TL: I might want to edit this chapter in the future. Next Chapter Sep 20/21. Still suffering from gastric issues and caffeine withdrawal.
Chapter 24 – Expansion (5)
============== Tagiv’s POV ==============
Although the battlefield was mired in chaos, the Subterrane Terrane Elite Warriors’ angry screeches brought order to those who were frightened by Brendel’s attack.
Tagiv’s startled heart calmed down after much effort. The Underworld had circulated rumors about the people on the Surface. Some had mentioned about their greed, but there were also legends and stories about the Surface Empires’ might.
The Witch Doctor used to believe in these rumors, and regarded the Surface to be a dangerous and destitute world. It then quickly changed its mind, because Trentheim’s humans gave him an impression they were feeble. In its eyes, their army was weak and lacked discipline. The Subterrane Dwellers were considered as a weak race in the Underworld, yet they easily defeated the ‘big army’ of the local baron named Graudin.
At first, Tagiv thought that the humans were laying a trap and they pretended to be weak. Even after Graudin came to meet it personally, it still wondered if the human noble was lying.
In the end, Tagiv was able to prove that this belief was unnecessary. The rumors about of a large empire with an undefeatable army wielding flags with griffins woven onto them were nothing more than a story that was meant to frighten children.
But it was true that the humans were greedy.
After the surprise, Tagiv’s careful attitude was replaced with arrogance. It began to expand brazenly in the forest and even thought to occupy Graudin’s territory with the forest as a foothold. It eventually remembered the humans had a large population and canceled his plan. Naturally, it did not change the idea that they were weak.
Tagiv believed that the mercenaries were able to take a lumber mill was due to the human wizard taking advantage of the Subterrane Dwellers’ weak point. Once it set out to lead the army, it would give the humans a lesson they would not forget.
[These weak and greedy humans needed to see fists and fresh blood, or else they wouldn’t remember their earlier lessons.]
Tagiv hatefully regarded the Surface’s people as lowly beasts subconsciously.
When its army gave information about the two invaders, it was greatly shocked.
“The two humans are incredibly powerful, perhaps they have the strength of a Slavelord—” A nearby Elite Warrior shrilled and told its chieftain.
On the surface, the types equivalent to a Slavelords was Minotaurs living in mazes or Golden Dwarves. All of them were Gold-ranked fighters ranked somewhere in the middle.
Tagiv’s pores opened up, an innate characteristic for Subterrane Terrane dwellers when they are on guard. The Slavelords were creatures that sat firmly in the position of the Fourth Tier of the underworld. They were existences where the entire Subterrane Dwellers had to look up to.
[These two aren’t the rumored minotaurs wielding dual-bladed axes or the Golden Dwarves who resides in the Golden Hall but two supposedly weak humans? I see…… To think that there are strong existences within the humans as well. But there are only two of you, and you dare to challenge an entire army?]
Tagiv’s mind quickly spun and regarded them as foolish creatures of the Surface who did not know tactics. In the Underworld, tactics were seen as an art, and even though the chieftain had only learned a little, it was enough to look down on the humans and regard them as barbarians.
Tagiv raised its flag quickly, getting its subordinates to surround them. Even if they were Slavelords, they would not be able to resist its whole army.
============== Brendel’s POV =============
Brendel’s progress was considered smooth when the Subterrane Dwellers were in a panic. The Witch Doctor’s position was too distinct because it wore a gigantic goat-like skull with feathers stuck onto it. It was approximately a hundred meters away, but the Subterrane Dwellers were quickly filling up the space between them.
The Subterrane Dwellers’ Elite Warriors were commanding the scattered creatures. They were much larger, with purplish-red tumors growing on their skin, and mercilessly whipped them with their long spears, forcing them to wake up from their panic and get back to their position.
The opening was closing as the Subterrane Dwellers were forced back to fight him.
He quickly found himself against the enemies’ grunts. They stood together in a line, shakily thrust their weapons at him as if to test the waters, and it was naturally ineffective. He quickly swept away the spears of poor quality and used a single strike to divide the wall of creatures into two again.
The first row of Subterrane Dwellers that was nearest to him were blown away with a layer of frost, and the defense line parted like melting snow.
Brendel moved forward again, but the Subterrane Dwellers were chased back by the elite warriors to become cannon fodder to delay him. Due to the time gained by them, more of the creatures moved in with a tactical formation, distancing him away from their leader.
“My lord,” Scarlett said, wanting to inform him the enemies were surrounding their rear.
Brendel did not need to look back to know that they were closing in like a tidal wave. The two of them continued to advance by ten meters, but the resistance they encountered was starting to slow them. Three Subterrane Dwellers charged in with high-pitched screams, their strong legs resembling powerful warhorses, while concentrating their strength on the spears’ tips.
This attack was completely different from the previous attempts.
Brendel felt troubled after defending the new attacks twice. The chaotic screams and charges were causing him to lose where Tagiv was moving to.
[He’s moving to the north or the northeast? ……Was it a mistake that I didn’t stick to my first plan and use the Silver Colt and attack from above? No, I already shot that down because it’s much riskier facing an enemy who can cast anti-air magic. I should think of another way……]
Brendel’s hands did not stop moving while he was reflecting on his plan. Scarlett was right behind him, and both of them struck the enemies with lightning and ice, extending their attack range to three meters in front of them. The third group of Subterrane Dwellers who attempted to surround them were crushed by their attacks.
But both of them soon stopped to take a rest instead of advancing.
Brendel noted that he had killed at least forty Subterrane Dwellers, and with the addition of Scarlett’s shared kills, he received an impressive amount of XP, except that his stamina was rapidly dropping.
Scarlett’s face was slightly red, and her forehead was perspiringly lightly. Her overall Power Rating was even higher than Brendel’s by a tenth, but the latter had constantly fought against larger numbers in the game, and lived a life where he charged in and out of the enemy lines; a gamer’s infinite lives allowed them to test out all kinds of combat tactics, and Brendel conserved his stamina by using the most efficient way of attacking.
[As expected of my lord.]
His face was void of any signs of exhaustion, even taking on a nonchalant expression, and it caused her to feel considerable admiration in her heart when she looked at him.
Brendel was carefully listening to the shrills around him. He swung his sword and prevented the Subterrane Dwellers from filling in the empty space in front of him, while he pricked his ears for a certain high-frequency wavelength.
A particularly antiquated language, similar to a variation of the dragon’s language that should not be within a normal human’s listening range.
However, in this world, the higher perception one had, the more frequencies and noises one could hear. Brendel’s perception was 20 OZ, and he quickly caught that unique sound. The highest-ranking Elite Warriors within the Subterrane Dwellers were issuing orders to the lower ranking commanders with their unique methods.
Even though he did not understand their language, he was certain that the enemies would fall into chaos if he disrupted these hidden ‘command posts’. It was one of the most common tactics within the gamers to aim for them.
He quickly locked down the sources and found at least three different voices. They were most likely ordering the fourth attempt to surround them.
“Scarlett,” he immediately shouted, “create an opening over to where I’m pointing.”
Scarlett looked over to where he was pointing at; there was a huge group consisting over one hundred Subterrane Dwellers that was forming a strong layered defense with no gaps.
It was evident that they realized Brendel’s intention.
However, their actions also made her realize that there was something important behind them. She tossed her ponytail hair to one side, and there was no need for more words; her spear swung onto the ground with a lightning trail!
The blinding light immediately pierced through the front defenders, then spread out like a fan to hit the person next to them. An explosive noise echoed into their ears.
The few front rows of defenders were burned into cinders from the intense heat while the rear was paralyzed.
Brendel’s narrowed eyes managed to spot the burly Elite Warriors once the opening was created in the wall of creatures. However, the two flanks were closing in and filling up the gaps of the wall, and there was only a short moment before the chance disappeared.
He immediately activated his Charge ability. His body blurred into a black line in an instant and separated away from Scarlett for the first time.
The black line leaped above the Subterrane Dwellers’ shoulders and bypassed them. When they finally reacted, they turned their heads and discovered that he had reached the highest-ranking Elite Warriors.
There were a total of six Camlu of the highest rank, and these purplish-red skinned creatures were smart enough to scatter in different directions when they discovered Brendel had broken through the defenses.
But the latter used his utmost efforts to strike them down, combining both the Power Break and the White Raven Sword Arte. A translucent distortion of eight meters swept through the air and cut through their bodies. The Camlu staggered as if they were drunk before they collapsed to the ground in a heap with their heads lopped off.
When Brendel turned around with his sword in hand, the Subterrane Dwellers retreated away from him in utter fear.