Chapter 274 The Winged Lions
They were Winged Lions!
Two dozen adepts were already in position under the Silver Union adept’s organization, silently waiting for the arrival of the Winged Lions.
The Silver Union used this flight path once every fifteen days. They knew very well what race and grade of magical creatures would appear at which areas. Other than situations where extremely dangerous creatures were migrating, or when the creatures of the black forest were falling into a riot, the path was a safe one.
However, there were always exceptions, especially within the black forest, where no one could estimate the danger lurking within. Unknown terrors were always lying in wait.
Powerful magical creatures would usually own a large territory of their own. They were the only kings within this territory and they would never allow other creatures with similar strength to enter their territory or hunt within it.
Higher-grade magical creatures were almost always as intelligent as actual adepts. They knew how to split their territories into an inner living area and an outer hunting area. However, there would always be contentious areas within neighboring territories.
Thus, the conflict between magical creatures often broke out within the black forest!
The reason the flying battleship decided to go through this path despite knowing it to be the territory of the Winged Lions was simple. Just fifty kilometers to the west was the territory of a large group of wyverns.
Even though these wyverns were only First Grade lower magical creatures, and were far weaker to the Winged Lions, they had strength in numbers. Over a hundred of them flew together. This, coupled with their bloodline as hybrid dragons which gave them tremendous strength, powerful bodies, and the ability of flight, meant they did not fear the Winged Lions at all.
In fact, if one were to consider every single factor, the Winged Lions were slightly weaker than the pack of wyverns!
The floating battleship gradually decelerated. Once it had slowed down to a certain speed, it started to weave in and out of the clouds, sticking to the mountain ridge as it flew forward.
Now that the ship had slowed down, the excess energy saved from powering the ship was used to strengthen the outer barrier. The thickness of the barrier increased slightly.
Winged lions were wickedly fast in the skies. Trying to get rid of them by outrunning them was a complete joke. It was much safer to stave off their attacks as the ship traveled!
Greem had been assigned to the front-middle of the ship. There was an adept standing five meters behind him, and another five meters in front of him. They stood in silence, waiting for the winged lions to attack. Their job was simple. They were to retaliate with their strongest spells when the winged lions tried to tackle the defensive barrier.
It might be tough for them to hurt the winged lions with what little power they have, but the main purpose was to exhaust the winged lions and drive them away.
Greem was still wondering why the Silver Union didn't just gather a group of powerful adepts to exterminate these winged lions. After all, they weren't all that powerful. Exterminating them would make the flight path even safer for everyone. The chip quickly provided him with an answer!
The reason they didn't choose to exterminate these winged lions was precisely for the safety of the flight path!
A forceful extermination might ensure the safety of the flight path in the short term. However, at the same time, it would also create a power vacuum in the area. The magical creatures were intelligent beings as well. The moment the powerful ruler of this area was gone, other powerful creatures would choose to move into this area.
If that happened, getting used to the attack patterns and habits of the new magical creature would bring about a whole new host of problems for the Silver Union!
Thus, after lengthy consideration, they decided to allow these powerful but non-threatening magical creatures to stay. This was the wisest and most well-informed decision the Silver Union could come up with.
After all, once the territories of the magical creatures were settled, the adepts only needed to prepare certain tricks to deal with each trouble that popped up. In doing so, they could easily pass through the area with minimal losses.
Lion roars echoed from below the ship as Greem was absorbed in thought. Five radiant silhouettes appeared before his vision.
Winged lions… so these were winged lions!
Greem looked into the distance and saw several odd beasts that closely resembled lions.
The winged lions were no different from the ordinary lions commonly seen in forests. The only difference was how much more powerful and muscular they were.
In particular, the two winged lions flying in the front, one male and one female, were as muscular and massive as a rhinoceros. A pair of wings made of shiny silver feathers extended from their ribs. The pair of strange twisted horns growing from their heads was also an extremely obvious trait.
The three First Grade winged lion cubs behind them were several sizes smaller than their parents. That said, their ferocious and savage appearance still betrayed their status as the kings of the forest.
The floating battleship had already removed the magic cloak on the outer layer. A semi-translucent barrier enveloped the ship, protecting it as it made its escape.
A brilliant silver light radiated from the bodies of the winged lions. They beat their wings and dove towards the battleship, making an elegant and perfect curve in the air. As the position they were attacking was the other side of the ship, Greem didn't start attacking them. Rather, he turned around to look at how the adept opposite him dealt with the lions.
Greem didn't know which area of Zhentarim this adept came from, but he could see that the adept was wearing green leather armor, black pants, and a machete at his waist. He was even holding a massive bow as large as himself in one hand. Right now, the gigantic bow had already been pulled into a crescent moon. Black light glowed around it. Greem could vaguely see the shape of an arrow gathering within.
This adept was clearly an experienced veteran as well. He didn't fire his magical arrow early. Rather, he was patiently waiting for the best timing to strike. An adolescent winged lion had reached the barrier. The twisted horns on its head rammed into the barrier. Blinding white light surged forth from the tips of the horns and clashed against the runes on the barrier.
The barrier started to weaken and thin out. Just a moment more and the horns would pierce through the barrier. The adept finally struck.
Ci. A sharp whistle in the air…
A black magical arrow shot out of the barrier, quick as lightning, and embedded itself into the winged lion’s protective barrier. The magical arrow exploded before the winged lion could even react. A large cloud of black mist enveloped the front half of its body. Sizzling sounds could be heard as the mist corroded away at the defensive force field.
The winged lion, caught by surprise, had been blasted away. It somersaulted in the air several times before finally expanding its wings and stabilizing itself.
The front half of its body had been stained a black color by the spell shot at it earlier. The adolescent lion let out a raging roar as a blinding white light quickly engulfed its body, expelling all the outside energies that had found their way into its body. A short moment later, the white light faded away and the winged lion was completely recovered. Even its wings, that had been corroded to a black color, had become white once again.
Light-attribute recovery spells!
Greem licked his lips. Envy was showing in his eyes.
The winged lion beat its wings and circled around the outside of the ship. Its ferocious gaze was trained on the adept that had slightly wounded it earlier. The lion let out a few angry roars and continued to fly around the battleship. It was calmly looking for the weak spots in the defensive light barrier.
Greem couldn't help but feel a strong desire burn in his heart as he looked upon these winged lions flying through the skies. He desperately wanted to leap out and catch one to serve as his own familiar. Flight, combat, and recovery? These magnificent steeds were the most suited to be the mounts of adepts!
Those odd horns on their heads, in particular, seemed to be extremely powerful. They could gather light particles and use them to attack the enemies. Or they could use the light elementium to heal and regenerate their own bodies. The effect of their magic was no less effective than that of adepts that specialized in healing magic. If he owned a winged lion like that, wouldn't it just be like always having a healer by his side? If he ever sustained combat injuries, he would no longer need to pinch his nose and swallow those strange potions with unknown contents!
Greem clearly wasn't the only one with such thoughts. Almost all of the adepts looked at these magnificent flying beasts with burning desire in their hearts. However, everyone knew very well what they were made of. They wouldn't make such unwise moves such as trying to capture a Second Grade winged lion.
The adepts had the advantageous position while they were within the battleship. Every time the winged lions wanted to dive and attack the barrier, they would fire their spells in unison and force the enemy to disengage. No one was dumb enough to charge out into the sky and start a battle of life and death with this group of winged lions!
Meanwhile, Greem was also doing his best. A winged lion cub flew past the side of the ship he was on. The chip provided Greem with the speed and flight course of both the cub and the ship, and he was able to throw out a Magma Fireball in advance. Once the winged lion cub reached the position of the fireball, Greem immediately detonated it.
A resonating boom!
The cub was completely engulfed by the explosive flames and boiling lava.
When it finally made its way out of the explosion with a tragic howl, much of its body had already been charred black. Sharp magma fragments had pierced through the defensive force field around its body and had found their way into its flesh. Blood spilled from the sky.
The winged lion cub's cry had also attracted the attention of the other winged lions.
Several beams of white light shot towards the cub, and its terrible wounds vanished in an instant. It had regained its earlier magnificence.
However, having been wounded once, the cub no longer dared to close in on the battleship so recklessly. It unfurled its wings and distanced itself from the ship. Then it started to shoot out white light from its horns, using it to assault the defensive barrier from a distance.
This white light was extremely pure light energy. It was difficult to intercept these attacks with magic. The light elementium that clashed against the defensive barrier would also explode and cause light bursts every so often, causing all of the adepts who were looking to be blinded by light.
The duration of the blinding effect wasn't very long. It only lasted three to five seconds.
However, it wasn't hard to imagine the disaster that might have occurred if there wasn't a layer of defensive barrier between the adepts and the winged lions!
As Greem battled, he gathered data on the winged lions with the help of the chip. The feedback from the chip proved a terrifying fact. If he engaged in a fair duel with one of those First Grade lion cubs, he would have no more than a thirty percent chance of victory.
Of course, this percentage was calculated without the inclusion of his golems and his Flame Fiend Transformation. This was also the meager chance of victory that most adepts had!
Greem could truly feel the strength and terror of the magical creatures that resided within the black forest.
Without the battleship's cloak, the protection of the barrier, or the aid of numerous magical tools and items, the human adepts were no more than fodder when pitted against these wild beasts!
No wonder the three adept organizations on the Continent could last this long!
If the human adepts hadn’t gathered together and united their strengths, they would probably have been overwhelmed and replaced by a tide of powerful magical creatures. Their rule over the World of Adepts would have come to an end.