Chapter 411 Prelude
Inside the tower.
Most of the detection crystals and Magic Eyes placed along the tunnel had been discovered and destroyed by the enemy. Only a few of them continued to transmit the situation outside to the water mirror in the hall.
The apprentices stationed in the tower gulped in fear when they saw the horrifying sight before them. Thousands and thousands of beasts charging through the cave. They were silently reassessing their decision to stay here.
The tunnels in the underground cave extended in every direction. Cracks and valleys led somewhere in almost every single part of the cave. As long as they escaped the tower, ran far away, and found someplace to hide, they might still be able to survive this disaster that they had never asked for.
The difference in power was so disproportionate that even Greem's pseudo-adept level disciples had lost their confidence in victory. Most of them secretly hoped Greem would give the order to run. A few of them still had a chance at surviving if he did so.
Once the horde surrounded the tower, what were they supposed to use to escape? There was no teleportation array in here!
The apprentices were painstakingly thinking up a method of escape, even as they continued to work hard on the duties assigned to them. None of them knew what was going to happen. In fact, none of them dared to think about what was about to happen!
Even though their teacher's title as the Flame Demon was known throughout the Feidnan area, how many could he kill when faced against this endless sea of opponents? Did his strength even matter? There were at least five elite-level magical creatures among the magical creature lords, and seventeen adept-level magical creatures. Even the ordinary magical creatures numbered in the triple digits.
On their side, only Greem could barely be considered an elite adept. Gargamel was a veteran adept, and Meryl was nothing more than a newly advanced adept. Apart from them, the most powerful of the tower's defense forces were the eleven manticores and Sabrina the robotic girl.
Of the twelve accompanying apprentices, five were pseudo-adepts, and seven were advanced apprentices.
This number of people might have a chance against the army of beasts if they owned a fully functional adept's tower. However, this particular adept's tower was destitute. Even after a desperate attempt to save up energy over the past four days the elementium pool still wasn't filled to the brim. If war erupted, they would have trouble holding the line for more than an hour.
In fact, their time would be even shorter if the battle was too intense!
The apprentices didn't have a chance to see the energy room for themselves, but even an idiot that was thinking with their toe would know that the tower had no energy reserves.
Still, for some reason, Greem's attitude was unusually determined!
He commanded the manticores to drive the underground creatures towards the invaders to buy time, but he didn't send any of his apprentices to fill up the bottomless pit that was the battlefield. It was impossible for the apprentices to stall the assault of the beasts at their level, especially when they had no significant cover or defense.
That was why Greem didn't even bother to give such an order. Instead, he gathered all of them within the tower and assigned each of them to an offensive array. He, Gargamel, and Meryl would be responsible for defending the doors of the tower; that would undoubtedly be the most heavily contested area once the battle started! It would be where the most ferocious battle would break out!
On the third hour since the start of the beast invasion, the monsters finally managed to make their way out of the labyrinth. One by one they continuously entered the caverns where the tower was.
It was almost like a massive octopus had come to life in the caverns as the army of beasts continued to pour into the area. Their immense numbers soon took up every visible inch of space.
On the ground, there were countless predators such as lions, tigers, and leopards. Of course, you also had terrifying magical creatures like forest trolls, forest spirits, berserk apes, razor boars, forest sloths, and lightning leopards. In the air, you had crows, pigeons, woodpeckers and other birds, along with true predators of the skies such as thunder rocs, wyverns, and griffins.
In fact, there were many more harmless creatures within this tide of monsters, such as normal animals like deer, owls, and flower snakes. All these creatures packed into the caverns. They howled, roared, chirped, and called out in unison at the shining adept's tower in the middle of the cave.
The moment they set foot in the caverns, a tremendous magical energy fluctuation emerged from the tower. A barrage of Magma Fireballs crashed into the ranks of the animals, trailing black smoke in the air as they did so.
Dong. Dong. Dong.
It was like numerous grenades had exploded at the same time. The horde had barely made it into the caverns, and already beasts were being blown to pieces. The attacks inflicted severe injuries and death upon the unfortunate creatures. The violent flame shockwaves blasted everywhere, instantly exterminating all of the weaker animals. The splashing rain of lava swiftly killed off large groups of animals.
Ordinary woodland beasts didn't stand a chance. Even ordinary magical creatures with basic magic resistance couldn't possibly survive against such powerful fireballs!
The vanguard of the horde had been crushed the moment they entered the caverns!
The more frightening aspect of the tower's attacks was the rain of fire and magma. The ground had already ignited from the blazing heat. The hot temperature and the savage flames vaporized all the small critters that ventured too close.
Those predators and birds with no magical resistance didn't even dare to come close to these magical fires. It didn't matter how many of them there were; only death awaited them if they continued forward!
It wasn't your natural and ordinary fire. It was challenging to extinguish it by throwing bodies at it.
That was why the ordinary beasts struggled and paused before the cavern when the magical flames sealed the entrance. However, their companions pushing from behind were not having any of it. They continued to advance, forcing the despairing animals at the front towards their doom.
After his initial investigation of the species involved in the assault, Greem had calibrated most of the offensive arrays to release magma fireballs. The apprentice adepts didn't need to fight themselves. All they had to do was comfortably wait within the tower and hurl the magma fireballs in the direction that Greem pointed them at.
To save the tower's energy, Greem did not erect a dome-shaped defensive forcefield. Instead, he invested almost every single bit of power into the offensive arrays.
It was with these dozens of fireballs that Greem successfully sealed the entrance of the caves. The horde of beasts would have to pay a hefty price if they wanted to enter.
After the first wave of fireballs, the apprentices stopped their attacks and silently waited for Greem's next instructions.
This assault was a clear demonstration of the destructiveness of fire spells!
Most spells dissipated shortly after they took effect. However, the magma fireballs were able to create tiny seas of fire and lava at the entrance to the caverns. As long as the lava didn't solidify and cool, the sea of flame would never vanish.
That was why the flames were able to be sustained for such long periods of time, and why they were so hard to extinguish.
The apprentices in the tower started cheering when they saw the effectiveness of their attacks.
However, there was no time for Greem to rejoice. A commotion quickly stirred amid the beasts at the forefront.
A thick cloud of birds flew over the beasts and screeched as they charged into the cavern. They quickly got into formation and dove towards the tower.
Greem quickly scanned the birds with his Spirit from within the control hall and promptly dismissed their threat.
He didn't think too highly of them merely because of their numbers and their intimidating looks. If one were to look closely at the birds, they would see that most of them were common animals. Magical creatures like wyverns, thunder rocs, and griffins were a minority after all!
A red light flashed in Greem's hand. He mumbled under his breath, and an order immediately transmitted to the manticore leader.
A window on the third level of the tower abruptly opened, and nine adept-level manticores stormed out into the cavern. They didn't engage the flock of birds. Instead, they started circling the adept's tower.
Greem then gave the order, and the second wave of magma fireballs crashed towards the birds.
Much like the first wave of attacks, the potent spells brought about utter devastation to the birds. It didn't matter how savage a bird it was. As long as they got a single speck of lava on their body, they instantly burst into a cluster of flames and burned to ashes.
Only a few stragglers had been left alive fluttering in the air when the second wave of fireballs had settled.
The manticore leader took this chance and led the adolescent manticores to strike at the exposed flying magical creatures. The two teenage manticores beat their wings and started a slaughter among the ranks of the ordinary birds.
For a moment, the sharp calls of all sorts of birds mixed with the furious roars of the manticores!
Both parties clashed in the air near the tower, ferociously crashing and tearing at each other. A rain of bird corpses and blood fell towards the ground.
The manticores didn't dare travel more than a hundred meters away from the tower, regardless of how intense the fight became. This limit was a strict order that Greem had given them. Every time they were surrounded by too many magical creatures, they swiftly retreated into the defensive line of the tower. They would then use their claws to hang upon the walls as they rested for a moment.
If the magical creatures dared to pursue them, they would be greeted with a red-hot fiery magma fireball. Within a hundred meter radius of the tower, only the small and agile flying magical creatures could successfully dodge the fireballs. Massive beasts like wyverns were forced to use their wings to swat the fireballs away.
Naturally, in doing so, they had to use their tough bodies to endure the exploding rain of lava and the ensuing flame shockwave.
When the first wyvern and the first griffin finally fell from the air, the magical flying creatures no longer dared to get close to the tower.
Consequently, the manticores possessed far inferior numbers, but they were still able to wreak havoc with the protection of the tower. The number of flying creatures in the air was quickly plummeting.
Yet, the pestering of the birds had their intended effect. They had bought enough time for the horde to break through the wall of flame. Once again, they surged into the cavern like an unstoppable tide.