Chapter 711 Return to Shadow Island
Faen Plane, Shadow Island.
The island that had been quiet for some time had once again become lively.
The port stopped several sea ships that had returned full of loot at the western side of the island. Under the shouted commands of their supervisors, large groups of non-human laborers busily moving the heavy loads from the port to the massive stone warehouses near the coast.
This prosperous scene hadn't stopped since the Calamity of the Witches began.
The endless stream of goods being transported from the Faen and Garan Continents had almost filled all of Shadow Island's outer warehouses to the brim. Some of the warehouses near the center of the island even had to be put into use as prisons to jail the wealthy merchants or slaves they had abducted.
The successful headway of the war had allowed the witches on Faen Continent to join hands and conquer a small coastal duchy. They had then rallied lost nobles and bandits to their cause, forming an improper and chaotic 'Witch Alliance.'
No matter how one put it, the war perpetrated by the Pale Witches had now allowed them to establish a real foothold on Faen Continent. Even if the Witch Calamity were to conclude, the ruling forces of the continent would have a much harder time driving them away.
It was the witches' immense haul that naturally attracted all of the large merchant unions and slave traders of Faen Continent. Of course, the great merchant unions still had to protect their reputation. The ones they sent to trade with the witches were dark proxies that they controlled.
In conclusion, the Pale Witches were the ones who benefitted the most from this Witch Calamity!
No major breakthroughs might have happened on Garan Continent, but the place had still been thrown into utter chaos by the witches and was scrambling to reestablish order.
Disregarding everything else, just the one million undead that had surged out of the Death Scar in the central area of Garan had resulted in nearly two hundred thousand civilian casualties to the forest elves. The elven kingdom had sent elite armies and many elites to exterminate every last one of the undead.
However, the Fantasy Forest that had been ravaged by the undead was severely damaged. At least a hundred years was needed for a complete recovery.
Moreover, the Dark and Fate Witches had exceeded the quota of their missions, wrecking the elven kingdom's Pegasus Spring and Dragoncliff as they passed by. The Dark Witches stationed on the Echo Isles reported that the elven kingdom had forever lost the strange magical beasts that were the pegasi.
Moreover, they had also rent apart perpetually peaceful lives of the forest dragons at Dragoncliff. Nearly a third of the green and emerald dragons had been led away by a thunder dragon from another world.
To think that such a thing could happen. In all honesty, this exceeded the expectations of all the people and dragons!
It had been nearly six months since the start of the battle, and the conclusion of the Witch Calamity was quickly approaching. The witches that had completed their missions or those that desperately required rest all started to return to Shadow Island.
According to their agreement, the Pale Witches would only reopen the planar door and send everyone back to the World of Adepts on the eighth month after the start of the Witch Calamity. Consequently, the Dark and Fate Witches would have to stay on Shadow Island for two more months despite having completed their missions ahead of time.
The Dark Witches that had arrived back at Shadow Island before the Fate Witches met up with their companions that had just revived from the soul energy pool. Their ranks filled up once again. The witches from the other branches that had returned from Faen Plane were glad to see this happen. They quickly and expensively recruited the Dark Witches as hired hands for one last push before the Calamity ended.
As such, the Dark Witches quickly joined the ranks of the various witch branches after a few short days on the island, boarding ships that led to Faen Continent.
Greem and his party finally arrived at Shadow Island.
The last time they had left, they had ostentatiously left on the flying ship. Now the group was much less conspicuous when returning this time, boarding a ship that was sending slaves to the island as their transport.
They stepped off from a dirty and stinking ship on a swaying plank and were immediately surrounded by a group of overseers and slaves upon setting foot on the stone port. However, the slaves immediately scattered to the sides when they saw the eye-catching adept's robe that they were wearing. They didn't dare to block the path of these esteemed adepts.
A witch in charge of managing the port hurried over and respectfully bowed when she saw Greem and Alice in the lead.
"Welcome back to Shadow Island, Lady Alice. Please follow me!"
As a territory of the Pale Witches, Shadow Island had been strictly divided into fixed areas based on social strata.
The twenty to thirty kilometers in the center of the island was an adept-only area. Only adepts and individuals they acknowledged were free to come and go.
Ordinary outsiders could never possibly get close to the place!
Meanwhile, the zones outside of the central area were split in four: the south, the east, the west, and the north.
In particular, the western zone was a port mainly used for transporting goods and functioned as a place for transitionary storage. The northern zone was the trading area, where all sorts of businesses and merchants set up shops and auctions. To the east was the magic area, responsible for selling equipment and items related to the supernatural. The southern zone was the slave area, where large-scale slave auctions were held daily.
The little witch led Greem and his party past the lively port and into the crowded warehouses before they finally reached the entrance to the adept's area after five kilometers on a path of gray stones.
Bloodsucking plants and terrifying magical beings filled the perimeter of the adept's area. Small entrances could only be found in some specific directions, which were guarded by both witches and voodoo armies.
This way, the enemy would have immense trouble sneaking into the adept's area, even if they managed to make their way onto Shadow Island!
The witches guarding the entrance shone a strange crystal stick at Greem and the others, only letting them into the adept's area after confirming everyone's identities.
Now that they were here, they could move about freely as they liked. There were no longer any limitations!
Greem and the other might have paid a tremendous price on this trip to Garan Continent, but their harvest was just as bountiful.
In terms of human resources, the Fate Witches, including Alice, had sent eight individuals, but only four had returned. Fortunately, Alice had successfully advanced to Second Grade, causing the pressing concern of her fading life to disappear entirely.
With the three to five hundred years of lifespan that a Second Grade adept had, Alice possessed plenty of time to slowly experience and comprehend the unseen benefits that the Staff of Divination had brought to her.
Meanwhile, on Greem's side, the losses were terrible!
First were the losses in manpower. Poison Hag Endor and Three-Headed Demonhound Unguja had both died on Garan. Mary had lost a blood knight but had also gained seven blood elves as her new subordinates; her strength had increased rather than decrease. Bug Adept Billis was still yet lost near Greenwater City. Though he was safe for the moment, he would not be able to return in the foreseeable future.
What came next were the resources, and those were truly a sea of loss.
The most significant loss had to be the flying shi, along with the one hundred magical machines and the fifty goblin engineers and technicians riding upon it.
Of course, he could compensate for these losses through the Goblin Plane. However, the space furnace that had self-destructed was one-of-kind. It was not possible to build any more such battleships until Greem found suitable magical alloy for its material.
Tigule's Goblin Shredder was also the only one remaining of the newly created magical machine warriors. The other pseudo-Second Grade Goblin Bomberman had been lost during the battle of the dragon's den, leaving Greem with a lot of regrets.
When all these things piled up together, their value easily exceeded a million magical crystals. It was difficult to recover these losses even if they were to sell every one of the abducted forest elves at absurd prices.
Fortunately, this interplanar war had allowed greater interactions and bonds between the Crimson Clan and the Fate Witches. From a neutral perspective, the Fate Witches had finally positioned themselves properly and were showing some signs of assimilating with the Crimson Clan.
That was undoubtedly the greatest bounty for Greem!
A Second Grade Witch of Fate that had cast off the shackles of her life force whom he could completely trust; perhaps Greem was the only one that clearly recognized that he was the greatest winner of the war.
In the history of the Northern Witches, the Fate Witches had been their 'eyes' that helped them explore and observe the external world. They bore the mission to look into the future and point them in the right direction!
That was why the Fate Witches rarely held excessive power and only relied on the protection of their witch sisters to continue surviving. That was also why their status among the witch branches was aloof.
Greem had actually intercepted Alice and pulled her into his faction. Given that to be the case, the Crimson Clan would have no troubles in the foreseeable future. They would be embracing a massive opportunity for development.
All the Crimson adepts could finally relax after settling into the Shadow Island's adept's tower. As a reward for this battle, every adept was given around ten to thirty elven slaves, as well as magical gemstones measured by the kilograms.
Of course, the most important reward was the otherworldly knowledge they had obtained from Garan!
The forest elves were split into two major caster systems: elven casters and druids. Though the core of their system revolved around divine magic, their knowledge still had a great deal of reference and research value to the adepts, who were casters themselves.
As a reward for following the clan through all those risks and dangers, all the participating Crimson adepts and Fate Witches obtained a copy of a knowledge crystal. The significance of this knowledge crystal was far, far higher than those elven slaves and magical gemstones!
At any rate, there were only two more months before the planar door was supposed to open. Some of the more restless clan adepts gathered with the Fate Witches and joined the witches on Faen in their conquest.
The witches of the various branches were having a fun time against the natives of Faen Continent. They would be able to make it back just in time for harvest season and might be able to obtain a different kind of bounty.
Mary led Wind Adept Deserra, Medusa Dana, and Goblin Tigule to Faen. Only Dragonborn Zacha appeared to have no interest in the matter, loyally staying by Greem's side.
Greem took the opportunity to stay on Shadow Island. He organized what he needed to, sold off what he had to, and then utilized this chance to collect special resources found on Faen Plane.
After all, while many of these otherworldly resources could also be found in the World of Adepts, the price was chillingly exorbitant!