Chapter 705 Fighting Against Fate
The battle between the two Fourth Grades was still ongoing.
Meanwhile, everyone inside the flying ship below Uzzah was wholly occupied.
All the metal cabins in the ship had their walls taken down so that their rooms could be joined together. All unnecessary facilities had also been removed. The inside of the cabin was carved and inscribed full of profound runes that glowed with blinding light when magical energy coursed through them.
Several thick metal pipes filled the cabin, guiding the magical energy from the space furnace to every part of the massive ship.
Due to the crude workmanship caused by the impromptu modifications, magical energy of shocking intensity would occasionally leak out of where the pipes connected. Every time this happened, the goblin engineers would start yelling and commanding the repair robots to go weld the pipes again.
Even though there were a dozen goblin engineers, three dozen goblin technicians, and over a hundred construction robots constantly maintaining the system, the magical energy leaking from the pipes had still reached a terrifying degree.
The excessively concentrated magical energy had formed horrifying death zones in some regions of the ship. Any ordinary goblin that got close to these zones could be instantly killed.
As such, these areas could only be left to the adepts who had extremely high magical resistance and powerful defensive magic!
The flying ship had already lost its ability to take to the skies. All 'unnecessary' and 'ineffective' facilities had been taken apart and transformed into metal pipes used to transport the magical energy from the furnace. The flying ship had also turned, in the blink of an eye, from the flying transport of the adepts to a temporary adept's tower.
What was an adept's tower?
It was no more than a unique magical facility used to aid the day-to-day activities of the adepts along with bolstering their combat power!
The most important part about constructing an adept's tower was creating the source of magical energy.
Most of the power in ordinary adept towers came from the elemental altars taking in energy from the outside world.
The flying ship had no such altar, but the space furnace fitted in its core could become the power source of an adept's tower with the simplest of modifications. Moreover, the power from the furnace was more ferocious and violent than that from an altar.
The flying ship had been undergoing this structural modification during the extended downtime they had spent on the isolated island. It would not be able to fly under its own power once it landed at the dragon's den.
However, the immense source of energy, paired together with the variety of arrays carved onto the walls of the cabin, had successfully turned the flying ship into a temporary adept's tower.
It didn't have durable walls made of excellent materials as its medium. As such, it used the thick metal hull of the ship. It had no runic circuits across the body of the tower to function as paths of energy transfer, so it used the crude metal pipes as a substitute. It had no mysterious tower spirit to organize and manage the chaos; Greem unhesitatingly stood forth and took the place of one, taking on the role of a central control crystal.
With the addition of defensive and offensive arrays all over the ship, they had constructed an adept's tower system that was immensely flawed but barely functional.
Moreover, under Greem's careful and detailed commands, the entirety of the ship's resources and workforce were being utilized in the most logical fashion possible, turning into the most powerful support for Uzzah as she fought!
However, as the battle between Uzzah and the Fourth Grade elven Sword Saint intensified, this simplified tower system was starting to endure increasingly frightening energy backlash.
Every single mighty clash between the two Fourth Grades could trigger partial energy countercurrents in the pipes. These ordinary metals couldn't endure the corrosion and impact of such fearsome magical energies. Large numbers of leaks were starting to appear all over the ship.
Continuous energy explosions rang out from the insides of the ship. The harsh environments instantly killed nearly half of the goblins within the vessel. The remaining goblin engineers and technicians could only hide within the magical golems to survive within these areas.
Greem had to split his attention to direct the construction machines, welding and sealing the increasing leaks on the metal pipes even as he carefully managed the energy system of the 'adept's tower' to provide Uzzah with the maximum support he was capable of.
The metal pipes that had been distorted by the explosion, and that had lost their reparation value, could only be substituted with another temporary pipe that had been constructed on the spot.
As the battle continued, such improvisations and modified pipes started to increase in number, and the efficiency of the energy system in conducting magical energy began to decrease. In the end, some areas with severe leaks had become so terrifying that even low-grade adepts didn't dare enter them.
Even they would have a pretty high chance of dying if they were to enter these areas.
The explosions outside occasionally spread into the corridors of the dragon's den.
The mountain where the den was located would also tremble every so often, sending dust and pebbles down from above. The corridors were filled with the musty smell of earth and stone.
All the magical traps had been swept away already.
The weakened Alice had barely managed to enter the den while leaning upon the shoulders of the other Fate Witches.
In all honesty, the hall in which the dragons slept and rested would have been as crude and ugly as the dens of ogres were they not decorated with shiny coins and gemstones.
Broken stalagmites and black stone walls could be seen everywhere in the abnormally large and spacious hall. But strangely enough, no bugs, moss, or lichen could be found. The floor of the room was piled full of shining gold coins, along with assorted gemstones, weapons, armor, and magical equipment.
All the witches and adepts that entered the den were stunned by this brilliant sight. Their breaths halted for a moment as they were overwhelmed with excitement. As noble adepts that stood above all worldly power, every single one of them had no doubt once gathered a shocking amount of wealth and resources. However, all that wealth was nothing compared to the scene before their eyes.
That pile of gold coins that rested several meters tall, enough to bury a strong adolescent male beneath.
The large magical gemstones that were hidden within the gold coins that steadily glowed with magical light.
The shining magical longswords and fancy armor, each with their own unique designs and elaborate worksmanship.
Even though dragons could not equip most of the magical items and weapons here due to their the size, this did not stop the passion of a dragon to hoard all the wealth and treasures in the world.
Planted at the top of this eye-catching and blinding pile of treasure was a magical staff of unique design glowing with prismatic light. The elementium rainbows created by the waves of magical aura were visible to the naked eye.
Even with her usual composure, Alice could not help but start breathing in short bursts at this moment.
Alice appeared to be so weak and old at this moment. Not only had all her hair turned silver-white, but her formerly smooth face and skin had also become wrinkled. Alice, who wasn't even a hundred yet, should be at the peak of her life; her appearance was that of an old lady at the end of her life.
If she were to stand at Endor's side, outsiders would only treat them as a pair of old sisters. Who could know that they were blood relatives separated by five generations?
With the methods available to the adepts, they could modify their body and looks through the use of magic, keeping themselves at their peak appearance as long as they weren't in the last vestiges of their life. It was only when their lives reached their end that their bodies would start to betray signs of old age due to the weakening of the soul and the fading of their magical powers.
A Fate Witch like Alice was a strange case. The magical power in her body pulsed with the strength of unrelenting waves, and her soul was potent and vigorous, yet only the life force within her flickered like an evening candlelight at risk of being extinguished at any moment.
It was this massive lack of life force that caused her soul to be incapable of getting the nutrition it required, thereby causing her soul to shrivel and dim.
The adepts might have thousands and hundreds of ways to obtain life force, but they would not help someone like Alice who had her life force devoured by Fate's backlash.
Fate was always fair!
It would take from you the most precious pieces of your life depending on how much you took from it.
During the last trip to the underground world, Alice's life force had decreased by forty years just to divine the mysterious item for that otherworldly existence. If she couldn't advance successfully this time, she would only have a month left to live!
Thus, Alice's excitement in seeing the Staff of Divination that could keep her alive was not something that outsiders could easily hope to comprehend.
"All of you, exit the hall now!" Alice barely stabilized herself in front of the pile of gemstones and nonchalantly spoke without turning her head, "Tell Greem to give me another two hours! If I don't come out in two hours…have him escape on his own!"
The Fate Witches beside her nodded in unison before bowing and exiting the hall. Endor sighed before retreating along with the rest.
Berserk Witch Sofia and Icelady Snowlotus looked at each other at the entrance to the hall. They chose to guard the spot without another word.
The only remaining newly advanced witch turned to leave with a sorrowful expression. She ran to pass on the last message from her leader.
Poison Hag Endor paced about the entrance worriedly. Just then, the mountain trembled once more. The ceiling of the corridor they were in dropped even more dust and stone to the ground.
"No, I cannot just wait here. The two of you guard this place well. Don't let anyone interrupt Alice. I will go back up to help!" After leaving behind some simple instructions, Endor left the dragon's den. Her entire being boiled with a murderous aura.
Sofia and Snowlotus had both been revived by Alice through the powers of Fate after she had advanced to become the Witch of Fate. As such, their souls were bound tightly with Alice's own.
If Alice died, they died!
If Alice advanced, then their powers would improve significantly as well. It would greatly benefit their own strength!
That was why they couldn't help but be frustrated during this crucial moment in Fate.
"Snowlotus, do you think Alice can advance?" The uncouth Sofia couldn't help but lower her voice and ask in her frustration.
"A chance is always a chance!" Snowlotus calmly replied, "The powers of Fate can only point out the thread to allow one to escape death. However, whether one can grasp that thread and escape from the predicament depends entirely on their strength and luck. That is why there is nothing we can do to help her now. The only thing we can do is to pray for her and hope that she has good fortune."
Then, a desolate sigh echoed within this spacious and silent space.