Chapter 522 Steel Capital Strategy
The old goblin didn't have many days left!
Gazlowe's failure to catch the adepts caused a massive and irreparable hole to appear in his Project Immortality. For the sake of extending his lifespan, Gazlowe had no choice but to compromise with a certain powerful individual from another plane.
When the planar door was activated, the entire Goblin Plane would become subordinate to the Dragonborn Empire of the other plane. The old goblin would then obtain the high-energy lifeform he had been waiting for, successfully completing his transition from a biological lifeform to a mechanical one.
Initially, the goblin royal family had no idea about these secrets. However, as Galowe had stolen Princess Vanessa away to the Steel Capital, the Royal Family sent plenty of scouts and spies into the city. That was how they had managed to stumble onto Gazlowe's secret plans.
Most of the citizens of the Steel Capital had been put to hard labor by Gazlowe. They were forced to work day and night to complete the planar door. The mercenaries and patrol squads of the Risk Investment Company surrounded the outside of the Steel Capital and sealed off all of the paths and harbors that led to the city.
Gazlowe's private army had all retreated into the Steel Capital. They turned the place into a well-defended magic energy city.
The selfishness of the old goblin had also placed the goblin royal family into a predicament, faced with enemies on both sides. Inside the plane, the evil adepts wreaked havoc as they liked. Outside the plane, the Dragonborn Empire was waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Even if they gathered together all their strength and defeated the adepts, the Royal Family were still fated to be enslaved by the Dragonborn.
The goblins finally lowered their heads in this moment of crisis. They had prepared to negotiate a truce and a treaty of agreement with the adepts, prioritizing the foiling of Gazlowe's scheme.
The royal documents that Tigule had brought with him indicated that the Royal Family was willing to hand over part of their authority and share their resources with the adepts, as long as the adepts helped them defeat Gazlowe and repel the Dragonborn invasion.
Greem naturally agreed to the Royal Family's terms.
Now that he had come to the Goblin Plane, everything here was fated to become his land and his wealth. Why would he ever allow an army from another plane to march into the Goblin Plane and contest his rule here?
That old goblin was indeed a scourge. Leaving Gazlowe alive would put a big dent in Greem's plans.
Greem's understanding of that Dragonborn Plane was far too incomplete. Greem didn't have absolute confidence that his seven adepts could beat the Dragonborn's army if they clashed in the Steel Capital.
After a period of thought, Greem's eyes fell upon Alice's face.
Alice smiled brilliantly as if she had sensed the fervor in Greem's eyes, "Since we have already come to this place, then we have to get something to show for it. Go ahead and do what you will!"
With Alice's affirmation, Greem's troubled mind finally settled into resolution and determination.
"I agree to cooperation!" Greem nodded at Tigule and said, "Then, do you people have any specific battle plan in mind?"
"We sneak into the Steel Capital, destroy the planar door that's being constructed, save Princess Vanessa, and kill Gazlowe."
As the representative of the royal family who had been charged with all decisions, Tigule quickly gave a detailed rundown of their 'Steel Capital Strategy.' The adepts quietly listened to the plan.
Five days later.
Outside the Steel Capital.
A sturdy mountain pass located at the opening of a mountain.
A battle had just ended, and three dozen goblin mercenaries stationed here had all become corpses. The wolf feces above the mountain pass had been ignited. A thick plume of black smoke rose to the sky, in clear view even from a dozen kilometer away.
Squads of elite goblins were quickly clearing up the battlefield as Tigule accompanied the seven cloaked adepts to the top of the pass. They gazed upon the Steel Capital that stood proudly at the top of the mountain a dozen kilometers away.
It was a breathtaking city of steel.
The entire city sat upon the highest point of the snowy Sulei Mountains, forged entirely of metal and massive Low Rocks. It had been built upon the mountain, with most of its buildings located within the belly of the mountain itself.
The Steel Capital had two huge doors up to thirty meters tall. Several equally large sculptures of great goblin predecessors stood on the sides of the doors. Even the smallest of the statues was more than twenty feet tall. The details in the sculptures were delicate and refined, making the stonework almost life-like in appearance.
For the sake of convenient entrance and exit, a flat, but stable, stone road had been built inside the Steel Capital. It allowed for five goblin chariots to enter side-by-side.
However, at this moment, eight temporary camps had been set up by the sides of the stone path. Over a thousand goblin mercenaries were stationed here. A bloody battle was unavoidable if anyone wanted to force their way through.
According to the Royal Family's plan, a vast army of royal guards and local garrisons would cross through Minar Mountain Pass before launching a furious assault on the doors of the Steel Capital from the east and the west.
While they were occupying the majority of the mercenaries, an elite squad composed of the adepts, and a magical machine squad led by Tigule, would enter the Steel Capital via an underground passage.
The gates of the Steel Capital had only been built for the convenience of goblin merchant groups entering and exiting the city. The large number of goods that they brought with them would take too much time and energy to transport all the way up to the mountain slowly. As such, the goblins used their knowledge and skill in engineering to dig a sprawling underground tunnel in the belly of the mountain. They then set up tracks for steam-powered trains in there.
Rumbling steam-powered trains passed through this web-like network of tunnels on a daily basis. They carried with them heaps of coal, wood, food, and fruits from the base of the mountain to the top, before transporting the daily garbage and engineering waste products down from the top of the mountain to the bottom.
Without Tigule leading them, the adepts might not have been able to make it into the inner city area of the Steel Capital, even if they had ten days to do so. After all, each of the key nodes of these tunnels was guarded by Gazlowe's private army. They wouldn't be able to conceal news of their arrival the moment a fight broke out!
That was why Greem had to listen to all of Tigule's commands while they were here.
They ambushed an entrance by the foot of the mountain and entered its belly on a steam-powered train.
Some goblin spies that had been arranged ahead of time became the captains of the train. Greem and the others hid in boxes of oats and fruits and successfully made it past the checkpoints.
The train rapidly traveled through the extensive tunnels. An illumination crystal was embedded in the top of the shaft at regular intervals. When the train was about to reach the next checkpoint, Train Captain Terra would sound the whistles and shut the steam valve, slowly decelerating.
They came to a temporary docking platform.
Two massive goblin chariots took up the most advantageous offensive positions at each side of the platform. The magic energy cannons at the top of the machines pointed at the steam train that was slowly approaching. A goblin in a yellow uniform raised a red signal light to tell the train to stop.
The train screeched as it ground against the iron tracks, still puffing thick black smoke. It finally came to a halt between the platforms.
"Routine inspection!" A captain that looked like a goblin officer grunted, "What do you have on this train?"
"It's all oats and fruits." Goblin Spy Terra had been lying low here for a while. He reached his head out and replied loudly. Black dust from the smoke covered his face. He wasn't worried about being recognized.
"Open up the carriages. We have to check all of them." The captain waved his arms and shouted rudely.
"Another inspection? I have already been checked seven times since the entrance. Why do I have to go through inspection again?" Terra feigned annoyance and grumbled, "Any more of a delay and all these fruits are going to spoil. When that happens, you lot can have your rotten apples and bananas."
"Open it quick, stop wasting words!" The captain gritted his teeth and yelled back, "You think we like to do this? These are instructions from above. All trains going into the Steel Capital have to be thoroughly inspected."
The goblin guards rushed forward and pulled open the doors of the train. What greeted them was boxes upon boxes filled to the brim with fruits. The wooden containers by the doors had already been pried open. Golden peaches, dates, muchas, and salas were revealed within them.
A few of the hungry goblins immediately grabbed a piece of fruit and stuffed it into their mouths. The sweet juices flowed down their throats, further tempting the goblins behind them.
"What are you lot getting impatient for?" The captain raised his whip and flicked it at his subordinates, "Finish your work for me first. We can move two boxes of fruit to our platform once we finish our inspection; no need to worry about eating! Hurry up and get to work!"
The goblins started inspecting the goods in each wooden box under the command of their captain.
Yet, when a goblin guard pried open an unusually large box, the fruits within suddenly spilled out.
A massive metallic body stood up from the box!
A magical machine! A magical machine had been hiding in the box!
The goblin guards immediately ran about fearfully. The captain at the lead even leaped right back to the platform and shouted towards the goblin chariots with all he had, "Fire! Fire, there's an enemy in here!"
To his surprise, the goblin chariots remained unmoving, regardless of how much he yelled and waved his arms. Instead, black smoke emerged from within the chariots and gathered into the shape of a black-robed individual.
How could the captain still not understand the situation after seeing this? He immediately realized that they had run into those terrifying adepts!
He no longer cared about commanding his group of grunts. The captain snuck away and quickly ran towards the nearest emergency exit.
He was confident of throwing away any pursuers with his knowledge of the tunnels, as long as he could make it in there.
Unfortunately, a red gleam of light flashed, and his head went twirling into the air!