Chapter 518 Meeting of Two Titans
As the pulsing spatial ripples vanished, the third batch of reinforcements arrived in the Goblin Plane.
This time was the same as the last. Only two people came as reinforcements. Alice and Berserk Witch Sofia.
Their arrival was a significant boost to the strength of Greem's faction. The number of active adepts went from five to seven. Moreover, with Alice's unique Fate Divination, she would be able to obtain various amounts of information during her daily divinations, as long as that information was not something that the enemy was actively trying to hide.
With her addition to the party, no significant movement of the enemy would pass unnoticed by Greem and his allies.
It was precisely Alice's importance that made her a core member of Greem's faction. Greem would never let her be subjected to any risk under ordinary circumstances, not to mention having her step on the battlefield. Therefore, Greem quickly summoned Mary and Billis back from their tasks and had Mary stay by Alice's side.
The seven adepts that had arrived on the Goblin Plane met up in this manner. They started discussing their following battle plans against the Goblin Empire.
Of the seven adepts, Mary and Billis leaned toward making contact with Gazlowe. As long as he was sufficiently greedy, Greem's faction could easily use an exchange of benefits to trade with him. If he could sell out the goblin plane once, he would sell it out a second time as long as the price was right.
The newcomer Sofia was more inclined toward contacting Princess Vanessa. After all, she was the one who represented the true legitimate rulers of the Goblin Plane. Even though the entire country had been upset by Greem and the others, her influence over the goblins was still far superior to that usurper, Gazlowe.
Moreover, secondary information revealed that Princess Vanessa had always been known for being a benevolent and kind ruler. It seemed much better to negotiate with her using the infected goblins as bargaining chips as opposed to making a trade with that sinister and scheming Gazlowe.
Mechanical Girl Sabrina and Poison Hag Endor were impartial!
Both sides didn't reach a consensus, but the strategy they were using was the same- suppress one party while supporting the other. The best leverage that they currently held in their hands was the terrifying plague that had spread through a third of the Empire's territories and infected approximately 2,600,000 goblins.
As long as the Voodoo Doll was still in Greem's hand, he could determine the life and death of these infected goblins. According to Greem's understanding, the entire population of the Goblin Empire was no more than 11,000,000. The infected 2,600,000 goblins were already one-fourth of the total population.
If such a large number of goblins died of a plague, it would shake the foundation of the Empire's rule.
The development of the Goblin Empire had been somewhat deformed and incomplete. It relied too heavily on alchemical machines and magic energy devices. They utilized these inventions in every facet of daily life. However, a highly advanced mechanical civilization could not help with the progress of the healthcare system. Consequently, the doctors raised by the Goblin Empire were only slightly better than the voodoo doctors of barbarian tribes. They were far from the heights that the goblin engineers and alchemists had reached.
Just as Greem and the others silently plotted their next move in the shadows, shocking news came from the heartland of the Goblin Empire.
Something had happened to Princess Vanessa!
This place was a goblin town located sixty-five kilometers to the north of the royal castle.
As a satellite town of the ancient imperial castle, it housed over two thousand outsider technicians and artisans, despite only having three hundred permanent residents. The blacksmiths and forging factories that functioned as metallurgical facilities numbered twenty-five.
Large numbers of specialized metal ingots were transported to this place by goblin merchant groups and flying ships on a daily basis. They were then turned into metal components based on the needs of the imperial castle. These components were used to keep up with the demands of the royal engineers and alchemists.
That was why black smoke always churned out of this town. The liquid metal in the steelmaking furnaces flowed like rivers as many pipes channeled it to various forging factories. The clanging of metallic molds, the sizzling sound of metal rapidly cooling in water, and the ear-piercing sound of metal components being ground upon metal lathes was everywhere.
The entire town was like a massive manufactory. Any newcomer to this place would be utterly annoyed and disturbed by the constant clanging.
However, at this moment, two groups of goblins were facing off at a large warehouse at the edge of the town. The atmosphere in the place was taut.
The dozen magical machines that gathered on the right side of the warehouse were branded with the insignia of the Royal Anderme Family on the front and the back. They were the royal magical machine squad. Over a hundred goblin soldiers in royal combat uniforms stood around the magical machines. They held arcanite rifles in their hands, taking up most of the high ground and advantageous positions in the warehouse. They steadily aimed their black gun barrels at the enemies across them.
The ones facing off against the royal guards were also goblins.
They dressed in a variety of uniforms, but their skill and hostility were no weaker than the guards. The profile of a goblin wearing a monocle was branded onto the fronts of all their shirts.
As the intruders, there wasn't a lot of them; there was only approximately two dozen. However, the four magical machines that stood at the very front were covered in a brilliant magic energy radiance. With one look, anyone could tell that they were Second Grade machines that had been forged with superior alloy.
In comparison, only two of the thirteen magical machines in the royal magical machine squad were Second Grade.
The great disparity in power undoubtedly hung over the heads of each royal mechanic. Their expressions were solemn, and they couldn't dispell the uneasiness in their hearts.
After all the experimentations so far, the relative power of a Second Grade magical machine, as opposed to a First Grade machine, was already a truth beyond all doubt.
Typically, a single Second Grade machine could only fight off three to four First Grade machines. The moment two Second Grade machines joined forces, however, would be the moment they easily destroyed many dozens of First Grade machines.
As such, it only appeared as if the royal magical machine squad had the advantage. The four Second Grade machines on the other side would easily demolish the two Second Grade machines and eleven First Grade machines that they owned the moment the battle started.
The royal goblin soldiers could only act as auxiliary support and containment units in a battle like this. The power they could unleash against a rampaging magical machine was insignificant.
A common alchemical carriage stopped at the back of the warehouse. A petite goblin girl wearing a veil over her face stepped out of it.
The person waiting in front of the carriage was Tigule, who was now piloting a spider-type Second Grade machine.
"Princess, are you sure you want to go in?" Tigule's voice hung in the air as it transmitted through the air vents, "You should know that the bastard will turn hostile and assault us the moment negotiations fail."
"Teacher Tigule, I will still do this!" The goblin girl under the veil was Vanessa in disguise. Worry, concern, anger, and annoyance were painted all over her face. However, all of that anxiety and distress vanished the moment she stepped through the back door of the warehouse with her head held high. She once again became that confident and lively goblin princess, Vanessa!
Tigule sighed silently and operated his spider machine to follow after.
A mighty-looking machine stepped forth from behind the goblins on the other side as if it had sensed Vanessa's arrival. The appearance of the device resembled a magical mecha. However, the thickness of the metal around it was shocking. One look and you could tell that it was a guardian-type magical machine meant mostly for defense.
The number of special alloys and rare resources used to forge this machine had reached a stunning height. The inordinate amount of materials used in its creations would be more than enough to create three Second Grade machines!
"Vanessa… o' beautiful Princess Vanessa. Since you were willing to give me the honor of meeting me, why don't you take off that veil and let me gaze upon your pretty face." An old and hoarse voice rang out from within the massive machine.
"How dare you!" Tigule roared in anger. The spider-type machine moved its eight clattering metallic limbs and stood before the giant machine, "Gazlowe, you might be a prince, but even you cannot behave in such a rude manner before Her Highness the Princess!"
"Kehkehkeh," The old goblin inside the giant machine couldn't help but break out in insane laughter, "Tigule, you are no more than an old dog of the Royal Family that has lost all of its teeth. Your master has yet to speak, and you jump out to bark? Are you not worried about messing up your master's plans?"
Tigule's anger reached its boiling point. He was just about to launch a reckless attack at the enemy when Princess Vanessa walked to his side. She gently took off her veil and softly said, "Teacher Tigule, tolerate it for a bit. Let me have a few words with Gazlowe!"
Vanessa's sweet and moving voice was like a cooling spring flowing into the middle of a desert. It immediately chilled the bubbling tensions in the warehouse.
Tigule was reluctant, but he still suppressed his fury. The Spider Machine moved to a side and revealed Vanessa.
"I have come! What about you?" Vanessa stared at the giant machine with determined eyes.
The giant machine seemed to hesitate for a moment before steam blasted out of the many exhaust pipes on its back. The metallic plates at the front of the device opened up, layer by layer. Finally, after seven layers of protective plates, Gazlowe's face was exposed to everyone.
The effects of his age seemed to weigh more heavily on Gazlowe now compared to before.
Distressing spots and blotches filled his green skin. The purple spots had almost completely obscured his green skin color. His wrinkled, bark-like skin rolled up. The surface of the skin seemed to have absolutely no shine to it.
With the average sixty to eighty years of lifespan of an ordinary goblin, Gazlowe was a genuinely elderly individual with his age of ninety-six years. Unlike Tigule, who had his lifespan extended after his advancement, Gazlowe was still an ordinary goblin. His life should have ended ten or twenty years ago.
Yet, the greatest engineer and inventor of the Goblin Plane had used some method to extend his lifespan with the influence and resources at his disposal.
That was obvious, given the thin transparent tubes connecting him with the giant machine!