Chapter 1287 Boiling Fury
On the seventh day of the war between the Dener Clan and the Crimson Clan, the fervor finally peaked.
Scarface Gallow of the Dener Clan, peak Third Grade adept, had been surrounded by the Crimson Clan outside the Swamp of Tragedies and escaped with grievous wounds. It was rumored that his injuries had affected his foundations as an adept. He would no longer have any hope of advancing to Fourth Grade in his life now!
Shapeshifter Spalla of the Crimson Clan, advanced Third Grade adept, had slipped into Black Rose Manor in an attempt to rescue Crimson Grand Duke Antoniel, only to be trapped in Marily Mona’s Labyrinth of Illusions; she died in battle.
The retirement of the two Third Grades from the conflict indicated that the war was slowly moving beyond everyone’s control.
The fires of hatred and grudges that had accumulated between the two rival clans could now only be extinguished by blood a hundredfold. The fires of war would not cease until then!
The crippling of Gallow and Spalla’s death were like two massive bombs that instantly blew up the battlefield. It shattered all sense of silent, mutual agreement between the two clans to contain the conflict. The leaders’ efforts to prevent the war from turning into an all-out slaughter had gone to waste.
The intensity and severity of the war instantly escalated beyond the grasp of both clans. Neither side held back anymore; they couldn’t hold back, even if they wanted to.
The war went from skirmishes between low-grade adepts to intense fighting between high-grade adepts. Blood from both clans flowed like a river, and the flames of war burned without an end in sight. All sorts of taboo magic and devastating strategies that scarred the land started to appear on the battlefield.
At this point, a simple surrender and concession of territory would not settle the matter!
It was southwest of Ailovis and a necessary path for the Dener Clan to go through if they wanted to head into more prosperous lands.
Here, the Crimson Clan’s army stood off against the Dener Clan’s army, fortified by Coldmountain Castle and a firm adept tower. Both parties had resentment and the firm responsibility to hold their ground carved into their bones. They had been stuck here in a stalemate for three days with no clear victory yet.
The Crimson Clan dared not retreat and had nowhere else to fall back to!
Behind Coldmountain City was the most prosperous stretch of land that the clan possessed, which they had painstakingly managed for over two hundred years.
Should this fortress fall, the Dener Clan would be able to freely ravage the Crimson Clan’s core territories. Even if the Dener Clan were ultimately repelled, such a disaster would devastate the Crimson Clan’s foundations and set them back.
For the clan and themselves, the Crimson Clan had no other option but to stand strong!
The Dener Clan, on the other hand, also had a strong reason to break through at all costs.
The heights that the war had escalated to were now far beyond the original mastermind’s estimations and plans. The resentment between the two clans was so deep that there was no hope of an ordinary mediation.
Unless the Dener Clan could cripple the Crimson Clan in one swift blow, they would find themselves on a horrible backfoot in the negotiations that came after the war.
From the start of the war, Adept Kerala of the Dener Clan had never planned to devour or conquer the Crimson Clan. After all, the Crimson Clan had substantial foundations and a terrifying backbone of powerful individuals!
The Dener Clan had only a single Fourth Grade adept, while the Crimson Clan had as many as four or five Fourth Grades showing on the table. That was why Kerala’s original intention was only to injure the Crimson Clan and intimidate them, ending the war before it escalated to the Fourth Grades level.
This way, with most of the Fourth Grade adepts standing on the sidelines, the Dener Clan could benefit significantly in the post-war negotiations.
Moreover, many other adept clans–especially the Fourth Grade clans–had sent out secret adept forces of their own to aid the Dener Clan. These adepts swapped their emblems for Dener emblems and fought in the name of the Dener Clan.
Some of these clans provided military forces, while others provided resources. The Dener Clan was only a front. Should they lose the war, the other Fourth Grade clans would intervene and prevent the Crimson Clan from reaching into Dener territory. Should they win, then all the resources, land, and population they obtained would belong to the Dener Clan.
Even Adept Kerala would break out laughing with joy with such conditions!
However, when the battle started, the war’s intensity and the Crimson Clan’s resistance was beyond Kerala’s expectations.
Scarface Gallow was a peak Third Grade adept and a famous powerhouse of the Dener Clan with the greatest hope of advancing to Fourth Grade. However, he had been surrounded by Crimson forces and badly injured in a risky maneuver by bug adept Billis, who had also been badly injured in the endeavor.
Kerala had personally examined Gallow’s injury after he fled back to the Dener Clan. She concluded that his very origin had been damaged, and it was highly likely that he would never advance to Fourth Grade.
It was a massive blow to the Dener Clan, so tremendous that no number of resources or territory could ever make up for it!
However, news of Third Grade Blood-Elf Shapeshifter Spalla’s death at Black Rose Manor returned; that news did not make Kerala feel any joy or pleasure at a wrong avenged. No, it made her feel a genuine chill from the depths of her heart.
The war seemed to have spiraled out of her control!
The retirement of the two Third Grades seemed to be the opening of Pandora’s box. The war continued to escalate to a scale beyond Adept Kerala’s control. Even if she were willing to stop the war now and offer a truce, the flames of war would continue burning towards Dener territory, fueled by unending hatred.
That was what frustrated her the most and what she feared the most!
It was why Kerala felt a hint of regret for the first time when she heard of the death of the Third Grade Crimson adept.
Perhap…she had made a mistake!
News of Spalla’s death quickly reached the Crimson Clan, and it ignited the fuse of the leadership. In particular, the vampire faction was furious. Each and every vampire wanted nothing more than to charge onto the battlefield and slaughter Marilyn Mona.
Inside the city lord’s manor of Coldmountain City.
Mary sat on a large chair at the end of a hall, dressed in red armor. Her face was cold and stern, the very corners of her eyes dripping with murder.
As the only blood master of the vampires, she was, without a doubt, their owner and ruler. Now, a direct subordinate of hers had died at the hands of the enemy. It was a grievous insult and humiliation towards the vampire faction and toward her, Mary.
In all honesty, if it weren’t for Greem’s instructions that she, as a Fourth Grade adept of the clan, not quickly set foot on the battlefield, Mary would have led all her vampires and razed Black Rose Manor to the ground.
All of her efforts and sacrifice to reach Fourth Grade, yet it only put more constraints on her. It was incredibly torturous for Mary, who had always preferred striking before thinking things through.
That was why Mary could no longer suppress her fury in front of her equally restless subordinates. She stood up and shouted.
“What are all of you hollering around here for? If you have the ability and power to do so, go and bring that whore back to me! Dead or alive, anyone who brings Marilyn Mona back to me will immediately be promoted to Fourth Grade.”
In all honesty, despite the commotion the vampires made, they had all been eagerly waiting for this promise from her mouth.
The moment Mary gave her word, the entire mansion bustled with commotion.
Beng. Beng. Beng!
Red mist erupted all over the building as bats fluttered out into the night.
All the vampires swarmed out of the hall, circling once over Coldmountain City before flying southwest in a massive crimson cloud.
They summoned their forces and allies along the way, calling more intermediate and low-grade vampires to their cause, as well as gathering all their blood servants.
The red cloud traveled quickly, swelling in size as it went. By the time it flew out of Coldmountain City, it had turned into a thunderous army of countless vampire bats. They flew into the distance without any hesitation.
No one knew when it had happened, but the vampires in the Crimson Clan had grown in such great numbers that they were now a truly horrifying army!
Twenty-five kilometers away from Coldmountain City was where the Dener Clan had set up camp.
Several Third Grade Dener Clan adepts were gathered in the strategist’s tent discussing their current situation. However, before they could conclude their discussion, a few clan adepts burst into the tent with pale faces.
“My lords…my lords, trouble! Outside, out there…the enemy has arrived.”
The Third Grade adepts froze upon hearing this and quickly emerged from the tent.
As expected, after casting Eagle Eye and other sight-enhancement spells, they could see the furious crimson cloud charging out of Coldmountain City. Even the advanced Third Grade adept couldn’t help but feel his head spin at the sight of that.
Judging by the scale of that cloud, all of the Crimson Clan’s vampires have mobilized! Still, the real question was: Was Fourth Grade Mary among their ranks?
At the thought of possibly running into a Fourth Grade vampire adept, the Third Grade adepts of the Dener Clan couldn’t help but gulp nervously. They could feel how dry their mouths were.
“Prepare for battle…prepare for battle,” The adept in the lead was a male adept in a dark green robe. He had tan skin, a sharp face, and a wolf-head helmet on his head. He was a muscular man as well, and upon seeing the vampires, he pulled out a shortsword from his belt and shouted, “All adepts, immediately cease your resting. Come out and prepare for war! Everyone, return to your forces. We must stand firm against this wave of attack.
“If…and I’m only saying if…Mary appears among the enemies, you are permitted to retreat ahead of time. Remember, if our forces are routed, the next gathering point is—”
Unfortunately, the vampire army had mobilized too quickly. They had far too little time to prepare.
Just as the Third Grade adepts prepared to return to their own armies and await the battle, the cloud turned slightly, passing by their encampment and heading somewhere southwest.
All the Dener adepts were already gripping their staffs and wands in hand, so tight they could almost crush the magic tools between their fingers. No one expected the vampire army only to be passing by.
They watched dumbfoundedly as the vampire army cut through the sky and disappeared over the horizon. They had no idea how to respond.
Should they pursue, wait, or disperse and go back to rest?
The Dener Clan adepts had no idea what to do!