Chapter 533: Never Agree
The huge airship flew at full speed while spewing out white steam.
The Fearotz Stronghold was already within sight.
It was an extremely majestic stronghold.
The mountain the stronghold was built on faced the Thorns Swamp. Two walls of precipice extended to the sides.
It was a natural castle wall. The only opening was where the Fearotz Stronghold was located. However, there the stronghold had erected a huge metal wall even taller than the precipice!
The entire stronghold looked like a huge metal block embedded into the natural opening. Four worn down metal statues stood on the four corners of the stronghold.
Although their weapons were broken, the grandiose and ancient aura they possessed was sufficiently threatening.
The Thorns Swamp beyond the stronghold was different from what Ayrin’s group expected.
Most people imagined swamps to be an area of muddy ground with shallow water bodies and shoddy bushes growing on the surface.
The Thorns Swamp was muddy. However, countless thorny plants grew all over the ground and were as tall as normal trees.
The thorny plants did not grow any leaves but various thorns instead. As a result, it appeared as if monsters or ghosts would rush out at any moment from the creepy shade they cast.
“Hehe......” Ayrin suddenly laughed.
“Ayrin pervert, what are you laughing for?”
Stingham looked at Ayrin strangely. He could not understand what was so funny about a majestic stronghold and a thorny swamp.
“Forget it.” Ayrin scratched his head and seemed embarrassed.
“Speak! Are you purposely starving our curiosity?” The others complained.
“Hehe...... The Thorns Swamp is larger than I thought. There must be delicious things inside.” Ayrin became more embarrassed.
“Are you hungry again?”
“You only think of food as expected!”
The others regretted asking.
Grandmaster Yi, who was lying down while rubbing his bloated stomach, almost puked blood.
At that moment, sirens rang within the stronghold.
The sentry arcane masters in the stronghold had already noticed the huge airship overflowing with a meaty aroma.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Several shadows jumped up from the stronghold.
“They’re fish?” Ayrin shouted in surprise.
He immediately saw the silver flat-head fish over several meters long and covered in silver chainmail-like scales flying towards them.
They had rather tiny fins compared to their bodies. A unique wind arcane power wrapped around them as they flew faster than the airship.
Each fish had a saddle attached on its back and an arcane master wearing wind protection goggles sat or stood on it.
“This is the Flying Messenger Fish. Not only can it fly in the sky, it can also dive deep underwater. It has powerful wind and water type arcane skills. One of its full power water bullets can accurately hit a target thousands of meters away.” Shanna explained with a serious expression.
She was familiar with the Flying Messenger Fish from the Fearotz Stronghold. However, the question was which faction the Fearotz Stronghold belonged to.
The dozens of Flying Messenger Fish Riders quickly surrounded the airship. Someone demanded, “Identify yourselves!”
“We are Chinyu arcane masters. Is Lord Getshe around?” Shanna loudly answered.
“Please wait a moment!”
The Flying Messenger Fish Riders seemed a little relieved. However, they remained cautious and surrounded the airship. One of them quickly went back to the stronghold, and came back a few minutes later.
The moment Shanna and the other Chinyu arcane masters saw the middle-aged man, they called out in surprise, “It’s Getshe!” His hair and beard were equally messy.
“Who’s that? He’s not handsome at all.” Stingham asked.
“He’s the Corps Leader of the Iron Stream Corps under the Royal Thorns Corps in the Fearotz Stronghold, a member of the doubting faction in the Doa Royal Palace. He’s our contact. As long as he is still around, the Fearotz Stronghold should not have fallen. There should not be any Evil Dragon followers.” Shanna excitedly explained.
The middle-aged man also seemed excited. After getting near the airship, he immediately called out, “Shanna!”
“Lord Getshe, it’s us!” Shanna replied.
“Let’s get this airship docked. Follow us.” Getshe instructed.
The Flying Messenger Fish Riders arranged into two rows and escorted the airship to an entrance on the metal wall of the stronghold.
“Third Entrance on guard!”
“Third Entrance, prepare for inspection!”
After descending until they were only a little above the ground, they could hear instructions being shouted.
Metal clanking sounds rang out in the wall.
Near the bottom of the dark metal wall, a hole about six meters wide and tall opened up and revealed a passage.
Over sixty arcane masters came out and cooperated with the Flying Messenger Fish Riders to surround the airship.
“Aren’t you acquaintances? Why are they like this? Are they luring us down to attack us?” Stingham questioned after seeing the hostile looks from those arcane masters.
“Idiot! If they wanted to lure us down, they would have definitely brought us inside the stronghold first. That would make it a lot easier to surround us.” Meraly scolded Stingham. She turned to look at Shanna’s group, “Looks like the stronghold is very cautious.”
“Shanna, please ask all of them to come out. They must be inspected to enter the stronghold.” Getshe spoke.
The airship door slowly opened.
The passengers stepped out.
A stern-looking young man with long black hair who seemed to be the general showed bewilderment when he saw Ayrin’s group.
“They are the Kingdom of Eiche’s Holy Dawn Academy team. I requested them to come to this stronghold.” Shanna quickly explained, “Do you know what happened in the Doa Royal Palace? I believe the situation here is very urgent. Evil Dragon followers are very likely to attack. So, I asked them to come here to help. We also have a few members who are in need of treatment.”
“Holy Dawn Academy team?”
The stronghold arcane masters focused on Ayrin and his team, then at the Green Dragon Spear in Stingham’s hand.
“Looks like the intel is true?” The general lightly sighed to himself.
“You’re here to help with defending the stronghold huh......” Getshe showed a bitter smile. It seemed like he wanted to say something more.
“What’s wrong? What happened here?” Ayrin and the others felt something amiss as they saw the expressions of Getshe and the other arcane masters.
“Fejan, their identities should be fine, right?” Getshe inquired the general. After he saw the general nod, he turned to check on the unconscious Rinloran, Jean Camus and Ferguillo, “Let’s enter the stronghold first. They require immediate treatment. I will explain afterwards.”
“What exactly happened?”
Ayrin and the others were confused.
The moment they entered the stronghold, they were shocked.
The stronghold was similar to a city like St. Lauren. There were various shops, halls and houses. However, the current busy state of the stronghold was a little strange.
They could see almost everyone packing up their belongings.
Many warehouses were emptied and goods were loaded onto carts.
There were even numerous fixed-type defensive artifacts being dismantled.
Various huge turtles and lizards used to pull heavy loads were everywhere.
Charlotte, who had experience in camps, immediately changed her expression and shouted, “Lord Getshe, is the entire Fearotz Stronghold preparing for retreat!?”
“What does that mean?”
Ayrin opened his eyes wide and shouted, “Why is the entire Fearotz Stronghold preparing for retreat? Isn’t this stronghold a lifeline to the entire Kingdom of Doa? If this place is lost, wouldn’t the monsters from the Thorns Swamp rush into the Kingdom of Doa?”
Getshe’s expression was filled with helplessness, “But it will be impossible to defend the Fearotz Stronghold soon.”
“What’s going on? Why can’t the Fearotz Stronghold be defended? Don’t you have a lot of powerful Corps and arcane masters? Aren’t there plenty of weapons?” Ayrin looked at the busy crowd and could not understand it.
“We know what happened in the Doa Royal Palace. According to the latest report, the Evil Dragon Bishops in the Doa Royal Palace used Evil Dragon bloodline and artifacts as temptation in the name of war incentives...... Many depraved arcane masters became new Evil Dragon followers. The Evil Dragon followers hiding in various places are now gathering towards the Doa Royal Palace. Based on our estimations, they have over three large scale Corps in numbers. There are two Evil Dragon armies larger than us marching here. One is the undead creepy arcane master army covered in frost, the other is the Sequoia Territory’s Sequoia Corps!” Getshe took a deep breath. He looked at the group who could still not comprehend it and continued, “Furthermore, our scouts in the Thorns Swamp have reported sightings of demihumans in the swamp. There are Evil Dragon followers moving about amongst them. They are likely to form a demihuman and monster army. If our Royal Thorns Corps had not suffered any losses, we might still be able to defend ourselves against the sandwich attack and prevent them from grouping up. However, now...... there isn’t any hope of stopping them.”
After a pause, Getshe spoke with a bitter expression, “Soon after the war started in the Doa Royal Palace, we also had an internal war. Although we were prepared and exterminated the Evil Dragon followers inside the stronghold, our Royal Thorns Corps lost a third of its elite arcane teams. In addition, our previous Corps Leader and three major generals lost their lives in the Royal Palace riots. The forces in this stronghold...... are not as powerful as what they used to be.”
“Even if your fighting strength took a dip, how do you know you can’t win without even trying!?”
While the others were shocked, Ayrin swung his fist and shouted with a fighting spirit, “Even if the enemies are double or triple our size, you won’t know if you don’t try! If you retreat from here, where can you run off to? If we can’t stop the Evil Dragon army or buy time for resistance forces in other regions to come, we have to keep running away. Then, we have to watch the Evil Dragon army growing bigger and bigger, until the final clash when we are forced into a corner!”
“No, I will never agree to a retreat!” Ayrin shouted even louder. His shout echoed through the rowdy stronghold.Previous Chapter Next Chapter