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“Are you really sure about this…?” Monique asked hesitatingly. Although Seth had shared his strategy with them beforehand, Monique was not the only one who didn’t seem confident in the plan. Only the members of the field teams and some of the core members were left in the camp.
“Don’t forget the reason we came here for. We want to raise our levels, yes, but most importantly we want the gods to notice you! What’s better to get noticed than a huge one-sided slaughter?”
Unlike a normal person who might have used the Oathguards, Chimeras, and Faer to take on the huge army of the Hive and leave the surrounding smaller territories to the elite teams, Seth had sent the Oathguards and Chimeras away, only leaving the elites of Minas Mar (and anyone currently residing in Legion).
“I have absolute confidence in your skills and my items. I will take care of everything, you just have to follow my lead and let loose,” he said confidently.
From the information the guild had shared with them, there were several encampments in the shape of termite hills distributed across the Hive’s territory. Seth doubted that any of them would be able to stand up to the three field teams, even if they did not have legendary items. Aside from the teams, there were also Evee, her brother Edward, Alison, Elly, Evan, and Link.
Originally, Seth also wanted to bring Karina, but she had already far outgrown any of them, thanks to the constant stream of power from the Hangingtree and it’s off-shoot along the trade route. At least, he had managed to drag the gourmet hunter along. Although he had retired from dungeon action, just like Alison, they still needed to level up.
Suddenly Seth lost contact with some of the scout golems he sent out earlier. Hurriedly he brought out a tablet to have a look with those closest to the ones that vanished. When the golem flew in the direction of the golem that had vanished last, Seth barely managed to have a glimpse at a massive sickle, before he lost connection to that one, too.
“Did something happen with the scouts?” Minas asked interested from the side, seeing that Seth had brought out the tablet.
“I guess, they are coming to us,” Seth answered her.
It had been two peaceful days since they set up camp at the border of the insect territory. They had used the time to get familiar with the place. On their plateau, they had a 20m high wall in the back toward the hills outside the canyon. What their camp faced on the other side was a massive cliff where the land sharply dropped off into the canyon.
The sight was truly something breathtaking as if they had really entered a fantasy realm. The scar was so deep, that clouds could be occasionally seen floating between the massive stone spires and plateaus that grew out of the terrifying depths.
If if wasn’t for the fact that they knew that the whole region was infested with terrifying monsters, It may have actually been a nice place. With his , Seth was able to see some bulbous growths on the walls of the canyon with his bare eyes. These nests defended the entrances to the conquered dungeons and other subterranean sections of the insects.
Seth had tried to use the golems to find all the ones in their vicinity but he would quickly lose connection when they got deeper into the dungeon, that was why he simply places them as lookouts instead.
“Guys, get ready! We might get visitors real soon.”
—15 minutes later —
In short, the roughly thirty people of Minas Mar stared into the massive canyon before them. All cliff faces were covered in a writhing mass of massive insect monsters that kept pouring from their holes and hives.
“What are they doing?” Fin asked a little confused.
Although the canyon was choke-full with a sea of nightmarish chitin monsters, they didn’t seem to come for them.
“It’s almost as if there are ignoring us…” Bulko mumbled.
“Wait, aren’t they moving in the direction of the orc territory?” Mike exclaimed.
However, Mike’s apt observation fell on deaf ears, as just the moment Bulko had commented, a part of the army changed course in their direction. Several hundred beasts looking like a mix of ant and spider climbed up the cliff from below, as if it was a horizontal field. The rest of the army showed no signs to even notice them.
Mike’s observation had not fallen on completely deaf ears, however, he quickly wished to have not said anything.
“These bitches dare to ignore us.”
“Right, who do they think they are!” Fin gleefully played his hypeman. “What’s with them throwing this ugly cannon fodder at us and just going for the dumb orcs?!”
“Right, right! We are not to be ignored!” the brute cheered.
“Well, if that is how they want to play… Lyxiss, Alison, Jess. I want to see the canyon burn, don’t hold back. I will support you. Make sure they understand that they can’t ignore us.”
“YEAH!” the fairy roared in unbridled excitement.
“Okay, you can stop now. You are making me feel awkward, Fin.” “Okay~” Everyone’s stomachs dropped, except Fins. Of course, they couldn’t let their targets fall into the back of their comrades but… none of them were confident facing such numbers. Only Seth seemed unimpressed.
And Seth really wasn’t impressed. The only thing the blacksmith cared about was showcasing their powers to the gods, or else his weeks of hard work were meaningless. How could these entertainment junkies possibly ignore this kind of battle? They were hopelessly outnumbered. There was no better hype than a turnaround against all odds. It was not his original plan, but he was going to adapt…
A clear sound rang through the canyon, even making the rows upon rows of disciplined soldier insects halt for a moment. It was joined by a demonic tune and an eerie flute. A hair-raising voice soon wafted through the gorge, stitching everything together.
Seth had put in some effort over the last week before the set-off and managed to raise his to lv.7 and his had finally ranked up to journeyman lv.1
Accompanied by Oz and Gleobem, Seth played the Amboss and sang to Xaphan, the Burning Skies. The demon’s power filled the plateau and a dark aura gather around the three casters that were working together on a spell.
All three wore one of the legendary 10 legendary magic rings. Alison’s was the Ring of Koios with the demonic enchantment of Stolas. Since she was a Wizard and could use any elements, it had several effects to improve her intelligence and pure magic power without elemental inclinations.
Jess wore the Torch of Hecate, a ring that could act as a magic wand and had similar powers to Seth’s Cloaks of Hecate. In addition to improving the overall power of magic and fire magic especially, it had some other miscellaneous skills of Hecate and the power of cursed fire.
Lyxiss wore the Elemental Circle, a legendary ring that could double the power of spells belonging to any of the four base elements, light, and darkness thanks to the materials used, the Blessing of Pheobe, and demonic enchantments. Not to mention the base functions of legendary that doubled the power of their skills and spells.
Millions of faceted eyes looked to the sky as a sudden light illuminated the canyon. Looking up to the sky, all eyes reflected a glint of horror and fascination. The skies were burning in scarlet fire. Three witches holding hands, wearing legendary rings, enveloped in demonic power, they cast devastation.
As the heavens burned, the sky started to fall and its shards set the millions that stared at it in awe aflame. The plateau they stood on towered over a sea of fire, as the canyon filled with cursed flames. Xaphan’s Dream, a meteor spell infused with the blessing of the demon.
Seth only got experience from playing a support role, but it was massive enough to catapult him up by 5 levels! Just how much would the casters in question have gotten? Hearing Alison of all people suddenly break out in bell-like laughter was a good indicator that their gains were massive.
However, they had not much time to revel in the glory of this first strike, as the flames quickly vanished, revealing that not even a fourth of the creatures had died. Although many had been hurt, magic units among them had managed to erect barriers in time.
Wiping out all of them in one strike would have been too much to ask for. Seeing so many survive actually made the bard glad. After all, everyone from Minas Mar needed a chance to shine this time around.
“Let’s see if they can still ignore us after this.”
A wave of silent curses went through the members of Minas Mar. With a disharmonious cry of a giant cricket, they saw the whole swarm change direction for the plateau, which suddenly seemed like a tiny nutshell swimming on a raging sea of nightmarish bugs.
It reminded Seth of a scene from the movie Spacecraft Squaddies. If the blacksmith was completely honest he had not expected things to massively escalate to this sort of scale. But there was no backing out now.