Thanks to the relentless assault of Ritters above level one, an area on the eastern coastline of Wilderia had fallen into Zauberia’s control within two days. Battlezone 7 was settled.
Agus, the towering man of bronze, nonchalantly beheaded a peak level-two Botanian leader with a twist to its neck. He devoured the limp Botanian like any other fruit, letting crunches and juices escape his lips as the unfortunate Botanian’s blood filled Agus’ cavity.
“Mm… The taste of Botanian essence.” Agus licked his lips clean enthusiastically, proud fangs on display.
The peak level-two Botanian leader had ten times more essence than a level-one Botanian. Needless to say, the quality of its essence had pleased Agus tremendously. Once ingested, the precious Botanian essence wouldn’t follow the carcass into the digestive tract. It would instead be stored in Agus’ body and could be recovered when needed.
Before the planar war, Agus would cherish even a handful of Botanian essence. However, there was plenty of it now. “This is utopia!” proclaimed Agus delightfully.
“Shred up all the surviving level-one Botanians and gather the weaklings in Warehouse 1!” Agus’ orders boomed across the whole area as clear as day.
Cities and Botanian civilians within a radius of few tens of thousands kilometres radius had been reduced to absolutely nothing in two days. Botanian resistance forces were wiped out and cities were destroyed. Knights of Zauberia had trampled the minor plane and brought a taste of true despair to the helpless Botanians.
The Sanctum and Hall of Knights ordered the persecution of all Botanians above level-one in the area. None were allowed to walk away alive for there would be more than five hundred thousand high-rank Knechts and ten thousand Lehrlings landing very soon. Their survival would land the younger Knechts and Lehrlings in deep trouble, hence why there was a dire need to eradicate them quickly.
On the other hand, low-rank Botanians were spared. They were producers of the prized resource desired by the Three Western Isles, after all.
What exactly was Botanian essence? In layman terms, it was a treasure similar to blood essence. Blood essence was extracted from strong lifeforms with great blood vigour and would cause irreparable damage to its source. This was the same for Botanian essence as it came with the price of the Botanian’s lifespan.
The total volume of essence that could be extracted was heavily dependent on the Botanian’s capabilities. For instance, a low-rank Botanian could only give not more than one to five milligrams of essence. With that in mind, Botania housed a population size of hundreds of millions; the volume of essence that could be extracted was beyond anyone’s imagination! The Three Western Isles refused to let this go. Even if they had to divide the spoils between the Sanctum and the Hall of Knights, it wouldn’t be any less than what they could loot from a low-rank plane.
Massacres were happening at every given moment. There were no longer any living Botanians left in Battlezone 7 in the face of the knight’s merciless slaughterings. Most of the lower Botanians had already been ushered into the newly built Warehouse 1.
Warehouse 1 was a massive rectangular building on Battlezone 7. Through countless collaborations in planar wars, the Sanctum and the Hall of Knights had long established a standard operating protocol. There was a specific flow to follow and all instructions were clearly relayed from the spatial fortress into the plane.
The warehouse would function as a storage space for wartime resources. Apart from the knight’s provisions, six hundred thousand low-rank Botanians were held here as well. As the Botanians squirmed and squeezed in the limited space, stampedes were happening almost everywhere. Multiple mechanical arms that extended from the ceiling were throwing the newly captured Botanians deeper into the warehouse one by one.
“There’s close to seven hundred thousand of them here!” A few Ritters chuckled at the swarming crowd of frantic Botanians below.
“Ha! I’m sure we’ll hit a million when the second batch of Ritters arrive!” Another Ritter laughed aloud. The low-rank Botanians could only be a threat to the Ritters provided that they work together. Otherwise, it was practically impossible for them to lay a finger on the knights.
Less than a thousand Ritters had succumbed to the war so far, which was a wonderful outcome that pleased the Hall of Knights.
“It’s about time we let the kids do some training.” Another Ritter smirked.
High-rank Knechts were the future of the Hall of Knights and level-one Ritters like them had extended their lifespans past a few centuries; them calling the Knechts ‘children’ wasn’t too much of a stretch.
“I heard that Master Agus was sent to Battlezone 6.”
“Yeah, since most level-two Botanians had fled there. Master Agus is probably going after them.”
Agus wasn’t out of patience for no reason. Compared to the Botanian essence offered by low-rank Botanians, the essence of level-two Botanians was unmatched. There was rarely anything that could pique Agus’ attention at his current level. Treasures that could help with further advancements were always hard to resist.
As soon as Agus’ request was approved by the spatial fortress, he had led nearly ten thousand Ritters above level-one to the frontlines. Except for the five thousand Ritters that remained in the fortress, fifteen thousand Ritters above level one were divided into three groups that were managed by three respective Himmelritters. The fragrant floral scent common across Wilderia was soon replaced by the stench of blood in just a few days.
Meanwhile, floating ships carrying half a million Knechts and a million slaves had left the fortress for Botania. The deployment of the third batch of manpower meant that they’ve progressed to a full-scale invasion.
A rain of black dots appeared in the sky once again to the horror of all regular Botanians below. Their presence had cast a shadow over the future of Botania. The sunflower high priest and the World Tree behind him watched the invaders rain onto the fallen territories in silence from the heart of the Holy City.
“How is Arnold doing?” asked the World Tree softly.
“His injuries are grave. If Gleamyellow hadn’t thrown himself onto Arnold in time, he would’ve died,” answered the sunflower bitterly.