Battlezone 6 was placed in a piece of ancient forest on Wilderia. The green bronze giant, Agus, brought countless Ritters into the area. Hovering above the frightened Botanians, the Ritters were here to carry out a genocide.
Innumerable low-rank Botanians were in a panicked flurry to escape their imminent doom. Demigod Agus was a life-threatening presence that stirred genuine fear from the depths of their plant-like bodies. The terror was so intense that the Botanians had ignored their leaders’ instructions in a frantic bid to run as far as they could. Their situation took a bad turn when some of the level one and two Botanians began to flee as well.
Agus guffawed at their pathetic state at the forefront. He bent over to scoop a Botanian up. The watermelon Botanian had been running aimlessly on the ground, its huge head and height of three meters suggesting that it was of certain ripeness. It was at least ten times bigger than the regular watermelons in Zauberia, looking all the more enticing and scrumptious.
The giant tossed the watermelon Botanian into his mouth. With a burst of red juices, the watermelon was devoured before it could even scream. The unfortunate Botanian was close to a level-one lifeform, meaning that Agus would receive around five grams of Botanian essence from it.
“Ah, just a little more…” Agus mumbled to himself. He strode over to the direction where most of the Botanians had left to, which was a plain marked as Battlezone 5.
The suppression of the army of Ritters above level-one had diminished the low-rank Botanians’ hope for a comeback. Slaves that were mobilised earlier had been summoned back to the spatial fortress in the last few days. With the casters and knights controlling their soul imprints, the slaves had nowhere to run. As soon as the scalding sensation began, they would have no choice but to obey every single order.
“Herr Agus! Herr Borlon has requested that we halt our progress!” A level-two Erdritter flew over to shout into Agus’ ear.
Agus frowned but stopped in his tracks. “Did he mention why?” The air vibrated with every word uttered by the giant.
“Now that the entire battalion has landed, we’re called to reinforce Battlezone 7’s defences. Plus, Battlezone 5 falls under the Sanctum,” explained the Erdritter dutifully.
“Understood.” Agus relaxed his furrowed brows slightly. Despite his unwillingness to comply, the order had to be heeded. He had accumulated about seventy thousand grams of Botanian essence so far, which meant that he devoured fifty thousand Botanians over the past month. Despite the shocking number, nothing odd had happened to his body. It was almost as if Agus’ intestines were made of steel. Anyhow, he had harvested plenty and this was probably a good time to stop. Maintaining his real form continuously for a full month was still rather energy intensive despite being a demigod.
Many surviving Botanians escaped the seized areas and Agus could surely find enough of them to accumulate his desired volume of Botanian essence. Suddenly, Borlon’s order didn’t sound all that bad. He turned around gingerly and prepared to leave, ignoring the large flatland behind that would soon be Battlezone 5. Unbeknownst to them, several level-three Botanians were hiding in the depths of the plain not too far away. They were planning for an ambush.
“Goldy, are you sure it’d come?” asked a pumpkin Botanian whose head was partially filled with wilted leaves and flowers.
The sunflower high priest was Goldy. Apart from the sunflower and the pumpkin Botanian, there were four other level-three Botanians here. They were ancient predecessors that had been awakened by Goldy and the World Tree not too long ago.
These level-three lifeforms should’ve been history. However, they had managed to cheat death through smart utilisation of the Botanian essence within them. In a sense, they had exchanged their essences for the upper limit of their lifespan. The more Botanian essence they had, the longer they were able to survive after being awakened. However, they longer cared about those anymore. Botania was in danger.
The groans of the plane’s consciousness and Goldy’s telepathic message had given them a picture of the crisis Botania was facing upon waking up. They quickly abandoned their egos and allowed themselves to be mobilised by the World Tree to different parts of Botania. According to the World Tree and Goldy’s calculations, their secret boost of power would definitely take the invaders by surprise.
“Perhaps.” The sunflower high priest wasn’t too sure. The pumpkin Botanian was a former high priest of the Holy City hence their exchanges were conducted with much formality.
“How about I head out to investigate?” A grape Botanian volunteered. Unlike the regular grape Botanians that had plump and crystal clear fruits, it had a relatively darker colour and slightly dehydrated fruits. The grape Botanian was close to five thousand years old; it was the oldest among them.
“No. I’ll go instead!” Goldy rejected frantically. The older grape Botanian was the kindest samaritan in all of Botania’s history. If something were to happen to it today, the sunflower would have a great deal of explaining to do.
Goldy spared one last look at the ancient Botanians who were fighting among themselves to be the ones on the battlefield. It soon launched itself high up into the sky towards the forest at the fringes of the plain, where the invaders and Agus were last seen.
The knights immediately picked up on Goldy’s presence as soon as it appeared on Battlezone 6. The sunflower high priest had unmasked its presence deliberately.