Chapter 254 The Battle Begins
On the battlefield.
Everybody looked on intently.
As Greem shouted and cast his spell, the sunny skies quickly turned crimson red. High above the layers of clouds, a massive and blinding meteor was crashing down, leaving a blazing trail as it plummeted.
Roiling flames, burning fires and a terrifyingly unstoppable momentum…
The meteor had yet to land, but already everyone's hearts were beating furiously. They held their breath and looked on in terror as this apocalyptic disaster quickly crashed towards the retreating army of steel.
"Idiots! He wanted to bait you into attacking him. That's the only way he has any excuse to exact vengeance on you and your men! Have them run for their lives!" Carlos furiously scolded the foolish lord. Green light flashed around him, as if he had just cast Godspeed on himself. Without even bothering to hide himself he rushed towards the battlefield.
The old adept Cochran couldn't help but shake his head as he watched the tremendous might of the falling meteor, "As expected, fire adepts are the most suited elementium adepts for the battlefield. Especially a terrifying person that has chosen fire mastery like this one. It seems your bunch of iron can-heads are not gonna come out of this unscathed!"
Having said that, Adept Cochran raised his hand and waved, summoning a green wind bat. He mounted the bat and rushed towards the battlefield as well. The strange adept, perpetually shrouded in black mist, had also turned into black smoke and was dashing towards the burning fields.
The arrogant Lord Tras was left behind, alone. His face was black and green with anger, and he ground his teeth forcefully. He didn't believe that this young adept–with a single blow–could decimate the steel army he had put so much effort into. However, the two predictions from Adept Cochran and Adept Carlos put him on edge. An ominous feeling rose in his heart.
This army of steel was the culmination of over a dozen years of hard work!
Many anti-magic materials had been mixed into the alloy when he had forged the magic-resistant armor of his army. The World of Adepts’ standard market price would have put a single set of armor at the price of at least four thousand gold coins. The elite warriors that wore those armors had also displayed powerful strength worthy of such expensive equipment.
Ordinary, intermediate, and beginner apprentice-adepts couldn't even scratch the armor with their spells. Even advanced apprentices would have to retreat when faced with the magic-resistant armor and the magic explosive arrows. None of them would dare to challenge such a threat head on.
The biggest proof of this army effectiveness came in the form of the battle earlier. An explosive fireball fired by a pseudo-adept had only managed to send two of the soldiers to their grave. Moreover, those two heavy infantry hadn't died from the spell and elementium damage. It was the shockwave and impact from the fireball that had shattered their internal organs.
It was clear how well these armors defended against magic damage!
Thus, even as the two adepts foretold their deaths, Lord Tras chose to calm down and gaze at that terrifying meteor drawing a long red trail across the sky.
Under the everyone’s gazes, the meteor finally crashed destructively into the ranks of the army.
Time seemed to have stopped for a moment. Even everyone's vision seemed to pause for s second!
This temporary pause might have been a single instant, but it felt like an eternity.
A frightening shockwave finally shattered the silence, putting all of the meteor's violence and ferocity on full display.
The ground was shaking and the sky was bleeding!
The blazing meteor left an impact crater on the ground twenty meters in radius. The massive impact had shattered the meteor as well. Fragments of stone and rock shot outwards, with tremendous force behind each and every projectile.
What came after the barrage of meteor fragments was the terrifying shockwave.
Deafening winds were like invisible blades, quickly blowing outwards in a circle. Wherever the shockwave passed through the ground would give way and debris would be sent flying. Every single thing that had once rested on the ground was instantly thrown into the distance.
And after the shockwave had passed, down came to incinerating sea of flames.
Of the three hundred men, seven or eight had been instantly erased by the impact of the meteor itself, without leaving even a trace of their corpses. When the rain of meteor fragments ravaged the area, most of the soldiers had been able endure the disaster with their sturdy shields. Only a small number of them had their heads split open by the fragments.
However the shockwave that came next was truly unstoppable.
Under the impact of the vicious and billowing airwaves, countless soldiers fell to the ground and started coughing blood after being blasted away. They couldn't endure the sudden and intense change in air pressure. Their eardrums were punctured and their internal organs were shattered.
Then, with all of them rendered helpless and weak, the sea of flames fell upon the land!
Most of the three hundred soldiers had been devoured by this terrifying sea of flames, just like that. Only the lucky ones that were at the edge of the explosion had managed to crawl away and escape the damage. Still, their bodies had already been ignited by the elementium fire. All of them screamed and cried as they burned. The only thing they could do was roll about, trying in vain to put out the ravaging flames.
The center of the battlefield had instantly been plunged into a storm of blood and gore. It was a terrifying sight to behold!
The horse whip in Viscount Tras' hand fell silently to the ground.
His gaze was unfocused and his mouth was agape. He looked at the scarred and scorched battlefield in disbelief. In his moment of shock, he had completely forgotten to send medics to save the remaining injured knights.
Two hundred men!
At least two hundred men!
That terrifying meteor had just took away at least two hundred of his most elite units, scoured far and wide.
Moreover, there were still countless human torches crying in agony at the edge of the field of fire. They ran about screaming for help, their noises gradually growing weaker and weaker before they fell to the ground, never to get up again.
"Sa… Sav… Save… them… " Tras had wanted to shout with all his strength, but his voice only came out weak and soft. He even stuttered as he gave his orders.
Tears of pain and sorrow fell from the corner of his eyes.
It was over… all over! The steel army he had invested everything into had been decimated by that adept in a single blow.
Viscount Tras' mind instantly snapped. His entire being was like a stray dog that had its spine ripped out. He could hardly even remained seated on his beloved horse.
Kill him! You must kill him!
Viscount Tras let out a manic roar within his heart. He straightened his body and looked at the mighty silhouette of the Flame Demon through his teary eyes.
A single blow had crushed nearly seventy percent of the heavy infantry’s combat forces.
Greem looked at the struggling soldiers from a distance. He didn't finish the job with another blow.
According to the rules of the Zhentarim area, no adepts were to involve themselves in worldly wars. It was only when themselves, or the clan's profit, were involved that the adepts were allowed to enter the war. Even so, they were not allowed to launch any attacks at the nobles or their subordinate forces.
Of course, idiots that actively provoked the adepts and infringed upon their honor were not included in this rule.
As such, no adept could fault Greem for returning the soldiers’ attacks with such a devastating blow. However, now that the opponents had suffered such heavy losses, he stopped. If he continued to press the issue, despite having exacted his vengeance, even the Zhentarim Association wouldn't let it slide.
Greem's three meter tall flame body stood on the spot, silently waiting for the arrival of the enemy adepts.
Two hundred meters to his left, Keoghan had just landed on the ground. He couldn't help but exclaim happily when he saw the dire state that the heavy infantry had been reduced to, "Idiots, the lot of them, set on fire. Burn them, scorch them, send the ashes back home to their mothers! That arrogant Tras is probably lying in a pool of his tears right now."
The two didn't mind fighting together. However, as adepts, both of them had different styles of combat. Greem's hundred-meter-wide Ring of Fire was indiscriminate. Even Keoghan had to burn if he walked into its radius.
As a result, the two had to keep a distance of one to two hundred meters in order to avoid interfering with each other.
The two raised their heads at the same time and stared at the three adepts that had gracefully landed three hundred meters away from them.
"Carlos… Cochran… McThran!"
Keoghan clearly kept a close account of all adepts in the neighboring clans and organizations. Just a single glance and he could recall their names. His tone became especially heavy when he swept past the strange cloud of black mist.
Meanwhile, Keoghan was already communicating with Greem in secret. He quickly gave a basic introduction of the three adepts before them.
Carlos. First Grade Curse Adept (a branch of elementium adepts). Subordinate to the Mikayne Clan (Hostile). Known to be cruel and scheming. Well-trained at all debuffing and weakening curse spells.
Cochran. First Grade Summoning Adept (a branch of esoteric adepts). Subordinate to a neutral adept organization known as 'Wheel of Time'. Well-trained at summoning otherworld creatures.
McThran. First Grade Dark Adept (a branch of elementium adepts). Subordinate to the Black Glove Association (Neutral). Personality traits remain unknown. Natural affinity with dark elementium. All of his attacks have a strong corrosive effect.
Greem couldn't help but ask once Keoghan had finished his introduction, "Are adepts not forbidden from participating in worldly conflict by the Zhentarim Association? With how brazen they have been, are they not concerned about punishment?"
"Hmph! Rules are dead things while humans are well alive!" Keoghan let out a muffled grunt, "They must have signed some sort of hiring agreement with Tras. And so, this suddenly turns into something that involves their 'personal benefits' and therefore… "
Keoghan didn't continue; Greem already understood.
It seemed all the rules of the Adept's Association were only meant to be formalities and courtesies. The existence of the rules were only to avoid large-scale adept conflict. No one cared about small skirmishes and fights.
In the end, the cause for this battle was because the neighboring forces wanted to make a quick buck by profiteering off of the Sarubo Clan’s weakness. It had nothing to do with fairness or justice. Even the excuse for war had long been forgotten!
If the Sarubo Clan wanted to protect its properties and regain its strength, it would have to display much more viciousness than its preying neighbors. Otherwise, if they waited until the higher-ups were able to come back, all that would be left waiting for them might just be broken and burned ruins.