Chapter 1368 Abyssal Demons
A beginner Fourth Grade corpse hound was a terrifying monstrosity capable of causing mass murder in any planar world. Their undead body and aura of fear made them a fearsome enemy.
However, this corpse hound had been pulverized and reduced to a puddle of blood in less than three seconds after running into this elite party of adepts from the Association. What remained of the rotting corpse was rapidly dissolving into a pungent black puddle that slowly seeped into the dark earth.
In the end, the only thing left behind was a withered heart and a grudge crystal.
Both of these were valuable Fourth Grade materials.
However, Horner’s bearded face showed no signs of joy as he watched his subordinates carefully put away the spoils of the battle.
He stared solemnly into the mists below, his expression cold and severe.
“Seems like a big guy has appeared down there. Otherwise, a vicious predator like the corpse hound wouldn’t have charged out so carelessly.”
Schreiber, who stood beside him, dispelled his fire shields with a wave. He sensed the valley’s aura with a frown, treating the situation with equal seriousness.
“It’s the smell of sulfur and fire. I’m afraid some demon from the Abyssal World has arrived! Who cares? We only have to wipe it out when we run into it. I just happen to lack some demon’s blood for an experiment!”
“It’s not a big deal if it’s just one or two demons, but if there are too many of them……” Even the usually impulsive and reckless Horner couldn’t help but hesitate. “These fiends have tough hides. It’s always a pain to cut through them.”
“We will retreat if there are too many of them. Let them bash their heads bloody against the war towers before we come out and slice off their heads. It’s not like you intend to die in this awful valley, yes?” Schreiber replied unamusedly.
Horner let out a brazen laugh and continued walking into the mist ahead of everyone else.
The Central Lands, the Ahlden mega-rift.
Compared to Inkdeep Valley, the mega-rift here was a dozen times smaller. Consequently, the number and power of otherworldly monsters emerging from this rift were also incomparable.
Andrew’s Ahlden Clan was also incomparable to the colossus that was the Adept’s Association. It had hardly been a month, but the pressure he’d had to endure was already wearing on him.
Still, he could not abandon his identity as the leader of the Ahlden Clan. This place was his clan’s territory, after all; right behind him stood his trusted subordinates and clan members who had followed him for hundreds of years. Moreover, this land was still home to the Ahlden Clan’s six million civilians and their countless villas, castles, and villages.
Should even one magical creature slip past his garrison here, all the nearby towns and their residents would face an apocalypse.
Before the magic surge, he had evacuated most of the civilians in his territory to areas protected by adept towers. However, the chaos caused by such mass migration was causing him a headache.
The magic surge would not just end in a matter of days. According to past experience, it would take a hundred years from the magic surge’s eruption to the mid-phase stabilization to its final dissipation.
A hundred years. It might be a small slice in the life of high-grade adepts, but it was an entire generation for the frail and fragile mortals.
The clan might be able to concentrate the civilians and shelter them for a time given their resource reserves. However, if the situation dragged on, even the Ahlden Clan would not be able to support so many mouths without any income.
That was why Andrew’s current plan was only to survive the most ferocious, initial ten years of the magic surge. Once the situation had stabilized slightly, he would try his best to restore his territories to their original states and return the civilians to where they had come from.
The mega-rift remained the largest variable in this plan of his!
Should there be a day where an overwhelmingly powerful starbeast broke through their line of defenses, the clan will not have anything else to stop them. Even someone with half a brain could imagine what would happen next.
In all honesty, the main reason the Ahlden Clan had managed to firmly defend the mega-rift was due to the five-hundred-strong magical machine army from the Crimson Clan, as well as Mary and Mornashen Gaia who had been stationed here.
For an ordinary adept clan, its strength came from the clan adepts it had cultivated. These adepts might be few in number, but they were crucial to a clan and formed the very foundation of a clan’s prosperity.
Most adept clans would also raise armies of magical creatures or adept forces to make up for insufficiencies in their military power. Adept forces were fundamentally adept apprentices that possessed combat prowess equal to adepts. It was a way of putting to use apprentices who had no hopes of advancing.
However, the impact of the magic surge had forced most of these armies to return to the lesser planes and maintain their ruling order in those worlds. The only things that Andrew had left to defend the mega-rift were a few voodoo beast squadrons and a handful of adept forces.
A force like this might be enough to deal with an ordinary adept war, but they were incompetent when it came to apprehending starbeasts and magical creatures that could cross through space and arrive here in the World of Adepts.
So far, only two starbeasts had managed to break-in through the mega-rift.
The Fourth Grade starbeast was injured by Mary and then hunted down by the Ahlden Clan’s winged dragon force. Andrew had personally killed the other Third Grade starbeast near the towers.
Apart from these starbeasts, over a hundred other magical creatures and monsters had also swarmed into the planar world. The weakest of them had been an advanced Second Grade creature. A monster like that would have easily massacred an entire kingdom of mortals.
Here on this battlefield, it was no more than the most insignificant cannon fodder.
However, starting from the thirty-seventh day of the magic surge, the mega-rift’s tremors had intensified. The otherworldly creatures emerging from the rift began to trend more and more toward abyssal demons.
There were the weak demons, the Second Grade redflame demons, the longhorn demons, hellhounds, quasits, vrocks, and the succubi. Then there were the stronger demons reaching up to Fourth Grade: the demon-hunting spiders, the hezrous, the glabrezu, the mariliths, and the balors.
Andrew suspected very strongly that a Great Abyssal Lord wanted to invade the World of Adepts and had opened a planar portal connecting the Abyssal World with the mega-rift. That was why so many hideous and annoying abyssal demons had appeared in his territory.
It was common knowledge that abyssal demons were twisted beings that were easy to anger. They were filled with malice and were violent, tyrannical, unpredictable, and had no sense of morality.
They often invaded other planar worlds, bringing destruction and fear with them.
They worked their hardest to destroy and take apart everything. They reveled in the process.
They opposed order, so much so that even Abyssal Lords could not make them obey their every command.
Unless they were controlled by way of magic, there was no way they would unite. Nor was it possible for them to execute an operation in an organized manner. Any plans they might have had one moment could be shoved aside the next. They could hardly care about the completion of plans and the realization of goals.
All they cared about was whether their streak for violence, cruelty, blood, murder, and chaos could be fulfilled. They didn’t care about anything else beyond that.
In the end, abyssal demons were no more than evil spirits or evil, hideous creatures created by the corruption of the Abyssal Will. They possessed no rationality.
Other magical creatures might consider their odds of survival when breaking into a planar world for a feast. Abyssal demons couldn’t care less. They would storm forth like overeager hounds, even if they knew it was a bloody battlefield where they had no chances of survival.
Battle, fighting, and killing until they crashed into a puddle of their own blood.
Even a Fourth Grade adept like Andrew hated to deal with such bloodthirsty monsters!
No number of abyssal demons could threaten his life. However, they were a considerable threat to the war towers of the Ahlden Clan.
After all, all abyssal demons were powerful beings versed in magic as well as physical combat!
They possessed dark, magic-resistant skin covered in magical patterns and tremendous strength. Almost all of them could endure the bombardment of the war towers and charge forward.
Meanwhile, even casual demonic spells they hurled at the tower could leave behind visible marks.
More concerningly, most high-grade demons possessed Pinpoint Teleportation, allowing them to teleport to any location on the battlefield within their vision. This racial ability rendered the adepts’ strategy of using voodoo beasts to stall the enemy while the towers unleashed fire moot.
Any Ahlden Clan adept that dared leave their tower would instantly be swarmed by a horde of demons and torn apart. It didn’t matter how strong you were or how excellent your magic was; you would die on the spot against the ruthless horde of demons.
That was why, after losing two Third Grade adepts, not a single Ahlden Clan adept dared to take another step from the tower.
In doing so, the task of preventing the demons from fleeing fell squarely on the shoulders of the voodoo beasts. However, next to the massive and fearsome abyssal demons, they were like hounds before lions. There was nothing they could do but howl and whimper in despair.
As some of the abyssal demons fled the battlefield and broke into the backlines, the fires of war started to spread.
In just a few days, the smoke of war was rising all over Ahlden territory. The cries of humans could be heard everywhere as the demonic creatures went on a rampage. The previously peaceful human society had become a sacrifice to this magic surge.
Andrew stood in a dark and sinister room. He solemnly tapped the magical crystal in front of him and sent out a request for help.