Chapter 269: Mission: Blockade
As the countless rays of hazy yellow light descended upon the battlefield, there were no explosions but loud cracks, as if countless trees were bursting out of their bark.
“What arcane skill is this?! Could this be Dark Green Domain?!”
Everyone cried out in shock and subconsciously turned their heads to look at Stingham as they couldn’t believe what they were witnessing.
Giant trees began to quickly spring up wherever a ray of light collided with the ground. In the blink of an eye, the entire plains became covered by ten meter high trees which were still continuing to grow rampantly.
Long vines hung down from the branches of these trees and creeped their way towards the ground like feelers. Upon contact, yet another small tree would spring up.
At the same time, giant, yellow, durian like fruits began to sprout atop the branches as well.
It was as if numerous vine wielding giants had suddenly burst up from the ground as the plain, which had formerly been sparsely dotted with volcanic rocks, turned into a sea of green and brown.
“Don’t look at me! I didn’t do this!” Stingham shouted as he also looked on in disbelief.
“Idiot! We are only looking at you because the Dark Green Domain reminds us of you and your Green Dragon Bloodline. We already know that you can’t invoke such a skill, even if there were ten of you!” Rinloran coldly scoffed.
“It’s not Dark Green Domain. It is only an arcane skill which is stimulating the growth of Devil Snake Tree seeds,” Liszt muttered to himself as he sucked in a breath of cold air.
“It’s the taboo domain of Plague Bishop Ancenoli. Wasteland. To exert such power, he must pay a considerable price… it seems like he has become desperate,” Clancy’s face tightened as he continued, “Devil Snake Trees have been extinct since the Magus Era. How can they have so many seeds?!”
“What is so special about these Devil Snake Trees?” Ayrin curiously asked.
Originally, one could only see the clusters of evil looking buildings under the cover of a thick, dark purple mist atop the plain which made up the floor of Fallen Shadow Valley, making it seem like an evil kingdom. But now, with all the trees releasing hazy yellow light which had sprouted, the valley now seemed like a fantastical kingdom.
“Every single fruit is atop a Devil Snake Tree can attack arcane masters like a giant snake head. Furthermore, the roots of the tree have a certain range of malleability, allowing them to move within a ten or so meter area,” Rinloran turned his head and looked at Belo as he continued, “During the Era of the War with Dragons, this tree could only be found in the most ancient demonic beast forests of the Beastman Kingdom.”
“What? These trees can move?”
Ayrin’s eyes widened in disbelief.
At this moment, several of the giant trees, which had already grown to fifty or sixty meters, abruptly twisted and began to move against the nearby arcane teams, whether they were in battle or not!
Even from where he was at, Ayrin could see the monstrous roots of the giant trees as they flailed and tore through the earth like unstoppable forces. It seemed like the trees had come alive and transformed into giants as they twisted and contorted and loudly tore their way through the plain.
Branches of all lengths crashed to the ground in succession.
Upon landing on the ground, the watermelon sized durian like fruits hanging from them abruptly opened, revealing an interior covered with barbed thorns covered in red mucus which looked like a horrifying, blood-covered maw!
“Teacher Liszt, Rinloran, what can we do against these strange trees?!” Ayrin hastily asked, “If nothing happens, those fruit will keep multiplying and overrun our arcane teams!”
“There is only the old fashioned way. Just like during the War of Ancient Trees against the Elven Kingdom, once the trees have grown, the only way to deal with them is to smash them with arcane skills or pure force,” Liszt rubbed his chin as his gaze swept across the shocked faces of the youth before him. “What? Are you guys already feeling afraid? True battles are cruel. And it is only the beginning.”
“Devil Snake Trees! I love them!” Stingham smiled gleefully as he almost sang out in joy, “If I can get these Devil Snake Trees to try and eat me, they will definitely tear off this disgusting metal zombie. It is perfect.”
“What is this fellow saying?” Morgan and the others were perplexed by Stingham’s behavior as they suddenly felt as if Stingham’s mental abilities were worsening even further.
“You bastards, return everything you stole from us!”
A loud and angry roar abruptly tore through the clearing as the two teachers of Abel Academy swiftly approached.
A terrifying pressure and murderous intent immediately enveloped Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham.
“We shall not!” Stingham resolutely shouted back as he eyed the two Abel Academy Teachers. “They were gifted to us. Why should we return them?”
“You bastards. You three clearly stole them…” The handsomer of the two Abel Academy teachers was so angry that veins popped out atop his forehead. But then, he suddenly stopped speaking as if he had realized there was an issue with what he was saying.
“We stole them? Could you please explain to me how the three of us were able to forcefully steal away these things from the six cream of the crop students from your Abel Academy?” Stingham gleefully rebutted, “That is what you were implying, right?”
“The three of them can’t have actually robbed Lotner and his teammates?” Similar thoughts passed through the minds of everyone else present as they exchanged glances. But it was just a little too improbable.
“Those things were given to them by Abel Academy. Even if they decided to give them away to you three, it was not for them to decide in the first place. So please return the items to us now!” the handsomer Abel Academy teacher screamed as he glared at Stingham with an expression which seemed able to kill.
“Well, those are matters for your own Abel Academy. I don’t care at all. All I know is that I will never give back anything which someone has already given to me.”
Stingham rolled his eyes. Afterwards, he suddenly became excited as he shouted, “Do you want to hit me?”
“…… How insolent!” The same thought abruptly coursed through the minds of the Dragon Breath and River Bend Academy students.
“Zilli, Fuller, shouldn’t you figure out what has happened before making accusations? And we are currently in the middle of a war. Is this the time to fight over who these things should belong to?” Liszt interjected as he coldly looked at the two Abel Academy teachers.
The two Abel Academy teachers hesitated.
Although Rui was missing, four other members of Holy Dawn Academy’s infamous Holy Dawn Evil Six were currently present. Adding on how incredibly eccentric Ayrin’s group was, the two Abel Academy teachers weren’t confident in winning even if they called over another team of Abel Academy arcane masters.
“What is that?!”
At this time, several more shocked cries abruptly rang out as the hazy yellow eye within the dark purple pillar of gas completely disappeared and many giant shadows charged out from the hills beside the pillar.
Because of how far away they were, Ayrin and the others couldn’t discern what they were. They could only tell that these shadows were many times larger than normal arcane masters.
“Are those giant monsters?”
“There’s so many of them!”
Morgan’s face trembled as he watched hundreds of the three or so meter tall shadows surge across the distant battlefield.
A hazy glow emerged from the snow white pupils of Shirley, who was in the midst of River Bend Academy’s team, as she shouted in shock, “Those are orcs!”
“They seem to be orcs created through the combination of human and beast blood!”
“During the Era of the War with Dragons, some Evil Dragon Followers had methods to combine human and beast blood to create orc servants who were willing to die for them! In some cases, even armies of them were formed.”
“There is currently someone who has managed to learn a skill like this in their midst?”
“The Evil Dragon Followers have so many orcs, but they never revealed them in the past!”
Screams of disbelief and shock incessantly rang out from the midst of the three academy teams, especially as the students came to see the low level Evil Dragon Followers like the Evil Dragon Archers swarming out amidst the orcs.
With these shorter figures in their midst, the imposing presence of these orcs became even greater.
As the orcs and Evil Dragon Followers reached the Devil Snake Trees, they quickly climbed up them like monkeys.
“They are treating the Devil Snake Trees like mounts?” Stingham’s eyes nearly popped out as he exclaimed, “How come these Devil Snake Trees are attacking us but not them?”
“The battle is becoming more intense… Teacher Liszt, what’s the plan?!” Ayrin agitatedly asked as he watched the battlefield become increasingly chaotic and remembered that he was still idly standing at the edge of it all.
“We shall charge into that pillar of gas. That is where the true floor of Fallen Shadow Valley is… that is where all of the most important secrets of the Evil Dragon Followers are,” Liszt responded as he nodded towards the giant pillar of gas. His face was unusually solemn.
Clancy and the others simply remained quiet. It seemed like Liszt was the person in charge here.
“As for you academy student teams, your task is to set up a blockade.”
“Don’t worry about the fighting elsewhere. Once we break, you all are to intersperse across that area as quickly as possible,” Liszt ordered as he extended his arm and pointed at an area in the distance on their left before them.
A river rapidly flowed through the area Liszt pointed at. It was one of the rare lush and green areas atop the plain. Behind the grasses was a cluster of pointy buildings which looked like the pointed hats worn my magus.
As Liszt spoke, Clancy and the others handed each squad a map. On the map, there were six points marked.
“All of you Office of Special Affairs people are charging into the depths of the pillar to fight in the true heartland of the Evil Dragon Followers… and are leaving us here to just wander around and clean up out here?” Stingham dispiritedly shouted as he heard Liszt’s orders.
“Idiot, how strong do you think you are?” Rinloran rolled his eyes. It was very clear to him that it was impossible for them to be of any use in a battle between the true elites of both sides.
“Don’t undermine the importance of this blockade!” Clancy said in a low voice.
“This time, we are not merely trying to occupy this place, but we are trying to completely disperse the strength of the Evil Dragon Followers. Thus, it is imperative that we choke them of as many resources as possible and prevent as many of them from escaping as possible. Based on the most recent intelligence, that area is likely one of the places where the Evil Dragon Followers made their clockwork metal puppets. It is likely that they have stored many demonic crystals and other materials there.”
“Can we take those demonic crystals if we find them?” Stingham asked as his eyes abruptly brightened.
“……” Morgan and the others were speechless.
“You can. We agreed with the Kingdom of Doa that all spoils gained by arcane masters would belong to the arcane masters who discovered them,” Clancy nodded. But his tone became serious once more as he said, “Do you now understand the importance of your blockade mission?!”
“Yes! We are to wait there and rob anyone who comes!” Stingham excitedly shouted.
“It really is just to clean up the battlefield… as this battle continues, all of the elite arcane masters will definitely gather together and fight a final decisive battle. In fact, it has already begun. The elite teams are already clashing as they converge towards the pillar. Soon, only low level arcane masters will be left still fighting atop this vast plain for the most part.” Rinloran composedly thought to himself.
Indeed, as Rinloran predicted, Liszt sternly added at this time, “Last but not least. For your mission, you all only need to deal with Evil Dragon Followers with less than four gates. If you all encounter an Evil Dragon Follower with four or more gates, you all are to immediately scatter!”
The Office of Special Affairs wished to temper them, but they also didn’t wish for any of them to die.
“But there are seven squads, and only six blockade points marked on this map,” Ayrin abruptly exclaimed at this moment.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter