Book 4, Chapter 31

Tactics

A lightning storm would not differentiate between friend and foe. As long as one was in range, there was a high chance of being struck by the equivalent of a grade 6 lightning spell. However, a golden glow spread out from the unicorn’s eyes that created a pale gold barrier protecting Richard and his followers. The barrier dispersed any bolts striking it, managing to hold together until everyone made it across. Magic resistance was a unicorn’s best ability, and there seemed to be some bonus in the forest.

After getting past the lightning storm, Richard and his men reached the foot of the Tree of Life, finally able to appreciate it in all its glory. Richard scanned through the information the elite humanoid knight had sent him, pointing towards the top of the tree, “We’re going up, all the important ones are there!”

The group thus followed the spiralling path upwards, attacking everything on the way like wolves and tigers. The five rune knights had entered battle formation and were guarding the bottom, preventing any reinforcements from flanking them.

Nyris’ bloodlust burned as strong as ever. However, while he wanted to get through the lightning storm like Richard had, his guards would not make the trip. The most distinguishing feature of a lightning storm spell was its duration, which was also the only criterion with which one’s prowess at it was judged. Pamir seemed to have a great mana pool; the storm had already lasted a full minute, but it showed no signs of stopping. The elves had suffered massive casualties, but now it was becoming an obstacle for their own side.

“Master Pamir!” Richard’s voice suddenly rang out from the distance, “Bombard my mark!”

Pamir rose to the sky in compliance, just in time to see a fireball climbing up the Tree of Life to land on a treehouse at the top. The humid weather greatly dimmed the flames, reducing their damage, but normally it would be no problem to take down a treehouse. However, a green barrier suddenly flickered into existence at the top, blocking the flames completely. This was a powerful defence, but it also gave Pamir a clear target.

The grand mage stabilised himself in mid-air, beginning a long incantation that took a full ten seconds to complete.

The sky shook as a thick bolt of lightning fell towards the nature barrier. The dark green energy flickered in and out of existence, on the verge of breaking apart. However, that was not the end of the spell; the spell split into numerous lightning spiders that covered the surface of the barrier, breaking it apart with their attacks.

The magic spiders took the opportunity to charge through the wooden house, landing on the ten elves underneath. Merciless discharges left the elders trembling in pain.

Grade 9 spell, Thunderous Prison. After breaking a barrier formed by nine druids working together, it still managed to cause a substantial damage to everyone. However, such power took its toll. Pamir was swaying around in the sky by the time the spiders completely vanished, all blood drained from his face. He had no choice but to return to the ground, entering the protection of a royal guard.

Richard and his followers continued to charge upwards, with Tiramisu leading the way. Boosted by War Construct and numerous other buffing spells, the ogre was a terrifying existence on this battlefield. Elven warriors were constantly charging out to try and stop them, but he didn’t care for their strength or weapons as he smashed them all with a flail that was several hundred kilograms heavy. With nowhere to dodge on the narrow path, the elves that refused to retreat were forced to take the strikes head-on.

Richard was following closely behind Flowsand, protecting her even though she didn’t need it. An elf suddenly rushed out of a seemingly empty treehouse, short spear headed straight for his throat, but he only smiled wryly at how many times they were trying the same thing. Constantly choosing him or Flowsand to attack… These fellows seemed to have a problem with judging books by the cover.

He took a single step backwards, letting the attack sail by harmlessly before he grabbed the spear and pulled it to the side. The attacker immediately lost his balance and stumbled out of the wooden house, only barely able to stop himself at the edge of the path. However, he felt a push on his lower back that forced him to take another step forward.

A step that found no footing.

Richard ignored the warrior’s yelp; with the house more than fifty metres above the ground, this opponent was done for. This was the same way he had fought off all the other attackers, simply using his wrestling skills to toss them off the tree. Even if they somehow managed to survive the fall, they would be incapacitated.

He guided his followers to attack at full strength, not caring for the small injuries. With Flowsand in the group, everyone had an extra life.

Just as they were about to reach the top, the wooden path suddenly shook as a warbear with a massive physique suddenly pounced towards the group. This giant bear was different from regular beasts, having the symbol of a tree on its forehead. This was no beast, instead a druid in bear form. Tiramisu stopped running, planting both feet on the ground as he bent his knees to prepare for the fierce collision; this giant bear was strong enough for even him to treat it with caution. 

Richard knew the druids within the house were rapidly regaining their strength. Every minute they were delayed here was more of their advantage wasted. However, his unicorn suddenly raised a hoof and neighed loudly, golden sparks surrounding its horn. A thin bolt of lightning flew towards the giant bear, instantly dissipating the green energy protecting the druid and paralysing him! The sparks wasn’t directly harmful, but its effects were deadly. Druids who controlled the power of nature were known to be difficult to curse, but a high-levelled one had been paralysed so easily!

The paralysis would last for a very short period of time, but on such a narrow path that was the worst situation. The charging bear fell onto its stomach, sliding towards Tiramisu.

The ogre was instantly overjoyed, grabbing his flail with a plan to crush the bear’s bones. However, Richard screamed for him to not waste time; even in its paralysed state, the druid in bear form would need time to kill. He immediately changed his tactics, the flail in his hands smashing into the bear’s head. It evoked a pained cry from the druid, but even the full-strength attack hadn’t managed to break his thick skull. Tiramisu followed up with a heavy kick that pushed the bear off the path.

An enraged roar rang throughout the Tree of Life, but it was quickly followed by a dull thud. The damage from the fall wouldn’t necessarily be fatal to someone so powerful, but trying to climb all the way back up would require some time.

Richard passed by Tiramisu without a word, quickly charging to the top of the tree that had been ravaged by Pamir’s spell. Two elders were already up, staffs in hand as they tried to summon something, but most others were still casting healing spells while the weakest pair were still on the floor. He immediately opened up the Book of Holding, lightning flashing in from the skies to strike one of the elders working on the summoning spell. The druid cried out miserably, collapsing with shock on his face. When had he ever seen someone cast a spell with no warning at all? In the wooden minds of the forest elf, this made no sense.

A dozen smaller lightning bolts branched off from the main strike, spreading randomly from the point of impact. These bolts still possessed substantial power, sending one elder who couldn’t manage to dodge in time to the ground. It would take a few minutes for him to struggle back up again.

Grade 7 spell, Chain Lightning. While it wasn’t as terrifying as Thunderous Prison in terms of coverage or power, these druids couldn’t withstand it so easily.

Richard continued to flip through the Book of Holding, another bolt of lightning striking the elder who was still continuing his summoning spell. That elf fell to the ground without any suspense, but Richard gasped to himself silently. Had he been in the elf’s shoes and seen his opponent casting spells instantaneously, he definitely wouldn’t have continued to chant a spell so brazenly.

The druids all began to transform, two elders struggling to buff them. However, Richard pointed at one that was about to morph into a bear and bellowed, “Tiramisu!”

The ogre grunted in answer before rushing over to the target, mercilessly striking the creature that had just assumed form. The impact flung the druid off the top of the tree. The ogre himself was forced back by the strength of the impact, sinking to the ground with shaky legs, but he began to chuckle happily.

Richard flipped through the Book of Holding once more, sending the third chain lightning spell to knock down the grand elder who was in a hurry to heal the rest of his kin. This left the elves in despair; there seemed to be no end to their misery.

When seven raptors flashed into existence in the hut, even Richard himself was shocked. It seemed like nature spells were strengthened on this plane. These creatures would normally have meant nothing to the druids, but the eight remaining elders were unfortunate enough to be faced with a monster like Richard. They hadn’t managed to get off a single spell before being caught up in a melee, a range where the raptors could not be underestimated. If one was caught in their maws and swung around, those who hadn’t transformed would lose chunks of flesh.

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OMA's Thoughts

The Ironblood Family is now the Orleans Family. However, their family head is the Ironblood Duke.

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA