Note: Double release day!
The darkness was filled with twisted shadows, stalagmites, stalactites and rocks of all shapes and forms that occupied nearly every part of one's vision. Inside the spacious and quiet cavern, even the slightest of noise would ripple through the winding tunnel and reach a very far distance.
From high up on the back of the Demon Alligator, a grim blue light could be seen flicking through Greem's eyes.
Though he had been surrounded by complete silence, Greem's mind was filled with a streak of warning tones. It seemed that a large group of enemies were approaching!
An indistinct crackling sound rang through the air, as the fiery red Fire Shield made its dazzling appearance and started to hover around Greem's body. The Chip was busy calculating in Greem's mind and matching countless real-time images with each other. Numerous tiny differences that no naked eye could ever detect were found by the Chip's incredible ability and projected onto Greem's retina one after another.
Greem turned his head towards a hanging stalactite on his left. He saw a shadow there that seemed thicker than before. Following a gentle stomp of his feet, the Hunter who was mounted in front of him raised its hand into the air and formed a razor sharp, earthy yellow dirt spear in its grip.
With a twist of its body, the Hunter threw out the dirt spear in its hand using all its force. The spear instantly turned into a yellow bolt of lightning and nailed into the shadow in an instant.
From Greem's field of view, he hadn't noticed anything at that spot, neither any reaction of Elementium nor any life aura. However, following the piercing of the dirt spear, he heard a muffled sound of flesh being pierced through, immediately followed by a shrill cry that rang out through the once dead silence.
A commotion broke out through the darkness, as a human-like figure with tiny dark green scales completely covering its body suddenly showed up. The dirt spear had pierced through its chest and nailed it onto the stalactite.
Warm blood was dripping down from the tip of the dirt spear. The human-like figure started to struggle restlessly. However, the more it struggled, the bigger the wound formed by the piercing of the dirt spear became and the fiercer the blood burst out.
A second dirt spear sliced through the air, piercing through its head straightaway.
The movement of the figure came to a complete halt instantly. It was now hanging on the stalactite motionless, leaving behind only the crystal clear sound of blood dripping down in this quiet cavern.
In the next moment, Greem raised his head and looked up at the ceiling of the darkened cave.
The height from the ground to the ceiling was over tens of meters long. Due to the lack of light, even with him vision, Greem could only see a vague image. However, following the Hunter's throwing of two dirt spears, another skinny, yet robust figure was seen falling down from the ceiling.
The two dirt spears had pierced through its right chest and left leg, but hadn't been able to claim its life. However, as it was lying on the hard cold ground painfully giving its dying kicks, the gigantic foot of Demon Alligator suddenly appeared in its line of sight.
A muffled boom broke out through the silence, followed by the sound of a watermelon being crushed was heard in the cavern.
Leisurely and slowly, the Demon Alligator continued its movement and strode away. Once its leg left the ground, the place where the human-like creature had been lying was instead replaced by a pile of crushed meat, making it impossible to identify its original shape, species or even gender.
A sharp whistle suddenly echoed in the darkness.
When the whistle resounded throughout the entire cavern, from the far-reaching darkness, countless shadows approached him at high speeds. Judging from the size of the group, perhaps there were more than hundreds of them.
Twangs of bowstring burst out through the darkness, as noises of sharp object piercing through the air rang out from all directions. The arrows sliced through the air and were targeted at Greem who was covered by a raging flame all over his body.
Aww! So they were going for a gang fight!
Greem dared not underestimate his enemy. Without any hesitation, he dispelled the Fire Shield that was hovering around his body and then merged himself with the gigantic body of Demon Alligator - it looked as if he was sinking into a muddy swamp.
Right when Greem had disappeared, countless sharp arrows instantly struck at the back of Demon Alligator where he had been previously standing. All the arrowheads were flickering with a greenish glow; clearly, the arrowheads had some unknown poisons applied onto them.
Like the Demon Alligator, the Hunter's body had also been stuck by multiple arrows, however it showed no concern at all. With both hands continuously grabbing into the air over its head, it kept forming one dirt spear after another. Each spear had a length of one and a half meter. Without stopping its movements, it fired these dirt spears into those Lizardmen who had shown themselves in the far distance.
Some of the spears were dodged by the Lizardman hunter and assassin, some shattered after hitting the stalagmites that blocked their path, and some hit right on target, eliminating the enemy in the total darkness.
It was worth mentioning that the bodies of the Lizardman were overly delicate and slender. In order not detract from the agility and speed of their movement, their body hadn't evolved with thick and dense hard scales like some of those huge size demons. Instead, they were given layers of tiny, light, dark-green scales, whose function was only to prevent the leaking of their body temperature.
This evolution had given them with the incredible ability to move stealthily in the darkness of the Underground Cave, but it also made their defense so weak that they couldn't even withstand a single blow. Regardless of which part of their body had been pierced through by the cup-sized dirt spear, it would instantly become a frightening injury. Their delicate bodies just weren't able to withstand an attack like this.
As they were facing of against an Elementium Golem, made entirely of clay, the poison arrows they usually used couldn't bring them their desired effect. Left with no other option, these Lizardman hunters were forced to pull out their short daggers and run through the rock walls and stalagmites to leap onto the giant Demon Alligator that kept pushing its way forward.
At this moment, their weakness - the lack of a magically enhanced weapon - had become clear.
Though the weapon produced from the unique underground metal was extremely sharp, most of them were overly thin and short. A weapon like this could never break through the clay armor of Demon Alligator. Numerous Lizardmen surrounded the Demon Alligator and kept attacking it, using their dagger to shed off countless dirt chunks from its clay armor. However, within seconds, following the flash of an earthy yellow light ring, the clay armor had once again been restored to its original condition.
They weren't to defeat Demon Alligator, but Demon Alligator could easily kill them off.
Though the attack frequency of Demon Alligator was rather slow, every time it cast an AoE Spikes spell, it would always claim the lives of three to five Lizardmen. The Demon Alligator was like a massive tank that kept moving forwards, while the Lizardmen were like a group of ignorant natives who carried bamboo sticks in their hand and bamboo arrows on their back. The gap between their strengths was simply huge. Thus, the massive casualties caused by this gap was reasonable.
Finally, after more than half of the Lizardmen were either wounded or killed, a shrill whistle once again echoed out in the far distance from the darkness.
Following a few deep and hoarse roars, the Lizardmen began to retreat.
After peace had once again returned to the surroundings of the Demon Alligator, from under the covering of its thick coat, Greem finally emerged. He hesitated for a brief moment and decided not to drive Demon Alligator to pursue after the Lizardmen.
Apparently, all of the underground populations had a very strong sense of territory. Perhaps it was because he had come too close to their habitat, that caused the Lizardmen to orchestrate their violent attack. Having suffered such a huge loss, it looked like these Lizardmen had returned to their nest to focus on defense.
However, right when Greem drove Demon Alligator to continued his journey, he, due to his sensitive hearing, heard the miserable shrieks of Lizardmen coming from the far distance. It seemed as if a new round of battle had erupted in the darkness.
Nevertheless, Greem showed no interest in this. He just stood up on Demon Alligator's back, threw a few glances over into the far distance, before continuing his journey.
Amidst a pitch-black shadow, the old Gnoll leader was hiding behind a rock pillar, looking at Greem as he strode away into the far distance. His skinny, gray, furry face showed an unconcealed expression of shock.
Behind him, one after another, the vigorous Gnolls ran through the dark and rugged cavern as if they were on a flat surface, before leaping fiercely onto the group of defeated Lizardmen. Both parties were chasing and slaughtering each other within the darkness filled with countless rock pillars and stalactites. The muffled sounds of daggers slicing through throats kept ringing in the air.
If this ambush mission had been carried out smoothly, maybe they would have at most been able to chase away that damn Lizardmen tribe from this region. At that point in time, all the profits found in the ruins would have belonged to the Gnolls.
However, Gray Ear's mind was still felt with scruples in regards to that surface apprentice who had suddenly intruded onto the inner area of the ruin.
It waved its hand and a minion of the same species emerged from the shadows behind him.
"Go and inform Cracked Tooth in Elysium City to pass a message to his master Fallen Adept that someone is trying to enter the ruins. Tell him that the tribe of Gray Ear had failed to stop the enemy and that we've suffered a huge loss, while the Lizardmen tribe of Dark Scale had been totally wiped out by the enemy!" From within the darkness, a shivering gleam flickered in the bloodshot eyes of that old Gnoll, with its pale white fangs looking extremely frightening.
"Understand. Your subordinate will carry out your order now!"
After slightly bending its body and bowing, the dark figure turned around and dissolved into the vast darkness.
The further inside he went, the stronger the worry in Greem's mind became.
Front and back, left and right, even above his head and under his feet, the metal contained within the soil was getting denser and denser, while the exposed soil was becoming lesser and lesser. This also meant that if he encountered a frightening enemy in this area, it would be tougher for him to escape like how he usually did.
For him, this was bad news that he really didn't want to hear.
But Greem had to admit, this was the perfect region to build a city.
In order to build a city once and for all in the Underground World, in addition to taking into account living resources, mineral resources and water source in the surrounding area, the most important factor to consider was the stability and toughness of the geological structure. It was really rare to find a region like this in the Underground World, which was surrounded by countless metal ores and large stretches of stable rock stratum.
Being able to find metal ores meant that the place would had a constant supply of resources which could attract the wandering merchants. The existence of a water source meant the place could support more lives. However, none of these are comparable to a stable 'sky'. No one wished to be crushed into meat paste by millions of tons of rock and sand during his sleep!
Thus, when Snorlax had pointed out that this area was where the ruins of the previous Elysium City were, judging by just the terrain alone, it made perfect sense.
Greem had passed through several habitats of different underground creatures. Perhaps as a result of the Lizardman's defeat, all these underground creatures gathered in the far away darkness, but no one recklessly launched an attack.
Under this intense threatening situation, the Demon Alligator had finally reached the end of its long and tiresome journey.
When Greem passed through a huge arched door riding the Demon Alligator, the space in front of him suddenly expanded, revealing a gigantic cavern filled with bizarre and fantastical colors in front of his eyes.
[Edited by: StarFly]