A New Dawn 135 Battle Of The Wild Mountains : Part 3
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The hundreds of skeletons, both fighting in close combat and firing arrows from the walls were able to easily hold their ground, with the absence of the Hero. With Kardel preventing any magus to even show his face, they had no way to deal with heavily covered archers that seemed to have an infinite supply of ammunition. Seeing the numbers of soldiers halved before even reaching the first line of undead, the humans could only wreck their brains to find a solution.
What they ended up with was not really satisfying, but still managed to work. Betting on the fact that the hidden threat that managed to kill their peers and injured Avirus would not personally act seeing normal archers, they took some of their best men to fight bows with bows. But, to not be at a disadvantage, the magus that were fearfully staying behind the entrance casted a magic s.h.i.+eld big enough to cover the human bowmen.
Even as they breathed in relief, realizing none of them were getting shot it, they couldn't help but realize it was awfully inefficient. While they could shot the skeleton archers, most arrows were blocked by the stone ramparts dug in the very wall. After that, even if an arrow could destroy a rib or two, the undead was perfectly fine, still firing projectile after projectile into the tender flesh of the humans under him.
And as the number of skeleton archers was dwindling so slowly, the undead warriors were not idling either. Their visibly durable iron armors prevented them to be destroyed by mere archers. Only a magician or someone fighting them close could put their bones to rest. But, after the initial clash between the two armies, it was obvious which one had the superiority. Both by their nature and their equipment crafted by Master Agnil, the undead could slaughter the humans easily.
The very ground began to form red ponds here and there, as the piles of corpses were beginning to appear. Some of the youngest fighters couldn't help but feel disgusted while marching on the bodies of their former comrades. The weakest even threw up, as the air was getting saturated with fool odors. With nothing else to do, the magicians still managed to create an air flow, reducing the bad taste they had in their mouths.
In the end, after nearly half a day of fighting, just to annihilate not even a tenth of what Leilade had at her disposal, her enemy had to pay a price reaching the tens of thousands of casualties. But to her surprise, instead of feeling dejected, the humans were cheering and smiling widely. None of those surrounding her managed to understand the impact of the defeat of Avirus. For those that survived the fight, it was like the G.o.ds had also blessed them.
Even after containing the information as much as they wanted, rumors had still appeared in the army. How only one hundred skeletons had managed to kill more than 50 000 strong and solid men in a matter of hours. So, to destroy more than thrice this number, it proved that the Dark G.o.ds were not as terrifying as they imagined. After all, with the recent events, numerous bards and singers told once more the Age of Darkness to the common populace. Making everyone remember the fate of both Pankow and the original 12 Heroes.
Past that moment of some even jumped in joy, the sad reality still was present. Hearing the sounds of their boots touching water, the humans looked down at their feet and saw the immense graveyard that room had become. Still in a daze, a few officers were quick to regain their spirits and organize a wide cleaning of the reddened ground. If they were to head deeper with that many bodies rotting on their way, it would only lead to a disaster.
Picking up both the corpse of their comrades and the damaged equipment of the skeleton, everyone that had fought was walking back toward the surface. Only a small group still formed an iron wall directed toward the dark tunnel leading to an unknown destination. Seeing this, the magicians also partic.i.p.ated, now freed of the threat of those deadly arrows. As for the newcomers that just arrived, they were shocked by the state of the underground battlefield. Right before the first human that was carrying something managed to put his foot outside, Leilade saw Malakov snapping his fingers.
Multiple ma.s.sive explosions resonated, creating an earthquake with their might. The ground shook so much that many fell to their knees, looking at the terrifying spectacle in front of them. The soil was projected in the air, unleas.h.i.+ng a rain of stones, rocks and earth on everyone in the vicinity. The heat was so important that nothing was tainted red, with the blood turning into vapor.
The officer that was the one to report their first win could only stare at this, not believing his own eyes. The second before, he had told them how they had managed to kill the last skeleton albeit with many casualties. Only two people were not staring with their eyes wide open. The first was the disciple of the Archmage, Three while the second was Lord Darkwater. Signaling Arthar to approach, he asked the number of casualties amongst the magicians.
In recent years, magus represented the strength of a country. With them being equal to thousands of soldiers, and the loss of a single one had a huge impact. As it also took years, dozens of years to train a proper magus, Ma.s.salia was in a precarious position after the terrible wound Leilade inflicted to the Academy of Magic. But when he heard the fact that a magus did die, Remi was not pleased, even if the death was from Synnada.
"Think of it positively, now we know that there will be no trap on our way." His words caused those surrounding him to look at him with disbelief. "Has the old man turned senile?" were the thoughts many had. But past the shock, and as much as they hated what he said, it was still true. Nothing could have survived those explosions, not their soldiers nor the traps of the Dark G.o.ds. Looking at the landscape that was similar to a beast whose stomach was cut open, the humans began to clear the path and remove all obstacles.
What was previously buried under meters of stones was now quite visible, including an awfully strange place. The pedestals of all the statues had been vaporized, except one that was not really impacted. The wall behind it was in the same state, forming a globe hiding anything that was in its center. Therefore, while the pa.s.sages leading to the second room were still blocked, many magicians began to ponder about that surprising discovery.
Of course, that was only during the brief moments when the information was still traveling toward Lord Darkwater and before the latter firmly forbid every mage to get too close. Even if that was not a trap and was just something totally different, he will not lose a magus for anything. However, that strange intact part of the tomb ignited the curiosity of the magus near him. "Let me take a look." Three was maybe asking, but no one would dare prevent him from doing anything.
Waving his hand, the old general could only hope that those disciples of the Archmage knew what they were doing. It was a funny sight to see every soldier trying to be as far as possible from that intact pedestal, but at the same time, still forced to be close because the tunnels were near it. Leading the way, the highest ranked magus of this place began to talk with his peers. However, instead of using words, they had all learned the way of their master, using only their minds to prevent anything from being found out.
To the soldiers sneaking a peek, that made them look like madmen. Sometimes, one was gesturing in the air, explaining something with his hands, but without any words to do it. Seeing the slacking soldiers that were perplexed by what was nearby, the officers had to remind them of their priorities. This strange spectacle lasted for a dozen of minutes until the oldest magus present extended his finger and touched the wall.
Slowly, the path was opened, allowing humans to peek at what was beyond. Even if the very small room was completely empty, they could feel the intense concentration of mana in it, as well as the circle inscribed on the ground. Foreign to them, Seven tried to touch it before he was stopped by Three that shook his head. Creating a small waterball, he threw it toward the circle, only to see it disappeared before making contact.
Remembering something, Seven left the group and returned to the outside. There, it looked around a bit, visibly disappointed to not see who he was looking for. Turning his sight toward the old general that was staring at him with an odd look, he transmitted his thoughts. "I am searching for Muirnë." However, he still approached Lord Darkwater and murmured gibberish in his ear. "Amdir, we need your sister."
"With pleasure." The face of the young man brightened at those words. If those magicians needed his sister, that would mean they could get her out of her current situation. Not even Avirus and Ferrod could oppose the Archmage, but not even once did he thought it could be dangerous. After all, if it was truly risky, they wouldn't have specified to get Muirnë.
Soon after, a fully armored fighter approached, following the son of the Sword Saint. A bit perplexed by the sight of such a costly armor, the magus did not make the link immediately. Only after hearing the young feminine voice leaking from this ma.s.s of metal did he realized who it was. "What can I do for you, Magus." Without answering, he only grabbed her and brought her to where the strange inscription was. Under the dumbfounded stares of many, worrying over the sanity of the disciples of the Archmage.
"Princess Muirnë, we were hoping you could tell us more about that circle, over there." Acting as a kind elder, Three was incomparably nicer than the one that dragged her here without any explanation. But when she peeked at what was behind those magus, she regretted to not have found an excuse to not come. Even if they couldn't see her expression behind the heavy helmet she was wearing, the sudden step back she took betrayed her feelings.
"That was what we wanted to know, is there anything else you may add?" The circle on the ground was identical to the one she found in the bottom of the library, back when Leilade was still disguised as a human. However, even if many knew about it, only three knew its exact design. Besides Muirnë, her father and Sarah Meridil had also seen it, before the two decided to destroy it. However, it was too risky to bring any of the two her, as their deaths would be terrible for the entire army.
"She used it to teleport herself somewhere. I don't know where, just that by stepping on it, she was gone in a blink of an eye." After saying those words, she saw them exchanging glances, but without saying anything. However, she soon began to feel a headache, as many murmurs were reaching her mind. If it had been someone normal, he would have already been to his knees, but she had already suffered far worse. Unknowingly, the suffering living spirit managed to catch the ongoing discussion.
"... no idea where this is going. Imagine it's a trap."
"Of course it's a trap. Only, if we can use it at our advantage, don't forget what we learned from the Archmage."
"Too risky, even the best of us can't create something that can teleport something further away than 100 meters and you want to modify what they made?"
"Also, we still don't know if they can listen to what we are saying. We should wait for his arrival."
The more she listened, the more she understood how little she knew about the Tower of the Archmage. Besides being the last remaining Hero and surviving all those years, nothing ever leaked from what he was doing. But now, if what she heard was true, they were already capable of accomplis.h.i.+ng miracles. But if they were that powerful, why they hadn't noticed anything weird with her. Fighting her impulse to touch the silver necklace that ensnared her neck, she lightly coughed.
"Yes, yes. You can return to what you were doing princess." The oldest magus dismissed her, before returning to his intense debate with his peers. it was only when she was outside that she noticed her condition. She was craving for blood, her hunger had been exacerbated by her short time spent underground. However, she knew that she could not move as she wished under the caring of her brother and the vigilance of Ferrod. Repressing her urge, she reported all she could to Lord Darkwater, without betraying what she heard them say with their minds.
A New Dawn 135 Battle Of The Wild Mountains : Part 3
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A New Dawn 135 Battle Of The Wild Mountains : Part 3 summary
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