Chapter 252 Only A Game
The second day.
Once again the siege began at dawn.
A sparse line of a thousand men gathered before Locker Castle. The warriors in the front held shields in one hand and raised crude, thick wooden boards over their heads with the other. They slowly advanced towards the gates of the castle. Behind them were the militia in light leather armor, carrying spears and bows.
Lord Tras' personal guards still remained within the camp and had not marched onto the battlefield. All of these guards were heavy infantry that wore thick metal armor. They carried solid oak shields and wielded heavy weapons such as flails, claymores, and morning stars.
Looking from a distance, they appeared to be a group of terrifying slaughter machines wrapped in layers of steel!
Their numbers weren't large. There were only three hundred of them.
However, just these three hundred heavy infantry had cost Lord Tras almost all of his wealth. This was an elite unit he had formed over ten years and after squeezing every last drop of wealth from his territory. Tras had used this steel war chariot to raze the lands of four barons in skirmishes that had happened in the neighboring territories. This army had allowed him to rise to prominence as a powerful lord.
That said, given the number of apprentice adepts that were stationed in Locker Castle, the elite unit was very likely to suffer heavy losses. To prevent this from happening, Viscount Tras could only send forth those armed civilians and mercenaries to wear down the strength of the apprentice adepts.
Soon, the battle erupted when the marching army reached within fifty meters of the city walls!
The arrows, dense like a swarm of locusts, poured from the sky. Many fire arrows were mixed within the barrage. Even though they had the wooden boards to block the arrows, there were still people continuously succumbing to arrows that slipped through the gaps. Sparks of flame danced on the wooden boards, quickly spreading across the dry wood.
Finally, the advancing army was attacked by the defending apprentice adepts.
Three smoking magic fireballs and two light green acid balls arced downward from above the walls, landing right in the vanguard of the advancing troops.
The suddenly exploding fireball instantly engulfed an area ten meters in circumference, quickly turning all of the warriors within into human torches. They tossed aside the weapons in their hands and frantically ran about.
Green acid mist exploded in the areas where the acid balls landed. Every single warrior that was caught in the mist started to let out agonizing and haunting cries. The exposed flesh of a human warrior who had been directly hit sizzled as it quickly melted away. In just the blink of an eye he had been reduced to a pile of charred bones.
Most of the other warriors had only been splashed with some acid on their armor and clothes. These kinds of attacks were not as lethal as fireballs, as long as they were able to amputate the body parts that were being corroded by acid.
The warriors in the vanguard started to hesitate in the face of these horrifying spells. Even the speed at which they were advancing slowed considerably.
Behind the formation, the commander of the barrier troops started to shout at the soldiers.
Under his urging, the warriors let out a yell and pressed on with their crude defensive tools.
The sieging army hadn't taken another twenty steps before the second wave of spells fell upon them.
However, at the same time the wave of attacks blasted at the soldiers, five blazing fireballs rose from the advancing army and shot towards the city walls.
Spells had been cast form the enemy ranks!
Above the walls.
A Sarubo advanced-apprentice had just tossed a magic fireball, yet already he saw five intimidating fireballs rapidly closing in on him.
"Quick, cover me!"
The advanced apprentice rapidly retreated backwards while casting all his defensive spells on himself. Around him, five or six castle guards quickly covered the apprentice adept behind them with their large shields.
Dong. Dong. Dong…
The five fireballs exploded almost simultaneously, and their might was undeniable. The serious damage formed by the stacked attack was not something that could be stopped by mere metal shields.
A violent and ferocious ring of fire exploded on the walls, instantly ripping everything within ten meters to shreds before reducing them to ashes.
The seven guards that had covered the advanced apprentice died instantly. Even their bodies had been blown into several pieces and completely disfigured. Only the advanced apprentice had managed to escape from the area covered by the fireballs, his face full of soot and smoke.
This fortunate apprentice quickly hid in the crowd while taking out blood stopper ointments and healing potions to treat himself.
Bastards! Those Mikayne apprentices were playing dirty!
The Sarubo apprentices were immediately enraged. With no regard for their Spirits, magic fireballs were relentlessly thrown towards the areas that the enemy apprentices were hiding at. The opponent didn't let up either. They erected colourful defensive barriers around themselves and counter-attacked as they moved around dodging the enemy spells.
For a moment exploding fireballs were everywhere, both below and above the castle walls!
Greem stood silently in an opulent bedroom on the third floor of the castle. He had pushed aside the curtains and was gazing at the battlefield in the distance. He couldn't help but frown.
This was unexpected!
Not unexpectedly strong, but unexpectedly weak!
Having experienced the brutality and terror of a plane war, Greem couldn't help but feel the intensity of battle and the spells in the World of Adepts were far less cruel and bloody when compared to a plane war.
More significantly, the actual difference was reflected in the deathly determination and wills of the combatants!
On a planar battlefield, there was no escape except for death. Someone had to die. Once a battle was lost, not only did the soldier have to lose his life, even the land they lived in became a lesser plane that submitted to all the wills and whims of the conquering plane. It was because of this that plane natives were often extremely courageous and valiant in battle. They wouldn't stop until they died.
In comparison, the battlefield before him was so loose and feeble that it felt like the actors involved were playing house.
The soldiers on each side must have known that they were not the main characters on the battlefield. Thus each and every one of them was acting excessively conservative and defensive. There were almost a 1500 men in total above and below the city walls, yet the most intense battle and most casualties were only because of those ten apprentice adepts.
Ever since the start of the battle, more than half of the hundred casualties were victims of the adepts traded blows. The actual deaths from the soldiers’ bows took up less than thirty percent of total deaths.
"What a boring game!" Greem let go of the curtain and mumbled in dissatisfaction.
He returned to a wooden table and continued toying with the Second Grade Molten Giant’s crystal core. Meanwhile, the chip in his mind was processing large amounts of data at a high speed.
The runic knowledge he had gained from the Runeforge drafting room was certainly complete and detailed. Greem was finally able to further explore the deeper secrets of merging energies with this knowledge.
Of course, these runes were knowledge from another plane. More research and investigation was needed to transplant and shift them to the World of Adepts for practical use. Thus, Greem had been continuously calculating and deducing the formation of these runes ever since he came back to the World of Adepts.
After excluding the one hundred and twenty-two basic runes, and twenty-three variations of runes that already existed in the World of Adepts, only twenty-eight out of the one hundred and seventy-three runes obtained from the knights' plane were completely new runes that had never before appeared in the World of Adepts. Thus, if Greem wanted to use the runic knowledge he had obtained in the World of Adepts, there was only one thing he could do. He had to slowly discover and find out the possible variations and functions of these twenty-eight runes in this world.
For the past few days, all he had been thinking about were all of these strange runes. With the high-speed operation of his chip, new rune variations of those runes were produced for use in the World of Adepts. Greem had to then test and use these runes on several levels and aspects to determine whether the types of runes he had created could replace those otherworldly runes.
This was undoubtedly a process that took up a massive amount of time!
Greem had already met once with the goblin Snorlax since his return.
He passed over most of the useless resources for Snorlax to trade away, and collected the elementium cores that Snorlax had gathered in the meantime. Only fifty-six of the ninety-eight elementium cores gathered were suitable for modification into golems. Thirty Four of these were pseudo-adept level, while twenty-one of them could make advanced-apprentice-level golems. What was most exciting for Greem was the existence of an adept-level poison core within the pile of crystal cores.
Greem's golem army had been completely exhausted in the other world’s battlefield. He desperately needed to replenish his arsenal. Currently he had no other useable golems with him, apart from the Fire Lord. This weakened his combat strength by more than thirty percent.
Yet at the same time, the clan’s crisi had sent him running around everywhere. He just hadn’t had the time to rebuild his golem army. This was very much a cause of annoyance for Greem.
Before he left, Greem had used his newly gained status to exchange for an adept-level meditation technique from the Feidnan adept tower. Just this exchange alone had cost him twenty thousand magic crystals and seven clan contribution points. It was easy to imagine how expensive his was. After that brutal fight of life and death in the other plane, Greem had only received a hundred thousand magic crystals and twenty contribution points!
That said, given the effect of his meditations, this price was well worth it.
His previously unbudging Spirit had finally started to change. This was undoubtedly a great motivator for Greem. As long as he persisted in his meditations, there was a chance of raising his Spirit to 20 points!
And raising Spirit to 20 points was one of the fundamental conditions for advancing to Second Grade.
According to the chip's estimates, if Greem wanted to raise his Spirit from the current 6.3 to 20, with no external help besides daily meditations, the shortest amount of time he would need would still be a hundred and seventy-one years. Moreover, this was after the chip had finished optimizing modifications to the meditation technique.
Those ordinary adepts who had neither knowledge or resources would be occupied with collecting these things, even while they engaged in their meditations and research. If they wanted to rely on meditation to reach the 20 point Spirit limit, it would take them at least three hundred years.
For example, Adept Anderson had already advanced to First Grade for almost three hundred years. Yet his Spirit was only at a measly 9 points. That was a massive distance from 20 points. Perhaps this was the main reason he had chosen to take such a huge risk to try and advance using the blood ceremony!
If Anderson hadn't attempted this, with what little powers he had he would most likely have been one of the first to die in the plane war!
Just as Greem was drawing and repeatedly outlining strange green runes in the air, the sound of light footsteps rang out from outside his room. A maid's voice was promptly heard.
"Sir Greem, Sir Adept Keoghan asks you for a meeting!"
"Is the battle about to start?"
"Indeed! Sir Keoghan wants to you to be prepared!"
Greem waved away this newly constructed and unstable rune and assessed the equipment he was wearing. Once he was sure he was done preparing, he opened the door and strode outwards.