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Perhaps Yurga’s orders were the best warfare strategy for the Alliance adepts.
Unfortunately, having the adepts shed blood, sweat, and sacrificing themselves to fight an uphill battle against the ferociously advancing magical machines was perhaps asking too much of them!
A Third Grade adept like Yurga might have confidence in escaping unharmed, but most First Grade adepts were condemned to certain death. It was because they recognized this that the Alliance adepts had scattered and run away without any hesitation.
At a moment like this, it would be much better to enhance themselves with a speed-increasing spell if they had the energy to spare. As long as they could outrun their companions, they had a high chance of escaping successfully.
“We have no chance of getting away at all! The gates of the tower have already been sealed once more.” Yurga’s desolate and trembling voice could be clearly heard over the chaos of battle. However, the many Alliance adepts still charged down the tower without turning back.
The number of Alliance adepts had already been reduced to sixty-eight people before the battle in the hall had even started.
This retreat instantly left only the low-grade adepts of the Andorra Clan on the battlefield.
These First Grade adepts who had transformed into bloodmouths were fighting desperately with all their strength, bloodied and beaten. They wanted to retreat as well, but it was impossible to move with the crowd of magical machines around them. They resentfully fought while cursing those bastards who had sent panic spreading throughout their own allies.
Unfortunately, they had been standing too far forward and retreating was now a colossal task.
Second Grade Adept Gerndt, who was the leader of the Andorra Clan adepts here, looked on with bloodshot eyes as his subordinates succumbed to the enemies. They fell, one after another, even as they tried their best to endure amidst the attacks of the countless magical machines. He gritted his teeth furiously, but in the end, he let out a sigh of resignation. He and Gullit looked at each other before turning and escaping without any regard for their juniors.
The four Andorra First Grades who had transformed into bloodmouths felt like they had been submerged in ice when they saw the two Second Grade adepts of their own clan give up on them. Their movements slowed down for an instant, and they were instantly torn to pieces and stomped into unrecognizable meat paste by the horde of magical machines.
At this point, all the adepts of the Andorra Clan had died in battle with the sole exception of the two Second Grades!
The second ones to have misfortunate befall them were the alchemists of Magic Forest Hut.
They had constantly neglected the training of their physical bodies and were always in contact with poisonous or highly radioactive magical materials. As such, their bodies were far weaker compared to an ordinary adept. Consequently, it was only natural that they were the ones who eventually lagged behind while everyone escaped.
The swarming machines quickly overtook the alchemists and exterminated them before they could even put up a resistance. Only Second Grade Adept Roy managed to escape the encirclement due to the protection from his Second Grade elementium servants.
The many Alliance adepts ran down three levels of stairs. Yet, when they finally arrived at the first level, they were horrified to find that the gates had been shut tight.
A semi-translucent force wall had sealed off their only path of escape!
Turning back and fighting against the machines at this point was unlikely to work. They had already lost all the will to fight.
The adepts behaved like panicking noblewomen when they saw their path blocked. They frantically lunged at the force wall and attacked with their spells. Just one. Just a single crack in the wall and they would be able to escape. The promise of life and hope was just ahead, causing them to lose all sense of rationality.
Meanwhile, at a corner on the second level, Mary and several other adepts successfully intercepted Third Grade Vampire Haines Vik with the use of a short-ranged teleportation spell. The other Third Grade, Adept Yurga, rapidly passed by them as if he didn’t see anything. He did not intend to help the old vampire.
The Anti-Crimson Clan Alliance had already been utterly defeated. There would be no turning the tables, even if they exterminated Mary and the rest. Instead, it would be best to lead his clan adepts and escape while Haines was dealing with the enemies.
Squads of magical machines rumbled past them. Haines turned into a crimson flash of lightning and weaved between the storm of bullets. Every strike from his crimson claws would destroy a magical machine. Mary, the blood knights, and the blood elves circled the battlefield, occasionally gathering together to launch a blitz attack against Haines.
As a vampire, Haines was not good at defense. Though he managed to dodge most of the machines’ attacks with his rapid movements, the unrelenting rain of bullets still beat him bloody. If the magical machines were made of flesh and blood, Haines might have been able to sustain his violent offense by consuming blood and regenerating.
However, the fully metal machines were all metal and magic energy; they were not organic creatures in any manner. Most of Haines’ power could not be unleashed when fighting against such foes. He could only rely on brute force to crush the enemy.
Initially, as blood descendants of Haines, Mary and her vampires should have had great trouble unleashing their power. However, with the mental barrier that Small Brain Monster Gru had cast on them, the six high-grade vampires could weave between the magical machines and tussle with Haines.
If it were only Mary and her vampires, they would have had a hard time doing anything against the Third Grade Haines. However, with the aid of the many magical machines and the mental defenses of Gru, as well as the blessing of the tower, the vampires were able to keep Haines engaged in combat and trapped on the second level of the tower.
This way, Haines was also separated from the Alliance adepts.
It was already fire and fury in the first level magical hall. Thunderbolts and fireballs were everywhere.
Ever since the defensive system had been reactivated, the internal traps and barriers had plagued these Alliance adepts. The offensive arrays carved onto the tower walls were constantly spitting fireballs, chain lightning, thunderstorms, whirlwinds, and ice lances at the adepts.
These spells were endless as long as the magic energy supply wasn’t cut off!
The Second Grade adepts might be able to endure a bombardment of this degree, but most of the First Grade adepts had become herrings in lava– defeated without much effort.
The remaining adepts howled in despair as they cast more magical defenses on themselves and continued attacking the force wall. With everyone’s effort, the force wall finally started trembling and distorting. It appeared as if it was about to shatter.
“Make way, all of you. Let me do it!” A sharp voice rang out from behind as Yurga emerged from the army of machines, covered in blood with his robe in tatters.
Yurga charged to the front of the force wall and exploded into a murder of crows. Countless beams of death rays then shot at the wall.
A crisp crack was heard, and the force wall finally fell apart!
There were no longer any obstacles before them. The Alliance adepts promptly used all their individual skills and escaped the adept’s tower.
Some drank potions and dove into the magma floor, vanishing without a trace, while others summoned flying familiars and took to the skies. A few poured powder on their bodies and disappeared completely. Some adepts simply strode and rushed out of Fire Cave.
Third Grade Yurga reformed his body and turned back to look. His suspended heart finally relaxed when he saw that at least two-thirds of the Kamala clan adepts had successfully escaped. His heart filled with hatred and anger when he realized that this operation had ended with such a tragic conclusion.
After their failure in exterminating the Crimson Clan, the Kamala Clan was very likely to be the subject of their counter-attack, given their close proximity to Fire Throne. However, the casualties of Magic Forest Hut and the Andorra Clan were far worse compared to them. Almost all of their low-grade adepts had been lost in that tower.
Perhaps, if he struck at these clans as soon as possible upon returning, they might be able to make up for their losses this time!
Having made up his mind, Yurga secretly sent a message to the Second Grade adepts of the Kamala Clan. The Kamala Second Grades started to subtly trail behind the only remaining Second Grades of these two clans, even as they made their own escapes.
The magical machine army didn’t know of these schemes and plots between the adepts. They were like hunting hounds that had locked onto their prey. They pursued the adepts closely and sent them packing with their ferocious bullet barrages.
The alliance of the five adept clans had assembled a grand total of one hundred and six adepts when they first gathered. Yet, the ones who successfully escaped Fire Cave now were no more than a measly thirty-four individuals. That meant a total of seventy-two adepts had fallen in Fire Cave over the nine-day siege of the tower.
It was a glorious and surprising victory for the Crimson Clan, regardless of how you looked at it!
Sadly, no one had any idea what the Crimson Clan had sacrificed for this victory and what they had lost.
This battle over the tower ultimately ended after another half a day.
The thirty-four adepts who had escaped had now disappeared into the pitch-black Black Forest. The magical machine army stopped after emerging from Fire Cave and turned to clean up the battlefield.
Not all of the seventy-two adepts had died. The Crimson Clan had managed to capture twenty-six of them; all of them were adepts of the First Grade. Among them, seven were Andorra adepts, five were Magic Forest Hut adepts, eight were Layton Academy adepts, four were Cenas adepts, and two were Kamala adepts.
Without exception, all of these adepts had been inflicted with severe wounds and had lost all ability to resist.
The Crimson Clan imprisoned them after giving them necessary treatment.
Meanwhile, Third Grade Haines Vik had also become a member of the prisoners. The Crimson Clan had paid the price of twenty-six magical machines before successfully exhausting his blood energy.
Mary immediately sent Haines to the sealing room after capturing him.
Whether she would be able to advance to Third Grade in the future depended entirely on this bloodline ancestor of hers!
The battle of Fire Throne utterly shook Zhentarim.
Almost every single adept clan hadn’t believed that the Crimson Clan would be able to survive this calamity. Who would have expected that the Crimson Clan were able to beat back the alliance of five adept clans with the use of a surprising number of magical machines and went on to kill and capture many adepts?
It was an unbelievable battle between adepts!
For a moment, the name of the Crimson Clan was known throughout the center of the continent!
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