Chapter 203 Rallying Call
The continuous explosions here had naturally attracted the groups of witcher-knights’ attention.
There were, of course, spellbreaker knights and radiant knights among those groups.
Yet, when they drove their magic colts and charged onto this battlefield, the only thing they saw was a bloody ground still burning with flickering embers. The earth was full of craters and scorch marks left by the explosion of Magma Fireballs. The previously boiling lava had already solidified into dark red magma.
However, the heat had yet to completely dissipate. The entire battlefield was filled with intense heat waves that blew against the knights' faces.
The only thing left abou thirty witcher-knights were bits and pieces of broken limbs left on the edges of the battlefield. Everything else had already been consumed by the flames and magma, with nothing left to be found.
The murderer, on the other hand, had long since fled from the scene, disappearing without a trace.
The knights halted their colts, and looked upon this apocalyptic looking battlefield with their eyes wide open. The anger and frustration in their chests hurt and burned like the boiling lava on the ground.
"Send my orders out! The army is to keep close and maintain a tight formation. We cannot continue with such chaotic and scattered skirmishes! Have all the knights gather towards the central area!" A radiant knight whose hair had gone completely white, and who had a determined and resolute face, shouted loudly to his soldiers. Behind him, a large flag depicting a sword and a shield billowed high in the wind.
A long, deep-sounding horn reverberated throughout the woods.
Greem had just rounded a mountain when he saw another battlefield on a gentle, green-grassed slope. A dozen witcher-knights lay about the entire area. A short silhouette was strolling about, as if it was searching for something.
When he heard Greem's footsteps, the short form straightened its body, and a pair of dull and stiff eyes under a hood's shadow looked towards Greem.
Although the two didn't have any sort of interaction, they were on the same side of the conflict after all. When they met each other on the battlefield, both parties usually nodded at each other before passing by.
Yet at this moment, the deep and long sound of a horn reached here from across the mountains.
The two of them may not have understood the meaning conveyed by the horn, but if the witcher-knights were sounding a horn at this moment, then there was no question that they were about to shrink their formation!
"The enemy is shrinking their formation. What about it? Do you want to take a look together?" Greem turned to gaze at the direction the horn came from, and let out an invitation.
Once the enemy shrunk the formation their movements would be much slower, but their safety would be guaranteed. If the adepts wanted to continue their attacks, the likelihood that they would bump into spellbreaker knights and radiant knights would increase exponentially.
At this moment, having a companion at their side to keep the enemies' numbers in check would be a good thing!
Marionette was also a veteran adept, whose elementium affinity was the plant attribute. The only bizarre thing was how he chose to turn his entire body's flesh into wood. It was rumored that he had the unique ability to use puppet strings to control the bodies of others.
In truth, this was an extremely strange ability!
Marionette rolled his stiff and woodlike eyes as he considered Greem's suggestion, before finally nodding and agreeing.
The two didn't speak any more and turned towards the direction where the horn’s sound had came from before hurrying over.
Even though they had verbally agreed to become companions, Greem did not try to get any closer towards Marionette. Conversely, neither did Marionette. Both parties always kept a distance of at least thirty meters between the them.
This was actually an unspoken rule between adepts!
On the battlefield, any living being that dared to come within thirty meters of an adept would automatically be considered an enemy, even if it was a ‘companion’ from the same faction.
If it was an agile adept like Mary, even walking within fifty meters of any adept would cause hostility and extreme reactions from the opponent. This had nothing to do with vengeance or emotions. It was just a self-preservation instinct!
After all, thirty meters was the limit most adepts needed to react appropriately to any dangers. Any closer, and some weak elementium adepts would have to worry about being instantly killed by body refining adepts or some strange spell.
Trust? Come on, this word had never–and would never–exist amongst adepts!
An adept letting you within thirty meters of themself was already placing the greatest trust in you! Any closer? Unless you were a servant they had complete control over, or an utter weakling, they would battle before you could even say anything.
The two sprinted rapidly in the forest.
Every five seconds, Greem would vanish in a blast of elementium flames that appeared out of nowhere. The next second, he would appear in an empty space one or two hundred meters away.
On the other hand, Marionette also clearly possessed unique movement abilities. After walking forward a certain distance, he would inexplicably step into a large ancient tree. Much like a drop of water falling into a stream, there was no delay or stiffness. Then, his body would emerge from a tall tree one or two hundred meters away as well.
The entire process was natural and smooth, completely void of any elementium flux that could be detected by others. This created a strong contrast with the stiff and unnatural movements of his limbs. Anyone looking on would frown at the disparity.
Of course, with the cautiousness of adepts, they would never show their true abilities with a companion by their sides.
Greem, for example, had a fixed five second period between every Fire Teleportation he cast. But whether that was the actual cooldown was something that was not known to anyone else. If anyone tried to plot against him using this aspect of the Fire Teleportation, they would likely get a huge surprise when it came down to a fight of life and death.
Although the two were silently rushing towards the battlefield, they were also sneakily observing each other, gathering information about them. This didn't mean that they wanted to do anything to each other. It was only an instinct that resulted from the adepts' wariness.
Gathering more information constantly might save their lives one day!
Evidently, Greem was confused as to how Marionette was able to complete a close-ranged teleportation without any sound, commotion, or elementium flux. However, with the aid of the chip's powerful analysis ability, he quickly found Marionette's secret.
Greem, under the powerful elementium sight of the chip, was surprised to find that Marionette's close-ranged teleportation was not random. In every ancient tree that he walked into and out of, Greem was able to see a magic brand steeped in Marionette's personal signature.
These magic brands hidden deep in the trees functioned like location nodes, pointing out and marking a location in space, allowing Marionette to keep his coordinates and position as he teleported about.
It was no wonder that Marionette walked through the forest so naturally and casually without letting off any elementium flux. He had already planted his own elementium aura within countless trees. This was a decent idea!
Now that Greem had managed to see through the opponent's mystery, the confusion he felt earlier also vanished entirely.
Greem smiled and continued hurrying down the road.
Meanwhile, as he was secretly observing Marionette, Marionette had undoubtedly also been secretly watching his every action.
Fire Teleportation. A simple fire-attribute mobility spell, yet the actual conditions of its use were only clear to those who were familiar with it.
The strengths and weaknesses of Fire Teleportation were so obvious, which made it both a favorite and a headache of fire-attribute adepts.
Its strength was in its rapid teleportation. As long as it wasn't an area covered by an elementium barrier, one would be able to teleport anywhere within one's vision. Moreover, the delay in effect was extremely short.
Its weakness was the excessively obvious display when one teleported. The caster had to summon a large elementium flame on the spot before the teleportation could be cast. Only then would the caster's body disintegrate in the elementium flames. After teleportation, a ring of fire would explode on the location visually determined by the caster. Then the caster's body would reassemble within the burning flames.
A very simple fire spell, but it was accompanied by a large roaring flame and a blinding ring of fire. The adept’s enemies wouldn't even need to see the flames to find the adept. All they needed was to listen for the sound of exploding flames to track it.
Honestly, a large exploding ring of fire would actually be hard to miss!
Thus, the stealth factor of Fire Teleportation was far too terrible, and it was undoubtedly the most flashy among all the close-ranged teleportation spells.
For an adept, flashiness meant being exposed, and being exposed meant danger!
This was precisely what all adepts actively avoided.
What really confused Marionette was how Greem had so quickly mastered Fire Teleportation.
It was important to note that while Fire Teleportation was a simple spell, there was a very important prerequisite before one could cast it. It was the transformation of the body into elementium!
This was a necessary condition. No other means could circumvent this.
Without an elementium body, it was hard to disintegrate and reassemble your body within the elementium flames. And without disintegrating and reassembling your body, how were you supposed to accomplish the Fire Teleportation that could cross distances of over hundreds of meters?
This was why Fire Teleportation was generally an exclusive ability of flame mastery adepts.
But how long has it been since Greem had advanced to an adept? According to the information from within the family, it seemed to have been less than six months since he advanced? How did he manage to completely turn his body into elementium in such a short time? Could he have turned his body into elementium before he advanced to an adept?
Precisely because of how much he knew, Marionette’s mind was swarmed with questions, not able to find the correct answer.
However, the abilities of each adept was their most secret treasure, never to be shown to any outsiders. Thus, Marionette could only kept his questions to himself and silently hurry down the road.
The two also met some other ‘companions’ along the way. After a simple greeting, they would join the group and continue on the path.
Very soon, this small group of five adepts arrived at the target area.
This was a wide valley that was much flatter than the surrounding geography. While the trees here were equally as ancient, and the leaves just as dense, there weren't too many bushes or vines in this part of the forest. Therefore, it had become the temporary rallying spot for the knight army.
The witcher-knight squads arrived from all over the forest and gathered here. The noise of people talking and the horses whinnying could be heard from several kilometers away.
A tall, large flag bearing a sword and shield emblem billowed in the wind and was stuck to the ground in the center of this place. Seven particularly muscular and mighty knights stood below the flag. Around thirty spellbreaker knights with shining armor, and an aura of might and power, stood around the seven knights.
When the adepts and the knights locked eyes, a powerful aura surged forth from the bodies of both parties, clashing from a distance.