on the border between the territories of the Witches of Deceit and the Death Witches. Neither Greem nor Alice had any idea which side the person they were visiting belonged.
It would be pleasant if the witch belonged to the Death Witches, but if she was a Witch of Deceit, then Greem had no choice but to start formulating an escape plan.
That said, this was Alice's suggestion. Her intuition from fate wouldn't lead her to her death. As such, Greem chose to treat it as if they were visiting a Death Witch.
The two rested beneath a tree for a moment and dealt with the spoils of war from the earlier fight.
Bill had reverted from his panther form into his human form after death, turning into a headless male adept. It was thanks to Alice's reminder that Greem found a storage ring on Bill's right pinky toe.
Even Greem couldn't help but smile when he saw the rewards within the ring.
There was a magic crystal card worth five thousand magical crystals, and another card worth one thousand three hundred crystals.
Four or five books and notes on magic. Most of the content was related to the dissection, removal, and transplantation of magical organs.
One fire-dragon herb estimated to be worth two hundred magical crystals.
A ghost talisman that dispelled debuffs once a day. Bill had probably prepared this as a precaution against Doris' spiritual attacks.
A low-level sealing stone. It could forcefully banish a summoned being from the planar dimension if thrown at the target. Amanda had used this to deal with the Tyrant in the battle earlier. While a sealing stone of this level could only banish the Tyrant for no more than three minutes, it was still a handy tool against the 'unarmed' Alice.
Four or five jars the size of human heads, filled with a strange liquid. All sorts of shriveled and discolored human organs were preserved within. The chip's analysis indicated that these were most likely to be Bill's original organs that he had taken out of his body.
The rest of the items were bits and pieces of spell materials and daily necessities. They weren't worth much. It meant that not even a total of ten thousand crystals could be found even after scouring Bill's body. He was truly poor, despite being a strong adept that could rival veteran adepts.
However, Greem went utterly speechless when he received further information from the chip.
"Beep. One high-energy magic-infused heart has been discovered. Suspected to have been extracted from a Frostsaber Panther (Peak of First Grade). Estimated basic price is 2,600 magical crystals. Note: This magic-infused heart has already been transplanted once. Energy loss of 23% has been detected. The cost is estimated to fall by one-third if transplanted again.
"Beep. Discovered one high-energy magic-infused gastric pouch. Suspected to have been extracted from a Devourer (First Grade). Estimated basic price is 1,400 magical crystals.
"Beep. Discovered one high-energy magic-infused poison gland. Suspected to have been extracted from a wyvern (First Grade). Estimated basic price is 1,100 magical crystals.
"Beep. Discovered one high-energy magic-infused liver. Suspected to have been extracted from an Earth Mauler (First Grade). Estimated basic price is one thousand and seven hundred magical crystals……"
"Beep. As the host has died, all magical organs are estimated to start deteriorating within three hours. This process cannot be reversed. It is recommended that the host extracts the organs and preserves them as soon as possible to maximize potential profit."
Several notifications rang out in Greem's mind consecutively. He couldn't help but frown.
If this were a magical creature in front of him, he would have dissected it into pieces without any hesitation. After all, he was one of those adepts who only thought in rational and practical terms. But now.
The corner of Greem's mouth twitched when he saw Bill's pale corpse. In the end, he shook his head and gave up on the idea.
Adepts were adepts after all. They were not creatures for Greem to butcher. Even though he had killed him due to the difference in their standpoints, he didn't have it in him to butcher the corpse as he would a wild beast.
That said, while mutilating the corpse was impossible for Greem, it wasn't all that objectionable to examine the technique used in the transplantation of the magical organs.
Greem immediately started scanning Bill's entire body with the chip.
This time, without any external energy fields to interrupt him, Greem was able to complete his scan without a hitch. The entire process had yielded extremely detailed results. Almost every secret kept in this corpse was laid bare before him in his mind.
Honestly, Greem utterly despised Bill's 'ideals' of indiscriminate acceptance.
According to the chip's scans, Bill's original talents were for wind elementium. However, the magical heart he had transplanted came from the Frostsaber Panther, a creature of ice attribute. This organ barely complemented his innate wind talent. Even worse still, the gastric pouch he had transplanted had originated from the Devourer, a creature with only earth for its attribute. Earth had absolutely nothing to do with wind elementium.
The wyvern's poison gland and the Earth Mauler's liver also clearly went against his innate talents. A patchwork body fitted together like this couldn't possibly produce any outstanding effects. In fact, just the neutralization of all the clashing attributes would take up large amounts of his time and efforts.
Energy loss and organs weakening became unavoidable!
It was only now that Greem understood why Bill kept so many organ reconciling agents in his storage tool. This fellow had never solved the issue of the tension between his organs. Instead, he had been forcefully maintaining his condition through the use of potions.
Bloody hell! The path of bloodline modification was a harsh path to tread upon, just as he had expected! A slight mishap and you could turn yourself into a monster that was neither human nor beast!
A large cluster of elementium flames ignited in his palm once he completed the inspection. He pressed it onto Bill's headless body. The fire grew in size and ferocity in the very next instant, immediately swallowing and devouring the body in a blaze of heat and smoke!
"Whoa, what are you doing? Don't you find that a massive waste?" Alice couldn't help but speak, "This body is still worth a lot. There are so many good things inside."
"Alice," Greem shook his head at her, "Remember, adepts are adepts, not magical creatures. Skinning them, devouring their bones, and drinking their blood might make us stronger. But can we still call ourselves adepts if we did that? Then what difference is there between the wise adepts and the mindless beasts that only know how to slaughter and feast to empower themselves?"
"There wasn't a difference in the first place!" Alice pouted and said, "Isn't the ultimate goal of those bloodline adepts to turn into true and powerful magical beasts? To match their minds, behaviors, and their habits with those ancient monsters?!"
Greem threw the question back at her, "Then according to what you just said, what is a bloodline adept once they walk their path to completion. Will it be a powerful adept that stands before us or a powerful magical creature?"
"Of course it has to be a magical creature!"
"Then what is the meaning behind our pursuit and continuation of the legacy of adepts? If all the powerful adepts turned into magical beasts, what is the source of all adepts? Did we come from humanity, or from magical creatures?"
Alice tilted her head as she thought. She fell into complete silence.
All the adepts she had come into contact with throughout her life had been individuals that put their personal benefit first as the utmost priority. The witches were slightly better. Their willingness to cooperate was far greater than the adepts of other clans and organizations.
But even the witches behaved more like wolves with assignments and duties of their own within an organized pack. Cooperation's only purpose was to form a stronger power to obtain even more resources.
If we were to get into it, bloodline adepts honestly didn't seem to be the essence of adepts. Instead, it was the elementium adepts who could claim that title.
Of the three existing Ninth Grade adepts, one was the founder of the Northern Witches. Salem, who bears the crown of Witch Queen, Monarch of the Witches and leader of the Ancient Witches. The other was Ignaz, first President of the Adept's Association, who had mastered the Laws of Earth. And the last was an esoteric adept; Saint Patrick, known as the 'Creator,' and as the founder of the Silver Union.
One could discern something about the true path of adepts from observing the most powerful of them. One was an ancient witch that possessed a legacy of her own. One was a principle adept. One was an esoteric adept. Only the bloodline adepts and the body-refining adepts were missing. That meant that these two types of adepts would never be able to become mainstream in the World of Adepts. They could only exist in various forms and structures within the clans and organizations of the adepts, never to become a dominating force of their own.
The bloodline adepts possessed their unique bloodline legacy. This power saved them from the pain of accumulating knowledge at the mid and low adept levels, as compared to the agony their peers had to endure. The bloodline adepts also possessed advantages far superior to adepts of the same Grade. This advantage was why they were very well-regarded by large organizations and clans.
However, the bloodline limits imposed upon them became apparent when they reached the higher Grades. The bloodline that had helped them and drove them to success was now a pair of shackles that bound their hands and feet. The upper limit of the source of their bloodline was a cage that trapped them!
If they couldn't shatter the prison, they would no longer be able to improve and become stronger. However, if those adepts did overcome the limits of their bloodlines, they would have lost what they had always relied upon.
The golden period where they could become stronger without even doing anything had passed entirely. Trying to get these people that had been spoiled by their bloodline to once again find a path forward was no easier than asking the blind for directions. It was why there had yet to be an adept who had advanced to Ninth Grade by relying on his bloodline!
It was the same for the body-refining adepts!
They might not have had upper limits to their Grade and their powers. However, their starting point and the potential of the human body was just way too low. It didn't matter how much they trained or refined their bodies. It was just simply too difficult to improve their physical attributes to the level of the Scourge Lords and the Titans!
Consequently, the best and orthodox path forward for human adepts was the path of elementium. This path was the essence of an adept's future development!
The bodies of human adepts were far too weak. The only thing they could rely on during their journey to the peak of the universe was the accumulation of generations of knowledge.
The first adepts might have been extremely weak, but the hundredth generation of adepts were beings that were capable of obtaining the dominant position in their plane. The two-hundredth generation was a generation that was capable of causing the multiverse to tremble at their name.
All of this had everything to do with the long and lasting legacy of knowledge!
Human adepts were a group of individuals with minds, wisdom, and knowledge. They were not wild beasts that only knew slaughter and consumption!
Thus, human adepts were defined as communal beings. In fact, they had to be collective beings! How else were they supposed to compete with those dominant species and races that had ruled the multiverse for eons!?