Chapter 610: The Army of Destruction's Scheme
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"My lord, a Beastman village is in flames up ahead! The fire's really strong!" shouted the captain of the airship Merlin. A couple of his crew members began working the magic seals in the airship in order to pull up a visual of the Beastman village.
"The village is approximately 80 miles away from us. Look, 30 degrees to our left, demons!" said Merlin, pointing at the image.
The airship was new, and so were all the magic seals installed on board. All of them were the result of innovative work done by the Magicians of Ferde's Mage Tower. Although they were 80 miles away from the village, its visual was displayed on board in exquisite detail.
Everything on the ground could be seen clearly, from the raging fire to one of the Demon Warriors chasing after a screaming Beastman villager.
"My lord, there are 37 demons in total on the ground, including one Fodor Flaming Demon, three Succubi, and two Demon Illusory Assassin. The rest are horned Demon Warriors. The Fodor Flaming Demon is at least Level-10. It must be the leader here," reported one of the co-pilots beside Merlin in a feverish voice.
Celine intently observed the image and frowned. "These demons are acting strange. They don't seem to be killing anyone. I think they're just reveling in the Beastmen's misery. Look at that demon over there."
It was a Level-7 Demon Warrior. Before it stood an ordinary Beastman Warrior. The Demon Warrior had one foot on the body of a Beastwoman and one claw clutching the leg of a six-year-old Beastgirl.
The demon let out a terrible laugh as he brandished the little girl as a weapon at the Beastman Warrior. The Beastman's movements were becoming sluggish due to the injuries he had sustained. He also had to take a step back every time the little girl screamed out, in case the demon managed to land a hit on him with her body.
"The girl must be the Warrior's daughter, and the woman being stepped on must be his wife! These demons should be sent back into whatever hole they crawled out of!" said a Yabba man through gritted teeth.
In the visual, the Beastman Warrior looked on helplessly as the demon continued toying with his wife and daughter. Tears streamed down his face until his eyes were all red and puffed up. He roared at the demon until his voice went hoarse. The Beastman seemed to be on the verge of collapsing in exhaustion and despair.
Link noticed that the other demons exhibited similar behaviors in other parts of the village.
In the middle of the village, a couple of the demons had set up a bonfire and hung a huge cauldron above it. The cauldron was filled with water, inside which a couple of children who had not even learned how to walk were left to soak.
The water slowly began to boil until the children inside the cauldron started to feel uncomfortable. They then cried out, their little hands flailing about in the water in an attempt to climb out of the cauldron.
But the cauldron's rim was too high for them to reach. It had also turned scalding hot. The children pulled their hands back immediately when they touched the cauldron's walls. Hot steam was now rising from the cauldron. It would not be long before they were all cooked alive in it.
The demons had even tied their parents to wooden stakes that had been planted no more than three feet away from the cauldron. Just like that, they were forced to watch their own children being boiled alive.
The parents cried out as they frantically struggled to free themselves from their bonds and rescue their own flesh and blood, but the demons had done a wonderful job of tying all of them to the wooden stakes. The parents' efforts were all in vain.
Such atrocities could be seen everywhere throughout the village. There was a demon who was munching on the flesh of a Beastwoman in front of her husband. A demon had forced a Beastman to cut off one of his legs and then cook it for the demon himself. There was even one who had twisted a Beastman's arms into a ribbon. It was a terrible sight to see.
"This is literally hell on earth!" Celine could not stand this any longer. She took out her rifle and looked at Link. Her intent was obvious. She wanted to kill every demon on the ground.
"Duke, are we moving in?" asked Felina.
Nana remained silent, but she was already gripping the handle of her sword.
Any normal person would be filled with a sense of righteousness and hatred towards these demons after seeing such a horrific scene unfold before them. These demons were truly foul beyond belief.
Link nodded and then turned to Merlin. "Let's move in, but pay attention to the village's surroundings. This could be a trap."
"Yes, my lord!" said Merlin, and he gave a military salute to Link. He turned around and gave his crew members a series of complicated orders.
Link then retracted the boost of power he had given the airship as he readied himself for battle. He gazed at the magical visual in the middle of the airship and then sank into a deep meditation.
What these demons had done was unspeakably evil, but Link had been hardened by his experience in the war between light and darkness back in Orida Fortress. The scene in the Beastmen's village barely affected his judgment.
There was something strange about this. What are the demons trying to achieve by tormenting a village full of Beastmen? he thought.
This would not have struck Link as odd if it had happened near the Black Forest, which happened to be part of the Army of Destruction's domain. However, they were now in the Golden Plains, and the Beastmen were no pushovers.
The demons were no fools. Why would they risk incurring the wrath of more powerful Beastmen by engaging in such meaningless acts of violence?
These demons may not be part of the crack troop that the scouts had spotted, which means that there may be more than 300 demons who had come out of the Black Forest. The Army of Destruction may have even sent two or three squads out to spread chaos throughout the Beastmen's domain. There must be an even bigger scheme behind all this.
It was obvious to Link that the demons were up to something. The only problem was, what were they planning to do?
Link could not figure out what their plan was. He feared that they might already be playing into the demons' hands.
At that moment, Link noticed that something had changed in the magic visual.
"Uhm, are the demons retreating?"
In the visual, the Fodor Flaming Demon seemed to have received some sort of message, as he took out a horn and blew into it. All the demons who had been tormenting the villagers suddenly stopped what they were doing. They then turned around and retreated towards the west.
When they were all grouped up, the Fodor Flaming Demon took out a scroll and triggered whatever spell it contained. Once activated, the group of demons ran off at an incredible speed of up to 700 feet per second.
Did they notice us? thought Link, surprised by this. This suggested that the demons had set up a powerful detection spell.
I did not sense anyone spying on us. Whoever was able to do such a thing without revealing themselves must possess a power superior even to mine. We may be dealing with some form of divine spell that was cast by a powerful servant of the God of Destruction. This was the only conclusion Link could come up with.
"My lord, the fire's still raging in the village. If we don't do anything about it, the villagers will be burned alive. But if we go down and save everyone now, those demons will..." Merlin did not finish his sentence, but everyone in the airship understood all too well that they would lose the demons if they decided to go down and help the villagers.
They could make any one of the demons spill the beans on their big plan by punishing them for their crimes at the same time. There was no way they were letting the demons flee!
However, Link had already made up his mind. He said firmly, "We'll help the villagers. Once we're done, we'll go straight towards the realm crack!"
Whatever the Army of Destruction's game was, Link would not take the bait. As long as they kept the crack safe, there would not be a problem.
"But my lord, those demons..." said Merlin with a low voice.
"The crack is our top priority. The safety of the entire realm hinges on it!" said Link coldly.
Merlin jolted. He then said apologetically, "Understood, my lord!"
The airship accelerated towards the village until they were floating a hundred feet above it. Three Water Magicians climbed to the deck and began to cast a Rainmaking spell in unison.
This was a non-offensive Level-3 spell. The only thing unique about it was that its area-of-effect could be expanded. The spell could even summon a torrential rain stretching across hundreds of miles with the use of magic seals and the involvement of other Magicians.
The three Water Magicians were at least Level-8. They began channeling their power into the spell together. Three seconds later, thick clouds began to churn in the sky above the village. Before long, heavy rain poured down, extinguishing the village's fire in one fell swoop.
At that moment, a Magician appeared a few hundred feet in the air and used the Magician's Hand to undo the rope tied around the limbs of every villager.
Once everything was done, the airship sped off towards the realm crack.
However, after flying for a hundred miles, Merlin caught sight of something in front of the airship.
"My lord, look. There's a lake up ahead. Dark Elf Magicians seem to be trying to activate a dark magic seal in it."
Link had already sensed the swirl of Dark Power. He was particularly sensitive to it. Not only was he able to sense the dark magic seal's presence, but he could also tell what technique the Dark Elf Magicians were using.
He narrowed his eyes and began meditating. Five seconds later, he said, "It's a realm teleportation seal. They're going to summon backup through it. Increase altitude and bring us closer. Strengthen our detection seals and look out for any sign of ambush!"
The enemy would be able to musterl an even greater force if the Dark Elf Magicians were not stopped. They might even summon powerful Legendary demons through the magic seal. Keeping the realm crack safe would be impossible by then.
Merlin began giving out his orders.
Link then said to Celine, "Celine, get into position. Take your shot as soon as the Dark Elves enter your range of fire. Use your crystallized silver bullets just in case!"
Crystallized silver bullets were Link's latest creation. Each one was tailored to deliver a Level-13 impact!
They were now in the midst of an operation. Link's orders were curt. His face remained impassive even as he gave his orders to Celine.
"Understood, my lord!" Celine was a veteran soldier. She did not mind Link's curtness. She carried her rifle and assumed her firing position on the airship.
At that moment, a message popped up before Link. He had triggered a new mission in the game's system.
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