Dense waves of magic emanated from Saron's hands and were guided into the formation by his will. The darkened runes gradually lit up.
That was a commonly used method to activate a formation. Sometimes, magi would fill the formation up with energy in advance to save mana. But the issue was magic formations would begin activating after it was filled with energy and that made it hard for preservation.
To solve that problem, magi split up formations into two a few disjointed parts. In every part of the formation, they can infuse mana, but it wouldn't flow due to the channels being cut off. They could do so by intentionally leaving out the connecting channels between the different formation parts to store the mana in the formation without circling it before they needed it.
Theoretically, the amount of magic required to link the formation parts isn't much. One only needed enough mana for a level-zero trick spell. But the formation Saron was activating was a little unique in that it was colossal.
The formation itself was split into more than a hundred components, and the connection points numbered a few thousand. The sheer quantity difference made it so that a 'simple' task like that turned rather difficult even for Saron.
"What's he doing?!" Tamro said with a furrowed brow.
The moment he saw Saron, he ordered his men to prepare for battle. By the time he finished all the preparation, he happened to see the old magus killed by Saron. While the magus was rather arrogant, he served Fort Kesta to the best of his ability. Seeing how easily he was killed angered Tamro, but Saron was more than 200 meters above the air and there wasn't much a high-order warrior like him could do about it.
"Are there any more magi? Who can go up and see what's going on or interrupt him?" Tamro was fuming. Usually, magi wouldn't do much under such circumstances. Given how easily Saron killed the old magus before the rest and went about activating the formation like nobody's business, how could normal magi do anything to him?
The other mid-order magi around Tamro avoided eye contact without making a sound. They saw Saron kill the strongest magus in the fort with only three spells. Who would dare approach the god of death without a death wish?
"At least, tell me what that formation is for!" he roared, before a magus replied to him.
"Lord General, I've dabbled in formations before and the runes on this one seem to suggest something related to spatial elements."
"Space? Don't tell me?!" The thought that occurred to him shocked him greatly. He hurriedly ordered, "Arm up! Have everyone in the fort prepare for combat!"
The light of the formation grew blinding with each second. Wearing an insane smile, Saron bellowed, "Hahahaha! Come out, all of you! Slaughter these northerners clean!"
When the final connection point was filled, he finally completed his mission. Though it was just activating a formation, it had sapped nearly ninety percent of his mana. Had he not drunk a bottle of top quality mana potion in the beginning, he doubted he could remain floating in mid air.
But even with the potion's effects, his face still paled. Though, his expression seemed more excited than ever. The formation was complete and its light shot to the ground. It looked like a large, round pillar from afar.
The strong light caused many in the fort to wince. When it subsided, Stokian troops ready to mobilize appeared before them.
"Kill!" The leader of the army was transported to the roof of one house on horseback. He drew his sword and announced the arrival of hell's legion.
Slaughter and bloodshed spread like wildfire.The Stokian soldiers that passed through the portal turned into hellish ambassadors of death and attacked anything that move, military or civilian without discrimination for gender or age. Even the strays Eirinn raised for the past half year were trampled into meat paste.
The sudden onset of battle caught the Stokians completely off guard. Attacking a fort using large-scale transference spells was something that hadn't been seen for the past few centuries. As Fort Kesta's construction was a little rushed, nobody bothered to set up a spatial interference formation. Nobody expected Saron alone to be able to trigger a spell that allowed 15 thousand people to be transferred to a set location in an instant either. Hocke was completely defenseless against that kind of attack.
A good number of soldiers that were on break weren't able to make it back into camp, and those within the camps fared even worse. A lot of them were killed by the bombs Saron used on the onset.
That was why Hocke's men were fell one after another though they were three times the numbers' of Stok's troops.
"Mister Saron." The one in charge of leading the siege was a man past his thirties, named David. Even though he wasn't that aged, he was already a general of the Stokian army and had a sizable number of subordinates, 15 thousand in total. He was also a 17th-stratum warrior. Leguna had tried once to assassinate him before but failed.
"I've carried out the empire's instructions." Saron floated down to the ground and stopped using Host of Flame. He then put on a new magus robe.
It was one of the shortcomings of Host of Flame. While the gift afforded great destructive power, he would always burn his clothes up every time he used it. Not only was he unable to use any armor, it was also quite shameful to fight with his butt bared.
The Stokian alchemists did manage to find a heat-resistant material after much research. But since it was scarce, they only had enough to make a pair of pants for him.
But that pants was enough for Saron to use Host of Flame daringly. He didn't use it often back then because he treated it as a trump card and didn't want to fight stark naked. It didn't sound good for his reputation.
But with the heat-resistant pants, Saron didn't have to have that many reservations for that gift.
"Mister Saron, do you have any other requests?" David patiently waited for Saron to dress up first.
"Nothing else. Just complete the mission I gave you," he said with a casual wave.
"Finding that priestess named Eirinn, you mean?" David reconfirmed.
"That's right. Doesn't matter if she's dead. I heard Leguna treasures her a lot, so he'd definitely come for her corpse without hesitation."
"Understood." David nodded and turned to a robed old woman behind with. "Madam Trey, I'll leave this matter to you."
"It's my honor to be able to serve Mister Saron," the woman said before her wrinkles shook and she dictated a divination spell to locate Eirinn.
Alpacino carried Eirinn on her back. Even though he had been walking for some two hours by now, he didn't feel tired in the slightest. Part of it was due to how light she was, the other was his excitement from traveling with the girl he liked fueling him on the way.
Eirinn's fragrance only served to excite him more. Perhaps due to her dark elf heritage, her body emanated a hard-to-describe fragrance. Though she was pure as crystal, her allure still gave others a teasing sensation.
While he didn't really mind it at first, smelling it for two whole hours while feeling Eirinn's breasts on his back put a trace of ill intention in his mind.
"Phew…" Alpacino pretended to no longer have any energy and told her, "Eirinn, let's take a break."
The unconscious girl naturally couldn't reply.
And Alpacino took her silence as agreement. He placed her on a large rock on the plains lightly and looked at her proper.
Apart from her scars, she was undoubtedly a beauty. Her skin was fair like snow, her waist was slim and through her breasts weren't voluptuous by any means, they had a unique sculpted look to them. Alpacino couldn't imagine how someone could have cut off three of her fingers back then. That aside, her long silver hair was also part of her charm.
Alpacino gulped and didn't know what was going on, but the dirty thoughts swirled nonstop in his mind.
That's Eirinn! The girl you love! How could you bring yourself to hurt he? How did your heart turn so ugly?
This isn't hurting… I'm just admiring her! That's right! Only admiring. Apart from her face, she's like a work of art! It's only natural to want to admire something like this! I'm not in the wrong!
He stretched his hand out and pulled it back repeatedly. After about ten times of the same action, he managed to set his hand on her thick belt.
That was like the straw that broke the camel's back. He no longer hesitated and carefully removed the belt.
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