Chapter 658 The Fall of Rut'theran
There was a strange soundwave that was undetectable to ordinary people.
As it echoed around the surrounding forest, two ancient trees at the edge of Rut'theran Village trembled.
An odd and aged voice reverberated throughout the forest. Those two massive trees measuring up to seven or eight meters suddenly shook their bodies, and a humanoid face appeared on their wrinkled and dry trunk.
"Who is it…who…woke me…from…slumber…again? You elves, can't you let me sleep just a little longer?" An ancient tree shook his body and uprooted himself with much difficulty as it grumbled.
The speed of his speech was extremely slow. It seemed he had not wholly awakened from his deep slumber. However, once he straightened his body, he started to speak normally.
"Hmm, where did these tiny insects come from? Why are there so many of them?"
The faces that appeared in the trunks looked around for a bit, and the two tiny treants finally realized something was off.
These weren't just some pesky bugs. It was a terrifying plague of insects!
The two towering tiny treants shook their forms and cast the black insects climbing all over their bodies to the ground. They then lifted their wooden legs made of countless branches and roots and stomped the ground forcefully.
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
The sound of four muffled wooden pillars smashing the ground rang out. These thick legs filled with the patterns of wood had forcefully crushed numerous insects to death. When the two tiny treants once again lifted their legs, their large flat feet had been stained with purple-black blood and pungent yellow insect juice.
"Enemy. Enemy, exterminate the enemy!"
The two tiny treants roared furiously. They attacked the swarm with all their strength as they strode forward.
The direction they were moving toward was precisely where the tree whistle had been blown!
Bug Adept Billis hid silently in a corner of the battlefield and used his strange compound eyes to observe everything happening from a distance. Take into consideration those eye bugs circling the forest, everything within two and a half kilometers of Rut'theran was under his close monitoring.
As a bug adept, he had none of the poor taste of other adepts to personally descend upon the battlefield and experience the crude pleasure of exchanging blows. For Billis, everything before him was no more than the final struggle of prey before they were served on the dining table.
He was enjoying a sumptuous feast, and these were only his blood treats!
He did not need to match strength against a bunch of food destined to be devoured just to show his courage and bravery. All he needed to do was wait. Once the food had been roasted to perfection, he would swallow it all in a single bite.
No trace of concern or heartbreak was on Billis' face, hidden in the shadows of the trees, even as he watched the two towering treants stomp a path of blood and carnage through the swarm of bugs. His purple compound eyes were glowing and flashing in the darkness as he used the unique methods of an insect person to control and command the tide of bugs.
He had destroyed two elven villages as well as countless animals and magical creatures of Fantasy Forest on the way here. It was through the nourishment of their flesh that Billis had managed to raise this shockingly large army of insects.
Even at this moment, with a terrifying army of bugs numbering one hundred and fifty thousand, he had yet to reach his limit. With his current power, he would be able to perfectly control the bug army even if it was to be increased to twice its current size.
Where did the path of evolution lie for a bug adept?
No one knew.
Strengthening the self might be one of them. It could transform Billis into a fearsome and ferocious insect of war, having the ability to dominate the battlefield and enjoy the pleasure of the slaughter. However, if he were to do so, he would continuously place himself in the most dangerous scenarios. Billis didn't like showing himself in public. He didn't care for personal glory either.
Thus, he unhesitatingly chose the evolutionary path of strengthening the insect swarm!
This way, he would be able to control more insects and imbue some insects with strange combat abilities. With the slaughter and evolution of the swarm, he, the leader of the hive, would unknowingly become even stronger. More importantly, due to the countless clones he would have, he would become practically immortal.
He would never die as long as the swarm still existed.
This particular factor was what attracted Billis the most!
An evolution path like this undoubtedly suited his personality the most.
As the lord of the swarm, these low-grade insects could never cause him to frown, regardless of how heavy their losses. The only things that could concern him were those combat insects that possessed unique combat power.
The combat insects evolved from their initial form as black beetles, to sting scorpions, and finally developed from the sting scorpions to the current magical mantises. Their offensive power was increasing by leaps and bounds. The three magical mantises on the tree platform in the distance had formed a fighting squad. It was only the three of them, but they were already chasing the two high-grade elves around and beating them within an inch of their lives.
Seeing that the two tiny treants intended to enter the fray to save the elves, Billis secretly sent an order.
High up in the canopy, several flashes of black lightning surrounded the two tiny treants at various angles, leaving a trail of afterimages behind them.
The vast tide of insects was indeed a massive threat for the frail elves. However, when faced with the tall, towering, and sturdy treants, the wild biting of the swarm could not deal lethal damage in the short term.
As the two tiny treants made it toward the elves with great difficulty and heavy, bloody footsteps, their bodies chattered from the sound of countless insects gnawing at their tough bark.
However, the losses of the swarm at the hands of the treants were also extremely severe!
The two treants that had been striding forward abruptly stopped. They raised their beardy faces and looked anxiously at the quickly approaching silhouettes.
Unlike the tide of insects around them, these strange combat insects were creatures that could truly damage them. Of course, they were anxious!
According to the Grade system of the World of Adepts, the treant warriors of the elven kingdom should have the power of advanced First Grades, while the Deadwood Guards had the power of a beginner Second Grade. The tiny treants that had yet to advance would be considered pseudo-adepts.
However, such absolute distinctions of grade failed to truly reflect the combat power of the strange creatures of a high-magic world.
Take these tiny treants for example. They were still in their youth and had not crossed the first advancement threshold of their lives. However, if one were to weigh their overall strength, they would realize the treants could easily defeat an entire squad of First Grade war dancers or elven archers.
That was why Bug Adept Billis did not look down upon these two tiny treants at all. He immediately sent a wave of sixteen magical mantises to deal with them.
The one and a half meter long bodies of the magical mantises looked like bean sprouts beside potatoes when put by the side of the eight-meter tall treants. They looked minuscule. However, these sixteen bean sprouts had an entire mouth full of sharp teeth and their terrifying scythes.
The sixteen magical mantises turned into sixteen bolts of black lightning constantly circling the two treants. The moment they found the opportunity, they would lunge at the treants' backs where they had trouble defending, and used their sawtooth scythe limbs to hack at the treants' bark. Tree sap splashed everywhere.
The two tiny treants grunted. They turned about on the spot and waved the tough vines wrapped around their bodies in an attempt to lash at the black silhouettes.
Unfortunately, with their slow and clumsy movements, they could not touch the mantises at all, even though these attacks were still crushing the insects in the tide. Their careless attacks only exposed even more of their weaknesses.
The sixteen magical mantises spun around the two treants like a revolving lantern and occasionally lunged forward to slash. They would then quickly flare their wings and leave the treants' attack range when they saw them lift their vine whips.
In less than seven minutes, the tough bark armor of the two treants was covered in wounds. Crisscrossing slash marks could be seen everywhere. Many of them had even pierced the bark and damaged the insides of the treants.
A look of determination appeared on the wrinkled and cracked face of one of the treants. It lifted its thick right leg and stomped it into the ground.
A muffled boom. The entire ground trembled slightly.
This treant roared at the sky and its right leg formed of countless roots was embedded into the earth once more. They once again turned into the form of snake-like roots under the power of the treant's tremendous life force and lashed upward in every direction.
The next second, in a twenty-meter area around the treant, the earth split, and the dirt rumbled. Countless roots emerged from underground and tightly bound all moving creatures above.
These included countless insects and three magical mantises that couldn't fly away in time.
"Gar'lua, go, take the elves away; leave this place to me!" The treant roared furiously and urged its companion to leave.
The other treant glanced sorrowfully at its companion that had chosen to sacrifice himself and finally turned to walk toward the elven treehouse.
Its size was exceedingly large. It only needed to extend its arms and place it upon the tree, and the elves would be able to jump onto its leafy body.
At this moment, the black swarm of insects had already forced the elves onto the very top of the only remaining ancient tree. They were barely defending this last sanctuary of theirs.
It had yet to be half an hour since the start of the battle, and only two dozen elves of their original number of six or seven dozen remained.
The other had either been taken down by the magical mantises and dragged into the tide of insects or had slipped and fallen off the tree to be devoured by the wave. At any rate, their odds were slim!
Thus, the elves hurriedly jumped into the canopy of the treant when they saw it come to their aid. It was only then that they had escaped this ancient tree that was about to be devoured by the swarm.
This only surviving treant waved its vine whips to chase away the circling mantises after saving the elves. It then strode away into the depths of the forest, wading through the swarm of bugs.
Behind his lonely back, the treant that had chosen to stay behind had already fallen wordlessly.
A path full of shouting and a road full of deadly pursuers gradually extended into the distance.