Chapter 576 Magical Machine Modification.
With just a single day's work, the bottom of the mountain had been constructed into a massive metal fortress.
Rumbling mining machines weaved through the area, transporting tons of high-quality ores to the inside of the fortress. Several belts ran across the entirety of the metal fortress, first sending the rough metal ores to the ore crushing workshop.
There, the ores of various sizes would be thrown into the rumbling ore crusher. By the time they emerged on the next belt, they would have been turned into a fine powder of the same fineness and size.
Then, the product would undergo heavy selections and screening, filtering away all the dirt and plant remains within. What remained of the stuff would then be ore with extremely high metal content. These ores would then be assessed and checked by several robotic arms along the conveyor belt before they were sent for smelting. That was to pick out the rare metal ores and magic gemstones and place them onto separate conveyor belts.
The entire process of crushing, screening, picking, and transporting the ores was done by machines alone. Complete automation had already been realized.
At the doors of the final step in the process, a magical machine would step off the assembly line every fifteen minutes, joining the ranks of Gazlowe's magical machine army.
After so many battles, Greem and the other adepts were already utterly disinterested in these low-grade magical machines that relied on their numbers to grind away the opponent. The machines might be considered as possessing First Grade power, but they needed three to four times the numbers to best a single First Grade dragonborn in actual combat.
Under ordinary circumstances, there would need to be at least five to ten dragonborn to pose an actual threat to a First Grade adept.
These layers of disparity in power demonstrated how questionable the grade of lifeforms in lower planes could be!
As such, the bored adepts with nothing to do naturally came together to start researching the matter of upgrading and modifying the magical machines.
Deserra was a faithful supporter of the school of violence.
He believed the lower magical machines to only be useless due to their lack of heavy weaponry that could threaten higher lifeforms. There was no doubt that the magical machines would become much more powerful if they could be outfitted with magic energy cannons.
However, the amount of magic energy that a magical machine could carry was limited due to their size. If outfitted with something as consumption-heavy as magic energy cannons, they would become useless heaps of metal in a matter of two to three shots. Such magical machines couldn't stray too far from the metal fortress, regardless of how many of them could be produced. Having them was equivalent to not having any machines at all. They were impractical for actual combat scenarios.
Endor had been spending the past few days with the voodoo doll that Greem had cultivated. She hid in her secret room and concocted all sorts of strange plagues and poisons for the voodoo doll to consume. Unbelievably, just a while ago, she had managed to cause the voodoo doll to evolve and possess a strange voodoo halo of its own.
It turned the voodoo doll into a true poison doll!
All ordinary humans unprotected by magic would die of poison whenever they stepped into the voodoo doll's voodoo halo. They would then evolve into fearsome zombies containing plagues and poisons under the effects of the strange voodoo poison.
These zombies had unmatched strength, sharp claws, and were fearless. They also contained all sorts of plagues and poisons within their bodies. In general, each of these zombies was as powerful as a beginner apprentice. They weren't all that strong, but they sufficed as cannon fodder.
Of course, there was also a success rate when it came to the evolution of the corpses into these zombies.
In general, the higher the intelligence and more powerful the lifeform before its death, the higher the chances of it evolving into a zombie. With humans as an example, the basic conversion rate was around 30%, while the conversion rate for goblins was only approximately 15%.
When Greem invaded a plane alone, just the voodoo doll itself would help him create a fearless army of zombies.
The voodoo doll also possessed the power of a pseudo-adept after all of Endor's cultivation and experimentation. If the voodoo doll could successfully evolve to adept-level, then the zombies it created would also increase in strength.
However, the evolution of the voodoo doll still wasn't too stable yet. It could only maintain a close soul connection with Greem within several dozen kilometers. Only a vague sense of Greem's soul could be maintained if they went beyond fifty kilometers of each other. Consequently, Greem had no choice but to keep the voodoo doll by his side. He still couldn't use the voodoo doll as an independent entity itself.
Going back to the modification of the magical machines, Endor came up with a far more radical suggestion.
She had suggested that she create an even more infectious and lethal super-virus to be spread out by these low-grade magical machines to weaken the strength of the Lance natives further.
Greem could only treat such a suggestion as empty words. He didn't dare turn them into reality.
They were currently hiding within a mountain. The only enemy they had to deal with directly was still a single Second Grade wind dragon. If he acted according to Endor's suggestions, there was no doubt that he would instantly offend all of the dragon lords of Lance.
When that happened, the whole sky would be blotted out with Third and Fourth Grade dragons. The entire mountain would be flooded with fearsome dragonborn. Gazlowe would never be able to repel the massive army made by consolidating all the strength of the plane, even if he had an endless supply of metal and magic energy.
Endor's suggestion was immediately rejected!
In comparison, Bug Adept Billis' idea of flesh golems was far more practical.
Flesh golems were the combination of the flesh of powerful magical lifeforms (dragonborn, in this case) with specially selected alloys. A unique magical alloy could be created from this combination of meat and metal. This magical alloy would simultaneously possess the strong physical traits of special metals, as well as the elementium attributes of magical creatures.
For instance, the merging of the flesh of wind dragonborn with eternium could create an entirely different magical alloy- Wind Indurium.
Wind indurium was a sort of magical alloy that contained a harsh wind-elementium aura. Armor forged of wind indurium would automatically create a wind barrier when attacked, misdirecting 37% of melee attacks and 65% of long-ranged attacks.
Magical longswords forged of wind indurium would be accompanied by a Tornado Vortex with every full-power swing. Larger enemies would be trapped for three seconds by the vortex, while lighter enemies would just be blown away and stripped of the control of their body.
Staffs made of wind indurium could also hasten the gathering of wind elementium and increase the power of wind adepts' spells. Deserra, the only wind adept of the clan, couldn't stop praising this particular trait of wind indurium. He constantly talked about the wonders of wind indurium by evoking his personal experiences.
Forging magical machines with such wind indurium was undoubtedly wasteful. It was much more cost-effective to transport it back to the World of Adepts to be sold back there.
The Chip performed a basic estimation. This first battle in Lance, and the flesh of the wind dragonborn, could bring a direct profit of around two hundred to three hundred thousand magical crystals for the Crimson Clan.
It was clear why the adepts had always thought of planar wars as a means of profiteering!
However, wealth of this nature wasn't so easily obtained by everyone who pined for it.
If it weren't for the endless magic energy provided by the magic generator furnace and the metal walls created by the metal fortress, a Second Grade wind dragon and his one hundred First Grade dragonborn would have been enough to raze any small-sized adept clan.
The Crimson Clan that Greem had established wouldn't even stand a chance. They would have been drowned in the ferocious assault of the dragonborn army.
Greem's idea for the low-grade magical machines was to combine them with the elementium golems that he created and give birth to a sort of elemental metal golem. The energy source of the metal golems would come from the magic generator furnace, as well as the elementium cores. That would solve the problem of there being only a single energy source.
Elementium attacks were also much more potent than those flashy, but weak, rifles. Moreover, the protection of those metal shells meant that the flaws of elementium golems having weak bodies would vanish.
However, the compatibility of metal with the golems of different elements still required plenty of magical experiments to be verified and confirmed. As such, Greem spent most of the following days hiding within the metal fortress as well. Almost every single hour of his day was dedicated to the magical laboratory he had set up here.
Billis was busy with the refining of the wind indurium, while Greem was busy with the combination of the magical machines with the elementium golems. Deserra and Endor had nothing else to do. As such, they silently snuck out of the metal fortress and ran back to the Swamp of Sorrows to capture some rare otherworldly creatures.
Hunting otherworldly lifeforms, dissecting them, and analyzing the origin of their bloodlines was a necessary research project for all adepts.
It was only possible to indirectly understand the mechanisms behind the formation of the plane and the way in which the planar laws of this world functioned if one had sufficient insight and understanding of the plane's natives.
Understanding the planar laws could often achieve a significant effect in planar wars!
It was a steaming, scorched land.
Countless rifts and valleys split the earth. One could see these features from high up in the sky, along with the boiling magma slowly flowing beneath the ground, within these rifts.
Thick yellow smoke spread across the air, filling it with the choking smell of sulfur.
Volcanoes of various sizes littered the land. Occasionally, a giant pillar of magma would blast out of these volcanoes, adding ashes and smoldering meteors to the already polluted air.
Here in the middle of this scorched earth floating amidst a sea of magma, there stood an exceptionally tall volcano. A large castle carved out of pure obsidian floated upon the magma lake at the top of this volcano.
This was a magnificent palace floating above a sea of magma!
This place was peaceful. No other sounds could be heard apart from the rumbling flow of lava and magma.
All of a sudden, a crisp and loud dragon's roar rang out from a distance.
Wind Dragon Cherkes' lithe and athletic body appeared above the magma castle.
He dove downwards and took a look at the palace shrouded in red flames and gritted his teeth before finally folding his wings and descending.