Badge in Azure Chapter 931 - Broken Camp (Part 2)
Chapter 931: Broken Camp (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The mages in the rear regiments had all fled. Their knowledge was hundreds of times greater than the rest of the camp, and they knew the large being was a devil, a grade-9 creature. The grand mages who had yet to reach grade-7 simply chose to flee. They were, after all, assigned to the camp at short notices. With the sorcerers being busy at the front fighting the spirit army, they had little time to be concerned about what was going on at the rear.
The grand mages might have been able to pester the grade-9 creature for a little while if they were to all gang up on it, but the actual fact was, having soldiers surrounding the creature would have yielded better results. Morale of the camp suffered a huge blow as the grand mages backed off from the battle.
Without the help of mages, the soldiers all felt dejected. The tall devil was not something even their generals would have been able to resist. With one black metal grand swordmaster killed, and a grade-7 sorcerer missing in action, the troops went out of control and spread out from the flanks.
They were, after all, elite soldiers. They retreated to the flanks instead of backing off. Even if the enemy was to pursue them, the enemy would have to thin out their own to do so.
Nailisi had not even dreamed of being able to crush such a large camp of enemies with only twenty-thousand under her command. She did not even bother with the twenty-four ancient warriors serving under her. She simply charged from the center of the camp. There was no one getting in her way. The enemy archers at her flanks were suppressed by the crossbowmen within the auxiliary forces, making the enemy incapable of coming up to the front.
The one-million strong army set up three large camps with grade-9 professionals assigned in each. They were also backed with large numbers of high-level professionals. Nailisi had it easy that time. The spirit army at the front drew the attention of the more powerful figures and the best troops from the camp, allowing her temple guards to practically slaughter what was left.
Nailisi was the kind of person who would have bailed as soon as she had her fill of loot. She had initially planned on taking ten-thousand souls, but seeing how the Sikenqinyans were an orderly bunch, she knew that drawing the fight out would have cost her a lot. As such, she made the decision to first have the temple guards slaughter whoever they could at the rear of the large camp, before making out of the camp and rushing for the front gates.
Her devil form allowed her to easily overwhelm her enemies, and the image of a devil firing away with a magic stone cannon struck fear into the minds of the Sikenqinyans. She hardly met any resistance along the way. When the enemy had finally reached the flanks, Nailisi had made it inside Aini's spirit army and headed straight for Lonestar City.
Sorcerers were only deployed from the camp in front of Lonestar City by then, but Aini had already called the troops back, and the spirit army covered their retreat. Nailisi's temple guards left more than three-hundred dead bodies in their wake and made it into Lonestar City safe and sound.
Lonestar City's gate closed without warning, leaving more than ten-thousand spirits outside. Aini was exasperated as he went out of the city to receive her personally. The spirits suffered heavy casualties due to Nailisi taking her time at the camp's rear. Aini had only taken over one-hundred death mages out of the city, yet there were more than one-hundred-thousand spirits out there. Finally, less than fifty-thousand made it back into the city. More than half of the spirit army was killed off by the enemy. Summoning the numbers to replenish the losses would take a very long time.
Nailisi returned to her usual human form and came to Aini's side with a smile, tapping his shoulder. "Aini, get my army a separate place as lodging."
Aini asked in an immensely irritated tone. "Why?"
Nailisi drew him close and whispered into his ear. "You see, those demons of mine, they eat people. Would you rest easy having them sleep side by side with your army?"
Aini looked in the direction of the temple guards and saw thousands of demons. They halted the operation of the magic arrays on their armor, then pushed their masks up one after another. None of them looked friendly.
Seeing the five yard tall demons looking about, Aini swallowed his frustration and said, "Alright, I will get to it."
"That's the spirit. Aini, where is Lex?"
Aini did not bother answering her just yet, ordering subordinates to find a spot in the valley to let the temple guards set up camp. Only when the orders were given, did Aini take Nailisi to go see Lex.
Nailisi did not dare try to pull anything seeing Lex. She bowed in all honestly to Lex and said, "Viscountess, master sent me to help you defend the city."
"Where are your men then." Lex was sitting squarely and upright but looked friendly enough nonetheless.
"Outside the tower. I didn't let them in," Nailisi answered.
"Nailisi, tell me about them," Lex simply asked about how the ancient warriors fared instead of having them come in.
"There are twenty-four of them. I can kill one myself without suffering any injuries. More than ten, I will need to do my best. If someone is giving them instructions, I wouldn't be able to take more than four."
"What happens if you are the one giving instructions?"
"That is out of my reach. They only follow master's orders. All are grade-9 warriors, definitely more powerful than silver grand swordmasters."
Lex nodded. Nailisi's words insinuated that the warriors were nowhere near the prowess of golden grand swordmasters, which was normal. A gathering of twenty-four grand swordmasters would have been able to almost casually crush a one-million strong army like the ones out there.
What was sent to her however, was nonetheless very powerful. It seemed that Saleen was giving her a choice. "Should I go out and kill the army outside the army? Wiping out the ones out there would immediately alter the Tanggulasi Empire's plans for assault, and the pressure on Holy Rock City would be way smaller."
Saleen's will was apparent, and he had made his choice. It was up to her if she wanted to support him.
"Nailisi. Bring them back to camp. I will see you if I need to," Lex let out a long sigh.
Nailisi asked cautiously, "Viscountess, should I go out and have my way with them? I can guarantee…"
"No need for that." Lex waved to have Nailisi leave. She stood and looked outside the window. What she was able to see was hardly more than a line at the cracks of the valley. That was where she was able to see the front gates of Lonestar City. The tall fortress blocked her view.
"Saleen's decision is indeed a cruel one, but what else can I do? I signed the contract with Saleen. Being unable to solve the goddess' problem means getting both of us more problems." Her uncle lacked the abilities of her father, yet he insisted on taking control of everything in the empire. That was the root of all her troubles.
If she were to be the one in control of the empire, there would have never been any trouble down south. Most northern nobles were on her side, yet her uncle insisted on having her brother take the throne. Her uncle was simply too bothered with what the astrologer had said. "Being a golden grand swordmaster doesn't mean he would necessarily understand the meaning of astrology, right? It was perhaps his way with things, that makes me into the root of the troubles plaguing the empire in his mind. Oh Saleen, you may be doing the right thing, but what about my brother? If the empire crumbles, he will be the emperor who brings about the downfall of an empire. How would history look at him…"
Lex left the window feeling rather depressed and went back to her meditation. She was unable to get into that state of mind no matter what she did. "It was not Saleen's idea to sign the contract. He cannot be blamed. All this is perhaps fate's doing, and Master Merlin had seen it all, but was unable to change anything… Wait, what?"
Lex saw Nailisi leaving a letter behind on the desk when the demon left, yet she was unable to sense it. Even a grade-9 demon like Nailisi should not have been able to fool her senses in the magic tower!
"Looks like I'm really out of it today. This is bad. If I can't keep my emotions controlled even in my own tower, things are really going to be dangerous."
Lex took the letter and unfolded it. The paper used was starline paper, and beautiful magic writings were written on the paper using dragon's blood ink.
The contents were opened with a rather formal way of address. "Can't be helped. Such is the magic script. No nicknames allowed whatsoever." While pronunciation was complex, statements had to be made clearly. Lex smiled at the opening. "Oh Saleen, you really do know how to get around me."
Mages should not have thought too much, just enough to solve problems. Such writing, while very rigid, proved the most direct way to strike a chord in Lex's heart. She was still a devoted mage at the core of her being.
Nailisi bode Lex farewell and went to the camp that Aini got for her. Aini carved out a space capable of holding fifty-thousand people in the valley to serve as lodgings for the temple guards.
The reason for doing so was because there were eight-thousand demons in the temple guards. Each demon easily took up the space meant for two humans.
Nailisi saw Aini commanding the spirits to build barracks for her, with a sour look no less. She went up to Aini and asked, "Aini, you are a friend of master. Just tell me straight, what do you have in mind?"
Aini shook his head and refused to answer her.
"Is it because you lost too many of your spirits?" Nailisi's smile looked so infuriating to Aini that he wanted to slap her across the face right there. They lost about seventy-thousand spirits, and thousands were of grade-4 and above, which were very difficult to summon.
Aini bit his lip. He was the scheming, twisted type himself, yet he knew enough that Nailisi was not someone he would have dared offending. Regardless of how close hiss relationship was with Saleen, it would not have been enough to let him simply kill off one such capable subordinate of his. Nailisi's actions were backed by Saleen himself after all.
"Aini, look. Do you know what this is?" Nailisi took out the blood soul tower and dangled it in front of Aini.
Aini's attention was drawn away immediately by the blood soul tower. Nailisi's rampage killed quite a number of enemies. There were already more than seven-thousand souls residing within the blood soul tower. Aini was a grade-8 death mage, and without a doubt was able to tell that it was something for storing souls. Other than souls, that thing would have been able to store soul flames all the same!
Aini's eyes seemed to sparkle. Nailisi then dropped the tower in their hand and said, "Go have a good look at it."
Aini immediately went wrapping the blood soul tower with dead soul flame and extended his senses within. Such safe methods of probing into things were a habit of death mages, which was far safer compared to how elemental mages did it.
Aini was able to tell that there were more than seven-thousand complete souls in it. What stunned him was that the blood soul tower would have been able to store even more.
"So, what do you think, Aini? Since you have lost so many spirits, how about I go think of something to get you a blood soul tower too?"
"Rare of you to be so generous," Aini said without thinking.
"Of course not. With that one-million strong army out there, we need to think of something…"
"That is not what Saleen said!" Aini knew, of course, that Nailisi intended to collect a million souls out there. The proposal had his blood boil with excitement, but his reasoning held him back nonetheless. "I can't go about wrecking Saleen's plans."
Nailisi snatched her blood soul tower back and smiled, before putting it back into her bracelet. She waved the bracelet a little bit at Aini and said, "Remember this? It was yours back then. You exchanged it for a bunch of high quality magic nuclei. You had a bad deal back then. You will again if you won't agree to this."