Aside from the meager garrisoned force, Kevin was also concerned about the overall might of the Fallen Apprentice Adepts.
According to their standard practice, out of six Fallen apprentices there would be at least two to three Pseudo-Adepts, with the rest being Advanced Apprentices. However, today's situation was a bit abnormal. Out of the six Fallen apprentices, there was only one Fallen Pseudo-Adept. This seriously puzzled Kevin.
After all, the circumstances surrounding the Fallen apprentices was completely different from the orthodox Adept Tower. The number of apprentices from the tower was basically a pyramid shape. In order to cultivate a Pseudo-Adept, it required at least five to ten advanced apprentices as backup. Advanced apprentices, on the other hand, also needed five to ten intermediate apprentices, and so on…
The Adept Tower relied on a method of allocating more resources to those who showed more potential. When they combined this method with the vast amount of apprentices, it allowed them to cultivate elite apprentices out of the hundreds and thousands of apprentices. These elite apprentices possessed extraordinary potential and innate talent, and could be further trained and cultivated.
However, for Fallen Adepts who hid in the Underground World, the structure of their apprentices was completely different.
In the Fallen Adept camps, there were next to no Beginner or Intermediate Apprentices. In their eyes, they didn't need trash like this, as they weren't worth wasting resources on. All of their resources could instead be focused on those apprentices who had potential, resulting in a strong overall strength. Many were eliminated by this law of the jungle, which was inherently cruel and savage. Therefore, the ratio of the Pseudo-Adepts among the Fallen Apprentices was really high. Sometimes, they could even reach the ratio of one Pseudo-Adept per every Advanced Apprentice!
This was also one of the things that brought the most headaches to those elite apprentices of training camp!
When both parties came across each other, they could still put up a fight if the number of Pseudo-Adept was similar. But, once their Pseudo-Adepts were outnumbered, then the battle would become a lopsided loss. After all, for any Advanced Apprentice from the surface, a Fallen Pseudo-Adept, who wasn't tied up by an opponent at the same level, was like a fierce wolf. When facing this fierce wolf, the surface Advanced Apprentices found thay were like tame sheep. No matter how well the sheep equipped themselves, and even though they had twice the number of the fierce wolf, they still found themselves unable to resist when facing the fearless wolf.
But surprisingly, out of six Fallen Apprentices in this mine today, only one of them was a Pseudo-Adept. This allocation was obviously lower than their normal standards. On the contrary, there were two Pseudo-Adepts in Kevin's team of six people, while the rest were all strong Advanced Apprentices.
With their overall strength, it was more than enough to easily suppress the opponent!
As for those seventeen underground mercenaries, besides a few who appeared to be strong and needed special attention, the rest could be simply ignored by these apprentices. If a battle between Apprentice Adepts really erupted, no matter how many mercenaries there were, they would just end up as a bunch of suicidal corpses.
According to Greem's assumption, when a battle like this happened, where one side had a clear upper hand, it would probably be a battle filled with ambushes, assassinations, and all sort of treacherous approaches. But when the battle truly erupted, he was dumbstruck.
So, this was how a battle was carried out in the Underground World!
Without concealing their suppressive force, Kevin brought five of his team, including Greem and Mary, and quickly blocked off the mine. After that, they threw two deterring Elementium fireballs into the mine, causing all the defending forces of the enemy to be ejected from the mine pit.
It was a natural cavern that was nearly the size of three football fields. It was the perfect battlefield for slaughtering.
It wasn't tough to tell this place was well used. The place was cluttered with broken stalagmites and stalactites, and the cavern wall was marred with black burn marks. In addition, the ground was stained with old patches of blood that had never been washed off.
At either ends of the cavern, both groups hastily arranged themselves in their own respective formations. They faced each other with a distance of two hundred meters in between.
Naturally, it was the group of underground mercenaries who stood before the Fallen Apprentices.
Most of these mercenaries didn't even wear a complete set of leather armor. They simply walked into the battlefield with their shabby cloth. Out of these seventeen mercenaries, three of them were Gnoll assassins, two were Lizardman Beastmasters, one was a Soul Hunter, and eleven were Werewolves.
The only ones that required some extra attention were the three Gnoll assassins and the Soul Hunter. The rest of them were just used to attract the attention of the enemy. They were just flesh targets used to absorb the firepower.
The Fallen Pseudo-Adept, who hid behind the formation, was a dark, skinny middle-aged man. When he saw two Pseudo-Adepts from the surface standing on the enemy's side, his expression turned gloomy and dark.
'Damn it… Damn it… Damn it! That bastard Philip! He's the one who said there wouldn't be any problems even if he was away for one or two days! If that was truly the case, then how did this strong team break through the upper tunnel interception and reach this depth? Philip, you bastard! If this garrison mission fails, you'll be the one who shoulders all the responsibility!'
Although inwardly he was furiously roaring, this Fallen Pseudo-Adept still remained calm on the outside. He began to give out battle commands.
Different colors of Elementium shields sprung up on the bodies of these Apprentice Adepts. There was a bright red Fire Shield, a Lightning Shield, that kept sputtering violently, a powdery dust that hovered around someone's body, a set of freezing Ice Crystal armor, and a vibrant green armor of thorns…
In just split second, all Apprentice Adepts had covered their body with Elementium protection that came in all different colors, shapes, and effects.
Of course, this was a luxury that belonged only to apprentices. Those mercenaries, who served as flesh shields, wouldn't able to enjoy it at all.
Unnoticed, three enemy Gnoll assassins had managed to vanish from where they were. Two Lizardman summoners were loudly reciting some hard to understand chants in their language. They quickly summoned four Petrified Lizards, who had muscular bodies and tough skin. The eleven Werewolves fighters had their bodies covered with broken leather armor, a flail or wooden club in one hand and a crude wooden shield in the other. They savagely yelled as they charged their way towards the enemy.
Behind them, after the Fallen apprentices had completed their personal defensive spells, they quickly followed with another round of loud chants of magic spells. But this time, all of them were reciting magic that would unleash offensive magic spells.
"Greem, you can handle those trash!" Although Kevin was an Advanced Apprentice specializing in melee combat, he, after giving Greem an order, immediately joined his peers and began countering the enemy by using long-range offensive magic spells.
After Mary had mutated into a vampire, it seemed that she had forgotten all the magic spells she had learned in the past. She now only owned some innate passive abilities from her own species. Therefore, when faced with such a situation, she simply dissolved into the surrounding darkness and disappeared without a trace.
Numerous colorful offensive magic spells flew past each other in the midair of this spacious cavern. They intercepted and clashed with each other, turning the scene into a glorious sea of Elementium. The raging and unregulated Elementium exploded and swept across the center of the battlefield, flooding the group of Werewolves who were charging the enemy.
Less than half of the eleven Werewolf fighters managed to survive this devastating explosion. Even the remaining five of them could be seen to have suffered different degrees of injuries. A shocked expression covered their faces. However, they were just too unlucky. Before they could regroup and initiate the next charge, a massive figure suddenly revealed itself in front of them.
With the rapid firing of Dirt Spears and a large area of Spikes, all of them were sent to meet their maker in an instant. This was how fragile these common underground creatures were when facing a spell caster.
Greem sat on his Demon Alligator and remained on the spot. He didn't dive right into the enemy.
The formation of the Fallen Apprentices on the opposite looked rigid and disciplined. If he recklessly charged into them, all it would take was a simultaneously-casted magic spell for him and his Demon Alligator to instantly shatter into pieces.
Greem had learned something new today. It was no wonder Apprentice Adepts used the formations, that even ordinary humans used, in their battles. The offensive strength of the Elementium spells was just too terrifying! Even though those Pseudo-Adepts could act lofty and slaughter a couple of Advanced Apprentices in a small scale battle, they couldn't when they fought this kind of battle. No matter how conceited or unbridled they were, they didn't have the courage to run into the enemy's formation.
The basic defensive strength of those Pseudo-Adepts' personal defensive magic spells mostly hovered between eighty to one hundred points. A strength like this could be easily broken with just a simultaneous firing of magic spells from three Advanced Apprentices. Therefore, before advancing into the realm of an official Adept, where their bodies could resist this simultaneous attack, none of them dared to take the risk.
So, even though they had outnumbered the enemy in terms of their Pseudo-Adepts, Kevin still opted for suppressive combat tactics. This was the safest approach and involved using the overwhelming advantage of their magical power to crush the enemy's team.
After two round of exchanges in magic spells, the gap between both side's magical strength was evident. Although many of their magic spells were still being intercepted halfway, the number of magic spells that landed in the enemy's camp was clearly more than theirs.
As they were flooded by waves of glorious magic spells, the team of Fallen Apprentices started to panic.
Most of the defensive barriers surrounding the Fallen Apprentices' body had faded. Some of them were even wounded. Contrary to them, Kevin's team still maintained a neat formation. All their defenses were still intact and they looked rigid and impenetrable.
Sitting high up on Demon Alligator, Greem ordered the Hunter to keep firing Dirt Spikes at those Petrified Lizards who were slowly crawling in his direction. As he ordered, he also followed Kevin's command and contributed a Flaming Spear. It hit an enemy Advanced Apprentice and made him miserably scream.
As he was sitting high up, he had a clear sight of the entire battlefield. Soon he noticed Mary's whereabout.
At the edge of the battlefield, within a patch of dark shadow, a muffled snort suddenly exploded.
Right after that, a vague image of a Gnoll assassin suddenly emerged from the darkness. It held clutched its throat and staggered a few steps forward, before finally collapsing onto the ground. Blood kept bursting through its fingers, despite how hard he tried to stop it from leaving its body.
Right when it was struggling to catch its last breath, a few clanging noises rang out from the darkness next to it. Soon, another Gnoll was forced out from the shadows. Both of its eyes were blinded and its body was fully covered with frightening scratch marks. Unwilling to admit defeat, it furiously swung its dagger into the air, while letting out wild roars. But, unfortunately, it could no longer see the enemy.
When nearly all of the blood in its body was drained, it finally collapsed while groaning under its breath.
The continuous death of its two peers had frightened the third Gnoll. This last Gnoll suddenly revealed itself and turned around to flee into a far direction, with the fastest speed it could. But, before it could reach the distance of ten meters, a dazzling red light flashed out. As it flashed out, the Gnoll's head flew up into the sky, and the headless body was left running. It managed to run a few steps more, before falling to the ground.
The skinny and ugly body twitched unconsciously a few times, before lying motionlessly in the dark.
[Edited by: KiwiFly]