Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Boom!” A burning meteor fell from the sky in the direction of the two camps before hundreds more followed, covering the earth in a thick layer as though it was never to end. The booming sounds of explosions sounded again and again, making Lin Li feel as though he was standing in the middle of a battlefield. But then again, the unending fall of the Pyroblast meteors was comparable to real cannons.
Ripples appeared in the sky above the Tower of Dusk’s camp as the invisible magical defense stopped the Pyroblast meteors from falling on them. The flying sparks immediately set the surrounding forest on fire, and all they could see was sparks flying everywhere. The fire cast a layer of red on everything, making them feel as though they were standing in a furnace.
Chaos broke out in both camps, but in the camp of the Tower of Dusk, the mages were not in panic even though they moved quickly, and they all quieted down after a while. Meanwhile, in the Malfa Family’s camp, the mages rushed around like headless chickens and caused a ruckus.
From this alone, it was evident that the quality of mages from both camps was different, and Hutton looked over at the other camp with envy in his eyes.
“Is it the Syer bandits?” Lin Li asked from where he stood in front of the tent seeing as Gerian was not far away.
Gerian stood beside Lin Li while looking in the direction of all the noise as he angrily said, “Bloody hell, it must be those bastards from the Syer bandits. They look greater in numbers now, they must have come in full force.”
“Well, they lost their patience first.” Lin Li looked into the distance where the noise and quaking was coming from. That had to be the four Alchemy Colossuses.
It was important to be able to remain calm when faced with unexpected situations as many people would be at a loss when they met an unexpected development. The mages of the Tower of Dusk dd not need Gavin or Gerian to shout instructions at them as they quickly quieted down and took their positions. Then, they channeled mana into the magic nodes beneath their feet as they worked together to fend off this violent attack.
Hutton’s side was a little embarrassing compared to the Tower of Dusk. As nobody knew how powerful the enemy was, they had not set up defense mageweaths, thinking that they were facing merely a bunch of bandits. Nobody would have thought that this bunch of supposedly bandits would have the guts to strike first, and so violently too.
Without the help of defense mageweaths, the mages of the Malfa Family had no choice but to defend against the enemy’s attack themselves. While nobody was injured so far, judging from the state they were in, there was no doubt that they’d not last long.
“Gavin, let the Malfas in.” Lin Li did not wish to see his allies perish so soon. After all, they had yet to make themselves useful.
Before long, an ashen-faced Hutton came to Lin Li’s side, and gratefully said, “President Felic, thank you.”
Letting in an outsider during an attack—even an ally—was something dangerous as it came with risks. Firstly, they had to deal with the possibility that their ally might turn against them. After all, there was no telling whether that would happen as the agreement between allies was not known for being reliable. Secondly, even though an ally could be very loyal, letting them into his camp could disrupt the order and affect his people negatively. There was a reason why people said that one should not fear godly opponents, but rather their foolish teammates.
Hence, nobody could blame Lin Li even if he did not allow Hutton and the rest into his camp and watched them perish instead. They had placed themselves in such a situation because of their own stupidity, and others were not obligated to provide any assistance.
Of course, Lin Li had a lot of faith in the capability of his men, which was why he offered to let Hutton and the rest in. Besides, Lin Li was a Legendary-mage, after all, and if they chose to turn against him, it would be impossible for anyone here to stop him from leaving. Hutton was a clever man, and it would not be hard to know what choices he would make in this situation.
Regardless of what Lin Li thought, Hutton was immensely grateful to Lin Li for letting his people into his camp as it showed how much trust he had in Hutton.
Lin Li got goosebumps from the way Hutton looked at him; hence, he quickly said, “Mage Hutton, take a rest and let your men join in defending the camp.”
“Alright, President Felic, just tell them what to do and they will cooperate.” After he finished saying that, Hutton called Yeric over, and told him, “Yeric, go tell our people that they must listen to the arrangements made by the Tower of Dusk from now on so that we can defend from the enemy attack together.”
“Yes, Young Master Hutton,” Yeric answered, and turned to leave, but not before he shot a look at Lin Li, who stood at the side. Even though the Malfa Family was saved by Lin Li, who let them into his camp, he was still filled with distaste for Lin Li.
It was evident from this that this young President was still too naive and childish in the way he thought. How could such a man be the leader of a force? In Yeric’s opinion, there was no way the Breezy Plains’ Guild of magic would last with such a President.
After Yeric passed Hutton’s words to the mages of the Malfa Family, Gavin immediately sent them to their positions so that they could work alongside those from the Tower of Dusk to hold up the magical defense border together. Given their circumstances, the people from the Malfa Family had to rely on the defense border of the Tower of Dusk’s camp to protect themselves; hence, none of them was foolish enough to protest against Gavin’s arrangements.
When they were setting off, Hutton had already emphasized to his men that they were to lower their stance when dealing with the mages from the Tower of Dusk so as not to offend anyone. However, not many of them followed Hutton’s instructions when they met the people from the Tower of Dusk in the Dragon Mountains.
As the elites from the magic squad of the Malfa Family, the feeling of superiority had long been embedded in them, and it was hard to change with just a few words from Hutton. This feeling of superiority was even harder to suppress after they saw the strength of the mages from the Tower of Dusk and how shabby their tents and campsite were.
Thankfully, Hutton had instructed his men not to leave the campsite so as to prevent them from meeting the other party and coming into conflict. Now that both sides were finally standing together, the people from the Malfa Family had lost all traces of that feeling of superiority.
This shabby-looking camp had made use of a magical defense border, something that required a large amount of rare magic ingredients and technology. Meanwhile, their luxurious and comfortable tents had been burnt to ashes now.
Superiority? How would the mages of the Malfa Family dare to think of that now? But that was not the end, as they stood with the mages from the Tower of Dusk and saw their magic robes, magic staffs, and magic equipment, and they could not help feeling inferior.
Damn it, how could this be? They were a Guild that had been around for merely a few months, yet every one of them used equipment that they could only admire through the windows of a shop. If it had been in different circumstances, they would even have thought to steal from them!
Hence, the mages of the Malfa Family followed the people from the Tower of Dusk to their job of maintaining the magical defense barrier with a heavy heart. Even though they did not receive prior training in this, they were able to keep up as the task was not complicated for them—all they had to do was to channel their mana into it.
The magical defense barrier that loomed over them flickered like a flame in a storm under the attack of various magic spells and seemed to be on the verge of collapsing. However, it recovered after the mages from the Malfa Family joined in, and those who looked on did not feel as nervous as they had before.
Perhaps the enemy could tell that the magical defense barrier could not be penetrated so easily, for the Pyroblast meteors falling from the sky decreased in number until stopping completely. Without the flames clouding their vision, the magical defense barrier became clear once again, and they could see that the trees around them were still burning as the fire spread, while large plumes of smoke rose into the air.
“Disperse the smoke and get ready to counterattack,” Gerian commanded the mages awaiting his instructions.
A few of the mages heard the command and worked together to cast a Gale Spell. In an instant, the smoke twisted in the sky before it was sent far away by the strong gale. The sky temporarily turned clear, and everyone could finally see the situation in the sky.
They saw 10 mages in black robes hovering in the sky somewhere not far from the campsite, but there was no insignia they could see on their robes. Besides that, their faces were hidden in the dark by the wide-brimmed hats they wore. The only thing that revealed they were Archmages were four Solar Spheres revolving around each of them.
“President Felic, this, this must be the 10 Archmages you were speaking of!” Hutton frowned. He had thought that Felic had been merely trying to get the Malfa Family to confirm their stance using the situation, but now that he was facing these 10 Archmages, he realized that things were not as simple as they seemed.
The 10 mages in back robes hovered in the air and chanted while their faces remained hidden under their wide-brimmed hats. They waved their magic staffs in the air as all kinds of magic spells rained down upon the camp. This was no simple Pyroblast meteor; it was as though they were in a demonstrative class as all kinds of advanced magic was shown. It was a flame one moment, and then lightning before it was followed by a blizzard.
It was not easy to retaliate at all. The saying “one must strike first in order to gain the upper hand” aptly described their situation now. Actually, there were more than 10 Archmages in the Malfa Family’s camp and the Tower of Dusk combined, but level-18 Archmages were another story. While they were all Archmages, every level was very different from the next, just as a level-17 Archmage was worlds apart from a level-18 Archmage.
The 10 level-18 Archmages made offensive spells fall down like rain upon them, making it very hard for them to find a chance to retaliate. Hence, the only thing they could do was to allow the spells to rain down on them and rely on the magical defense barrier for protection.
Hutton smiled wearily as he glanced at Felic, silently rejoicing in the fact that the people from the Tower of Dusk had set up a magical defense barrier, or else they would have lost half their men by now. Then again, if not for Felic’s invitation, he would not have to suffer through this with his men.
Right then, trees started falling down in front of the campsite. Then, the trees at the edge of the campsite went flying as well, and four massive steel like figures appeared in their field of vision.
“A-Alchemy Colossuses…” Hutton stared with wide eyes at the area in front of the camp, especially at the four massive steel figures.
As the heir of the Malfas, Hutton was quite knowledgeable, and knew quite a bit about the Alchemy Colossus, but then again, that was the extent of his knowledge as he had never seen them for himself, and thus did not have any real impression of them. When he heard from Lin Li that the enemy possessed Alchemy Colossuses, he did not give it much thought. These were dead creatures, after all, and not as great of a threat to him as the 10 Archmages1.
Now that he had seen the Alchemy Colossuses for himself, he realized how overwhelming their presence was. All the records he had read about the Alchemy Colossus came flashing vividly in his mind.
The four Alchemy Colossuses before him were all at least 10 meters in height, and they had a bright golden glow as gold was the main material used to build them. Even then, they were smooth in appearance and without edges as they were covered in a complicated pattern all over their bodies.
These four Alchemy Colossuses were not shaped like humans; they were in the shape of a magical beast from the Eternal Frost Plains, the Icefield Troll, instead. This was thought to be the most appropriate shape for an Alchemy Colossus.
Lin Li had seen how Icefield Trolls looked from some sources: they were like white chimpanzees or white gorillas. These Alchemy Colossuses were massive and broad; when they moved, they relied on their hind legs to support them so that when they stood up, their long arms would allow them to attack a wide area around them.
After many comparisons and tests, many thought that an Alchemy Colossus was comparable to an Archmage in terms of combat power, but even then, there were differences between an Archmage level-15 and level-19—a huge difference, in fact. After factoring in aspects like defense, casting efficiency, and durability, an Alchemy Colossus was probably much harder to deal with than an Archmage.
The only thing was that Alchemy Colossus could not hide their true power like humans, and the only things determining their ability were the power source and the Alchemy Array. Hence, with the information from the Alchemy Array, Lin Li was able to quickly determine how powerful these Alchemy Colossuses were.
“President Felic, I’ve heard that there are differences between Alchemy Colossuses. Do you think these Alchemy Colossuses are…?” Hutton asked Lin Li, but did not make himself too clear, as this was a difficult line to draw. While a level-15 and a level-19 Archmage might be different, so would be two level-15 Archmages.
Lin Li smiled as he looked into the distance, and calmly replied, “Below level-19.”
“Oh, thank goodness.” Hutton was influenced by Lin Li’s calmness and heaved a sigh of relief as he mopped the sweat on his forehead. But after that, he froze and his handkerchief landed on the floor before he looked up with his eyes as wide as saucers and his expression stiff. “What… What did you say? Below level-19?”
Lin Li nodded his head. “Yes, but don’t worry. I don’t think that they are of Legendary level yet, hence below level-19. Even though they may be comparable to a Legendary magical beast in terms of their combined combat prowess, it is still only comparable.”
Com-comparable to a Legendary magical beast, and four of them at once? Hutton was so scared he turned pale. He’d never thought it would be so risky prior to coming here. If it were only the 10 Archmages earlier, that would be easier as he was sure that they could defeat them even with their combined forces… though it might not be an easy fight. Now, however, they even had four Alchemy Colossuses that were comparable to a Legendary magical beast. Were they not courting death?
The mages of the Malfa Family were terrified by the appearance of the Alchemy Colossuses. This was just a small campsite and not some city, so why did they have to use such powerful weapons? Damn it, how could the Syer bandits have something like this?! They could have taken down a few cities and made their own kingdom! Why even be bandits…?
The mages from the Tower of Dusk were much calmer in comparison as they had seen much more in the last months. They had been no better than the mages from the Malfa Family at first, but after a while, they got used to it, and those who had fought these creatures were even more confident now.
The booming sounds of the steps rang in their hearts as the ground shook beneath the Colossuses, and they felt their hearts sink. They could not find it in themselves to fight back against the Alchemy Colossus, and all they felt was a sense of helplessness.
“Boom!” A large tree as thrown at them and fell heavily on their defense barrier.
“No, we can’t let them get too near. The defense barrier is limited in its ability to defend against physical attacks, and those are used to attack cities!” Gavin was from the library indeed as he knew quite a bit about the Alchemy Colossus.
No matter how well the camp was set up, it was still a temporary camp, after all, and these Alchemy Colossuses were battle machines, always on the winning side in battles. Even a blow from one of them was sure to destroy the defense barrier, much less from all four of them.
Nothing could be flawless, after all. The magical defense barrier’s main purpose was to defend against offensive spells, and it could not endure much impact from physical attacks. A mirror could deflect light, but not a blow from a hammer—since the nature of the attack was different, so was the defense.