A squad of witcher-knights were stationed in Blue Hillock City, since it was the closest city to the Great Greenland Forest.
Based on the information provided by Bald Eagle, this squad of witcher-knights had left their posts seven days ago. They went into the Greenland Forest after hiring some local mercenaries but had yet to return.
This meant that the witcher-knight squad was already active in the forest before the adept squad had entered this world!
Mary didn't dare delay this news. Quickly, she sent it back to the adepts' base while at the same time she informed Greem, who was catching magical creatures deep in the forest.
Greem was leading his group of golems in the extermination of a tribe of man-eating demons when he received Mary's alert.
There were a total of twenty-seven members in the man-eating demon tribe; twenty-two of them were adults, while five were children. With a height of 3 meters, a massive physique nearing five hundred pounds, and Strength that could easily reach 14 points, each and every adult male demon had power that could rival a pseudo-adept. Even the slightly weaker female demons were as powerful as advanced apprentices.
If a tribe like this was left to the natives to exterminate, it would probably require three hundred to five hundred well-equipped and expertly trained elite warriors to do so. Even if they succeeded in the extermination, at least half the group would die in the attempt!
Yet in the hands of an adept, such a task was extremely simple.
If all he wished to do was slaughter the lot of them, Greem could just summon the Fire Lord, and it would be done. But if he did that, his plan of capturing live specimens would not come to fruition!
Instead, Greem used a bottle of Weakening Drug to pollute the demons' water source. While they were weakened, Greem summoned six terrifying stone serpents and captured the entire tribe in one fell swoop.
An adult male demon possessed 16 points of Physique and 14 points of Strength. Coupled with their incredible regenerative abilities, these demons were comparable to slightly weaker Body Refining pseudo-adepts. Unfortunately for them, this Weakening Drug had been synthesized specifically for this demon tribe. Once ingested, both their Physique and Strength fell below 10 points and severely limited the demons' power.
On the other hand, a stone-serpent golem at the pseudo-adept level had 16 points of Strength and 18 points of Physique. Only when the demons had been infected did the serpents surge forward. They didn't even attack the demons; instead, they merely used their stone bodies to forcibly constrict the demons into one spot.
It was then Greem's turn. Using the Scroll of Voodoo to cast Sleep, he caused all twenty-seven demons to fall to the ground, one after another. Thick wooden bats and stone clubs tumbled from their hands, smashing holes into the ground.
After instructing the stone serpents to open their mouths and swallow the sleeping demons, Greem could finally turn his attention to the communication crystal..
Witcher-knight squad……entered seven days ago……
This information attracted Greem's attention.
Calculating the number of days, Greem figured the squad had entered the Greenland Forest before the adepts had arrived. Thus, their goal couldn't possibly be the adepts' base. The knight's mission had to be something else.
Could it possibly be that some native casters had hidden themselves in the Greenland Forest? And by doing so, did they draw the witcher-knights into the forest? It seemed far-fetched. But given the witcher-knights' purpose, Greem might just be right!
Therefore, Greem had the stone serpents send the captured man-eating demons back to base, while also summoning 10 wind critters and dispersing them into the surrounding woods to look for the witcher-knight squad's tracks.
The wind critters were low-level golems Greem created using beginner-level wind attribute crystal cores. They weren't very powerful, and looked liked clusters of swirling wind only one meter high. Their Strength, Physique and Spirit were all less than 5 points. Frankly speaking, their battle strength was completely non-existent. Their only advantage was their high agility and the ability to fly.
Honestly, this is a redundant statement- it would actually be weirder if a mini-whirlwind made from green air couldn't fly!
Greem attached a thread of his Spirit to all ten of the wind critters before letting them go. As they silently floated above the forest canopy, their light green bodies were almost invisible against the background of the blue skies. They wouldn't attract the attention of enemies.
This quality was precisely why Greem created them- to be his sentries, his eyes in the sky!
Ten wind critters meant ten different points of mental sight. Naturally, the information sent back by the critters was also extremely massive. If Greem had to rely only on his Spirit, he could probably only maintain a vague command on each critter. But with the help of the chip, Greem decided not to waste any Spirit on instructing the wind critters on their flight path. Instead, he left it all to the chip.
The chip would direct the wind critter to meticulously search and patrol above the forest, using the most optimum flight path to cover as much area as possible. Now, Greem only had to find a safe place to rest and silently wait for good news from the chip.
As expected, when night fell, the chip had good news.
The witcher-knight squad had been found!
On a mountain ridge, forty kilometers away from the adepts' base camp, three or four campfires had been lit.
Even though there were many dangerous magical beings in the forest that weren't afraid of fire- and were even sometimes actually attracted to light- the knights had trekked several dozen kilometers worth of mountain roads after an arduous battle, and needed the fire.
The mercenaries swiftly set up their tents and sat around the campfire and started to prepare a feast for dinner.
A wild boar caught on the way here was skinned, had its organs removed, and was washed in the river. The mercenaries then put a wooden stick through it and slowly roasted it over the fire. The experienced mercenaries rotated the stick while they used brushes to evenly slather the boar with spices and sauces they had prepared beforehand.
An amber-hued oil seeped from the pork. It had been roasted to a perfect golden color. The oils dripped onto the flaming coals below, sizzling and releasing a fragrant, thick aroma that filled the air.
The joy of a magnificent victory filled the entire camp.
The ones bustling about the camp were all the hired mercenaries. The thirteen witcher-knights, on the other hand, were helping each other out of their heavy armor and performing basic treatment on their wounds.
Today their squad successfully located the den of heretics, hidden deep within the Greenland Forest, and trapped all seven of the heretic spellcasters within. After an insane battle, the knights managed to capture a single spellcaster and killed the other six. Everyone in the squad had been injured, but there were no casualties as of yet- much to the knight leader's relief.
As for the four mercenaries who had died in the battle, they were beneath the consideration of the leader of the knights. Mercenaries put money before anything else, and as long as he gave them the remainder of the promised reward, they would be nothing but thankful. Not even a drop of dissatisfaction would enter their hearts.
Mercenaries had always done these kinds of dangerous jobs!
Ever since they accepted the request, they had all mentally prepared for the possibility of never returning. Now that they had completed the mission, and Sir Knight had promised them grand rewards, even the pain of losing four of their friends was quickly replaced by their excitement for the future.
Laughter was everywhere in the camp, and a boisterous atmosphere filled the place.
A scrawny silhouette, bound tightly at the hands and feet, formed a strong contrast to the celebrating knights and mercenaries. Strictly speaking, he was still a teenager who had yet to come of age! Extended periods of malnutrition made his entire body weak and skinny. His body, hidden underneath a tattered grey robe, was extremely scrawny, to the point you could see his ribs.
The skin not covered by his clothes was covered with blackish green bruises and numerous small scars. A rope was tied around his mouth, holding a rough stone that acted as a gag. This was to prevent him from casting spells in secret!
Unable to chant or use hand seals, the boy- who had just recently awakened to that strange power- was completely incapacitated. He could only slant his body and lean on the roots of the trees, glaring at each smiling face in the camp with eyes of vengeance.
These were all his enemies!
It was these people that made him run from place to place, made him homeless despite having a family, and forced him to roam about lonely forests and faraway lands where nobody lived, like a lonely phantom. If it wasn't for a kindhearted "companion" that led him to the house in the woods, he would probably have ended up being some beast's meal within Greenland Forest.
But the calm and peaceful days didn't last very long. The forest camp that the wandering spellcasters had created was destroyed by the witcher-knights who had tracked them down. And his companions...the companions he had been living with for half a year died underneath the swords and blades of the knights- just like that!
The knights were murderers, and the mercenaries were their accomplices!
A flame was lit in his heart as he looked upon their smiling faces. Anger, sorrow, vengeance.... these uncontrollable emotions slowly rose within him, and he had to grit his teeth to hold back his tears.
If I get the chance to escape, I will use the most cruel and most insane methods to kill all of them! One after another!
He screamed madly in his heart, but he knew that this was only a delusion.
His mood quickly changed, and despair engulfed his soul once more!
At this torturous moment, he opened his eyes wide. Lifting his head in surprise, he stared unflinchingly at a spot above the camp.
There was something odd there~
This……this was the unique elemental flux of Wind Elementium!
There was clearly nothing there in the dark sky above the rowdy camp. However, this teenager sensed the unique concentration of Wind Elementium there thanks to the elemental talent that he had awakened.
Natural concentration of Elementium? Impossible!
Just eight minutes ago, there was nothing odd there. There was no way Wind Elementium would concentrate at that spot for no reason!
The very next second, the teenager had to grit his teeth to avoid shouting out in surprise.
Three more unique concentrations of Wind Elementium had appeared in the sky, slowly circling there.
It seemed as if……as if they were searching for something!
Something was about to occur! Something was about to happen in the camp!
Hope burned in the teenager's eyes as he silently observed the surroundings of the camp.
Soon, he made an even greater discovery.