Chapter 338: An Impenetrable Defense Zone
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Hengduan Mountain Range
Based on the fragmented recounts of the Yabba musketeer while Link was treating her, Link could more or less figure out the details of the Yabba situation.
The Yabba population was about two million strong, and they had nine great cities. As of now, three had been defeated, including the sky city Pollol.
Currently, the Dark Army was besieging Lariel.
Their ship was an assault airship that had flown out from Lariel along with five other ships. Ten battle airships engaged the main force of the Dark army in order to create a distraction for them. However, the Dark Army relentlessly pursued the assault force without care for their own lives.
By the time the high-speed assault ships reached here, they had all been destroyed. Their mission to get help from the outside was a failure.
Among the musketeers, the male who lost the most amount of blood breathed his last breath. Seeing this, the female musketeer couldn't hold herself back anymore. Tears were streaming down her face.
"Go on, cry it all out." Link softly patted the musketeer's head. At the same time, he cast a soundproof barrier around them.
The musketeer hugged onto Link's leg and burst into tears. Much later, when her face was completely covered in grime and tears, she finally calmed herself down. Wiping her face, she said, "I'm sorry, your clothes are dirty. Thank you, my lord."
Seeing that she had recovered herself, Link took out a clean handkerchief to clean her face. She didn't move, allowing Link to do so. This made Link feel like he was taking care of a child.
After he was done, he asked, "What about Elin? Do you know of her situation?"
Elin had left a few days before him. Although she said that she was escorting the people to the islands, her return would have her cross the path of the Dark Army's advance. He was worried about her.
"Lady Fortuna? She's now in Lariel. She was the one who advised us to send out people for help. She also said to break out of the blockade and abandon the city because Lariel was doomed to fall... I'm not sure how true her words will be, but all her predictions so far have been true, so nobody would dare to take her words lightly."
Link let out a sigh of relief. At least Elin was safe.
At this point, Skinorse returned. He seemed calm, but his eyes were still red. "My lord, the situation is not good. The demons are doing a sweeping operation to hunt for survivors. I just saw a squad of them walk past."
It was indeed bad news.
Link thought for a moment, then said to Nana, "Please carry Melinda."
Melinda was the name of the female musketeer. Nana was just a little shorter than Melinda by less than three feet. Yet, although Nana was almost the height of a human child, she effortlessly carried Melinda onto her back.
"Let's go, we'll continue rushing to Orida Fortress and bring them news of Lariel as well." Link again cast a Traceless Spell.
Since the Yabba city could manage to get people out of the blockade to send for help, it showed that they could hold on for some time. If Link could get their news to Orida Fortress, they could gather troops to head north in aid of the Yabbas. The Dark Army would then have to face a pincer attack from two sides, and this would lessen the pressure on the Yabbas.
Link actually respected Aymons.
Under the limited time condition of the Dark Serpent, he managed to seize the opportunity to pull so many tricks. Only Aymons could have done this.
Damn it! It was a mistake not to have just killed him the last time!
The group continued to rush onwards. The wolves were too conspicuous, and so they decided not to use them but continue traveling on foot. When they encountered areas that were difficult to traverse, Link used the Level-0 spell Levitation, Lightweight, and some other basic sells to assist them. Sometimes, he would also have Nana carry him over. They were able to maintain a relatively fast pace.
After proceeding for another six miles, Skinorse, who was in the lead, raised his hand and signaled for them to stop. He ducked behind a tree and got Link and Nana to do the same. Then, he slowly pointed to foliage up ahead, mouthing with his lips, "Watch that foliage."
Link squinted his eyes, staring.
Up ahead was a hazelnut forest. Amidst the dense branches of the forest, in the crown of one of the trees, there was a monkey-like figure sitting there, not moving.
This "monkey" was about three feet tall and had two fleshy wings with sharp tips. Its skin was a dark red, and there were two horns growing from its head. At this moment, its wings were wrapped in itself as it nested in the tree crown. The only thing visible was a pair of black eyes that were unnoticeable unless you looked really carefully.
Skinorse continued mouthing as he explained, "In the Black Forest, this creature is everywhere. The Magicians say it is a low-level demon, but I call them "Red Monkeys." Its battle prowess is average, about the same as a level-4 scout. However, there are many of them in the black forest. They're very astute and will usually notice us first. When they do, they let out a sharp call that can be heard from less than a mile away. After that, other red monkeys will continue transmitting that call. Very soon, the high-level demons will come. Even if we kill it before it calls, high-level demons will still come, because they have a signal that they call out every ten minutes.... Listen."
Skinorse motioned his hand to his ear to signal for them to listen. One second later, Link heard a sharp Jiiiiii sound, something like that of a bat. The sound traveled out, and moments later, the forest was filled with jiiiii jiiiii sounds responding to the first one.
"Based on the sound, it seems that the red monkeys have locked down the whole of this forest. How annoying! We've got to be really careful from now on."
Link finally understood how Aymons managed to achieve a complete information lockdown. With the eyesight of these red monkeys and the battle prowess of the high-level demons and ghouls patrolling around, there was no way for anyone to escape or hide. Human scouts would just meet an early end once they entered.
Skinorse was among the best among the humans already. If even he had no way to deal with this, then no one would.
To make matters worse, because the entire forest was now locked down, even if they managed to sneak through it would cost them a lot of time. Lariel was in an extremely tight situation now, and they needed to get to Orida fortress as soon as possible. What could they do?
Link looked at the red monkey and paused, thinking. "How big are the high-level demon patrols?"
Skinorse thought for a while then gave an estimate of the size of one patrol. "In the black forest, one patrol would be about ten men strong. There would normally be three high-level demons and seven ghouls. Once they hear the signal from the red monkeys, they'll arrive within three minutes.
Link asked again, "What species are the high-level demons?"
"Among them, there are Fodor Flaming Demons, Fear Demons, Dimensional Demons, Succubi, and about five others, a total of ten types. The Dark Elves have been aggressively summoning demons, turning the whole forest into a hellish abyss," Skinorse replied.
Link asked, "These demons have roughly Level-8 strength, am I right?"
This was about enough information. Link evaluated the information he had. "If they're able to reach within three minutes, that means that in a radius of a mile, there will be one squad of high-level demons. The red monkeys call out every ten minutes, so if we attack immediately after their next call, we will have 13 minutes to move ahead. If we mix in other fake signals, then we'll be able to delay them further... Okay! We'll go into action after the next call."
He decided to forcefully break through.
"Okay," Skinorse nodded.
Seven minutes later, the red monkey called out again. It was as though it had a clock in its body. The timing was extremely exact.
The moment it called out, Link threw out a dimensional ball. "Spatial Rend!"
He did not use any tricks but attacked directly.
Thud. The Level-4 red monkey had no way to resist the force of the dimensional attack and couldn't even last one second before turning into a lump of meat. It had no chance to even make a sound.
"Let's go, hurry up!"
Skinorse once again took the lead, with Link and Nana following close behind. Along the way, Link constantly erased the tracks that they made. He was very careful but also very efficient.
Along the way, they were discovered by other red monkeys. However, the moment those red monkeys opened their mouths to call out, Link immediately locked down on their location with a soundproof barrier. Simultaneously, he cast a Spatial Rend Spell on them, instantly killing the monkeys.
Link's reactions were becoming faster and faster, and the monkeys had no chance to even call out.
Ten minutes later, the red monkeys began to call out to confirm each other's locations. Not long later, they discovered that some of their companions had not responded.
Instantaneously, the forest exploded like a beehive. Jiiii! Jiiii! The red monkeys began to call out, and the sounds they were making were extremely shocking and fear-inducing. However, there was also a benefit.
With them calling out, Link was able to pinpoint their locations better.
"How long will they call out for?" Link asked.
"About half a minute. This is to help the patrol squads determine our location," Skinorse replied.
"Half a minute? That's fine."
Link waited for half a minute. As Skinorse had said, the red monkeys stopped calling out. Immediately, Link unleashed his attacks, using Spatial Rend to soundlessly kill the red monkeys, leaving no traces behind!
"Alright, let's go." Link waved his wand, and the group continued rushing forward. At the same time, he erased their tracks and left misleading tracks in their place.
He was by now very proficient at this, and the misleading tracks were very effective. Along the way, the red monkeys had already called out three times, but the high-level demons had yet to find them.
They maintained their pace rushing forward.
"After not being able to find us for so long, they'll go crazy soon. They'll probably break out of their patrol routine and activate more patrols. We've got to be more careful!"
Amidst the forest, two patrols had already been activated. Although they followed the tracks left by Link, they could not find the intruders.
After coming up empty-handed multiple times, the leader of the patrolling teams sensed that something was wrong. He ordered a ghoul behind him, "You, report back to the base that something is off. Some slippery rats have entered the forest. We need reinforcements."
"Understood!" The ghoul rushed back to deliver its report.
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