Chapter 410 The Ferocious Horde
Three days later.
The area surrounding Plaguewood had turned into a sea of beasts.
The ground trembled, and the woods howled.
Countless iron rhinoceroses, razor boars, leopards, and pythons emerged from the depths of the forest. Their numbers swelled and flooded the land like an unstoppable tsunami. Behind them, packs of wolves, lions, and tigers roared and sprinted on the ground. Apes and baboons swung from tree to tree, letting out loud shouts as they did so.
From the skies, one could see countless beasts trampling across the mountainous terrain roaring, and even fighting amongst themselves. Surging black dots blanketed the entire forest. Lions, tigers, oxen, bears, boars, leopards, giant lizards, serpents, and even bats and owls were in the mix. Every single one of them was hastening towards Plaguewood with all they had.
The magical creature lords had driven all the animals under their rule out of their dens. Every single beast headed towards the adepts. They picked up even more ordinary woodland beasts along the way. By the time they reached Plaguewood, their party had turned into a small-scale stampede.
The manticores that used to rule Plaguewood didn't show themselves. The rioting beasts quickly entered the cave and headed straight for the underground through the dark tunnels. The bats that lived in the cave were caught by surprise. They flapped their wings and took to the skies, lingering there like an ominous black cloud.
However, with the arrival of powerful flying creatures, the reluctant bats promptly abandoned their home and dispersed into the surrounding woods.
A Magic Eye created from concentrated fire elementium observed everything from high in the air. It was trying its best to focus on the few enormous magical creatures among the beasts.
A dozen magical creature lords stood tall upon some boulders in front of the cave. They continuously commanded and drove the beasts into the underground cavern.
The stealthy Magic Eye slowly swept past the magical creature lords. Inside the adept's tower, Greem and Gargamel discreetly examined these invaders through a connected mirror.
Unguja, the Three-Headed Demon Hound was standing atop a boulder. He let out a strange howl when he opened his fearsome maw. Fourteen drooling and sniffing fiend hounds stood before him; they acted as temporary supervisors for the horde, continually growling and driving the beasts forward.
There was Dana, the terrifying Medusa who possessed the appearance of a beauty, a long snake's tail, and snakes for hair. Elegant purple and black scales filled her lower half's snake body. She had the beautiful face of a human woman. A thin layer of green scales only covered her four-meter-long body and naked torso beneath her chest.
Dana's bountiful bosom swayed with every action she took. It was an alluring sight. She carried a strange longbow on her back that seemed to be a powerful magical weapon.
She tried to stand on her tail as upright as she could, making herself seem more massive and intimidating than the other magical creatures around her.
Seven hissing gorgons holding shortbows in their hands gathered in front of her. They didn't look much different from a medusa other than the much duller color of their scales. Only two of the seven gorgons had reached adept-level. The other five were all somewhere between pseudo-adept and advanced apprentice-level.
A dozen muscular minotaurs surrounded the gorgons.
They looked like towering humans with the heads of bulls. The minotaurs were approximately two meters tall when they stood straight. They weighed over three hundred and twenty kilograms, with hair all over their bodies and a giant pair of horns on their heads. Their arms were the same as a human's; five fingers on a hand, opposable thumbs, with claws where their nails should be. Their feet had the same hooves as cows.
The minotaurs wore metal rings in their noses. Their every breath caused their nose ring to vibrate and clatter. Their angry, bloodshot eyes swept across the horde. Foot-long scars were not uncommon among these fearsome creatures. They held large axes in their hands as if they were ready to lunge at any moment.
These minotaurs were clearly the low-level magical creatures serving under the Medusa. They were loyally standing guard around the gorgons, cautiously looking out for any 'enemies' that might come too close!
Apart from these impressive magical creature lords, there was also the Giant Berserk Gelada Cracklefang, the Wyvern King Rrakk, and the Ettercap Guri. These strange creatures gathered near the entrance of the cave like the Monster's Encyclopedia come to life. They silently awaited the main character of today's battle.
They didn't wait long. Once the vast horde of beasts had entered the cave, a flood of terrifying Spiderites emerged from the Black Forest. Their numbers were shocking as they swallowed the entire field of vision of anyone looking at the place.
The Spiderites were the size of a fist. The creatures had hairy bodies with purple stripes, four pairs of slim spider legs, and a rounded abdomen.
Tula's gigantic body slowly appeared before everyone, escorted by his spiderites.
"Now that everyone is here, let the battle begin!" Tula's mental voice rang out in the minds of the magical creature lords, "I cannot wait to taste the sweet flesh of human adepts. Wake up, my children."
The number of spiders in the forest exponentially increased as Tula gave this order. Countless spiders of all species and sizes flooded out of nowhere, instantly drowning some more unfortunate beasts that had yet to enter the cave with their numbers.
Chittering sounds and the strange sound of biting and tearing came out from within the sea of spiders.
The silhouettes of the beasts disappeared. Only a small hill of spiders was visible. When the hill finally dispersed and the spiders left, a pile of white bones was all that remained.
No magical creature lords dared raise any objections that they had to these incidents of friendly fire. They could only manage their subordinates and keep them out of the way of the spider army.
Tula the Demon-Hunting Spider and veteran lord present did not seem to betray any expression on its 'face.' It extended its sturdy legs and left deep marks on the rock walls of the cave.
"Come, it is about time we enter!"
The magical creature lords followed behind the spider army under Tula's lead and slowly entered the bat cave.
The battle on the frontlines had turned into a bloody one long before the lords moved out.
As the rulers of Plaguewood, the manticores possessed unchallenged influence in the underground world.
They had already gone deep underground and gathered all the underground creatures before the enemy had arrived. All these underground creatures had been directed towards the upper levels of the underground world. They were the first enemies the surface beasts had to face when they entered this dark and confusing labyrinth. These were cold-blooded assassins that hid in the shadows and in between the rocks.
Stone Serpents, Petrifying Lizards, Hook Horrors, Dwarves, Beholders, Gnolls, Lizardmen, Birdmen...
These creatures that lived underground were all experts at ambushes and sneak attacks. They hid in every corner of the tunnels. Whenever prey passed by them, they lunged and used their poisonous fang or unique talents to disable the victim instantly.
Their ambushes caused severe losses to the first forest creatures that entered the tunnels. All those beasts had been turned into food.
Yet there were too many of them.
The silent and unassuming tunnels had transformed into a bustling market. Roars, howls, and calls echoed everywhere. The underground creatures didn't even have time to feast after their kills. Already they were faced with a new wave of enemies.
These underground beasts had never before seen such a sight. They didn't have the will to continue their slaughter. Every single one of them chose to avoid the stampede. This unstoppable force trampled all the unfortunate ones who were unable to evade it into the ground.
It was still alright if they were being stepped on by the likes of wolves and leopards. However, there were many large black bears and ferocious razor boars in the horde of animals. Even the Petrifying Lizards, with their thick scales, could not survive such torture.
The sounds of biting jaws and tearing fangs filled every corner of the winding tunnels. Tragic howls and angered roars mixed in with the sounds of fighting and killing. One by one, lives were snuffed out in these dark and unseen corners of the underground!
From the entrance of the cave, all the way to the caverns where the adept's tower was located, the corpses of the underground creatures littered the ground, and their blood stained the tunnels. The weaker animals didn't even have corpses remaining by the time the savage beasts trampled past them. They had been reduced to an unrecognizable pile of blood and flesh.
The underground creatures had defended the tunnels to the best of their abilities, but they were still unable to resist the overwhelming numbers of the surface creatures. In less than thirty minutes, this army of underground creatures had been exterminated. The unrestrained stampede continued to charge towards the depth of the underground!
Over three thousand surface creatures had died in the underground labyrinth in these mere thirty minutes. The underground creatures had killed only four hundred enemies. The remainder had all died to the chaotic rush of their own allies.
These surface creatures that had been driven into this cave were not used to the pitch-black environment of the underground. Here, they could not see anything or determine direction at all.
The beasts charging at the very front had all run into the walls of the cave. And if they stalled for a single moment, they would immediately be trampled to death by their companions pushing forward from the back. If they didn't want to die, they could only charge ahead without any regard for direction. As long as there was a path forward, they continued to run down that direction.
It was through such barbaric means that the monsters were able to use their overwhelming numbers to fill the labyrinth tunnels and slowly approach the tower.