A gruesome ball of acidic green mucus came crashing down on the casters and slaves below the city wall. Its half a meter diameter glory burst into tiny drops just inches above the ground. It shot in all directions violently.
Countless monsters shrilled in agony. The mucus was highly corrosive and any contact would render one with huge bleeding messes. The casters that followed behind the slaves weren’t safe from the attack. Chaos ensued.
A periwinkle-robed caster swiftly avoided a stream of deadly acid. She’d frantically rolled over uncaringly atop the corpses and filth caking the ground. A huge patch of lush grass rotted away while the piles of bones and carcasses turned into smoking charcoal upon contacting the mucus. The caster quickly brought up her magic staff to murmur a spell. Blue jagged ice spears manifested in the air as the surrounding temperature dipped dangerously.
“Go!” Her crisp voice rang. The ice spears rushed forward in a flurry. Crash! The sound of ice shattering could be heard from afar, followed by a series of pained howls from the Botanians. Her delicate face resurfaced once the corrosive fumes that filled the war ground dissipated. The battle had ended fairly quickly, much like the current norm on the minor plane. The deciding factor behind every successful and speedy Botanian city invasion was their intel.
The small city guarded by only one lord had managed to hold on for two days and one night, a sign that the city lord was not a pushover.
“Daenie, do you need any recovery potion? I got some on me.”
“Wow, you’ve grown stronger!”
“That ice burst attack earlier was incredible! Did you learn this from Grandmeisterin Parlina recently?”
Praises, goodwill and concern were showered upon her. Daenie mainly responded with a slight smile. Truth be told, everyone among them had grown. The gullible lass who needed help from Locke and Angelina had grown to be a person of her own in their absence.
She returned to her camp to wash away the pungent smell of death and sweat with handy water spells. Following that, she trekked towards the main tent in a fresh set of robes. On her way, casters and patrolling slaves alike would greet her courteously. Everyone knew that Daenie was Parlina’s mentee since they’d been fighting in the same war for close to two years. Her ears perked up upon approaching the tent, picking up the faint voice of her mentor. It seemed like Parlina was talking with someone; she could detect a hint of joy in her tone.
Did something good happen? Daenie couldn’t help but feel curious. Ever since Magister Reiner was severely injured and forced to seek medical attention in Battlezone 7 six months ago, there was rarely a smile on Parlina’s face. She headed inside, finding Magister Porscher beside her mentor. Even more shockingly, Magister Ashar, who still hadn’t recovered from her injuries completely, was there as well.
“Good day, Grandmeisterin Parlina.” She greeted her mentor respectfully before shuffling over to a circle of quasi-Magisters on the side.
Parlina merely acknowledged her mentee’s greeting with a slight nod before resuming her conversation with Porscher. While Daenie was just a mid-rank Lehrling, Parlina had given her a platform to interact with peak high-rank Lehrlings. It could only be said that Daenue lucked out and got a good mentor.
The reason behind the Magisters’ need for mentees had much to do with their profession and the institute. Magical studies and experiments required plenty of assistance. Plus, the Sanctum had set a strict standard for the number of classes and mentees Magisters of different ranks needed to educate.
The main difference that set apart Daenie from most Lehrlings was Parlina’s intent on training her as a successor. This had garnered envy from the others but the Lehrlings could only try to remain on good terms with Daenie.
Many casters and knights, especially those below level-one, flourished in the two-year conquest. Since this was their first war, the first encounters of the wonders and dangers of a foreign plane had forced them to stumble and fall. Those that’d managed to survive thus far were those that could adapt the best. Daenie was bound to impress her friends and family when she returned to Aomar. Daenie used to be the least opinionated and courageous person. She’d preferred to abide by the instruction of others but she was no longer the same person now.
She brushed strands of silky hair away from her face as she joined the quasi-Magisters’ discussion on ranking wind element energy. Peaceful educated discussions like these were the casters’ version of the knights’ drunken tavern rambles. As her seniors rambled on about magic, Daenie listened in on the Magisters’ conversation.
“I can’t believe the kids will be back so soon,” said Parlina cheerfully from her seat.
“Yeah, I still remember that boy named Locke. He’s quite the witty knight,” Porshcer said.
The Magisters indulged themselves in their conversation, occasionally bringing up the topic of handling their most recently defeated Botanian city. To no one’s surprise, Ashar remained silent throughout the exchange.
“Ashar, are you sure you don’t need more rest?” Parlina couldn’t mask her concern.
The shadowmancer was dressed in her usual dark robes. Perhaps Locke was the only one aware of her pale, lithe figure.
Porcher glanced over in equal concern. The only answer they’d received was a nonchalant “Yeah.”
Parlina had known her for centuries so her aloof display was nothing strange. Porcher smiled wryly at the terse response. After all, Ashar had only gotten injured as a result of helping him slay a Botanian city lord earlier today.