Most of the spatial fortress’ deployment zones were focused on Fertilia. It was a landmass positioned in the direct centre of Botania and the World Tree’s network of roots was spread widely beneath its soil.
The willpower of level-four Himmelritter, Odis, was not to be taken lightly. But even without his promise, the heart of the World Tree would naturally be prioritised in the current planar war.
Even so, it didn’t mean that the other continents, Wilderia and Aqualilia, were exempted from the rain of slave creatures. The first wave of cannon fodder released by the spatial fortress had included an array of different creatures above level one. They were ‘elites’ and were deemed sufficiently powerful to inflict irreparable damage to Botania without needing reinforcements.
The urgency of the current situation had forced stronger Botanians out of hiding. Botania had responded to catastrophic danger with incredible speed. It hadn’t been a full month since the breach in their planar barrier and the release of the slave army, and yet they had managed to gather a decent number of fighters.
Tens of thousands of slaves were up against hundreds of thousands of Botanians; they were severely outnumbered despite their intense strength.
Numbers were vital in war. It had become quite common to have a level-one slave drowned out by swarms of Botanians who were far inferior in physique and potential. The drowning wasn’t just a mere metaphor. Botanian leaders had summoned their subordinates that were as strong as low-rank Zauberian Knechts to defend their homeland. While a thousand Botanians of that calibre could barely stand a chance against a level-one slave, ten thousand of its kind would get the job done. Botanians may not possess fangs or claws, but they were able to secrete a special type of mucus.
The slimy mucus of unknown constituents could corrode through tough exoskeletons at a certain consistency and volume. Soon enough, the slave army started to sustain casualties. The Botanians, however, were still dying and being exhausted at a comparatively faster rate.
It was a brutal war where both the Botanians and the slaves had to kill to survive. Almost every level-one slave would bring along a Botanian of similar rank or more than hundreds of low-rank Botanians to the afterlife.
The casters and knights in the spatial fortress weren’t waiting idly either. The first batch of knights had been mobilized with the slave army earlier. They, however, remained out of sight in the crevices of the planar barrier, waiting for the moment when the slaves had cleared off most of the formidable Botanians.
Regardless of their competence, slaves were just slaves. They would remain as worthless cannon fodder till the very end. If the life of a level-two slave could save a hundred level-one Ritters, the Sanctum and Hall of Knights would send the slaves off without qualms. Slaves weren’t human so it was none of their concern. Firm unity was what allowed the Three Western Isles and the four strongest level-four lifeforms of Zauberia to conquer almost all of their nearby planes. Compared to slaves that might go berserk and wean off their control, the participation of knights and casters were the biggest key factor for their victory.
Currently, the Botanians had completely mistaken the hideous slaves as their invaders. Little did they know that true despair would befall them soon enough.
“Don’t you think it’s time for the next step?” A level-two Erdritter asked another Erdritter hushedly. They had been watching the war unfold from the barrier’s opening.
“Patience.” The other Erdritter tried to ground him. “We should wait for Master Zach’s orders.”
“He has a point.”
The Erdritters snapped their heads towards a nearby level-three Himmelritter in unison.
“We’ll commence the attack in a few more hours. The slave army is thinning out now.” While his presence wasn’t striking among the other six Himmelritters, it appeared that he was the leading figure.
“Oh, boy. I can’t wait!”
Knights loved brawls and Himmelritters were no exception. Their long lifespan had entailed encounters with stronger opponents, allowing their passion for battles to remain evergreen.
It had been a week since more than twenty thousand slaves were thrown into Botania. They had managed to cause much damage and suffering to the plane and its inhabitants. Unfortunately, the slaves had evidently reached their limits. There were fewer of them compared to the beginning; only thirteen thousand of them were left at this point. Their decline was obvious to anyone with a discerning eye.
The first batch of elite slaves had exhausted their potential. They were at risk of sharp decline in the next two to three months should additional support fail to arrive. The Botanians were not to be underestimated, especially after receiving special boosts to their capabilities from their plane.
Botania welcomed yet another sunrise.
Fatigued Botanians straightened their backs and replenished themselves with the morning light. The week had been a complete nightmare. Ferocious lifeforms were dropping from the skies and terrorising everything within their reach. There was no way to stop them! A handful of the strongest Botanian leaders had already been defeated.
The aliens were diverse in shapes and forms. The Botanians had no idea what they were truly attacked by. Before they could get enough sustenance, the sky darkened again. They stared at the blue sky in confusion.
Countless black spots were dropping again. Their hearts sank and their scalps tingled. Were they new invaders?
More than thirty thousand Ritters began to flood out of the barrier’s crevices, which made up the most Ritters above level one in the spatial fortress. There were more thousands of level-two Erdritters and seven level-three Himmelritters involved too. In terms of capability alone, the second wave attack held more potential for destruction.
The knights weren’t in their true forms as they fell from the sky. Since their typical heights had only ranged between 1.7 m to 2.2 m, they were clearly more petite than the earlier slaves, which misled the Botanians to feel more at ease.
“Occupy Battlezone 7 and prepare for the next batch!” The level-three Himmelritter’s voice resonated in the air.
“Yes, Herr!” Thousands of knights answered uniformly.
Since most of Zauberia’s powerhouses were occupied with the battle of Centauria, the burden of the current planar war had fallen onto the shoulders of high-rank Knechts and slaves below level one. Lifeforms below level one were unable to survive in the astral realm nor could they withstand the resistance and friction of the planar barrier when entering an alien plane. Hence, Ritters above level one needed to take control of an area to ensure the safe landing of the high-rank Knechts and Lehrlings that were still in the fortress.
The Ritters could most certainly vanquish the plane themselves but the sacrifice pertained would be too severe for the Three Western Isles to bear.