It was a testament to the elders’ skill that none of their spells blew up before being scattered. Even so, nine of them were seriously injured by the backlash and wouldn’t be able to rejoin the fight soon. Noelene had single-handedly taken out most of the druids present with her sphere of time, something that could affect even legendary mages. This ability worked not by affecting the target but distorting time entirely, which meant one could only counter it with extremely quick reactions or a basic understanding of the laws of time themselves. The greatest threat wasn’t even to grand mages or druids; it was precisely to legendary beings. Most legendary mages had extremely powerful energy but their bodies could not compare; a failed cast of a legendary spell stood a chance to kill them outright.
At this point, Richard and Noelene had combined to take out a dozen of the elders in the alliance. Phaser had taken out a few more as well, which dropped the high-end power of the alliance by more than half.
The elven warriors were slowly starting to make their way onto the platform. Although Tiramisu was ferocious, he couldn’t guard the entire perimeter and Phaser was busy hunting down the elders who had turned to flee. The ogre was eventually overwhelmed, with dozens of hunters finally jumping up to fight. It was at that moment that the entire treant camp vibrated and even leaned to one side, starting to collapse. The elves on the edge of the platform fell flat on their faces, while those still climbing up plummeted below.
A moment later, painful screams resounded through the battlefield. Many of the ancient treants that made up the natural fortress were being destroyed, and one of them on a corner was even lifted up and slammed back into the ground. The impact shook everything, causing many of the branches and vines to disentangle and separate. The bark which was a metre thick and hard as iron was torn apart, revealing milky white pith within.
Mountainsea walked out from below, casually lifting Eleventon and slamming it into another nearby trunk. The treant’s bark caved visibly from the leisurely impact, broken wood flying everywhere as a pained moan rang out. The treant lost its ability to support the camp, causing some of the wooden structures to fall down.
The barbarian girl was stunned at first— she hadn’t expected it to be this easy— but after some thought she came to accept reality. Tiramisu had destroyed many treants himself in recent days, and he rarely ever needed a second strike. Her rod was even heavier; it only made sense for her attacks to do such damage. She looked over the treants once more, and some of them tried to scare her away while the others trembled with terror. Intertwined with each other to hold up the fortress, they didn’t have any ability to defend themselves.
The fortress suddenly vibrated once more, the branches supporting the bottom creaking under the load. Mountainsea looked up and saw a rune knight jumping down to the platform, and heard a familiar whistle from Richard that ordered them to attack. She shook her head at the treants and jumped onto one of them, pointing at the hole. The creature proved extremely wise, immediately dropping a branch and ferrying her to her destination. The moment she was gone, every tree in the vicinity heaved a sigh of relief.
By the time Mountainsea climbed back up, all she could see was a field of slaughter. Half of the elven elders lay dead, and Waterflower was still jumping from platform to platform to chase after the others. Some even chose to just fall instead of fighting; the camp was up high, but the fall would only leave heavy injuries at most. The elven warriors that were still up above had been killed off by the rune knights, who were retrieving their javelins for more volleys.
With the top platform cleaned up completely, the elves had withdrawn to the foliage and lower platforms to try and use the terrain to fight. However, Richard had no intention of granting their wish; the astral chrysalis floated right next to the platform, and all of the rune knights were ordered to get on. In only a few moments the knights were all on and the creature flew back into the sky, barely taking any arrow fire at all. Phaser, Waterflower, Tiramisu, and even Mountainsea remained below for a few more seconds, killing as they wished until the chrysalis was a hundred metres above and they had to follow.
Once the followers were picked up, the astral chrysalis turned gracefully once more and flew into the distance. All it left behind was a chaotic and disoriented mess.
Although Richard had never seen the goat-creature before, he had noticed that its aura was similar to Iskara’s; this was almost certainly the person controlling the elves from behind the scenes. With the death of the mastermind and half of the elders, the alliance had been dealt a heavy blow. There were still thousands of elves who were starting to organise a resistance, and staying any longer would cause casualties. He himself was exhausted as was Noelene, which greatly decreased the margin for error. It made much more sense to fall back.
Half a day later, Richard was back with his army. He had them turn around and return to Emerald City along the road they had opened up; the four clerics had exhausted themselves to suppress the will of the forest’s effects, and the nearest tree of life was at least two thousand kilometres away. With the blow he had just dealt, any elven tribe would have their tree migrate the moment they learnt he was anywhere nearby.
The locals were so badly wounded that the race wouldn’t recover for a century. Richard was in no hurry here; he would pull out the world tree sooner or later, it didn’t have to be right now.
Late in the night, Richard was patrolling the army camp alongside Nyris and Agamemnon. The latter was still taciturn, but with his increasing strength his equipment had grown simpler as well. Now he only had a big sword slung across his back, only enchanted for sharpness and durability. This was traditional for the Orleans Family— those who wished to lead were to wean themselves off powerful weapons as much as possible. One had to focus on their own might, and he was starting to embody this ideal.
Agamemnon seemed more solid than ever, a single step possessing mountainous strength. It seemed like he was impossible to move. As for Nyris…
Nyris left Richard speechless. The enchanting Fourth Prince had grown even more beautiful since he had entered sainthood, now wearing androgynous armour and with long blond hair tied into a ponytail behind his head. He was constantly staring at the two of them with resentment, likely over strength, but that only made Richard want to run away. Only one word came to mind at his antics: cute.
Nyris’ movements were so graceful one couldn’t even think him a man. If one wasn’t familiar with his identity, Richard was afraid they would be smitten by him entirely. Just the thought made him shudder with fear.
Richard had heard that the prince used to glare at Agamemnon like this a lot of the time, but now the brunt of the rage had been set in his own direction. If looks could kill, and with either meaning of the phrase, he was sure he would drop dead instantly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo