Chapter 546 Underground Enemy
The excavation was going smoothly.
The supplies and resources in the camp had been well-prepared due to the full support of the Goblin Royal Family. Over a hundred boxes of magic energy batteries had been moved to the site to power the machines. It was more than enough to keep the more than two hundred machines functioning for over a month.
Three dozen boring machines had drilled a massive hole in the ground with their rapidly-spinning drills. The machines then disappeared from sight. If they were fortunate enough, they could dig a hundred meters downward before needing to stop. It was likely that they would run into the wall of a building or a massive boulder from that depth onward.
Neither of these possibilities was good news for the frail boring machines.
If the machines did run into such obstacles, they would either be destroyed by the impact or stop functioning and require aid from above.
Of course, there were also those individual machines which were fortunate enough to find a winding path downward amidst all the rubble and debris.
The excavation crew quickly revealed the approximate situation of the underground space as they delved deeper and further down.
The original Steel Capital had been constructed on the towering peak of the mountain. Nearly sixty percent of the heart of the mountain had been emptied and turned into a sprawling underground network. The goblins had laid out plenty of metal beams and constructed unique rooms made wholly from metal during this process. It was to strengthen the integrity of the entire underground network.
All of the tunnels had shattered into numerous stretches with the explosion. Those metal rooms had also been distorted and shifted around.
Then the mountain itself had collapsed, burying the Steel Capital under hundreds of millions of tons of dirt and rock.
In all honesty, it was impossibly complicated to attempt to find the Steel Capital and the things contained within it from deep underground. The difficulty of the task was no lower than digging out this entire fifty kilometer stretch of mountains. The work that would need to be put in was tremendous, so much so that it would render one speechless.
However, given that this was a plan that Greem had pushed forth, the Goblin Royal Family had no choice but to grit their teeth and try their best. They invested most of the manpower and resources they possessed in this task.
The sheer number of goblins stationed in the goblin camp situated within the purified area reached seventy thousand. Several hundred machines were working day and night tirelessly to clear up the surface, pushing the debris and waste away from the camp. In just five days, they had managed to dig a hundred and fifty meters downwards. The weight of the stone and metal pieces that they had dug up totaled ten thousand tons.
In the center of this bustling goblin camp was a small and lonely tent. No goblin dared walk within a hundred meters of this tent. It was only when the excavation team found some mysterious objects that they had never seen before that they would send a messenger to inform Lord Billis, who was the overseer of this operation.
The man constantly hid himself beneath a thick black cloak even when he went outside. He never showed even a bit of skin.
Apart from a few goblin commanders in the camp, no other goblin knew the true identity of this overseer.
Billis once again returned from the goblin construction headquarters. He sat cross-legged onto his carpet. A red spot of light vaguely glowed at the center of the fist-sized crystal ball in front of him.
Billis extended a strange right hand covered in a black shell and pressed it against the crystal ball.
A familiar mental consciousness flowed into his mind.
"Billis, how are things going on the side of the goblins?" It was Greem, who was far away in the World of Adepts.
With the connection of the teleportation device to Fire Throne, magical connections between the two planes was no longer a problem.
"Master, they've dug another seventeen meters downward today. However, they've run into the remains of a massive statue and are now finding a way to blow it apart and remove it. They've also found the roof of a metal structure that stretches for one and a half kilometers. They should be able to find the remains of the ruins of the Steel Capital soon. It's possible that we will make some meaningful discoveries then."
Greem paused for a moment after he had heard Billis' report. He then continued with a question, "Then, have you found anything on your side?"
The adepts were sly and skeptical by nature. They would never have placed their hopes solely on the shoulders of the goblins. That was why Greem had stationed Billis here. On the one hand, he wanted Billis to oversee the progress of the goblins. On the other, he wanted Billis to use his unique abilities as a bug adept to search for treasure underground.
"My little babies are about to reach five hundred meters underground. They found one or two structures that resembled broken-off stretches of metal tunnels yesterday. They also found an underground warehouse today, though the warehouse was only filled with common resources. Given their current progress, it will probably take them another three or four days to reach the one-kilometer depth."
Greem finally nodded in satisfaction with this reply. He then spoke again, "The closer you get to the site of the explosion, the more careful you will have to be. You need to watch out for the existence of enemies in addition to the shattered space hidden in the earth; I have a feeling that the enemies haven't all died. Immediately inform me if you find signs of life. I will get there as soon as possible."
The two exchanged a few more words silently, cutting off the expensive long-range communication only after making sure that there were no flaws in their plan.
Bug Adept Billis retracted his right hand once the red light in the ball had faded entirely. He sat on the spot and didn't make another move. Of course, he wasn't sleeping or even meditating. Instead, he was focusing his mind on the sting scorpions deep beneath the earth.
Five hundred and seventy-three meters below Billis, a sting scorpion pushed apart the dirt with its unique innate ability. It was trying its best to dig downward.
The earth before its eyes wasn't all dark and black. Its many strange compound eyes allowed it to see several odd substances mixed with the soil. It saw green branches and leaves that had yet to rot fully, metal shards glowing with the light of energy, part of a goblin's corpse, rocks of odd shapes, and countless tattered substances whose original form could not be discerned.
The thirteen sting scorpions didn't gather together. Instead, they spread out and looked in the loose dirt for any hidden passages that could lead downward.
The original tunnels might have been mostly destroyed, but there were still pieces of them left. If the sting scorpions were able to find them, it wouldn't just help them determine where they were. They could follow the tunnels in directions where objects of values were likely to be.
This sting scorpion suddenly stopped as it was digging through the earth. It started to sense closely for a strange tremor that was coming from deep below.
The source of the tremor wasn't far away. It only seemed to be several dozen meters away.
Moreover, given the frequency and extent of the tremor, it seemed that there was something secretly digging upward. The speed of that object wasn't slow either.
This unexpected discovery instantly caught Billis' attention. All thirteen sting scorpions started to covertly close in on the source of the tremor under his command. He felt as if he needed to find out the truth behind the quake before he reported to Greem!
The stong scorpions' digging speed increased tremendously now that they had a clear target.
With only ten meters between them and the source of the tremor, Billis commanded the sting scorpions to stop their digging. He then had them go into stealth mode and wait for orders. Only a single sting scorpion continued crawling forward carefully.
When the scorpion was just one meter away from the source of the tremor, a strange black claw pierced through the thick layers of dirt and grabbed the creature.
The earth then split apart, and a light flashed under the ground.
Two large silhouettes, one large and one skinny, squeezed in the narrow tunnel. The one who had grabbed the sting scorpion was the more muscular figure of the two.
The being shook the sting scorpion in their hand and cast off the dirt on it before opening their mouth and swallowing the creature with no hesitation. It started chewing.
The sting scorpion's shell that was supposed to be as tough as alloy seemed to be ineffective against the teeth of this towering figure. A crunching sound rang out, and the scorpion's shell cracked as blood splashed everywhere. The sting scorpion had actually been eaten alive.
Bug Adept Billis let out a pained screech. He felt an immense pain from his head.
He had a feeling that the being hadn't just eaten his sting scorpion. That thing had also devoured the sliver of Spirit that he had attached to the scorpion.
Dammit! It's him!
Billis endured the intense pain as he activated the communication crystal.
Greem was dealing with a matter at hand when he received the news from Billis.
There was finally progress on that massive project of his that he had been plotting for a long time. It had taken plenty of preparation, but it finally worked.
The fish had taken the bait!
Leicester Vik. The person that had left their essence blood in the outside world and had indirectly caused Mary to be corrupted into an offshoot vampire had finally shown himself once more, after a long period of seventy years in hiding.
He had started to involve himself in the local affairs of the Vik Family after leaving Bloodcastle in Qatarselon. He was enjoying himself in the banquets of the nobles and reveling in the more physical pleasures.
That sounded like good news on the surface. However, what accompanied this news was colossally lousy news.
Unfortunately, Leicester Vik had also successfully advanced to become a Second Grade vampire.
That undoubtedly raised his position in the Vik Family to a level that was equal to several of the family elders!
It wouldn't be an easy job to capture him, even if Greem had advanced to a Second Grade fire adept a few years earlier than him. With a single misstep, even Greem could fall at his hands.
After all, everyone knew how troublesome and challenging vampire adepts could be!
However, getting Mary to conduct a blood exchange and becoming reborn as soon as possible was extremely crucial for her future development.
While Greem was silently coming up with a plan to capture a Second Grade vampire adept, Bug Adept Billis suddenly sent him explosive news.
The enemy had appeared!