Chapter 1362 Danger Lurks
Caw! Caw! Caw!
The scattered fire crows croaked loudly and suddenly dispersed. They chose to distance themselves from the goblin chariots and started circling beyond their range of fire.
They no longer charged in a single flock as they had before. Instead, the fire crows formed assault groups of two to three, constantly diving toward the chariots from every direction and corroding the energy barrier with their sticky fire. They would retreat from the cannon’s range of fire the moment they completed their attack, continuing to circle outside while they awaited their chance.
Only a few magical machines accompanied the chariot company. As such, the magical machines could not cover all the air around them. If they scattered their gunfire, they would not be able to inflict as much damage on the fire crows as before.
“Mm?” Upon seeing this, Commander Pike paused for a moment. He then mumbled to himself, “Could there be a leader amongst these fire crows?”
As First Grade magical creatures, fire crows might be powerful, but their intelligence was not comparable to humans. Only when an advanced First Grade or Second Grade Fire Crow King was born would the entire flock appear much more intelligent.
Only a high-grade fire crow king like that could have the intelligence to notice the goblin chariots’ immobility.
Pike immediately picked up his binoculars and tried his best to search for that fire crow king in the flock. Just as he expected, Pike followed the cries of the birds and found an exceptionally majestic and large fire crow.
The fire crow had a circle of golden feathers on its head. It looked like a crown from a distance.
It seemed like this fire crow was not only their leader, but even had the potential to advance to a fire crow emperor!
“Mané, pay attention to the fire crow king on coordinates 230,783. I want you to shoot it down with the magical machines. The chariots will provide you with cover,” Pike immediately gave out orders upon discovering their target.
Mané, the captain of the magical machine squad, promptly turned his machine around when he heard this. He quickly locked onto the unusual fire crow with his tactical display.
“Let’s go! We are going to shoot down that ugly bird!”
He laughed arrogantly as all eleven of the magical machines rushed out of the energy barrier. They fired all their weapons, all while they approached the target.
After hundreds of years of advancement in technology, the present magical machines had cast the goblin’s outdated steam-machines far behind them.
The standard PG-52 combat magical machine was outfitted with two Mark-II magic energy cannons on their shoulders, two magic energy rapid-fire guns on their chests, four magic energy ray guns on their arms, and sets of sixteen-round rockets on their back.
Such tremendous firepower allowed every PG-52 magical machine to rival a Second Grade adept in offensive might. At the very least, a squad of magical machines arranged in tight formation in battle would most certainly be a vicious meat grinder.
Rockets flew into the air wherever the machines went, whistling as they dove into the midst of the fire crows. The rockets were filled with plenty of shrapnel and arcane crystal fragments. When they erupted in mid-air, they were capable of wreaking destruction over a large area.
Fire crows were magical creatures with excellent magic resistance. Otherwise, they would not have been able to cross a spatial rift so easily. However, their bodies lacked the protection of hard scales or hide, making them far more vulnerable to physical attacks.
That was why the sudden explosion of shrapnel hit numerous fire crows. Dark blood splattered everywhere as the birds howled and crashed to the ground.
However, even more of the fire crows rallied in their fury, lunging at the exposed magical machines from every direction. Their napalm projectiles were fired before they even arrived!
A series of fireballs shot toward the magical machines.
“Activate your shields! Shields, everyone…remember to put up your shields!” Mané’s cries rang out in the communication crystals.
Several pieces on the magical machines’ bodies started flipping over, revealing rhomboid crystals that quickly projected energy shields around them. These shields were not very powerful individually. But when stacked atop each other in this fashion, they were far more resilient and provided a wider range of protection than just a simple magic energy shield.
While the energy shields protected them from the fireballs flying in from every direction, the magical machine squad retaliated with all they had. The magic energy cannons and rapid-fire guns unleashed energy fireballs of varying sizes, blasting the fire crows lunging at them into pieces. The ray guns on their arms repeatedly zapped, shooting down the fire crows with heat rays and frost rays.
The battlecries of the goblin mechanics filled the entire communication channel.
There was no need to think about complicated tactical maneuvers at this point. Unleashing all their firepower on their opponent was the only thing they could do!
Meanwhile, the chariots behind them had also turned their cannons around and were clearing the way for them with their own volley of attacks.
It was a bloody road paved with the blood and corpses of the fire crows!
The fire crows encirclement wasn’t without its results either. After all, the magical machines’ shields couldn’t provide complete cover after they left the energy barrier. Under the fire crows’ wild bombardment, a few of the magical machines had their shields eroded or destroyed. They could only continue forward while enduring the flames with the sheer sturdiness of the machines.
At this point, the magical machine had managed to make seven hundred meters of progress. They were deep in the midst of the fire crows and had shot down over three hundred of the creatures. However, they had suffered two casualties themselves.
Both of the machines were destroyed due to flames burning through and causing a massive explosion. Naturally, there was no hope for the goblin mechanics piloting them.
At this point, fewer than two hundred fire crows remained of the massive flock.
The fire crow king was visibly enraged. It led its personal guard and attacked the magical machines.
The flames it spewed were far more powerful and corrosive than the average fire crow. Flames burned through the hulls of two more magical machines before the pilots were sniped to death by a fire arrow from the fire crow king.
However, the fire crow king could not find too many opportunities to go on the offense with the goblin chariots and magical machines working in coordination. After all, a fire crow’s attacks only had a range of a hundred meters, while the magical machines could cover up to seven hundred meters of distance.
In fact, the goblin rocket’s maximum effective distance was 1,500 meters!
This tremendous difference in range meant that the fire crows had no option but to endure enemy fire to go on the offense. In the end, it was only natural that the fire crows were defeated!
The fire crow king eventually accepted their defeat and fled with the last thirty surviving fire crows, squawking as they did so.
The goblin chariots immediately gave pursuit to prevent these fire crows from causing trouble in the goblin cities. The battle continued even as they went on the pursuit.
The same scenario was happening all over the Goblin Plane.
Fortunately, the Goblin Plane was a classic low-magic plane. Even with the magic surge’s arrival, the planar environment was still very hostile toward magic energy; overly powerful magical creatures and monsters could not be bothered to come here. They had their sights set on the higher planes.
Moreover, there were far too few native magical creatures in the Goblin Plane to ever form a threat to the completely mechanized goblins.
Thus, when the magic surged erupted, large-scale massacres were all but avoided. Only individual towns and villages reported heavy casualties occasionally!
However, not all planar worlds were as fortunate as the Goblin Plane.
Almost every material plane faced threats on two fronts due to the magic surge.
There was the threat of intruding starbeasts, disaster creatures, and monsters from the outside, while magical creature stampedes threatened to break out from within. For a while, every single ruler across the universe was completely busy and occupied.
It didn’t matter how well they had set up their defenses. They could not stop otherworldly beings from invading or the magical creatures from storming out of their forests. The more incompetent rulers could only choose to abandon part of their citizens and land, concentrating what power they had on protecting their own assets.
The abandoned civilians could only pray!
After all, these civilians had no supernatural powers. Even a single First or Second Grade magical creature would be enough to cause an unimaginable calamity.
Moreover, in many of the smaller planes, the enslaved population would obtain opportunities to rise and rebel against their rulers due to the chaos sown by the magic surge. Internal revolutions broke out in numerous planes, causing a change in the ruling class.
However, no matter how hard anyone tried, the chaos and turbulence that engulfed every planar world broke out in full force!
Many scholars and sages across the countless planar worlds would all coincidentally refer to these chaotic times as the Dark Ages. Moreover, what truly brought them despair was the knowledge based on past experience that this Dark Age would last for a hundred years.
A hundred years. That would be an entire life for most planar creatures!
With the descent of darkness, some suffered. Yet, some continued to live blissful lives!
At this moment, the civilians living in Ailovis felt even more grateful and blissful that they lived here.
When the magic surge erupted, there was news of intruding monsters from all over the Central Lands. There were even incidents where entire towns were devoured without a single trace.
All this news stood in stark contrast to the peace of Ailovis.
It was the Crimson Clan’s territory after all, and the soon-to-be heartland of the Central Lands. Consequently, there were far more top-grade adepts gathered here than elsewhere.
These powerful adepts kept a low profile. However, when danger truly arrived, their fighting force would be incredibly valuable.