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Chapter 391 Forest Spirit
Magic energies existed all over the world, but they still had unique traits of their own.
The energy in different places would exist in various forms and possess different traits.
Greem wasn't quite sure how magical energy looked in other places, but here, the energy was gentle and tame.
However, even docile energies were far too dangerous for an ordinary mortal.
Greem's elementium sight allowed him to see the forest for what it was. There were still plenty of dangers and hazards hiding underneath this strange and wondrous display.
Terrifying spotted tarantulas stalked the bushes of colorful flowers, waiting to strike the unsuspecting wanderer. Green toads sat in the middle of gra.s.s bushes. Anyone who stepped on them was bound to be greeted by a ma.s.sive spray of acid. Bamboo snakes coiled around tall tree branches. Their bodies hung down from the trees as if they were harmless vines.
These hidden dangers were almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Even Greem had only realized their existence due to the unnatural concentration of magical energy in those areas. Love and the others had been able to survive in such a dangerous forest due to the experience and skills they had acc.u.mulated through the sacrifices of their companions' lives.
One by one, they lit up torches and held them in their hands. An odd smell spread throughout the woods.
It was a strange sight to behold.
All of the hidden creatures started to scurry out of the way when Love raised his torch and cut a path through the bushes.
For a moment, many critters crawled and slithered away from the nearby gra.s.s and branches.
Soon, an entirely 'clean' path appeared before the travelers.
"Repellant Powder!" Gargamel flashed his yellow teeth as he looked at Greem and tapped at a small pouch by his waist. It had the same odd smell that wafted from the torches.
Greem looked down at his waist. There was also a pouch like Gargamel's there. Love had explicitly requested that Greem wear it on the outside. He didn't expect it to have the ability to drive away small magical insects.
These pouches saved the party from plenty of unnecessary trouble!
The company continued to walk into the Black Forest.
Rhodes the Third Cla.s.s rogue, despite his seemingly weak abilities, was having an easy time here. He moved about like a fish in water.
He gave Love a simple heads up, then dove headfirst into the thick forest. Love would only start walking forward once Rhodes gave him the all clear.
All the vines and thorns were cut down to ensure that the adepts and apprentices wouldn't be affected. Even so, every step forward was still an agonizing struggle for everyone.
Their clothes would catch on thorns, branches would hit their faces, and thick roots tripped their feet. The primal forest was a torturous place for spellcasters that lacked training.
That said, adepts and apprentices were not weaklings either!
Their bodies had been nurtured with magic and potions. Their Physique was still far beyond the ordinary person, even if it wasn't all that strong. Not to mention the fact that they could enhance themselves with magic. For example, summoning some wind elementium to surround their bodies would instantly grant them agility equal to rogues. The defensive forcefields around their bodies also kept them safe from sneak attacks.
Repellant Powder wasn't omnipotent.
There were always some strange creatures that were immune to its effects. These beings were able to hide from explorers and struck when they were finally in range.
Fila the Archer put away her longbow and drew two daggers instead. She used her sharp blades to split apart any poisonous snakes and bloodsucking leeches that dared to lunge at them. Neil the Fourth Cla.s.s Hunter and the apprentice adepts were unharmed thanks to her.
Of course, the two adepts didn't need their help.
The decrepit Adept Gargamel was like a horrid source of poison himself. Any creature that came close to him instantly died of poison before melting into a puddle of acid.
Greem, who was walking at the rear of the formation, was even weirder of a sight to see.
A faint red barrier enveloped his body. It would reduce any creature that entered the field to ashes. Only a small pile of gray dust remained on the ground.
Ring of Fire!
The apprentices recognized the barrier. They couldn't help but cast gazes of envy at it.
If they had chosen to master fire spells, they might also have been able to possess this brilliant and powerful flame barrier after several years of rigorous study. While it might take a long time–sometimes as long as a dozen years–the Ring of Fire was a spell that possessed both offensive and defensive capabilities. It was well worth the effort. However, this required them to have exceptional talent with regards to their affinity for fire. Otherwise, they would have to prepare themselves to spend an eternity trying to master the secret of the Ring of Fire!
Sabrina turned back and took a look at Greem's ease in the situation. The envy in her heart was enough to drown her.
Greem had only been an intermediate apprentice back when they had gone on a mission in the Underground Cave together. Most of Sabrina's attention had been on the more eye-catching of the duo– Mary.
She had never expected this to happen in a matter of just ten years. Greem had turned into a terrifying adept that everyone had to fear and respect. Meanwhile, she was still stuck at the pseudo-adept level. Moreover, she was even involved in a conspiracy against her that might very well spell the end of her life.
The bizarre ways that things turned out were well worth lamenting!
Heavens. What was it that caused two individuals of different standings to have their fates, ident.i.ties, and social status to be completely flipped on their heads? Was it because she wasn't stubborn enough in her pursuit of magic? Or was it a joke that fate was playing on her?
The bubbling thoughts upset Sabrina, and her wounds started to ache again.
Sabrina gloomily sighed as she pulled out a black water pouch and took a drink.
It wasn't water she drank, but a pungent and viscous organ reconciling agent!
Strange mechanical constructs had already replaced most of her human organs. Without a mechanical heart to synchronize and reconcile these mechanical parts with her original biological systems, they were bound to contradict and clash with each other.
Consequently, she had to drink this 'motor oil' that acted as a regulating agent on a daily basis. It was the only way to delay the conflict befalling her body.
That was also part of the pain of being an apprentice who walked on a mechanical adept's path!
After four tiring hours of trekking, the party stopped on a small cliff fifteen kilometers deep in the Black Forest. They started preparing a camp for tonight.
It was still two hours until nightfall, but it wasn't easy to find a sheltered place like this. To avoid the awkward situation of being unable to find shelter, Love decided to stop here. He asked for permission from Greem and proceeded to set up a tent.
After all, this was the first day of the expedition. Before the team could get familiar with each other and learn how to cooperate, it was best to save some energy to deal with any unforeseen circ.u.mstances.
The diversity of animal species in the Black Forest and the hordes of magical creatures was an eye-opening experience for Greem as well! This expedition was the first time he had ventured so deep into the Black Forest.
Hopping bunnies and guinea pigs were the favorite prey of hunters outside of the Black Forest. They were easy targets. However, here, it was almost as if a Berserking Spell had been cast upon these harmless creatures. They had dug out of holes in the ground and recklessly charged at the party.
Greem had personally seen how frightening they could be. The 'gentle' rabbits had been able to leave distinct claw marks on Love's metal s.h.i.+eld with their every strike. The sharp fangs of the guinea pigs even left teeth marks on Love's longsword.
Greem had seen what was happening in their bodies. Their Spirits were chaotic and berserk, while a roiling mess of magical energy raged on within their bodies.
Once in a while, they even came across small critters that could release wind blades, fireb.a.l.l.s, and earth spikes. It wasn't out of the question for them to evolve and grow into magical creatures with powerful magical powers if given enough time.
Still, most of these creatures would probably die from the combustion of chaotic energies within their bodies!
It was evident that the dense and ubiquitous magical energy of the Black Forest was influencing their behavior!
The Black Forest was like an extensive magical experimentation lab. Any creature that refused or was unable to be transformed by the magical energy would die from the excessive power. Only those magical creatures that had survived the surge of magic had the right to survive in this place.
The 'Speciology' and 'Magical Creature Handbook' stored in Greem's chip was in need of severe corrections and addendums. At every moment, there were more and more unique magical creatures unknown to the world being born in the vast and boundless Black Forest. They too were also returning to the embrace of the earth through their constant struggles and fights for survival.
It was through such a process that all those sudden and unstable factors, as well as the unknown variables, were absorbed and eliminated. Only the most dominant and stable mutations could survive and become a new species as part of the Black Forest.
And the cause of this cycle was this eternally incomprehensible forest! The Black Forest!
While everyone was busy gathering firewood, setting up tents, finding water, and hunting for dinner at the base of the cliff, Gargamel dragged Greem to the top of the cliff. He then took out a magical tool that resembled a compa.s.s and silently started measuring something.
"Are you certain that the forest spirit you mentioned is nearby? We're fairly close to the edge of the Black Forest. If it did possess intelligence, it would never choose such a place for its territory!" Greem asked doubtfully.
What kind of magical creatures were these beings?
The question had just popped up in Greem's mind, and the data stored in the chip instantly flowed into his mind.
Forest spirits. Nature-attribute magical creatures that possessed intelligence. A sort of magical plant that came into existence when an ordinary magical creature's soul consciousness, upon death, blended with a tree spirit. This form of life was similar to that of the Demon Flower that Greem had met in the Underground Cave. However, one was the coincidental creation of nature, while the other was a magical creation of a wicked adept.
Still, their evil natures were the same!