[Black Artmix Technique lvl max Ultimate Ability: Grow]
[You are no longer satisfied with limiting your art of mixing to just buffing your allies and weakening your enemies. Under Saruman’s guidance, you began to try to create unique lifeforms with your mixing technique!]
[You can extract the essences of living creatures and turn them into potions (ie. the fox gene-mix, bear gene-mix, mantis gene-mix, etc. from before), then combine them with orc genes, plant them in soil, and use black magic to hasten their growth and make them blend with the local environment to form new creatures for you to enslave.]
[The biological blueprint for the creatures produced with ‘Grow’ is based on half-orcs. The specific ability of a creature is determined by the potion you provided (for example, if you would like to grow a mage then bury a fox gene-mix; if you would like to grow a warrior then bury a bear gene-mix; if you would like to grow an assassin then bury a mantis gene-mix….if you bury randomly then the result will also be random).]
[Each time you use the ‘Grow’ ability, you can use up to four bottles of mixes at one time. Normally, when you plant two bottles of mixes, two Grown Creatures that are modeled after ordinary Uruk-hais will hatch. When you plant four bottles of mixes, an elite Grown Creature that is modeled after elite Uruk-hais will hatch.]
[You can have at most one elite Grown Creature or two ordinary Grown Creatures. If you grow any more during this period, they will be obsolete.]
[The lifespan of a Grown Creature is seven days. You cannot bring the creature back to your original world.]
[Each time you use ‘Grow’, it will cost 33% of your maximum MP.]
Sheyan browsed through this series of explanations, and then his eyes stayed on the last reminder.
[The Black Artmix Technique lvl max you currently received is only temporary. If you fail to complete Saruman’s request, then your Black Artmix Technique lvl max will drop to lvl 6, and the Grow ability will be taken away.]
[Reminder (additional reminder due to your major rank): Saruman is still not too sure of you, so he actually held back when he taught you. Your Black Artmix Technique lvl max still has something missing. If you complete Saruman’s mission, this ability of yours should have further room for improvement.]
At this time, Reef and Franklin both walked down from above. Based on their excitement, they should have gained significant hauls too. Sheyan’s inquiry revealed that Franklin’s first enhancement was in his ‘Mirror Image’. The abilities of the copies created remained the same, but the maximum number of copies he could create was increased from 1 to 2!
Secondly, his Evocation-school spell, ‘Magic Ray’ had been enhanced and turned into ‘Cold Ray’. When it hit an enemy, it would first slow the enemy down, then it would refract to nearby enemies for up to three times. The damage would be halved for each refraction.
Reef directly displayed to Sheyan the description for his most commonly used ability, ‘Cardiac Shattering Roar’. It didn’t seem like there were any major changes, but at the end of the description, there was an additional line:
[This ability has precedence.]
It was this line that caused Reef to be on cloud nine.
Reef’s ‘Cardiac Shattering Roar’ was actually pretty insane.
An AoE attack with very decent damage, plus some very nasty negative effects. The most important thing was that the ability cost nothing to use, and the cooldown time wasn’t too long either.
The only weakness of ‘Cardiac Shattering Roar‘ was that it has no precedence, so the chance of it being resisted was high! Reef had always agonised over this matter, but there was no chance of him forgetting this ability to learn others.
Now, the ability had been strengthened. Although the precedence obtained was only the most basic one, in some difficult worlds, the odds of the ability being resisted at key moments should still be reduced by at least 50%! How could Reef not be happy?
As they further communicated, Sheyan found out that when he triggered the hidden mission with Saruman, Reef and Franklin had also received notifications because they were in the same party.
Thus, the rewards they could choose from were immediately improved again. Reef saw this reward at first glance and chose it without hesitation. Of course, if the mission failed, this exciting reward would probably be withdrawn too.
The trio was about to leave the tower of Orthanc when they saw a figure pop out and disappear in a flash not far from where they were. Although Sheyan only took a quick glance, he could clearly recognise the figure to be Lurtz in disguise.
Lurtz definitely bore ill-intentions in tailing them.
Lurtz’s appearance reminded Sheyan of Saruman’s previous action of turning hostile without any warning. He thought about it for a bit, and decided to go back to Saruman again.
Saruman was currently immersed in his study of the Elven Illusion Magic Crystal. He initially didn’t want to see Sheyan, but Sheyan repeatedly insisted, so he could only reluctantly return to the reception room with a dark expression.
“Seaman! Have you brought back Treebeard’s Golden Fruits already?”
“Not yet, my lord,” said Sheyan in a calm demeanor.
“How dare you waste my precious time!” Saruman was starting to lose his temper. Both sides knew where the other stood by now, so they showed no pretense and revealed their true nature.
Sheyan shrugged and said regrettably.
“I have just received the latest information from the other believers of the High God. It includes the details of that particular battle. Considering the generosity and kindness you have shown us, I originally wanted to tell you this information for free, but it appears that there was an error in my judgement. My lord does not seem interested in this information at all. Then let me apologise while I tremble in fear.
“Wait ,” Saruman asked suspiciously. “That particular battle? Are you talking about….”
“The battle where Elrond, the Lord of Rivendell, fell…. Please forgive my impudence, and allow me to retire,” Sheyan pressed his hand to his chest and looked deeply embarrassed.
Saruman looked deep into Sheyan’s eyes, then sat down on his chair and said in a chilling tone.
“Do not play these tricks with me. Speak! Don’t leave out a word!”
Senyan thus spoke, starting from the festival at Rivendell to the series of events afterwards. He clearly described the scheming and intrigues during the ceremony, and finally ended his story with how the Golden Tree summoned by Elrond meet with an avalanche.
Saruman immediately knew that what Sheyan told him was definitely not fabricated, because if it was, it would be impossible for each detail to correspond to one another so perfectly. He had also obtained some information before, and it reasonably matched with Sheyan’s story. He pondered for a while before saying.
“That’s all the information I have so far, but give me some time and I might just be able to get more comprehensive information from other believers of the High God. I did hear that they’ve been tracing the whereabouts of Vilya, The Ring of Air…..”
Upon hearing the words “Vilya, The Ring of Air”, Saruman was no longer able to keep himself calm. He took a deep breath, then stared at Sheyan with his eagle-like eyes and said the following words.
“What do you want?”
“I don’t want anything, my lord. I don’t really have relevant information now; otherwise I’m sure I would name a good price. The reason I wish to talk to you this time was to let you understand that if you keep us believers of the High God alive, we can do things for you that you might find inconvenient to do yourself. We can also find out a lot of private information that is not publicly known, and can also bring you a lot of rare special products….”
“But if we die, especially if we die an unnatural death in Isengard, then the only benefit to you is to save on the cost of food for Mr.Lurtz for two, three days at most. My lord, you are a smart person. I’m sure you understand this.”
Saruman stood up, his voice emotionless as he said.
“I understand. If you obtain any information about Vilya, the Ring of Air anytime, anywhere, you can come straight to me. I will definitely pay you a good price. Go!”
Not even a minute after Sheyan left, Saruman’s roar reverberated throughout the tower of Orthanc.
“I want to see that retard, Lurtz in front of me in one minute. How dare he place his personal vendetta above my interests?!”
After solving the threat that may come from Saruman and Lurtz, the trio rejoined Melody.
To tell the truth, Sheyan felt a bit uneasy with this mission of stealing the Golden Fruits of Treebeard, because they required the help of Melody. He believed that the naive Melody would not refuse him, but the relationship between the Elves and the Ents had always been very good, just like when Sindalor, the old Sacred Oak, provided help for Melody before this. To be honest, Sheyan was a bit worried that this would hurt Melody.
However, after he explained the matter, Melody did not seem to care about this. In her eyes, old Sindalor was old Sindalor while Treebeard was Treebeard. The two had no relations to each other at all.
In the end, Melody glared at Sheyan with those large, clear eyes of hers and asked a rhetorical question that left Sheyan speechless.
“You are a believer of the High God, and Mr. Reef is also a believer of the High God. Does that mean that I will fall in love with Mr. Reef because I fell in love with you?”
(Reef was also left speechless: Hey, why did you use me as an example? What’s wrong with falling in love with me….)