Having them risk their lives was an impossible feat without sufficient rewards or hidden benefits.
However, once they smelled blood, they would instantly turn into the most frightening hunters in the world and use their scary magic to tear off sufficient flesh from the body of the enemy to sate their greed.
The Kamala Clan, the Andorra Clan, the Cenas Clan, the Magic Forest Hut, and the Layton Adept Academy.
They were five foreign names, and each one of them represented a small adept force that was individually insignificant within Zhentarim. Trying to put together a hundred adepts with their influence and power was nearly impossible. Gargamel was ninety percent certain that other forces had also indirectly participated in this attack against Fire Throne.
It might not have been long since the establishment of the Crimson Clan, but their few brutal victories had let the world know of the strength and prowess of Crimson adepts. Last time, the enemy had been defeated in front of Fire Throne, even with a Third Grade vampire adept leading the charge.
That vampire clan had been crippled ever since then, only able to maintain their organization by defending their clan castle. They couldn't even take a step out of their home.
Gargamel had sent some subordinates to investigate the situation. It appeared that there were some odd fellows amongst the ranks of the enemies who resembled vampires. If this information turned out to be true, it would mean that one of the enemies that Fire Throne would have to face would most definitely include Third Grade Vampire Adept Haine Vik.
Currently, this so-called Anti-Crimson Clan Alliance was still gathering their forces in the Kamala Clan's territory. That was about a straight distance of a hundred kilometers away from Fire Throne, and it was already the closest rallying point that they could find.
What stood between the Kamala Clan's outpost and Fire Throne was a mountainous and tiny forest road. A small caravan might barely be able to travel by that path, but a massive army of several tens of thousands of soldiers would have immense trouble doing so. In particular, most of their supplies and logistics would not be able to make it through the path.
Moreover, the Crimson Clan had no territory for them to conquer and take over. The only way for the enemy to wipe away the existence of the Crimson Clan was to assemble enough cannon fodder to invade the underground adept's tower. It was undoubtedly a massive risk!
As such, the main force of the enemy could only be the one hundred adepts they had put together. Rather than fighting a war, the ten thousand-strong army from the nobles were here to act as fodder.
Ever since Mary had arrived in Fire Throne, the Crimson Clan had all of their members and subordinate forces retreat into the tower. Every single member of the clan was hiding underground instead of showing themselves outside.
However, Fire Throne still managed to send out large groups of goblin construction machines to destroy the road between the tower and Pinecone before the enemies arrived.
The main force of the enemy would first have to repair this road if they wanted to approach Fire Cave!
The enemy seemed to have realized the intentions of the Crimson Clan. To completely seal the Crimson Clan within the underground cave, they sent out ten adepts ahead of the main force. These adepts rushed to the exterior of Fire Cave and set up a temporary camp.
Once the Crimson adepts were contained underground, the enemy's main force finally started marching down the forest road, slowly and with much difficulty.
The night hung low, and the sky was full of stars.
Fire Cave, after a dozen days of silence, was once again filled with traffic and liveliness.
Extravagant and fancy tents popped up all over the place, like mushrooms after rain. They had almost covered the entire area.
A hundred adepts from various factions were gathered here, spending night after night discussing the specifics of attacking the Crimson Clan. The servants they had brought with them were scattered around the camp, keeping watch over the Crimson Clan and guarding against any attacks.
Meanwhile, as many as twenty or thirty adepts that represented their respective factions were sitting inside the massive camp at the center of the campsite. These adepts were silently listening to missions being assigned by the two leading adepts.
There were only two leaders of the group, and both of them were Third Grade!
One of them was naturally the Third Grade Vampire Haines Vik, who had volunteered to help, while the other was the only Third Grade adept of the Kamala Clan, the Death Heralding Crow, Yurga.
There were also eleven Second Grade adepts of various attire at the side of these two Third Grade adepts. The rest were all combat adepts of peak First Grade.
The Kamala Clan was the closest adept clan to the Crimson Clan. According to their private agreements, this place would become the territory of the Kamala Clan once Fire Throne was conquered. Once that was done, all parties that had participated in the battle would invest in the construction of a mid-sized human city and enjoy the profits from the Black Forest's resources.
It was precisely the allure of these massive benefits that caused the Kamala Clan to commit all of their resources and military force to the invasion of the Crimson Clan. They had brought almost all the adepts and soldiers of the clan along with them this time.
Now that they had arrived here and successfully contained the Crimson adepts underground, they had to carefully think over the question of how to conduct the battle.
The adepts might have traveled light, but all of their siege weapons and soldiers had been abandoned fifty kilometers away. They were still making the grueling journey across the muddy forest road.
Given their current progress, it would take a minimum of seven days for the army to arrive.
The adepts could not wait any longer!
Every single day's time was valuable to them. They couldn't tolerate wasting seven days on waiting for those cannon fodder soldiers.
On the very night they arrived at Fire Cave, the two Third Grade adepts had summoned all of the adepts. They started to discuss the matter of launching an early attack against Fire Throne to suppress the enemy.
There was still a quarter of a kilometer of underground caves that needed to be traversed from Fire Cave to Magma Hall. One could easily foresee that the Crimson Clan adepts had set up layers upon layers of magical traps.
As such, their most urgent priority was to clear a path toward the Magma Hall.
This task was left to the fourteen adepts of the Magic Forest Hut.
The Magic Forest Hut was a small adept force in the center of Zhentarim. They were known for their skill at creating low-grade magical items. The leader of this force was a Second Grade alchemist adept. His thirteen subordinates were also skilled in alchemy.
Naturally, the Second Grade Alchemist Adept Roy was upset at such an assignment. However, once Third Grade Adept Yurga promised that the adepts of the Magic Forest Hut would not need to participate in the siege against the tower after they had cleared the traps, Roy finally assented, though still somewhat reluctant.
While the adepts continued to rest and prepare for the upcoming battle, the fourteen Magic Forest Hut adepts dove into the dark Fire Cave.
Due to the existence of the underground lava sea, the temperature within the cave was a dozen degrees higher than the outside world.
Second Grade Adept Roy immediately smelled the pungent and dense scent of sulfur after stepping into the tunnels. He couldn't help but frown.
It was said that the Crimson Clan had many Second Grade adepts!
Even as a Second Grade adept, Roy couldn't help but feel some fear at having to carry out such a task of spearheading the way.
They intended to exterminate the enemy and uproot them with the mobilization of the army this time. It would be odd if the enemy didn't fight back with all their might under such circumstances!
Consequently, Roy immediately stopped walking upon entering the tunnels. He waved at his subordinates.
As alchemist adepts, they naturally had their own unique way of battle.
Two of the thirteen First Grade alchemists stepped forward. They took out a vial from their pouches strapped full of potions, took away the cork, and tossed it in front of them.
The next second, two sturdy, one-meter tall earth elementals emerged from the ground and silently stood before the adepts.
"Go forth and scout the way!" The two adepts immediately gave their orders.
Two earth elementals with humanoid forms made of black earth immediately charged toward the other end of the tunnel with heavy steps.
They only made it ten meters before a magical trap on the wall of the tunnel triggered.
An explosive fireball instantly exploded between the two earth elementals!
The fierce flames and violent shockwave knocked the earth elementals on their backs. The surface of their bodies quickly dried and cracked like smashed clay.
Two advanced apprentice-level earth elementals were destroyed by an explosive fireball trap, just like that!
The adepts of the Magic Forest Hut didn't care about such losses. After blocking the remnants of the shockwave with a magical shield, the two adepts once again took out two blue potions and threw them in front of them.
As the potion vials rolled forward, blue and viscous liquid flowed out from within and gathered in a ball upon the tough and warm floor.
As the adepts performed a simple magical summoning rite, two ice elementals radiating freezing air climbed out of the liquid. They also only had the power of an advanced apprentice, but they possessed long-ranged ice attribute offensive spells.
The two ice elementals clearly disliked the environment. They looked about in frustration the moment they were summoned. Only two blue lights glowed on their featureless faces.
These low-grade elementium summons lacked any full intelligence or consciousness. As such, they couldn't understand complex orders. Consequently, the commands given by the adepts were often very simple and straightforward.
The two ice elementals immediately roared and charged into the depths of the cave!
Who knew that the moment they stepped past the remains of the earth elementals, an explosive fireball exploded between the two of them.
A short moment later, once the fire shockwaves had subsided, only two scorch marks could be seen on the spot. Not a trace of the ice elementals remained!
The two alchemists shrugged and tossed out another two new vials.
This time, two advanced stone elementals rose from the ground!