Chapter 717 Return
The day of the planar door's opening had arrived.
After eight long months of slaughter in another world, the various branches of the Northern Witches had all returned to Shadow Island.
Those who had yet to return at this time were very likely never to return again.
Everything came with a cost!
The reduction of their ranks had happened to all the witch branches.
The Dark Witches lost two witches, the Death Witches one, and the Coldwinter Witches one. If one were to tally up all the witch branches' casualties, most of them had suffered about one or two losses, apart from the Fate Witches.
However, the Fate Witches still weren't the ones with the most substantial losses!
Shockingly enough, the False Witches that had chosen to venture into the Oceanic Empire had been completely wiped out, with the sole exception of a Third Grade witch. That said, she didn't seem to be too mournful. It was likely that they had accomplished their mission as well.
With sacrifice came rewards!
Though the witches had all suffered losses, their spoils were bountiful as well.
Chests upon chests of rare treasures, cage after cage of otherworldly magical beasts, rows and rows of slaves, and purses or storage rings bursting at the seams.
The deaths of their companions might have been heartwrenching, but the surviving witches had all been tempered by the flames of war and had succeeded in gathering plenty of resources. One had to admit that it was this method of the major adept organizations that allowed them to filter the weak and select only the elites.
At the same time, it effectively caused the more valuable resources to tilt toward the hands of the strong.
Of course, the witch branches couldn't possibly announce their true bounties. They had all been very careful to conceal their biggest gains from their expeditions. The only things that they allowed the others to see were the slaves and the magical beasts which couldn't be effectively hidden.
The Coldwinter, Pale, Death, Agony, and Deceit Witches had chosen to invade the human kingdoms. As such, the slaves and magical beasts they brought back were of every species, almost spanning the entirety of known species on the Faen Continent.
Meanwhile, the Dark and Fate Witches went to the elven kingdom. Consequently, their slaves were forest elves and nature magical beasts of various grades. In particular, the Dark Witches, for whatever crazy reason, had brought back with them a total of over four hundred forest elves. Even the young and the old were included among them. It appeared they were an entire tribe of elves.
Bringing so many elven slaves back to the world of adepts would probably cost them several millions of magical crystals just in terms of the transportation fee. Such an extravagant use of money shocked all of the witches. They couldn't help but guess at the reasoning behind the Dark Witches' actions.
In comparison, the Fate Witches had lost half their numbers only for their leader to advance from First Grade to Second Grade. It almost didn't seem as if their trip had been worth it! However, considering the Fate Witch branch had just been resurrected, and that Alice was the one person bearing all of their hopes, making such a decision didn't seem all that odd anymore.
The Fate Witches' spoils didn't seem all that eye-catching either.
Fifty carefully hand-picked elven slaves and three dozen nature magical beasts. Such a number of spoils was barely passable. Moreover, who knew what the Fate Witches were thinking? To think they were bringing back with them a dozen pungent Three-Headed Lizards.
Three-headed lizards might not be found easily in the World of Adepts, but they did exist. As long as one was willing to put in the work to search the Black Forest, they would be able to catch a couple of these lizards. Yet, the Fate Witches were willing to blow an exorbitant amount of teleportation fees to bring these beginner First Grade monsters back to the World of Adepts. It was almost as if they had too many magical crystals to spare.
However, these were all inconsequential details. What truly gripped the attention of the witches was the False Witch that had escaped by herself. She was completely and utterly alone. There were no spoils to be seen, nor even a trace of a prisoner. It was as awkward as it could be.
A few of the Third Grade witches who were leading their respective factions couldn't help but approach her upon seeing this.
Sadly, no matter how they tried to tease something out of her, they could not figure out what the False Witch's mission target was.
While the witches chattered amongst each other on the gigantic teleportation plaza on the inner island, the adept's tower inside the volcano started to tremble. A blinding white light projected onto the square as a spatial rift surging with violent energy slowly tore through the air.
The massive array hidden under the teleportation plaza started functioning, and a mysterious light array formed from pure magical energy slowly materialized, spinning with the spatial rift as its center.
Two odd giants appeared on both sides of the rift. They let out a savage roar and pulled at the edges of the breach. There was a ripping sound as the rift started to widen and expand. Once it was thirty meters wide, the two giants roared and instantly transformed into two towering golden doors, firmly stabilizing the rift.
"Let's hurry up and pass through the portal! The flesh of something like a Cloud Giant is tough to find these days. This spatial door can only held open for fifteen minutes. All of you, hurry up."
As the Pale Witch hurried the other witches, those who had completed their headcounts and paid their teleportation fees slowly started moving.
It didn't matter whether they were human, beast, or even the magical beasts shut in the metal cages; everything that touched the shimmering planar door was instantly sucked into it, vanishing without a trace.
The cries and yells of the prisoners grew louder and louder.
Perhaps they had realized that once they passed through this door of light, what awaited them would no longer be the world the prisoners were familiar with, nor the people they knew. Their past companions and relatives would be forever gone with this step, never to be seen again!
The World of Adepts, Werning.
Where the Witch Council was located.
The strange phenomenon caused by the tremors in the planar space had yet to vanish completely.
Layers of spatial ripples trembled around the portal opened in the teleportation hall. Every time they shook, a strange creature would be spit out from within.
The prisoners and magical beasts that had never experienced such interplanar teleportation were all lying helplessly within their cages. It was clear that they were enduring the pressure from the laws of the World of Adepts. The weaker individuals had mouths wide open, inhaling and exhaling as hard as they could. Every breath was as difficult as a battle of life and death.
Conversely, every single witch and adept that stepped through the door of light appeared to become even more energized and refreshed.
A relaxing aura continuously surged toward them from the surrounding air. It was like the warm embrace of a mother, comforting the adepts and making their souls drift.
It was a common occurrence for adepts returning from a different world.
After all, the World of Adepts was where their soul's origin resided. It was only here that adepts could unleash their powers to their fullest. Comparatively, they were always in a state of suppression and rejection while in another world.
"Hurry, hurry. Take all these prisoners for processing. These elves are too frail. If we don't do something about it as quickly as we can, most of them will die here."
Several tall voodoo beasts that had been waiting outside the hall promptly rushed in under the orders of the witch in the lead. They helped the witches in moving the spoils and slaves out of the chamber.
Alice, dressed in her purple starry robe, extended her hands and stopped the witches and voodoo beasts approaching to help them.
"We don't need your help with our spoils. Tell your superiors to hurry up and open the teleportation array. We want to return to the Tower of Fate immediately!"
The witches were utterly befuddled upon hearing this.
What? Teleporting to the Tower of Fate?
Had Alice gone mad?
It didn't matter how many spoils and slaves she had brought back with her; hiring a mercenary and traveling to the Tower of Fate by land wouldn't cost more than a few thousand magical crystals. However, teleporting would easily cost up to hundreds of thousands of magical crystals.
While the witches were stunned in shock, a witch stood forth.
"Open the teleportation array. I also need to return to our headquarters immediately."
The witches looked over. It was the only surviving False Witch.
It seemed there was something odd with the two witch branches. They were worried that dragging things out would invite variables and that was why they wanted to return as soon as possible.
The Sidonthiria Clan in charge of managing Werning had no reason to deny such a request.
Soon, once the other witch parties had exited the teleportation hall, the teleportation array once again got to work.
Two dull thuds rang out in the space, and the Fate Witches disappeared from the array, quickly followed by the False Witch.
"Hurry up, hurry up. This, this…and this as well. Take them out of the room now!"
Under Sofia and Snowlotus' orders, the witch apprentices that had received news of their return and had been waiting here quickly surged forward. They either used Levitation or simply commanded the voodoo beasts to lift the chests of spoils out of the teleportation array.
They only moved one-third of the spoils and prisoners. The remaining chests and cages were placed within the teleportation array, along with the cage full of three-headed lizards.
"We Fate Witches have lost quite a lot of strength this time. We might need quite a bit of time to reorganize our matters here. I'll leave everything there to you," Alice stood outside the teleportation array, waving her hand at Greem as she said, "The matter over in Lance isn't easy to deal with. You need to be careful as well."
Then a white light rose and enveloped the array.
By the time the white light faded, there was nothing left in the array.
Lance. The metal fortress.
A blinding white light radiated from the portal as multiple silhouettes suddenly appeared on the teleportation platform.
Arms, who had transformed into a three-headed lizard, roared and broke free of the illusion when he smelled the familiar and comforting aura of his plane. He smashed through the wooden cage and let out a moan as he stretched his body.
The other dragons followed suit and broke out of the cage. They roared loudly as they returned to their original forms.
For a moment, the formerly spacious teleportation platform was wholly taken up by a dozen ferocious dragons. Now it appeared narrow and tiny.