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Chapter 992 The Battlefield is a Chessboard
There was a large wooden ship.
Unlike an ordinary wooden ship, it didn’t sail on a river but, instead, slowly cruised through the air.
Its tall mast, magnificent golden exterior, and sharp ram at its forefront gave it a strangely n.o.ble and majestic appearance. The eye-catching emblem of the Fabres Clan was branded on the side of the ship, where it was most visible.
Meanwhile, groups of organized troops slowly marched forward on the ground below, with the wooden ship at the center of the army.
Inside a secret room within the cabins.
Seven adepts gathered before a magical sandbox, whispering in soft voices.
The uneven shapes on the sandbox represented the geography of Ailovis, along with its most iconic landmarks and architecture. The entire area to the southwest had turned bright green, while the other regions were red, yellow, or a lighter shade of green scattered haphazardly across the region.
Green represented territories that had surrendered or been conquered, yellow represented territories that still belonged to the Crimson Clan, and red designated territories that were currently contested.
The seven Third Grade adepts discussed their strategy in soft voices. Every time they made a decision, they took a three-dimensional chess piece and placed it somewhere on the sandbox. The chess pieces would flicker with magical symbols of various colors and designs.
Whenever any changes occurred on the sandbox, a clan member would immediately record the leaders’ decision and send it outside. Once the orders had been pa.s.sed down layer after layer to reach the hands of the adepts and troops responsible for its execution, they would immediately leave and hurry off into the distance to accomplish their mission.
Of course, there were always parties that had completed their mission returning to the army.
In this manner, the chess pieces to the side of the magical sandbox remained in a constant dynamic state!
Just as the people in the room were busy laying out more strategies, a few cracking sounds rang out from the magical sandbox. Several chess pieces within it suddenly exploded. Fine cracks first appeared on these pieces before the magic symbols branded upon them dimmed after flickering a few times.
That typically meant a clan adept had died while on a mission!
The seven high-grade adepts weren’t bothered by such a phenomenon if it happened at a few irrelevant locations. After all, this was a ma.s.sive adept clan war; it was impossible for there to be no deaths or casualties at all.
However, five missions simultaneously failing, and this many adepts dying all at once; it couldn’t help but demand their attention!
Ummah, one of the seven Third Grade adepts, looked at the sandbox and began cursing beneath his breath.
Four of the five missions that had failed were ones that he had given out. Even he had to be frustrated at the sheer coincidence of so many of his tasks failing. He felt as if he had just lost face.
Ummah retook a good look. Chillwind, Silverspring Mines, Xavia Castle, the Stone Tower of Ilgalar, and Alexston City. Those were all worldly territories or resource sites that lay outside of the Crimson Clan’s core dominion. Supposedly, the forces sent by the Fabres Clan to each of these locations should have been several times that of the enemy. The chances of failure should not have been so high.
Ummah picked up the shattered pieces located at Xavia Castle and immediately identified the adepts based on the extinguished magical symbols. With his authority as a core adept of the clan, he quickly managed to connect to the spiritual frequency of that adept party.
“This is Adept Ummah from headquarters. Is there anyone still alive from the Crystal Spear squad?”
Ummah had to repeat the same mental message several times to obtain a response.
“Lord Ummah, hurry…hurry and come…save us.”
Judging from the spiritual frequency, it was an apprentice adept who replied. However, he appeared to be running away as fast as he could. The message was choppy and experiencing severe interference.
“I don’t care who you are. Speak, who did you run into? Why did the mission fail?”
“It’s…the bug adept…it’s…aah!”
The apprentice let out a pained cry before he could finish.
The connection cut off.
Bug Adept. The core Second Grade Bug Adept Billis of the Crimson Clan?
Ummah’s forehead twisted into a frown.
If it were that guy, then it would be a lot harder to execute the missions that came after.
Since the incident occurred in an area that Ummah was responsible for, the other Third Grade adepts smiled and ignored the situation. Only Adept Linus, who was close to Ummah, couldn’t help but send a voice transmission, “How is it? Do you need help?”
Ummah rejected without any expression on his face.
It was just a skirmish on the outskirts. As a veteran adept of the Fabres Clan, he had more than enough subordinates at his disposal. There was no need for him to request a.s.sistance from the other Third Grade adepts. If he did so, he would be laughed at by the others.
“What’s the situation on your end?” Ummah couldn’t help but reply with a question of his own.
The Tower of Ilgalar was an area that Linus was responsible for. That was why Ummah had asked the question.
“A Second Grade blood dragon appeared and exterminated all the people I sent there. I’m thinking of a way to trap and slay it!” Frustration appeared on Adept Linus’ face as he spoke, “What about you?”
Ummah picked up the broken chess pieces from the other three areas, his face as black as ink.
“Dammit! It’s the bug adept, the dragonborn, and that d.a.m.ned goblin. The core Second Grades of the Crimson Clan are all on my side of the battlefield.” It was only natural that he was so resentful. It was such a vast battlefield, yet the core fighting forces of the enemy were all creating trouble in the areas for which he was responsible. It was a tough nut to swallow.
“Bug Adept Billis? Be careful. That guy is bad news. Ordinary Second Grade adepts have no means of fighting against his insect army. It’s easy for Third Grades like you and me to defeat him, but killing him is a lot more difficult.” The still furious Linus couldn’t help but rejoice at his own fortune after hearing Ummah’s reply.
A soul adept was the most suited opponent for a person like the bug adept, who had countless clones. With the mastery of a soul adept searching for souls, they would be able to find Billis’ true soul form in the horde of thousands of insects. Then, they could give him a lethal strike and leave no chance for his clones to escape.
However, Ummah had no Second Grade soul adept subordinate to him. After some hesitation, he had no choice but to lower himself and ask for help from his other ‘companions.’
He borrowed a Second Grade soul adept from another Third Grade adept and sent his own Second Grade elementium adept underling as a.s.sistance. Two against one and with a soul adept to counter the bug adept should give them more than an eighty percent chance to win the fight.
Thus, sixty-seven seconds after failing his last mission, Ummah placed a new chess piece at the location of Xavia Castle. A detailed series of orders were then transmitted down the command chain.
The once quiet and beautiful castle had vanished now.
Twisted corpses could still be seen strewn all over the collapsed walls and damaged castle, lying in puddles of blood. Some of these were soldiers of the castle, others were the guards of the attacking adepts, and some were even apprentice adepts in gray robes.
They died from various causes, but they had all now been turned into the incubation chambers of strange beetles.
The abdomens of the corpses were bloated tremendously, their skin stretched to the limit, as thin as paper. The red blood solution inside their bodies was visible. Some hive-like insect eggs could be occasionally be seen as the liquid swirled in their stomachs.
Some strange gnawing sound could also be heard as well!
Beng. Beng. Beng.
As the hatching process concluded, the stomachs of the corpses erupted. Red, viscous fluid flooded the ground as swarms of black larvae climbed out from within.
These black larvae were only the size of a fingernail. They shook their bodies and cast off the blood and flesh before opening their tough sh.e.l.ls and extending two pairs of wings, one short and one long. The wings buzzed, and they took off into the air.
For a moment, so many black beetles rose from the ground that it appeared as if a black plume of smoke was rising from the ruins of the castle.
As an unseen spiritual shockwave spread out throughout the castle, the black smoke split into two clouds. A portion of the beetles flew into the castle’s various dark and damp spots, while the rest dove into the ground and vanished in the blink of an eye.
Billis did not linger at the castle after accomplishing all this. He led his personal army of seven Second Grade Void Reavers and thirty First Grade magical mantises and left brazenly.
Billis had no intention of bringing the insects he had hatched at the castle with him. Instead, he had them hide within the castle. The last order Billis gave them before leaving was to exterminate all lifeforms that breached it.
The lackeys of the Fabres Clan would definitely send people to investigate the place. When that happened, his insects would give them a warm welcome.
However, just seven minutes after Billis left the castle, the insects he left behind engaged in combat.
Billis paused when he sensed the rapidly vanishing mental nodes, just one and a half kilometers away. He turned and looked at the distant battlefield.
There were two enemies: one male and one female. Both were powerful Fabres Clan adepts.
The male adept had a cold face. Light touches of frost gathered around the adept’s face and at the tips of his fingers. He was an ice adept. The reason Billis’ insect army had died so quickly was due to this elementium adept. The female adept had a slender figure and a pretty face. Her eyes radiated such powerful spiritual might that one would rather not stare into them.
Billis had originally intended to spy on the two adepts through the eyes of the insects, but when he crossed eyes with the female adept, he felt his eyes burn and his head throb in pain, even from one kilometer away.
Something even more terrifying came next. The female adept seemed to have locked onto the aura of Billis’ soul through his eyes. She coldly shouted at him, “You will not escape!”