Chapter 330 Bloodsucking Bat Swarm
A vast forest with green trees and lush, full leaves.
An odd buzzing sound suddenly replaced the chirping of insects. It was the sound of beating wings.
A dense swarm of bats surged out of the forest like a black cloud. They surrounded the group of knights in an instant.
Black shiny fur, red eyes, white fangs, and a body as large as a wash basin. These weren't the typical bat species that resided in the woods, but a swarm of bloodsucking bats that had been mutated with evil magic.
They were unqualified to be called real vampires. At the very best, they were only blood servants and spawn created by an actual vampire.
Throwing these weak entities against the two radiant knights and three spellbreaker knights was a futile effort. It was like smashing an egg against a rock. The knights would crush them within moments. All five of the knights cast aside their rough cloak and quickly gathered together with their backs against each other. They were nervous, almost as if they were afraid of something.
A tall figure wrapped in a bright red dress stood on a thick branch in the distance. She looked through the leaves at the knights. Beside her, on every single branch of the massive and ancient tree, were bloodsucking bats dangling upside down.
Compared to the bat swarm currently engaged in the fight, the one hundred bats here were Bloody Sorceress Mary's elite guards. Each of them was as large as a calf in their bat forms. They had grey fur, a small head, and a humanoid face.
They hung from the branches and looked around the woods vigilantly. They occasionally released high-frequency sound waves from their mouths and maintained close communication with the scouts in the distance.
Eight more humanoid vampires surrounded Mary. Every one of them dressed as knights. They were the trump card that allowed Mary to fearlessly hunt down her enemies– her Blood Knights.
There were a total of eight Blood Knights.
Three of them were Second Grade, and the other five were First Grade.
Their previous incarnations were the radiant knights and spellbreaker knights that used to rule this plane.
However, through Mary's Embrace and the use of magic, their souls had fallen under her manipulation. They had lost sight of their true natures and personalities, turning into first-generation vampires that obeyed Mary's every whim. This process had also caused their intelligence to be severely affected. They had forgotten most of their battle techniques due to this.
That was why a Second Grade Blood Knight could only exhibit prowess equal to a First Grade elite adept, despite possessing a resilient body and powerful regenerative ability. It was undoubtedly a regret that Mary harbored!
The other First Grade Blood Knights were also only adept-level vampires.
The first bats to attack were like wolves circling their prey. They screeched as they wove in between the trees. Six hundred bats gathered in a space no larger than a hundred meters. They blotted out all light with their bodies alone.
More mysterious was how the sheer number of bats managed to avoid colliding with one another despite their quantity. One had to be impressed by their expertise at flying!
Six months of being refugees had severely weakened this group of witcher knights. Without the support of a kingdom, they no longer had magic colts to ride, magical crystals to supply them with energy, food to fill their bellies, clothes to keep them warm, or beds to let them rest. All of this had caused their combat strength to deteriorate tremendously.
With no colts available to them, they had to traverse mountains and rivers with their own feet. With no magical crystals, their runic swords became fire pokers, no longer able to emit blazing elementium flame. They had to draw upon their internal energy reserves if they wanted to fire mid-range energy blades.
It was a strain on their stamina!
Even so, the Knights held onto the runic swords in their hands. Blinding radiance came from within their bodies. Their power was still as ferocious and violent as before!
One energy blade after another fired at the bats. The attacks ravaged everything in their paths.
Tall trees, thick branches, and even the black leathery bodies of the bloodsucking bats were split into two by the blades before exploding into bits of blood and flesh.
The five-man team was composed of veterans. The group quickly moved through the woods as they opened a path with their energy blades. It seemed as if they wanted to stake their lives on escaping their current surroundings.
The swarm of bats couldn't seem to do anything about it either.
After all, they were unarmored, or at best, lightly armored after they transformed into bats. Trying to endure the energy blades that dealt thirty to fifty points of damage with their frail bodies was impossible.
They could only screech and use their numbers to harass and slow down the enemies' movements.
The bats that made it close to the knights died a terrible death.
The runic swords forged of special steel danced in the hands of the knights. The blades flashed like lightning. Five longswords formed a circle of blades, culling all bats before they could come close.
Mary was utterly apathetic to the slaughter happening to her subordinates.
Only the Blood Knights and low-grade vampires beside her were worthy of her concern. She didn't feel pain at the death of these blood servants and vampire spawn. She just needed to find a human city for a blood offering banquet and the numbers of these servants would be replenished.
These guys were sacrificial pawns in the first place. There was no need to worry about the worth of their lives!
That said, it was still hard to replenish their numbers while they were in this rural forest. That was why Mary didn't intend to let too many of them die.
She waved her hand slightly, and half of the one hundred low-grade vampires lunged forth, beating their wings as they joined the swarm of bats.
"Careful, the vampires are here!" The leader of the knights reminded his companions.
Countless numbers of their allies had fallen to the fangs of these vampires over the course of the last six months. They had either ran out of stamina or had been careless in their defense.
The vampires did not have exceptional offensive or defensive abilities, but they were excellent at combat.
They mingled with the ordinary bats, and they only pounced when an opportunity presented itself. By the time they reached their target, they would already have transformed into their human forms. They wouldn't even dodge the knight's attacks. Instead, they would grab on to the knight, tearing and biting away at all exposed flesh and trading wound for wound.
There was no way to defend against such fearless attacks!
The knights might have been able to deflect the vampires if it were only one or two of them that attacked them each time. However, even a spellbreaker knight would fall prey when it was a group of vampires that were attacking him.
With the addition of the vampires, the five knights' battle quickly turned into an arduous one.
The radiant knights had far better Physique and Strength compared to the vampires. Killing them was as easy as slicing vegetables. Thus, the vampires commanded the bat swarm to delay the radiant knights. Meanwhile, all the monsters quickly gathered up and assaulted the protective circle of the spellbreaker knights.
A spellbreaker knight, engaged in violent and bloody combat, was too preoccupied with hacking at a vampire that had flown past him. He failed to notice the bush beneath his feet.
He stumbled two steps and suddenly found himself outside the defensive formation.
The accident caused him to panic. He waved his sword about and tried to rush back to his companion's side before he even managed to balance himself.
But it was too late!
Countless bats surged into the midst of the knights from the gap that had just opened in their formation. They used their strength in numbers and forcefully threw the knights into chaos.
A swarm of vampires descended from the skies as they were distracted. They assaulted the stray knight with their bodies.
Blood splashed everywhere, and limbs scattered in every direction!
The stray knight slowly pushed further and further away in this storm of blood and flesh. He quickly disappeared from sight.
Consecutive energy blades blasted into the sky. The bats swarming the knights were instantly sliced to bits. Blood filled the air and stained the knights crimson.
They didn't even have time to suppress the agitated energy within their bodies. A new batch of bats sped forth from every direction, once again pinning them to the spot.
The knights could vaguely hear the battle cries of their stray companion through the horde of bats. However, the sounds soon stopped following a sorrowful cry. Only a sickening sucking sound remained.
"No, leader, we must save Stophe!" Locard, the man with the axe, was already panting in exhaustion, his muscles covered in sweat.
"Save? Can't you see he's already dead?" Sim roared as he continued to hack and slash.
This team had already suffered casualties. If they continued to stay here for a dead man, none of them would live to see another day. That was why he was so annoyed by Locard's brainless suggestion.
"I don't care, and I will not abandon any of my brothers… " Locard's eyes had already turned bloodshot from all the killing. He yelled in anger and turned towards the distance, waving his axe and cutting his way towards his companion.
Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!
As expected, the knight leader had already made his decision before Sim could even curse.
"You bring Sim and leave first. I will return with Locard. We will meet at the agreed location."
The leader's body enveloped in light the very next second. The runic energies came from within his body and formed an armor of light. It gave him more power and a savage strength.
When the blinding curtain of blades fell upon the bats, their corpses dropped like rain.
"Go! Hurry! I will catch up with you soon…"
The leader yelled and charged into the woods.