Chapter 1168 Challenge for Glory
A plague of terrifying proportions erupted in the woods!
Even though there were voodoo doctors in the army to perform treatment, over half of the troll warriors were still infected by the plague spores. They turned into unfortunate victims rolling on the floor in agony as they scratched their bodies with their nails until they were bloody.
The trolls weren’t idiots.
They might not be as smart as human adepts, but they were still the rulers of Seawoods Plane.
After many tests, they finally discovered some of the plague cloud’s weaknesses.
Specifically, it was weak to fire!
The plague cloud wasn’t an inanimate object. It was an amalgamation of billions upon billions of tiny plague viruses. Even these creatures were afraid of fire.
After discovering this, the trolls quickly lit several torches and used them to burn away the lingering clouds of poison. As expected, when the flames surged by, the plague clouds would crackle with muffled sounds of explosions.
Most of the plague clouds were burned to nothing by the flames, but the infected trolls couldn’t just be put to the torch. The troll commander could only gather the infected in a clearing and order the voodoo doctors to rescue as many of them as possible.
For the sake of saving these tortured companions of theirs, the two dozen voodoo doctors gathered together and put up a large metal pot in the center of the clearing. They quickly began brewing a potion that could dispel the plague.
They wore unusual costumes and drew strange patterns on their faces and bodies as they performed an ugly dance around their metal pot, all while throwing their mysterious herbs into the mixture. Steam rose from the bubbling brew, and a suffocating scent spread throughout the forest.
And who would have known? These seemingly crude, primitive, and backward means of the voodoo doctor had an effect.
The victims struggling in the clearing unexpectedly calmed down after smelling the mixture. Many of them stopped screaming completely.
Mary and Remi, who were watching the trolls’ actions from the shadows, couldn’t help but shake their heads.
A plague could only be used as an auxiliary in war. It would never be the central axle around which war itself revolved. The main reason was that planar wars were fought for one sole reason– to exploit resources, enslave the population, and construct a colony that could continuously supply the clan with ‘fresh blood.’
In this process, the natives of the world couldn’t be completely slaughtered. On the contrary, as many of them as possible should be preserved and kept alive.
Imagine if the Crimson Clan had used a plague or some other magical means to kill all the trolls. In doing so, they would lose tens of thousands of slaves with the might of First Grade warriors. When it came to large-scale plantations or the excavation of mines that came after the war, an army of strong and powerful slaves was required.
How else was the Crimson Clan supposed to run things? Transport a large group of slaves into Seawoods Plane just to excavate its resources?
Disregarding the colossal teleportation costs incurred, the harsh environment alone would kill most of those foreign slaves.
In the end, all of it would only become a shocking burden on the clan’s finances!
That was why the adepts would only conduct a precise, surgical attack on the leadership of the native forces when they invaded a foreign plane. They would eliminate the conservatives and leaders among the native troops with the most terrifying and cruel means imaginable, but the foundational framework of the society had to be preserved.
If the lower class were all killed in the war, the adept clans would not have the additional resources to reconstruct a system and society that could rule over the world and ensure its stability. The head of the empire must fall, but its body must remain.
That would make it easier for the adepts to take over and establish a ruling class that had thorough control over the planar natives, despite only consisting of a select few individuals.
It was also why the adepts had to strictly control the speed and range of the plagues they spread. They could not empty the pond and destroy the world’s order itself.
There was no doubt that Remi’s plague was incredibly powerful!
However, this was a different world, after all. The planar laws here and the manner in which the elementium functioned were all similar but different. Consequently, the infectiousness, lethality, and longevity of the plague viruses were suppressed to various degrees.
Moreover, the trolls were all robust and resilient individuals. All of them had strong lifeforces and decent magic resistance. Remi’s plague was unable to mutate them into plague creatures.
In a planar world led by humans, Remi only needed himself. He could easily turn every human he met into a plague servant of his.
An army born of a single person!
Remi could even take on an entire plane alone.
Of course, if all the powerhouses of the plane gathered together, Remi would probably have to pay a heavy price to survive their retaliation. After all, he did not have many combat techniques.
Thus, the differences in the plane’s system of laws and the power neutered Remi’s terrifying, potentially apocalyptic plague. It turned his plague into a mere ‘disease’ that could only slowly wear down the trolls’ lifeforce!
The lethality of the plague was pathetic, but it did succeed in weakening the troll army.
The troll army had already stopped all plans of searching for the invaders. They gathered together and tried their best to save their infected companions. With the voodoo doctor’s aid, the sickness of the patients was soon under control. There were no signs that groups of trolls were turning into plague monsters.
The positions in the battle had suddenly reversed.
The troll army, despite their absolute numerical advantage, had become the defenders. Meanwhile, the agile and mobile vampires led by two Third Grades became the ones on the offense.
Every night, Mary took advantage of the cover of darkness to assault the troll camps with her vampires. She hoped to break through the defensive line to execute the voodoo doctors.
However, the trolls held firm.
They set up simple camps on the outside and lit bonfires all over, setting defensive points around the fires. Any individual that appeared within their sight would be greeted with a hail of javelins.
The trolls were not weak at all, individually. In fact, they could compare to natives of mid-sized planes while they were fighting in forests. They all had the might of a First Grade, with strong bodies, resilient lifeforces, and close combat technique that could rival a First Grade body-refining adept.
In close combat, they used their strange wooden spears that were as heavy as steel as well as their poisoned darts. In mid to long-ranged fights, they threw their heavy javelins with lethal precision. Overall, the trolls of Seawoods Plane had excellent potential as warriors.
Should they conquer this plane, the Crimson Clan would come into possession of a fairly powerful army of slaves!
The entire forest fell into an unusual silence.
The wind blew, and the branches creaked. The river waters lapped against the shore, over and over.
Who knew how many people were silently moving, hiding, and watching beneath this calm.
A large, bright bonfire had been lit on the outskirt of the troll camp.
At the moment, a troll commander of beginner Third Grade stood alone between two bonfires. He shouted furiously into the dark forest.
A row of wooden javelins was stuck into the ground in front of him, while five large metal darts rattled on his waist.
In the distant darkness, Mary hid in the thick canopy of an ancient tree. She looked through the swaying branches and examined this bold troll commander. Finally, she couldn’t help but say, “Who knows what that bastard is yelling about?”
Upon arriving in a foreign plane, finding a planar native and taking their knowledge and memory to understand the plane’s basic situation was standard procedure for an adept. It was something that every qualified adept should be able to do.
Extracting memory fragments and language was a common magical technique in the adept’s system!
Unfortunately, Mary seemed to have no intention of learning the crude and primitive language of these natives.
To Mary, the troll commander, covered all over with red and green paint, appeared no different from a gorilla beating his chest when he shouted into the forest.
“Master, this troll seems to be issuing a challenge for glory.” Vanlier, who was promoted to Second Grade by Mary’s grace, explained by her side.
“Challenge for glory?”
“It’s an unusual rule in the Holy Edicts of the troll empire. Any troll noble has the right to issue a challenge for glory at their opponent. This challenge is limited to the two people involved. No one else is to intervene or be seen as challenging the authority of the Feathered God.”
“Oh.” Mary was somewhat interested when she heard this. “How is victory decided?”
“The victor takes all, and the loser becomes the servant of the opponent!”
“Seems like this troll empire is a society of the survival of the fittest. The ones who can stand on top are undoubtedly the most powerful individuals of their group. They like deciding positions of authority through martial power. No wonder their knowledge system is so pathetic!”
“Indeed, master! Seawoods Plane only has primitive and crude hunting techniques. Not even large-scale farming or breeding techniques have been invented. No wonder they are unable to reach the heights that an empire civilization should have achieved. Master, seeing as there’s a Third Grade troll here, should we go elsewhere and see if we can break through there instead?”
Mary’s pretty, long eyes narrowed slightly, as if she was considering something.
Finally, she spoke up.
“Vanlier, say, if I accept this troll’s challenge, do you think their Feathered God will project its power over?” Mary’s eyes had narrowed into a single slit as she said this. Terrifying killing intent shone from her eyes.
“This…master, the trolls rely on a system of faith worship. Seeing that the troll commander’s power is at Third Grade, he is most certainly a renowned individual in their empire. It is almost certain that he will be able to borrow some degree of the Feathered God’s power. It will be difficult to keep the battle within our control if we engage an opponent like this in combat!”
“So the Feathered God will appear? Hmph! We are gonna cross swords with that pretentious bastard eventually. Rather than fight it in its den, I would rather get to know it here and now. Wait here. I will go and meet that arrogant fool down there!”
Having said that, Mary leaped and flickered towards the battlefield like a crimson phantom!