Chapter 364 Gruesome Battle
As the name implied, these were humanoid constructs of steel.
These steel statues were often three and a half meters tall and around 2,200 kilograms in weight.
They had humanoid forms forged from steel. The surface of their bodies was smooth and reflected the lights from above. Complex runic circuits and patterns were engraved on their metallic shells. The chest of the statues appeared to be extremely wide, a design feature to better protect the control and energy cores within their bodies.
Their attack and defense relied upon the giant tower shield in their left hand and the giant sword in their right hand. That said, these monsters were still shocking fighters with their bare fists.
Creating a statue golem was unquestionably a difficult task. The cost of the materials was expensive. The process was strict and required high precision. It took a lengthy period of time, money, and resources. Sometimes it would even take several dozen adepts and apprentices working together to create these steel statues. Moreover, the final stage of animating these golems also required the existence of a high-grade adept to awaken the constructs.
These strict conditions caused the steel statues to be expensive products that only large adept organizations could afford. An army of steel statues like this one could not come into being without the support of a massive energy pool reserve as well as plenty of money.
Today, this ragtag group of witches and apprentices would have to fight this frightening army. They were falling apart at the very thought of it!
The weak magical attacks of the apprentices were not even going to be able to pierce through the golem's thick, magic resistant shells. Moreover, their fragile bodies would not be able to endure the opponent's heavy blades, regardless of the defensive spells they cast on themselves.
This… how was a battle like this supposed to go on?!
The witches and apprentices had lost all confidence even before the fight!
However, there was no surrender or escape in this fight. The group forcefully gathered together and prepared for a cooperative battle to the death.
They could see that none of the three favored ones were amongst them. It meant that there were still reinforcements outside of this unique battlefield. Those people might not want to save them, but if they tried to stop the person behind this, they would have to interfere with her plan to slaughter all these witches.
This thought was the only thing keeping the party together!
The entire arena was two hundred meters wide and five hundred meters long. It had more than enough space for the statues and the witches. However, the wall of steel that pressed towards them greatly restricted the witches' space. They could only move around one-third of the arena's space.
Moreover, this space gradually shrank as the army of steel continued to march forward.
"Hold them back. Hold the army back. We cannot let them continue to walk forward," A witch shouted, "Everyone who knows Swamp and Quicksand, throw it at their feet now."
The chaotic and scattered group finally organized when someone took command.
Intense elementium flux radiated in the air. One after another, the spells and halos landed in front of the steel statues.
The ground of the arena was rough and hard black dirt. That said, it wasn't enhanced with any magical protection. The first wave of attacks from the witches immediately took effect. The black soil spontaneously turned into soft quicksand and dirty swamps filled with mud and acid.
The first row of steel statues was still attempting to walk forward, but their thick metal legs had stuck into the swamps. In fact, their weight also forced them to sink deeper and deeper into the ground.
However, the statues appeared to be controlled by someone.
The second row of statues stopped at the edge of the swamps and quicksand. They sheathed their metal swords and took out short metal spears from their backs.
"Prepare to dodge."
"Be careful of their thrown spears."
The witches began shouting when they saw what was coming.
Their voices were overwhelmed by the ear-piercing whistle of the spears as they sailed through the air.
Phew, phew, phew.
Ten long, metal throwing spears, a meter long and thick as an egg, whizzed through the air. They pierced into the witches' formation with piercing dynamic force.
Their battle plan was crude, and their attack was simple. However, it was very effective.
The metal spears pierced two apprentices that hadn't managed to dodge in time and pinned them to the ground. Although they missed the vitals and didn't cause instant death, the apprentices were still immobilized when the spears pierced through their legs or shoulders.
They endured the intense pain and called for help, but the reinforcing apprentices were unable to remove the deeply embedded spears even with all their strength.
The scream of yet another apprentice caused everyone's heart to wither, even as panic and chaos still engulfed them.
"Be careful. The statues are still throwing spears."
This time, it wasn't just the statues in the second row.
The third row of steel statues had arrived. They too switched to their metal throwing spears, and twenty fearsome projectiles launched at the witches.
Phew, phew, phew.
The slightly panicked formation ultimately fell into chaos after this wave of attacks.
The powers of the witches meant that their defensive spells were unlikely to be breached by such simple physical attacks. However, the apprentices didn't have such power. They became the most significant victims in this storm of steel and metal.
Aside from one unfortunate apprentice who was hit directly in the head, seven apprentices had been pinned to the ground.
The arena swelled with their pleading and agonizing cries for help!
This scene was a massive, torturous blow for the apprentices that had yet to be hurt. They ran around, not knowing what to do as they took out all sorts of magical tools. They took out everything and anything they had and used them in hopes of increasing their defense. They cast every single spell they knew of that could protect them from physical attacks.
"We can't just be sitting targets like this," The sinister-looking witch shouted, "Attack. Quick, attack; use every means at your disposal. Counterattack now…"
The witches and apprentice seem to have broken out of their panic with her yelling. They immediately started chanting spells or taking out seeds, bones, and other casting materials from their storage tools.
The witches' counterattack landed on the steel statues after a few seconds.
Several seeds dug into the ground once they landed. A short moment later, the earth split apart, and dust was sent flying into the sky. Vines as thick as a child's arm reached out from underground and lashed at the statues like giant serpents.
The rapidly growing buds on the roots of the plants quickly amassed together amid a weird hissing sound. The roots and vines turned into odd mouths that started biting and gnawing away at the bodies of the steel statues. Pungent acid dripped out of their green mouths as they bit the figures. Smoke rose to the skies when the acid landed on the metallic shells of the golems.
A dense rain of bone spikes fell upon the statues as the plant creatures entangled them.
Clang. Clang. Clang.
The sharp bone spikes exploded on the sturdy bodies of the statues and splintered into pieces of bone. Sadly, they did no visible damage to the figures, other than leaving white spots on their armor.
The magical alloy used in forging steel statues had exceptional physical and magical defense. Ordinary spells and attacks were unlikely to damage them at all. Only powerful spells or physical damage far above the limits of their guards could destroy them.
However, the witches had none of these!
That said, the twisting vines did indeed successfully throw the army's formation into disarray. The intensity of the fight between the plant monsters and the metallic golems was breathtaking.
Three steel statues had already fallen in a shroud of black smoke with the harassment of the vines and the combined attacks of several witches.
The emboldened witches immediately summoned more elementium creatures to fight against the statues. It didn't matter if they couldn't hurt their enemies; they could still cause chaos to the enemy ranks.
While the first three rows of statues were dragged into a chaotic fight, the two rows of figures behind them had been smart enough to flank to the left and right. It appeared they intended to wrap around the swamp and continue their assault. Metal spears continued to shower down against the witches.
The two parties fought with all they had with a small swamp of twenty meters to keep them apart.
The witches ran around and panted as they chanted their spells with trembling voices. They hurled acid balls at the joints of the statues and tried their very best to dodge the thrown spears.
Fifty witches dodged spears and counterattacked within a small space of less than a hundred and thirty square meters. Everyone was busy fighting. At the same time, the apprentices fell all around them, pinned to the ground by the thick, heavy spears.
A frail and mysterious girl wrapped in a black cloak walked through the bloody battlefield amidst the chaos.
It was strange. Extremely strange!
The chaos of the battle was a stark contrast to her calmness. It felt so out of place. However, she still walked at her own pace, passing by the frantic apprentices one by one.
All of a sudden, she stopped and squatted beside an apprentice that had been pinned to the ground by a spear in her right shoulder. The apprentice's voice had gone entirely hoarse from crying in agony. Blood stained her entire body. She no longer had the strength to call for help.
It was only when the mysterious girl's form obscured the bright light from above that the dying apprentice noticed her.
She had a slim figure and a pretty face. However, the bright lighting behind her obscured her exact looks. The girl's gentle smile had a natural charm to it. The apprentice extended her trembling hands and spoke her last call for help.
"Sa… save me. I… do not want… to die."
A single sentence, and yet she stuttered so much. It was apparent that her life force was running out.
She was on the verge of death!
The mysterious girl extended a white, sacred hand and covered the apprentice's eyes. She whispered into her ears, "Don't worry, I'm here!"
The body of the dying apprentice trembled. Her weak and powerless eyes immediately opened wide. Hatred, resentment, anger, and confusion reflected in her pupils.
However, with the last drop of her life force draining away, all the light in her eyes faded away.
The mysterious girl gently removed the dagger from the apprentice's chest and slowly got up, walking towards her next target!