Age of Adepts Chapter 981 The Situation Changes
Regardless of how powerful her mental magic was and how easily she could enchant and fool the eyes, ears, and souls of the low-grade holy knights, she could not avoid examination from their holy light magic.
Bless the world. Benija had traveled to many planes and seen countless native tribes and intelligent species, but she had never witnessed odd folks like these knights who would stop people on the street and cast Detect Evil over and over again. Exposed to this pure holy light, Benija's body instantly glowed with blinding red light. Her magical disguise of a kitchen maid purchasing supplies instantly vanished without a trace.
In all honesty, that middle-aged knight who had been casually casting out a beam of holy light to engulf Benija never expected to catch a big fish either.
With their Detect Evil, they had already caught a dozen assassins and thugs who worked in the shadows over the past few days. However, even the leader of the assassins, who was responsible for a dozen murders, did not radiate a light one-tenth as bright as this strange woman.
He froze on the spot when she saw the blinding red light emanating from Benija's body; it was so deeply crimson that it was nearly black!
"Catch…" the middle-aged Silver Knight had barely drawn his sword before he was knocked to the ground by a mental blast.
By the time he crawled up from the ground, still dizzy from the blow, the woman was nowhere to be seen on the street anymore. At this point, the Iron Knights examining the pedestrians on the road finally came to their senses, and several blinding Holy Flares shot into the sky.
The entire town flew into a massive commotion!
"You said that there is a Gold Knight in that town?" Natagu narrowed his eyes and hissed, flickering his tongue as he did so.
"Hmph! If it weren't a Gold Knight, I wouldn't have been in such an awkward condition!" Benija wiped away the blood on her body unamusedly, "The holy knights blockaded the city like mad dogs and started to search for me everywhere. They shined that damned holy light on everyone trying to exit the city."
"Then what happened?"
"Then I fought with them at the city gates and killed a few."
"You killed someone?"
"I killed someone! These bastards were all shouting 'Holy Light be Justice' and rushing at me! Did you expect me to bind my own hands and surrender?" Benija replied with a mocking tone.
"And what about the Gold Knight?" The expression on Natagu's face turned increasingly solemn.
"I didn't know there were Gold Knights in the city. I had planned to run after killing a few of the small fry, but two Gold Knights stopped me. I then found a way to escape and returned!"
"Two." Natagu's emerald eyes shrank as his tone of voice turned cold.
According to the past habits of the Zambez Empire, sending a single Silver Knight to be the abbot of a Holy Light Chapel in a small town like this one would already be a massive exception. It had a population of no more than ten thousand, after all. However, two Gold Knights had abruptly appeared in this town. It was clearly not a usual patrol or garrison for the holy knights.
An ominous feeling rose in Natagu's heart!
It couldn't be that the holy knights had gotten arrogant after 'exterminating; the Deceit Witches and were now placing their sights on them, could it? With the sheltered, ignorant, and prideful nature of the holy knights, they might be attempting to take this chance to eliminate all adept remnants from the plane and retake the reins of Henvic Plane back into their own hands.
It was indeed a good idea, but the holy knights were most definitely thinking too highly of themselves!
The reason they had managed to 'successfully' raze the witch's tower and exterminate the witch remnants had more to do with the internal conflict between the adepts than their own courage and self-sacrifice.
Without the interference of the mysterious Lady they served, Witch Rena would not have ended up in such a tragic position. If it weren't for the cooperation of Natagu and the Holy Knight, Greem would have already decimated Haisas' Holy Light Chapel and fled with Rena and the materials for fixing the teleportation array.
It was precisely due to the interference and effects of these many factors that the situation in Henvic Plane had become so chaotic and unpredictable. Even Greem had been forcefully contained within a volcano for five years with no chance of escape.
However, now that the plane was starting to regain its peace, the holy knights had become eager once more. They wanted to remove the last tumor on this plane- their enemies at Gangsas Volcano. It infuriated Natagu tremendously!
If the enemy were only a small group of weak knights, the four hunter adepts would have been able to slaughter hundreds or thousands of them. However, given Natagu's understanding of the Empire, there were probably two incredibly powerful figures standing behind the knights. Two people that even he didn't dare provoke.
"What exactly are they thinking of doing? Do they want to start a war with us?" Natagu roared viciously.
"You still don't understand?" Guinevere was indeed an old poison hag whose eyes and mind were as toxic as herself. She pinpointed the knights' intentions with a single sentence, "They resent us for staying here for such an extended period of time and are using this as a way to force us to leave!"
"But, we still haven't caught that damned fire adept."
"They won't care about that," The old witch coldly said, "They might have been able to suppress the news of our existence if our fight here had been brief and short. But once time passes, the news will eventually get out. News of outsiders fighting in the nation they ruled and even indirectly taking over a land of fifty square kilometers. The holy knights will not be able to endure the pressure coming from within the Empire!"
"They walk a path of faith and worship. If they cannot prove that the Holy Light is Justice, that it is an existence that vanquishes all evil, then their citizens' foundation of faith in the Empire will be shaken." Blade Princess Katherine added coldly from the side.
The four hunter adepts continued to discuss amongst themselves and almost immediately figured out the scheme lying behind the incident at the town. Who was the one that claimed holy knights were no good at using their brains? This incident was a perfectly executed plan.
If the Fourth Grade Holy Knight used this incident as an excuse to tear apart their prior agreement, even Natagu would not be able to refute it.
In the end, the cause of all this was the extended duration they had spent on this interplanar hunt!
"How has the fire adept been doing recently?" A cold light gleamed in Natagu's green eyes as he asked in a stern voice.
He directed his question at Benija. Her spiritual senses were the most powerful among the four of them.
"He is still hiding beneath the lava. It has been several weeks since we heard anything from him, and he appears to be conducting a special magical experiment. His spiritual flux is very intense!" Benija gave a quick and direct answer.
"Very well then; we won't wait any longer. We shall fight him head-on!"
The other adepts expressed excitement, hesitation, and confusion upon hearing this, each with their own emotions.
"Go into the lava?" The old poison witch hesitated for a moment, "That is the fire adept's home ground. We will be at a severe disadvantage there!"
"It can't be helped. We will have to confront the fire adept directly, even if at a disadvantage." At this point, Natagu had no choice but to abandon his past caution and wariness. He became vicious and straightforward in his plans, "If we wait any longer, it will be those two Fourth Grade Holy Knights who come hunting for us with an army. If we work together and take down the fire adept in a single fight while the holy knights are still mobilizing, we can leave this godforsaken plane as soon as possible. It is worth it, even if we have to pay the price for it!"
Natagu glared at everyone with a cold and cutting gaze.
Katherine was the first to nod in agreement.
After letting her wounds fester for so many years, and lacking reconciling agent, much of her flesh had already been corrupted by the mechanical magic. They had turned black and were rotting with a stench. Among the four of them, she was the one who most urgently wanted to return to the realms beyond.
The second to nod was surprisingly not Psionic Adept Benija, but the sly and wily old hag Guinevere.
"Very well. It's not impossible if you expect this old hag to join you on your journey into the lava. However, once we capture that fire adept, I want that Soul Equipment of his!"
"Soul Equipment? Do you have your eyes set on his Spirit of Pestilence? Soul Equipment is always merged with the host's soul. How do you intend to peel the equipment away?" Natagu narrowed his eyes and asked out of curiosity.
"That's not for you to worry about. Since this old hag has asked for it, I naturally have the means to strip the Soul Equipment from his soul. Though the process will greatly weaken the Soul Equipment, it will still function as an immensely powerful magical plague weapon. This old hag has plenty of plans in store for that Spirit of Pestilence!"
Natagu hesitated for a moment but quickly agreed just to settle the matter as soon as possible.
"And you? What request do you have?" Natagu stared at Benija.
"I want that fire adept to spend a night with me. Just a single night will be fine!" Benija licked her red lips, her face filled with thirst and hunger.
"You do not intend to do anything to that fire adept, do you?" Natagu said coldly, "Benija, don't forget. The Lady specifically named the fire adept as someone to be retrieved. If he is dead by the time we bring him before her, our mission reward will be cut in half!"
"Hmph! The Lady only said she wanted him alive. She didn't say we couldn't drain his Spirit. It shouldn't be a problem if a drain a bit of his Spirit, will it?" Benija then giggled and said, "Don't worry, I won't drain him to death. I will leave him some Spirit seeds."
After some more thought and confirming that there were no problems with the plan, Natagu coldly said, "Then I will have his Third Grade metal golem then. It seems like a good minion!"
The old witch and Benija secretly cursed at Natagu's shamelessness, but they had all made their own requests. It wouldn't be appropriate to fight with Natagu over the mighty metal golem now.
Naturally, this division of loot was based on their power levels, as well. Katherine was currently the weakest of them all and had no right to fight for loot.
However, given her familiarity with the fire adept, she was confident that he would not capitulate so easily. She looked at her companions' vicious, joyful, and perhaps even eager expressions and felt genuine disdain in her heart.
Hmph! Arrogant and prideful fools. If that fire adept was so easily done in, they wouldn't have been stuck here for five years. Hmph! If she hadn't been in a group with them, she would hope to see them bash themselves bloody against the obstacle that they were about to confront!